Tag: Web

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Five Rants from 2006

What a strange delight. I spent a large chunk of the weekend restoring posts to this website from July to early-September 2006. They represent a period of loss—originally spanning from June of that year to March 2007. Ten years ago, accidental deletion of a Movable Type backup file coupled with migration from ExpressionEngine to WordPress purged more than six months of posts. It was a devastating realization then; I had been a prolific personal blogger while working as an analyst (for Jupiter Research) and not being bound to the crazy, erratic, unpredictable schedule of news reporting. Meaning: I had more time most evenings to write.

Four days ago, I discovered that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine had captured my first website, at editors.com, starting in December 1996. I later looked at joewilcox.com, which went live as my personal blogsite in 2002. Back then, I called the site “The Writer’s Life”. Wayback Machine snapshots from July, August, and September 2006 allowed me to restore a small portion of the lost content, which still is incomplete for those months—while there is nothing from autumn of that year through spring of the next. The blank space likely will never be filled. 

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Remembering My First Website

This afternoon, I looked over Archive.org’s Wayback Machine for the first time ever and was delighted to find cached copies (e.g. snapshots) of my first, personal website at editors.com, which I registered in August 1995. Foolishly, when needing some extra money, I accepted a $3K offer to sell my first domain in May 2004. I have lots more to say about that decision—in the future. For now, let’s look at the past.

At the time of the site’s snapshot, Dec. 27, 1996, my family prepared to leave my hometown of Caribou, Maine—where we had been for about 18 months—and return to the Washington, D.C. area. There I would take the editor’s position at Government Computer News responsible for the newly created State and Local section. 

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‘The Social Network’ ignores the Network

On Friday, I wrote a review of “The Social Network“. Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig did one better for The New Republic: “Sorkin vs. Zuckerberg—‘The Social Network’ is wonderful entertainment, but its message is actually kind of evil“. Lawrence is insightful as always, although he expects too much of the film’s writer and director. Nevertheless, he makes spot-on observations about what Facebook represents for future entrepreneurs like co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The film is seemingly a morality tale about moral ambiguity. What’s lost is Zuckerberg’s ingenuity and the network that allowed it to flourish.

The Web We Weave

The Net’s interactivity gives us powerful new tools for finding information, expressing ourselves and conversing with others. It also turns us into lab rats constantly pressing levers to get tiny pellets of social or intellectual […]

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Of Course, Technology Changes You

Over the weekend, I unexpectedly read New York Times Op-Ed “Mind Over Mass Media,” by Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker. Professor Pinker rallies for the status quo, argung that “new forms of media have always caused moral panics…but such panics often fail basic reality checks.” He talks of a panic, but I don’t see one. However, there is a new book generating some debate—Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. The Op-Ed is rebuttal without reference.

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Internet Attention Deficit Disorder

Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, may be the defining manuscript of the World Wide Web era; so far. I haven’t read the book yet, but I have followed Nicholas’ writings leading up to The Shallows. I get his point, because I’ve experienced it. He merely wraps research around the experience. The point: Interaction with the Web changes how we think, in part by rewiring how we consume information. Attention spans are shorter and tasks like reading a long magazine article or book are harder.

In June 2008, I read a short post by Nicholas linking to his Atlantic story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?

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You’re Zucked!

Perhaps I don’t pay enough attention to Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis. Something, somewhen, somehow bugged me about his blog posts—maybe it was frequency or attitude, I don’t recall—and so I nuked his RSS feed sometime ago.

But post “The Big Game, Zuckerberg and Overplaying your Hand” has me howling delight, even though Jason rambles on even more incoherently than I do. Thanks to Dare Obasanjo for tweeting the link.