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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, May 12, 2002. Sunday, May 12, 2002

CNN: Blogs take Web diaries to the next level

The first Radio weblog to get Slashdotted? The author, Dusty Rhodes says: "This is a great example of the potential power of blogging. Besides the countless eyeballs on the Slashdot story and the thousands and thousands of hits here, itís very possible this story will get picked up by Wired, C/Net, ZDNet or one of the other tech news outlets in a few days, then hit the wires. And all from one little story in one little blog." 

A picture named jimmy.gifI'll probably point to this first-hand account from the former CEO of RealNames a few times. The story came to me on Saturday evening. Sometimes that's how it goes. I'm not saying Microsoft did anything wrong. But it's rare that the full detail of a deal with MS comes public. If you spend any time thinking about how the software business works, study the piece, there's lots of info there. 

Brett Fausett's ICANN blog has picked up the RealNames story. That's where it belongs. It's cool, we're starting to get coverage, with experts ready to dig in on some of the stories that come our way.  

Eric Hancock: "This company would still be around if there was a competitive browser market. In fact, this company might be thriving if there was a competitive browser market." 

More RealNames links and comment at Denise Howell. 

NY Times: "Sharman thinks that the creators of Kazaa Lite are cravenly hiding in Tokelau while Sharman itself operates in the open in Vanuatu." 

Keola: "Irony is like an onion. Peel away the layers and you find more irony." 

Adam Wendt: "This is a test of the Emergency Weblog System." 

David Reed on Sidhu 

Yesterday I wrote about Gurshuran Sidhu, an Apple engineer who rose through the ranks and took control of all Macintosh collaboration software, including that created by developers.

David Reed, who was at Lotus at the time, comments.

"Sidhu was against any kind of open APIs, but I think it is because he always felt that his solution was 'optimal' and everyone else was less than perfect.

"At Lotus we offerred to work with them to create a cross-platform, open, public, and extensible standard for collaboration and component development that would work on MS platforms, Apple platforms, and Unix platforms. This was based on the idea of extending and opening up Notes infrastructure, and integrating some of the best technologies from Apple that developers liked. After positive interactions with Sculley and some third party Windows developers, Sidhu singlehandedly nixed it.

"Compared to working with MS, working with Sidhu was a nightmare, because he could never get out of the way of his own ego. Sometimes Gates and crew can."

Opportunity missed 

Benjamin Franklin said "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

The past is past, nothing we can do about it, except learn, and not repeat the mistakes.

Here's a missed opportunity. If Lotus had called me instead of Sidhu, we could have worked something out.

A picture named surfer.gifThis was the mistake that Mac developers made in the late 80s and early 90s. Everyone was going to "meet with Apple" and we were all getting blown off. At the same time, UserLand had a proposal for developers that we work together to make our products connect, so that word processors and databases, outliners, page layout programs, picture editors, email programs, etc could all be glued together by power users and system developers into apps that viewed each product as a toolkit.

In my humble opinion, every developer should have a developer program and we should work together. Had we done that Sidhu could have been worked-around. It still happens to this day, it's why I'm so irritated when people say that of course Microsoft is going to drive web services, so we'll work with them. Wrong. Work with me, and then when each of us visits Redmond we'll have choice and power. Look what happened to RealNames when their only partnership was with Microsoft. Caveat developer.

Third party? 

A term that should be banished from the vocabulary of every person in the software industry.

Think about it. When you call someone a third party developer, what do the first two words add?

The term is an anachronism, dating back to the mainframe era, when every computer system was a major project, involving engineering from the customer (the first party) and the computer vendor (number two). In unusual situations, they would use software produced by a third party, an outsider to the deal. It probably wasn't fair then, but I don't know about that, it was before my time. That the term survives is not a good thing because it breeds disrespect. If you have a platform and want developers, fade into the background, make them the first party if you need parties at all, or just drop the concept and call them developers.

Daniel, Adam, John, Lance and Daniel 

Daniel Berlinger, thoughtful as always, asks what we really know about the death of Pim Fortuyn. I had the same questions as I read Adam's site on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The thing that swayed me was that it had passed John Robb's bullshit detector. John isn't a personal friend of Adam's, as I am, he only knows him through his weblog. I wanted to know how close Adam really was to the situation. John said he had seen Adam talk about Fortuyn on his weblog, before the assassination. Even so, I had to talk with Adam on the phone before I would run the piece and attach my credibility to his. Adam didn't mind, in fact it made him happy. He said "You're fact-checking." That is what I was doing. I had to do the equivalent of look my friend in the eye and ask, bluntly, "Is this real?" I also had to ask myself if I believe it. I do. I've seen the press at work, glomming onto a single angle and never questioning the basic assumptions.

After running the piece, I was happy to be able to balance Adam's piece with a different view from someone else who I trust, Lance Knobel. Like Adam, I've only met Lance face-to-face a few times, but I've listened to him process the same events I do for almost three years, I've seen him extend his trust to me, in very meaningful ways, and his point of view made sense as a balance to Adam's. I said in my comment on Lance's concise rebuttal, "While both my friends share the horror of the death of Mr. Fortuyn, they have opposing but balanced views, and between them, provide a framework for the truth. Fortuyn was both a person and a leader. Adam talks about the person. Lance asks who he was leading. Whoever they are, they are still there, the question is still open, as is the future of the Netherlands."

Now I listen to every report on NPR about the Fortuyn event. They're running them frequently now. I heard Daniel Schorr, NPR's political analyst, a man who oozes credibility, who isn't perfect (he's a Democrat, and likely to overlook their shortcomings, and does some spinning for them) but get this, he used to live in the Netherlands. He says what everyone who knows anything about the Netherlands says. This isn't right. At the same time, the right-wing label has stuck, and there has been no more information revealed about why the assasin killed Fortuyn.

Checking out Adam and Lance 

One more thing that reveals the power of weblogs in establishing the credibility of a voice.

If you want to know more about Adam, here's his first post. And Lance's first. And mine.

Navigate through the calendars.


Last update: Sunday, May 12, 2002 at 6:11 PM Eastern.

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