Sitting by the Rock of the Bay...

Rohit Khare (
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 21:32:35 -0700

Hi gang --

I'm sitting here at the furthestmost reaches of Pt. Bonita, in the Marin
Headlands. Right above the lighthouse, looking over the cast pacific,
silent except for the caves crashing on shore. And, of course, the sound
of a clicking laptop keyboard. You know me by now...

The winds are a bit strong -- the screen is flapping in the breeze,
threatening to take off at any second. How's that for a risk of
subnotebook computing?

It's a fine sunny day, al the more stolen since I just missed my flight
back East. I'm trying to decide, now that I've reached past W3C, what to
do next. Of course, there's UC Irvine on the horizon, but what do I
really want to do next? Do I need to bunker down for the long haul and,
thus, escape for the summer? Do I charge straight through to UCI? Or do
I stop to curse my wits for leaving the Kleenex for my runny noseback at
the trailhead?

In the most concrete terms, I have to decide what to do for the next few
months. THe question of May is most urgent -- I have to be in India for
one wedding 5/8-11, and in D.C. for another 5/25 (neither of them are
min, thankfully!). I'd like to have Mochizuki-san fund this little
venture in excahnge for some consulting value. Otherwise, I'll go
directly to India on my own for three weeks (well, with my mother, but I
think you know what I mean).

During May, Adam and I need to continue the book outlines, and we can
take a crack at the "How I learned to stop worrying and love HTTP" paper
which HICSS has requested.

The troubl begins after that -- do I want to propose spending the summer
in Japan? vegging out on a beach somewhaere? in India? Do I write, or do
I try to do something very difficult-- empty my mind and do nothing?

I suppose I'll have to write Shemp, the story of the W3C, since now I'm
*really* pissed. First, I'm still pissed at the "Archtiects of the Web"
garbaggio -- and now it's even doing so well, there are display ads for
it in the Wall $treet Journal. Second, I'm sufficiently pissed now at
the W3C's own shyness at getting its message out. So I'm going to do my
my bit by dsetting the agenda around them. Dark and unspecified threats
of "wither Shemp should be done within W3C or not at all" will get some
folks nowhere (no, it's not who you're thinking of.)

The key is positioning. Shemp is not for technology weenies -- it has no
technology in it, no specs, no bits on the wire. It's for the
intelligent, curious layperson, but we all know how small a market that
is. I think we have something to say about how the Web hangs together
which hasn't been said before: how the technonology affects information
communities/societies and why "Web philosophy" -- as found in the
artifacts AND in the processes -- is a Good Thing. This is a lot more
than a quickie book, not a literal User's
Guide to Web Standards, but a ... what? Who should I identify as my
target audience? the politiical philiopsphers and erudite pundits of the
Safire ilk? Interested Web "users" like Michelle? Budding Web "content"
developers like Duck? Policymakers? CIOs? W3C AC Reps? (that last is
most tempting, and most telling -- I think the W3C value proposition is
such a state secret even most of our members couldn't enunciate it.)

Well, that's enough questions for now. I gotta find that kleenex...