July 31, 2003

The day the blogging died

Blogistan Pie

A long, long time ago I can still remember How those weblogs used to make me smile

And I knew if I had my chance
I could make the Googledance
And maybe Technorati for a while

September always made me shiver
My aggregator would deliver
Bad news in my newsfeed
I couldn't take one more read

I can't remember if I cried
When he cut me from his blogroll side
But something touched me deep inside
The day the blogging died

Refrain
And they were singing Bye bye wiki necho or pie Took my standard to a body But the body had died

And the good ol' boys
Drinking kool-aid and lies
Singing this'll be the way blogging dies.

Verse 2
Did you write some shitty specs Is the funk in RSS like sex When itís version 2.0?

Now do you believe strict XML
Will save us, how 'bout Jon Udell?
And can you teach me
To install Slashcode?

Well I know that you love Six Apart
But I still canít tell their pix apart
Youíre changing hosts again
Man I dig that Mena and Ben

I was a middle-aging writer hack
With a fast connection and a Powermac
But I knew I had popped the stack
The day the blogging died, I started singing

Refrain

Verse 3
Now for ten years we've been on the web The pings to Weblogs never ebb But that's not how it's gonna be

When the Journals come from AOL
With their instant buddy chatroom hell
And a voice that came from you and me

The BigCos all were too distracted
Their CMSes got impacted
The ROI was burned
No sunk costs were returned

And while Lessig read the prior art
Salam Pax posted in the dark
And we remembered Xerox PARC
The day the blogging died, we were singin'

Refrain

Verse 4
Metafilter's interface like gopher With a filler thread from a jaded poster Daypop Top and fallin' fast

Extensible is just a notion
The players tried for some forward motion
With Pirillo on the sidelines with his chest

The war blog line got stale and old
While Gawker played a snarky role
We all got options then
But we never cashed them in

The VCs tried to take the yield
Installed-base churn did not congeal
Do you recall what extensive usability, quality assurance, and user-acceptance testing revealed
The day the blogging died? we started singin'

Refrain

Verse 5
And there we were all on one net Three generations lost to debt With new startups to start again

So, come on Marc be nimble, Dave be quick
Meg where's Lafayette, hey Nick?
'Cause Pyra gets the only BlogIt button

And as I watched the TypePad splash
I hoped they had sufficient cash
No business model yet
Makes hosting a safe bet

And as the flames lit up the blogosphere
Chris Lydon lent a kindly ear
I saw RageBoy laughing without fear
The day the blogging died, he was singin',

Refrain

Verse 6
I met this person, Burningbird, And I asked her for an ontologically meaningful word But she just smiled and made a sound

I went down to the Scripting News
Where some years before Iíd seen the clues
But the server said the file wasnít found

In LiveJournals children screamed,
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was trusted
The permalinks were busted

And the three men I admire most,
Phil Wolff, Mark Pilgrim, and Steve Yost
Kept editing their final post
The day the blogging died
And they were singin' Ö

Refrain
Repeat Refrain

UPDATE: Added verse 2 and headings [2003-08-03 13:54]. Added verse 3 [2003-08-03 14:25]. Added verse 4 [2003-08-04 20:27]. Added verse 5 [2003-08-05 11:38]. Added verse 6, edited verse 1, moved all but first verse to extended entry / archive page [2003-08-05 16:49]. Added annotation links [2003-08-08 11:09]. Fixed link to Pirillo's chest, fixed spacing typo. [2003-08-08 15:50]. Edited chorus to match rhythm of original (sorry, Pete!). Added link from "The players" in verse 4. Also, note here that the song is currently "Daypop Top" and not yet (but soon, no doubt) "falling fast." [2003-08-10 20:16].
Posted by xian at July 31, 2003 10:49 AM

this a joke or did someone die?

Posted by: Lotas at July 31, 2003 11:02 AM

no one died as far as i know. this is a random riff on a momentary feeling, with an invitation to other people (who more obsessively remember the underlying source song) to fill in additional verses.

It is neither a joke nor an editorial. It is a mood. It is a bit of writing.

Posted by: xian at July 31, 2003 11:15 AM

the scansion in line 2 of verse 5 limps. Change 'necho' to 'rss' (pronounced 'arse') and it works.

You have to work a little bit at the last verse, but it's not unapproachable. Nicely done.

Posted by: alwin at July 31, 2003 11:30 AM

RefactorOK

Posted by: xian at July 31, 2003 11:43 AM

just checking to see if it was actually about someone dieing, cause i linked to it from my site and was joking about it. good. i like the original too.

