Hugh MacLeod’s random notes on blogging.
Berkman is having a conference today on politics and blogging. They’re also having a podcasting conference on Feb 24. I signed up and paid the $50, not sure if I’ll make it. If you’re in the Boston area, it’s probably worth checking out.
One of the services I’ve provided to Microsoft over the years is free consulting. I do it in the open, so everyone gets the benefit. I recommended in 1994 that he give up on OLE and other hugely complicated attempts to control the universe and join the messy world of the Internet. After dismissing the idea, a year later, he turned his company upside-down in an effort to catch Netscape. I’ve done it many times since, and after reading this piece on his desire to chase Google (it’s not going too well), I have another bit of advice.
Find the CP/M of the Internet. It’s gotta be ugly and geek-friendly. A piece of software with a command-line that today’s 12 year old nerd could add something to that would make everyone’s life more fun, and give us something to do with the Internet that you could never sell inside a large tech organization like Microsoft or Google. Something like Visicalc, dBASE, 1-2-3 or Wordstar. MacPaint, MacWrite, Pagemaker or Flight Simulator. Tetris, PacMan, MySpace & Napster.
You aren’t going to get there by zigging where Google zigs, you have to zag to their zig, if you get my drift.
And Bill, fire a few people who are too comfortable in their jobs. They’re running your company to suit their purposes, not for the benefit of users and shareholders. I know because they’re always alarmed by things I say. Hey the things I say have helped your company see opportunities it otherwise would have missed. These people don’t want to think, that’s what you gotta root out. And most people will think, if they believe their livelihood depends on it.
Last week, when President Bush’s plan for Iraq was coming public, I realized it’s going to be a long fight, and if it’s anything like the fight we had in the 70s with Nixon over Vietnam, eventually it’s going to feel like a war, of ideas, a non-violent war, within the context of the political system of the US.
There were some heroes of the war with Nixon, we got a reminder when President Ford died at the end of last year, Sam Ervin, Peter Rodino, Barbara Jordan, Archibald Cox, even Charles Rangel, who was on the Watergate-era Judiciary committee, who is still in Congress, now the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
We’re definitely going to have a major disagreement in this country, you could see it forming in last night’s 60 Minutes interview with Bush. He’s not going to bend to the will of the American people. I think we’re headed for a Watergate-scale battle between the branches, with the lives of thousands of Americans and millions in the Middle East at stake, and eventually, perhaps soon, our way of life, which amazingly hasn’t yet felt the imact.
As a blogger, my job will be to cover this, and to put my spin behind it. I’ll do that here on Scripting News of course, but I’ve started another site to focus attention on the war between the people of the US and our president..
I’m not sure yet what form this site will take. I’ve thought it might simply be a place to register names of people who are opposed to the President, who, like the author of this site, are sickened by the prospect yet another existential battle for the soul of America.