danbricklin.com/log

Starting April 20, 2001
In the news, Douglas Adams remembered, What will people pay for?, Attending the Nantucket Conference, Living in the analog world with cable modem maintenance, More about pamphlets, Pamphleteering in the 1700's and personal web sites today, Boston Marathon 2001, Some more cell antenna tree information, Reactions to Blogger announcement
20Apr01-17May01
2001_04_20.htm
Thursday, May 17, 2001
In the news
I've been in the news a lot recently, in many cases because of our relationship with Blogger. Evan Williams of Pyra, the Blogger people, has been, too. He posted the story of appearing on television from a remote studio yesterday, and discussed the problems of being interviewed without seeing the person. Funny -- I was interviewed on TechTV that way Monday and was wondering if I should post my version. I guess I should, since I can add to what he had to say with my pictures.

I found a call on my voicemail Monday morning wondering if I could appear on TechTV for a short interview about weblogging and the Blogger deal Monday afternoon. My schedule allowed it, and they arranged for me to go to VideoLink, a special studio just for this purpose in the Boston suburb of Watertown. You've probably seen the background behind me many times: As their press page points out, Alan Dershowitz, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Reich, and Alan Simpson, among others, do Nightline and other interviews there all the time.

A low-rent industrial building with cars parked next to it on a side street  Smiling face with thank you and autograph  Wood window with Boston skyline
The building (they're in the basement), a signed picture from Geraldo from their wall, the background
You go in, wait in a little room for a while until it's almost your time to go on, they powder your nose a bit, and then you're walked into the studio. They clip on a microphone and put an earphone in your ear. From then on, I felt like I was on a conversation on my cell phone headset in a restaurant, while others around me wonder "who's he talking to?" I'd suddenly say "Sure!"... "1-2-3-4-5"... "Well, Trellix is a company that..." -- all while smiling into blinding bright lights trying to look relaxed and natural (with no picture to look at like Evan had). A few minutes later it was over and they handed me a tape of what was broadcast. Back in the waiting room we popped it into a TV and saw how it came out and then left.

Studio with Dan at desk in front of background, lights, camera, monitor  Bright lights and black all blurred  Dan and interviewer next to each other on TV screen
What it looks like, what I see, and what the audience sees
Evan also reacted to an article in Internet World. The article is the verbatim transcript of an interview with me and Don Bulens (Trellix CEO). It includes a cover picture of me "leaning" on a PC monitor (it took careful balancing to appear relaxed). My relatives love the pictures "but haven't gotten around to reading the article yet." It's quite long. I see the danger of verbatim transcripts: All your verbal cues, pauses, etc., are missing. Also, speaking fast (my problem) can garble or lose words (especially some of what I had to say about "End-to-End" vs. "End-Through-End"). Considering that, it came out quite well.

Internet World cover with Dan on it linked to on-line version
The cover my mother loved
This morning, Evan and I were both quoted in a WashingtonPost.com article about Blogging. This one talks more about the business uses than the kids' diaries (which is part of our new message).

Sunday, May 13, 2001
Douglas Adams remembered
As you probably have heard by now, Douglas Adams, of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fame, died last Friday. (NPR ran a story Sunday morning that you can listen to online.) He also was a great speaker and insightful commentator. I heard him speak a year and a half ago at the Digital Storytelling Festival. He was there because he was, like Dana Atchley who ran the festival, an Apple Master. He just stood in the middle of the stage, without any visuals, and spoke. He was wonderful, funny, and insightful. A great presence. What he said related to interpersonal communications, a topic I cover here a lot, so I felt it was worth bringing up in his memory. He also spoke about creating video games and about reading his own book years later.

Full view of stage with Douglas Adams standing in the middle of a carpet with no props or lectern  Closeup showing him using his hands while speaking  Another closeup with him using his hands
Douglas Adams speaking September 19, 1999
He described the evolution of interpersonal communications from one with a lot of feedback (you can ask the storyteller a question) to one where you can't (you couldn't ask Walter Cronkite what he meant, because that's the way it is with radio and TV) back to communication with feedback with the Internet. As we go along, he told us to make the most of the limitations of the media in which we work.

