Evangelism as God Intended
Saturday, July 29, 1995 by Dave Winer.
Good morning and happy Saturday! I think this is the first Saturday-written DaveNet. I wonder how many people read emails on Saturday?
I've been real busy. Last week I had lots of very important meetings with my bougainvilleas, marigolds, geraniums, roses, coreopsis, gardenias, nasturtiums and calla lillies.
It's been a great summer!
I bought a saw last week, cut out, then dug out some ugly old bushes and replaced them with wild summer colors! Next year I'll figure out something more permanent. There's no time like now. Dig out the ugly old bushes, create space, plant nice summer flowers. What, me worry? No way!
And this DaveNet comes courtesy of The Pretenders, their Learning to Crawl CD. A very steady slow methodical beat. I go back to Ohio. From Seneca to Cahoga. My city was gone. Hey ho. Let's go back.
But I'm not from Ohio!
On 3/31/95 I wrote about censorship on the net, specifically about the Exon bill, which has since passed in the Senate and set off a wave of anticipatory censorship on the net.
It's interesting because the bill doesn't have to even pass before the wheels start turning. All kinds of protection schemes that work, dammit!
And now it appears that the censorship has shown up on my website! Check out:
I included a link to a picture of a beautiful woman with no clothes on. The server is in France, outside the US, and supposedly immune to our laws. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. You'll see a placeholder where a wonderful woman used to be. Try connecting thru the LIBIDO link. Access forbidden. It sounds like someone, somewhere, is censoring something.
I checked with Chip Bayers, firstname.lastname@example.org, managing editor at HotWired, to see if the link was getting killed by a firewall on the hotwired.com server. He says not. I didn't think it was likely, considering that HotWired has been a vocal proponent of unrestricted free speech on the net.
But somewhere along the line, the pointer is getting rejected. They haven't implemented a firewall for the United States yet (what a scary thought!) so the problem must be in France. If anyone has any ideas on what's going on, please send me email at email@example.com.
One of the projects I want to do in the fall is to get all the DaveNet writing out in book form. A hard-copy version of DaveNet. For the coffee table or nightstand. The physical manifestation of something from InternetLand. The Bridges of Madison County meets the WorldWide Web, in color.
I want to work with a great designer to make it look better in print than it does on screen, but I want the design to be derived from the look of the web. I'm also looking for an editor to work with. Someone who knows their way around the web, but also knows how printed books work.
The first step down this path was to print out all the essays going back to Marc Canter Sings Again! released on 10/7/94. How things have changed! DaveNet started slowly, then there were two big pieces, Platform is Chinese Household and Bill Gates versus the Internet. Then Bill's reply. I'm on the map! It went to my head. Then settled down, and went off in twenty different directions. Some loops close. Topics get hot and then old. I'm proud of a lot of the writing. And I can forgive the not-great writing. I was learning. And having fun!
So my view of DaveNet is shifting...
It's not just email anymore; not just a website.
Now it's a manuscript.
I read in MacWEEK a couple of weeks ago that Apple had shifted gears and was no longer in the market share business. Yes! The article said that Apple was going to focus on selling more computers and keeping developers and users happy with the platform. I almost wrote an I-told-you-so DaveNet piece. Market share is a head trip. How many times have I said that? It's infinite but countable.
I read in this week's MacWEEK that it was a mistake. Dan Eilers has market share graphs on the wall of his office. Win some lose some. But I have a sneaky feeling that no matter what Dan & Co do, it's a setup -- the Mac will never be a market share winner when compared to the latest version of Windows.
But there's no reason that developers and users can't be happy anyway. Disengage from Apple at an emotional level. Keep the space open for innovations that don't come from Apple. Eventually Apple may get it right. But we can watch from a greater distance, I think... Or at least I hope!
And there are signs of balance at Apple. Even tho I keep saying what I think about OpenDoc and market share and the rest of it, they are promoting my product on their websites and doing a really good job of it! I'm happy to be accepted by Apple in the Mac developer community. We can have fun. Coooool.
Maybe another sign of smarts at Apple is their hiring of Guy Kawasaki, firstname.lastname@example.org, to lead their new evangelism efforts.
In the mid-80s, when Guy was Apple's lead evangelist, he was one of my most trusted friends in the software business. We did deals all the time. He warned me when Bill Atkinson was trying to get Apple to kill MORE because he thought it was competitive with HyperCard. Guy gave me one of the best ideas I ever had, bullet charts in MORE 1.0. And then, when Living Videotext went bankrupt with MORE almost ready to release, he got Apple to loan us $150,000, saving the product and the company.
This is evangelism as god intended it to be done.
Like the hero in a Bruce Willis movie, Guy has a black and white sense of right and wrong. I've never heard Guy waffle on anything. Either you're a total putz or you walk on water. There's nothing inbetween in Guy's view of the world.
He's from Hawaii but he talks Yiddish like my mother! This comes from working in the Los Angeles diamond business. A colorful place to start a career, especially for a man with a Stanford MBA.
Guy left Apple in 1988, and after a brief stint as a software company exec, he found his calling as a very successful book writer, consultant, columnist, software startup guy and then a cashout king. Guy must be a rich man now. That's very cooooool.
People who are smart don't stop being smart. Guy has clean fighting energy inside him. A strong sense of right and wrong. A pragmatic view of the software business.
I think it's very interesting that he's back at Apple.
I'd like to introduce you to Clay Basket.
Up till now DaveNet and Clay Basket have been separate projects.
Clay Basket is a code name. It's a "web outliner" for Macs, designed to work with Netscape 1.1.
You can use Clay Basket to edit the contents of Netscape's Bookmarks menu. It records all the sites you visit in an outline. Organize and annotate your URLs. It boosts your bandwidth in web browsing. If you've been somewhere, it's easy to get back there. Clay Basket is also a web authoring tool, it stores outlines as HTML text, which means they can be viewed in all popular web browsers.
You can read more and download a beta from the Clay Basket website at http://www.hotwired.com/userland/clay/.
Like the rest of my software, Clay Basket is lifestyle-ware. It's free. You're welcome to use it, and tell me how you want it improved. I have reasons to want to improve it -- there will be competition from Netscape and from a friend. And we're cooperating where appropriate. Clay Basket is an experiment, a laboratory for network-based software, something to play with. I'm having fun! That's what lifestyle-ware is all about.
I'll be at SIGGRAPH, August 7-9, in Los Angeles. I'm totally psyched about the show. For the first time, I get to go to a great show as a press person. I registered with the PR firm. I get to hang out, no booth duty, no dealers or developers to meet with, just listen, soak up the energy then come home.
In January I some of the SIGGRAPH demos at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I loved what I saw! Beautiful stuff. Toys and playthings over the Internet. Stuff that we're going to be buying in five years or less.
Apple people: lots of the cool stuff at SIGGRAPH is happening on Macs. Check with Coco Conn, email@example.com, for details.
See y'all in LA!
PS: Guy Kawasaki, Stewart Alsop and I founded the Silicon Valley Asshole's Society in 1986. We were younger then. Remind me to write about that someday! Stewart, maybe the SVAC should get a Hindsight Award at the next Agenda?
PPS: Congrats to Netscape on their upcoming super-hot IPO!