June 19, 2004

For the Record Only.

I don't care to discuss these comments, from Jeremy's site any further. Incidently, Jeremy received a death threat at home last night. PEOPLE, WTF?

When one calls for a posse to "get" other people--sorry, Powers, Suitt, and Sessum precisely--it doesn't surprise me that the freakish behavior escalates to that level. I'm sorry, Jeremy, that the insanity entered the threshold of you home. That is unreal -- or at least surreal -- and at the same time, really real. It hasn't been so warm and fuzzy around here, either.

I am glad you closed the comments. But I wish you had left ALL of Dave's wishes for us. Including the one re: Halley. Doesn't seem like you should need you to sweep up after him.

“Maybe this will be a lesson, not to the flamers, because their goal is to punish me for daring to exist, but it may mean something to those who listen to them who have a brain. I think Halley Suitt has the most to learn, this flaming is new behavior for her, and she still has readers who don't get it. I know because I've been hearing from them. I haven't said anything -- yet.”

“Ooops, I said Halley has the most to learn, but I meant most to lose.”

About a year ago I learned that the best way to diffuse threats of this specific kind is to expose them.

Follow dave's other comments here and here.

Lis Riba for another take, with lots of links.

NOW, I'm moving on, and going swimming.

June 18, 2004

I'm an old school blogger.

There was a time on Weblogs, not so long ago, two years or three, when we wrote with passion and danced like gulls. We swore. A lot. Even at one another. We said what we thought. We spit and we snorted. We called eachother out. By name. We hurled criticism and kisses just the same. We didn't candy coat our thoughts, temper our ideas with pros and cons, and wait and sees, and maybes and therefores, and perhapses and in my opinions, we said what the fuck we thought, read the same from friends and frustrators, responded, and used the dynamics as a catalyst for good writing, real conversation, and the birth of a few good ideas.

I still write like that. I wouldn't be here if I couldn't. I do boring business speak on my off time. But this is where I choose to show myself. And I'm fighting not to go away. Because it's so lame now. It's just so lame.

Gary, I really miss you today.

Air Cover

I'll continue to post threats I find floating around the Internet. Just so there's a record:

"I'm going to have to deal with these people, and I'm choosing now to deal with them when they don't hold the cards. If you want to help, let's get a posse organized so when a response is needed it doesn't just have to come from me? They're going to keep attacking until they feel the heat coming back at them. No more taking it lying down. Are you willing to help with this?"

Found here.

So THAT'S where all those anonymous comments come from. The posse. Huh.

Post-Social Relationships

OOOPS! Had the wrong link in this piece--you must have been as confused as I. It's corrected now.

Well written and interesting piece on post-social relationships and weblogging, which explores the human attributes some of us (I'm guilty) associate with our own, and one another's, weblogs. I agree that this was our initial impulse in the early days of blogging, when we rallied around the description of what we were doing here as "writing ourselves into existence," (heavy on the word "ourselves").

The online representations of the human form, blogs are our are avatars of voice, and more. As in, it's more than the physical (or virtual) weblog aperatus that takes on social importance and human attributes--it's the relationships swen among them, it's a variety of characteristics that vary from and among weblogs: the number of years a weblog/blogger has been writing, the depth of self revealed, the size and nature of the community, the intensity of various interblog relationships, and more.

I can't argue with the idea that weblogs are manifestations of the human form--they are the "us" that we can touch, hold, hug, love, slap, and strangle from a distance.

And they are also nothing at all.

There's the rub.

Granted, here is how you say it if you're not personally pissed off...

Been meaning to point to Law Meme's rundown. Good writing. Measured, concise, compelling. And right.

Because I Don't Feel Like Taking the High Road This Time - Period, Exclamation Point.

That is for the first, third, sixth and eighth person who as asked me why not take the high road in the heretofore mentioned Winer incident.

If your high road means shut up and make the coffee, sorry to have disappointed you. Well, not really.

Hope that answers your questions.

And now, I am departing for the Pool...

Yes, Dave + minions, I'm going now. If you want to come drown me, I'll see you in the deep end.

And with that, I defer to Shelley who says it better than I could.

As Dave Conspires to Bring Me Down Next Time...

This is too good. George, get ready, Dave's calling out his posse....

Dave suggests this the next time I call him on his antics:

4. Find out if they have the required background to draw the conclusions they do. For example, Sessum said I was a psychotic. (Probably other things too, I stopped reading her site when I saw her go off the deep end.) What was her claim based on? Is she a psychologist? An M.D.? Any history of mental illness in her background, in her family? (I did a simple search on one of the flamers and found he had a criminal record, he has been convicted of spreading viruses with his computer. There goes his authority to pass judgement. And all you have to do is search, it's right there to find.)

In other words, next time this happens, let's be prepared to respond to their mud with facts, have it be vetted before-hand, not seat of the pants.

If we could get this to happen, we'd definitely elevate the level of discourse in this community, get it out of Three Stooges mode. In order to get there, they have to be risking *something* if they make untrue allegations. That's what I'd like to see happen.

