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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2000. Wednesday, August 30, 2000

WorldLink: What if Amazon Fails?

Salon: "The key to making money from online content is getting yourself bought by Microsoft (or an equally deep-pocketed competitor like America Online)."

Research Disclosure is a "defensive-type publication serving the scientific and patent communities worldwide. The journal is published every month and contains abstracts describing new discoveries or inventions. The pages of the journal are available to companies who, due to the special nature of an invention, seek a low cost alternative, or supplement, to obtaining patents and require prompt publication whilst maintaining freedom for their own use of that invention."

Don Hopkins takes on the Adobe patents. "When I was working on the NeWS user interface for UniPress Emacs during the summer of 88, I implemented tabbed window frames. It was the first version of Emacs that supported multiple windows, and all those windows were really getting out of hand (you could open every .h file in a directory with a few keystrokes), so we really needed a good way to manage lots of windows opened at once!"

Joel Spolsky: Open Blueprint Companies. "By the end of the day, I was soaked. But this time I could rewrite the compensation policy from scratch based on everything I had learned."

Last night's session 

Lots of great talk at last night's F2F chat session.

Here's a survey we did.

I didn't know that David Biedny was raised in South America. I also didn't know that Venezuela has a communist president.

Andrew Wooldridge says his favorite feature in Radio UserLand is Update Radio.root.

The open source conversation continued. There were some developers from the East Bay, I'm so bad with names, but they came from Transvirtual, and make embeddable Linux and Java.

We're learning how to talk with each other, where the sensitive points are, and seeing how much we have in common. My hope is that we can cut through the labels we put on each other and see each other as developers. There are lots of ways to divide us, but we're more powerful if we look at ways we can join, and help each other, and make cool software, and most important to me, make each others' software better.

Napster at Seybold 

Good morning! Rise and shine.

Yesterday was nothing like I thought it would be.

The Napster session was professional, thoughtful, and I think quite interesting and useful. I thought the Seybold people would be up in arms over Napster, in the same way they didn't like the Web in the mid-90s. At that time, I was the outsider, bringing them the bad tidings. "The Web is going to change everything you do," I would say. And they would say "We don't think so." And sometimes the voices would raise and the so would the tempers.

So why didn't we go through the same experience yesterday when discussing music on the Internet? Well, one theory is that this is about someone else's intellectual property, not theirs, so what's there to worry about? However, if that was true, we wouldn't have covered all the bases, and we did cover them all.

So here's what I think. The Web changed the publishing industry. All the stuff I write is on the Web, and if you write for a newspaper or magazine, all yours is too. The business model of the Web, which caused all the trouble in the mid-90s is still undecided. Ads on Web pages don't make enough money to support all the editorial processes used in creating a pub. But if you're in the publishing industry and you haven't come to grips with this, you're probably not in the publishing industry anymore.

One comment from an editor of the Christian Science Monitor, whose name I didn't catch, was particularly poignant. He talked about the model for the newspaper of the future revolving around (what I call) amateur journalism. The power is with the authors now, and they will only get more powerful in the future, he argued. This is a dramatic change in pov from a few years ago. Even I, the radical in Seybold-space, wanted to temper that. People still want to know who said that. I explained what weblogs are, an Epinions user spoke, and we came to an agreement. Music will go the same way as print has. Dead trees and CDs are the old way. There's a new way coming. How will it work? We don't know.

A father of a fourteen-year-old said the teens think they will get all their music for free. I said that may change as they get older, or it may not. Certainly our parents didn't think the world we were creating would work. We marched on Washington, many of us refused to fight in Vietnam, we didn't like the president and we said so. We had birth control, so we could have sex without having children. All these things stripped the gears of our parents' generation.

So, following that pattern, how the music industry of the future will work, and the publishing industry of the future, will not be our problem, it will be theirs.

BTW, the great thing about music at these conferences is that the AV guys get involved in the discussion. They're all musicians!


Last update: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 at 7:46 PM Eastern.

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