Non-Linking: It's Not About Reputation, It's About Ego

Richard Querin makes an excellent rebuttal to Steve Gillmor’s non-linking mania.

Sadly, all of Richard’s logic and common sense will be for naught, since the whole non-linking business is nothing more than a thinly disguised attempt on the part of Steve and a couple of his pals to separate themselves from the blogging community by declaring that they are blogo-stars and don’t need to be bothered with interacting with the rest of us. The reason Steve writes in indecipherable paragraphs is because if he said it in a way that people could actually understand, he would be laughed out of the room. By using big words and long sentences, he can pretend that if we were smart enough to understand him, we’d all fall in line.

On the last Gillmor Gang podcast I will ever listen to Steve actually said that he goes out of his way not to use significant content and ideas from other bloggers in his posts so he won’t have to link to them.

This cat thinks he’s special. And that’s fine. Go be special, but do it over there where I can’t see you. Because if I can see you, I will feel compelled to try to get you to see things logically and realize that these are blogs were are talking about here- not some secret path to fame and fortune.

Not engaging in the cross blog communication, which occurs via linking, is completely inconsistent with the purpose and beauty of blogging. It’s like turning the web back to 1995 when everyone had their little self-contained Geocities web page. It’s backwards thinking pretending to be forward thinking.

But blogo-stars don’t listen. Listening is for the rest of us.

Delaney in Flight


I’m really digging my new camera.

Blind and Desperate

Am I the only one who thinks all of these “me too” services being thrown up by AOL lately are tokens of desperation and a lack of vision?

TechCrunch reports that AOL is about to release a “YouTube clone.” This is on the heels of AOL’s recent launch of a MySpace competitor.

It looks to me like AOL is thrashing around in search of something to grab hold of as the walls around its closed system crumble and fall.

I don’t know if AOL can save itself or not, but I don’t think trying to become a Web 2.0 company is the most promising way to try.

Steve Gillmor is the New Dave Winer

I used to be amazed at the degree to which Dave Winer would go out of his way to fight with people. As it turns, out Dave is minor league when it comes to fighting. The King of RSS has lost his blog-fighting title to the ZDNet Zinger.

gibberishAfter first deciding that links are no good and then writing some of the most indecipherable words ever put together, Steve Gillmor carps at Richard Querin and gets irritated at his pal Mike Arrington on the latest Gillmor Gang podcast. I got frustrated with Steve’s pissy demeanor after part 1, so I missed all the barbs I expect he flung around in the rest of the podcast.

Steve also managed to make Nick Carr sound like a down to earth, logical and reasonably friendly guy in the process. In fact, I got the impression that more than one of the other gang members were put off by Steve’s demeanor.

Thank goodness Doc Searls is still in the gang to provide a voice of reason to the podcasts.

I think what was initially a fun and interesting free-for-all debate has devolved into a soapbox for Steve to pick fights and act superior, and I find that boring. The spirited debate is what attracted me to that podcast, but lately, as old what’s his name points out, Steve just sounds angry at everybody.

I’m too bored with Steve’s act to even get into the merits of his argument, but I will say that if you make outlandish statements like this whole non-linking business and then get irritated when people react negatively, you are going to be mad a lot.

For Music Lovers


I continue to think that Twangville is the best music site on the internet. If you don’t know this site, you owe it to yourself to check it out.


102 Films

Jason Kottke posts a list by film critic Jim Emerson of 102 movies someone ought to have seen to be considered movie literate. I suspect my list and that of just about everyone else would be different, since we all like and dislike different things, but here’s the list.

An asterisk means I have seen it.

