Black and white

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Another site design I’m working on is called Black & White, and I’d like to be able to hard-code this one for use when reading anything to do with either politics, or discussions of RSS and other weblogging hoorah that seems to have such ‘cut at the dotted line’ mentality.

However, I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep in the last 48, and I’m too tired to muck up what is now a lovely system of interchangeable stylesheets, so I’ll get a good night’s sleep before returning to the designs. And Black & White is becoming too fun to reserve it just for hoorah writing.

Speaking of hoorah and becoming mental,Dave Winer seems to have dipped his oar into too deep a waters too many times because he’s recently initiated actions that seem about guaranteed to lose him friends and, well, lose him friends.

He just pulled weblogs that were hosted at, without any warning I gather. I wondered what was going on when I visited a couple of sites and then saw this note at Halley’s. In addition, if you access one of the old sites, you get the following:

This site is for people with sites that used to be hosted at

1. I can’t afford to host these sites. I don’t want to start a site hosting business. These are firm, non-negotiable statements.

2. There are several commercial Manila hosting companies, including Thomas Creedon maintains a list of commercial and free hosting services. If you want to have your site hosted more cheaply, consider the possibility of forming a co-op of some kind.

3. If you want a copy of your website, post a comment here, include the URL of the site. Sometime after July 1, 2004, I will export all the requested sites, without their membership groups. You can then download them and do with them as you wish. I won’t export them before July 1, and this is a one-time offer.

Does anyone have a copy of the original statement? It would seem that the hosted folks weren’t aware that this was going to happen, and to have these weblogs pulled without some warning, and then this abrasive note placed in its place – that’s about the most graceless thing I have seen since I’ve dipped toes into these waters. And I’ve been out to some pretty nasty political weblogs.

If the folks at did have notice this was happening, and there has been clearly defined time limits to the hosting, no harm for Winer deciding to longer host. I recently disbanded the co-op I’d started because I also wasn’t sure of my future directions and didn’t want to leave people hanging if I had to make sudden changes. However, if you may have noticed, none of the co-op members have vanished without a trace-t-hey’ve been taken over by their cats, but haven’t vanished.

From what I’m reading in the comments associated with the sites, though people are appreciative of the free hosting (and this was a generous act, and they should be appreciative of past kindness), abruptly kicking everyone off without a word, and holding access to the sites until after July 1, well, it sucks.

And to salt them paper thin cuts to the skin, the first comment in the post is from Winer and reads:

Groundrules: Personal comments, ad hominems, will be deleted. And no negotiating or whining. Just post the url of your site.


There you go boys and girls: the number one reason why you don’t want to go with a hosted solution, and if you do, backup. Frequently. No matter how nice or cuddly or professional the host – back your material up at least weekly. Never give anyone control over what happens to your writing. Never.

(In fact, if I remember correctly, I once mentioned the evils of centralization, and actually used as an example of ‘what if…’ something like this were to happen. Maybe I need a Psychic Bird stylesheet, too.)

In the meantime, if you have a weblog and have a new location, if you send me an email or drop a comment with your new location, we’ll see if we can’t start circulating the changes– to get folks up and running more quickly. But this time, may I recommend hosting your weblog in your own space?

If you have questions about how to port from your Manila site to other weblogging tools, holler.

Dave Winer came out with an audio blog on this move, and evidentally, there was no warning to the people who have weblogs on that this was going to happen. I don’t think anyone begrudges Winer’s not wanting to host the sites for free, but pulling the plug without warning? Na ah.

Jeneane’s take. Curious, though – Robert Scoble and Doc are still on

David Weinberger goes what a shock, but at least Dave explained it all, so it’s all understandable, and poor Dave. At least the people were appreciative of the service they had in the past.

I don’t get this place, sometimes. I really don’t.

Last update of this post, but this Time article on weblogging came out yesterday, too. This might explain the magazine reference Dave Winer made in his audioblog, transcript of which Jeneane posted.

Now, moving on…

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