Ship talk

The always-brilliant Tom Taylor, prompted by the incessant peanut-gallery criticism from Da Meedja, wrote You’ve either shipped, or you haven’t:

You’ve either poured weeks, months or even years of your life into bringing a product or a service into the world, or you haven’t.

He finishes with:

And the next time someone produces an antenna with a weak spot, or a sticky accelerator, you’re more likely to feel their pain, listen to their words and trust their actions than the braying media who have never shipped anything in their lives.

Bobbie took issue with that last point and wrote Shipping news:

I’d suggest the opposite is in fact the case: the trouble is that media ships constantly, and therefore becomes inured to the difficulties and delicacies of launching a product of any size or scale.

It’s an excellent point, which Tom readily concedes.

Finally, Paul Ford wrote Real Editors Ship:

People often think that editors are there to read things and tell people “no.” Saying “no” is a tiny part of the job. Editors are first and foremost there to ship the product without getting sued. They order the raw materials—words, sounds, images—mill them to approved tolerances, and ship.

It’s a rather spiffing conversation and it’s fascinating to see the ideas get bounced around from blog to blog. Notice that none of those blogs allow comments. I’m pretty sure that if they did have comments, the resulting conversation wouldn’t have been nearly as good. As I’ve said before:

I don’t think we should be looking at comments to see conversations. It isn’t much of a conversation when the same person determines the subject matter of every dialogue. The best online conversations I’ve seen have been blog to blog: somebody posts something on their blog; somebody else feels compelled to respond on their own blog. The quality of such a response is nearly always better than a comment on the originating blog for the simple reason that people care more about what appears on their own site than on someone else’s.

But how can we keep track of the conversation? I hear you cry.

I don’t think there’s any one particular technological solution to that problem but the combination of RSS, Delicious, Twitter and other linking tools seem to be doing a pretty decent job. If you dig down deep enough, they’re all using the same fundamental technology: the a element and the href attribute.

It’s messy and it’s chaotic but it’s also elegant …because it works. Seeing these kinds of distributed conversations makes me very happy indeed that Tim Berners-Lee shipped his product.

Have you published a response to this? :