Overheard mother in Silicon Valley to her toddler: “C’mon, hon! You gotta learn how to ask engineers questions. I’ll teach you early.”
The Bahia Caf
Webzine may be over, but the focus on alternative publishing – who publishes what and how – continues with today’s Chron piece on LiveJournal creator Brad Fitzpatrick. This graf caught my eye:
LiveJournal has started a revolution in Internet blogging by combining private journals with public forums. Emphasizing community and networking over editorial grandstanding and intimacy over audience, LJ opened up Web logging as a means of individual expression. Users of the free service create journals built around their interests, filled with a panoply of pictures, biographical details and customized layouts.[emphasis added]
My question: when was it closed?
The article implicitly draws attention to a quiet meme circulating under the surface of last weekend’s festivities. A sentiment conveyed in throw-away comments on blogging that “back in the day, when they were just websites.” And, aren’t they still? Easier websites – to be sure – a democratized world in which anyone with 5 minutes of reliable net access can establish a web presence – but just websites, nonetheless. MT co-creator Mena Trott says in the piece that “the tools themselves dictate what goes in,” and that’s very true – the digital, er, analog to the notion that whoever holds the pen holds the power (and, incidently, the root of the cry for redistricting reform in California, but I digress).
All in all, the implied information in this article reinforces my long-held (long as defined in tech-terms, shorter than dog years) belief that a blog is a pencil with which to draw a wesbite. No more, no less. It’s what is drawn that matters. For the most part, this technology entered the greater public marketplace of ideas already on the meta-level of discussion, having skipped over the basic “what is it” stage of life. To wit:
There are differences between the worlds of blogs and LJs. LiveJournal’s user base skews young, drawing a large proportion of teenagers, whereas blogging tends to attract users in their late 20s and early 30s. Additionally, LJ is seen as a private space for networking and interpersonal discourse; blogs are viewed as one-person publications directed toward a larger audience. A growing number of people maintain both an LJ and a blog, but the two camps traditionally don’t mix, with some bloggers dismissing Journalers as trivial kids and Journalers mocking bloggers as wannabe Web stars.
Huh? What? Shoot, I saw the SixApart demo at Webzine this weekend and just never picked up on a huge difference. And in the first graf I pulled above, didn’t the writer say LJ opened up Web logging for whatever? Is it web logging or not? Would a rose by any other name be blogged as easily? Discussed online as easily? Lordy, the whole thing gives me a headache – and I’m guessing with the faux sociological sheen given by the article, it might give Jonas Luster an ulcer.
If meta blog/LJ discussion continues goofily in the SF forest of new technology, does it make a sound?
“There’s a dead opossum in your garden!”, shouted Sean as he departed post-Webzine yesterday morning.
It was waaay too early to worry about such things and so nothing more was thought about this until the evening as we clicked off the TV having watched Shaun of the Dead in the relative security of the indoors.
Meanwhile outside lurked that opossum. Too late! As we stepped outside to investigate, the reanimated creature lurched towards us with a menacing snarl and bared teeth before we clouted it over the head (as you’re s’posed to do) and dispatched the wretched creature into the garbage just in time for the morning’s collection.
(No opossums were harmed in the making of this post)
As in: what you find at the Heart of Cole Festival. (As in: opposed to buttless chaps down on Folsom Street. Har Har.)
On our way to Webzine this morning, we stopped for breakfast at Crepes on Cole and strolled through the very small Cole Valley street fair. Nothing more notable than some lovely glass art pieces, interesting handbags, and massages being given by a woman strolling up and down the backs of achy Festival-goers. The weather, however, is stunning.
I picked up a poster to add to my growing collection of SF festival art and we headed on down to day 2 of Webzine – which everyone else will be blogging about.
Heart of Cole continues through 6pm – so you still have time to catch it.
You also have a scant few minutes to get your hiney down to Webzine to hear Metroblogging co-founder Sean Bonner riff on neighborhood blogging where we hear he’s guaranteed to start each and every statement with “Metroblogging” – Kevin-Nealon-subliminal-editorial-style. Personally, I want to see if he can fit it in 10 times. C’mon, meow, he can do it . . . .
(p.s. On his own site, Sean listed the iffy wifi here at Webzine as a “bad” part of the event. He’s right. Trying to post this bad boy has taked 3 tries so far . . . But what can you do? Everyone here is fighting for space, so I guess it’s to be expected.)
Tom and I were on our way to Webzine this morning on the Muni and this guy sat in front of us. He looked at a (straight) couple that had just gotten on the street car with us and said, “Hey, you guys from out of town?”
“There’s this great event going on today. It’s called the Folsom Street Fair.”
The girl could barely conceal her snark as she said, “Yes, we know.”
That was mean, yo. You don’t just send two tourists into the Folsom Street Fair without at least telling them what it is. I mean, no one hates tourists more than we do in DC, but we don’t play mean tricks on them…
At least the guy we met yesterday in the Castro said, “But if you go, you can’t have any inhibitions.” Fair warning, after all.
As we debarked the F Castro muni car, and shlepped our stuff across Market St toward the Swedish American Hall, I was comfortable in what I had seen so far. I’m a cosmopolitan guy, a tolerant guy, an enlightened-modern-renaissance-guy. But I was completely and totally unprepared to see the four older men (50s, easy, for a few of them) who were wearing ass-less chaps and butt-floss. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of things. I’ve wandered DC during Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, but I was just totally unprepared.
I’ll save your eyes and not post the picture I wanted to take.
I think I’ve found my weird limit, and that’s it.
So who’s in for a little bit of Flash-Mob-Shakespeare today?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you to stroll through these images from yesterday’s post WebZine activities. And let me just say up front that catching a cab just of lower Haight between midnight and 1am with a naked girl covered in pallet wrap is easier than you might think.
I’ve gotten 4 hours of sleep – how did you spend your evening?