Monday, July 11, 2005
Dave Winer Today
Watching various people report vaguely on communication with Apple and Dell, recently, it's weird to think that these companies want to make the blogosphere come to them, privately, with problems. The CEO of Audible was saying the same thing to me, when he complained that I reported on my discontinuation of their service on my weblog. But they don't mind when we say, publicly, when we like their products or service, the problems happen when we don't. Bloggers don't want to give on this, and we mustn't. Back in the old days the vendors had full control over users, they could choose what to listen to and what not to listen to, and we had no recourse. Since they paid for the ads, and sponsored conferences and paid the consultants, they fully controlled what was said. Now, as long as the discourse is public and visible, we have the power we should have always had. At an intuitive level I've always distrusted back-channel conversations, now I understand why. Some things have to be discussed privately, and that's okay, but when it comes to public products like iTunes and Dell computers, and public standards like RSS and SOAP (just examples) private discourse is inappropriate and should not be supported.
Another thing about companies. They don't like it when we complain about them in public, but in every dispute over money, they threaten to take their dispute to the credit agencies. It's gotten so that whenever they fuck up, if it's under $200, I just pay the bill. It isn't worth the time it takes to convince them of their mistake, and it sure isn't worth the hassle of getting a black mark taken off my credit record. Blogs are our way of rebalancing the equation. Now when they fuck us, we have a way of giving them a black mark. A little more metadata, and it'll start showing up on their bottom line.
An AP article that says that young people should be careful what they post to their blog because a future employer may read what they wrote. Interesting angle. And more than a bit hypocritical since the AP doesn't maintain an archive of its past articles on the web. At least the student has the integrity to stand by their writing. AP doesn't want you to see what they said a few years ago, not even a few weeks ago.