New Cave Needs Curtain
Thursday, November 2, 1995 by Dave Winer.
This DaveNet piece can be sung to the tune of Bruce Hornsby's Walk in the Sun, from his Hot House CD. A mesmerizing jazzy beat and a chorus you can sing along with. A sad song. Someone come, come my someone, take the clouds from my eyes, my one. But it's hopeful too. One day we'll walk in the sun. Yes.
I'm back from Boston. The weekend was totalllly glorious. Warm, as warm as California. Sunny, but everything's wet. It rains in Boston, especially this time of year. I had a blast with my Boston friends. Went to "Cybersmith", where Sally Atkins and I sent email to each other's ex-es. It must be nice to be thought of from so far away.
Sally and I got wild, and we seduced all kinds of people at the bar downstairs. From there, on to the House of Blues and I danced and danced and danced. I never danced like this! Rolling and weaving. Humming and flowing. The usual dancing thing! It's Dave with his Texas sized body, moving and floating.
Yah man. We had fun!
That night, buzzed and very loudly, I really appreciated Boston for the first time. I checked into my room with a view of the harbor. What a trip!
And it had only just begun...
I felt I had to go to InternetWorld in Boston. The timing was right. I had just gotten thru a six-week burst of programming productivity. My geek persona gratified, having cooked a meal I was happy with, it was time to look at the smorgasbord of software that the rest of the world is producing for the Internet. InternetWorld, the "Meckler" show, is the place where we do this.
It's the third InternetWorld show I've been to. Yes, it was a tiny show in June 1994. All those venture capitalists roaming the aisles! Now their investments are starting to ship. It's a maturing show. The booths are large.
The software funded by the venture capitalists is being created for corporate presences on the web. Their audience is IS managers at major corporations, a market that the venture capitalists understand. To these people InternetWorld is just an adjunct to InfoWorld. Same with the Meckler books. They have WebWeek and Web Developer, which interestingly is run by a high school friend of mine from the Bronx. He lives in California now of course.
InternetWorld is growing quickly but in other ways this community is in its infancy. The party scene is very new. I'm just getting to know the faces of the webmasters of the big sites out there on the net. I finally met Glenn Davis, the "Cool Site of the Day" man. He was surprised that my hair is brown, from the picture in "Wired" he thought I had red hair. Not true. Hair was a big topic for me. Someone asks how I'm doing. Great hair! I say. He hears Gray hair. Not true. I have brown hair.
I met some of my favorite webmasters at this show. We're all singing the same song. Some day we'll walk in the sun. The halceon days are yet to come. All right! Rock and roll on the web? Of course! But it ain't going to happen at those fear-driven corporate websites.
I finally got to meet Barton, the author of the "Love 101" website. What a cutie! She works at "AOL" now. I think a lot of these young people with soaring imaginations are just waiting for the Big Wheel to spin to their number. Waiting patiently for this new industry to organize itself around its talent, as opposed to being organized around the head-trippy aspirations of technological and financial types.
The advertising industry meets the web. Can you say Fortune 500? The VCs can! And they do. Often. The tools they make aren't necessarily for geeks. Cooool. More for the rest of us. Why yes I speak geek, but I've already said that. Platforms for web content development is the real game. The value of your investment is proportional to the number of geeks you successfully seduce. Let's have fun! Yeah. Smells good! Uh huh.
Advertising on the web is cool. But there's a fly in the ointment. It's a pain in the butt to erase the ads from commercial TV, but people are figuring out how to get the info from "Yahoo", "Infoseek", "Lycos" and "WebCrawler" without seeing the ads. I find this fascinating. I wonder what the VCs have planned when ad scraper agents start showing up? How will they pay for those web crawlers then? Hmmmm. I checked with the sysop of AOL's WebCrawler. They're aware of the problem.
"Java" is everywhere. At the DaveNet party on Monday night, at one table I was weaving a story around Java. Someone says let's check with the product manager. She's at the next table. Life is happening that way these days. Looking for something? Check out the next table. What you're looking for is just that close.
"AOL" announces "GNN", their answer to Netcom. Now they're members of the Billions of Websites club. So is "CompuServe". Which one is an open system? It's not clear at this time if either one actually is. Both companies do their own content development software. Can I use my own content development tools? They're not sure if they understand the question. They will, I'm sure of it. Check out the GNN booth at the next show. [If anyone figures out how to use "Clay Basket" to generate AOL or CompuServe websites, please let me know. That would be an acid test.]
In the meantime, the Apple booth was a prefab affair. Low budget and low flash. Shhhh. Don't let anyone know that there's heat on this platform! Can't afford to say it, I hear from my friends at Apple. It costs money to tell people that you're the coolest. Apple wants to hold onto its money. OK.
The Macintosh web community didn't show up, as far as I could tell. Unix and Windows and NT were well represented. "IBM" struggles mightily to convince us that it "gets" the net, but their $3.5 billion buyout of "Lotus" speaks otherwise.
And don't get me started about "Larry Ellison"! The totally precious Mr Opportunity speaks about media objects. It's a phallus-cy. Larry man, make some new software -- stop telling us how big it is. It isn't!
The Larry Ellison thing is a perfect segue into the real meat of this story. I've said it before -- in pieces like Random Breathless Stuff and Billions of Websites -- there are two webs, the one that men like the VCs envision, and the one we will all live in, one that will be more like a home, that will connect people to people. A place where we will play!
One of my favorite DaveNetisms is "holding hands in cyberspace." We're almost there. The tools phase of this business, where the breakthrus are in ease of use and ease of access, is almost over. Starting real soon you'll be able to assume that anyone who can use a word processor and an outliner will be able to create a website and connect their pages to stuff on other people's sites.
When we cross that line, the web will fill with feminine energy. It's been proven, websites can make you laugh and can make you cry. We can speak the truth thru this medium. We can teach each other and learn from each other. We can make new friends. Our presences will roam the wires of the web like today's automated worms and web crawlers do.
It's also been proven that if you want to have fun you need to have some women around. That's not a sexual thing, it's just the truth. Not enough men know how to let go. Guys, let the women mess up your hair. You'll see, it's fun!
And women, please thank the male energy for making this place safe. Our new cave needs curtains and party favors. It's almost party time.
Let's have fun!
PS: I found the watch! Thanks everyone for the positive energy.
PPS: An interesting fact: anyone whose last name is Atkins could spell it @kins. I suggested to my friend Sally that she could start kins.com, and corner the Atkins market. firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice business card!
PPPS: What song do I sing as my machine reboots after a Netscape 2.0b1 crash? Netscrape Netscrape. Ohhh it's so funny! And I get to sing this song so often! Other people sing the same song. Or a variation. Nutscrape! A very male thing. Coooool.
PPPPS: On the wires this AM -- Dan Eilers is leaving Apple. Dan's a good guy. We, in the Mac community, need this like we need a hole in the head. Someday we'll walk in the sun. But not before Apple quiets down and lets the content community drive the platform. Now the business press will have more stories about how the Mac platform is dead. Remember the mantra -- repeat after me -- market share is a head trip, market share is a head trip, market share is a head trip, market share is a head trip, market share is a head trip, market share is a head trip. Market share is a head trip. Uh huh.