Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

May 2007 Archives

D5 was fun. I felt almost "back in the swing of things" talking to all of the entrepreneurs, VCs, headhunters, corp dev guys, and BigCo CEOs. I still have a really hard time feeling comfortable schmoozing at cocktail parties and left most of them early. I think I'm fundamentally shy. My lack of focus and the subsequent difficulty in answering the question, "So! What do YOU do?" probably makes it worse.

I'm getting better at taking photos of celebrities, but I still have a hard time going up and saying "hi!" to people without an introduction. I should probably learn to get over that.

On the other hand, taking photos at conferences has added a new angle for me recently. I found that many people that I was meeting or able to otherwise "shoot" didn't have readily available CC'ed photos of them on the Net. This caused the photos of many people with Wikipedia articles to have lousy photos or no photos. Wikipedians have posted a Jane Metcalfe photo (Poor quality - I should shoot a new one...), my Vint Cerf photos, my Steve Russell and my Spacewar photo on Wikipedia. That gave me the idea to post other photos that I have of people with Wikipedia articles myself. So far I've done Mimi, Scott, Rob Pardo, Tom Chilton, Walt Mossberg, Pierre Omidyar, John Markoff, Cornelius and possibility some others that I have missed.

This has driven me to a sense of mission to liberate photos of "notable" for people to use on Wikipedia and other sites. This new "mission" makes me attend more conference sessions, which in the end, usually turn out to be worth it - compared to being lazy and sitting in my room online or something.

I learned a lot and met a bunch of people who I'm glad to have met. It makes me realize that I'd probably get a lot more work done if I live out here in California. On the other hand, I miss my compost and my garden and am anxious to get back home. I guess this identity stretching lifestyle is probably the right balance for my spiritual ADD, but I'm not sure it's really the best configuration long term...

Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher interview Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. John Markoff wrote a New York Times article about this interview. They used my photo. w00t!

A few notes of my own that I posted on Flickr:

Bill: "I'd give a lot for Steve's taste."

Steve: "Bill was much better at partnering than Steve Wozniak and I were."

We've kept secret that: Steve: "We've been married for 10 years." [It was actually: "We've kept our marriage secret for over a decade now."]

Bill: "I'm not the Fake Steve."

Quotes from memory. Exact text may be wrong.

UPDATE 2: The full video is online too.

Steve Jobs and Walt Mossberg
Just finished watching Walt Mossberg interview Steve Jobs. It was a lot of fun. Both of them were very funny. At one point, Walt asked Steve how many copies of iTunes there were out there compared to the number of iPods. Steve said several times. Since there are 100 million iPods, that there were something like 300 million. They discussed that some people say it is the most popular software product on Windows. Steve said that he received cards and stuff from people saying it was their favorite Windows application. Walt asked him how it felt and Steve said, "It's like sending a glass of iced water to someone in Hell." (Quoted from memory. Might not be exact.)

Steve will be back on stage with Bill Gates later. That should be fun. ;-)

Steve showed the iTV with YouTube in it. He talked a lot about the iPhone and explained that it runs basically a full copy of OS X and Safari minus the "data" such as images and sounds and some UI tweaks. Brian Dear asked why iPhone isn't open and when/if it will be. Steve said it's a hard problem and that they're working on it.

Congrats and "Good job!" to CBS and the team! CBS and announced that CBS will be acquiring for $280 million. I think it's a good fit and the team seems happy with the deal. have blogged about it and CBS has an announcement.

I was an angel investor and a series A investor in

UPDATE: BBC has a good article - Social music site has been bought by US media giant CBS Corporation for $280m (£140m), the largest-ever UK Web 2.0 acquisition.

I'm at All Things Digital again. This year features, among other things, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs on stage together in a joint interview. This should be interesting. It seems unclear whether the video will be released so I'll try to be there to blog it.

Anyone else here?

A Rocketboom-like Japanese news service just launched in Japan. Looks fun. Run by Kobahen a.k.a. Johnny. Johnny was the editor of Wired Japan when it was still around.

Disclosure: I'm a small investor in his company Infobahn.

I got my Neti Pot today. Neti Pot is the Himalayan Institute version of the pot used for Jala Neti, a yoga practice where you pour a saline solution in one nose and out the other to clean your nasal passages. My sister Mimi turned me onto the Neti Pot. I was complaining to her about my allergies. I though that my newfound friendship with plants had rid me of them, but they hit me hard recently as I've started to spend more and more time in the garden. Mimi told me that she and Luna haven't gotten nasal allergies since they started doing Neti Pot.

Anyway, I tried it today and it was awesome. I think I put too much salt in the first batch and it burned a bit, but after I got the balance right, it felt great. Not sure what else to say. I'll let you know if they cure my allergies. I guess the reason I'm blogging about it is that I didn't really know much about it until Mimi told me about it. I could imagine easily going through life without actually trying it - which would have sucked. So I thought I'd mention it here after reading a rather vivid blog post about it. ;-)


Technorati just pushed a new site design. Good job team!

I love the new super-fast search.

Dave has a post with more details on the blog.

This used to be quite common in Japan. In Japan, if you were left handed, they would make you do everything with your right hand anyway. They would "fix" you. This happened to me. I'm pretty sure I'm a Lefty. I throw, kick and do most physical things with my left hand, but I write, cut and do other "formal" things with my right hand. I think this may be part of the reason that I have messy handwriting. As for as I can tell, while my brain may be "damaged" by this, I can, for the most part, function normally.

As part of my exploration into the "Right Brain", I've become more curious about what the effect of forcing lefties to be righties is. I've heard a number of "stories" about what this does to you, but I haven't read anything rigorous or academic. The problem is, I don't even know what to search for. It's a hard Google query to form.

Also, is there any easy way to tell if your right brain/left brain functions are reversed?

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Compost bin
We finished this compost bin today. Used Google Sketchup to make a sketch, went to the hardware store and bought 2X4s, screen hooks, nails and chicken-wire. It was slightly more work than I anticipated, but everything went pretty much as planned. I'm feeling all vegan-DIY now. ;-)

Next we have to move my compost from my old bin to its new home.

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One thing I've noticed as I get more and more into my vegan diet (which I am still on) is that there isn't as that much information about it as you might imagine. Since the fairly "strict" veganism that I'm tracking right now discounts the value of supplements (some are useful like Omega 3 and B12) and since it's rather simple to do ("eat your veggies"), there isn't a "business model" for the dissemination of information about veganism - at least to the extent that there is for sophisticated and difficult "get thin quick" diets, "exercise in the comfort of your living room" devices, supplement businesses and campaigns driven by the huge advertising budgets of the snacks, meats and dairy industries.

I have a feeling people did more things in an amateur (for the love of it) way in the '60s. Having said that, this whole "social software" space is supposed to be about "amateur content" and it seems like ideas like veganism should have a larger footprint on things like wikis.

Anyway, I went to take a look and noticed that there is in fact a I've started adding a few things and am sorting out structure stuff with the existing "residents" but if you have any tips, recipes, favorite restaurants, theories, books, resources or other vegan things to share, please sign up and contribute. I have a feeling this is a perfect Wikia application.

Disclosure: I am an investor in Wikia.

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