Last week I visited Seattle and Portland.
In Seattle, I spent a day with Brent and Sheila Simmons, two longtime friends. Brent and I worked together at UserLand. He's also an excellent writer. His interest in blogging stemmed from his literate side, which made him an excellent web developer imho. Making software for yourself is a path to success.
And in Portland I met with Ward Cunningham. We went bike riding in 100 degree heat, all over town, saw the sights, and talked software philosophy. We share the same basic values. It's amazing to meet someone like that. I regret that we didn't hook up 20 years ago. But maybe we each had to finish our work on our respective ideas -- mine which is blogging and his of course is the wiki.
Whereas in Ward's world, there's the writing about a topic, say The Wildlife of Antarctica or Home Run Leaders in Major League Baseball. Chronology is an attribute of each bit on a page, but it is not the structure of the site as it is on a blog.
Thing is, I yearn for what Ward's world has. I'm so frustrated that my blogging doesn't have a concordance of all that I think on this topic or that. I repeat themes here all the time. And my memory is not very good. At times I can read things I wrote and published and have no recollection of writing them. Sometimes I even have trouble understanding them!
I've written letters to execs at Google at various points in time, suggesting they have the tools to create such a resource. Supporting writing on the web is something we should all get behind. The 25th anniversary of the web is a good day to remind us what it is we're trying to do here.
One final thing to tie this thread together. Ward has a friend, Mike Caulfield who is also a web writer who also makes software. Allen sent me a link to his piece about the diff betw chronologic writing and wiki-writing, and I thought man this is just like what I was talking about with Brent the other day in Seattle. It illustrates what I have now and what I want to create.
One of the things I said repeatedly at the Portland meetup: It's All About People. I said it because this is something we don't always remember in Nerdland. We're creating tools to connect people. Not just people on one company's network or another's, but all people everywhere, in the belief that smart people may have the answer we seek even if they don't have a billion dollars to make their voice louder or to silence others.