Has Email Ever Made You Cry?
Friday, September 22, 1995 by Dave Winer.
I wonder how you feel about email? A year ago, when my life was pretty quiet, I checked my email with the hope that there would be some contact, real contact with real human beings. I was feeling pretty isolated. I was writing, but mostly just for myself and a few friends. Passionate and personal stuff, sometimes confused.
I was processing what remained, within me, of a broken relationship.
It worked. I learned a lot from all that processing, some of which I've expressed in my DaveNet pieces. Email works as an expressive medium. It's just writing, but it's writing where the reader can easily write back. And it has an immediacy and a personal nature that's unmatched by any other medium.
Sometime later I realized that love and email are not contradictions. So many people are surprised to have emotional stuff show up in their box. But carefully read your email and ask yourself if emotions aren't showing up there even if you think they aren't. Or shouldn't.
Why am I thinking about this? Yesterday I got a powerful and honest email from my brother, firstname.lastname@example.org, that made me cry. Email is bringing us closer. It's coooool. He's my younger brother, now he's a father (I'm an uncle!).
We've been close in the past, and I hope we'll be close again.
Yes, it's a new medium. It is possible to express real stuff via email. It's a fertile field. It's very coooool.
Saturday October 7 is an important milestone for me -- it's the one year anniversary of DaveNet! Who would have thought that what started as an email campaign to get people to come to Marc Canter's press conference would turn into a new livelihood for Dave Winer. Life sure is strange!
I'm working on expanding DaveNet to include more interesting lightly-edited comments from interesting people. It seems a waste to get all this great email in response to my DaveNet rants and not be able to share them. I want to expand the service. [You won't get more email, the comments will appear on the website version of DaveNet only.]
Should we have a DaveNet conference? I think I would like to. We'd cover more than the usual industry stuff. Animation and music (multimedia!) of course. Web authoring -- yes! It would not compete with Stewart or Esther unless they're thinking about adding love and bodywork to their agendas.
In the meantime, I offer to be a speaker at either conference, or someone else's -- I'd love to do "DaveNet Live" -- an early morning unrehearsed keynote presentation, where I rant in DaveNet style -- in person! Smiling and humming, dancing and weaving. Want to make your conference zooooooom?
Service with a smile! We aim to please.
So we're in negotiations to turn DaveNet into a bigger Internet presence. No deal yet, but we hope soooooon, maybe by next Saturday. Along with DaveNet, we've made a deal with a famous net personality to do a website at least equal in stature to DaveNet. No announcement yet. Maybe next Saturday... Whatever it is -- it'll be a very cooooooool site!
At the same time, the new version of Clay Basket is coming together nicely. I'm working with the alpha Netscape 2.0 to be sure that the new Clay is the firstest with the mostest. We've got a niche carved out for this online outliner that's really cooooool. You'll at least see the results of the new Clay Basket by next week, assuming all goes well.
Hint: it's now a powerful authoring tool for web content development. But I'm zigging as others zag. It's not WYSIWYG. It *is* for nerds and geeks who like to do macros like:
<!--#ftp ("stuffit", "clay.sit.hqx", "Clay Basket 1.0b5")-->.
If you have some idea of what that means, then you'll like the new Clay Basket.
BTW, it works real well in conjunction with the new WYSIWYG HTML editors.
A bunch of people were confused by my statement in yesterday's piece "Macintosh system developers and managers need a real unabashedly Macintosh presence on the net." I thought I explained it in the acid test I proposed: "Will developers be able to run Mac software up in their cloud?"
But apparently not, I got a lot of email from people who are confused. "What do you mean?" OK. Let me try to clear this up.
"Cloud" is a term that was coined, as far as I know, by General Magic. I really like the concept. There's my computer and your computer, and then there's the cloud, a nebulous place, not well defined, but a place nonetheless. Every web server is part of the cloud. And if I can put software behind a web server, then my software becomes part of the cloud too.
I've been lobbying online companies to let me run software on a server since the early 80s when I wanted to write BBS software to run on CompuServe's hosts. It's controversial because the system manager has to realllly trust you to let you run software on their host. They've not wanted to do it. But with the Internet, which is a totally open platform, there's no one to say no. But...
I don't want to operate a web server in my house. I've said that before. Been there, done that. I want someone else to run my server.
So, I would like to see someone offer a webfarm service for Macintosh web developers, where not only can I store pages, but I can also install CGI scripts and double-clickable apps that run on the server. That's what the acid test was about. If Apple means business, if it's unabashedly behind the Mac OS, you'll be able to do this. If this is still confusing, please let me know.
"Dave: Would you consider retracting your understandable misquote of an out-of-context San Jose Mercury-News summary of the Hot Chips conference? I believe the article quotes me observing something like 'some analysts want to convene war crime trials for Apple's management' because of the inroads the Wintel PC has made in the home market.
"I did *not* call for war crime trials. Instead, said I thought Apple had done a terrific job smoothly migrating from 68K to PowerPC with the high-end, upper third of Mac product line and look forward to the entire Mac line being PowerPC by year end.
"BTW, there is no single 'home market,' instead several important segments: education, soho, entertainment. Apple leads in several. Profits in the home market are every vendor's challenge."
Thanks, glad to clear that up John!
BTW, what does "soho" mean?
I got a call from an executive recruiter looking to fill a new position at Apple Computer, Vice-President of Developer Relations. I promised that I would ask my friends if they have any ideas. So here goes! If you have any ideas on who would make a great VP for developers at Apple please let me know.
It's encouraging to see Apple making developers such a high priority. They deserve someone who is very creative and unabashedly behind the Mac OS. Be creative and let me know what you think. I'll pass your suggestions on.