Dvorak. Again.

It seems that Mr. Dvorak isn’t too happy with webloggers, or with the Cluetrain folks, whom he seems to have intertwined into a blogging hydra, composed of equal parts of both.

I was going to respond to this, and I expect that you all expected me to respond to something like this. I was ready to post a passionate response, burning with the heat of a thousand cold blue white suns. After all, I’m Burningbird and this is nothing less than what you’ve come to expect. Right?

However, after reading several postings throughout weblogging today, I find that I have neither the energy nor the inclination to say more about my opinion of Mr. Dvorak and his pieces on weblogging. Trying to shoot at his arguments is equivalent to trying to shoot bullets at an armor built of steel-plated arrogance — nothing could possibly get through, so why try?

Others less passionate, more reasonable, calmer and more influential have something to say on Dvorak — I suggest you read   theminstead.


Flying a kite

You’ll have to excuse me today, for I seem to be in a non-weblogging sort of mood. It’s not that there isn’t anything interesting in weblogdom to comment on — there are interesting threads all throughout the weblogging community.

For instance, there’s a thread on comments and weblogging being pursued by Jonathon and Chris as well as others referenced in these postings. Of course, there’s the Dvorak article, but I’ve been there, done that — most of us had, and we’re getting tired of the man.

There’s also more on the future of blogging at Dan Gillmor and Andrew Sullivan, both found through Scripting News.

TX Meryl has a nice posting on why she values people on the Net, including NJ Meryl so much. Have you all noticed how gentle, kind, and sharing TX Meryl is? If you haven’t, time to get your heads out of the flame wars and spend some time with the giving folks.

Hmmm. I guess I am commenting on the threads, aren’t I? Still, for some reason today I want to talk about something else:

I want to talk kites, and kite flying.

Probably one thing that transcends cultural differences is kites. Kites are made, and flown, the world over. There’s few children that haven’t built a flimsy device out of paper and fragile wood and then promptly crashed it into something such as a tree, ala Charlie Brown. Of kites, I once wrote the following:

For most of us, our first kites are little diamonds made of very fragile wood and paper, tied to a long, long string. We’d put them together, sometimes with the help of a parent or other adult, and take it out for a trial flight. I don’t know about you all, but I had my first lessons in flight, wind, and flight without wind, with a kite.

Someone had to hold the kite and run backwards very quickly, tossing the kite high into the air. If the wind was right, up the little diamond would fly. If the wind wasn’t right, whoever your flying partner was had a marvelous workout. “Run faster! Run faster!”, you’d scream. “I am running”, they’d scream back, face red, puffing like a blowfish. Half the fun of kite flying was watching the poor soul desperately trying to get the kite into the air so they could sneak off to collapse while you were distracted.

After quickly breaking these kites, or losing them into a tree, or having them removed because we “buzzed” the family cat, we either progressed on to sturdier models or, for most of us, we went on to other toys, other hobbies.

Unless we happen to become someone else’s flying partner some day (“Run faster. Run faster”) that’s the last experience many people have with kites.

However, for a lucky few, kites re-enter our lives. And this time, they stay.

Flying a kite.

Throwing a kite into the wind and hoping it catches; sending the kite dancing on transparent bands of air that originate here in this place and there in that country and high in on this mountain, and and low, skimming the ocean, until they reach you and your kite. And you soar! Can’t you just feel the tug of the string in your hand, head back, eyes on a bright spot high overhead?

Throwing a kite into the wind and the wind is fickle, maybe even a little mean, and it catches your kite only to throw it down to the ground at spar breaking speeds, out of control, spiraling. Ground breaking thud. Wince. You swear you hear ghostly evil laughter whip past you as it seems to pick your kite up off the ground only to send it thuding back again and again, until your kite is a tattered remnent of cloth and broken wood.

Standing alone on a beach and trying to get your kite to rise and no wind wants to play. You kite just sits there, and you have no one to grab it and run with it, hoping to tease one single puff of air into noticing your kite long enough to take it for at least the most gentle ride.

There is nothing more forlorn then a kite flyer on an empty beach with a kite and no wind. Still….

…there is that anticipation of the next flight, the next wind, the next moment of soaring that keeps you coming back again. And again. And again.

Just Shelley

California business costs

I just had a call from the San Fran tax collector. I didn’t need to pay one tax fee, but I didn’t pay my city business registration fee. So now they’re holding the one check until I send the other. I’m not sure if there’s something else I’m missing, somewhere.

Checking my finances, I find that I probably don’t have enough money to pay my rent in April. Screwed up again with trying to handle all the filings in California. It is so complicated and so expensive here. O’Reilly’s cool and I’ll focus on writing as quickly as possible in order to get advances more quickly. It will be touch and go though.

I want you all to send me an email every day and tell me to write on the books, NOW! Nag me for all your worth 😉





Shy bunch

Very long day today with some tough times, interspersed with bits of hurt and difficulty but hey — The Bird bounces and continues. I am nothing if not resilient.

I just left a vlog (“voice blog”) on Gary’s answering machine. I hope I didn’t say anything that would get him in trouble if someone else in the company picks up the message. Pretty tired tonight so the message was probably incoherent and fatigued. I hope I don’t scare the man.

Rogi was a gutsy man and posted his photo today. And Gary posted an MP3 file of Sharon’s voice. Both were very pleasant surprises. Nice moments of sharing — thanks!

We are a shy bunch, aren’t we? It’s interesting finally seeing the face or hearing the voice of people you literally “talk” with on a daily basis. If you all think about it, we in the virtual neighborhood talk together more frequently than we do with most of our realspace friends and relatives (immediate family excluded of course). However, we have never met and would easily pass each other on the street without a blink or a nod.

I wonder if we don’t talk more freely because we don’t see each other in realspace. Tell me — do you talk more openly on your weblog than with the people you work with, or your casual friends? In realspace, I’m quite shy and reticent except when I’m talking technology at conferences, in meetings, at work and such.

(Though I have been known to babble when I’m nervous. And giggle at times, which is surprising for a woman who is close to six feet tall — yup, you read that correctly. I once had a guy come up to me on the streets of Seattle and say “Wonder Woman!” I took it as a compliment. )

Speaking of baring all, since Rogi and Sharon have shared — and TX Meryl has shared in the past — I did a little self photo of myself , which isn’t very good but at least it won’t break your monitor. Sorry — no glamorous babe. No hot chick. Just me. Update Ahem. Very Tired Me.

Now, on to other more interesting topics in my next posting. Though the TechBlog has been getting fairly juicy today…


Radio and P2P – not

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Okay, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a mood today, but there’s few things that tick me off more than this application of “P2P” to any old technology that comes along. And then this proud standing back as if all is explained.

Give me a break.

John throws this simple little sentence out as if the word comes from on high:

What’s the killer app for a desktop content management system?  P2P + Web Services + desktop CMS (Radio).  Killer combo.

I posted a comment to the note asking where the P2P was in this equation. I am not expecting a response.

There is no P2P with Radio. Period. Please don’t tell me “full peers” or any bullshit like that. If there is an assumption of a hard coded IP that is online 7×24 then that is a server. I don’t care what you call it.

Web services. Yes. Desktop content management. Yes. But Radio has no P2P element.

It is a good product and I enjoy using it, and I think it’s interesting that Userland has been able to get all these people to do all this work for no pay via the new publishing paradigm but there is no P2P element in Radio!!