Web 2.0


24 MB MP3

The Internet just got cool again. Forget the crash. What was a collection of static pages and commerce sites has become a living, breathing conversation. A handful of innovations — tagging, syndication and yes, of course, blogging — have only now become user-friendly. They’re changing the way we communicate. And finally, the doomsday predictions about the old models — of journalism, of marketing, of research — are no longer exaggerated.

They’re calling it Web 2.0, and it will probably change your life. A few people saw it coming all along. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy, they wrote.

Chris’s Post-Game Analysis

“The revenge of the sources” was a great line from Dave Winer–a powerful capsule of the driving energy in Web expressionism. I loved another good line from KenLac on the blog, that the return to radio sounded like “the old Connection on speed.” It felt so beautiful to be in the middle of a good conversation on the air again, with Mary 2.0 in the control room presiding over another brilliant young staff of skillful strivers. I knew the old magic was working when David Weinberger started talking about his own kids’ formative experience with Web values and Web possibility. It began when he talked about his own “joy” in this space, with David Miller on a headset in the control room prodding me to push David on that joy. I loved it when Dave Winer said that those Chinese kids in the Internet cafes were looking at sex, a lot of them! There was candor here, and the sort of straight talk that is so easy in Web world (part of the Web sensibility we want to marry) that is still rare on public radio. So it felt like a very solid start. Thank you for listening, and for writing and calling. It’s a generous medium this Web space, as David Weinberger has been saying –and as Doc Searls and Dave Winer have been exemplifying–for years. Let’s do it again.

[Confirmed in studio]

David Weinberger

Blogger, Joho the Blog

Co-author, The Cluetrain Manifesto

Author, Small Pieces, Loosely Joined

Chris’s 2003 Interview with David Weinberger

From Chris on David

The only blogger I know with serious philosophical training, David Weinberger, may tell us the meaning of it all. Small Pieces Loosely Joined spelled out the changed meanings of time, space, knowledge, community, maybe truth, that come with the Internet.

[Confirmed on the phone]

Doc Searls

Blogger, Doc Searls Weblog

Senior Editor, Linux Journal

Co-author, The Cluetrain Manifesto

Chris’s 2003 Interview with Doc Searls

[Confirmed in studio]

Dave Winer

Blogger, Scripting News

Standard Author, RSS 2.0

Inventor, Podcasting

Dave Winer, at the start of his Berkman Fellowship two years ago, fired wisdom with urgency. Searls and Weinberger conspired in the wake-up Cluetrain Manifesto Among its 95 theses pinned to the church door: “Markets are conversations. Networked markets get smarter faster than most companies.” My reaction was: to hell with markets–what if the networked readers of the New York Times were given an effective way to talk back to the paper and each other?

[Confirmed in studio]

Dina Mehta

Blogger, Conversations with Dina

Market researcher, Explore Research & Consultancy

Dina Mehta uses many of the Web 2.0 innovations in her work, and she blogs about them too.

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  • blyons

    geez, why couldn’t you get anybody good? merely two cluetrain authors and the

    guy who invented RSS…

    seriously, this is a fabulous start for the show.

    wishing you much good fortune and

    continued high-content guests.

    here is an mp3 of a talk Dave Winer had with WGBH Morning Stories

    producer Tony Kahn back in January.

  • wholesome

    Best of luck with the new show. I’ll tune in and listen. But I’m confused. What about the over-the-airwaves interactive format from the Connection days? Will this always be record in advance & broadcast latter shows? Has all the interaction been moved to the blogsphere?

  • Jo Ann Oravec

    Congrats on your new show! I do hope

    that you can direct some of your time

    toward providing a new, tech-savvy

    voice for Air America (or other venues)

    in the future as well. Public radio indeed needs

    you but Air America needs you more…

  • Jon

    For those of us wishing you well outside of Boston or other launch sites, and who may be in our cars or anywhere else without ready internet access: The world of Web 2.X now permits anyone with a laptop, a cell phone, and just a little adventurousness to follow the show virtually anywhere that cell phones pick up a digital signal. For example, Verizon’s 3g network really is fast enough to let the phone deliver the WGBH streaming audio to my laptop without any dropout. I simply have my laptop dial into their fast modem system, and I’m on the web almost instantly. Take the output from the earphone jack of the laptop into a cheapo device that pretends it’s a tape for the car’s tape player, or into a slightly less cheapo device that retransmits the signal onto an unused frequency of the car radio, and voila–Open Source is now available on your car radio, even if you’re far, far away from Boston. Now that we’ve got the mechanics out of the way, here’s hoping for some very exciting shows to make all this preparation worth it–best of luck!

