Scripting News for 3/13/2006

Todd Cochrane at Geek News is a long-time Movable Type user. He isn’t happy with how the product is evolving. The first comment is from Jay Allen, from Six Apart, the company that makes the product. Interesting back and forth between a customer and a vendor. 

It’s great to have the Sopranos back. The season opener was surprising, even for a show that’s often filled with surprises. 

Old folks boogie 

Last night’s dinner was pretty fantastic. They’ve changed something at PC Forum, the first night used to be the speaker’s dinner, but apparently not any more. The buffet dinner was absolutely first class, I ate lamb, paella, a wonderful spinach dish, lots of great conversation, it was wonderful to see old friends I hadn’t seen in some cases in 15 or 20 years! We’ve all aged, quite visibly, but it’s cool to reconnect after so long. Even the old rivalries have faded as the former powerhouses are either gone or faded (Lotus, Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, AOL, Sun, Oracle, etc).

I spent a long time talking with Bret Fausett, who Mike Arrington describes as the “Dave Winer of ICANN.” Brett is a longtime Scripting News reader, who I had never met face to face, but whose blog I read regularly, and whose circles have regularly intersected mine over the years. Not surprisingly we had a lot to talk about, and had both figured a lot of the same things out. Now if we could just get everyone else on the same page! :-)

Sat next to Jeremy Allaire from Brightcove, and confirmed that I do understand that they’re seriously re-inventing television in the context of the Internet.

And while I missed Esther’s opening remarks, people say that there were a lot of ideas from the Unconferences manifesto in her talk. She’s going to try to include the audience more in the discussion. It’s good to see she’s feeling the influence, but I think they could go farther, faster, by having a session or two that’s done totally unconference-style, to give the community (she has one too, even though the talk here is of other communities) some experience. This would give everyone a data point to think about in the coming year, the minds could accomplish a lot, with the information and the time.

It’s been ten years since I was at a PC Forum, and while the onstage conversation is as ungrounded as ever, the place is humming, there’s thriving going on, once again. I came back last, at the height of the dotcom mania, to find the river was flowing somewhere else. It was quiet here, not many people, not very much to talk about, and what was being talked about seemed to be covered better elsewhere. Today, more than ever it’s the social events that are the pulse, and luckily we have a lot to talk about, and old friendships to renew. It’s a sweet event, so far, and that’s a surprise, a pleasant one.

Why I will stop blogging 

I can do it, folks, I have already, in some sense, stopped one of my rivers, and soon, probably before the end of 2006, I will put this site in mothballs, in archive mode, and go on to other things, Murphy-willing of course.

It’s been a long time coming. When I started blogging, depending on how you look at it, either in 1994, 1996 or 1997, I had different goals, and happily the goals have been accomplished. Billions of Websites now no longer seems an outrageously ambitious goal. We’re pretty close to a billion, I suspect. The goal was to create tools that would make it easy for everyone to have a site, and then more specifically a chronological one. That’s done.

I wanted programming to turn upside down, to have the Internet be the platform instead of Microsoft and Apple. That worked too. APIs on web apps are now commonplace, and a basis for comparison between offerings. While user interfaces have gotten better, of course, there’s been a steady flow of new ideas in how my work connects with yours, and vice versa, and we’re doing it without a platform vendor controlling it.

I wanted decentralized news. We can do for ourselves what the pros haven’t been doing. And politics — I don’t doubt that the House of Representatives will be filled with bloggers, if not in 2006, then surely in 2008. There’s no turning back on any of it. The 20th Century is fading and the new century is going strong. There really was a big shift as the calendar rolled over, and I’m totally glad to be a part of it.

So there’s the first part of my reason. Blogging doesn’t need me anymore. It’ll go on just as well, maybe even better, with some new space opened up for some new things. But more important to me, there will be new space for me. Blogging not only takes a lot of time (which I don’t begrudge it, I love writing) but it also limits what I can do, because it’s made me a public figure. I want some privacy, I want to matter less, so I can retool, and matter more, in different ways. What those ways are, however, are things I won’t be talking about here. That’s the point. That’s the big reason why.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Amyloo on March 13, 2006 at 7:01 am

    > matter more, in different ways

    A singing career, perhaps? ;-0

    Really, though, I hope you won’t stop anytime soon. Reading Scripting News is such a part of my daily habit. You have no obligation to any of us, but if you do stop, as a kindness to the faithful, might be better not to make us go cold turkey.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mark Alexander on March 13, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    Dave,
    My suggestion for when you stop blogging is that you restart the DaveNet effort. This will allow you to post a message on occasion when you feel the need to comment. I really miss those more thoughtfull essays.
    Thanks,
    Mark

    Reply

  3. Posted by Marcelo Lopez on March 13, 2006 at 4:06 pm

    Dave Winer ? Quit blogging ? Oh well, like I always say “Change is growth”. I’m not too keen on the big falling tree idea though.

