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Jan. 28th, 2009 | 10:42 am

Have you ever tried to get into something new? We’ve almost all done this: You go into a bike shop, or a record store, or a comics shop, being not an expert on bikes, or comics, or the hottest new bands. And you ask the clerk a question. It’s not a stupid question; it’s just a beginner’s question. It’s something that everyone in the bike (or comics or music) scene already knows. And this clerk, this snotty little insecure punk, who has never been the big man anywhere—not at school, not with the ladies, not on the socioeconomic scale, nowhere—well, he’s the big man in this shop. He knows all about this stuff, and you don’t, and he wants to make sure you understand that, so he belittles you. He gives you this attitude.

Now, he could have acted differently. He could have been excited to share his expertise with someone who’s new to his community—who, by joining, would have enlarged and strengthened it. But nooooo. So you leave, kinda annoyed, and you never feel very much like going back, so you end up not really getting all that into cycling (or whatever it is).

That’s what your new Linux users are going to face this year, alright? So don’t give them guff. Don’t treat them like they’re morons. Welcome them. Answer their questions. Nurture them. And, I swear, by the end of the year, the community could grow… I dunno, whateverfold. A lot.

And then you can be like: “This sucks; I liked Linux better before it got all big.”

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