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  • KenLac

    Godspeed, kids! It’s long overdue!

  • KenLac

    Also: any “Lydonistas” please join me in the old “private room” for some virtual champagne.

  • KenLac, is there an IRC for the show?

    Woo – nostalgia time for me – I am listening on a real radio over the air in central NH. Nice to hear you this way again, Chris!

  • KenLac

    ksandre: not exactly — we veterans of the old “Connection” battles have a private message board, by invite only.

  • KenLac: Thanks for answering so rapidly. I just went looking at “christopherlydon [DOT] org” and found it redirected here now.

    Sorry for the use of “real” above – I meant old-style rather than internet.

    In any case. It feels nice to listen to Chris again on the air.

  • A question for your guests: I did not become a dot-com billionaire during Web 1.0. I would very much like to correct this oversight. What should I be working on in Web 2.0 to maximize my chances for profligate wealth?

  • KenLac

    Okay, a real question or topic: when was it, in history, that the concept of “privately owned information” came in to currency. Before the industrial revolution, certainly, ideas were free — everything was “open source”, anyone could improve on what came before.

    For example: I’ve always wondered what would have happened if copyright laws had existed in Bach’s day — would well-tempering have taken off, or would it have been a failed technology? Back then, it wasn’t an issue (or was it?)

  • KenLac

    No, Garth sounds like he’s longing for a *filter*, eh?

  • shpilk

    Great first show – I can feel the experimental nature of what is being discussed, it’s palpable – and that’s a good thing.

    Right now as I am listening, Chris is talking about it – it’s the standard of authenticity, the issue of ‘vetting’ sources for facts and information – this is perhaps the crux of what drives media today; the level of trust in the legitimacy of what you are hearing/seeing.

  • KenLac

    Catherine talking about “sterility” and not being able to see faces — I think text-based web exchanges are odd in that they are real time, but they are also purely intelectual — no facial expressions, faux-inflection at best. You’ve got nothing to present but your *ideas* and thoughts, using the written word.

  • Benhurd

    Garth does long for a filter. In fact he longs for lots of good filters to help him find things better and faster. He also loves dialogue and the exchange of ideas, but how is the best way to use RSS and other tools to better use the web?

    By the way, my call got cut off, I didn’t hang up.

  • AmberStar

    Hi guys.

    In the 3D modeling world we have what is called a wireframe. A wirefame is like the lower level entities(i.e. points, edges faces ) that make up 3D models..

    What do you suppose is the Wireframe or basic data structure of of the future web that will allow us to manifest or hive a meaningful interconectedness to our life and personal data? Will this be the World Outline?



  • Hello,

    It’s great to have Chris back on the air. I was hoping the discussion could touch on getting corporations to adopt an RSS infrastructure for internal use; especially Dave’s experience in making it happen.

  • Benhurd

    Do social networks work? Can RSS be tapped to bring me a stream of “sushi on a conveyor” but sometimes I want an assembled assortment ala the sushi boat that Doc S says he favors. So what is the key to not getting drowned in the information rush of fascinating links. How can we organize streams of consciousness and focus effort on building repositories of wisdom that build and grow?

  • KenLac

    Benhurd: yeah, we love to be able to take part, we love the thought that we can mentally go anywhere, but then we also long for the “structure” that filters provide. The web is responsible for opening the biggest floodgate of information ever — how can we not feel like we’re in over our heads? “Someone, please help me sort this out — don’t tell me what to think, but please tell me which bits are worth my attention.”

  • Audio is a singular sort of animal — “radio” (sound without pictures), aka theatre of the mind. Expanding access using RSS is a good thing. i do have concerns that many podcasters and audio file uploaders are in need of direction and education on how to use the audio medium.

  • So, someone on air just mentioned an IRC channel has been set up already! Is it public? I was just thinking that maybe FreeNode might be a server (Joi Ito has a channel there too).

  • Great show so far!

