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Permanent link to archive for Monday, February 25, 2002. Monday, February 25, 2002

One more note before signing off for the night. One of the advantages the pros are supposed to have over amateurs is the time and skills they have to carefully research a topic. According to the legend, weblog people shoot from the hip, there's no time to research. This is an incorrect idea. In fact the best webloggers are domain experts. They spend their whole professional lives gathering knowledge and experience in their fields. A fantastic example of this is Glenn Fleishman, who pours his intelligence out to the Web in vast quantities. He doesn't take any shortcuts. The quality of his writing, and his integrity is in your face. Another example, with all possible humility, I've spent 25 years becoming an expert in several areas of software development. When I write about software, really, there's nothing shallow about it. I've got the scars to prove it. I wonder when some reporter is going to connect XML-RPC, SOAP, RSS and Radio to my weblog. Could any of these things have happened without the ability to communicate directly to users and developers? Don't they see the economic revolution. We've cut out a middleman who was subtracting value. It must be hard for them to see because the reporters are the middlemen. How can you explain a new idea when the reporters won't believe or even express the ideas behind the software. Therefore no new ideas get out. Until the Web. No more exclusive access to people's minds. A route-around. Lots more to say about this. Lightbulbs going on everywhere. 

BTW, there was a time when reporters got on top of a technology story, and some still do. My career in software was launched by a NY Times reporter almost 20 years ago. I'll never forget it. 

OK, just one more note. I need an icon for Aunt Mary. Holding a beautiful plate of fresh-baked cookies. It's going on my todo list. Hold on. Stop the presses. Burning Bird shows her face. Hey, she could be Aunt Mary! Ducking. 

Doc points out that Andrew Sullivan's blogging piece doesn't contain any links. Same was true of this morning's NY Times piece, and Saturday's National Post piece. Maybe this is a fundamental difference between bloggers and pros. Worth considering. We point to them, but they don't point back? 

John and I have a theory about all these Aunt Mary's cookie recipe stories. The reporters talk to Evan first. He tells them about Aunt Mary and her cookie recipes. Bing. Instant story. 

Megnut, a weblog pioneer, has a great rant on the spate of recent weblogging articles. (Meg also has a couple of recipes on her weblog, proving that it is possible to have a mind and something to say and also like to make soup and rigatoni.) 

Jon Udell: "There are levels of truth. Marketing literature can be true, at one level. Journalism can be true at another. Technical literature can be at yet another. All too often these levels operate in isolation, never connecting. When awareness flows across levels, a richer and more nuanced version of the truth can emerge." 

Two articles by James LaRue about outliners. 

A picture named dvorak.gifChris Locke: "Dvorak's initially promising career writing for Datamation back in the 1900's was sadly cut short by his fondness for shooting heroin and circle jerks with young boys, spinning and chanting and hugging, all naked." 

Jack Valenti: "The reason pitifully few films are legitimately available on the Internet is not producer hoarding. It is that those valuable creative works can't be adequately protected from theft." Loser. 

Russ Lipton: What is Publish and Subscribe? 

Question -- how can you review weblog technology in February 2002 and not cover publish and subscribe? 

Dan Gillmor: "Weblogs certainly are helping to fill the void in one arena -- technology journalism. It's an economic depression, not a recession, in that field." 

I don't think I said that Apache is the only alternative to .Net (I don't believe it is) so they must be talking about some other Dave on the Cocoon mail list, in this thread entitled "Crushing UserLand." Heh. I know how much work they have to do to do that. BWT, we use Apache in our system. They could look on the bright side and see Radio as a fantastic application of Apache. Finally, I gave them numerous heads-ups that Apache was falling behind, in public, on this site.  

Davezilla: "Control Freaks. We all have to work with at least one. You’re reading a blog by one right now." 

Blogzilla is a weblog about Mozilla. 

Andrew Sullivan: A Blogger Manifesto

Move the cursor to the top line of the outline. Press return. Enter "Morning coffee notes" and then Enter. Click on the line below. Shift-click and hold it down. Scroll to the last line and click. Control-R. Click on Morning Coffee Notes. Double-click to collapse. Control-D to move it down. Control-S to save. 

Morning coffee notes 

The NY Times asks "Is Weblog Technology Here to Stay or Just Another Fad?" Wouldn't it be something if they really attempted to answer the question.

The answer is of course it's here to stay, as they asked the same question in the late 80s about desktop publishing. Publishing software is getting easier to use, always, and the people are getting smarter about it, always. The BigPubs often cover this stuff with their ink-stained conflict of interest producing exactly the same story. Aunt Martha with her cookie recipes is no threat to what they do. But there are probably 100 bloggers who could write a more insightful and accurate story about weblogs than Tedeschi's. Here's why the economics work. People want more info, not less. But the BigPubs are laying off reporters as their business model erodes. Weblogs fill the void. DIY. From that premise, interview some analysts and some technology vendors. Have the guts to tell the readers your jobs are truly in jeopardy. Or let them make their own minds up. (Which they do anyway.)

A good case in point. John Dvorak takes PC Mag into the blogging world. With both guns blazing. Sure you can make the Cluetrain authors sound like bozos if you're willing to be a bozo yourself. As Dvorak admits in his discussion board for the column "This is something of an attention-getting exercise." Toward what end? Improved flow? That'll work for a while, and then get old. Then what? Will his column cover the technology? He's never seen a blog be critical of another blog? He must not read Scripting News.

Net-net, the BigPub's are not handling this very well. Properly dealt with, with an embrace and extend strategy, they can deliver the benefits of amateur journalism to their readers and earn a place in the publishing world of the future. Running incomplete or pissy pieces that demean the idea, only reflects poorly on them, and calls attention to the competition. I'm sure Dvorak remembers how Jim Manzi parsed Windows. He's doing the same thing.

Glenn Fleishman: "Another ass-backwards story on blogging."


Last update: Monday, February 25, 2002 at 10:30 PM Eastern.

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