A lot of people are going to say “I told you so.”
So, to those, enjoy!
I’m going to keep this blog going for a while longer, Murphy-willing, at least until April next year, its 10 year anniversary. It’ll be the first blog to make it to 10, and that’s a nice round number. We’ll see then what the plan is.
A few reasons. First, I’m enjoying writing on the web these days. Second, a project I’m working on that needs a rollout via the web, is taking longer than I thought it would (what else is new). And third, well, there’s some other stuff I can’t write about at this time, but I’ll want to have a platform and a pulpit. Someone is picking a pretty ridiculous fight with a guy who buys his ink by the barrel, and I want to be sure I got all the tools I need to fight back.
Got this email today, a plea for a financial contribution to This I Believe. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Background: I wrote an essay for the show, and submitted it through their website. This is the first email I got from the show. No acknowledgement of the essay, no rejection or acceptance, just a request for money.
This feels like shit. I poured my heart into the essay, after spending a year thinking about what to write. Now I gotta wonder, if I don’t send the money, will they consider my essay. Or if I do send the money will they run it?
I really want it to be separate from money. If they waited until they decided about my essay to ask for money, that would have felt better. If they had rejected it, I could have been certain there’s no connection. But this way, well, I can’t give them money without retracting the essay.
It’s funny that reporters who care so much about their own ethics have such disregard for those of their contributors. I can’t withdraw the essay, btw, because I agreed to very one-sided terms (as usual) in order to submit it.
Get this guys — user-generated-content is written by people. For a show like This I Believe, you better hope they are people of the highest integrity, not the kind of person who would give you money to increase the odds. This kind of solicitation is off the wall. The answer is no. Emphatically.
The Qube 2 arrived today. I’ve set it up and it’s working. I was surprised at how big it is (my first one seemed a lot smaller, but that was probably about 7 years ago) and how noisy it is. First task is to learn how to get it to file-share with a Mac.
Google search for stuff about the Qube on this site.
After a couple of hours fussing with it, I think history has passed the Qube by. I owe the designers of this product so much, without the Qube, I honestly think it might have taken a lot longer for browser-based blogging tools to come along. It showed me how a powerful software system could be entirely configured through a web server. Look at this screen for a clue. One of the very cool things in evidence is that the Web Server can’t be turned off, because that’s the only way to access the system. With that as a core assumption, all the rest of the functionality grew. Error messages come via email. Everything else happens in the browser.
From there, I got the courage to attempt to do a full web content management system in the browser, which led me to Edit This Page, and a list of stories and pictures, and a calendar, and reverse-chronologic blog posts.
That was 1999. First learn from the Qube, then apply the lesson to writing for the web. The result — blogging as we know it today.
Tom Morris is reporting live from Le Web 3 in Paris.
I watched a bit of the Le Web 3 videocast today, and observed what you always see at non-unconferences — stiff, lifeless discussions, people who normally are quite interesting in conversation, totally in their heads, boring, nervous, too self-aware, no spirit to it. Only David Weinberger, the veteran teacher, shone (as he always does).
3/5/06: “The idea for an unconference came while sitting in the audience of a panel discussion at a conference, waiting for someone to say something intelligent, or not self-serving, or not mind-numbingly boring. The idea came while listening to someone drone endlessly through PowerPoint slides, nodding off, or (in later years) checking email, or posting something to my blog, wondering if it had to be so mind-numbingly boring.”
Two conferences ago I emailed with Loic about how to avoid this, why not adopt the latest in technology conference technology, pioneered by the blogging world itself, at a conference about blogging? He didn’t understand (no fault of his, there’s a language barrier). I asked him to invite me to lead a discussion at the next one, and assumed he would so I didn’t worry. The next conference came, no invitation, and this time I didn’t even ask for one. I got the impression that Loic had not heard of me (just an impression, he didn’t say so.)
I think if ever there was a time when letting the former audience drive the discussion, this was the time to do it. If he’s ever going to understand it, this is the year he will understand it.