Who’s Going to Fall for This?

The Internet stock bubble has been obvious for some time. But this story about LinuxOne’s IPO from the Wall Street Journal (via ZDNet) may be the ultimate cautionary tale for anyone willing to view the phenomenon realistically.

Are investors really this foolish?

A Highlight I Didn’t Forget

One of my personal highlights of the year was starting this online column, and one of the coolest parts of the process has been the ability to update the site from a Web browser. This is part of an ongoing transformation, in which we’re learning to create content on the Web, for the Web.

It didn’t make the annual highlights list that ran in my newspaper column, however. Dave Winer wondered why. He’s man behind the company that created Manila, the software we’re using to publish eJournal. It’s a fair question.

We’ve been posting from Web browsers onto the Web — and from old-fashioned Internet-connected terminals onto the Net– in other ways before now, such as Newsgroups and Web-based discussion groups. Tech companies have been turning server software into applications we run from our browser clients, meanwhile.

Some of the potential coalesced this year. Dave and his team took the process to a higher level, adding much more sophistication and possibilities for those of us doing the posting. I’m grateful for this enhanced ability, and have said so in my column several times this year. I expect to keep saying so in this space, as the product’s capabilities grow.

It was a very close call as to whether to put Manila and other software of this kind on my highlights list. I didn’t for two reasons. I didn’t want to seem self-indulgent, talking yet again about the online column in the newspaper. I’m also fairly sure that 2000, not 1999, will be the breakthrough year for such technology. I expect to see a bunch of new tools that will take this kind of content creation to a much higher level — tools that use the sophistication of the client more than Manila is able to do today. The Userland Software folks, along with Microsoft and other smart companies, are working on this right now. I can barely wait to see what they come up with.

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