Sorry. I Haven’t been Blogging

I haven’t been blogging.

I’m apologizing to myself.

Not to the eight people who have read this blog for the past 20 years.

But to myself. I miss the parts I haven’t written about. The parts that I forget if I don’t write down.

Like before there was Twitter, I’ll be writing short blubs.

And did I mention that my Twitter accounts are blocked.

Not for breaking any Twitter rules (this time). I think it has something to do with the next solar eclipse of the sun on April 8, 2024.

 

Way-Back Web Machine

I like this. Memories by Ev Williams and Dave Winer.

I like this.

Monday (1.6.20) Evan Williams wrote this:

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.

Tuesday (1.7.20) Dave Winer wrote this:

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.

Like I said, I like this.

Playing Hookey

I have lots of half finished blog posts that may never be posted. One day, this will be called the gap in blogging at Rexblog.com.

Anyway, I could not let the 30th anniversary of the WWW go by without saying something. Or re-posting something, at leaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday to the World Wide Web

Sidebar: There was something about the SNL PowerPoint skit last Saturday that made me think about the early days of the web — or, in general, the early days of the graphical interface. Here it is.

 

Techmeme receives a love letter from the New York Times

I’ve tried many times over the years to kick my habit of checking in numerous times a day to see what’s on Techmeme. I’ve always failed.

Because I was an early fan of Gabe Rivera and his approach to aggregating and ranking news (and rumors) that are trending on the corner of the web where I hang out, I’ve seen a long parade of startups and giant companies launch things that were going to be techmeme-killers. Of course, that means none of the techmeme-killers did the -kill thing.

Today, the New York Times has a feature on Techmeme (with cameo appearances by the other “meme” sites from Gabe that follow politics, entertainment, baseball and media news).

It’s one of those kinds of stories I sometimes jokingly refer to on this blog and on Twitter as “love letters.” It is a glowing piece — about as glowing as Gabe’s face is from the reflection of his computer monitor’s screen in the photo accompanying it.

I could point out some of the downsides of Techmeme, for example, the way some people seem to write “for it” — so that certain voices are systematically (or, algorithmically) seem to have too much influence on what is news. As I’ve talked with Gabe about this on several occasions, I know he’s committed to finding ways — including human intervention — to address the games people play to influence his algorithms.

But my point in blogging about this is not to say, “yeah, but.” My point is to note that this is the kind of technology “start-up” story I trust in the New York Times.

It is NOT one of those kind of NYT stories that appears about a company you’ve never heard of, that hasn’t yet developed a product — but just happens to be an idea from some notable people who have had previous success (and access to New York Times writers) — are useless. Pre-launch coverage in the NYT is often the worst thing that can happen to a startup. Early failures (the kind any startup must face) are  better addressed in obscurity, I believe.

Gabe has been working on Techmeme, et al. (Indeed, his political site, Memeorandum, was launched before Techmeme) for what seems to be like forever — at least six years that I can recall.

I’m sure he’s turned down lots of offers from big companies who would have totally screwed up what he and two others are capable of doing (and, for most of those years, just him).

He has stayed independent and built what I feel certain is a very profitable business by doing it his way — including low overhead.

I like that. And I like Gabe.

Oh, and I like that when something I write makes it to Techmeme, it drives more traffic to this blog than anything else I do. (But I still don’t write about stuff “just because it’s on Techmeme.”)

Congratulations, Gabe. Well deserved.

Why do I blog? So people will meet in the comments, fall in love and get married

A few years ago, when a couple told me they first met one-another through comments they posted on this blog, I was dumbfounded for two reasons: 1. Because this is more a “personal” blog than a “topical” blog, the “community of commenters” tends to be small and tightly focused. 2. As far as I know, that was the first time I’ve played even a minor role in introducing a future couple — I’d never even set up a blind date.

I thought their chance meeting was very wonderful, but no way did I think any such commenter match-making could ever be repeated.

So, when I was informed recently by another couple, now engaged, that they first discovered one-another through comments on this blog, I was even more flabergasted. What are the odds?

But perhaps there is some logic. While there’s not a lot of commenting on this blog, what does take place is civil and respectful of one-another. Perhaps because “Nashville” is a recurring focus, there is a sense of “place” that comes with it (although the engaged couple aren’t both from Nashville).

For whatever reason of fate or logic, I’m glad to say that “match-making” is a now officially one of many reasons why I blog.

And I’ve decided that I should suggest it’s a reason why more people should comment here (and, okay, on other blogs), as well. But only if you feel passionate about the topic of the post. I imagine it’s more a matter of two people discovering they share an interest than the mere fact they’ve crossed paths here.

And with my heartfelt best wishes, I’ll warn the second couple (and any others) what I warned the first couple, who, I’m glad to report, are still happily married (and about the most perfect couple you’ll ever meet): Please don’t blame me if things don’t work out. “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”