December 31, 2007

You are currently browsing the daily archive for December 31, 2007.

Losing our best

Bruce Steinberg was my best reader, one of my best email correspondents, and one of the best friends I’ve never met in the flesh. We always talked about getting together, but never made it work.

This morning I received an email with news that Bruce passed away yesterday after a brief illness. He was 64.

I just put up a post about Bruce, over at Linux Journal.

If you knew Bruce, or have some links to add to the short list I put up there, please add them to the comments under that post, or send me pointers to blog posts of your own.

As a photographer with nearly 18,000 shots on Flickr (and hundreds of thousands on hard drives), Dave Winer’s FlickrFan looks like a killer thing. I’m especially interested in turning our idle flatscreen “TV”s into useful ways to display the work photographers and services (such as the AP) that I like. When I get home to Santa Barbara later this week, I’ll give it a whirl.

Meanwhile, I think we’re going to see TV undermined absolutely by “content” of the users’ own choosing. TV itself isn’t even TV any more. It’s just one way among many for people to display pictures and video that could come from anywhere, produced and distributed by anybody, including (and especially) the user himself or herself.

When the TV ceases to be a TV, and can be whatever you want, wherever you want — yet still remains that attention-grabbing thing that a screen tends to be — all kinds of interesting things can happen.

I think we’re not only seeing the end of TV, but the beginning of a new life for digital photography.

Y Hoosgot

A couple nights ago David Sifry floated an interesting idea past me: a LazyWeb facilitation service that would flow tweet or blog requests for answers through a bloglike site to which readers could subscribe. Something like that, anyway.

I liked it because it looked to me like a Live Web service with aspects as well. (For example, it empowers individuals to issue requests, independently of any supplier’s silo.)

Dave was looking for name ideas. One I came up with was “hoosgot” — as in “who’s got ___?” Coming up with names isn’t easy these days, with nearly every possible word combination scarfed up, either by legitimate sites or domain squatters. Anyway, Dave went with that one.

Interestingly, the Live Web was first named by my son Allen, whose company GlobeAlive worked to shorten the distance between questions and answers — as did Wondir, the next company Allen worked for.

This is different, but it moves toward a related ideal: getting answers (and things) from the lazyweb. It’ll be interesting to see how Hoosgot goes.

Here’s where Dave explains Hoosgot, and how he’d like feedback and suggestions.