With that time of the year where people mail in easy posts summarizing the “Top 10 Posts I’ve Written” or their “5 New Years Resolutions”, there’s been something conspicuously absent from reflections on 2007.
Kathy Sierra, one of the best bloggers period, suddenly and completely quit blogging and vanished from the public eye because of threatening messages posted against her. It happened back in March/April, and 8-9 months is an eternity to remember something in the Internet age, but we’re talking about the disappearance of one of the most entertaining, informative, educational writers on the entire Internet! In the world of tech writing, imagine if Joel Spolsky or Paul Graham just stopped writing. Sure, they’ve already written enough to last most people a lifetime, but their new content from them got the internet flowing. Kathy Sierra was the same way, and she was in my small circle of recommended reading for aspiring developer/entrepreneurs.
Her blog, Creating Passionate Users, was a bright, sassy, well-illustrated light in a field of dim, drab competitors. In her farewell post, she gave a list of options of where she would go from there, but as far as I know, she hasn’t done any of them. I wish her well and hope that when she’s ready, I’ll get to read her work again in some format. There’s a goldmine of information already on her blog (405 posts, according to her), but it’s a real shame that mean and immature people prevented everyone from seeing more of her great work. This was an unusual and very sad story, and I can’t think of anything that had a bigger real effect this year (at least not in the internet world).