What is Flash Blog?
It's a blog about Flash.
Why did you start Flash Blog
There's loads of good flash sites and mailing lists around, but unfortunately they're quite high in noise. I've always wanted a more Slashdot style of site that gathered all the interesting Flash stuff together (Flazoom was pretty near). At the same time I was playing around with Userland Radio. I was on a bit of a sabbatical and I had time on my hands so I thought I'd do it myself by setting up a blog on Flash - luckily MX was announced the same time so it gave me enough stuff to write about. I wrote a few notes after attending a Macromedia seminar, Dave Winer linked to it and the rest, as they say, is history.
Are you one of the Macromedia bloggers?
Nope, no relation - I started this blog and they all jumped on the bandwagon ;) But seriously, I've never had any business relationship with Macromedia beyond buying their products and doing a couple of beta tests. I may get round to trying to make some money out of this site (1st quarter earnings estimate: enough for a pint) one day but for now it's a labour of loaf, I mean love.
Who Are You?
My names David Burrows, I started off Flashblog as an experiment and then loads of people seemed to like it. I live in London in the UK, I'm 'resting' at the moment (resting = playing Super Monkey Ball alot) I'll probably be looking for a job soon...
Who Are You? (Slight Return)
I've been using Flash pretty much since it came out, I started my new media career (is it still new anymore?) at the University of Plymouth, in the UK. Back then, CD-Roms were the future, but most people (including everyone on the course) thought they were a bit crap. While we were fiddling around with 2x cd roms (feel the bandwidth) and inch-square video the net appeared - originally lurking in the Sun workstation room, where the so-called proper CS students hung out. Eventually, images appeared in Mosaic (more gasps!!) and it wasn't long before people started doing interactive stuff on the web with Perl and other esoteric hackery like server push.
Meanwhile, we were still slogging away with Director. Luckily, in a stroke of genius, Macromedia declared the internet a good idea (ahead of Microsoft, well done MM) and Shockwave came out. Then they aquired Flash, and it was a bit poor compared to Director but it had it's good points. We liked the internet, it was cool, it was idealistic. Did we think about making money? Hell No! The thought of making money off the net was inconceivable! Right around the corner everything was going to be like a John Brunner/William Gibson/Neal Stephenson novel anyway, the future was now and we were on the cutting edge. And then we were on the the bleeding edge! Out of Control by Kevin Kelly was the bible!
But then it all went a bit weird. Virtual Reality went the way of AI in the sixties. As did Push (whatever happened to Pointcast?)The web became commercialised. Wired became a business mag. Mondo 2000 dissapeared. Kevin Kelly's next book was about economics! Wait a minute, this isn't what I asked for. Didn't I order a revolution? "It's about money now" say the pundits. Hyper growth, new economy, new rules, etc. etc. etc. "Most of these people don't understand the net!" I cry, and am proved right. Meanwhile I'm not at university anymore and I've got to pay the bills so lot's of freelance jobs are in order.
After a few years, I set up a company with some friends from university - we had fun, we made money, I learn't loads. While I was doing all this the dot-com bust happened which was probably a good thing in the long run. It got rid of the chaff and, unfortunately, some of the wheat. Eventually I left the company - if it was a band, I would have been due to 'creative differences' - they're still going.
As I relaxed after a few years of start-up weirdness, I realise that I'd totally lost touch with the stuff that made me want to work with the web in the first place. The playfulness that existed at the start got sucked out of me by market forces. I forgot to have fun, and in a creative industry that's a criminal offence.
The feeling I had in the beginning is coming back. The people who understood the net are still here - they can't go anywhere else, they've seen the promised land. We've all learnt alot from the boom/bust cycle and now the goldrush is over we can get back to doing good work - remembering to balance our enthusiasm with a more pragmatic view of the industry.
Can I give you some money?
It's a crazy question but go on then...
Have you got a personal site?
Umm...of course ... it's round here somewhere ... (What! I thought I'd finished this! What am I going to tell them!) ... the dog ate it. I'll do it again tonight. Honest. It'll be finished soon. I really mean it this time. Definitely by the end of the week, I mean month.
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