Kerry Miller is the one-woman operation behind the blog Passive-Aggressive Notes
; a collection of "painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over." A site that started as a way to chronicle annoying roommate habits has since grown into a vibrant online community. In fact, I love the site so much, I've featured it twice; first back in 2007
shortly after its launch, and again last year
. Here, the site's creator talks about how the site got started, her thoughts on Mario Kart Wii
, and the best passive-aggressive Valentine she's seen.
What made you want to start the blog? Did someone really make you angry?
Honestly, it was totally on a whim. I was a really bad date, and this guy just kept yammering on and on about his crazy roommate who had started hoarding toilet paper and leaving annoying notes everywhere. At the time, I was living in a second-floor walkup with three roommates, one of who had a particularly passive-aggressive streak as well. I said something sarcastic like, "Yeah, I should start taking pictures of them and start a blog about it. Now that'd really be passive-aggressive." I was just kidding, but this guy was like, "Yeah, you should." I literally came home from the bar — still a little drunk — and fired up the scanner. At the time, I had no idea though I'd still be doing this three years later, and I certainly didn't think I'd get a book deal out it. Once the site got going, though, I realized pretty quickly that I'd hit a nerve, and I decided to run with it.
Comments are a huge part of your site. Do you have trouble getting everyone to play nicely?
Oh yes, definitely — especially at first. People can get pretty nasty behind the cloak of anonymity — whether it's in a written note or a comment on a blog, so I've worked pretty hard to keep things light-hearted and humorous. I try to set the tone in how I introduce and contextualize the notes I choose to post, and in the daily comments I choose to highlight. I also have a few basic community guidelines posted, but at this point, I rarely have to step into the enforcer role, because of the strong community that's developed around the site. They do a pretty great job of self-policing and keeping the trolls in line.
What gadget can’t you live without? Why?
I'd like to think that there's not a gadget I couldn't live without, but right now I'm very much enamored with my new digital SLR camera — a Canon Eos 7D. When it comes to photography, I'm not as into the gadgety side of things as some people are. I'm more interested in composition and story...not geeking out in Photoshop to perfect the color balance and saturation and whatnot. But it's really satisfying to have equipment that can capture a shot just as I'd imagined it. I've definitely developed some major "lens lust."
To find out more of Kerry's hobbies and her favorite passive-aggressive Valentine, read more