homeaboutarchives + tagsshopmembership!
aboutarchivesshopmembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

kottke.org posts about Tim OÕReilly

Work on stuff that matters

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 14, 2009

Tim O’Reilly’s advice: work on stuff that matters.

The most successful companies treat success as a byproduct of achieving their real goal, which is always something bigger and more important than they are.

The best part about Tim’s advice is that it works in boom times *and* in a recession. I have some notes jotted down for this whole post that I’m probably not going to write about how to take advantage of the recession — yes, advantage…the gist: buy low! — and one of the main points is: recessions are temporary so take the long view and keep trying to do what is most important to you, i.e. stuff that matters.

The 2007 batch of MacArthur Fellows (AKA the $500,000

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 25, 2007

The 2007 batch of MacArthur Fellows (AKA the $500,000 genius grantees) includes tinkerer Saul Griffith. Tim O’Reilly has written a long appreciation of Saul and his projects.

Archive of the first commercial web site,

posted by Jason Kottke   May 10, 2007

Archive of the first commercial web site, GNN, launched in August 1993. More on GNN.

Book author to her publishing company: your lawsuit is not helping me or my book

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 20, 2005

I got an email this morning from a kottke.org reader, Meghann Marco. She’s an author and struggling to get her book out into the hands of people who might be interested in reading it. To that end, she asked her publisher, Simon & Schuster, to put her book up on Google Print so it could be found, and they refused. Now they’re suing Google over Google Print, claiming copyright infringement. Meghann is not too happy with this development:

Kinda sucks for me, because not that many people know about my book and this might help them find out about it. I fail to see what the harm is in Google indexing a book and helping people find it. Anyone can read my book for free by going to the library anyway.

In case you guys haven’t noticed, books don’t have marketing like TV and Movies do. There are no commercials for books, this website isn’t produced by my publisher. Books are driven by word of mouth. A book that doesn’t get good word of mouth will fail and go out of print.

Personally, I hope that won’t happen to my book, but there is a chance that it will. I think the majority of authors would benefit from something like Google Print.

She has also sent a letter of support to Google which includes this great anecdote:

Someone asked me recently, “Meghann, how can you say you don’t mind people reading parts of your book for free? What if someone xeroxed your book and was handing it out for free on street corners?”

I replied, “Well, it seems to be working for Jesus.”

And here’s an excerpt of the email that Meghann sent me (edited very slightly):

I’m a book author. My publisher is suing Google Print and that bothers me. I’d asked for my book to be included, because gosh it’s so hard to get people to read a book.

Getting people to read a book is like putting a cat in a box. Especially for someone like me, who was an intern when she got her book deal. It’s not like I have money for groceries, let alone a publicist.

I feel like I’m yelling and no one is listening. Being an author can really suck sometimes. For all I know speaking up is going to get me blacklisted and no one will ever want to publish another one of my books again. I hope not though.

[My book is] called ‘Field Guide to the Apocalypse’ It’s very funny and doesn’t suck. I worked really hard on it. It would be nice if people read it before it went out of print.

As Tim O’Reilly, Eric Schmidt, and Google have argued, I think these lawsuits against Google are a stupid (and legally untenable) move on the part of the publishing industry. I know a fair number of kottke.org readers have published books…what’s your take on the situation? Does Google Print (as well as Amazon “Search Inside the Book” feature) hurt or help you as an author? Do you want your publishing company suing Google on your behalf?

Time magazine asks Moby, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 18, 2005

Time magazine asks Moby, Malcolm Gladwell, Tim O’Reilly, Clay Shirky, David Brooks, Mark Dery, and Esther Dyson about their views on the future: religion, culture, politics, etc. Gladwell: “If I had to name a single thing that has transformed our life, I would say the rise of JetBlue and Southwest Airlines. They have allowed us all to construct new geographical identities for ourselves.”

Steven Johnson’s thoughts on Web 2.0. He compares

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 04, 2005

Steven Johnson’s thoughts on Web 2.0. He compares it to a rain forest, with the information flow through the web being analogous to the efficient nutrient flow through a forest. “Essentially, the Web is shifting from an international library of interlinked pages to an information ecosystem, where data circulate like nutrients in a rain forest.” Compare with Tim O’Reilly’s recent thoughts on the subject.

Steven Levy profiles Tim O’Reilly for Wired.

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 03, 2005

Steven Levy profiles Tim O’Reilly for Wired. Kind of ironic since O’Reilly Media has put itself in the middle of what’s happening on the web, a position that perhaps should have been occupied by Wired, had they not sold all their online properties several years ago.

Tim O’Reilly op-ed about the Authors Guild’s

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 29, 2005

Tim O’Reilly op-ed about the Authors Guild’s lawsuit against Google regarding their Library Project. “Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors than copyright infringement, or even outright piracy”. The op-ed follows Tim’s earlier post on the subject.

These are the people in my (Web) neighborhood

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 25, 2005

In reaction to some ads of questionable value being placed on some of O’Reilly’s sites (response from Tim O’Reilly), Greg Yardley has written a thoughtful piece on selling PageRank called I am not responsible for making Google better:

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and the other big search engine companies aren’t public utilities - they’re money-making, for-profit enterprises. It’s time to stop thinking of search engines as a common resource to be nurtured, and start thinking of them as just another business to compete with or cooperate with as best suits your individual needs.

I love the idea that after more than 10 years of serious corporate interest in the Web that it’s still up to all of us and our individual decisions. The search engines in particular are based on our collective action; they watch and record the trails left as we scatter the Web with our thoughts, commerce, conversations, and connections.

Me? I tend to think I need Google to be as good a search engine as it can be and if I can help in some small way, I’m going to. As corny as it sounds, I tend to think of the sites I frequent as my neighborhood. If the barista at Starbucks is sick for a day, I’m not going to jump behind the counter and start making lattes, but if there’s a bit of litter on the stoop of the restaurant on the corner, I might stop to pick it up. Or if I see some punk slipping a candy bar into his pocket at the deli, I may alert the owner because, well, why should I be paying for that guy’s free candy bar every time I stop in for a soda?

Sure those small actions help those particular businesses, but they also benefit the neighborhood as a whole and, more importantly, the neighborhood residents. If I were the owner of a business like O’Reilly Media, I’d be concerned about making Google or Yahoo less useful because that would make it harder for my employees and customers to find what they’re looking for (including, perhaps, O’Reilly products and services). As Greg said, the Web is still largely what we make of it, so why not make it a good Web?

Long thoughtful response from Tim O’Reilly about

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 24, 2005

Long thoughtful response from Tim O’Reilly about the questionable advertising on some of O’Reilly Media’s sites. Is selling your site’s Page Rank to someone more or less legitimate than selling them your customers’ attention? (via waxy)