Google's Steve Yegge Wins the Blog Readers He's Always Wanted

After publicly posting a 3,000-plus word tirade "by accident," Google engineer Steve Yegge has become quite an accomplished blog-ranter.

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After publicly posting a 3,000-plus word tirade "by accident," Google engineer Steve Yegge has become quite an accomplished blog-ranter. Riding off the fame of that post, Yegge has posted a follow-up, which is getting attention from the usual tech-blog suspects. Yegge isn't exactly new to this whole angry-blogger thing, he has a Blogspot blog called Stevey's Blog Rants: Random Whining and Stuff that has a five-year archive, with a good amount of commenters. But those posts never got him this kind of attention. Thanks to his "accidental" post, his Internet writing is getting plenty of attention. The type of readers that he hoped thousands and thousands of words would get him.

The Google+ post drew attention to something Yegge had been doing for years. His began his Yegge rants Blogspot blog in 2006. Following the pattern of these Google+ posts, his entries are all extremely long rants. Before that he had a site called Stevey's Drunken Blog Rants™ for a year in 2004. Seems he's always been long winded. These posts are long ones, too. From these early writings, we can see Yegge always wanted readers.  In 2004 Yegge expressed this desires in a post called You Should Write Blogs.

So your fear is justified: practically nobody will read your blog. Unless it's good. Even then, it'll be a very long time before lots of people have read it. Don't worry, though. If you put in the effort, and you write honestly, people will eventually find their way there.

This "fear" is that nobody will read. He understands the time and commitment and maybe even hopelesseness it takes to get readers. But the ultimate goal: attract readers. And now he has.

Yegge's first Google+ entry drew readers with some pretty extreme claims. "The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought," Yegge wrote. Considering the claim came from within Google's ranks, the post got attention. It went up on the aggregator Techmeme and the usual blogger suspects: Gizmodo, Business Insider, Mashable, among others weighed in. The post reached a sort of blogger critical mass. Google founder Sergey Brin even noticed it. When asked about the post, he said he didn't read it all because it was too long. "Sometimes I use it as a night-time aid," he told the Associated Press.

All publicity is good publicity. Riding off of that fame, Yegge has now posted a follow-up this morning. He discusses how (miraculously) nothing bad happened to him, but then Yegge takes the opportunity, while he has eyes watching, to blog. He praises his former employer, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

I mean, imagine what it would be like to start off as an incredibly smart person, arguably a first-class genius, and then somehow wind up in a situation where you have a general’s view of the industry battlefield for ten years. Not only do you have more time than anyone else, and access to more information than anyone else, you also have this long-term eagle-eye perspective that only a handful of people in the world enjoy.

In some sense you wouldn’t even be human anymore. People like Jeff are better regarded as hyper-intelligent aliens with a tangential interest in human affairs.


The post attracted the blogger masses and has 1531 +1s and . TechCrunch's Robin Wauters is even pretty impressed with Yegge. "It’s a good read," he writes. "Especially in light of what he wrote about Bezos in the first post, which garnered heaps of attention." Now that he has the right kind of attention, Yegge has assured his readers there's more to come, adding this comment:

I’ll post some more stories sometime, whenever I get time. I have a bunch. Years of jaw-droppingly unusual stories. Amazon is an astoundingly interesting business. You have no idea the stuff that happens behind the scenes to get you those brown boxes!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.