Anil Dash's 10 Rules of Internet

Anil Dash's "10 Rules of Internet" veers from the funny ("Given enough time, any object which can generate musical notes will be used to play the Super Mario Brothers theme on YouTube") to the serious ("When a company or industry is facing changes to its business due to technology, it will argue against the need for change based on the moral importance of its work, rather than trying to understand the social underpinnings") and is full of smart. My favorites:

Judging by their response, the meanest thing you can do to people on the Internet is to give them really good software for free.

Any new form of electronic communication will first be dismissed as trivial and worthless until it produces a profound result, after which it will be described as obvious and boring.

People will move mountains to earn a gold star by their name on the Internet.

10 Rules of Internet

Notable Replies

  1. And then there's the zeroth rule.


  2. Rule 1: Probably true. You can also include the Imperial March from Star Wars.

    Rule 2: Nah, read the comments for 79 Cent Apps on the AppStore. Then weep.

    Rule 3: Wrong.

    Rule 4: Can't comment, am not part of web communities.

    Rule 5: True for everything new since the invention of fire. Also, the people who disparaged the tech are usually not the ones who later claim that it's the cats meow.

    I'd like too amend Rule 5a: Every new product by Apple that gets declared to be a fail by internet commentors in tech forum is very probably going to be a success.

    Rule 6: Can't comment. But there were probably assholes who constantly pissed into the fire.

    Rule 7: True in real life. People constantly confuse “I don't like“ with “this is useless”. Probably since the invention of fire.

    Rule 8: Probably true. Since the invention of fire, actually. Which killed the socially important and morally important job of warm cuddler and pre-chewer.

    Rule 9: Probably true, for some people. Not for me. By the way, I'd like some likes for this comment!

    Rule 10: Also true since the invention of the fire. Unless you ask a politician an answerable question, which answer will be contrary to his position, Then you'll be going in circles.

    Rule 11: Fire BAD!

  3. Rule #6 was linked to this excellent article Anil Dash wrote on moderation and Internet community building. I've thought, more simply, that it comes down to this: if you want to build a thriving community, you actually need to participate in that community, to nurture it and guide it.

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