NY Times on Push
Sunday, March 23, 1997 by Dave Winer.
Oh I wish the New York Times didn't have a password-protected website!
If you haven't already gotten your password, go ahead, because there are two great opinion pieces on their website, both relating to Push Technology.
The first one, which ran in Sunday's magazine, is from James Gleick.
He says: "Push is the silliest piece of puffery to waft along in several seasons. In fact, Push is nothing more than a thinly disguised return to ideas of information delivery that the Internet has made obsolete. The failure of Push is preordained."
After a Sunday spent in the garden, it was great to read such a light-hearted condemnation of the current head-trip of the software industry and the business press.
Then this morning, a column from Denise Caruso, also about push. She says "Shoving information down our throats does not increase our capacity for it. If anything, it engages our gag reflexes."
Another great quote: "And this is supposed to be desirable? As Daffy Duck so eloquently puts it, 'Shoot me now!'"
Thank you Denise! And thanks to the New York Times for having the guts to go counter to the hype.
In Empowerment and Trust, I said "The Internet isn't a platform, it's a rebellion. This epiphany is well-documented in the early issues of DaveNet. It's still true today, even though we're looping thru FUD and NIH once again. The cursor will loop around to rebelliousness again, I'm sure of it. Too many head-trips to be sustained much longer, I think."
Gary Rieschel, email@example.com, a venture capitalist at Softbank Ventures asks: "Dave, do you really find the Internet a rebellion? I think of it as no more or less than a new marketplace, a new media. Those who choose to rebel may find the Internet their perfect platform, just as those who choose to sell stocks, bonds, products, services may use it for those purposes as well. Was the same for radio, TV, etc., no different here."
The people who are selling stocks and bonds on the net are rebelling against the big stodgy firms with all those retail offices that the Internet makes obsolete.
How much money have you made with your non-rebellious investments? I predict you'll only make money by selling them out, most of them will never return any shareholder value on their own. Can't pussyfoot around here and head-trips don't work.
Some of your investments are good, imho, like Christine Comaford's company, Planet U. Who are they undermining? All the consultants and production houses that think print is the right way to do coupons.
Check out the newspaper business -- they're in total leap of faith mode on this stuff. Their cart is very much upset by the Net.
The net isn't here for you to make money, or preserve the value of the investments of the media companies. It's here to be what it is.
Today is the opening day of Esther Dyson's PC Forum in Tuscon, Arizona. I can't be there this year, so I thought I'd try visiting their website to see what kind of experience I could have visiting the conference without getting on an airplane.
At first I was excited -- it's a beautifully laid out site, with the whole conference schedule, a list of attendees, and biographies of the speakers. I was excited until I realized that it was describing last year's conference, not this year's.
Not everyone can attend every conference every year. But there are announcements and statements made that would be of interest to people who aren't attending. The people making the statements and announcements probably would like me to be able to see them, even though I'm not physically present at the conference.
I had the same experience with the Demo conference in January, where the need for a live web presence is even more justified. At Demo, there are new product announcements, stuff that's shown for the first time publicly. Would it cost much to link to press releases from each of the companies, add the links in real time, as the products are being announced? No, of course not.
What are the promoters holding on to? Could their conferences be even more authoritative if they opened them up? Would people find less of a reason to go? I think not.
PS: My piece on push: Can't Touch This!