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Davos Newbies

Tuesday, January 4, 2000 by Dave Winer.

For the record  Permalink to For the record

We're a few days late with the DaveNet 1999 in Review site:


There are some great soundbites, if I do say so myself. ;->

"It's like fighting City Hall, swimming upstream, or competing with Microsoft. Longterm you end up in jail, being eaten, or testifying in Washington."

"One more thing, you might not agree, but I think the people's business also includes eliminating the death penalty. We kill more blacks than whites, more men than women, and even worse we kill innocent people. It's a hypocritical practice, it's impossible to administer in a fair way, and it's just plain bad karma to kill your own people no matter how horrible they may be."

"The perplexing proliferation of different user interfaces (not just APIs) is what will keep Linux from being a serious option for desktop users, people who write in emailers and use spreadsheets and word processors. For these people, a consistent user interface across multiple applications is a key feature."

"Steve Jobs is, as always, a polished presenter. Confident, showing appropriate understatement, and clearly on a course different from many people who develop for the Macintosh."

"It's great to be back again. Lots of interesting mail from DaveNet readers yesterday. Nothing like a political piece to stir the fires. Only a few people told me to shut up. To them finally, it's time for you guys to give it up (they're all men btw). We live in a great world. If you don't like what I say, put up a website and speak your mind. Telling me to shut up is a waste of your power."

"No longer am I wanting to be the next Marc Andreessen or Bill Gates, nor am I trying to recapture the glory of my past life as a software entrepreneur. I want to be part of the machine. I want to make happiness and money. I am not the hero. I am not good or bad. I am an average guy who can help. That's all. And that's not bad."

"Writing for the web is too damned hard. It turns you into a bookkeeper. I've got files all over my hard disk and their counterparts on the server. I can't keep track of them! When I'm reading a web page that I wrote, if I spot a mistake, I have to execute 23 complicated error-prone steps to make the change."

"Office 2000 is not fun. I think even Microsoft would admit that. Office doesn't really embrace the web because the web isn't just about HTTP, HTML and XML -- in a larger sense the web is about fun!"

"Technology serves writers and readers, they shouldn't be limited by technology."

"They keep looking for a company to compete with. But the Internet is not a company."

"Are you really happy with what you're doing? The answer is absolutely no. I want it to be a lot better. I want more help, more reliable servers, more talented and responsible people to work with, an easier path, a more loving life, more contact with my own and other people's humanity."

"Bottom-line, could the web get by without InfoWorld? Yes. Could InfoWorld exist without support from the web? I think not."

"The thing that's so wonderful about the web is that it's so easy to put up a website. And the thing that's so frustrating about the web is that it can be hard to get people to come look at your stuff."

"Ironically, the only way to move forward at full speed is to slow down and support diversity, embrace it, let it be, even celebrate it. The more inclusive you can be, the more powerfully you move."

"What kind of cooking to you like, Italian, French or Chinese? All three require kitchens and tables, waiters and utensils."

"It wasn't fatal because Java was a smoke-blow. But Linux is for real."

"UserLand comes from Windows and Mac, the commercial world, with our hands open. To the leaders of the Linux world, help us by competing with us. Our vision is much larger than any single software product. We want to build a new more powerful web out of all kinds of software."

"To women baseball fans, as with women Linux people, I send my respect. I write as a man sometimes. I don't think enough men do this. There are a lot of women writing about what it means to be a woman. There are even women who write about what it means to be a man! So from time to time I drop gender neutrality, knowing that this is exclusionary, but I have a purpose, to be an example for myself and other men. There's nothing wrong with expressing a male point of view. Thanks for listening."

"I would have chosen Women as the sole runner-up for Person of the Century. This century saw a new balance between the genders and along with it, massive change. It can be hard to appreciate how substantial the change was, since most of us were born after the shift started. There's even a technological reason, birth control. Whether you like it or not, this one invention gave women choice about parenthood. Choice is true power too."

There are lots more soundbites on the website. It's a concentrated form of DaveNet. If you like my writing, you'll like this site. If you don't, have a great day!

Thanks  Permalink to Thanks

I did something different this year, I asked for volunteers to help with the site. Thanks to Luke Tymowski, Jeff Shelton, Sam Devore, Eric Soroos and Karl Martino for contributing to the review site.

My five favorites  Permalink to My five favorites

It's hard to choose just five pieces from a whole year, but here are my choices:

Embrace and Get Over It (where I advise Microsoft to view Linux as they viewed the Macintosh in 1983); Edit This Page (a preview of Manila, six months before it shipped); A Bright Future for Syndication (an anthem for the web struggling to overcome attempts to control it); The Ancient Geeks (explains how Microsoft is transitioning) and We're All Newbies (explains why being a newbie is a good thing).

Davos Newbies  Permalink to Davos Newbies

We may have found our niche for Manila. It seems that in one way or another, all the really cool Manila sites are for newbies. A new site that came online yesterday continues the tradition. It's Lance Knobel's "Inside Davos" site, with its very simple tagline: "Advice for Davos Newbies."


What is Davos? I am totally not sure! But I'm going. Last year I saw reports and interviews from Davos on the cable news channels. Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Steve Case, just to name a few. It's where heads of state, business and media leaders and Nobel Prize winners meet every year to do what people like that do. What do they do? I don't know, but I'm going to find out and I'll be writing about it on the web, as I always do.

So if you're going to Davos for the first time, or if you have advice for Davos Newbies like me, check out the site. I'm going to get the most out of it, and thanks to Lance for helping make that possible.

Dave Winer  Permalink to Dave Winer

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