Sorry Dave, no criminal record. Yes Dave, plenty of therapy, which I have wished for you for the longest time. You have borderline written all over you, and yet, it's not healthy for me to take your inventory. Only to point out you need help. Yes dave, you have written me some VERY NASTY emails in the past. No Dave, I deleted them.

And for the criminal history in my family, you can do some research on the name Dimino. When you get to the story about the Dimino who ran over his business partner with a steam roller, that'd be my bunch.

As for the Sessum part, you can explore that too. Oh yes, please do.

Bring it on, Dave. Bring it on.

"Powers or Suitt or Sessum - I am in good company

...versus Dave and Rogers and The-Silent-Kiss-Up-White-Male-Power-Bloggers.

I'd rather be me than you.

What George W. Winer might say, is you're either with me or against me. You good ole boys know where you stand. Your silence speaks volumes.

"If you didn't have a weblogs.com site, you can't complain."

Bullshit. I READ many of those sites, my friends WRITE many of those sites, and I'll complain like hell. Especially when I received emails from folks saying they can't speak out yet, until their data is safe.

"Next time Powers or Suitt or Sessum try to insert hysterics, we can swarm them with love, ask them to stand back until the problem is clear, to stop meddling and when there's an outage, please please don't get us Slashdotted."

Yah, Dave, maybe next time, when there is an actual outage. And please, don't swarm me with your love until you learn what it is. Oh my God. Oh Please. No, don't swarm me with love.

Women meddle.

Men enable.

And all the sheep are nervous.

Meltdown in Progress -- Big Strong Body with Glass Balls

Dave's latest rant, which leads us further into one disturbed psyche.

Dave asks: "Next time, would the Internet have a memory please?"

Oh, I hope so.

great post by Tom

Believe it or not, I too have been thinking more deeply on the issues AROUND winergate, one of which is who and what defines a "dead" weblog and who has the responsibility for calling the time of death, where should they be buried (archived), or should they be creamated, ashes scattered to the wind.

I began thinking about this because Jenna's blog, which we started when she turned four (she's now almost seven) sat for a year without a post. If that blog had been a weblogs.com blog, Dave would have viewed it as one of the many "dead" blogs he talked about. He said the majority of the 3,000 were dead blogs, and that only maybe only 40 folks (originally) cared enough to plead for their blogs back. His assumption, then, was that the majority of the 3,000 were abandoned or dead.

But that blog isn't dead to me. Even in the year without a post. Soon she'll take over that blog herself, and bring a different voice to an old space. The space doesn't die, really. Or does it?

Some "abandoned" weblogs, where bloggers have gone silent or have mysteriously stopped posting, are more alive for me than the drivel expressed in some currently living, oft-updated weblogs. So whose really "alive" here. And, who says?

I don't have time to post more on this now, but go read Tom Matrullo who, of course because he's Tom Matrullo, is using this latest upheval to explore some deeper issues of this Web we weave.

If I were you...

This is it on Winer, unless he pulls another stunt before I catch my breath. He's tiresome. He is his own health problem, and he has blasted the blood pressure of untold numbers. So I have to get away from his twistedness. It isn't healthy. And Dave, although he wouldn't care anyway, isn't the only one out here with glass balls.

But first, a word to my blogger friends who were part of the weblogs.com "community."

I have several friends who were affected by Winer's latest slash-n-burn antics. I'm addressing you here, to say thank you to YOU. Not to Dave, or to the buddies of Dave who have run to his rescue in email and in "servertude." I am glad that they are there--glad that Dave has friends like those--not just for Dave, but for you all. Because without those tempering forces, your wonderful writing could well be gone by now. Way gone. (Or revised and enhanced for you and uploaded in the middle of the night).

Thank you to you weblogs-dot-comers who have written with such passion these last years. You are the ones who have made "weblogs.com" mean something. A server with nothing on it has no value. It is worth the price of a server. It is not something you fight about, dig down and pound fists about, care about, love. It's a piece of hardware. The reason this is more than a hardware failure or outage is because of what's ON the server--Your voices. And regardless of Dave's ongoing revisions to what happened, I'm not comfortable with what was done to you without a second thought.

No matter where you live, whether you follow the Winer trail to Cadenhead or you decide to take this opportunity to forge new alliances, move into new neighborhoods, try new tools, your writing means something to me, and to the larger blogging community.

I will read you. I will link to you. No matter where you go.

So, back to the title of this post... If I were you...

If I were you--and you have to trust me that I have put myself in the very mindspace you've all been in over this last couple days--there is absolutely positively no way I'd hop over to Cadenhead's server and make it my home. I would not make the leap of faith necessary to assume everything will be okay over there because Dave's paws are off of it. Rogers doesn't see a problem with Dave's taking down 3,000 sites without notice. He says that he will have a users policy that will spell out such things. If you go there, make sure you read it. But if I were you, well....

There is no way, no way, no way. I would not allow him to upload my content. I would request that dave follow through on his "Non-Negotiable" deal--his published offer--to export your files to you, and I would haul ass as far away from that shit as I could.

Now that's me.

You may have other ideas.

