Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Tim Berners-Lee on his original vision for the web: "The idea was that anybody who used the web would have a space where they could write...the web for most people wasn't a creative space...What happened with blogs and with wikis, these editable web spaces, was that they became much more simple...I'm very, very happy to see that now it's gone in the direction of becoming more of a creative medium."

A BBC interview with the inventor of the website (thanks to Allan Alter for the tip).

3:43:15 PM   permalink   comment []

Tierney talks sense about the "war on drugs" and its deleterious impact on the ethics of its prosecutors:

This problem afflicts a small minority of the people who have tried methamphetamines, but most of the law-enforcement officials and politicians who lead the war against drugs. They're so consumed with drugs that they've lost sight of their duties.

Like addicts desperate for a high, they've declared meth the new crack, which was once called the new heroin (that title now belongs to OxyContin). With the help of the press, they're once again frightening the public with tales of a drug so seductive it instantly turns masses of upstanding citizens into addicts who ruin their health, their lives and their families.

He ends by comparing this phony drug war with Prohibition, which it surely resembles.

9:19:20 AM   permalink   comment []

NYT and WSJ both note that today is the ten-year anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death and the Netscape IPO...

....The Times focuses on Garcia and the now-prevalent business model pioneered by the Grateful Dead (which Allan Dodds Frank and I first wrote about in Forbes 18 years ago), saying, "the once notoriously ad hoc Grateful Dead business operation has become a model for a music industry struggling with the Internet and digital democracy...'it's not about selling records. It's about live shows and inspiring a fan base to be absolutely loyal.'"

In the Journal (subs req), Rich Karlgaard ledes with a joke: "Ten years ago today, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia died of a massive heart attack. His last words were rumored to be: 'Netscape opened at WHAT?'" and goes on to say: "Ten years later, what can we say about Netscape's IPO? Was it to Nasdaq as Mrs. O'Leary's cow was to the history of Chicago -- a bit actor touching off a great blaze with grave economic consequences? (Like the cow, Netscape the company is no longer with us.) Or did Netscape's Web browser alter the world in thrilling and still unforeseen ways?

"The answer is yes -- on both counts."

Garcia interview audio files.

9:08:13 AM   permalink   comment []

Dave Winer: "Create tools for the people with the ideas and then get out of their way. That's what OPML is about." That's kinda what his session in Greensboro is going to cover.

8:01:18 AM   permalink   comment []

Beyond Google: the WSJ reports on alternatives for newspapers selling online ads.

7:58:25 AM   permalink   comment []

Wrong. This article by The Christian Science Monitor's Dante Chinni is just wrong about local blogging, but it got a prominent link from Romenesko anyway.

Chinni writes:

Even large cities and state capitals, except for those that are part of the media/government industrial complex, are relatively blog free. And it's hard to see how that will change.

The number of people interested in devoting their life to things like local zoning rules is a bit more limited than those interested in national politics. Getting paid to do it would probably be all but impossible. And that's a problem.

Chinni defines a "serious blogger" by old media criteria: "To be a serious blogger -- one who can devote his time and energy to the job -- one needs to make a name for himself, sell ad space, and get paid. And to make a name, sell ad space, and get paid, one needs a national audience." Those are the old rules, and they ignore the distributed, linked, and iterative nature of blogging.

I don't know what kind of research Chinni did for the piece, but he needed to do more. He says, "(I)f you live in, say, Grand Rapids, Mich. and are looking for the latest developments on the construction on the nearby highway, or the city council budget, or a millage dispute -- things that impact people in very real ways--  you're not going to have much luck in the blogosphere."

A quick look at Greensboro, for example, would show that this is not only factually deficient, it completely ignores the emergence of a vital element in local blogging -- the elected officials with weblogs who write about exactly the kind of stuff Chinni says blogs don't cover, and push the traditional media in the process.

Chinni is 180 degrees out of phase on this one -- local blogging, with close attention to process and detail, is exactly what we are starting to see. His article is based on the tired will-blogs-replace-pro-journalism question, when the action is in the symbiosis between bloggers and the tradtional media.

7:55:37 AM   permalink   comment []