Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Read but Dead II
My inside -- now outside -- source at the now-defunct Lingua Franca tells me that its sister publication, University Business lives on: "The plan is to cut the budget
significantly by doing most or all of the writing in-house."
Letter Man Intervenes!
Just learned that Evan Williams of Blogger is involved in a project called The End of Free, a site that chronicles the move from "free to fee and beyond." Might be an interesting parallel read with the Online Community Report. Is the Web still the land of the free?

Sunday, October 21, 2001

Off the Shelf
While in Redwood City recently, I stayed with Steve Portigal, curator of the Museum of Foreign Grocery Products. He doesn't have much online yet, but if you contact him, maybe he'll invite you over to see the exhibit in his kitchen. Then again, maybe not.
Nothing New(ton) under the Sun
Exactly two days after I made a joke about the Newton to some folks at Palm in Santa Clara, California, I come across this blog about the Newton. It's stuff like this that made me order Joseph Jaworski's book "Synchronicity." Bill Green mentioned it. John Renesch mentioned it. Jerry Kaiser had it on his shelf. Then this happened. 'Nuff said. Book ordered.
Read but Dead
Joining the ranks of new economy magazines such as the Industry Standard and more standard fare such as Mademoiselle, Lingua Franca announced last week that it's closing its doors -- and its pages -- with the upcoming issue, already at the printers when the announcement was made. "While there's still a chance that a friendly rich person will ride in on a horse and save us, the chances of that happening are not very high," says one now-former editor.

I'm not sure what this means for Lingua Franca's sister publication University Business, but Lingua Franca was good. Really good. And I'll miss it. Thank you to all of the editors who made the magazine happen -- and for broadening my perspective on the state of higher education.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

The Revolution Will Be Webified II
"Home" now with a friend in San Jose following the first ever Weblogger Users Group -- or Weblogger Interest Group (which would make us wiggers) -- or Blogger Users Group (which would make us bugs) -- or "Sheila" (which would make us... ?) -- meeting in Mountain View. The notes taken at the meeting are now available, and I'll be writing a bit about my experience soon in the Roadshow Diaries.

Anyway, I said all that to say that I got to spend some more time with Evan, met the folks behind Hot or Not?, Moveable Type, and a bunch of other cool projects. It's a good group to plug into, and I look forward to meeting the Boston contingent when I get home.

Sunday, October 14, 2001

On the Road Again II
When I was in Oakland as part of the CoF Roadshow, I met Anthony David Parks, one of the founders of Webvan (RIP). His talk with the Oakland CoF was recently written up in the Oakland Tribune.
What's in a Name?
Thanks to Chelly, I found an online name analyzer. Here's the acrophonology of my name: Ewing Heath Row.

You have a need to communicate and express yourself. You are inclined to over intellectualize, and hate to be misquoted. You have high aspirations and a cheery disposition. You are relatively demonstrative in your affections. You enjoy being stroked verbally and physically. You can handle details well. You have a methodical mind. You are a hard worker when you make up your mind to do a job.

You are an 11th hour person, always succeeding just in the nick of time. The lesson of money is prominent in your life. You need to learn to be expressive. You are a person who cannot tolerate being misunderstood. You have much enthusiasm with a driving attitude toward achievement in life. Your privacy is important to you. You have a rich inner life. You need to learn the true value of material possessions. You have a natural protection in life. You are always saved - especially from yourself.

You make impersonal decisions quickly, but not so with personal concerns. You like to think things over carefully, but tend to be indecisive. You have a great deal of loyalty to those you love. You have much inner strength. You need to learn humility.
Ignore the War III
Dave Winer pointed me to a feature in the New York Times today about how businesses in the Silicon Valley are finding "hope in a land of hyperbole." I don't think Silicon Valley is any more hyberbole-fueled than, say, um, New York City. But the writer's call for long-lasting change in terms of the Net economy is one worth making -- and heeding, regardless of whether you're in Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley.
Comments, say you?
You might not have noticed, but I just added BlogBack's comment tool to Media Diet. Seems that Reblogger is RIP.
The Revolution Will Be Webified
Friday I had the pleasure to meet and spend quite a bit of time with Evan Williams, founder of Blogger. We hung out at his house, talked a lot about the power of personal publishing, went to a party at a gallery near the Museum of Modern Art, and capped the evening by hitting a house party in the Haight. He's a good guy -- just like Blogger. I know I mentioned this experience before, but I just went live with the Roadshow Diary that shares what we talked about.