    What do you guys think of Apple Computer’s entry into podcasting in less than 60 days?

  • Have you tried RSS before, BenHurd? If not, an easy way to experiment with it is to join Bloglines, a web-based RSS newsreader.

  • tom

    Speaking of “open source” — I was excited to see, at the Listen-Station_List link on your homepage, a stream at WUML that uses an open-source format, mp3. Tonight, clicking on WUML on the station list brings up WGBH, and WUML is streaming music. What happened?

    And why, on your own streaming page, do you offer only “closed-source” streams (Real, Windows Media, and Quicktime), and not mp3 or Ogg Vorbis?

  • Benhurd

    Context is a wonderful point. It is often missing when one surfs to new blogs. Often to judge a writers point of view, you end up having to go back and read their prior entries via archives. That takes time and makes it expensive to qualify a new source. How to we aggregate and store our learned wisdom and keep it at hand so that we can pull it up and retain that formed judgement without having to go back and retrace our steps.

  • Benhurd

    Thanks KenLac for your comments. What is the better place for us to have this dialogue? Is this the wrong place to offer comments for use on the current show?

  • Bingo.

    irc [DOT] freenode [DOT] net


  • KenLac

    Benhurd: Who knows? Maybe the staff will tell us. At any rate, we’re right in the middle of doing exactly what they’re in the middle of taking about — the system works.

  • KenLac

    Show over: whoa, that was like the old Connection on speed!

  • Congratulations, Christopher & Mary — and everyone associated with this amazing project. I’m enjoying the show live. It’s great fun, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear Chris’s dulcet vox again.

    What’s weird to me…”it’s a different world” are the words I’m trying to hear over the noise in my brain…and the time passes again, and still it passes. I consider myself youngish and hippish and smartish, but I don’t think or read fast enough to take full advantage of this multi-threaded, speed-of-electrons technology. I need time to focus my thoughts, which means that I’m always a day late and a rupee short. At least. In the time it took to write these two ridiculously unpolished paragraphs, I missed the last few minutes of the show; I had to switch it to background music in my mind. (Luckily I like Chris’s voice enough for that to be ok.)

    So how do you smartypantses do it?

  • KenLac

    POP! A virtual bottle of champagne, and a toast to the first broadcast!

  • I am breathless too, KenLac. Very fast.

  • jw

    I’m so psyched y’all are back. Best of luck!

  • I only wish it could have been a two or three hour show. That was like listening to a firehose!

  • sjc

    Congrats to you all. Now we get to do this every day (actually Mon-Thurs.)

    Onward and Upward!


  • teach

    POP! Props! I was driving back from VT and heard the first 40 minutes, stayed in the car for the next twenty. Great show, and hard not to be online for it — I wanted to be in the chat and watching the comments. And get a chat room!

    (& If you’re going out to celebrate for dinner, ping me. I’m hungry.)


  • Ruth

    Thank you for letting me comment. I must say, however, that I am not a confirmed blogger nor do I wish to be. I would much rather hear the experts than a bunch of no nothings.

  • teach

    And, for the record, I’m against this pre-filtering of comments. If you start getting harrassed, build a system to respond to the harrassment — but don’t anticipate trolls and spammers until they come, imho.


  • By fortunate happenstance I caught the show in its entirety while driving back to Beverly from the New London ferry. I’m a long time listener, occasional caller, and CL fan, from the 10 o’Clock News days forward. Glad to hear you once again, Chris! Have there been any stories in the MSM about the show? Has anyone let Amber know?

    Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.

    Log may you run.


  • KenLac

    Perhaps a bug in the system? I was using this comment thread to “liveblog” during the show. Then I went away from the computer for half an hour, then came back. The curious part was that there were new comments mixed in between mine, but they didn’t appear “live” while I was blogging — on my computer, at least, there seemed to be some sort of hold-up for certain comments.

  • Mine was held for moderation, Ken. I agree with teach, above, with respect to pre-filtering, which I assume is the same thing.

  • davekluskiewicz

    Glad to hear that Chris is back broadcasting. The Connection was one of my absolute favorites when I lived in Boston. But I have to ask, “Where’s the audio file for the show?” It’s a little ironic that a show about this topic doesn’t have a timeshifted version for those who can’t listen live.

