Thursday, November 17

OSM Madness

Pretty exciting day yesterday. It was fun to listen to the audio stream from the launch, and hear the voices of people that i've read for more than a year. The apogee point for me was wonderful Wretchard the Cat's high praise for Bill Roggio's unique and valuable warblog.
But what wasn't so fun was the boiling controversy that flamed up in the blogverse. Wretchard says "...at midnight EST it led the top of Technorati's charts at 740 posts." Strange alliances bloomed, dignified Ann Althouse and sleazy Wonkette, honorable Den-beste-sama and corrupt Atrios (ha ha, protect me Senator Coryn!). Passions flared, my beloved sempai publically accused me of sending him hate mail, both unfair and untrue.
I don't understand why everyone's so hot.
Sure Dennis mebbe has a right to complain. Sounds like he put some heavy lifting into the initial effort. But Armed Liberal was involved at the start also, and we haven't heard a peep out of him.
I think the name controversy issue has been elevated high enough. If there's trademark infringement, well, leave it to the lawyers at this point. To me, open source doesn't so much mean Torvalds and Linux and software models, as it does open source intel, the intelligence we can gather from open sources, meaning unclassified and undenied. I think that's a better analogy for what OSM is trying to do. They're aiming to be information servers.
And that brings up another point--why are so many so sure that they'll fail? Isn't this the same model as google, serving info for advertising space? What is google stock at anyway right now?
But i have the least patience with those that claim OSM will somehow ruin the blogverse (BTW, i absolutely hate the word "blogosphere"--to a mathematician, a sphere is a strictly limiting construct.) The blogverse is a robust self-organizing system, a powerful and thriving social network (see Social Network Theory), and OSM is not going to destroy it or even lessen it. One of my managers at work (not computer literate) asked me once how many websites there could be. I replied, as many as grains of sand on a beach. In math-speak, countably infinite.
So, i think OSM is a coolio experiment. It may fail (though i don't think so), but for now i am thrilled with it. Even though i've been here more than a year and know lots of the best places to go, i really appreciate the top layer of organization for the carnivals a lot. I never knew where to find them all, inspite of some of them being linked at my beloved Instapundit. Isn't that sort of thing a value-added for newbies?
So, i'll send congrats to Roger and Charles. I think all your critics are just a bit petty and mean-spirited. Aren't we used to seeing visionaries reviled and defamed by now? I guess Charles and Roger are heretics in the Wild West model of the blogverse frontier. A lot of people seem to want to burn them at the stake. ;-)
I'm such a music-head, of course Charles and Roger remind me of a song-- one by the Waterboys-- i think they see the whole of the moon, and, while the rest of us get snatches, they see The Plans.

Update: OSM responds to scurrilous trademark infringement claims.
So there. ;-)

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