Dave Winer says he’s gonna give up his blog this year. That’s caused a lot of conversations here at SXSW. I’m still processing what that will mean for Dave. For me. For everyone.
Anyway, I totally understand why Dave would want to walk away. I’m staring at hundreds of emails and just don’t want to deal with my inbox right now. I’m gonna take the rest of the day off and hang out at SXSW. My sessions are over and now I just have to catch up with the email. I totally understand why Dave wants to take off from his blog. The pressure is just incredible to do more, more, more.
Who made me a gatekeeper? I don’t want that job.
Don’t send me more email pitches please. Don’t beg for me to try out your software. Don’t wait for me to blog about your company or your team or your product or you. That’s what comments here are for. You have direct access to anyone who is reading this post. Pitch in the comments! If your stuff is good, someone will try it out and say so. Maybe even me.
Shel Israel is to be thanked for this post since he wrote about how to pitch him. You know this world is getting nuts when even the ex-PR guys are getting pitched!
Blogging is authentic, and has power because of that, but the marketers have definitely arrived and now my inbox is full of people saying “pick me, pick me.”
Heheheh, the Kansas City Star says I should be my boss’s worst nightmare. The truth is, I’m not deserving of this praise anymore. I can’t even answer all my email anymore. I’m a week behind.
It’s time to rethink everything.
One thing I’ve enjoyed recently is just reading feeds and staying away from the Memetrackers (although, I’ll be honest, I’ve peeked at Memeorandum a few times, it’s a very hard addiction to break). But, I’m enjoying catching up on the lives of real bloggers. You know, the ones on the M list. The B list. The V list. The U list. The Z list. I don’t know what list Fred of A VC is on, but I just saw him talk about too much blogging.
I’ve realized that what got me here was listening. Listening to my friends talk about their lives. Listening to software developers complaining how hard it is to deal with Microsoft (or how hard our software is to use). Listening to people living their lives and noticing THEM.
I’ve gotten away from that cause so many people think that the secret to their commercial success is to get me to link to them or talk about their products.
No, the secret is to start a conversation. Here, let’s go. No, Evan Williams, I can’t figure out our branding either.
Why do I read blogs? To learn about my friends so that I have something to talk with them about. Garrett Fitzgerald, for instance, tells about loving to watch the C5s landing at an airstrip near his house. That brought back memories of seeing the same land at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley (my dad used to work at Lockheed so I had a few opportunities to visit the airbase).
You might say “who cares?” And you’d be missing the point. It’s the small things on blogs that matter to me. It’s the small things that make us human. Increasingly our blogs have lost their humaness. We’ve become marketing machines. Things to be objectified (yes, I did objectify Molly yesterday, we had a great laugh together, if you’ve never been around Molly to hear her laugh you’re missing out). If I hadn’t read Molly’s blog, we never would have connected yesterday. I hugged Zeldman yesterday and said “thank you for the full text feeds.” If I didn’t read blogs, I wouldn’t have known about Zeldman’s feeds. I would have missed an opportunity to say thank you. His kid is adorable, by the way.
Last night I heard Jimmy Wales speak. He told his secret. Why he started Wikipedia. He made me cry. You see, last night we were speaking as part of the 20×2 event. 20 speakers. Two minutes each on stage. To answer this question: what is the secret?
His secret? He was gonna be cute, he told us. Say something funny about how Wikipedia knew his secret. But, he thought he’d ask his five-year-old daughter. “I don’t have any secrets, dad,” she answered back. But, alas, she turned out to be Jimmy’s secret in the end. See, when she was born she was in a world of hurt. I forget the disease’s name. You know when you have something you can’t remember that you’re in a world of hurt. She was given 1 in 3 odds of living. Jimmy did some research on the Internet and learned everything he could about that strange disease and found one of the world’s leading doctors. He tried an experimental treatment. Only 50% had lived through that so far. The doctor put some new, experimental, protein-based fluid into her lungs and flushed them out. Turned out she lived, and the story ends happily. Jimmy told us that he wanted everyone in the world to be able to find information on things like his daughter’s diseases and find the world’s experts on them. The day he got his daughter home from the hospital is the day Jimmy started Wikipedia.
Do you have a story like that? Wow. It’s the small things in life that matter. Small diseases. Unknown experts. A rant on objectification.
I got another small story. I had drinks with Joi Ito the other night. It’s been a long time since I saw him last (before I worked at Microsoft). Today he links to another person I met and some cool video she and her boyfriend shot at SXSW. Merci is her name. During the conversation she dropped in that she had been raised in a new-age cult. “Really? My mom is in one of those.” Turns out it was the same one that my mom is in! Small world. A connection has been made.
What’s your small story? How about we do a contest? 100 things that you won’t read about on Digg, Memeorandum, or TailRank? Wouldn’t that be fun?