Posts from September 28, 2004

Go West, young blogger

Go West, young blogger

: I have signed on to join in a workshop on RSS and to blog the entire conference at John Battelle’s and O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 confab in San Francisco next week. If you’re around, come! The RSS workshop is on Tuesday; other good events the following two days. I haven’t been to California in years (amazing for an internet guy, I know) so let’s get together and conspire on the future of the net.

Good news

Good news

: Kidnapped CNN producer has been released.

: MORE GOOD NEWS: The two women from Italy, aid workers both, who were held hostage have also been released.

What’s going on? Is hostage-taking out? We can only hope so. And we can only hope that the British hostage is next. No, we can only pray that the British hostage is next.

Nethead/Bellhead/Ushead

Nethead/Bellhead/Ushead

: David Weinberger is blogging Susan Crawford’s Nethead/Bellhead conference at the Cardoza School of Law in NY; I just got here (and probably won’t understand much of what is happening, which is why I begged out of a panel here). David has this gonzo, socko summary of what David Isenberg said in a panel I unfortunately missed (my emphases):

Isenberg says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of the press. Suppose Congress makes a law that makes it a million times more expensive to own a printing press. Maybe the hypothetical law regulates press prices directly, controls the price of paper, etc. Doesn’t matter. It’d be unconstitutional. Suppose the law made presses only twice as expensive…Now that we’ve established what telcom regulation is, we’re just arguing about the price. “So, when I see Americans struggling with crippled kilobit systems when gigabit is available, I want to call the police.” Likewise, spectrum that is owned when it doesn’t have to be owned, broadcast flag, deep packet inspection without a warrant, I want to punish the criminals who are denying me my constitutional right. The Internet puts a printing press in everyone’s house. But it’s more than that. It’s freedom of assembly: The Internet is group-forming…The duty of the Congress and the FCC if they take the First Amendment seriously is to remove whatever” stands between the user and the use of the Internet. “We’re rapidly becoming a third world connectivity nation.” [Whooo! Go David!]

Blog farewells

Blog farewells

: Two newspaper people just wrote farewells to their blogs.

Doug Clifton, editor in chief of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (a work colleague), has decided to give up his blog because it was too demanding to try to keep up with it. He wasn’t blogging to blog so much as he was using the form to try to find another way to converse with readers.

It wasn’t free-form, it wasn’t filled with links to other sites, it wasn’t particularly chatty, it wasn’t purposely provocative, and it certainly wasn’t frequent….

Still, it served a purpose. I did get some insight into reader perspectives. And it forced me to spend more concentrated time thinking about what we do and why — and explaining it.

I hit the wall in June when I took a week of vacation. Freed of the blog’s obligation, I felt liberated. On my return, the press of daily business made it easy to postpone the blog’s reawakening.

I’ve never been one to insist that everyone should blog or even that everyone in Big Media should blog (as I say everytime I can so pardon the repetition: We in Big Media have owned the printing press for centuries and now that the people own the press, they are speaking and our first response to blogging should be to listen). I’m always sad to see a blog die (doesn’t a star go out in the heavens when that happens… or am I thinking of something else?). But I also fully understand the crush of being expected to fill this blank screen.

: At the same time, Doug Harper, an editor at a paper in Pennsylvania, quit his blog because his employers issued a rather draconian decree on blogging: It’s OK to blog if you must, but make sure you don’t get any on us, the bosses said. The most ludicrous part of the order:

Editorial staffers who operate their own Web sites, blogs or chat rooms are not permitted to trade on their newspaper positions. They may not lingk their personal sites, blogs or chat rooms to the —– Newspapers’ Web site nor to —— Newspapers’ articles. Personal Web sites, blogs or chat rooms may not use column names or any other identifying information or wording that connects the writer to —– Newspapers.

I also understand the need to set the rules. But the tone of this — yuck, we don’t want any blog cooties — is pathetic.

Issues2004: Responses

Issues2004: Responses

: Fred Wilson has the best response to an Issues2004 post today: He quotes liberally (uh, I mean generously) from the comments to the original post. Fred says that original post was just “OK” and he’s exactly right about that; this isn’t about my posts (in which I keep reminding everybody that I’m the farthest thing from an expert; I’m just another voter); it is about the discussion, when in the comments or in their blogs people who know a helluvalotmore than I do (see: Gillmor) come in to share what they know. That’s what the medium is all about. And this is the proof. See: Given half a chance, we will discuss issues. (And we don’t have to join the League of Women Voters.)

: ALSO… A reader asked me to put up a sidebar list of links to all the Issues2004 posts. I’ll try to get to that; busy right now; in the meantime, the category page will get you all the posts and links to all the comments here.

Fred Wilson also suggested that Technorati set up a page of links to posts here and elsewhere that use the Issues2004 headline. I passed it onto Dave Sifry but, well, he has been a bit busy this last week literally fighting fires.