Although Dave says he wants nothing to do with weblogs.com hosting or puttering around in Manila, um, he has been known to change his minds. The whole Dave/Userland enmeshment is not, from all that I have read, defined enough for me.

Do you trust him? Do you trust them? Does it matter to you?

It would matter to me. I would say, Nah, Dave. No thanks. I'll stick to your original, non-negotiable, one-time-only offer. And I want my Data according to the July 1 "commitment date" you've referenced in your most recent audio post. Or before. Since you're making great progress.

That's it. If I were you, I would be so ready to kick ass that my foot would already be in my boot and winding up. Of course, as I said, that's just me. And I'll link to you (and actually FIX my links to you, "Murphy-Willing") no matter where you land.

Now, go do the right thing.

June 17, 2004

Compare and Contrast

The now famous outage begins...:

This site is for people with sites that used to be hosted at weblogs.com.

1. I can't afford to host these sites. I don't want to start a site hosting business. These are firm, non-negotiable statements.

2. There are several commercial Manila hosting companies, including weblogger.com. Thomas Creedon maintains a list of commercial and free hosting services. If you want to have your site hosted more cheaply, consider the possibility of forming a co-op of some kind.

3. If you want a copy of your weblogs.com-hosted website, post a comment here, include the URL of the site. Sometime after July 1, 2004, I will export all the requested sites, without their membership groups. You can then download them and do with them as you wish. I won't export them before July 1, and this is a one-time offer.

Groundrules: Personal comments, ad hominems, will be deleted. And no negotiating or whining. Just post the url of your site.

"I'd Like to Thank the Academy..." -- The Award for Best Euphemism Goes to Dave Winer

For calling a "Deliberate" shutdown an "Outage." Congrats! Dave also won for his supporting role as Oxymoron!

I've done a quick transcription of Dave' latest audio post about what he phrases a "deliberate" "outage" below. Enjoy... 'Specially the part about his glass balls... I always knew he had glass ones.


Hi. This is Dave Winer. It’s a little bit after 1:00 Eastern Time, June 17th 2004. I just posted the transition plan for the weblogs.com hosted sites. It looks like we’re going to be able to exceed the commitment by a lot. Basically, the free hosting will continue for 90 days on the new server that’s hosted by Rogers Cadenhead, who I trust. He’s a guy I’ve worked with now for a few months on various different projects. He’s very well educated on the Userland platform; he’s new to Manila, so he’s going to have a learning curve here, but we’ve set up a server and we’ve moved the sites from my server to Rogers’ server, and so I believe we’ve exceeded, well we will when this is working, have dramatically exceeded the commitment and also done it quite a bit sooner than July 1, which was the commitment date.

You should read the new document, which is at newhome.weblogs.com/hostingtransitionplan. And what I want to do in this voice post is to just thank the people who have been incredibly supportive. You know, there are so many good human beings on the Internet, and they are so often overshadowed by the loudest people on the Internet who often aren’t very nice. And, you know, try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, and don’t focus too much on people who try to give you pain, don’t give them what they’re looking for, and try to teach whatever I learn, is also part of my philosophy. This time there were a combination of factors, however many, maybe five different factors that when all put together created an outage. It was an outage every bit as real as a denial of service attack, or script kiddies, or some horrible operating system bug, or a disk crash, or anything like that.

Since one of the factors was my health, people tended to discount that. And I think that’s mostly young people that have bodies that don’t get sick. When I was in my twenties, my body didn’t get sick and boy did I do things to it (chuckle), and you know I’m now 49 years old, a lot wiser for the wear and tear, but on the other hand, when I get sick, I really do get very sick sometimes. And stress of course is one thing I can’t do. Or at least the kind of stress that comes from hosting and serving people for free when, you know, you can’t even hire people to help.

I think it was hard for people to understand that this was an outage and when you’re dealing with an outage you basically say how can I help and you leave it at that. You don’t do anything that’s beyond that until the outage is cleared. And then you can do a post mortem on it. A thoughtful person will have probably better insights on what could have been done better than somebody who’s not close to the situation.

So we will do that. I mean, I will do that. And I will share what I’ve learned. But first we have to finish the cornerturn and the passoff. I need to move a lot of stuff from Boston to New York this weekend. Lots of other things to deal with…so in any case...so I want to… so the purpose here is to acknowledge and thank the people who made a public or private statement of support—not just support for me, that’s not even the important part. In situations like this what matters is the support for the users. If technology is a profession, the users are our patients. And maybe more accurately, their websites are our patients. And that’s what comes before everything else. So the support here mattered a lot and I appreciated it.

There are two people I want to call out. One is Evan Williams at Blogger. Evan posted a very simple message yesterday, and I linked to it from today’s scripting news, and I would highly recommend people go look at it. Evan and I have had some major disagreements, we actually have a disagreement out right now. But when an outage comes and somebody’s fighting to keep the servers operating, all that goes into the background and what comes to the foreground is that support thing, and that’s a very big picture type view of things and that’s what makes, what can make, an industry great, that if we know in the moment we need help it’s going to be available to us, we can try to do bigger things. I really appreciate what Evan did and if given the chance I will reciprocate and do it with absolute pleasure and pride, so thanks Evan and thanks for setting such a great example.

