June 28, 2001 +

The world is getting noisier, and we're silently suffering. So declares the Sac Bee: "Even when hearing isn't at stake, peace of mind may be." Absolutely. Someday you'll read a story by your netWert host, himself a victim of noise pollution.


I'm off camping and rafting and boating and golfing this weekend. Updates resume in force after July 4.

June 27, 2001 +

Microsoft has an operating system and a dialup service with proprietary content. AOL has a dialup service with proprietary content but no OS. If Microsoft gets so fed up with AOL that it won't include America Online on Windows desktops, how long will it be before AOL puts its Netscape staff to work building its own operating system?


My, do I love this observation (by Ariel Meadow):
Q: How do you know you're on a flight to NYC?
A: The stewardess says "futzing" over the PA.


June 26, 2001 +

The Supreme Court ruling on freelance writers' rights in digital environments is fascinating. The ruling states that an article pulled from a digital database changes context from its original form, and the copyright therefore reverts to the creator and not the publisher, who retained initial rights for the work from its initial publishing (which already extends to pristine copies like microfilm).

I understand both sides of the argument, and I cannot disagree with the verdict on New York Times Company v. Tasini, No. 00-201. Is the New York Times on the Web the same as the New York Times? Yes and no -- the content is the same, but the presentation is indeed different from top to bottom, especially when an archived article is recast in a modern layout (complete with up-to-date advertising). This will be a pain in terms of comprehensiveness -- the Times and other publishers are huffily removing freelance articles from their archives -- but the ruling is a truthful and sensible interpretation of copyright.


Speaking of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times reports that the NYT is fast becoming a national newspaper. Its loyal readers develop "an addiction" and "franticness when ... they can't get it." Can't argue with that either.


June 22, 2001 +

One would think that the founder and president of a company would know better than to tell off strangers in corporate email.

Moments like this suggest the end of the dotcom boom may be a good thing. (via


New York Times op-ed piece on lucky pennies (not unlike my own piece, if a bit less sappy).


June 20, 2001 +

If you've poked through some good employment-seeker essays and are looking for up-to-the-minute tips, eCompany Now's job-hunting cheat sheet gives some nice pointers for the post-dot-com era, including how to prepare scannable and email-ready resumes.


A classic: When Two Dogs Meet, a fun diversion from Nickelodeon that dates back to early 1996. It's still my all-time favorite Flash file.


Now, this guy is just plain sick, but in his defense, that's one intimidating dog, isn't it?


June 19, 2001 +

Good thing music is slowly moving to a virtual, digital format: A fungus from Belize can devour compact discs.


Online advertising network (and Feels Like Forecast ad provider) ValueClick quietly halved its pay-per-click rates this spring. No surprise there, considering the market and VCLK's impressive success at keeping its stock price respectable, but damn! I'm never going to get to my next $30 payout (hey, give a guy six cents -- go here, then click on the ad).


Don't look now, but the journal has been hot this month.


June 18, 2001 +

In New York, see, where we really do think we're the center of the world, analogies like this make sense:
There is a glut of capacity of high- speed, long-haul information pipelines, but a shortage of the high-speed, local-access connections that consumers and businesses need to gain access to the Web. It is as if superhighways stand nearly empty while traffic backs up at the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.


June 15, 2001 +

Blogger founder Evan Williams's assertion that the implication of weblogs dying is incorrect is, in itself, misdirected. Ev notes that thousands of new weblogs are being created through Blogger, which is true. What is not true is that they replace what is lost.

Folks like Sylloge and Dack were part of the blog-about-blog community. The shut-down web sites were those that talked about the Web, about weblogs, about design and innovation. About the world in which so many of us have been involved.

Sure, weblogs aren't going anywhere. I said as much. What is dissipating is the communal discussion about the Web itself. Things have slowed down, the economy has gobbled up jobs and companies and careers, and people have pulled back. FuckedWeblog and my essay simply reflect that reality.

The weblog continues. It's the revolution that has aborted.


Fun with Stock Photos or, How to Make Your Site Stand Out from the Pack:

Organic's client page
Accenture's careers page
eCornell's home page

Do tell if you know more. (via SVN)


June 13, 2001 +

Saw last night. Entertaining, depressing, fascinating.

The movie tracks the rapid rise and fall of what turns out to be a fairly typical dotcom startup, focusing on the two principals, who are childhood friends and (initially) equal partners. It is not at all dot-commy beyond the name-dropping of govWorks' VC backing; the focus is on the interplay and excitement, not the product or technology.

