Sunday, April 28, 2002

Round 2 of Suggestions

1) Note that I'm merely coding and passing along the majority of suggestions I receive (with a lighter editing touch for others' nominations than for self-nominations). If one seems atypical, it's because of someone's atypical tastes, and I wasn't editing heavily enough.

2) I'm not thrilled with "Blog Nation" for a title, either. So I'm certainly open to a different name. Suggestions?

3) Some authors have thanked me for the nominations, but, again, I'm just the messenger. Thank your readers.

And now, some nominations. Again, still not a complete list, I'm just trying to put them out there at least as fast as they're coming in.

Josh Trevino, and on September 13.

Andrew Sullivan (in the Sunday Times, though), and the "Moral Equivalence Again" entry.

Sgt. Stryker.

Cathy Seipp, who is an honorary blogger, I suppose.

Jane Galt.

Asparagirl.

An omnibus of Glenn Reynolds' works:
Tom Clancy was right, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, September 14, September 17, September 20, September 23, September 28, October 3, October 5, October 8, and October 17.

Matt Welch: September 17, September 20, September 25, September 29, September 30.

Ken Layne: October 11 and December 9.

Shiloh Bucher: November 18, November 20, December 5.

Pejman Yousefzadeh.

A bunch of people have nominated Oriana Fallaci's work, which has been admirable, but not actually from a weblog. Plus, her lawyers haven't been happy about having the translations blogged.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Blog Blizzard

Thanks so much to everyone who checked in yesterday. We have dozens of nominees we are currently sorting through. Please feel free to send in your comments on the nominees currently up, and please continue to make suggestions regarding your favorite 9/11-related blogs, including your own. Please help spread the word as well. We wish to represent the entire Blog Nation with this book (with caveats listed below).

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Lots of Suggestions

This will not be a complete list, but just an initial sampling (nominations through the afternoon of April 16). Keep nominating (including authors named here if there are other writings that are missed--I know there's more out there from, inter alia, Reynolds, Lileks, and Den Beste), please don't be offended if I haven't gotten to your e-mail yet, and please don't be offended if I haven't had (or won't have) the chance to acknowledge your e-mails personally. (I never thought when I first got into blogging that I'd be blowing off e-mails from so many writers I respect.)

A request, though: please include the entire link in your e-mail.

Keep in mind that we don't have clearances or permissions from all of these people. The fact that a post has been nominated does not mean that the author of the post has agreed to be in the book, or has endorsed the project in any way.

A lot of people have suggested Jason Kottke's September 11 post. This will come in handy as source material (though a lot of links are dead, or link to copyrighted material by professional organizations), and I certainly remember reading that page on September 11 as I searched for information on the Web.

Brian Bernstein

Tristin Laughter.

Jeff Jarvis; and here; and here; and here (scroll down).

Last Page.

Jonathan Wishnia.

Tama Starr and Virginia Postrel on September 12 and September 13.

John Scalzi.

Lileks, September 13.

Andrew Sullivan, September 16.

Selections from Lane McFadden and his defense of the flag.

Bjørn Stærk; also this.

In a perfect world, where we could do a CD and costlessly get all the photographers of the world to donate their work, I'd love to use Tony Pierce's Dear Kids of Afghanistan and Dear Terrorists. The real problem is going to be getting the legal rights to use all of those photos--the Rev. Pierce is unique among bloggers the way he does photo-essays, and too much is lost without them. We'll probably have to let it go. A shame, because it would be such a clear refutation of the faux controversy around the selection process.

Steven Ovadia.

Gabrielle Taylor.

Rand Simberg's "Media Casualties Mount".

A non-blog piece by Glenn Reynolds.

Steven Den Beste.

Moira Breen's "A High Wind In The Isles".

Stephen Green.

Martin Devon.

Me, I'm off to find a route downtown that isn't blocked by anti-WTO protestors. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Lots of Interest

I just posted this on Photodude Reid Stott's site. Max is hard at work sorting through the dozens of nominations we have received. Thanks very much! He will start posting them for your consideration and edification shortly.
    Nice to see so much interest in the 9/11 blog book. Interesting that some people are so quick, perhaps even eager, to find themselves excluded, since we seek to exclude no one.