And then the one other I want to call out as special comes from Michael Winser. Michael is I think still a programmer at Microsoft. I know he has a Microsoft email address. I’ve never actually met him face to face, but Michael’s been a correspondent for probably eight years, since I started writing davenet, he’s been a regular reader and contributor. He was working on the browser team during the browser wars, and we were communicating constantly. And it was always a two-way communication thing. … It’s been a good relationship. Today after he sent me an email, I’m going to read you a quote he provided, I wrote back and said we’re friends, and that’s not a word I don’t use lightly, and I don’t.

So here’s what he wrote, a quote from Sandra Pianalto, who is the president and Chief Executive Officer of the federal reserve bank of Cleveland. This is part of the talk she gave at the graduation commencement at Ursuline College this year 2004. She says:

”Here’s a technique I find very helpful in reminding me to keep a work-life balance. You will have many responsibilities simultaneously in your life, like having to juggle several balls at once. Visualize that in one hold you hold a rubber ball, and in the other hand you hold a beautiful fragile glass ball. The rubber ball represents your career, your work and your volunteer activities. The glass ball represents your family, your friends, and your health. What happens when you drop the rubber ball? It will bounce. Someone will pick it up for you or it will stay put until you are able to pick it up again. What happens if you drop the glass ball? If you’re lucky, it will crack. But it may smash into a million pieces. Either way it will never be the same. So along with everything that you learn, there is something you should learn not to do. Don’t let your justifiable concern about your career
Cause you to drop the precious ball that represents your family, your friends, and your health.”

So what Michael said to me, he says, it’s very simple to me, you dropped the rubber ball. And it’s true, I certainly did. It was done deliberately, it was done by choice, and I wouldn’t do it any differently if I had it to do over again. I think what people responded to, people who were shocked at it, is that they don’t really ever see people do that. But I made a choice, and I decided I want to be healthy and I don’t want to give my life to this free hosting business. [sigh].

There was more that he said that helped me put things in perspective and if I get it I’ll post it. So anyway that’s it for this morning coffee note or non coffee note or afternoon air conditioner note, you can hear in the background the air conditioner running because it’s pretty darn hot here in Boston.

I’m gonna get some exercise, drink lots of water and I’m gonna enjoy my life, and I’m gonna help Rogers Cadenhead, Steve Kirks, and anybod else who wants to show up and help the weblogs.com community, I’m all over it. Just don’t look to me to do the hosting. Okay?

Thanks very much. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Glenn's got a Plan.

Glenn's got a way to get your old weblogs.com pages from Google. It has something to do with flibbertygibbit, and why shouldn't it? The whole big mess could be called flibbertygibbit.

Glenn points to Tara Calishain, who has even more advice, though I didn't see her use the word flibbertygibbit.

Best of all they're using the real world example of tom.weblogs.com, one of my favorite MIA blogs.

Quote of the Day

Well, one quote of the day anyway: Last sentence.

Well that's true. Self-control is highly overrated. You see evidence of this all the time. People just love to jump up and down.


June 16, 2004

Interim Dean

Dean Landsman has a temporary blog up. He talks about the surprise of the shut down and says no to survivor guilt for Doc and the few other weblogs.comers who remain:

...there's absolutely no reason to be suspicious, angry, hostile or any other such attitude toward Doc Searls' blog or any of the others that survived the change.

Doc didn't participate in turning off the blogs. That he got to keep his blog is not some sinister plot or the action of a cabal. It is simply a courtesy provided to him . . . one he neither requested in advance nor knew about until he learned that mine and others hosted at weblogs.com were SOL.

He knew nothing about it until it occurred!

Doc was one of the people I had called to ask to look and see if the odd page-view was on their PC, as well. He was as surprised as I was. And he, too, was seeing that peculiar screen, congratulating the new blogger. Doc noted that the problem was evident, and suggested I contact a fellow he and I know who is a Manila person, and who had helped me with some source coding last year.

Glad to see you up and running, Dean!

Still good advice coming in comments...

...for those looking for new blog homesteads.

Rageboy Reports from Boulder, CO.

The news takes a while to git to Boulder these dayz, but it's always a hoot when it comes back 'round.

/. - the morning after.

I've been out all day. Funny how the real world interrupts the other real world now and again.

The big news to me, this day, is that apparently SLASHDOT OWNS ME! Wow! How cool is that? Thank you for the comments from the non-anonymous SLASHDOTers who stopped by. To those who thought super geeky cool to post many many comments alerting me that SLASHDOT now OWNS ME, well, I have to say that's a load off my mind.

Since SLASHDOT now OWNS ME, SLASHDOT can begin paying my mortgage, my health insurance, my credit card bills--oh, and yes! MY HOSTING FEES!

And thumbs up to the folks at Blogspot/Bloogle, my revered host, who gave me free hosting for my first year or so of blogging, who never decided to drop kick me one day when they didn't get a mention in Time Magazine, whom I've paid for the last two years, and who, I may add, handled the extra slashdot traffic just fine.

