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and they still won't leave me alone

I'm extremely pleased to have contributed an essay to We've Got Blog: How Weblogs Are Changing Our Culture. The folks at Perseus reprinted my essay, "What the hell is a weblog and why won't they leave me alone?", as the first essay in the book. The first one! I have to wonder what it says about weblog culture when the first essay originally came with this pained expression.


The book is an interesting read. For me, it feels like a high school yearbook. I get to page through and see what all my friends and acquaintances have said, all our embarrassing moments, recorded in print forever. At least there are no photos.

So I have to wonder: If I didn't know what a weblog was, what would I think by the end of this book? Self-important, incestuous, circle-jerk? Brightly-lit future of self expression? All of the above, most likely.

Still, it's a compendium of some of the most thought-provoking writing on the medium, from the medium, available in print. And I am thrilled to be included. My only real complaint is that the book seems shy about the origin of the essays. The essays' urls are buried in the Credits section in the final pages of the book, the links in the original essays have become footnotes (reinforcing how great hypertext is) also buried at the back, and none of the cover copy explicitly states that the words you're about to read were originally posted on the web.

Perhaps that's just a book company wanting to avoid the "couldn't I just read this all online?" question, which is understandable. It's just too bad that a book that's supposed to be lauding a movement seems shy about promoting the fact that the writing was self-produced by the movement on the web!

But you know me. I just want web writing to get the respect it deserves. And this book is a step in the right direction. Buy one for your parents today!

{ 10:16am }


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{ new in dfc }
  Gaming the system: How moderation tools can backfire
Sometimes all the widgets backfire, encouraging the very behavior they're designed to avert. The rules have a dangerous side-effect: they create a game.
{ new in fray }
  "I wanted to spend the 4th with someone who always knew the way back home."

Counting Flags by Kevin Smokler.
{ new in sfstories }
  the slow glimmering descent
I've been watching fireworks there for years, but last night was different. And not just because it was clear.
{ new in fray org }
  fray day 6
Fray Day 6 is coming to cities all over the world on September 14, 2002. Come tell your story.
{ see also }