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Permanent link to archive for Monday, April 23, 2001. Monday, April 23, 2001

Good morning Chinese noodles fans!

Check this out. We started matrix testing for XML-RPC. Jake's matrix is all green. Just one app so far, but it's a big one. Microsoft .NET. Ta-da.

Douglas Rushkoff: "Experience this lightning-fast, user-friendly world for yourself."

Jon Udell: "Most of us, I guess, don't try to eat the whole XML layer cake, and would get sick if we tried."

John Taylor Gatto: "I teach how to fit into a world I don't want to live in."

A gorgeous rose closeup from Strata Rose Chalup.

Please don't forget. Tomorrow is Tuesday and that means it's time to take a programmer to lunch. I'm having lunch tomorrow with a college classmate of mine, Sandy Wilbourn. We were both Tulane math majors in the class of 1976, and get this, he also went to UW-Madison, and got a degree in math while I was studying computer science. He's now a VP at Rational, right down the street. For some reason Sandy and I always end up in the same place. Since we're both programmers we'll probably go Dutch.

Scoble: "O'Reilly Associates -- a competitor of ours at Fawcette -- has an evangelist, Simone Paddock, that is kicking ass in the industry."

This page was the #1 referer on XML-RPC.Com today. Eugene Pervago, whose first language is Russian, translates the section on XML-RPC.

50 SOAP 1.1 implementations.

Jay Rosen: Public Journalism.

Synopsis of a Stephen King novel. Introduce characters. Something strange lurks. Introduce aliens. Aliens meet protagonist and capture his best friend (or child). A road chase from Maine to somewhere west. Conclusion. Lots of death. Earth is saved.

If you're serious about Manila, check out Ken Dow's courses. His first on-line course starts on May 7. Go for it. Manila is a skill, and Ken is a great guy, knows Manila cold, and is a fantastic teacher.

Amateurs and prose Permanent link to 'Amateurs and prose' in archives.

Dan Gillmor is really tuning into the amateur writing thing. This morning he linked to an excellent Bill Moyer speech on journalism and democracy. But Dan, I don't buy the gifted part. It's a little condescending. Children are gifted, adults have respect for each other. (Of course kids deserve respect too. That's another thing you learn on the Internet.)

Here's some pushback on Glenn's most recent analysis. Once you get paid for doing something, you're not an amateur. The term has become dirtied by the assumption that somehow amateur is lower quality than professional. If you stop and think about the constraints that pros operate under (read the Moyers piece) it's clear that the opposite is true. "Before Mutual of America I had lost at least three corporate underwriters, who were happy as long as we didn't make anyone else unhappy. Losing your underwriting will keep the yellow light of caution flickering in a journalist's unconscious."

One more thing, a reader points out that I've been doing first-hand personal accounts longer than Bricklin or Williams. It's true, but never, until the Times piece, to balance press coverage, and generally as a solo act. Imagine if Bill Gates had written an essay to go along with one I wrote about SOAP. That would have been interesting. Two sides of the same story from different points of view, without intermediaries.

For some reason I'm still figuring out, that I wrote first-hand accounts meant I almost never got press coverage for the new stuff I was doing. Talking with a reporter last week I asked why. He said reporters don't like to do stories that have already been written. (I thought the opposite was true.) At some point that I'm not aware of they accepted me as One Of Them, so if it appeared on Scripting News or in DaveNet, the story had already been done, and they didn't want to do it. Huh? Oh my. Wrong!

There is indeed a difference between what I do and what the BigPubs do. I'm an amateur. I make software. I write because I love to write, and because I want to make sure that my side gets out there without interference. That's why, once the editorial weenies swooped in at Wired and started inverting my ideas, I was out of there like a puff of smoke in a Roadrunner cartoon.

But I loved writing at Wired. The respect was intoxicating. One company took my words of praise and pasted them all over their tradeshow booth. "Dave Winer, HotWired" it said in 80K point. It felt great. But I also encountered the corporate sponsorship thing. At a party, editor-publisher Louis Rosetto introduced me to one of Wired's biggest advertisers, an American vice-president of a Japanese company, Fujitsu, Toshiba, or something like that. I listened to his pitch for a minute, and interrupted with a question. "Don't you make a clone?" I asked. He gulped. Then I thought I saw a light go on. He looked at Louis, and Louis at me, with disapproval. They walked away. I felt owned.

To Dan, who is concerned about the business models for the BigPubs, they could ace us any day they want to change. Get rid of the nudges and winks, and really set us free. Perform an editorial function, add resources and distribution, even branding, but let the voices come through clearly. I'd say we're 25 percent of the way through a route-around. Embrace the change asap, find the integrity in business and work with it. The Internet makes it possible, even necessary, to compete with integrity. That's the sea change.


Last update: Monday, April 23, 2001 at 9:08 PM Eastern.

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