Whoohoo! Thumbs up to indentured servitude!

You know, really, basically, without going into too much detail...

This is why I blog.

"People just love to jump up and down."

We need animation.

We need a monkey boy video.

We need all these things and more.

But in the mean tim, this is just damn hysterical.

Andy's got the geech from Brian Dear... and there's a contest underway to see who can slam jam the best Dave Winer Audio Blog Remix.

Let us all begin to heal, as men and women, as a nation, by simultaneously laughing our asses off -- and of course, jumping up and down.

June 15, 2004

The TechKnow People Have Arrived

Either from slashdot or from elsewhere, many have jumped into the comment thread below with offers for help to displaced weblogs.com bloggers.

In other news, I was at a friend's house tonight talking about northeast winters. She's from the Mississippi Delta. I'm from Rochester, N.Y.

Our girls were making forts in the bedroom out of blankets and chairs and newspapers, and I remembered the feeling of being inside a fort as a kid, a private hideaway too small for adults to invade, our first apartments, our island escape.

I started to tell my southern friend about the long winters and lake effect snow, the snow so deep that we spent half the year digging igloos and snow caves in the huge drifts that the snowplows made at the side of the roads. These were the forts I grew up in. Not treehouses or bedroom forts, but snow tunnels.

My friend remarked about the safety--or lack thereof--of living in snow tunnels. Sure, we'd lose a couple of kids each winter, back in the 70s when the snow was for real, kids who fell into drifts and couldn't get out, kids whose tunnels caved in and suffocated them. Somehow, that was par for the course, no different than the tragic swimming pool drownings you read about down here during the summer. Really. Snow accidents were part of the terrain, as water accidents are in places where folks enjoy the sun a good part of the year.

The snows ability to suck up children never stopped us from digging and tunneling and building our forts. Mostly, I guess, because there was nothing else to do. Our parents knew that compared to hanging from car bumpers skating down the street at 40 mph under the rear axel, an activity reserved for the *bad* kids, tunnel digging was relatively safe.

We built igloos too during those long cold months. We'd work for hours, skin so numb that our thighs would be covered in hives by the time we went in for the day. In all of this nostalgia, I remembered the name of the all-time best snow apparatus ever, and I asked my friend if she'd ever heard of the iggy snow maker.

Winter people over 40, do you remember the iggy snow maker? Do I have the right name? I googled it just now and didn't see a reference. Not one. But I'm pretty sure iggy snow maker was the red snow-brick maker that made igloo construction easy.

I wanted to show my friend, since she has something in her garage that looks just like it. The only difference is hers is for building sand castles. I almost thought to steal it and keep it for my next winter trip to Rochester.

I mean really, what good is an iggy snow maker in sand? You can't tunnel through sand piles.

Up for Adoption

Dave says these sites are looking for homes.

Folks willing to help the homeless in one way or another:

Tom Creedon

Steve Kirks will store dormant sites.

Dan Dickenson has offered to back all the sites up onto a DVD-R into perpetuity, in the off-chance someone misses this offer and wants to restore their site.

Ross Radar has a weblog friendly home for your content.

Anil Dash can help migrate your manilla site to a new Typepad home.

others who want to help the homeless, leave them a comment if you'd like.

Interim Tom

Tom Matrullo has an interim home while he waits for his words to travel back to him from Daveland. Hopefully. It's here. The first post is beautiful, and Tom sees this latest take-down as perhaps -- maybe, wouldn't it be nice, and I might agree with him -- an energizing force for blogging.

Last night was a 9/11 of sorts for the weblogs.com bloggers. Was it a bird, a plane, superman? Now they pick up the pieces and we help. Let's all help.

Tom tackles the issue among cultural comparisons of Mexico, from which he has just returned, and the U.S. And I am so glad he's still posting writing like this:

Where other cultures, e.g. Mexico, have long living memories, large historical imaginations, small routines and rituals and styles that bind together collectives into communities, what we we have heah in the US of A appears to fall into the category of media psychosis: A glacial world of aberrant reaction formations born of fear, (especially infantile nostalgia for Great White (or Orange) Fathers), usurping all that could be known in ecstatic longings for a world that isn't ever to be known. Blotchy burning suns set in plush radiowave velour, suitable for framing.

One way or the other, the monument will build itself.

June 14, 2004

Winergate 2004

Or, The Day the Cluetrain Jumped the Rail

Doc's still posting while other weblogs.com sites are gone, for now, til sometime after July 1, or after Dave moves, or after his friends help him out of this latest jam. So far, Doc hasn't posted about the absence of voices from his old server stomping grounds.

David Weinberger gives Dave Winer props for all his years of hosting, but forgets to mention today's historic takedown of thousands of bloggers until sometime next month, hopefully. I left a comment.

