May 9, 2002
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Small Pieces

Last night, Dave Weinberger (Cluetrain Manifesto) gave a talk and book signing at SoftPro, one of Boston's two good technical bookstores. SoftPro has a nice reading space in the back, perfect for this audience of about a dozen tech professionals. (I don't see how the space can possibly pay its rent, even in the best of times and certainly not in this economy. The economics of author events confound me)

Weinberger's new book describes the Web as "a loose federation of documents -- many small pieces, loosely joined." That's a lovely description, capturing the essence of the Web's strength. Ten billion pages, no managers.

There were slow moments, too. Weinberger has a bee in his bonnet about AI and representation, about which he is (I think) mistaken but which is really irrelevant to his argument. At one point, the crowd took after Blogger's free service as an example of Internet Bubble Excess, forgetting that Blogger is a guy and a server in a closet. At the height of the boom, it was a few guys (a and b) and a server in a closet. This level of service is easily sustainable as a gift: see any political or religious movement for examples.