My Dinner With Dave

by William Grosso

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I went to the blogger's dinner last night. I had to leave early
and, aside from one brief exchange (wherein I questioned Dave about what appears to be a truly prodigous rate of caffeine consumption), I didn't get a chance to speak with him. Kind of a bummer; I missed an opportunity to meet one of the pioneers of the web. Nonetheless, it was an interesting evening -- I sat next to
Gretchen (or should it be Gretchen) and

And later, I went back and read old bits and pieces of Scripting News,
because I was thinking about the nature of weblogs.

Weblogs really are very low tech. We're talking barely-formatted words in a rectangle on a screen. In the world of rich clients (which is turning out to be this year's big fad), weblogs are a reversion, a retrogression, a bit of primitiveness poking its
ill-formed head out of a dark and forgotten hole.

([poking its ill-formed head out of a dark and forgotten hole? --ed] Nope. I'm not going to tell you what that means. I just write the words; understanding them is someone else's job).

Weblogs are interesting because they're more personal than other web sites (and most other forms of writing. The immediacy of the form makes it personal). And so, and this is the interesting thing, weblogs somehow engender community. You give people ways to express themselves, and you wind up with communities of people.

You'd think you wind up with individuals. And you do, at least to some extent. But, for the most part, the communities are the interesting and important things.

That's probably in cluetrain somewhere
(I'm a little tired tonight; too tired to go and get a citation). And people have told me things like it thousands of times.

But, for me, right now, it's sunk in. It's the big lesson of weblogs. Give people ways to express themselves, and communities will emerge.

In other news, Dave is wrong about Touch of Grey. He thinks it's "a bitter
but beautiful song." But, really, the song is about persevering in spite of it all; the triumph of humanity in the face of ridiculous obstacles.

Cow is giving kerosene

The kid can't read at seventeen

The words she knows are all obscene,

But it's alright

I will get by

I will get by

I will get by

I will survive

That's not bitter; it's optimistic.