  • aboynamedc

    I’ve been waiting for this day since Chris and Mary left The Connection. However, being a father of three with one on the way any day, I may not always be able to listen/participate live. So, I’m with davekluskiewicz, what am I to do if I miss the show and still want to listen? Please tell me there will be a way. In the mean time I’ll do my best to catch the show live.

    I’m pumped.

    Good luck to all involved with the show!

  • P&N Lydon

    Hi, Chris and Company–It sounded great, just great, out here in California. You’re off and running, and hats are in the air on this side of the country. We’ll be as faithful as we can be, and hope that audio archives will be available so that when timing goes awry, we’ll be able to catch up. Peter and Norma

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  • Great show, great guests thank you for putting this together. I know it takes a lot of time.

    But PLEASE!!!! make the show(s) available via RSS – really really soon? Maybe it’s here and I cannot find it.

    Tom Parish

  • Katherine

    4webresults: The mp3 of the show will be up today (available via RSS) — we’ll get much faster at this with a few days practice. We’ll also try to make it clear how/where to find the archived shows.

  • rd

    Dang, it’s been so many years since my Lydon-on-air listening habit was getting fed that I plum forgot about last night’s premiere. (I hope to catch the archive of it soon.) A hearty welcome back to the airwaves, folks. I’m looking forward to that frequent palpable sense of excitement about *ideas* from you all, that is still remembered from by-gone Connections days, mostly missing therefrom currently.

    Wishing you tremendous success.

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  • natep

    Jeff’s one of the smartest people out there in his analysis and intuition about religion. Glad he’s on.

    I’m intrigued by this idea that allowing individual believers to create their own experiences of God. Jeff’s right that this is often a “Protestant” mindset. But even the most hierarchical of religions leave space for the unmediated experience of God by individual believers. In the Roman Catholic Church, Julian of Norwich, who had here series of visions while a nun before the Protestant Revolution, has become a Doctor of the Church.

    And what I like about the Internet is that it might allow people to know that even in the most non-protestant of religions there is room for their own experience of God.

    RLP does this for some. I had one of my very few mystical experience while reading his blog. And I think that that opening to other traditions (perhaps via doubt) may make our own religion more profound, deep, and genuine.

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  • howardpark

    I was a huge fan of the “Chris Lydon interviews” and your coverage of the Iowa caucuses and the rise of internet politics. I’m very excited to have found the new program — I’ll “lobby” to get it on regular NPR radio here in DC.

    Occasionally, I miss the old media gatekeepers especially Papa Cronkite. Anyway, congrats on the new show. It’s gonna be great — it already is. The typical NPR/Lehrer Newshour type guests are so stale and boring. I’ve always found that Chris finds the most interesting guests. Occasionally, there seems to be a little froth on the brew — the pace of change among the “cultural creatives” is ever faster but so much is this stuff — “open source”…”podcasting” is still completely new to many of my friends. This show will help open the door, let’s just hope it is not Pandora’s Box. I’m ready!

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  • Arfitact

    Glad you’re back, Lydon. I liked the Connection and am a bit lost in the blogosphere, actually a bit lost in this world without ‘papa Cronkite’ as howardpark said on June 4 at 9:24pm. There was a ‘trusted’ source you could go to… a known base upon which to stand.

    THEN :: the great rush of personal computerizing, the gorgeous drawing of the oriental maiden on the 9″ monitor of the original Macintosh, the early rush of AOL (IM! Chat rooms! PRIVATE chat rooms!! IGC and clubs and then the ‘net in its open fullness of ftp and all…

    NOW :: growing older, I am wishing more for the Dick Tracy wrist TV wearable computer but way beyond that. Way beyond my Handspring cell phone w integrated data, wifi, DEVONthink & DEVONagent, opensource widgets et al. All in mesh, thinkable config at the speed of eyeglances and thoughts.

    OK :: nearing 60 years old and ready to go again!

  • amida

    I enjoyed the show, but I kept wanting to hear concrete examples of various conversations everyone can take part in through “Web 2.0.” What are people doing with it? What are the bloggers in India discussing? How does that relate to the offline world? Are the communities that are forming through it distributed or localized? How about some URLs? As for China, most of the people in those internet cafes are playing multi-player shoot-em-up games. The communicative aspect of those shouldn’t be overlooked, however–they’re chatting on them too.

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