Is the smoke detector working?

An open letter to the Chief Executive Officer

Hello, mister

I sincerely hope you are doing OK if it is that you’re reading this letter, which of course you probably aren’t. But maybe I should begin with what must be the most important thing for you: telling you it’s OK to kill Kinja.

It’s OK to do it for the sole reason that you can. You can tell a bunch of programmers to remove the commenting feature and to delete the insane amount of user-moderated blogs out here, in the wild areas of Kinja where everything goes. They will do it, because you’re their boss, and Kinja is yours.

You can do it. If you did, the world, in the grand scheme of things, would be OK. Not that my permission is of any value anyways....

I only perhaps wish to utter a single number: 2500 MB

That is the amount of storage everything I’ve written in Kinja for the last two years takes up. Most of my feelings, impulses, and bursts of creativity. All of my dreams of one day becoming a true journalist are in here. Yes, it is pathetic.

But it is me; unhinged, unbothered by what my friends feel, what my family thinks, what my politicians want me to believe. I rest comfortable in relative anonymity, and despite being so pathetically insignificant as far as Kinja and your world goes, this platform has made me feel important, and it has tethered me to the real world.

As Todd Chavez put it; it’s proof I exist.

It has also taught me so much that I can truly say I’m a better person since posting that comment, oh-so long ago. The people I met here made me more mellow, thoughtful, critical, and easier to speak with.

And in my darkest moments, I’ve found solace staring at an empty page -not too different to the one I’m staring at right now- knowing that somewhere, somehow... I would be heard, and there’s little more exhilarating than pressing the “publish” button once you’re finished writing.

But perhaps the most important thing is that this is public service is virtually free for you, and it makes a few thousand people like myself happier, and healthier every day. It is a safe space, and an outlet, and therapeutic at the same time.

Sure, we probably make very little advertising money, and bring few people to your profitable websites. But through this platform a community flourishes, a tightly knit, courteous, witty, bizarre community that is unlike anywhere else on the internet.

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Kinja made a culture possible, and again, it is at an insignificant cost for you.

I’m actually a young novelist; in my first novel I introduce the premise of a powerful character that does good deeds for no particular reason at all. The entire psychological conflict he faced circled around why he spent so much energy on being good, if he didn’t feel like he had a reason, other than to be good.

Now, the character paid the price for being good, as often times he had to sacrifice what he wanted the most in order to let the best possible outcome happen, and he rarely understood his own motivations.

But the most interesting thing about this perpetually good character is that he did good stuff that was insignificant too, and he never faced significant consequences for the small, good actions he did. Small, good deeds with limited impact seldom claim any victims, and only make the world a better place.

I am reminded of that character today, because you seem to have the opportunity to keep Kinja alive and carry out a good deed without facing any real consequences at all... Hey, maybe you don’t have a reason to keep Kinja alive and that’s why you considered shutting it down.

But perhaps the only reason to keep Kinja alive, is to be good.

Please, sir, consider that.

-TAE

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