RageBoy, unaware of TAHDW's latest dump-taking, is writing about Facism, and somehow is synchronistically more connected to the moment than anyone else (not surprising) in his latest post about light, the new age, and facism:

Word History: It is fitting that the name of an authoritarian political movement like Fascism, founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini, should come from the name of a symbol of authority. The Italian name of the movement, fascismo, is derived from fascio, "bundle, (political) group," but also refers to the movement's emblem, the fasces, a bundle of rods bound around a projecting axe-head that was carried before an ancient Roman magistrate by an attendant as a symbol of authority and power. The name of Mussolini's group of revolutionaries was soon used for similar nationalistic movements in other countries that sought to gain power through violence and ruthlessness, such as National Socialism.

chooo chooo...

Shelley Audio Blogs Back

Shelley Powers posts her own audio post responding to Dave Winer's audio post about why he can't program anymore, host blogs, and decided to take down all bloggers on weblogs.com until sometime after July 1st. And by the way, he's moving June 30th, so hope and pray that his move goes smoothly, offer to pack some boxes for him, do the heavy lifting, or start writing someplace else, my weblogs.com friends.

Typed Transcript of Dave Winer's Audio Post.

[[The links are mine. I typed the rest from the audio post.]]

Hi it's dave winer here. It's Monday night June 14th, and this is not a morning coffee note, but i wanted to talk a little bit about the hosting situation at weblogs.com and explain what is happening there.

I thought I would try doing it as an audio thing as opposed to writing an essay about this. My feeling is that people generally don't read essays, so if you want to present a subtle idea, that's not a really good way to do it.


Basically, you may or may not know that I haven't worked at Userland for two years. We started hosting weblogs.com sites when I was CEO of Userland in the year 2000. They've been hosted for four years, and basically there's been a management change at Userland that happened about six months ago.

In that management change it became clear that there were two sort of branches to userland. There was one which was the commercial products (which radio userland and manilla were the two products), and there was another branch that consisted of formats and protocols and open stuff that was non commercial.

So we divided it along those lines, to keep the non-commercial stuff non-commercial, and to allow the commercial company--the product--to go forward unencumbered by a lot of obligations to do things for free, which really wasn't consistent with the mission of a commercial company.

So, basically, things like OPML.org, outliners.com, XMLRPC.com, Soapware.org, stayed behind in the old company. And then we gave RSS to Harvard Law School, which then in turn released it under the Creative Commons License. Then we're going to take the Frontier kernel and release that under an Open Source license sometime this year.

So we've gradually been moving sites off of userland servers onto servers I've bought and deployed here in Massachusetts. And we did the work with Lawrence Lee at Userland this last month to move the sites from Userland servers over to my servers. We saved the hardest sites for last, or the most significant sites for last, and the last two sites we did were scripting.com and weblogs.com.

Weblogs was by far the harder of the two. In the process of moving them, we didn't anticiapte all the problems we'd hit. We came across the question of how are we going to do the hosting of the old sites that were hosted for free on weblogs.com? The DNS service provider just can't handle the number of different domains under weblogs.com. We had to put them all in one place, and they had to be on one of my servers. Lawrence and I moved the sites over, and when we put the sites on the machine the performance of the machine became incredibly bad.

If you were in the loop during that period, you saw that people were having problems. I watched it very carefully over the space of a few hours. It was very clear that this was not going to be running very well. I felt that I could get these sites working, get the server back up and performing well, but I'd have to do a lot of programming to do that and it would take quite a few months to actually get it to happen, and these are months I just simply didn't have. I'm really not doing programming. There's a reason why I'm not too--it has to do with health issues.

Without going into too many detail, the stress of keeping servers running for users that expect free service, it's just deadly combination for me. It's no fun, it's highly stressful, and it literally is dangerous given my health situation. It's like smoking cigarettes, it's one of those risk factors. I really don't want to go into the details on it; I'm sure you can use your imagination.

So basically, I sort of looked at it and said, "What can I do for people?" I could not put the sites up and say, "You have two weeks to download your sites" for a couple of reasons. I didn't know if that would work. The server had never been used for that before. It couldn't run those sites for two weeks without me having to take everything else that was running on that server off.

So I just did the best I could, which was to say, if you make a request by July 1st, then I will go through that list of all the sites that are there on July 1st, and I will create exported versions of those sites on that day.

This gives people basically the heads up that they were asking for. I understand that you would like to have had your site remain accessible during that period, but I just couldn't simply work that out. And you could say I should have explained it, and I could have done better, and you may be right. That I should have and I could have... it's possible... but it's also not clear to me that people wouldn't have found something else to find fault with. I mean, this is sort of the attitude on the Internet. It's sort of like people just love to jump up and down and it hardly matters how well you do something because basically certain thing happen and people will jump up and down so just accept that.

On the other hand, most of the people who are actually affected by this, who actually have sites that are hosted on weblogs.com, have been perfect ladies and gentlemen about it, which is something I'm enormously proud of, the association I've had with people who used editthispage sites and weblogs.com sites, these were pioneers, early adopters, people with a vision, people who understood blogs before they were written up in all the magazines they've been written up in since, before their were war bloggers, before most of the people complaining were even blogging for that matter.

Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I will help you to the best of my ability, and I'll try to get others to pitch in. I've already talked with Rogers Cadenhead who wrote the excellent Radio Userland book and is one of my colleagues on the RSS advisory board, and he says he's going to help, and Thomas Creedon has provided a list of blogging hosts that can run Manilla sites.

If there's anything that we can do within reason to help. But understand that I'm moving on June 30th and my life is in sort of an upheaval state. This is not a company here. This is a person. So, to expect company-type service is un.. well, it isn't going to happen.

Anyway, so that's about it. Um, if you have any comments or questions, please send me an email. You'll find the link, look for the mail icon in the right margin at www.scripting.com, or you can send me email at dwiner@cyber.law.harvard.edu.

Thank you very much and see you again, talk to you soon.

Good night.

An invitation to weblogs.com bloggers who want to post

Hey Dean, Craig, Tom, and others... If you want to post over here until you get your blogs back from Dave, I'll add you as team members. Just let me know. I haven't been using the place much lately anyhow.

Hope all ends up okay with the fine work you and others have contributed to the blogworld over the years.

No, it's not okay.

It's not okay for 3,000 weblogs to revert to a post by the software vendor one day without warning.

I assume from the comments of weblogs.com bloggers--which have an edict from on high to be positive only--this came as a shock to them. I wonder when we'll know. I guess sometime in July when Dave decides to give them their blogs back.

So many are thanking Dave for the years of free hosting in their comments. I wonder how many comments he's deleted that were less self-deprecating.

If blogger/blogspot did this to George's hosted-for-free blog or Jenna's hosted-for-free blog without warning, without a thoughtful, non-condescending message on why and what's next, I assure you I would be throwing a fit the size of Massachusetts, or maybe Texas. I certainly wouldn't be saying, Thanks.

Shelley, who has hosted the blogs of many nomads in her day, has an interesting perspective on Dave's latest.

It will be interesting to see what the affected bloggers say if and when they return.

The Death of Blogging -- Brought to you by Dave Winer's Psychosis

Some things, I used to think, are even beneath Dave Winer. But no, I take that back. He has single handedly done more to hinder the medium of blogging, which he believes he created, than any other power blogger around. He's anti-voice, though he's pro free expression, as long as that expression contains accolades for Dave Winer.

I just saw this over at Halley's place and went to Tom's blog and read Dave's post on Tom's private weblog. Tom is traveling back from Mexico, not sure if he's landed yet, but I doubt that the first thing on his mind is how hard Dave Winer wants his old Manilla users to blow him in this special "one-time" offer.

Dave, I'll take a copy of Tom's weblog if he doesn't get back to you in time. I'll save it for him, because I read him and value what he's created (not you, him) over the past several years.

Notice, in the Comments section of Tom's blog, Dave takes over the blog to make his "One time offer" to give users copies of their blogs sometime in July. He warns commenters thusly:

"Groundrules: Personal comments, ad hominems, will be deleted. And no negotiating or whining. Just post the url of your site" he writes at the top of the comment thread.

Dave, you're the biggest Winer out there.

Exhibit A -- Read Dave's #3 stipulation:

"If you want a copy of your weblogs.com-hosted website, post a comment here, include the URL of the site. Sometime after July 1, 2004, I will export all the requested sites, without their membership groups. You can then download them and do with them as you wish. I won't export them before July 1, and this is a one-time offer."

I'm quite sure that Dave Winer has lost what little judgment he had left. WHY the big boys of weblogging refuse to stand up to him and call his actions out for what they are, I don't know. A bunch of cowards with too much to lose.

That's the long and short of it.

Good Call, We'll See.

I had a good call with Mike Sigal of Guidewire Group discussing my take on BlogOn, business and blogging, voice vs. identity, and the like.

Mike called me after reading my post on the event, and I give him a 10 out of 10 on careful listening to my take on what's wrong with talking to businesses about blogging this way, why the same-old folks talking among the same-old folks promising new solutions from the "tool" called blogging makes me itchy with hives (i think I did say hives, right Mike?), and why the voice and message (and claims) on the BlogOn Welcome page rub me the wrong way. In other words, I had my say.

For his part, Mike explained that things will soon unfold on the site that will represent and facilitate a larger discussion among the weblog community around the event. I told him I look forward to that. And I do. Mike welcomed my continued critique, except I think he said criticism, on what they're doing with BlogOn. He never once asked, "Why'd you have to call it Blow Gun?" You have to respect that.

I told him I don't always criticize, that sometimes I'm downright euphoric about what's happening on the Web (take my affair with Orkut and Flickr as evidence). And I told him that I would indeed keep an eye and an ear on BlogOn and hope it does take a more inclusive dynamic form online. I hope it's something different. Jay Rosen can tell you that I'm all about participating in pre-conference think tanks.

Mike also welcomed me to the event as a responder for one of the panels, but as is my problem with most of these events, I can't get away from my own business, my own family responsibilities, or my own bank account easily. I will most likely partake from the stands.

Anyway, thanks Mike for an interesting talk and for being an officer and a gentleman. ;-)

Happy 45, George!

Yeeehaw! "King George," master of all things bass turns 45 today.

