Tag Archives: web

Journalists – what a pain!

A journo recently asked me about a book I wrote two years ago: Building a Future with BRICs. He was interested in writing about it, so I got the publisher to send him a copy.

He then sent me a long list of questions – several pages long. I started working my way through, writing answers to him, but it was dumped into my draft folder most of the time as I had a lot more urgent things to get done. He chased me. I told him I was working on it and would get it back to him as soon as possible…

He never gave me a deadline, so I assumed it was OK to just keep on filling it in bit by bit and to mail it to him before the Christmas break. A deadline and some sense of how urgent it was would really have helped, but I thought it was OK to keep answering slow and steady…

However, I got a mail from him yesterday saying:

“Disregard my interview requests.

My editor has decided rightly that it’s not worth keeping the story on
the docket since you appear to have no interest in talking to us. I
now have no interest in talking to you.”
Well, Dennis I’m not the joker sending out question lists without a deadline so I’m really not interested in talking to you either.

CompuServe is closed forever…

Before the ‘real’ web was launched, especially since 1994 when Netscape made it easy to go online, there was CompuServe. It was a walled community of users using dial-up Internet, paying Compuserve by the minute to be online and also paying the phone company by the minute for making a local call – at least for us in the UK as it was not common back then to have all-inclusive packages.

CompuServe offered much of the stuff you can find on the web today, gossip, chat, information, technical support… only it was all on their terms. You couldn’t build a web page and just put it out there, if you wanted to create an online group to support your product then you had to ask (and probably pay) them. I used to be a regular user of the music forums and the Sunday afternoon chat sessions where Brits and Americans would discuss the music news of the week were amazing – and very social. We used to get together for gigs and travellers were hosted when they were passing through London, just because they were regularly in the music chatroom.

Now it’s been shut down by AOL and a piece of history has been lost. Of course, it was pointless in the modern era of the web, but it’s still sad to see it go as that was a genuine online community long before the web grew to where it is now.