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The Skill of Writing

by Tim O'Reilly
Mar. 29, 2003

I had occasion today to quote once again Edwin Schlossberg's memorable line, "the skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think."

I read that line in a Parade Magazine article in the mid-80's, and it's been "creating a context" in which I think ever since. A reporter recently called me to verify the source of the quote, and since I couldn't do better than a recollection of a Sunday newspaper of nearly twenty years ago, he tracked down Schlossberg to see if he really said it. Apparently he did, and it even appears somewhere in one of his books. But it's not available online, except where I've quoted it, according to google.

Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to Foo Camps ("Friends of O'Reilly" Camps, which gave rise to the "un-conference" movement), O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the Web 2.0 Summit, the Web 2.0 Expo, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, the Gov 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Expo. Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar, "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim's long-term vision for his company is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. In addition to O'Reilly Media, Tim is a founder of Safari Books Online, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books online, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early-stage venture firm.

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