October 18th, 2001


Weblog User Group meeting

Went to the first Weblogger User Group meeting the other day. It was pretty cool... It started off a bit crowded and awkward, without much structure, fewer available seats, and lots of coffee grinding noises. Over 80 people were there, by my count. Laptops, palms, and visors everywhere. Wireless Internet, so people were taking live notes of the proceedings.

Decisions didn't come quickly and most will be decided by vote later, but finally there was a general consensus that going out for beers would be a good idea! I think for the first meeting, that's mostly what people wanted to do anyway.

So many developers in the weblog arena were there! Saw Dave Winer briefly, but he cut out early unfortunately. Talked to Robert Scoble from Userland for quite awhile. Nice guy... noticed Ev from Blogger, but he was pretty standoffish, off chatting with a small group of bloggers. Talked to Jason Shellen though, who is Blogger's semi-official business guy. He was cool, very friendly and laid back. Must be the surfer in him!

Also met James, who runs hotornot.com... It was good to see him, since we have chatted several times but I didn't run into him at the Webbys. Didn't get a chance to talk to the creators of moveable type, but did talk to Dan Lyke, who is writing perhaps the first book on Weblogs. I'm working with him to make sure that LiveJournal is covered in the book too. It will be nice to finally read a history of weblogs somewhere that actually includes us, seeing as LJ was around before Blogger by several months...

I'm looking at all this text I've written and thinking that I really should add in the links, but that would feel too much like namedropping or something. At the same time though, I'm interested in these people and what they have to say... well, mostly. So far, at least. I have to pay attention to them because, well, that's part of the job. Knowing what is going on out there, having a service that's as good as or better than what else is out there, cooperation with other developers, food for thought, etc. It was funny at times listening to people talking about how they wanted to do community-oriented projects that LJ has already done or how they wanted to build new features that LJ already supports. We all publish to the web, but despite its essential interconnectedness, we are so incredibly out of touch with each other. Syndication might fix that one day, hopefully.

Been thinking of using markraft.livejournal.com to set up a more traditional "link & short blurb" oriented weblog where I would feel more comfortable about such massively whored-out linkage. Such a site would be a useful way to interact on the same level with all those other weblogger types and to give them something to see and demo... something that they could relate to with less culture shock. It would be a useful way of keeping my journal here more pure, perhaps... less about politics and the world, more about me and my cats. ;->

I'd feel bad about all the links, though. Linking to other traditional weblogs out there that I read regularly because I really should and because important weblog-oriented things are discussed would kind of perpetuate the cliquey aspects of weblogging that turn me off. Still, maybe I am inadvertently guilty of that on LiveJournal... but I don't feel bad about linking to other LJers because they're usually my friends / people I respect / people that interest me / people I'd do... and not some kind of wannabe digerati news source. I get concerned though that I have had people ask me to put them on my "ultra prestigious friends list". All I can say about that is no. F*ck no. Thank you, please drive through!

Wrong city, right coast.

I got an automated notification from Pollstar, the ever-so-helpful soulstealers of the music industry (except for unquietmind, of course...) saying that Sonic Youth was playing @ UCLA. Since their listing showed no sign of a tour, I checked to see whether they were playing a festival. Yes, yes... good lineup. A solid selection of bands that their audience might not know.

It is exciting to see that Sonic Youth is playing somewhere within 500 miles, but it was even more exciting to see that Television is playing too... a very rare thing! How old do you have to be to know who Television is, I wonder?!

They ought to come up here. Yes, they ought.