Talk:Jon Katz

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Jon Katz got canned because of his thinly-veiled book promotion. Why isn't it on the main page?

Because there's no indication that "got him canned" that I see; the article wasn't "thinly-veiled," it started out by saying, point-blank, that it was book promotion. Unless you have information to the contrary, it seems reasonable to assume that Katz stopped writing on Slashdot because (a) his stories weren't well-received and (b) his dog writing was. 18:31, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
In an IRC chat, CmdrTaco or one of the editors said they had to "let him go" just to trim costs.


How can his page not include a refrence to Junis


Where is he now, btw?

He's writing dog books. Given that he's been doing that for five years (the snarky "this got him canned" above actually points to an article about a dog book), I'm a little surprised nobody's ever answered that question before. I added a short section on his post-Slashdot writing. As notorious as his Slashdot contributions might be to internet nerds, it's not really fair to the man to make it look like his career highlight was being mocked for a breathless, bombastic writing style on a tech culture news site. 18:31, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I've heard him on National Public Radio giving little commentary pieces on dogs and whatnot. I'm sure it's the same Jon Katz: he's just as annoying on the radio as he is in print.[edit]

In regard to the criticism at In the same way that Slashdot is not representative of the entire Geek community, the forums at are not representative of the entire Border Collie community. It is therefore more accurate to say that some, or many, or even the majority of commentors on's forums found fault with Katz's writings than it is to say that he was rejected by the entire boarder collie community. It's fine to add more detail about the criticism, but inaccurate to characterize one forum as the entire community of boarder collie enthusiasts. Lenordbater 18:39, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

The content regarding the border collie community was not restricted merely to, but perhaps that fact was too oblique. I've edited the text to reflect the much broader range of the criticism directed against Jon Katz within that community, both on various Internet forums and in print. I've also atttempted to give a summary of the nature of that criticism, in order to parallel the summary provided in the Slashdot controversy section. --Crashdown747 02:14, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Author's comments[edit]

The Author's Comments Moved from the article page:

This is an extraordinarily narrow synopsis of the reaction to my writing about dogs. My books have received a lot of praise - three are national bestselles - and plenty of criticism, most of it centered on border collie advocates who do not believe people like me (who do not get their dogs from Scotland and don't like herding trials) should be permitted to have border collies. It also makes the border collie snobs a bit nuts that I train my dogs myself.
Some of this criticism is thoughtful. Some is odd, since I live on a 110 acre farm with sheep and my dogs herd and work nearly every day of the year. My books have been excerpted in the AKC Gazette (the AKC often disliked by breed advocates, sometimes for understandable reasons). I have three border collies, have worked with many trainers and behaviorists and my dogs are well trained, happy and quite busy.
The dog culture is filled with ferociously opinionated cultures and sub-cultures, and some like my writing and some don't. I believe in free speech, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. My work has been criticized in Rolling Stone, Wired, Slashot, and everywhere else I have written. I believe it is a writer's job to provoke and challenge, and I have no apologies to make for people disagreeing with me. I think tha'ts what Jefferson had in mind. In many ways, it is the highest calling of any writer. I strongly disagree with people suggesting I don't understand border collies, with whom I have been living for six years. There is not just one way to get, have or train a dog, and if I operate individually, that is nothing to apologize for. Noone who has visited my farm or seen my dogs - including a number of experienced and respected herding trainers - has left believing my dogs are not well trained, happy and healthy.
The concerns of the border collie advocates - that the breed is being commercialized and popularized - are well founded. A movie is being made of my book "A Dog Year," to be starring Jeff Bridges and many breed lovers are worried, with good reason, that this will cause many people to get border collies who ought not to have them.
But there is also much self-righteousness and hostility in this forum, and little listening, learning or undestanding, and it does not do much to enhance the welfare of dogs or border collies. I am very proud of the way my dogs are trained and cared for, and doubt there are many border collies living better lives than mine. In addition to sheep, they have 100 acres of trails and woods and meadows to run, work and play in. I write only peripherally about border collies, more really about attachment theory and dogs and people, and rural life and farm animals.
I have responsed to virtually anybody who has ever e-mailed me, and this often hysterical ranting, with little accurate information, is one of the undersides of the Internet. On the bright side, I get thousands of lovely e-mail messages from dog lovers all over the world, and their view of my writing is, fortunately, a tad broader. My work has been reviewed favorably on many mailing lists and in publications from the New York Times to the Washington Post, Boston Globe and elsewhere. Anybody who wants to e-mail me can do so directly at