In related news, I'll be participating in the Weblogger Usergroup this coming Tuesday. There's a sister group in Boston, as well, so be sure to check it out regardless of what coast you're on.
Ignore the War II
There's a good piece on SFGate today discussing why the old formulas of peace and patriotism might no longer be valid. "Loyalty doesn't mean suppression of dissent."
Interactive Nonfiction
If you're at all familiar with the Cluetrain Manifesto, you might already know the name Christopher Locke. Chris has a new book out called Gonzo Marketing. Anyway, I said all that to say that Jeneane Sessum is reading Gonzo Marketing as we speak, so to speak, and that she's also writing about it as she works her way through the pages. Regardless of whether you've read or are reading the book, it's interesting to see what someone's thinking about as they read Chris' book. If the book is indeed a conversation, part of that conversation -- though largely monologue -- is here.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

Dead Letter Office?
Do you think that the recent Anthrax attacks via the US Postal Service will lead to the end of mail as we know it? I hope not.
Say What?
Just read in People magazine that Rush Limbaugh is going deaf. People magazine has run two articles on this. One recounts how Limbaugh announced that he was losing his hearing on his radio show and quotes him as saying, "All I've lost is my ability to hear, but it doesn't mean I've lost my ability to communicate." Another describes the drug treatment Limbaugh is undertaking to fight the hearing loss. I don't agree with Limbaugh on most fronts -- but I'm curious what will happen to Limbaugh's show -- he can recognize sound, but he can't identify it -- and what going deaf means to someone who's life has been built on radio broadcasting. Maybe he should go into the theater.
Web Site of the Day
I've been spending a lot of time poking around on Driven by Boredom tonight. Now I think I should go outside and go for a walk. Thanks, Nate, for showing me that my night last night wasn't as wild as your night of drunken kickball.
Join the Choir
Even though I met the folks who make the Opera browser last spring, I've not used it too frequently. Cheryl's got it on her laptop, and you know what? I'm going to start using Opera as soon as I get back to Boston. It's pretty slick, even if it has some trouble handling Blogger's text-entry boxes. Check it out.
Ignore the War
I've felt pretty disconnected for much of the Roadshow, but today -- having spent most of the day sleeping and having Cheryl's apartment all to myself -- I feel especially adrift. Part of it stems from straddling the immediate world -- the people I'm meeting and the places I'm visiting -- and not being aware of the wider world because I don't have time to read a newspaper every day, keep up with the news online, or watch the TV news.

I've been trying to plug in a little bit this evening -- my morning, having just showered -- by checking out some blogs recommended by Evan. And I'm glad I did. RU Sirius recently contributed an interesting article to Disinformation expressing his deepseated neutrality in terms of the current conflict with the Taliban. He's not for the war -- or what he terms a "situation" -- but he's not going to protest it, either.

This connects with a conversation I was having yesterday or so about how being against the war seems to be taken as a lack of support for our country -- or a lack of patriotism. You can be patriotic and still be against the war. In fact, I wish more people were less jingoistic these days. The American flags in the Castro almost outnumber the rainbow flags.

A good companion read to RU Sirius' piece is Peter Beinart's current piece from the New Republic. He addreses several cases in which people who've criticized the war -- or supported it too strongly -- and come under fire for it. While I don't agree with everything Beinart says -- he blames most of the free-speech concerns on the Left -- but his point that freedom of speech is a balancing act is well taken.

Hopefully I'll be better able to balance my place in the immediate world -- and the wider world -- in the coming weeks. The Roadshow is almost half over.
On the Road Again
If you're curious why I've been so quiet lately, it's because I've been traveling since Sept. 18. As part of Fast Company magazine's Company of Friends Roadshow, I'm driving from Vancouver, BC, Canada, down the west coast of the US, and into Mexico. And even though I'm not keeping up with Media Diet, you can keep up with the Roadshow by following my Roadshow Diaries.

Slightly ironic that I'm finally posting this now because I spent some time yesterday with Evan Williams, the fellow who runs Blogger. We even went to a couple of parties with some folks from the Kaospilots. A wild night -- and good to meet Evan. He's as cool as Blogger is. (Or something like that.)