November 15 2000


Jörg linked to yet another article about weblogs: You’ve Got Blog, by Rebecca Mead.

So is this an article about blogs, or is it an article about the relationship between Megnut and Kottke? To me, it sounds more like the latter, and like an advertisement for Blogger and Pyra. On the one hand, the author talks about learning about bloggers’ private lives through their blogs in an ironic way, like it was something bad, but on the other hand she can’t seem to get enough of personal news, especially from Meg.

Somehow, I think Mead has gotten the whole weblog business wrong. Or is it me? I don’t think neither I nor my blog fits her image of weblogs and webloggers. She makes fun of ‘famous’ bloggers, but obviously doesn’t know any other blogs, since she doesn’t mention any besides Megnut, Evhead, Kottke and Fairvue – none of which I read, but all of which I know from hearsay. Oh, and a friend of Meg is also mentioned, one who “collects photographs of the mirrors of Web celebrities”. She is talking about Heather Champ and Jezebel’s Mirror. But Mead should have taken a closer look: Everyone can post their mirror shots to FOJM (Even I did, and I’m not a web celebrity!)

I just checked there – there’s a link to the article:

“The New Yorker has confirmed something that I’ve known all along! You’re a star.

It’s not too late to get in on the action. Submit your own mirror photograph so you too can brag that The New Yorker has tagged you a Web celebrity!”

Okay, back to the article:

“Getting blogged by Kottke, or by Meg Hourihan or one of her colleagues at Pyra, is the blog equivalent of having your book featured on ‘Oprah’: it generally means a substantial boost in traffic — enough, perhaps, to earn the blog a mention on, which has functioned as a blog best-seller list. (An example from a blog called ‘Jason K. linked to Fairvue. My life is now complete.’)”

Right. Ms Mead, could Nolan (author of Fairvue) be ironic here? Or even sarcastic? (Just in case you didn’t notice: I’m being ironic here, too.)

I think that this celebrity blah blah is only true for a certain kind of weblogger. And it’s the readers who make someone a blog celebrity, it doesn’t seem like the celebrities themselves do everything to become famous.

Most of the weblogs I read are quite different from that kind. My weblog community feels more like a bunch of friends, not like a lot of groupies who worship some weblog-gods and -goddesses.

And I like it that way.

If you’d like to read some more comments, I suggest

  • this thread on Metafilter
  • Deconstructing ‘You’ve got blog’ by Joe Clark
  • Blogma 2001 – A Manifesto for better Weblogging, by Graham Freeman
  • Sprichwörtlich…

    Der Schockwellenreiter hat einen neuen sprichwörtlichen Ausdruck ge- bzw. erfunden:

    “Und von Usability haben die bei Netscape auch noch nichts gehört. Gegen die Seiten von Netscape sind die Wahlzettel von Florida ja ein Musterbeispiel von Klarheit und Aufgeräumtheit.”

    Jetzt heißt das nicht mehr “wie bei Hempels unter’m Sofa”, sondern “wie die Wahlzettel in Florida”! wink:

    Entscheidungen aus dem Bauch heraus

    Wie war das mit den Entscheidungen ‘aus dem Bauch heraus’? Die Geo sagt zumindest, daß an den Entscheidungen was dran ist, weil wir ein zweites Gehirn im Bauch haben: Neurologie: Wie der Bauch den Kopf bestimmt.

    Gut decisions

    I found an article in a German magazine about a second brain in the stomach, and a Google search lead to these articles about the second brain (both in English):

    Two brains are better than one, especially if you’re hungry – a short article from

    The Enteric Nervous System:
    A Second Brain
    , an article with more detail, written by Dr. Gershon, Professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, author of the book ‘The second brain’.

    Planet Project

    Today is the first day of the Planet Project. Go and participate!

    (BTW, I think you need to accept cookies from the site in order for the thing to work. I tried without first, but got an error.)

    Besides the initial general poll, there are eight other polls about different subjects. You can choose to answer one, all or none of them.

    “You don’t have to take all the polls at one time but can come back and answer the questions at your leisure. Besides, it will be fun to see the results at different points over the four days as more and more people participate.”

    Oh, and they are using a secure server so the answers you give can’t be seen by other people while being transferred.

    They have some interesting questions… e.g. from the poll about sleep:

    “If a machine were invented that could record your dreams and then play them back like a movie, which of the following would you probably do?”

    “If there were a pill that eliminated the need for sleep, would you take it?”

    Who is Tanj?

    Oh my, Al, what a night. I hope you will recover soon! Best wishes!

    As Jan-Willem said, “If everything goes wrong today, I’ll read View from the Heart again, and know it is nothing.”

    Update: Al told me about Tanj.


    Hal says that his favorite meaning of the term ‘blivet’ is this one:

    blivet – “It has also been used to describe an amusing trick-the-eye drawing resembling a three-pronged fork that appears to depict a three-dimensional object until one realizes that the parts fit together in an impossible way.” [Source; scroll all the way down.]

    So a blivet looks this!

    Funny to read all the things people posted as response to the link to Sounds of the World’s Animals I stole from Craig

    4 thoughts on “November 15 2000

    1. Alwin Hawkins

      TANJ=There Ain’t No Justice. God of confounding persecution. The same god that allows you to find your soulmate, but makes their sexual polarity opposite yours. Or a parking spot on a crowded block that is precisely 2 cm too small for your car to park in.

      Or causes your car keys to fall out of the hole in your pocket that you just ripped changing the tire that had already make you late to exams…

      Ifni = goddess of random chance and chaos theory. A common co-conspirator with Tanj. Tanj tries to think of new and interesting ways to torture you, and Ifni makes sure that you can’t possibly prepare for all contingencies.

      Two of the gods/goddesses of the nursing pantheon… wink:

    2. Andrea Frick

      Thanks, Al!

      I wonder how you’ve got the energy to explain these things to me in great detail after what has happened to you yesterday. Wow.

      I hope Tanj leaves you alone now for a bit. I’m sending Alron over to keep you company for a while instead!

      Who is Alron?

      A Little Rest for Overworked Nurses.

      (Okay, I admit it doesn’t sound as cool as Tanj.)

    3. Andrea Frick

      Thanks, John! With four words, you said what I tried to point out with too many on my home page.

      Only stupid journalists read those blogs because they don’t even try to find other weblogs. Well, since they don’t seem to know the difference between Manila and EditThisPage, I would not be surprised if they don’t even know how to find other weblogs…

      Sometimes it seems to me like those bloggers are only famous because they were randomly chosen for the first article on weblogs that was printed on paper, and now all the journalists are copying from each other.

      Or maybe it’s because Pyra does a lot more and better marketing than UserLand does.

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