* 2001: A Space Odyssey (overrated)
* The 400 Blows (pretty good)
8 1/2
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
* Alien (defines the modern alien genre)
* All About Eve (good)
* Annie Hall (other than Tiger Lilly, I find Woody Allen’s movies boring)
* Apocalypse Now (great movie)
* Bambi (I liked it and my kids do too)
The Battleship Potemkin
* The Best Years of Our Lives (great movie)
* The Big Red One (pretty good)
The Bicycle Thief
* The Big Sleep (OK, not great)
* Blade Runner (one of my all time faves)
Blowup (never seen it, but would like to)
* Blue Velvet (great movie)
* Bonnie and Clyde (OK, not great)
* Breathless (nah)
Bringing Up Baby
* Carrie (good scary movie)
* Casablanca (as good as its reputation_
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
* Chinatown (pretty good)
* Citizen Kane (great film)
* A Clockwork Orange (famous for being weird, but still pretty good)
* The Crying Game (great ending)
* The Day the Earth Stood Still (great sci-fi)
* Days of Heaven (fantastic movie; a must see)
* Dirty Harry (great Clint)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
* Do the Right Thing (good movie)
La Dolce Vita
* Double Indemnity (one of my favorite of the film noir genre)
* Dr. Strangelove (great film)
* Duck Soup (I actually get the Marx brothers)
* E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial (great at the time)
* Easy Rider (good, but Wild Angels was better)
* The Empire Strikes Back (masterpiece)
* The Exorcist (great horror film)
* Fargo (great, but Raising Arizona is better)
* Fight Club (OK, not great)
* Frankenstein (masterpiece, if he’s talking about the 1931 one)
The General
* The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II (should have added III too)
* Gone With the Wind (I liked it the first few times I saw it)
* GoodFellas (great film)
* The Graduate (great film)
* Halloween (maybe the best modern horror film)
* A Hard Day’s Night (good because it’s the Beatles)
It’s a Gift
* It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite holiday film ever)
* Jaws (how in the world has Jason not seen this!)
* The Lady Eve (good, but not great)
* Lawrence of Arabia (great epic film)
* Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior (great post apocalypse films)
* The Maltese Falcon (great Bogart)
* The Manchurian Candidate (OK, not great)
* Metropolis (never understood the big deal about this one)
Modern Times
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the funniest movie ever)
* Nashville (good, not great)
* The Night of the Hunter (great Mitchum)
* Night of the Living Dead (one of my all time faves)
* North by Northwest (my favorite Hitchcock)
* On the Waterfront (Brando when he wasn’t a cartoon character)
Once Upon a Time in the West
* Out of the Past (Another of my favorite film noir movies)
* Pink Flamingos (great, but I like Hairspray better)
* Psycho (good)
* Pulp Fiction (one of my all-time faves)
* Rear Window (good)
* Rebel Without a Cause (OK, but not as good as its reputation)
* Red River (great movie- there should be more westerns on this list)
* Repulsion (weird, but with Catherine Deneuve)
The Rules of the Game
* Scarface (pretty good, but Casino’s better)
The Scarlet Empress
* Schindler’s List (masterpiece
* The Searchers (another great western)
The Seven Samurai
* Singin’ in the Rain (a rare musical I like)
* Some Like It Hot (OK, not great)
* A Star Is Born (the original is bearable; I hated the remake)
* A Streetcar Named Desire (great movie)
* Sunset Boulevard (another great film noir movie)
* Taxi Driver (great movie)
* The Third Man (great Orson Welles)
Tokyo Story
* Touch of Evil (definitely in my top 5 all time)
* The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (great movie)
Trouble in Paradise
* Vertigo (more great Hitchcock)
* West Side Story (didn’t like it)
* The Wild Bunch (great western)
* The Wizard of Oz (speaks for itself)

I’ve seen 78 out of 102.

All in all, a fairly good list. I would certainly add The Birds, Suddenly Last Summer, Summer of 42, The Last Picture Show, and A Place in the Sun. I would seriously consider adding Full Metal Jacket, the remake of The Thing, Belly of an Architect and the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.


Bubble 2.0 Watch: He Said Thought Leaders

web20Om Malik says that the thought leaders (a new “pre-owned car” word for my dictionary of needlessly fancy terms), along with investors and pundits, have lately begun to wonder about the whole Web 2.0 business.

Proving that thought leaders have been reading blogs for months, a “well known angel investor,” which I believe is a nice word for a rich guy who swoops down like an angel from heaven and tosses some cash at whatever science project turned business grabs his fancy in exchange for the possibility to get even richer by later selling said project to either Yahoo or some poor smuck in an IPO, wrote, according to Om, “that many of the Web 2.0 companies that were cropping up were targeting a niche audience. He found that many were me-too or forgettable permutations of some of the more established players such as Flickr, You Tube or Digg.”

Ya think? I and a bunch of other average Joes must be thought leaders too, since we have been saying that for months.

Om, who is generally on the money about things technological, goes on to talk about scalability and Web 2.0, arguing that eventually some of the advances that are being made in the Web 2.0 arena will find their way into the enterprise applications that run big business, sort of the way NASA’s velcro found its way onto my 4 year old’s tennis shoes.

Maybe. Eventually. But most big business is running enterprise applications that are 2 or 3 versions old, so Om and I will be retired before the benefitted versions find their way onto most corporate desktops. By then my grandkids will be hoping to get links from Om’s grandkids.

I continue to think that too many people are trying to stuff business, hobbies, old media and blogs into the same bag. I don’t know if it’s a mass scam in the making or if people who are used to writing about business and old media are just writing about what they know.

What I do know is that to judge success you have to start with perspective.

As Dave Winer points out, TechCrunch’s 53,000 or so subscribers is huge in blogosphere terms. 53,000 viewers would be a gigantic bomb if it were a TV show, which is measured in old media terms. Similarly, a Web 2.0 application that has a million users at $0 a month makes a lot less profit than my blog, which makes very little, but costs almost nothing to operate.

You can’t measure success in raw numbers. And you can’t judge a blog by old media standards.

Blogs are not businesses, no matter how many people try to pretend they are. A part of a business, yes. The business, no.

Similarly, most of these Web 2.0 applications are not businesses. A part of a business, yes (thus the sell to Yahoo business plan). But still not the business.

I think there are a lot of people trying to stuff a lot of square pegs in the old and familiar round holes.

As soon as they realize that won’t work, we’ll step back, get some perspective and see where we are.