Posts from August 6, 2003

Poliblogs

Poliblogs
: Mark Glaser writes about the Dean blog today (quoting me, btw). And at WSJ, James Taranto writes about all the blogging pols. He argues that it won’t work because blogs need to be snarky. No, blogging is just publishing and the better job these pols do at publishing, the better they will connect to voters.

RSS and freedom

RSS and freedom
: Hoder, the pioneering Iranian blogger, has an interesting idea: using RSS with peer-to-peer distribution to get around government censorship. One of his comments points out that this is what Freenet is intended to do. The difference, I imagine, is that using RSS allows any weblog to be published or read as is, around censors.

Blue Bird

Blue Bird
: Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Blue Bird — the Iranian/American teen who blogged so eloquently about her return to Tehran recently — with her parents and her brother, a prominent online Iranian himself, on their vacation trip to New York. It was a delightful lunch with some very nice people. And I’m glad to see that Blue Bird got herself a digital camera (I merely recommended the best place to buy it).

I tell you all this because I marvel, once again, at the ability of this weblog and Internet thing of ours to bring people together.

By chance, I found Iranian weblogs and then found Blue Bird’s. I wrote about them and linked to them. They linked to me. Conversation began (and a few arguments). Education ensued (and I learned a great deal). Connections were made (and friendships formed).

But these are connections that in no way could have been made otherwise.

In a sense, a meeting via weblog is as serendipitous as the seating on an airplane: You can find yourself sitting next to someone you would not otherwise have met and end up having a conversation and learning and connecting. But in that case, you don’t get to peer into the thoughts and heart and soul of the person next to you before connecting — as you can do through weblogs.

So then is a meeting via weblog more like writing to an author after you’ve read his or her book? No, because that’s so one-sided and one-to-many.

No, this weblog and Internet thing of ours is new and special and powerful in ways we still don’t fully understand. I just know that it’s thanks to weblogs that I had a wonderful lunch with some new friends.

King of all jerks

King of all jerks
: Jerks never know when to shut up. That’s what makes them jerks.

The king of all jerks, John Gilmore, the guy who wore the “suspected terrorist” button on a BA flight, keeps trumpeting his self-centered immaturity in the comments on Lessig’s site and Floyd McWilliams sent me his latest dumb bomb:

Rob said