Photos (taken thus far) from our trip to North Carolina’s Outer Banks region are online:
DaveRea.com Gallery: Outer Banks 2007
All of us here at DaveRea.com wish you were here!
A few months ago (or maybe it was more?) Barry posted an entry over on his blog called – self-analytically enough – “Why Blog?” Since I read it, I’ve often asked myself the same question, but I’ve been hard-pressed to come up with a good answer. Mostly, it’s just been along the lines of, “well, I blog because I like to.”
I had the pleasure of working with Barry for a long time over at the Honeoye Falls ambulance, and while I’m certainly no expert on All Things Barry, I do know he’s a lot less pessimistic than you might assume if you read this particular blog entry. After all, he did leave out ‘sheer narcissism’ from his list of reasons people blog, but a quick visit to YouTube or MySpace will clear that omission up right off.
So why do I blog? As often as the question pops into my brain alongside ideas for future entries (that are almost universally forgotten moments later), I’m surprised it’s taken me as long as it has to come up with the answer:
It’s because people care about more than just the “big story”. Every type of legacy media (like newspapers, magazines and TV) is limited by two big factors; first, they only have so much available space. Second, that space comes at a premium – either you have to buy your way into it, or you have to have a story so exciting, shocking, inciting or inspiring that running it will keep the revenue stream flowing.
We blog because it offers us a way to share our stories, our rants, our knowledge, our humor, our babbling and (yes Barry) sometimes our complaints. The consumers of blogs seek out those sites where the author’s style and content matches their interests – and they find much more rewarding sources of commentary, information, entertainment and connection than the legacy media offer. I’d much rather read Elise’s eloquent instructions on how to cook and eat an artichoke than wade through forty pages of newsprint to see what our local paper wants to tell me about my life in today’s “Living” section. Why should I watch the news when I can create custom newsfeeds that just include the topics I’m actually interested in?
We all have stories. We all have things going on in our lives. We all have things to say, and some people are actually pretty good at putting those things into words. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re inspiring, and sometimes they’re angry. Without blogs, most of those words would go unwritten – or if they were written, would be quickly overshadowed in the places where they might be read by news of the latest drive-by shooting, or reviews of the latest hollywood blockbuster.
Why blog? Why read others’ blogs? Because it’s an opportunity to share that the world outside of “the blogosphere” just doesn’t offer.
It’s not all that frequently that you hear tech news bits as headlines on our local AM news station, but this morning something in the world of 1s and 0s got their attention: Amazon will be teaming up with EMI to offer DRM-free music in Q2/07. And Apple’s already got a deal in the works to offer DRM-free tracks on iTunes.
I doubt a link here will be necessary – you’ve probably already heard the story and read the press release. Explaining what “DRM” is should be equally unnecessary – if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ve doubtless heard me complain about people’s willingness to accept DRM restrictions on their bought-and-paid-for content, and you’ve probably heard me talk up “fair-use”, too. If you haven’t, this might be a good time to try out daverea.com’s sexy “search” function. It’s cutting edge, yo.
So where does all this news leave us? Well, somebody finally listened. A couple of execs somewhere heard the cries of the seething throng (well, all 6 or 8 of us) calling for an end to DRM, and figured “heck, let’s give it a whirl.” And soon, we’ll have the opportunity to purchase DRM-free tunes.
Now it’s up to us.
We’ve been asking, begging and demanding that the record industry stop restricting how we use the music files that we spend our hard-earned coin on. We’ve been stealing the music when we don’t want to pay for a DRM-laden version of it, and we’ve been inventing all sorts of shady ways to strip off that DRM when it finally proves unavoidable. All the while, the record labels have been watching their sales slump, while we explain over and over that they need to embrace a new business model.
The time has arrived, kids – wallet time. We have a unique opportunity not often afforded to the advocates of freedom: we can prove just how well the thing we’re pushing for can work. So warm up your credit cards, ’cause it’s time to start buying. When the DRM-free services go live, we’ve got to use them! By following the age-old adage and putting our money where our mouths are, we’ll send a strong message: freedom works, and here’s the buck-or-so per song to prove it.
Let’s show the record companies, the software companies, and everyone who’s got a stake in (or a stake to throw at) DRM that a DRM-free business model works.
Yesterday morning, shortly after 6:00, I had the privelige of watching two of our Chevrolet Sequels cross the starting line on their 300-mile journey into the history books. Kelly and Dad joined me, and we heard from members of the local fuel cell team, as well as Larry Burns, the GM VP of research and development.
Photos are posted here: GM Sequel 300-mile drive
James Lileks might just be the best damn blogger on the whole wide Internet…
Eventually I’d fall asleep, then awake with a jolt in the old Fitzgerald Hour. (I never quite grasped the truth of his remark – “In the real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.” Makes a bit more sense now, having gotten to know the actual three o’clock much better than before. Of course, this is not dark-night-of-the-soul stuff, for heaven’s sake. It’s almost funny: boo hoo, pamper-lad has to get a real job. Granted. That said, though, F. Scott had a point; three o’clock in the morning is an empty, useless time. I’m old friends with 2 AM; we get along, and we’ve accomplished a lot. He gets surly and weird after half an hour, so I leave his company early. One o’clock, midnight? Pals. Eleven o’clock, for me, comes like the Ghost of Christmas Present. But three? A dank and bony thing, long-shanked and silent. You begin to wonder if you really need to breathe. This could be the hour where nothing breathes. Everything just sits inert, waiting for four. Because four knows five, and five can put in a good word with six.)
More excellence here…
In the process of getting life back up to speed, I’ve come across lots of good things to share…
Bill Whittle has posted some new essays and blog entries over at Eject! Eject! Eject! Bill’s essays – always well-written appeals to intuition and logic in the face of blind rhetoric – appeal to the side of me that wants to believe the things I believe and still be able to feel like a normal American. Every word on his site (and in his books) is a good read, and collectively they’re a powerful reminder of just what a wonderful nation we recently came home to.
Andy is moving to California. Actually, he’s already there as I write this. Kudos, my friend, for your uncompromising willingness to go where life takes you! Can’t wait to see your photos… (Did I mention Gallery 2 completely rocks the cazbah? Oh I did? Sorry.)
Jason is back in Rochester – expect mountain biking stories and photos, as well as sushi reviews and random commentary on our cinematic adventures, soon! Oh, and we’re gonna do some stuff to his web site too. So don’t get caught slacking, all you casual readers – they don’t call this-here web thingy an inforation superhighway for nothing!
Wow – I must be a dedicated blogger or something… It’s sunny and beautiful outside, and I’ve managed to spend my entire morning sitting in front of this computer, getting the daverea.com gallery into ship shape for your enjoyment. You can thank me later.
First off, the gallery has been updated to version 2. I had no idea just how much I was missing! Gallery 2 is a phenomenal improvement over the original, and I’d encourage anyone looking to set up a web gallery to use it. Everything is very well-integrated, and the look and feel of the final product is top-notch.
‘Nuf gushing about geeky stuff – we’ve got photos to see! I’ve also posted a bunch of new photos, and will be captioning them gradually over the next few days. For now, you can have fun playing with the new “stars” rating system, and checking out the cool stuff that’s been on the business end of my lens for the last few weeks…
Hopefully that’s enough to keep ya happy for a little while… Uploading this stuff is a little time-consuming! Meanwhile, it’s too beautiful outside to stay in here any longer, so I’m gonna head out and do some yard work. Yay for spring!