In an interesting coincidence of timing, I have had two different interviews published today in the blogosphere, one a delightful retro look at the Internet as it was a decade ago, and one that we wrapped up just yesterday. Ten years ago, my friend Bob Rankin interviewed me for the now vanished magazine Boardwatch, a piece entitled Internet Innovators: Dave Taylor.
Here’s a classic segment:
Boardwatch: Is it true you still use a vintage XT with a 300 baud modem?
Me: Actually it’s a Mac Plus with 512K but I’m thinking of upgrading to a Fat Mac. No really… I currently use a Mac Centris 650 with Radius color monitor and a Courier V.34 modem to go online.
Ahh, modems. I’m sure glad to have left those things behind years ago, in favor of broadband!
A more modern interview is by Randy Charles Morin, who honored me as his Blogger of the Day: Dave Taylor on his weirdly named iBLOGthere4iM:
Randy: Why do you blog?
Me: I’ve always been passionate about writing, communicating, and helping explain how things work. I’ve been writing for over twenty years now, actually, and have been quite literally been published in magazines well over a thousand times at this point. Writing is second nature to me, and the fact that there’s an audience who are interested in my views and perspectives is simply a pleasant surprise!
Some more good interchange with Bob Rankin from 1995:
Boardwatch: Any flames from hardline anti-commercial types [because of your Internet Mall project]?
Me: Surprisingly, no. There is the occasional grumble from a person whose listing was rejected because it fell into the category of get-rich-quick, MLM, etc., but overall the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and favorable.
I’ve seen a lot more people comfortable with the idea of commerce on the Internet in the last 18 months, and with the recent end of the NSF’s involvement there is no longer any prohibition on commercial traffic on the backbones.
Boardwatch: I’ve always maintained that one has to earn the right to do business on the ‘Net by first contributing something of value. In a nutshell, what’s your philosophy for doing business in cyberspace?
Me: You’ve got to remember basic business ethics – there’s more to it than making a fast buck off the next guy. In the Internet community you have to fit in, help out and offer something of value to customers besides what you’re selling. It’s just like the real world where the laundromat and supermarket have to be involved in supporting community projects. BBS operators who do stuff for friends and neighbors know all about this. Sponsor a FAQ, give something back, have fun and you’re more likely to succeed.
And, flipping back to the more recent interview for contrast:
Randy: What secondary blogs do you have? Linkblogs? Moblogs?
Me: As a content producer rather than a connector, I don’t have any sort of linkblog: if I am enthused enough about a site, I’d rather write about it and why I think it’s important than offer yet another list of ten, twenty or four hundred URLs on a page.
Having said that, I do have a couple of other weblogs worth mentioning! The Attachment Parenting Blog is where I talk about family issues and, of course, parenting, along with some commentary on the state of birth and childrearing in modern society, the Real Life Debt Blog offers useful articles and reader experiences with personal finance issues, from credit card services to filing for bankruptcy, and, finally, my new book “Growing Your Business with Google” has a blog associated with it too, findable at findability.info.
Bob, Randy, thank you both for these interviews, even if separated by over 3,600 days or so!