I'm not watching the State of the Union tonight. I'll read about it tomorrow. Instead I'm going to read Philip Roth's new novel about a US where FDR lost the 1940 election to Charles Lindburgh.
But before I do that let me tell you a story about my friend Dave Jacobs, a Jew from San Francisco with a new kidney. In all the time I've known Dave he's always been known as Big Dave. Nowadays when you ask him how he is, he says Great! That's new behavior. He's never been the kind of guy to say he feels excellent. That's probably because he's always had bad kidney disease, that just kept getting worse. I guess he still has kidney disease, but now he's climbing hills in San Francisco and saying he's doing great. So when you think it can't get any worse sometimes that's right, it's about to get better. Sometimes a lot better. Jews, like me and Dave, tend to think Murphy's always hatching some plot (no doubt) but sometimes hope is justified, sometimes optimism is correct. We have some good news in the clan today. Be happy!
There's a bit of buzz about social networks and RSS aggregators -- I wondered if they were similar to feeds.scripting.com. I haven't looked at the application in quite a while, but it's still running. I'm going to check out its features over the next few days and point to them as I do. We're coming around to the one year anniversary of the site.
1PM Eastern: Next stop New York City. (Arrived 6PM.)
Rogers Cadenhead: "Jacksonville is a foul-smelling city."
Julie Leung responds at length to the NY Times article about parents blogging about their infant children.
When everyone is media, no one is
1. Everything these days is media.
2. All media is technology and vice versa. The convergence everyone was buzzing about in the early 90s has happened. It's behind us. There is no separation between media and technology.
3. Professional reporters all work for media companies. And they all work for tech companies.
4. Professional reporters won't criticize their employers. Ask any reporter. Could you run a story about your employer that was negative? If you can actually get them to answer the question, the answer is no. Most likely they'll deflect the question by saying something personal, about you! These are the same people who wax endlessly about accountability in politicians and leaders of tech companies. But for some reason they never seem to challenge the leaders of media companies. (Sorry for the sarcasm, they don't because they'd be fired if they did.)
5. But even tech companies are media these days. Check out this bit on Engadget about Microsoft, iPods, the Microsoft music store and Scoble. Scoble is media. Just ask him. He'll say yes. And there are things he won't say about his employer. (Disclaimer: He's my friend.) The music store is media too.
6. Microsoft employs reporters, lots of them, at MSNBC.
7. Any reporter who won't criticize his employer, also won't criticize his employer's competitors, because they could be his next employer.
8. Basically reporters can only criticize people who will never employ them. That's why their role is shrinking all the time. Wait until Best Buy buys out Engadget. Eventually reporters will only be able to take shots at bloggers, and probably Microsoft (because they seem to put up with it). Don't try criticizing Steve Jobs, or even talking about him until he's ready for you to.
9. In the end we'll all be bloggers, because the idea of a media company will seem as silly as the idea of a telephone company will be in a few years, or an airline is today.
I keep getting emails from people who assume I'm doing a podcasting business, and this is reasonable, since last time I spoke publicly about it, I was. So here's a little news. There may be businesses in and around podcasting, and there are certainly areas where I would like to make a contribution (more on that in the coming weeks), but I'm not going to be part of a podcasting business any time in the immediate future.
My current thinking is that podcasting is part of what I'm doing, but not in itself a business, or not one for me. But I'll wait for a few days before explaining my thinking, so as not to confuse.
A long-winded acceptance speech
Dragon Gathering names Scripting News Blog of the Year. Thanks!
Interesting timing. I was thinking of starting a club, all the blogs that weren't nominated for a Bloggie award. There are some pretty good ones. Now that the begging and pandering for endorsements has reached the fevered pitch of an NPR pledge drive, wouldn't it be interesting to see a list somewhere of all the blogs that weren't nominated. (And thereby retain some dignity.)
And then Daniel Bushman gives me that award, and gets me thinking. His award actually means much more to me, because he gets who I am. Read his story. When software works, paradoxically, people don't think much of it. That's exactly what we should be valuing in software, imho.
Anyway, yesterday I spent the day working on my open source outliner. It was a lot of fun, a throw back to getting Frontier ready to ship in the early-mid 90s, but different, because I'm sketching out something simple and user-oriented, like ThinkTank or Ready (not quite as broad as MORE).
I was really enjoying it. The more users I can connect with, I think the more I will enjoy it.
A long-winded wait for a haircut
While I'm still in Boston I went for a haircut at the place I used to go while I lived here. This time there was only one barber on duty, so I had to wait while two people who were ahead of me got their hair cut. So I read the magazines, one trashy and one, by comparison, not so trashy.
The trashy one, The Star, reminded me of Andrew Orlowski at The Register. I generally try to avoid reading his articles about me, where he calls me Harvard Man (btw, I don't work there any more, Andrew), but I do occasionally see quotes from his pieces on weblogs.
Anyway, in case you're reading this Andrew, I didn't think Madge Weinstein was born female. You could have called me to verify, or sent an email. I understand from NY Times managing editor Jill Abramson that real reporters verify stuff before running it. Had you checked, I would have explained that I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 22 years. I've seen my share of transvestites.
My image of Madge, before I saw a picture, was of a short, stocky Jewish guy with a five-o'clock shadow, dressed in a mini-skirt and a blonde wig smoking a cigar. An image derived from the Hyakugojyuuichi shockwave that was floating aorund the net for so many years.
What bummed me out was that Madge was an imitation of that, not an imitation of a woman.
Anyway, I wouldn't say anything at all, because I assumed that Orlowski was an imitation of a reporter, but I learned at a recent conference at Harvard (he could be called Harvard Man, actually) that he wants to be taken seriously! The longer you live the more amazing the world gets.
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