    Virtually all blogs are a hybrid of concerns and styles - as are the individuals who write them. I have found that if "traffic" is your goal, then "predictability," perhaps "reliability" makes that goal more readily achievable. As in anything, if people can categorize you and anticipate you, then they are more comfortable with you. That's where labels come from.

    The beauty of the relationship between bloggers and 9/11 is that it was all spontaneous: regardless of your specific interests or areas of expertise, people jumped into the fray because it was necessary, because the horror focused our attention.

    Of course some bloggers remained more interested in the aftermath of the attacks - which shortly turned into "war" - than others, who returned to their pre-9/11 concerns, and those who stayed interested became the "warbloggers." Perhaps some who feel left out feel some guilt over not pursuing the aftermath with a vigor that EVERYONE displayed regarding the event itself. Who knows?

    But I can assure anyone who cares, this book is about ALL bloggers and 9/11. Nothing more and nothing less.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Cubbyholes Being Erected

More blogger book commentary from Reid Stott via Glenn Reynolds who also cautions against polarization - call it a fourth way.
    But despite these new bumps and surges of convergence, we can't seem to get away from either/or and us/them. The truth is Jason wrote some very worthy things related to 9-11, whether anyone describes him as a "warblog" or not.

    And on the other side of the coin, there are indeed people who may not have been First Wavers like Jason but were veteran bloggers long before 9-11, who consider themselves generally left of center, yet fully support the war on terrorism.

    And don't care if they are published in a book or not.

    So build me my own cubbyhole. No label, please.
Here's the thing: "warblogger" is a generic term meaning "sometimes comments on politics, foreign policy and the intertangled web of culture, religion, media, general wonkism as it relates to 9/11 and its aftermath." There is no "when the war is over" because the consequences of 9/11 will reach their tentacles into every nook and cranny of the future. I am unaware of any blogger who writes only on "war."

All I have ever stumbled across speak of whatever is on their minds at whatever time - we're talking about degrees here, not absolutes. Even the most misty, starry-eyed sensualist, or the most hardened digitalist has made some sort of commentary on 9/11 and its labyrinthine postscript. Maybe this is about jockeying for position, maybe it's rope-a-dope, maybe Colin Powell will sweep in and cuff our ears, but in the meantime just participate in the process.

A Message to All

The "Warblog" book pot is further stirred by Nick Denton, who sees a divide between the original, computer-related bloggers, and the bloggy-come-latelies who have concentrated on politics, policy, and blowing things up.

Nick has some good points to make for both sides, finding a Clintonian third way:
    For a long while, there was a curious arrangement between the two groups, in which each ignored the other's politics: the warbloggers grateful that someone had made web publishing so easy; the web kids pleased to see their creation spread.

    And then James Wolcott writes a piece in Business 2.0 that pretty much ignores weblogs before the warbloggers; and the warbloggers get together to write a book, tentatively called Blog Nation. Jason Kottke, veteran web kid, seems to feel weblogs have been hijacked, which they have. The warbloggers respond, politely: write your own damned book. The revolution is eating its children. On balance, I think Jason has a point, and at least he's making it; most of the SF web people are scared of argument. Sure, a book needs to have a voice. But, get real, “Blog Nation” is not a monolithic work, it's a *compilation*. Compilations are meant to be diverse; at least in so far as that makes them interesting. So, warblogger buddies, just make nice with Kottke; apart from anything else, he's actually an excellent writer.
Interesting and perceptive all, but immediately upon seeing Jason's original comments, I sent him an email thanking him for his comments and inviting him to participate in the book as HE WAS THERE and made valuable contributions to humanity on 9/11 itself. Haven’t heard anything from him, so I am not sure that Jason is “making his point” since he would have appeared to have made his critique from the bleachers, then bugged out early to beat the traffic.

I restate again, here, now, that our intention is to put out the best-written and most thought-provoking book we can. That’s all. There is no political agenda beyond HATING TERRORISM in its many forms. This is not a “warblogger” vs. “whateverthehellblogger” situation; this is not Bay Area vs. Everywhere Else; this is a book to represent the contributions of bloggers everywhere to the minds, hearts and souls of mankind in reaction to a stunning tragedy.

