Tuesday, February 21, 1995 by Dave Winer.
Ever notice that there are days when people look at you? I mean *really* look. Today was one of those days for me. I walk into a room, great smile. Turn around. Someone's looking.
I call these Great Hair days.
They seem to actually have nothing to do with your hair. I need a haircut. I admit it. Too much zooming around right now for me to sit down in a barber shop. I'd bounce out of the chair. So my hair gets longer (and I have a beard now too -- what a hippie!)...
Anyway back to the story.
I have this theory that great hair is other people reflecting off a balance that's happening inside of you, a balance that isn't visible at a conscious level, but is perceivable, possibly in the same spot inside the person who's doing the looking. I call it "radiating the truth," partially because it appears to be possible to have great hair even when you're sad. Being truthful attracts people.
Today -- though -- it was probably because I was *extremely* happy!
I woke up this morning in San Francisco. What a gorgeous day. Coffee. Sit down to write. Turn on the radio. On KFOG they played a bunch of great songs, including Buddy Miles's "Them Changes." I had to stop my work and get up and dance. How can you not dance when Buddy's grrroovin? Ohhhh yeaaaah!
Anyway, I had trouble focusing on my work. I knew something great was probably going to happen today.
On Friday, I got a call from a Newsweek fact-checker for a cover story on Techno-Mania. She said I had been picked as one of the 50 most influential people in cyberspace. Wow! She said "your fifteen minutes of fame." I said "Oh man."
Over the weekend, I told a few friends. Wondered what I'd write about this week. Monday is a holiday. No Newsweek. Grrrrr.
After a meeting this morning I went hunting for a Newsweek in San Francisco, near Moscone Center. Got it! Flip thru the pages, manically, there it is on page 42 -- "Dave Winer, Online Advocate, He's revolutionized Net publishing..." One of the 50 influential people of cyberspace.
How does it feel? Great!!!
Sorry, I thought I might have been above this, but I get a thrill out of great press. Since I've been honest about everything else, I thought I should share that too.
It's the best honor I've received since MacUser named MORE product of the year in 1986. The satisfaction is getting recognized for something you want recognition for. In 1986 I really wanted to hit a Macintosh software home run. I remember the award night, accepting it, making my speech, partying afterward, in vivid full-color detail. The top Eddy award was great confirmation, eight years later it still feels important. The award didn't change my life, but it marked an arrival, a milestone, a turning point.
I feel the same way about the Newsweek list. It's a mainstream magazine. Their writers are interested in the net. My DaveNet stories are reaching them. They're great writers! People I want to be friends with. The net and great writing are going to be important to each other.
Like all plans, my plan has steps. But if my memory serves correctly, I think I will look back at this week as a major turning point; where my plans started seeming less like dreams and more like reality.
For me there's an even bigger lesson here.
It's feels great to get recognition because it feels great to be listened to.
Listening. Being heard. Flip sides of the same thing.
All my life I've placed the highest value, derived the most happiness, from simply being heard.
It's a precious commodity in a world that seems to always say shut up or go away. People don't want to hear other people. When people shout, they're really saying "listen to me!" It can be a struggle to keep quiet and give other people the space to say something; especially to feel safe saying something real, something that reflects how they really feel.
We understand how this works. If I see you as real, then I have to see myself as real. If I listen to you, I have to listen to myself. It can be very scary stuff. But fear is frozen fun! How to make the world a more fun place? Make an effort to listen. And even if no one else will listen to you, listen to yourself.
I am an optimist.
The promise of better communication technology is that there will be more listening and more speaking.
In other words, the Internet makes your hair greater.
PS: The Well is off the air. It's an eerie feeling. All my other inboxes are pretty dry. A couple of threads on AOL. A couple on AppleLink. But most of my flow is thru well.com. It's not necessarily a bad feeling. Kind of like a vacation! It's OK. As long as the outage doesn't last too much longer. For now, please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org.