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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, August 24, 2004. Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A picture named georgia.gifSteve Gillmor: The G-SpotPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Feature request for Yahoo. If I ask for driving directions from St Aug to Madison, how about an icon I can click for hotels that are about 1/2 way that have free high-speed Internet? And another I click for any Starbucks that are within ten minutes from my route? This is one of those things you know we're going to have in two years, but of course I want it now.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Three years ago Manila supported the Blogger API. Still does.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wired: ", a site that helps web users get around website registration roadblocks, is back up after disappearing for several days because of server hosting issues." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sunrise beach walk Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It gets hot here early, so I've been taking my daily walks earlier and earlier. Today I was up before dawn and thought this must be the best time of all to walk. Turns out that was totally true.

When I left it was dark. I got onto the beach, and while I could see in front of my feet, I couldn't make out the houses that line the beach. As I walked, it got lighter, and now I could make out two people walking from a house to the water, about a two-block walk, the beach is very wide.

Then more light, revealing people everywhere! It seems I'm not the only person with this idea (why do we always think we're the only smart ones). I walk and walk. Oh man.

I thought to bring my camera, so you can experience this too. This time I deliberately took some movies. Here are three. 1. Some birds wading in the tide; 2. A man on a bicycle and 3. A bit of surf and nothing more. (There is an annoying click on the audio, not sure what it comes from, I was holding the camera quietly, or so I thought.)

And then here are some stills. I shot them at double resolution, but the HTML image elements reduce them in size. I don't have the patience to store two versions of the pictures, so if you're bandwidth-constrained don't click on the link, and if you already did, I apologize.

Right now, with fresh sweaty endorphins running through my system, and the inspiration of a beautiful sunrise shared with other souls who are similarly inspired, I think this is the finest place in the world, a place made just for Uncle Dave.

Florida round-up Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This morning I make my exit from Florida, for now.

This type of travel, a long road trip with lots of stops, means lots of arrivals and departures, and at this stage in life I have lots of places I can go where there are friends, aquaintances, and especially in the case of Florida, memories -- to first say hello to, then goodbye.

I used to come here when I was a college and grad student, but when I moved to California warm weather wasn't such a novelty, and Florida seemed so far away, so small. I didn't come back again until just a couple of years ago on a road trip through the state from Miami to St Augustine and back with Uncle Vava, one in which we luckily took a tour of his property east of Crescent Beach on the Intercoastal. Some part of me sensed this would be the last time, and that I would visit next after his demise, a premonition that came true far too soon.

Yesterday I got a check for most of my share of his estate and I looked at real estate. This part of Florida, for all the growth, and the growth has been enormous, is still very reasonable. A nice three bedroom, two bath house can be bought for less than $300,000; easy walking distance from the beach, most amenities (most houses don't have pools, and none have hot tubs).

The sense I get from this trip is that people are so temporary but the things we build last much longer. When I was a kid, I didn't understand how such big things as a beach front condo complex can get built, but now I do. The people who make the finance decisions don't understand life any better than I do, they just have been taught a formula for what makes a good investment, and what doesn't, and the formula is tried and true, it expresses something mathematical about the nature of our species, as a community, and it's stood the test of time. I've learned it first on a relatively large scale, in California real estate, and now in a much more manageable size, Florida real estate. I've learned that I could afford an equally lovely slice of Planet Earth here, now, for much less money than my slice of California cost in 1992. And as a bonus there's a very swimmable beach nearby.

The tradeoff of course is that there aren't very many Internet heavy weights nearby, but maybe that's a blessing, and for the money I save, I could buy my own T1 line and be as close as you can get to them anyway.

Part of me is tempted to write the check for a down payment and call the movers in San Jose and have all my stuff brought here out of storage. But I'm going to resist the temptation, for now at least, and drive north and west, but mostly north. My next stop, Murphy-willing, and assuming a last-minute gig to cover the RNC in NYC doesn't materialize, is Madison, Wisconsin, and then over the Canadian Rockies, a passage I've never before made and one I totally look forward to, ending in Seattle by Labor Day for Bumbershoot.

Monetizing the blogosphere Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Meanwhile back in California, they're paving paradise and putting up a parking lot. With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot. (With thanks to Joni Mitchell.)

Everywhere you look the blogosphere is being hitched to business models, none of them very creative, nothing more than rehashes of what was tried in the 90s, and in some cases worked, but in no cases yielded anything that behaved like a weblog.

The only reason to publish a weblog, imho, is if you have a passion for something and want to make sure people hear what you have to say about it. You have to be pro-flow, anything that restricts flow is un-blog-like, and will yield a newspaper, a magazine, a professional publication, something very different from a blog. (Sure there are also the personal diaries, which are mostly ways of saying Hey I'm Here, and I'm not sure my model for a blog is much different, so nothing is very simple, or hard and fast.)

I suppose it was inevitable, and I guess it's okay. I just find that I'm repelled by the idea of raising multiple millions of dollars for a business where the tools can be had so cheaply. What are you going to charge for? Hmmm. I think I shouldn't have to pay for that.

Anyway, I keep getting requests to link to some silly things, like sites taking their content out of their RSS feed. When this happens it sends a chill deep into my body, a sense that this is what was wrong with Silicon Valley in the 80s and 90s, but it wasn't so easy to see as it is now.

Weblogs started out, I thought, as a fun project to push neat ideas into the world, but maybe they were always supposed to be a news magazine that made money. No matter, I don't think very many who read blogs in RSS will change and start reading them on the Web so we can see the ads. As usual, that's a benefit for the publisher, not for me. I understand why they want me to do it, but have they given me any reason to want it?

Maybe I'm reading this wrong. Hope so.

I have a mind, I also have eyeballs, but I'd prefer if you think of me as a mind.


Last update: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 at 7:54 PM Eastern.

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