Posted by: Lotas Smartman at July 31, 2003 11:55 AM

I like your lyrics soo much I have issued a challenge with $20 USD prize money for the first reasonably sung version of your lyrics with appropriate instrumentals.
http://www.blogherald.com/archives/000103.html

Posted by: Duncan at August 2, 2003 6:20 AM

Cool, since no one has stepped up to the plate, I've gone and written a second verse, and am about to update the entry with it.

Posted by: xian at August 3, 2003 2:01 PM

All done.

Posted by: xian at August 4, 2003 5:16 PM

Absolutely brilliant. Where did this idea come from? I only wish you could have fir 'radio userland' in there somewhere -- it has such a poetic lilt to it. And BTW, Meg told me today that Lafayette will definitely be out by year-end.

Posted by: Dave Pollard at August 7, 2003 9:17 PM

_This_ is wonderful. Proof that the best writing appears on Fridays and Sundays.

Nicely done, xian.

Word.

Posted by: Burningbird at August 8, 2003 12:41 PM

Outstanding!

Posted by: Bob Monsour at August 8, 2003 2:36 PM

This is great! The last verse is my favorite, by far.

Posted by: Adam at August 8, 2003 2:46 PM

Stunning. Marvelous. Amazing. Brilliant.

Posted by: Jesper at August 8, 2003 3:23 PM

Now, SING IT!

Posted by: Chris Pirillo at August 9, 2003 10:41 AM

Guitar and vocals definitely needed, or to be technology-correct: ringtones! Nice idea on the contest, Duncan, and I bet you'll have more than your fair share of takers.

Posted by: TDavid at August 9, 2003 1:04 PM

This is positively beautiful. It's like everything I want to say, but couldn't put into words. This is one blog-juicy song.

Posted by: Lauren at August 11, 2003 6:02 AM

This is so funny...I can't believe some one had the time to write this! Wow...my friend doesn't think its the least bit funny but who cares I do...

Posted by: Bulma at September 30, 2003 1:09 PM
Other incoming links (via Technorati)

Hosted by Mediajunkie.

Sponsors
On this day in 2002
"Plan B" Slashdotted: Congratulations to Plan B, a "blog novel." A post to Slashdot has sent its readership through the roof! The commentary there ranges from cogent to frankly what you'd expect.... (Salon Bloggers)
Davezilla's Top 20 Blogger Insults: OK, many of these aren't funny, but a few of them are. My favorites: 7. Your website's so ugly, I'll bet you used FrontPage. 8. I wouldn't feed that XML syndication to my neighbor's dog. 10. Hey, 1994 is calling... They want their website back! and 15. Your website's so ugly,... (Weblog Concepts)
Upgrading from Blogger to Blogger Pro: OK, just bit the bullet and upgraded my Blogger blogs. Got a free 8000-impressions PyRad as part of the deal, which I spent on an add for this blog, of course. You get 20 characters for the title (exactly the length of Radio Free Blogistan, it turns out) and 50 characters... (Weblog Concepts)
Radio vs. Blogger Pro: As some readers have pointed out, Blogger Pro includes some of the features cited as missing from Blogger in my comparison from Monday. Since Radio isn't free, it might be more fair to compare Radio with Blogger Pro. Here are a few of the features you get with the Pro version... (Weblog Concepts)
Holding the Media's Feet to the Fire: I think the bloggers vs. journalists, or bloggers = journalists, or bloggers keep journalists honest, etc., memes are well distributed and covered in the blogosphere, so I don't know if I have much to add to that conversation right now, but Howard Kurtz at writes about the fact-checking angle in today's... (Memes)
Blog Writers Good XOR Influential?: John Scalzi, in his March 15 'Whatever' column, questions the quality of blog writing: There are good writers who are working on the Web, either as their primary outlet or as an interesting and intelligent side interest, but I doubt that any of them could be described as influential or important.... (Weblog Concepts)
Too Easy to Collaborate?: Michael Helfrich of Groove Networks recounts a telling exchange with a client from his days at the Lotus/IBM Knowledge Management project: "You mean that one of my supply chain people could share our schedule data with a supplier?" he asked. "Sure, but they could do that with email, or the phone... (Best Practices)
Let the Blog Book Reviews Begin: James McNally wrote this brief review of Rebecca Blood's book, The Weblog Handbook: Ethics, etiquette, the debate over "weblogs as journalism," the self-reflection of the burgeoning weblog "community": all these subjects and more fall under the purview of this surprisingly dense little book.... (Weblog Concepts)