Saturday, November 19

Letter to Den-Beste-sama

Stutefish sez in the comments--
I'm sorry, but the proper response here is to publish a thoughtful, well-reasoned rebuttal of Den Beste's thoughtful, well-reasoned conclusions about OSM.
So, I'll try. :-)

Hi Steven-kun,
(miss me?)
1. I agree with your research and analysis of the trademark issues. But isn't this the way the blogverse is supposed to work? A voice for the little guy? And i'm sure OSM will work something out. I think it would be fine if they offered renumeration to radiopensource, or changed their name.
What i disagree with is the manic tsunami of vituperation that a simple mistake has inspired--comparing Charles to Rather? Puhleez. You object to OSM desiring you for name recognition? What about the extreme cynicism of atrios, metafilter, and dennis, exploiting your name recognition factor to attack OSM, and Charles and Roger?
I'm sorry I said that about pissing in the cheerios. But it wasn't hate mail, just mad mail. You know that.
If you were really interested in helping this venture, couldn't you have just raised concerns in emails to Charles and Roger?

2. May I draw your attention to this email--sent Oct 24

konichi wa, den beste-sama--
lol, your site is the only one guaranteed to make a hefty revenue from advertising--manga and anime purveyors would be clawing each other's eyes out for the chance to advertise with you. ;-)
no wonder charles and roger want you. ;-)

but i understand your

now, from Chizu--
Dennis the Peasant explains why "high traffic" is uninteresting when it comes to selling advertising. It's not how many people you get, it's who they are that matters, and political commentary sites don't get people that advertisers are interested in reaching, or rather, don't get enough such people.
What he's talking about is the difference between advertising in Life Magazine and advertising in Sky and Telescope. The latter gets very high rates from its advertisers, virtually all of whom sell astronomy equipment, because its readers are people who want to buy astronomy equipment.

Why is it bad when I say it, but good when Dennis the Peasant says it? that is why i think you are not dispassionate about OSM.

3. You compare OSM to the Borg Cube and talk about assimilation on Chizu. You worry about your favorite blogs. I say that is false. Jeff Goldstein is adamant about there being no change in his content. That is true--he is just as profane, clever, and funnie as ever. Don't you think that is why his mock was on the front page? People like AltHouse are the ones that want to police content, saying Jeff's mock should have "embarrassed him" by being on the front page. feh.

4. You know what a self-organising system is, and you understand social network theory. Perhaps others don't, and I excuse them for their fears. But I say, no organization can force control on the blogverse. It is organic. It evolves. The best you can hope to do is make a channel for the information to flow through.

5. You say it's hubris. But what if it is koros? The right action of man in perfect harmony with the gods?

6. Google stock is at $400/share, up from $70/share. The google guys have $56 billion dollars each. Google serves information and sells advertising space. If OSM is a higher level aggregator than google, and serves blogdata, why shouldn't some of those advertising dollars go to the bloggers?
caveat, i know absolutely nothing about business models. I can't follow Dennis' discussions. But i don't understand why having an evolving business plan will doom OSM to failure. Mebbe someone can explain that to me.

7. Finally, you don't see any advantage to OSM. Well, I do. The evil UN thought police will be back. And OSM is a good place to get organized to fight them. I think the existing carnivals are great, and the up-coming Carnivals could be very high value-added.

I guess we would all like things to go perfectly here. I love this place myself.
But what is ever perfect?
Here is a good japanese word for you.
there is no exact translation, it means, i accept, i take.
Sometimes people say it before eating.
Maybe OSM is flawed, imperfect. But I sure don't see anyone out there proposing an alternative.

the major, out

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