Two of my most fervent nominations - if I can only pick two, I pick these two - are about as far from “warblogging” as possible: Tony Pierce’s riveting, brilliant, funny, wrenching photo essay "Dear Kids From Afghanistan," and David Rees’s scathing, scabrous, hysterical, vicious satire "Get Your War On" (part 6 is my favorite). That’s about as far from “eradicate the assholes and the camels they rode in on, NOW,” and dissertations on ballistics as you can get.

Now I have question: Where did Nick get the “Blog Nation” title? I haven’t seen or heard a title discussed anywhere and I am confused. Not that it’s a bad title, but Nick, who I also have not heard from, seems to know something I don’t.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Keep the Nominations Coming

We've gotten dozens of responses with dozens of nominations. Apologies to the extent we haven't been able to write back everyone who's taken the time to write in. We'll start listing stuff this weekend. Keep the nominations coming.

"Balance"

I think there's been some confusion over this book based on the words "September 11."

September 11, of course, means a particular day, an unforgettable day, a day when people woke up with one expectation of the world and went to sleep with another. There was a lot of panic, a lot of uncertainty, and a relatively small and insular community of webloggers used that medium to communicate with each other about what news they had heard. Matthew Caughey complains that reprinting a Metafilter thread would capture reactions adequately, and we're not being "balanced" because that's not the approach we're using. I think that's unrealistic:
Somebody with access to a TV please post details!! There's no getting into any of the news sites ----

A plane impacted the top of one of the WTC towers at about 10 minutes to nine this morning. While everybody was still trying to figure out was was going on, a second plane flew in a straight line into the second tower and impacted it at a height a little lower than the first collision. Both building are clearly on fire. The government has apparently received no warning or claims of an attack. The president will address the nation shortly.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:28 AM PST on September 11

the phonelines here are going crazy, ours just died. i can here ambulances heading downtown. the TV just said that FBI is already investigating. they're talking about a possible hijacking. bush is also supposedly going to talk soon. Tv just said that US officially declared this to be an act of terrorism.
posted by karen at 6:28 AM PST on September 11

I'm very glad to hear your father's okay Adam.
posted by cCranium at 6:29 AM PST on September 11

Holy fuck. It was a commercial jetliner according to MSNBC
posted by owillis at 6:31 AM PST on September 11

second plane looks like a boeing 737
posted by mich9139 at 6:31 AM PST on September 11

The second plane is an American Airlines 767 that took off from Boston, CNN is reporting.
posted by rcade at 6:32 AM PST on September 11

NY1 reports that the airports, tunnels and incoming traffic into Manhattan has been shutdown.
posted by riffola at 6:32 AM PST on September 11
This is perhaps historically interesting to see people relaying to the Internet what they're hearing on TV (and this is not an atypical sample of the thread Caughey cites) for the benefit of the fraction of a percent of the population that had Internet access but no radio or television. But it's not the book that we're putting together.

"September 11" also means a concept, the day that America realized that it was in a battle for its existence. It was a catalyzing factor (often together with the example of Glenn Reynolds) that encouraged people of all political persuasions, people without extensive computer backgrounds, people who had never heard of the little-girl-on-a-bicycle-story to start their own weblogs to share their exasperation with the traditional media outlets' faux "objectivity." It strikes me that a lot of the backbiting is really a complaint from long-time bloggers that the center of the weblog universe isn't where it used to be, but it's this political movement of the last seven-plus months that the book is largely about.

Is this a "narrow" view? Not to those of us who've read these weblogs: they include Nader voters, Gore voters, Bush voters, whatever-libertarian-finished-in-fifth-place voters, non-voters, and for all I know even someone who accidentally voted for Buchanan; they include Jews, Muslims, Christians, and the secular; Israelis, Australians, Canadians, Persians. A Chomskyite might think this is only the gamut from "A to B", as one e-mail accused me of attempting, but, again, all we've stated is that we're against terrorism, and that leaves plenty of room for debate. It's no less unbalanced than the hypothetical core-sample-of-weblogs-on-one-day-only book (as opposed to my example below of a core-sample-of-the-Web-as-a-whole), which would be biased towards voices in the computer professions.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Ego

: In answer to another post below, I think it will work out efficiently if bloggers do nominate their own posts; they know their own stuff best. I also suggest nominating more than one so those compiling can mix and match topics for a better book. I also intend to send my list of nominated bloggers to Eric and Max by email so as not to offend anyone I accidentally leave out.

