The Napster Weblog
Monday, July 17, 2000 by Dave Winer.
This morning we're rolling out a new weblog with news and ideas for Napster fans, musicians and developers.
This site is commited to intelligent and thoughtful discussion, learning and sharing. If there are problems we want to solve them. We share a love of music, and the new medium of the Internet and music.
We are not pirates, we don't want something for nothing. But we want the economics of music to be fair, we want professional and artistic relationships, and abhor the legal battleground that music has become.
Please tell your friends that there's now an independent source of news about music on the Internet. We'll cover it all, with your help.
We also provide an easy way for musicians and fans to start their own free sites. The Web and music were meant to be together, now we take the next step.
It's a static site, so it's built to scale.
We're talking on a hourly basis with execs at Napster, and with people from the technology and music industry, including artists.
We hope to get linked in where music, fans and artists gather. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, of course.
Last night I emailed with Steve Wozniak, a pioneer of digital technology, educator, supporter and investor in music, and an active Web developer.
He said: "After reading one of your DaveNets I emailed Roger McGuinn with supporting comments and he's offered to come visit and help with my class, where I'm engaging 8th graders in skeptical inquiries into the whole topic."
He continued: "I have worries about the new not turning out better than the old."
Me too. "I imagine that many of the artists must be terrified of what's happening now. It seems we're a junction when some love could ease a lot of fear. Your smiling face and good nature could make a big difference."
Steve and I are going to meet later this month, and in early August we're going to Shoreline, where he has a box, to hear BB King and Sting. (I'll bring my camera of course.)
This website hopes to fill a time-honored role in the technology world, a publication that stands behind (and beside) a creative platform that's booming. Our interest is clear, we support music on the Internet, much as PC Magazine supported IBM users in the early 80s; and MacWorld was instrumental to the success of the Macintosh. Both pubs provided a common place where users and developers could meet, explore new ideas, and sell their wares.
With music added to the technology mix, now there are also artists. They put their whole selves into their work, and in doing so, become personally vulnerable, more so than any software developer has. This adds a new dimension to our work, one that's often overlooked in the technology industry, the human issues of a platform. We will explore that in our new publication.
The mingling of artists and technologists will also revolutionize the technology industry. There are so many parallels. We will see products in a new light, as the creative work of human beings, not the blustery proclamations of billionaire icons. All our focus has been on the power of money and distribution, as it has in the music business. Now let's focus on people. People make and use software, the same way people make and use music. It really is that simple. We'll route around the middlemen in software. We have so much to learn from each other; there's so much previously untapped power exposed in the new medium. Let's nurture that power, not snuff it out, as some want to. Never has the contrast between art and fear been more clear, at least not in my lifetime.
There's another difference, this magazine could spawn 100,000 new magazines. It's an unbelievable challenge to think in those kinds of numbers. But that's what the Internet is about. Out the door, leave the parachute behind.
Here we go!