Revisiting Slashdot's faméd V-day marriage proposal from CmdrTaco

Buzzblog sez, "Ten years ago today, at 9:25 a.m., Slashdot founder Rob 'CmdrTaco' Malda, used his insider access to the homepage of one of the tech world’s most popular forums to send a very public Valentine’s Day marriage proposal to Kathleen Fent. Fifteen minutes later she said yes -- and then called him a dork -- an exchange that would generate more than 2,000 comments and make news on other tech sites. As the 10th anniversary of the proposal approached, Network World asked the couple to share their memories of that day and thoughts about it since, as a kind of case study on how this type of public proposal – be it on Slashdot or the stadium Jumbotron – holds up over the years. Would they recommend it? … Seems there is disagreement on that score."

Kathleen, what was your reaction the moment you read your name in that headline and realized what was happening?

I knew something was afoot when I left for work and Rob said "See you soon!" I decided to check Slashdot right away when I got to work to see what was going on. When I saw my name in the proposal, I slammed my hand down on the desk and screamed, "Oh my god!" before I could even read the entire article. I started to hyperventilate.

Everyone rushed back to my cubicle to see what was the matter. I had to resist the urge to phone Rob at home, knowing that an email reply was much more fitting for the eventual story we'd tell. This was long before texting was commonplace, or I would have texted him the answer.

Rob, what did you think of the outpouring of well wishes -- and snark -- from the Slashdot community?

There was some pretty witty stuff in there. Kathleen pointed out a few random comments that she thought were funny. She read every single comment, but I was thankful for the moderation system that day because it was a (popular) story and it had its fair share of mean in it that I was able to skip. But mostly it was very positive: The vast majority of the Slashdot community strongly supported me throughout my time there, and this story might be the single loudest example of that.

10 years after famous Slashdot marriage proposal, couple discusses wisdom of 'popping the question' in public (Thanks, Buzzblog!)



  1. Didn’t Taco also do a Slashdot Poll along the lines of:

    Will you marry me?
    • Yes
    • No

    Then rigged the buttons so even if you clicked “No”, it would come out as “Yes”.
    So the poll results were something like 12,000 “Yes”, 0 “No”.

    Anyway, geeks in love. (sigh)

  2. Mr Doctorow, just noticed it:  What’s with the accent on famed, as in faméd?  Surely a typo, but just checking.

    1. Our awesome cell companies were charging us $0.15/per, sent or recieved, thus the low use volume until they started including it in our monthly plans.

        1. It did.  Somewhere around ’06 spam texts were running rampant.  Lots of people were pissed about paying for scammy, unsolicited messages.  

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