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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, January 01, 2002. Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Today's song: "Why don't we turn the clock to zero honey?" 

Happy 30th birthday to Megnut, a New Years Baby of 1972.  

NY Times profile of Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air. A very interesting story told by one of her subjects. 

Greg Knauss: "On December 27, 2000, over the course of four hours, my father-in-law became a quadriplegic." 

We got themes working in Radio 7.1 over the New Year. Here's Dann Sheridan's blog rendered in the first new theme. I think it looks pretty nice. Created by Bryan Bell, of course. Possibly the most leveraged Web designer on the planet. 

I used to really like the Parkside Grille in Portola Valley. On Sunday night I went to dinner there with a friend and she got a bad piece of salmon. "I was just glad I could throw up," she says "so it didn't poison my whole body." The (new) owner was unsympathetic, and charged us for the salmon anyway. 

Andre Radke, reporting from Germany, reviews the new euro currency, with pics. "So far, I have no complaints." 

John Van Dyk writes a sweet remembrance of a childhood friend from his neighborhood named Mr Kuhl. 

Camworld: "Must... not... break... New... Year's... resolution... Must... not... read... certain... Web... sites... Must... stay... away..." It's the old itchy mouse finger thing. Hehehe.  

Aaron Cope: "Everything has a tradeoff." 

A Google search for "Intelligent Weblogs" gets you to a weird place. 

SF Chronicle: "VCs are guaranteed cushy six- or seven-figure annual salaries for each fund they manage, even if their portfolios don't make a penny of profit." 

My first programming task for the new year was to fix the On This Day In links to the right. But gloriosky, they handled the year-flip without any help from me. At first I thought there was a bug -- why no 1997? But then I looked at the code and it was correct. Scripting News didn't start until April 1, 1997. So the 1997 link should re-appear on April 1, Murphy-willing. 

Two years ago today we survived Y2K. 

Note to Mark Pilgrim -- No need to apologize. I like you and I like your site. Obviously. I nominated you for Best Scripting Weblog. Keep on truckin. We're all learning. One year at a time. It's even worse than it appears.  

To Stan Krute -- thanks for the kind words. That's just the spirit of the Web.  

To Joel Spolsky -- Read Stan's piece. How about a pointer to one of my articles about programming? Share the flow, Joel. I helped you get started. Let your readers know that there are other people creating low cost easy to use CMSes for the Web, and writing about software development. You could start by linking to this essay, I'm sure you must have something to say about it.  

BTW, Joel and Stan are both ex-Microsoft. 

Goals for 2002 

Ship Radio 7.1. (He said somewhat ironically.)

Bootstrap a new Web based on outlining.

Take a real vacation. Two weeks. Let UserLand take care of itself.

I want to do radio interviews of famous people who do technology and draw them out and get the real story behind the hype. If you have the hardware or systems expertise to set this up -- I'm good at this -- let's work together.

Get everyone at UserLand to watch Any Given Sunday and explain over and over that software is like football in that you fight for every inch. As Mark Pilgrim so wisely says "A lot of effort went into making this effortless."

Spend more time working with friends, spend less time on wiener boys and bitchy girls. (Or is it bitchy boys and wiener girls?)

More coming..

The Web is generous 

I want to elaborate on Stan's joyous celebration of the power of flow on the Web and to add something to our group memebag. After seven-plus years of using the Web, I know where the juice is. It wasn't really a mystery to begin with -- it's linking -- but the power of linking is so taken for granted that it's become invisible.

(And precarious. The dominant browser vendor played an incredibly greedy game with the art of linking in 2001. Killing the golden goose, as if they invented the Web. Evil greedy dangerous company.)

Linking. In 1996, I called it holding hands in cyberspace and predicted a billion websites, instead of three, which is what the VCs and the press were predicting. (The Web is not a centralized medium, it's a two-way medium, like email or the telephone. Excite and Infoseek are gone. Yahoo has lost its luster.)

You can't really be on the Web, and respect your readers, without being generous. So you might as well make the words that go with the links generous too. My teacher on this is a very wise man named Daniel Berlinger. I always get a cheerful word and link from Daniel. Is there anything wrong with this? No, in fact, it's a lesson. Link with a negative vibe if you have to, but why not find something positive, and let the irritation be, and not necessarily share it? That's something I can do better in 2002.

A challenge to my fellow web-writers for 2002. Respect your readers' right to hear other points of view. If you want to grow your flow and your business through the Web, you have to adopt its generous spirit. Just like the locked trunks of the software industry, it's been proven over and over that sites that withholds links are dead-ends, and people sniff it out quickly, and go to the places that distribute flow in more interesting ways.

From What Is Scripting News? "A link on Scripting News means that I thought that the story was interesting, and felt that an informed person would want to consider the point of view expressed in the piece."

It's just that simple and almost paradoxical. Point to more interesting people and more interesting people come to you.

Too juicy not to link 

Rogers Cadenhead got curious about the connection between Mark Pilgrim and Eric Soroos and found this link about a virus that came out of Cornell in 1992. Both Pilgrim and Soroos were involved.

It's a fascinating story, made more so by knowing Eric quite well, and really appreciating all the good work he's done to help us, and members of the Frontier community.


Last update: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 at 5:16 AM Eastern.

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