Two geminis under one roof. You do the math.

I got you a cake, honey. You won't read this before I surprise you with it, but everyone else knows now.

SURPRISE! yum yum.

It's that time again...

In his book Gonzo Marketing, Chris Locke wrote the single best business book sentence of our generation. Four simple words: "The solution is poetry."

In honor of RB, Gonzo, and my sorrow over the death of blogging, I've started another team blog. Bring your solution, your poetry, and email me if you want in.

The way I see it, there's one way to resonate past punditry. And that's through poetry.

How now, brown cow?

The Dreaded July-August: A Call to All Indies

If you're in business for yourself, you know what's coming. The dreaded July and August. I've met them before, looked them in the eye, and dared them to take me down. They almost did last year. Work dried up. Not a sound from anyone, except for the occasional, "Yah, me too"s. In my second year, I am fairly certain that the entire global economy goes to Disney Land for the summer. Do the global roll call and you hear a sustained echo answering you back: "Sorry, I'm on break."

This is no surprise, but the reason for it is seldom revealed. The fact is this: Kids run the global economy. That's right. Kids. Millions of them on summer break, spilling grape jelly on the marble floors of the homes of CEOs and power brokers, falling off bikes, needing bandaids and stitches, fighting swimmer's ear, searching for pajamas for the sleepover at a friends' house, needing rides to birthday parties, requiring one more layer of sun screen, bug spray, always one more. There are basketballs and tires to pump. There are relatives to visit. There are snacks to buy.

It's summer, and even the Husbands and Wifes of Power in Business find it impossible to *not* spend time with their kids. What started as a fad is now a mandate. This is when the powerful schedule family trips, take the vacation they rolled over from last year.

For me, July and August are when all of my clients forget that they have a strategy, decide that September will be here soon enough and there will be budget to blow through before the end of the year.

For 8 weeks, they forget that they'll ever have another performance review. They forget about getting ink. They forget that anyone might visit their Web site and wonder why nothing's new. They forget they have a boss, because She's on vacation with the family. They like to meet for drinks. Have company picnics. They don't care much about invoices, especially about paying them. They let projects drag through the lazy days and weeks of summer -- the same projects that would have *had* to be completed overnight any other time of the year.

And so, for you, for me, for those of us working without a net on the Net, we say, here goes nothing. Hi there Summer. Hold on tight. The autumn deadline panic will come all in good time. The business will come back when businesses come back. Be patient, go the pool, and enjoy your own kids. Treat them well because the children are in charge of the market.

Just don't spend any money, because come August, you're going to need it.

June 13, 2004

90-Year-Old Gerald Ford Dies - Nation Says, Tough Doo Doo.


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 13, 2004 -- Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, died late Sunday evening at the age of 90 from natural causes. Sources say wife Betty was at President Ford's bedside at the couple's home in Ann Arbor, Mich., when he died, shortly before 11 p.m.

Sources close to the family say that the President, who served from 1974 to 1977, had been recuperating from pneumonia and had insisted on attending President Reagan's memorial services last week with the other living American Presidents. Speculation has arisen that attending the Reagan memorial events may have been too much for the ailing President.

"Now what the hell are we supposed to do?" asked one White House source, referencing the recently-completed period of national mourning for President Reagan. "We just closed the banks, the libraries, shut down the whole government -- people aren't even back to work yet! Are we supposed to do this whole shebang again? What timing. We're at WAR you know."

Customers at Tom's delicatessen in Washington had mixed reactions when told of the news.

"Well, I think if they just get him in the ground quick, we'll remember them both at the same time, and since they're both republicans, that seems pretty fair," suggested Ted Nielsen from nearby Herndon, V.A. "No sense closing down the country one more day for another dead President. Besides, he was clumsy and he didn't look as good as Ronnie. He couldn't act for shit either."

Margie Wilson sees it differently. "CNN's been war-war-war since 9/11," she said. "Me? I like to break up the monotony of war with a good two-week memorial fest, topped off with a romantic hillside burial service. It's the least we can do to honor our dead presidents. And those who've died in the war. And, well, everyone else who's dead too. For goodness sakes, our dead are national heroes. Really, who knows better than the dead what our country needs right now?"

The passing of Presidents Ford and Reagan raises the issue of the aging crop of Presidents: President Carter turns 80 this year, while President George Bush Sr. marked his 80th birthday today by skydiving in front of thousands of onlookers at Texas A&M University. It appears only President Clinton will escape a funeral within the next five to ten years.

"I was sorry to hear about Gerry," President Clinton said. "And Ronnie," President Clinton said again. "And the thing that really blew me away was that Ray Charles died, and you didn't hear jack about that. You know? Here you have dead Presidents, and, now don't get me wrong, I was a President, but you see we're representatives of the people, and we are paid as public servants to do our jobs. And we have done our jobs. President Reagan did his job. President Ford did his job. And I did my job. But NOT ONE of us could blow like Ray Charles. Not one of us had the soul, the hot ache from the pit of the gut like Ray did. Shit. Awe, shit. Ray's the one I'll miss the most."