One re-starts, another walks away

Jorn Barger has re-started Robot Wisdom. First heard at rc3.

And Justin Hall, an early web inspiration to me, bows out:

…For 11 years, Justin Hall was dedicated to documenting his life online. Composing more than 4,800 pages from nearly a decade of constant writing, which he posted on his site,, Hall became a pioneer among online diarists and Web loggers.

…While thousands of people start and stop blogs every day, Hall’s presence on the Internet has been a constant. If he can’t keep his faith in the connective powers of online communication, who can?

…”What if intimacy happens in quiet moments?” he said. “I think the Web makes me not alone and I feed it my intimacies, and the Web is my constant connection to something larger than myself … but what if something you do, something you practice like religion as a dialogue with the divine, drives people away from you?”

Hall’s dramatic statement fits the scale of his endeavor. He was one of the most committed advocates for the bonding powers of interactive, Web-based writings. But now, his sudden expression of doubt over the Internet’s ability to foster intimacy marks a huge change in attitude from the one expressed in work over the past decade and shows that his philosophy may be evolving with the medium in which he works.

As the Internet grew from a hobby for a few idealistic nerds to an integral, constantly evolving fact of everyday life, Hall was there to chart his progress alongside it, from college student to employed adult. Perhaps his crisis is a simple byproduct of age — Hall recently turned 30. Or maybe he has grown disenchanted with a once-revolutionary method of communication becoming a march to the mundane.

SFGate: Time to get a life -pioneer blogger Justin Hall bows out at 31: 2/20/05

Speculation on Six Apart: who will buy it and for how much?

Russell Beattie is getting together a Six Apart price pool.

I knew the The New York Times bought, but for $820,000 per weblog? Wow.

More discussion on and NYTimes at Jay Rosen’s PressThink, at John Battelle’s Searchblog, at Dan Gillmor’s Grassroots Journalism, and an interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTimes, at PaidContent.

Speaking of weblog hosting companies, a relative surprised me with his Xanga blog. I took a look around – it seems a very simple and easy to use blog hosting community. Like LiveJournal, it allows you to post privately, to selected lists of people. Impressive.

Giving it a name: Ajax

Jesse James Garrett posts an introduction to Ajax the application model that Google has used to develop their most recent hits – Google Suggest, Google Maps, and Gmail.

Truth be told, these technologies have been around for a while. The best article on all this is over at Apple’s site and was written way back in May 2004.

Flash developers are probably yawning over this too since, to a Flash web app developer, this isn’t a revolutionary idea – it’s simply the way things are done. And Flash developers can make requests across domains. Something that JavaScript can’t.

Still… this looks to open the door for all sorts of interesting UIs and if you already know JavaScript – you’re ahead of the game.

Search Philadelphia Blogs!

I’m very excited to announce that you can now do keyword searches on the latest blog postings in the Philadelphia region.

This is different from Technorati in an important respect: the blogs that Philly Future aggregates are verified to be quality blogs by the editorial team of the site.

Right now the search functionality is rather simplistic, only singular keywords or singular phrases, results are limited to the latest twenty, and it searches on stop words (bad, bad, bad). But check out just how powerful this is:

Search Philadelphia’s blogs for:




john street