    Why again is it that O’Reilly is so “Hip” ? Are that many people awe-struck or something ? I wouldn’t pay to see/hear T.O., but I’d PAY to hear/see D.W. !

    Reply

  4. My would love to see a bloggercon roadshow, with an easy recording setup that would allow it to podcast when it is done with no editing. Fresh voices from all over the country, or world. But thats what I want, Dave, whatever you do have fun.

    Reply

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Scripting News for 3/13/2006

Todd Cochrane at Geek News is a long-time Movable Type user. He isn’t happy with how the product is evolving. The first comment is from Jay Allen, from Six Apart, the company that makes the product. Interesting back and forth between a customer and a vendor. 

It’s great to have the Sopranos back. The season opener was surprising, even for a show that’s often filled with surprises. 

Old folks boogie 

Last night’s dinner was pretty fantastic. They’ve changed something at PC Forum, the first night used to be the speaker’s dinner, but apparently not any more. The buffet dinner was absolutely first class, I ate lamb, paella, a wonderful spinach dish, lots of great conversation, it was wonderful to see old friends I hadn’t seen in some cases in 15 or 20 years! We’ve all aged, quite visibly, but what’s cool is how great it is to reconnect after so long. Even the old rivalries have faded as the former powerhouses are either gone or faded (Lotus, Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, AOL, Sun, Oracle, etc).

I spent a long time talking with Brett Fausett, who Mike Arrington describes as the “Dave Winer of ICANN.” Brett is a longtime Scripting News reader, who I had never met face to face, but whose blog I read regularly, and whose circles have regularly intersected mine over the years. Not surprisingly we had a lot to talk about, and had both figured a lot of the same things out. Now if we could just get everyone else on the same page! :-)

Sat next to Jeremy Allaire from Bright Cove, and confirmed that I do understand that they’re seriously re-inventing television in the context of the Internet.

And while I missed Esther’s opening remarks, people say that there were a lot of ideas from the Unconferences manifesto in her talk. She’s going to try to include the audience more in the discussion. It’s good to see she’s feeling the influence, but I think they could go farther, faster, by having a session or two that’s done totally unconference-style, to give the community (she has one too, even though the talk here is of other people’s communities). This would give everyone a data point to think about in the coming year, the minds could accomplish a lot, with the information and the time.

It’s been ten years since I was at a PC Forum, and while the onstage conversation is as ungrounded as ever, the place is humming, and there’s thriving going on, once again. I came back once, at the height of the dotcom mania, to find the river was flowing somewhere else. It was quiet here, not many people, not very much to talk about, and what was being talked about seemed to be covered better elsewhere. More than ever it’s the social events that are the pulse, and luckily we have a lot to talk about, and old friendships to renew. It’s a sweet event, so far, and that’s a surprise, a pleasant one.

Why I will stop blogging 

I can do it, folks, I have already, in some sense, stopped one of my rivers, and soon, probably before the end of 2006, I will put this site in mothballs, in archive mode, and go on to other things, Murphy-willing of course.

It’s been a long time coming. When I started blogging, depending on how you look at it, either in 1994, 1996 or 1997, I had different goals, and happily the goals have been accomplished. Billions of Websites now no longer seems an outrageously ambitious goal. We’re pretty close to a billion, I suspect. The goal was to create tools that would make it easy for everyone to have a site, and then more specifically a chronological one. That’s done.

I wanted programming to turn upside down, to have the Internet be the platform instead of Microsoft and Apple. That worked too. APIs on web apps are now commonplace, and a basis for comparison between offerings.

I wanted decentralized news. We can do for ourselves what the pros haven’t been doing. And politics — I don’t doubt that the House of Representatives will be filled with bloggers, if not in 2006, then surely in 2008 and beyond. There’s no turning back on any of it. The 20th Century is fading and the new century is going strong. There really was a big shift as the calendar rolled over, and I’m totally glad to be a part of it.

