i’ve been using groove more and more these day and ran into groovelog today, which in turn led me to the juxtaposition of the recent John Doerr on a bicycle and a message from ray ozzie from 1997 entitled HI. Wow. Thanks. [this version OK for publishing].

from the former:

“Let’s rebuild around this new model John, the Internet is a two-way medium, more like the telephone than the printing press or TV.”

compare that with ozzie’s message [from freakin’ 1997!]:

“I don’t know your feelings on the matter, but I have mixed feelings about
what the Web has wrought. On one hand, I – as you – had dreamt of a day
when “the masses” would use computers transparently to access vast
information stores and share things with one another. But it hasn’t quite
turned out the way that I’d have anticipated or liked.”

“Instead, the Web has turned out to be a medium that is clearly skewed
toward the broadcasting metaphor of “readers” and “publishers,” most always
having identifiable information “providers” and “consumers.” Due to the
fact that the this metaphor was established very early on, and was
supported by weak technology (no user identification & authentication, no
authoring/editing environment, no document database or any organizational
metaphor to speak of, and the name “browser” itself!) people got used to
the environment as a static environment. And there it sits.”

“Perhaps if the Web metaphors had been more read/write to begin with, it wouldn’t have taken off as swiftly and smoothly as it did ..? Maybe a truly effective collaboration network can only exist in closed environments, e.g. a corporation, a special interest group, etc. Maybe people only feel safe identifying themselves in closed groups, lurking anonymously elsewhere.”

chew on that and then throw in an articulate post-mortem on pyra from paul bausch entitled what is a pyra?

“We spent days theorizing about how people use information. We wondered about the best ways to give information context. We believed we could help people manage information more effectively with the web. Once we had a beta version it was hard to explain to people. We couldn’t come up with an elevator pitch. People didn’t get it when they saw it. Pyra was difficult. What’s a Pyra? people would ask. We had trouble explaining.”

“A lot of times, Blogger was the problem child. Granted, it brought in a lot of new people to Pyra. (we saw it as a gateway app.) When people saw it, it instantly clicked. There was no need to explain it. And once people tried it they were hooked…There was something just as magical about Blogger as there was with stuff. It was connecting us with people. And connecting people with people.”

there’s some good stuff in there about the internet, history, collaboration, branding, communication, stories and people connecting with people.

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