If you weren't directly involved in the Internet industry the last few years, this is a great way to experience it. It's also morbidly funny to hear buzzwords long after the myth has been shattered.


Separated at birth (notes Amy): govWorks' Kaleil Isaza Tuzman and New York Yankee Derek Jeter.


June 12, 2001 +

On a similar note to Web log death, an entertaining read on being at the dotcom party after it ends.


Steinbrenner is unhappy with Yanks
Wilpon: Met Mess Is Players' Fault

When was the last time you saw two team owners (in the same town, no less) bash their players on the same day?


June 11, 2001 +

My death of the Web log essay (now conveniently stashed here) was quoted in's Inside Dope Friday. But what's up with boldfacing the other blogs' titles and not mine?

Brattiness aside, my thanks to Rafat Ali for soliciting my input for his story.


June 8, 2001 +

"Of all the trophies in sports, the Stanley Cup is the only one with a personality, the only one that should travel with a passport."

Nice Stanley Cup primer in the Times today. That's the actual cup, not the competition. Did you know that the cup gets its own seat when it's transported on Southwest Airlines?


Venerable Internet commentary site Suck is "going on vacation" as of today. Rumor has it Suck's parent, Automatic Media, is about to close up shop.

This is just one more example of the dotcom economy stalling, but Suck's silence is also another indicator of the death of the Web log mentioned here earlier in the week.


June 7, 2001 +

Wondering what I'm listening to lately? Even better, how about what I'm not listening to?


June 6, 2001 +

So what is the future of weblogging, then? For one thing, we'll always need somewhere to post links to those rockin' Journey tributes.


Nice article on overdesigning. My sentiments exactly.


June 5, 2001 +

The closing of Tomalak's Realm prompts me to re-introduce my heretofore hidden weblog commentary from last week. Read on.


Talking about the Internet is so last year.

Wonder why so many weblogs are closing up shop? Because the excitement has died down. There are scant few new dotcom business models to assess, web sites to explore, theorems to dissect, concepts to discuss.

Look around at the name-brand sites. Metafilter has gone from uncovering intrigue to discussing the day's news. Salon has run so low on technology stories that it lapsed its tech coverage into its business section with ease. Goodexperience has posted just four usability links in the past three weeks. Stating the Obvious has turned into a cliquey BBS.

It's over, "it" being commentary and discussion about a burgeoning new medium. A site like Packet could never exist in 2001. The news now is about layoffs and struggles for survival, how to cut one's losses and steady the ship. Progress no longer exists. Retrenchment and profitability are the name of the game.

There just isn't that much to talk about anymore--nothing fun, at least. Take a look at the links above. Remember when the Industry Standard had a 340-page print issue last summer? The current issue is 88 pages, including advertising.

Mind you, the web isn't dying. But the heyday of Internet discourse is disappearing as the economic downturn forces negative change upon the New Economy.

The result of all this is a dearth of content as it pertains to our usual topics. And the fallout is mighty. Great sites have closed so their owners can do other things. Great talents have found themselves unemployed. And, most importantly, the excitement has abated. So the navel-gazing is coming to a close, and with it, so is the "traditional" Net-centric "blog."

We are at the end of an era. A few months from now the weblog community may look radically different as the players change and the playing field takes on a different form. And we could all be talking about much different things.

It was fun, though, wasn't it?


Side note: I am not predicting the overall demise of weblogs, or of this site. Blogs are making their way into the mainstream and still support myriad topics. Indeed, this site's May traffic was its busiest ever. And my own interests roam to writing and music, not just the Web, so I will continue to gain pleasure from updating my site, regardless of the whims of the weblog community.


June 4, 2001 +

For the last year Sony Pictures has quoted film critic David Manning of the Ridgefield (Ct.) Press in its advertising. One problem, though: Manning doesn't exist.


With yesterday's victory at The Memorial, Tiger Woods has won five tournaments this year. But he has only played in six.


June 1, 2001 +

<!-- this space intentionally left ambiguous -->

Too much signal and not enough noise in my last two posts. They've been tucked away until I can edit them into a more coherent essay (probably next week).


Kaycee Nicole in Circuits. I find this to be a nice denouement to my (currently hidden) end-of-an-era commentary: A community is roiled, excited and horrified by a fraud in its midst, and the story ultimately ends up in the New York Times, exposing the cult to the mainstream. Remember when your favorite college band went platinum?


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Copyright © 2001 David Wertheimer. All rights reserved.