Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The rules:

1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they've been tagged.

I was tagged by Mitchell Baker.

  1. My first memory is of my father scolding me for putting sand into a fishing reel. Apparently we were very poor but my parents had the brilliant idea of driving across America in a beaten up old car. At one point along the way, they had to decide whether to buy food or buy a fishing rod. My father decided to buy a fishing rod and try to fish dinner. I put sand into the fishing rod reel and broke it and we went without dinner. At least that's what I'm told. Anyway, he was so mad and that scolding was etched into my childhood memory. I think I was three years old.
  2. My first job was working at a tropical fish store called "Wet Pet" in Southfield, Michigan. I knew the Latin names of all of the fish in the 100 or so tanks there and tropical fish were my first real obsession. I think I was 12 years old or so. I think this was the year that the Tandy TRS-80 came out. I was also into reptiles, bugs and amphibians and once smuggled a pet tarantula to Japan in a hollowed out clock radio.
  3. My first real drink in a real bar was when I was around 15 years old. One of my mother's Japanese businessmen friends took me out drinking and introduced me to everyone as his Filipino girlfriend.
  4. I co-founded and co-edited an underground newspaper in High School called "Entropy". Re-reading it recently, I noticed we spent way too much time criticizing the official school newspaper and stressing the unimportance of grammar and other rules. I remember breaking into school after hours and running them off on the mimeograph machine. Thanks to my co-editor at the time, Eiji Hirai, for finding copies. Eiji reminded me that we used WordStar to edit the paper and were super proud of ourselves when we figure out how to print words in bold. This was 1982-1984 or so.
  5. I'm shy and relatively lazy. I've worked most of my life overcoming my fear of meeting new people and my tendency to slack off. I actually remember a conscious moment when I noticed that the things I wanted to do the least were at the bottom of my to do list and never got done. I started working on my to do lists from the bottom instead of from the top. I forced myself to do little things like this to overcome my problems. It turns out that I may be lazy but I'm trainable and have trained myself to be a bit more productive than I was as a youth.
  6. I've always wanted to sing but I suck at singing. My mother was good at singing and many people in my extended family are professional musicians. I flunked the choir entrance test in Jr. High School and always embarrass myself at karaoke when I'm forced to sing. I hate that I suck at signing. My father can't sing so I blame him.
  7. I was second place in my weight class in High School wrestling at the 1984 Far East tournament which was (I think) about 27 US military and international schools in the Far East. I lost first place to Mike Rothstein from Yokota US Air Force Base. Sports-wise, it's been all downhill since then.

I tag Sean Bonner, Mimi Ito, Lawrence Lessig, Michelle Levesque aka Catspaw, Loic Le Meur, Ethan Zukerman and Thomas Crampton

The new twhirl looks great. Twhirl is a client that lets you track a bunch of different services like Twitter,, FriendFeed and Seemic. The new version lets you record to Seemsic, search Twitters (in a very smart way) and post via For me (I'm biased), the integration is key. Now I can do my posting and reading from Twhirl. The service is in a closed test period, but I think it will be released very soon.

My status update streams are still a bit of a mess with comments all over the place, but this is a step in the right direction to try to help make it easier to keep track of things.

Following up Larry's appearance and challenge on the Colbert Report. Just awesome.

2008 Dopplr Report

Dopplr has created personal reports for its users for last year. They come in the form of a PDF that you can download from your Dopplr page. It's a pretty nifty visualization licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

For some reason, I thought I was away from home more than half the time, but according to Dopplr, I was home 184/365 days last year. My travel coincided most with Lawrence Lessig. I took 49 trips and traveled 143% of the distance to the moon (521,809 km/324,237 miles) and had an average velocity of 58.43 km/hr or the speed of a whippet. (My mileage program total for actual travel miles is much higher than this. I wonder if Dopplr measuring the direct distance vs the actual travel paths by the airlines would account for this...)

The thing that weighs the most heavily on my heart is the approximately 60 ton (6 Hummers worth) carbon footprint that I have. I think this is about three times the 20 tons or so of an average American. I do offset my carbon with a number of offset services, but I still think that the carbon cost of my travel, more than anything else, is the main thing I should consider when I try to decide whether to take a particular trip or not.

Dopplr also published Barack Obama's report.

First of all, a teary-eyed congratulations to all of my friends in America. I'm really proud of and happy for the Americans and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making such a great choice and proving to us that democracy works in America. My faith in America has increased substantially today and I look forward to the leadership it may provide.

I'll write more about this when I calm down a bit and get some sleep. (It's 3AM here.)

However, before I went to bed I wanted to thank President Obama and his team for bringing a copyright notice to the White House website which includes Creative Commons. Thank you very much.'s 3rd Party Content Under CC-BY

As you may of heard, the new launched today at 12:01pm during Barack Obama's inauguration. What you might not have noticed is that the copyright policy of the site stipulates that all 3rd party content is licensed under our most permissive Attribution license:

Pursuant to federal law, government-produced materials appearing on this site are not copyright protected. The United States Government may receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

(emphasis added)

Congratulations to the 44th President of the US for choosing CC!