Read my report of Douglas Adams' speech at the 1999 Digital Storytelling Festival on the WebPhotoJournals.com web site. (Note: The RealMedia clips are no longer available. RealNetworks shut down the server they provided.)

Friday, May 11, 2001
What will people pay for?
Last summer wrote an essay titled "What will people pay for?" that argued that regular people were more likely to spend money to interact with their friends and family than on getting eCommerce. In the same vein, I just found an interesting article that is well researched (with numbers, etc.) that shows how communications (especially for social reasons) commands more money than professionally produced content. Read "Content is Not King" by Andrew Odlyzko of AT&T Labs. An example from the Introduction:

Content certainly has all the glamor. What content does not have is money. ...The annual movie theater ticket sales in the U.S. are well under $10 billion. The telephone industry collects that much money every two weeks! Those "commodity pipelines" attract much more spending than the glamorous "content."

- Andrew Odlyzko, in First Monday

Monday, May 7, 2001
Attending the Nantucket Conference
For the second year, I spoke at the Nantucket Conference, a meeting of New England entrepreneurs and others. I've written up some of what it was like, and posted lots of pictures. The conference was "off the record" and I didn't take many notes, so I don't write much about what was said, just what it felt like.


People sitting on chairs facing the podium in casual dress  View of movie screen with heads in the way showing VC office
View from the podium, scene from the emotional (to an entrepreneur) movie "Startup.com" that we got to preview

Monday, April 30, 2001
Living in the analog world with cable modem maintenance
Last month the cable modem people came to my house to fix a balky system. For those of you who don't have a cable modem, you can live through the experience. In this digital world, the fine tuning and hands-on of the analog underpinnings are something we too soon forget.


Man on ladder working on cable up high  Closeup of electronic circuit board parts
Repair person and the reason it didn't work when it rained

Wednesday, April 25, 2001
More about pamphlets
I've added two comments I've received to the end of the Pamphleteers and Web Sites page. One about the "relevance in other countries today where the Web is used for purposes of political insurrection" from Professor Chris Daly, and another about longevity from Ed Blachman.

Monday, April 23, 2001
Pamphleteering in the 1700's and personal web sites today
There's been some discussion on the web about the role of personal web sites with regards to journalism and opinion. (For example, see Dave Winer and Dan Gillmor.) I think there is a major connection between the role of personal web sites as well as web logs and the old art of pamphleteering. I've posted some information about pamphleteering in the days of the American Revolution as described by Bernard Bailyn (with my comments). Read "Pamphleteers and Web Sites".

Friday, April 20, 2001
Boston Marathon 2001
Monday, in between activity about our Blogger announcement, I went to watch the Boston Marathon. The route passes a mile or so from my house. Last year I put together a long album describing the experience, so there isn't much more to say or show this year. To get a feel for it, read "Watching the Boston Marathon 2000".

This year I found I ended up taking pictures of the hard running and the people giving out water to the runners. They have such an expectant look on their faces as they hold out cups of water to drink. To finish the Marathon, I hear, you must drink. I guess the idea of companies needing help along the way (like we get from our investors periodically, and Pyra got from us and their users) was on my mind... I like how eager people are to help.

Crowd on both sides cheering two runners and motorcycle with a cropped closeup  Crowd on both sides cheering two runners and motorcycle with a cropped closeup  Woman running breathing hard
The lead men with the ever-present cameras on motorcycle (the man on the right won) and the winning woman as they pass us by at mile 20 on Heartbreak Hill
Line of people in red jackets holding cups of water with one runner shown taking it on the run  
More runners and red coated water people  Cups in foreground with one woman in red and one runner
Giving water to the runners

Some more cell antenna tree information
I keep getting requests for information about cell phone transmitter antennas disguised as trees because of my essay that I posted on this log in December 1999. I don't know much more than I've written in the essay, but by popular request I've added the names (and links to web sites) of two manufacturers of them. They're at the end of my second cell antenna page, "More Cell Towers". As you'd expect, I got the names because someone sent me an email after reading this web site...

Reactions to Blogger announcement
Lots of links and articles came about from the announcement earlier this week of Trellix licensing Blogger. I list some of them at the end of my How the Blogger Deal Happened essay.

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