Posts from November 2002

Bad attitude: Richard Parsons, the

Bad attitude
: Richard Parsons, the current boss of AOL-Time-Warner, tells people who complain that they have lost a fortune on the company’s misguided merger and management: “Get over it.”

And we tell him: F U.

That kind of attitude will get you new opportunities to pursue, if you know what I mean.

I thought the era of CEO hubris — especially at companies whose stock and value are in the toilet — was over.

Hubris never dies at Time.

Cause for jealousy: A few

Cause for jealousy
: A few remaining notes from the Yale conference (below), which was a success. I’m not a fan of conferences in general; they’re often lazy blatherfests. But this was different. This was a room filled with born-smart people with proven talent who were all passionate about weblogs. Wish you were there.

: Last night’s dinner, courtesy of Yale, was also memorable. I was among the last to arrive and thus ended up at the side table with Mickey Kaus, Josh Marshall, Prof. Jack Balkin of Yale (who should have a weblog soon) and Glenn Reynolds with other guest appearances. Take what I said about the whole room above — regarding smarts, talent, and passion — and now distill it to a rich essence and you have the dinner conversation. Weblogs attract an amazing bunch of people.

: Josh Marshall covers some of the dinnertime discussion about blog triumphalism.

: Josh also spoke to our search for rules and standards and he summarized it all elegantly and eloquently: “The transcendent rule is fundamental honesty with your readers.”

Same with the new as with the old: Credibility is your only asset.

: In my panel, John Hiler gave a nice talk on how weblogs are addictive for webloggers and their readers and how we feed each others’ addictions: the ultimate feedback loop.

: Blogs bring speed — amazing speed — to media. David Gallagher told a hilarious anecdote about finding a story he was reporting for the NY Times blogged even before he wrote it (Glenn Reynolds and Dave Winer both told the world they’d been interviewed).

David also told about a story he wrote getting what he thought was a skewed headline at Slashdot and as soon as he finished speaking, someone in the audience had the Slashdotter who wrote that headline on IRC chat, ready to continue to debate with David.

Meanwhile, I was talking with Nick Denton on IM and told him that Glenn Reynolds had quoted him a few times and plugged Nick’s Gizmodo in his keynote. Nick said he knew; he’d already read it on some of the blogs reporting on the speech, live. He told me to tell Glenn that he’d sold $5841.11 worth of Amazon gadgets on Gizmodo already this month. I turn my laptop to Glenn and show it to him and then mention that in my talk. It gets blogged again. Speed. That is a key value blogs bring. Beware, though: speed means that there is less opportunity for consideration and craft and checking of facts (though as bloggers pointed out at the conference frequently, comments and email and other bloggers take care of corrections with equal speed). Blogs are small and cheap. They are built for speed.

: In an earlier panel, Denise Howell, an attorney, made fascinating points about law firms using blogs to establish their expertise; blogs can be a marketing tool. There’s potential there.

: Librarian Jenny Levine and I spent much time after the talks talking about how to bring blogs to local (which I believe is a killer ap for them: they will report the minutae that others cannot afford to report; this is what led to Glenn’s comment quoted somewhere else that your world will be covered by The Blogger Next Door). The problem is that libraries and newspapers and governments and companies don’t want to take on the liability of hosting all these blogs (insert libel seminar here). I suggested that Jenny get one town with a few bloggers and host a MeetUp confab and have them inspire and invite other bloggers and soon, we will see a story in Newsweek about the the town that becomes the Blog Capital of America. Who wants to start?

: Donna Wentworth of Corante and Harvard made good points about how blogs are fueled by authors’ desire to please others. Kaus confirmed this when he was asked why he cares about getting Drudge links and traffic (and thus dreads ever pissing him off); it’s all about being read, it’s about being popular. I said something similar in my talk (see the stuff about populism and pleasing the audience). There was a lot of that at this conference: themes that came up again and again, which just means that we, the community, are starting to figure out what the blog thing means, although we still protest that we haven’t.

: More coverage at the bottom of this page.

: At this conference or the last one, I may have just coined the term “nanomedia” as a description of this, our new medium. If I didn’t, someone else will claim credit quickly. That’s how blogs work.

At a long-ago lunch with John Hiler and Nick Denton, I also coined this “emerging media” but didn’t try to claim credit, since there are so many such claims in blogs. That, too, is how blogs work.

: Here are the photos. I’m the guy in the suit (this, Mr. Big media) and gray beard (thus, Mr. Old Media).

: Yale serves bottles of “Yale Water.” I’m hoping that drinking it makes you smarter.

: I attach my speaking notes at the “more” link below.


It’s beginning to look a

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
: In Norway, anyway.

: And in Antarctica, too.

Reborn: Mickey Kaus, speaking now,

: Mickey Kaus, speaking now, says he used to be a journalist. Now he’s a blogger.

Now he doesn’t worry about deadlines, length, or “arbitrary editors with ideas of their own…. I probably couldn’t write a lead paragraph anymore if I wanted to.”

: He says that bloggers as a new press will cause complications with the old ways — e.g., how can officials run the Congressional press gallery when there are 500k people with computers and blogs who can legitimately call themselves reporters? Is there a new definition of the privilege of the press? And weblogs, with their technology and speed, give a new standard of correction (echoing something Glenn said).

: He says that among bloggers there is a “Darwinian self-interest in being nice to each other and maintaining a civil discourse.” He may disagree with Andrew Sullivan but he doesn’t really want to piss him off; it’s about links; it’s about traffic; it’s about — gasp — community.

Higher tech: My son is

Higher tech
: My son is emailing me news about Dell rebates (hints to Santa, what with Christmas approaching) and I told him I’m at this conference at Yale, connected even as I sit here. He was impressed. High-speed? he asked. Yes, I said. Wired and wireless. This, my son, is good reason to study hard: so you can come to Yale and be connected.

Gang reporting: Others reporting on

Gang reporting
: Others reporting on the conference:

: Lawmeme

: Blogads

: Kitchen Cabinet

: Glenn Reynolds

: Rory Perry of the WVa Supreme Court of Appeals

Overblog: There’s a noisy chorus

: There’s a noisy chorus of keyboard clatter as Glenn Reynolds speaks.

: Glenn says that weblogs solve the “problem” posed by, the book: that the Internet creates conversation only among people who agree with each other.

Weblogs point joyously to those with whom they disagree.

He suggests a need for a study to see whether webloggers link more often to those with whom they agree or disagree.

: He says weblogs will succeed because they are cheap: “It’s cheap. You don’t have to make money to do it. I think there’s a place for a medium for people who don’t have to make money.”

: I feel rude trying to type and listen at the same time. I will listen for now.

: Reynolds’ definition of the Internet: “It’s a big playground for guys like me. And there are a lot of guys like me.”

: The Q&A is what you’d expect from bloggers: not Q&A but A&A&Q&A&Q: dialogue among bloggers.

: Mickey Kaus says the media outlets that should be put out of business are those that don’t really report: Time and Newsweek. (But he says they won’t because they get access to the powerful.)

: Glenn says that weblogs and their audiences are good at corrections. “If something has been on a weblog for a long time and has not been corrected it probably is true.”

: A good story for a real journalist: Reynolds says that games are going to have more impact on political life than weblogs. Games like civilization make assumptions (e.g., appeasement doesn’t work) that become rules of life for their players.

For shame: I blogged the

For shame
: I blogged the item below from the Yale Revenge of the Blogs conference (for a stoney place, it’s quite nice that they’re very wired and unwired) under the also stoney glare of all kinds of law celebs. I’m such a populist creep.