So there’s the first part of my reason. Blogging doesn’t need me anymore. It’ll go on just as well, maybe even better, with some new space opened up for some new things. But more important to me, there will be new space for me. Blogging not only takes a lot of time (which I don’t begrudge it, I love writing) but it also limits what I can do, because it’s made me a public figure. I want some privacy, I want to matter less, so I can retool, and matter more, in different ways. What those ways are, however, are things I won’t be talking about here. That’s the point. That’s the big reason why.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hanan Cohen on March 13, 2006 at 5:51 am

    Somehow, the name David Siegel popped into my mind.

    Remember him?

    http://www.dsiegel.com/diary/index.html

    Reply

  2. Hi Dave, I can say sorry to hear that, cause I’ve only been reading your blog for about 1,5 years now. But I understand your feelings and am sure you’ll make a difference with any new undertakings. Since I already got your attention once with my recent “Problems with RSS” post, I hope to one day pick your brain about some other RSS-related ideas/products. Anyway, thanks for educational insight in the first place.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Smilin' Stan Wesolowski on March 13, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Dave -

    Sorry to hear you’re going to stop your daily blog. It’s one of only three I read daily (for about six years now), and I read it ONLY for the non-technical (i.e., “real life”) stuff.

    I can understand your getting tired of the personal attacks and whatnot in the technical community. Maybe the attacks aren’t really personally directed at you, but part of the broader underlying drive of humanity (before even safety, nourishment and sex): the desire to tell other people how to live.

    In any case, best wishes and good luck in your new endeavors — your writing will be missed!

    Smilin’ Stan

    Reply

  4. Posted by Don on March 13, 2006 at 8:24 am

    Dave,

    I tend not to blog or podcast as much as I used to. I do keep my other very popular site up-to-date and that satisfies my needs much more.

    My best communication process will always be face-to-face. The Internet allows a lot of one-way communication, but it will never satisfy me as personal contact does.

    Dave, as you wind down your blog and other web involvements, I hope you find increased satisfaction in other areas. You fought some tough battles and it’s obviously taken its toll on you. Most of those battles were fought on the Internet.

    From the very little I know about you as a person, I think you’re much more effective when you speak than when you write. You might consider more informal settings in-person where I sense you enjoy the communication process better.

    I’ll admit, there are many things you and I don’t agree on, but so what? You’re an American and I’m an American and I respect that in spite of our many differences.

    Take time to enjoy life and I think you’ll see the greater purpose of your life.

    Don

    p.s. While you’re in Carlsbad, you’re only a few miles from where I live. I hope you enjoy the scenery. If you get a chance, go to San Diego’s Old Town and check it out. I always find that a great place to unwind.

    Reply

  5. It’s okay that you stop. But I will miss your voice. Idea: do a deal with someone to put your blog into re-runs or syndication. (That’s what happens to TV shows when they stop. They don’t go away. They just go to different networks.) Keeping the archive up isn’t enough. Now that you’ve trained us on RSS, we’ll want a continuing stream of headlines to pop into our newsreaders. You’ll need an active editor to serve up relevant old stuff. Likely, when a favorite old episode pops into your RSS reader, you will comment. When you go into syndication, your new publisher could take ads–and rev. share with you. Anyway, it will keep the rest of us from starving.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Paul Snively on March 13, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Dave, I have to say that I think that your brief overview of the goals you set when you began Scripting News, and how you and others have accomplished those goals, is as strong a statement of success in achieving something bigger than yourself as I’ve seen in decades. Congratulations on many jobs well done, thanks for the great tools and the spirit in which they’re given, and I will miss your voice if you should decide to move on.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Jacob Levy on March 13, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Dave

    Whatever you do after blogging, I’m sure it’ll be useful and fun. You’re not a person who is gonna sit idle :)

    You mentioned a while ago (I probably got it wrong paraphrasing you, for which I apologize) about how formats are not important, applications are. So for OPML, what are the applications for OPML? I think we have not even begun scratching the surface of that one yet, where is a good forum to discuss the applications?

    Reply

  8. Dave,

    It’s been great. Been reading you since 2001. You’re an amazing talent – warts, singing voice, and all. I’ll miss your wisdom, insights, ideas, etc. I’ve truly enjoyed your contributions to the conversations.

    Good luck and fair winds as you move on.

    As I said on by blog some time ago, the ocean needs sharks to stay vibrant. You, sir, are a shark.

    v/r,

    Bill

    Reply

  9. Hello Dave.

    I’ve been an avid reader of your blog, Scripting News, and appreciate your contributions to the web community at large.

    I hope it’s really not the end (as in “The Last Rolling Stones Farewell Tour”. They seem to have one each year), but the beginning of new things to come.

    You’ll be missed.

    Michael

    Reply

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