Re: Happy 5th Birthday!

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From: Dave Winer (
Date: Mon Dec 25 2000 - 05:07:00 PST

First, let me say that I love FoRK and its irreverance and intelligence, and
I love Rohit for the same reasons.

Go forward and reinvent! There's a swirl of interactivity possible and lines
that blur, betw chat and email and blogging and browser-based editing.

Reinventing is good, but honoring the legacy is good as well. I've learned
this lesson well this year with all the michegas we did with Radio and
music. At one point I realized that we were reimplementing Manila on the
back-end. Since I plugged back in, things go more smoothly, dual interfaces
work better than incompatible ones. There's a natural desire to sweep the
past aside, just as the users are getting ready to jump on board. I did this
in the past, many times, nuking my old product, learning that they refused
to die on my command. I tried it with even less success with my competitors'
products. ;->

I hope you keep FoRK running as it is, for better or worse, it's still a
unique thing. When we got funded at LVT in 1983, I shut down LBBS, as you're
contemplating shutting down FoRK. If we had kept it running, with the
resources that a company has that individuals don't, we might have had an
easier time bootstrapping the stuff we wanted to do but never did. Isolation
is the enemy of the software entrepreneur, it's done too often, and results
in breathing your own fumes. Been there. Seen it done many times.

Mazel tov,


PS: I'm working on a whitepaper entitled "Decentralizing My.UserLand". Lovin
it. I hope to have a concise definition of The Two-Way-Web shortly. It
should come as no surprise, I hope, that it's an inclusive story.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rohit Khare" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>; <>
Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2000 11:32 PM
Subject: Happy 5th Birthday!

> Five years ago, a lonely Rohit sitting at the office on Christmas Eve
> decided that it was too much trouble to be forwarding interesting bits
> to various folks by hand. 23,436 archived postings later, I can see
> that many assorted utensils beyond myself have grown in their own
> ways.
> Now, I can't say that five years later I have all that much better to
> do on a holiday evening than hang out on /dev/null twiddling sendmail
> config files.
> On the other hand, the "office" is considerably nicer, mainly by dint
> of it being my own, rather than MIT's. The downside, though, is that I
> used to work for a great guy and insightful mentor, Tim
> Berners-Lee. Now I work for this bumbling Indian egomaniac :-)
> Personally, I'd never have quite imagined I'd have succeeded with Adam
> in taking it as far as we have. We'll have a lot more to say next
> year, but for now, I'll note that it's been a month of being 26, and
> things are looking a hell of a lot brighter than they did at 25...
> For the last few days, I've been toying with shuting down FoRK. Today
> seems like an appropriate moment. I am about to be thrust forward upon
> a stage that no longer brooks long, brooding midnight posts. It's been
> years since the last VoIDpost, for example. And yet, however
> "successful" I might be so far, it's not nearly enough success to
> qualify for what Charles Ferguson so trenchantly termed "tenure in
> life". So I'll have to leave the soul-baring, frank-to-the-point-of-
> toasty, real-time software-CEO brain-dump thing to Dave Winer :-)
> It would, however, be the easy way out to merely shut FoRK off.
> Instead, I'd like it to transmogrify into a vast series of private
> subspaces reflecting the deconstruction of everyone's own FoRK. We're
> working on some new real-time information sharing systems that span
> buddy-list communities across email, IM, and the web. Blogging is too
> public; editing this page is too centralized. The day that system
> passes my sniff-test, it'll finally be a chance to see if "the dogs
> eat the dog food".
> So congratulations on another year without mailing-list software, XeNT!
> Happy Holidays,
> Rohit Khare
> CEO, KnowNow Inc.
> 2730 Sand Hill Road
> Suite 150
> Menlo Park, CA 94025
> (650) 561 0246 (direct)
> (206) 465 4936 (cell)

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