Voice

: I'm in favor of the blogbook (even though I've been a lazy SOB and haven't posted here yet or submitted my nominations for others' or my blog; do not take procrastination as a statement; take it as laziness).
But I have to admit that one thing did scare me about the project and that fright is coming to life, as witnessed in the posts that lead to the two good responses below: What I feared was editing by democracy or by the mob. Kottke complains about what is and isn't in the book. Others complain about balance. If you listen to that, posts will have to be weighed by their balance of opinions: one on this side, one on that side, one on this side, one on that side. And before long you will have...
A VERY BORING BOOK.
Matt Welch started this when he complained that the "other side" had their book.
Now this side can have its book. Whatever the hell this side is. That will come out in the wash of what goes into it. That will be a rich ragout of opinions and perspectives and opinions.
But what this book must have is a voice. Generally, that is what an author or an editor -- rather than a democratic mob -- gives it. It must not be so scared of offending or omitting anyone that it becomes one big tapioca mush.
So don't try to impose some PC quota system on who's here or what's said. And don't presume you know what label to put on those of us who are here. Being against terrorism does not make me anything but right. Not right-wing. Just right.
I couldn't have said it better than Eric did below.

The Debate Begins

Whoa now! First, I was exaggerating with my call to mission. I do things like that, Max is right. Second, there is no way I could put it better than Max did below: logical, heartfelt, passionate, on target. There are no limitations to what may be submitted and the blogging community is as diverse as the day is long, but there are basic guidelines to what the book represents: the U.S. was attacked unjustly by terrorists, over 3,000 people from all over the world were wiped from the face of the earth on a day of grievous tragedy, and not one of them "deserved it." Beyond that, it's wide open.

I find this particular discussion both strange and funny, because I consider myself to be a "liberal," but I'm a liberal in the same way Charles Johnson, Matt Welch, and Ken Layne are: love everybody, be inclined to help them and think the best of them, but if they crash airplanes into your buildings, or blow themselves up at your wedding, then track the bastards down and exterminate them like the vermin they are. Have a nice day.

If that's not the book you want written

Jason Kottke makes a valuable point about Eric's gung-ho post below:
So, what are the choices here? Either a) everyone with a weblog is a hawkish right-wing Westerner; b) only those webloggers who are hawkish right-wing Westerners can submit something for consideration; or c) I'm not getting a joke here. What seems like an opportunity to take a balanced, accurate snapshot of what people all across the Web were writing online at the time of the events of 9/11 has somehow turned into us vs them. Isn't there enough us vs them going around these days? How about letting everyone play...or at least make folks who may not be right-wing or pro-West feel welcome to contribute?
I think Eric was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. We're certainly not limiting contributions to those from the right wing. Christopher Hitchens, hardly a right-winger, had some of the best September 11 commentary around. My personal favorite non-Lileks 9/11 post was from a leftist punk rocker on Dr. Frank's site for whom the attacks hit personally.

At the same time, and perhaps I'm wrong, there's very little interest in printing Chomsky-style prattle. A "balanced, accurate snapshot" of the Web would include the white supremacists who cheered the collapse of the towers on September 11, Jorn Barger's conspiracy theories implying Israel was behind the attacks, Saudi newspapers telling tales of Jews baking Gentile blood into pastries, Counterpunch's and Robert Fisk's excuses for the terrorists, and Arab newspapers on alternate days applauding Osama Bin Laden for his bold strike and denying that he had anything to do with it. It would include masses of frankly unreadable attempts at writing from people of all viewpoints. Such a "core sample" may be the source of an interesting sociological analysis, but it's not the goal of this compilation. I don't believe in the definition of "objectivity" that says you don't call a terrorist a terrorist because someone might disagree with that assessment, or that the talking head condemning suicide-bombing pizzerias has to be "balanced" by a supporter of the practice. There's going to be biases in the finished work, biases towards good writing, biases towards tolerance and pluralism, and biases towards the belief that crashing fuel-and passenger-laden jumbo jets into skyscrapers is not a laudable act and that there's something wrong with those that suggest otherwise.

