Friday, May 28, 1999 by Dave Winer.
Scott Rosenberg of Salon has a wonderful piece that appeared this morning at:
"On the Web, with its unspannable abundance of chaotic and ill-organized information, pointing people to good links is a fundamental service -- a combination of giving directions to strangers and sharing one's discoveries with friends. All of which explains why a phenomenon known as the weblog is one of the fastest-growing and most fertile creative areas on the Web today."
In April 1997 I started one of the first weblogs, Scripting News. It's grown, it's one of the few weblogs that generates its own content. And we've also been developing software to bring group writing for the web to a much larger audience.
The web is maturing and growing. It's becoming easier to create websites. As time goes by it will become much easier. We'll look back on this period, before 1999, when creating a website was a difficult arcane thing. That's why Amazon looks so good. But what happens when *anyone* can have such a website? Right now a very small percentage of web users have websites. That can and will change.
I'll make a prediction. What Amazon did to Barnes and Noble will be done to Amazon. Right now they have a lock on the technology, but that will shift. The web's a very very big place. As Amazon shfits their focus away from books they will have to compete with the web itself, as Yahoo and AOL do, and the cursor will move on. Eventually the monolithic portal will be as big a liability as brick and mortar is today.
Weblogs will enjoy their day in the sun, which looks like what's happening now, but even weblogs will disappear, will go the way of the portal. The PCs we run will be able to capture the diversity of the web in new ways, using software running on your home computer, not on a server in Silicon Valley.
We'll keep decentralizing. Salon (justifiably) brags that they've matured to the point where they could send a reporter to Yugoslavia. But the web was already there. People on the ground all over the world. Some of them are great writers and have passion for the truth and aren't serving the same masters that the bigtimes at WSJ, NYT and CNN. And most of them don't have websites, yet, largely because it is too complicated and expensive to have one. When this bubble bursts we'll get a new burst of diversity in thought and vision on the web. I look forward to that day.