Moved by Lenordbater 18:33, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

More Author Comments Moved From The Article Page

It is always sad to me to see the promise of the Net polluted by people with such odd and often inaccurate and dishonest agendas. I had a wonderful time at Slashdot, and miss it still. I worked for some of the best people I have ever met in media, especially Rob Malda and Jeff Bates, founders of the site. I love the idea of open source and think it is one of most interesting ideas in all of modern media. I was hired because I was not a computer expert, really but a media critic and cultural commentator. They wanted a different perspective to the mostly-programming audience on the site. I got enormous praise and much criticism on the site, and have many friends and /. community members who e-mail me daily. I think I did some of the best work I have ever done on that site, and don't regret a minute of it. As was the case when I wrote for Rolling Stone, Wired, or the New York Times (or Hotwired) many disagreed with things I wrote, which is not something I am ashamed of. If you express yourself honestly, you ought to provoke some disagreement.
I absolutely promoted my books on the site. The site saved my writing career, and is where I began guerrilla marketing my books and arguing on my own behalf and that of other writers that writers who use the Net can bypass the media/publishing stranglehold out of New York and do themselves much good. The people at /. supported that idea, and it worked for me. I love the whole idea of memes and memetics and seeing my ideas from the books..especially about dogs and other subjects on a Linux and computer culture site - buzz around the Web was enthralling. It was successful, but not dramatically so. It did not make me rich, or even close, but it did reinforce the notion that writers ought to get off of their butts and get their ideas online, rather than just squawk about their publishers. As a result of my online marketing campaigns..on /. and elsehwere..three of my books, Running to the Mountain, and Geeks and A Dog Year, found their audiences on mailing lists and stunned my publisher. I am very proud of their excerpts on Slashdot, although more proud of the Hellmouth series, the best thing I ever wrote.
When people talk about my time at Slashdot, they seem to forget the nearly 10,000 e-mails I got from kids all over the country, almost all of them thanking me for writing the series and offering their own amazing and powerful stories, many of which ran on the site. When my dog writing began to be successful, I very regretfully left Slashdot and got many, many messages thanking me for my work and wishing me well. Many of those people e-mail me still and show up at my readings. I also got many messages wishing me good riddance and praying I wouldn't return. So, for me, it means I did my job. It is a sorry and dishonest distortion of that to present it only in terms of disagreement or controversy. It was really one of the best jobs I ever had, but it was brief and always a backdrop against my primary work - books. I think it is very sad that me and other honest people have had to come onto this site and try and offer some balance to the nasty and shrill hysterics who pollute so many online sites and have so damaged the free speech we all though would mark the Net. Now, people have to retreat to blogs to control speech, otherwise are overwhelmed by angry and unhappy people. I am proud of being controversial and sincerely believe that if a writer doesn't provoke disagreement or thought, he or she is barely alive.

Moved By Lenordbater 21:33, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

re: my changes[edit]

I think journalist and author is clearer than journalist and writer, somewhat redundant I thought. As to pundit, the link shows the usage of this word tending towards derogation and thus not NPOV. As far as punditry, can one have a career in punditry? The meaning is unclear and I think not formal enough for an encyclodpedia. -killing sparrows 06:22, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


The title Running to the Mountain is listed in 2 categories with 2 different subtitles. Different books, or just different editions? Ragityman (talk) 17:22, 10 September 2010 (UTC)