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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, July 31, 2002. Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Guest DaveNet: What We're Doing When We Blog. "As weblog readers, we respond with frequent visits, and we are rewarded with fresh content." 

Reuters: "Blue-chip stocks staged a late rally." 

Motley Fool: "In 1999, Microsoft spent $2.9 billion in stock buybacks; in 2000, $4.9 billion; and last year, a whopping $6.1 billion, all of which intended to hide the dilution from stock option grants." 

Seth Dillingham: "I feel as if Macrobyte was hit by a truck last Thursday, and was in a coma until early this morning." 

Chuq Von Rospach has been operating sports sites and mail lists for a long time and has some really good advice for other people wanting to do the same. 

Hewlett Packard has no honor.  

Tom Negrino: "If you've paid any attention to the tech market, you probably noticed that things aren't real good out there for anyone except Microsoft and Dell." 

Radio Free Blogistan: "blog meme tipping point metablog." 

Thanks to Bump for the link to the Oddpost weblog. Neat-o. 

Bryan Bell ships four new Manila themes, CSS-based, perfectly outline structured, and validating. 

A picture named hoch.gifNewsday: "Major League Baseball forced a 6-year-old Mets Web site, started by an upstate fan when he was 14, to shut down yesterday after league officials said it illegally used registered team and league trademarks and profited from the team's name." 

A Yankees fan gets his digs. Oh geez. See what they've done. Seriously, the suspension of disbelief is blown when the lawyers take over. How cold of the Mets to shut down young Bryan and his friends. I really have been a fan since 1962. The Mets are a young team, too young to screw around this way. On the subway, coming home after Game 5 of the Subway Series, I heard an older man say to a young Mets fan who was in tears -- "Son, if you're going to be a Mets fan your heart is going to get broken, a lot." The Mets will break your heart, every time. That's why we care. When the Mets win, it means something, for all of us. I loved the Mets without reservation when I was a boy (I'm 47 now). Later I learned they were a corporation, as selfish and stupid as any other. I try to overlook that, when I can.  

Kevin Werbach: "As its now being deployed, 'broadband' is too slow, too expensive, too asymmetric, and too restricted to be the driver of economic growth." 

Scott Mace: "Don't call it broadband." 

Jenny the Librarian on ebooks. "The biggest obstacle to the implementation of ebooks in any type of library is that we play virtually no part in the creation, publication, or dissemination cycle so we are completely dependent on vendors, publishers, organizations, and authors to provide us with digital content." 

Cory is back! "Didja miss me?" Yes.  

David Watson: "Very little really usable software has come from people who are willing to work for six figures." That's true too. 

John Robb: "With Bill Clinton's political machine behind him, he is likely to sweep the field of contenders in 2004 and face W in the fall." 

Ink-stainers, while starting to get a clue, still see themselves at the center of the conversation. Thanks to Glenn for the pointer to Howard Kurtz's admonition to his colleagues to listen to weblogs. "Some media critics dismiss bloggers as self-indulgent cranks. That's a mistake. They now provide a kind of instant feedback loop for media corporations that came of age in an era of one-way communications." Uhhh Howard, we're not here for the corporations. 

Lance Knobel: "He focuses mostly on outpourings from bloggers on the right of the political spectrum." 

On this day last year, O'Reilly lost one of its editors.  

What is a weblog? 

A picture named heydoc.gifSome good news. I've been given permission to republish Meg Hourihan's excellent essay on weblogs. At the time it came out I was getting ready to write something similar, it was the right time for the weblog world to define weblogs, because so many journalists had been trying to do it. Meg did such a great job, and I want to carry more voices through DaveNet, so I asked her, and then her editor at O'Reilly for permission, and this morning they said yes.

From there, I want to start an outline about what a weblog is, because there's more to say. Maybe it'll be a three-column table. In column 1, a topic. For example: Fact-checking. In the second column, how centralized journalism does it; and in the third column, how it works in the weblog world. That way, if someone understands how fact-checking works in the print world, they have a basis for understanding how it works when done in the open.

Perhaps you see more errors in weblogs, but they can get corrected quickly. I guess the diff is that you can see the process in weblogs. Some people say this is a bad thing, but I think it's good. When I see writing that's too polished, where the grammar is too perfect, I am suspicious that at a deeper level it has been sanitized and dumbed-down. I like getting my news and opinion straight from the source without the middleman.

Another row. In column 1, "Research". In column 2, "A reporter spends two weeks interviewing experts, with transcription errors, dumbing-down, etc added." In column 3, "Experts spend a lifetime trying new ideas, learning from their mistakes, and learning how to explain their philosophy. Weblogs let them publish their ideas without intermediaries."

Arguing on the Internet 

Worf says: 'Flamers have no honor.'Maybe it was a brush-with-mortality that gave me the perspective to see more clearly something that had been lurking around on the edge of my consciousness. Here it is, do with it what you want.

So much of the debate on the Internet seems aimed to so thoroughly discredit (or humiliate?) someone so that everyone will instantly stop listening to that person.

Such a position leaves no room for subtlety or complexity.

No one is so devoid of intelligence or soul. Not even a serial murderer, convicted and sentenced to death, has as little grace as the fools who argue this way say.

Greg Hanek explained this to me in an email last night when he raised the issue of honor, in re discourse on the Internet.

Aha! How come I never viewed it that way. A good retort to a flamer.

You have no honor.



I saw the honor-free arguing style in a new way when I saw Scott Rosenberg confronted by one of his detractors. Sheez, don't they know how hard it is being Scott? He does it cheerfully and honestly, oozing integrity, holding up far more of the Internet than he probably ever bargained for.


Last update: Thursday, August 01, 2002 at 9:16 AM Eastern.

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