One the first URLs I remember being in the habit of checking (in the late ’90s) multiple times a day was scripting.com. Dave Winer pioneered the blogging form, as well as many of the tools and technologies — and he’s still at it. Writing every day about everything from politics to the tech behind his blog. Amazing.
I appreciate the shout out yesterday from Evan Williams, a former competitor who has gone on to make billions as co-founder of Twitter. It’s nice that he still reads my blog, even though I have said some critical things about Medium, but all in the spirit of trying to make the web work better. Hope they have been received that way. I learned from reading his post that he has moved to New York. I think that’s a good move, from San Francisco, which as a born-and-bred NYer has always seemed really small to me. Of course I’ve now moved to a much much smaller place. Anyway Ev if you’re reading this, thanks for the kind words.
There are many great things about having a personal blog and consistently posting to it. And none of the great things are about trying to be a “thought leader” or personal brand. After blogging (more-or-less consistently) for 17 years, I’ve discovered that much of what I write is like jotting down a note to the future me.
In the past decade, I’ve blogged tens of thousands of words about Apple products.
But there’s something great about reading what you first thought about something that later turned out to be more (or less) significant.
It makes you feel like you were clueless…or insightful. But that you had any opinion at all makes you feel connected to an event in some way.
The headline of the post where I wrote my response is, “The least impressive thing about the iPhone is that it’s a phone.”
Ten years later, I think I nailed it.
What else happened on this day, ten years ago.
Looking at other posts of the day, I see that MyBlogLog.com was going to be purchased by Yahoo. Later, that would be as disastrous as most Yahoo acquisitions were.
AppleTV was released.
While I didn’t blog about it, ten years ago today was the first time I ever used Twitter. I had set up an account a few months earlier (in the year 2006), but MacWorld was the first time I used it. Why? The media center (I had press credentials thanks to a friend in high places), encouraged reporters to follow their posts to Twitter (“tweets” didn’t exist yet) to learn about changes in the MacWorld schedule or other updates. This was back when it was far easier to understand what Twitter was (a group text messaging thingee) than it is today. (However, for months, I continued to think it was a method for PR people to distribute text messages.)
These things also come from just being around for a lot longer than 15 years.
I post them today after seeing reports of a controversy that is strange, only because it’s in Nashville, my home for the past four decades. Dueling tech conference organizers are quite common in other places.
While I am not attending either conference, in brief, here’s what happened. A locally organized conference was the scene yesterday of some trash talk by a country music star (who is very smart and is a savvy business person, but whose schtick and music is of the bro-country genre) and a successful tech entrepreneur who loves to shock people by using lots of profanity when speaking before groups (disclosure: I like this person, but don’t endorse his approach to panel talk).
As the target of the trash talk was a Tennessee native who is now a well-known tech journalist and media entrepreneur, it didn’t take long for her to let the dogs out.
It was not until 2009, however, when I read his memoir, The Night of the Gun, that I began to understand and appreciate Carr for more than his gifts as a reporter and columnist. It’s amazing how much can be revealed about a person’s humanity in a memoir about hitting rock-bottom from crack addiction.
This morning, there are countless remembrances of New York Times columnist David Carr, who died suddenly last night in Manhattan. Most are from the journalists with whom he worked, befriended and inspired.
While David Carr and I share a few professional friends and acquaintances, besides a couple of brief chats at SXSW functions or media conferences in New York (the kind that all blur together), I never knew him, knew him.
But this morning, I find myself feeling like I did know him in a way that long-ago bloggers (before we were told by experts that blogs were supposed to have a business model or fit into some SEO scheme) used to know one-another, especially if we blogged about overlapping topics.