If that's not the book you want written, we're fortunate enough to live in a free society that permits you to write a different one.

MEMORY HOLE UPDATE: Because the author is an idiot, the original version of this post misidentified Mr. Kottke as "Brett"

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Excellent Day

Superior start to the project! Thanks for your participation and support. Please let your freinds and readers know, and encourage them to send in their nominations. Let us crush the apologist/root-cause-spewing/Western-civilization-hating/lefty-fascist essayists with blogger logic and righteous indignation. This is a mission.

Blog Yourself If You Want, It's a Free Country

While in theory we are encouraging people to nominate the best 9/11 blogs by other people, please feel free to nominate your own best blogs as well. We will put the nominated pieces up on this site, which should soon become a repository of the very best 9/11-related blogger writing: a monument in and of itself. Please put a link to this site on your blog to alert the world, or at least people who read blogs, as to this project. This is about you. Thanks for your participation.

Monday, April 15, 2002

Lileks Blogs

LILEKS BLOGS:
Penultimate note: ERIC @ TRES PRODUCERS! COUNT ME IN!
Sweet.

Get Your Blog On

We are Go. Attention all bloggers: please send in the URL of your favorite 9/11-related posts from ANY blogger at ANY time (since 9/11 obviously) for consideration for inclusion in the new Warblogger's book - proceeds going to charity. Let's put our best feet forward, having washed them, and take another step toward blogging hegemony. Thanks and tell your friends.

I still prefer Magen David Adom

One possibility for the overflow money is to pay Michael Moore's beleaguered landlord, but I still prefer Magen David Adom.

9/11 Blook

Thanks very much to Max for inviting me onto this site. I should first say that Andrew Sullivan isn't "on board," yet - I sent him an inquiry this morning, but with his rehearsal schedule and whatnot, I haven't heard back. But with Matt Welch, Ken Layne, Glenn Reynolds, Jeff Jarvis, Max, Asparagirl, etc (and a good agent) already in the mix, this can't fail.

I agree that the best approach would be for bloggers to send in their favorite 9/11-related (or aftermath, any connection is fine) essays/blogs and then we'll just peer review them. I think Glenn should get the final say, since everyone knows and respects him, and he gets a shitload of traffic. We'd love for Andrew to write an intro/outro/prologue/conlogue/whatever.

Max has nominated a charity, but we are still open to suggestion as to where the vast dinero will flow. We will dictate global policy based upon our largesse! Please tell your bloggy friends. Let the candidate essay/blogs flow!

CD-ROM with electronic copies?

Would there also be a CD-ROM with electronic copies of the essays included with the book, to provide a permanent digicopy? Stuff falls off the net fast. Even though the links within the pieces will become exponentially more useless each month, it would be nice to include what the author originally intended.

Nominate the Work of Others

I took this on because Matt Welch indicated that there was this great idea sitting around that would die unless someone picked up the cudgel, and I'm never one to resist mixing metaphors. It turns out that Eric Olsen of Tres Producers has already gotten an agent and Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds aboard. I've given him co-admin status to this blog and, realistically, he'll probably end up taking the lead on things.

I had thought about just asking bloggers to nominate their own work, but Matt Welch suggests that it would be more interesting to get people to nominate others' work. Well, we're certainly not going to turn down nominations: people are sending them in, and I hope we get more before we start spamming bloggers. My only concern is the chance we end up with 40 pieces by Lileks and ten by everyone else, but I'm quickly learning how deep the blogging talent pool is beyond the dozen I regularly read and the several dozen I check in on once in a while.

No one seems to be posting

No one seems to be posting, but Jeff Jarvis and Asparagirl have signed on.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

Hi, I'm Max Power

Hi, I'm "Max Power", and I'm taking up Matt Welch's call for a book-length collection on bloggers' reactions to September 11. I nominate Magen David Adom as a charity for the royalty run-off, but I leave it to others to decide. I'm already in discussions with a publisher.

If you'd like to be part of this, please send me an e-mail to safblog at yahoo dot com, and I'll get you a password to the site so that you can post entries also. Please also send nominations for the book to the same address.