Winerlog is dead.
May 7, 2000 12:28 AM   Subscribe

Winerlog is dead. In an email entitled "A serious note," sent to all editthispage members, Dave announced this evening that he is pulling the plug on the no longer funny Winerlog: "Today I have reached a decision that I would like you to know about and give some thought to. ... I have given this enough thought, and have decided that we're going to stop hosting the site tomorrow." Zooooooooooom!!!!!!!
posted by ericost (19 comments total)
If I'm Dave, I wouldn't have done this just because of the hell he is going to take for it. But I guess that's Dave!

I archived all the pages from the winerlog site from April 15th to the present, but sadly, the funnier Knauss era pages are not to be found. I guess I'll put up what I have if people want to still see them, and if it doesn't violate too many laws.
posted by ericost at 12:36 AM on May 7, 2000

The best thing Dave could have done for the site would be to shut it down.
posted by chaz at 12:56 AM on May 7, 2000

So this is "free speech on the Internet," but this is defacement? I am confused. (Not that I think the "defaced" graphics are that clever or worthwhile; they're rather lame. But I'm confused why one tasteless parody gets Dave's support but another one doesn't.)
posted by luke at 2:41 AM on May 7, 2000

Blah. Dave's removing Winerlog is like a network cancelling a bad show. And the current incarnation was pretty much a "bad show", in the Jeeves and Wooster sense. I'm shedding no tears.
posted by holgate at 4:20 AM on May 7, 2000

I left metafilter running in all its april fools glory here, hopefully I won't be asked to take down the defaced graphics for that anytime soon.
posted by mathowie at 7:46 AM on May 7, 2000

You're missing something, Holgate.

Yes, Winerlog, in it's second season, went in the toilet, but the fact is, it *wasn't* *Dave's* show. He provided free space, with a fairly specific set of rules...

and then pulled a site just because it offended him personally... pretty much exactly what his provider, Conexion, did to *him* 3 weeks earlier, and he just doesn't see the conexion, so to speak.

I do note that he's going to redirect them, so I'll cut him some slack... not that he gives a shit if *I* cut him slack.
posted by baylink at 8:34 AM on May 7, 2000

I'm wondering if this is going to strike the fear of a wrathful god into other users. Yeah, Winerlog was growing lamer by the day. Knauss's facetious fawning was much better than the new writer's open hostility. Dave may have had a serious point about the "defacement" of his graphics (an issue that probably could have been handled separately from the site itself). I've been kind of curious about Manila's content-management features, and was considering creating an editthispage site for experimental purposes; now, I don't think I want to be dependent upon Winer's good graces. There appears to be another free Manila webhosting service at, and I don't think it's under Winer's editorial control.
posted by harmful at 8:36 AM on May 7, 2000

Whether or not you think Dave is within his rights to do so, a line has been crossed here: he has removed someone else's material from Fair or not, people are now going to think twice about trusting Dave with their content on and It's bad news for communities when people think they can't speak their minds for fear of being censored*.

But I'm glad the site is down was good under Greg's guidance, but it had gotten stupid and mean since that other guy took over.

*I'm using that word in the broadest possible sense here. I'm not implying or suggesting that Dave is censoring anyone. But, that implication will be drawn by some folks and that will be damaging for Dave and Userland.
posted by jkottke at 8:46 AM on May 7, 2000

Guess what, baylink? I come from a country where free speech isn't constitutionally protected, and that doesn't bother me in the slightest. I happen to think that there are more important things to worry about.

If the new editor of Winerlog had demonstrated Greg's satirical nous (pardon the pun), then he wouldn't have altered the Userland graphics, and there wouldn't be a prima facie reason to dump the site.

One thing: say what you like about Dave Winer, he's not a faceless commercial entity. It's all out there. You basically know who and what you're dealing with. It's his server space. You have plenty of alternatives. Caveat scriptor.
posted by holgate at 9:58 AM on May 7, 2000

Personally, I just grabbed the "defaced" images and threw them onto my site. To me, it's funny how these images have been "defaced," but the image of Elian in the closet that was turned into a Wazzup commercial is a legit fair-use parody that represents the very paragon of free speech on the Internet, as luke points out above.

In the same vein as the Elian parody, I'd recommend that others also grab the two images (still available at the master pictures page of winerlog) and throw them onto some subpage of your site. It will take all of 7,716 bytes out of your day...
posted by delfuego at 10:27 AM on May 7, 2000

imagine if MSN or AOL were hosting a site that altered their corporate graphics to include words like "dyke" and "whitey." not only would these companies likely yank the site without prior contact or apology, they might well sue for trademark infringement, and maybe even spirit the site's author away by black helicopter.

i can't see bill gates or steve case writing to someone who'd defaced their graphics and just asking them to please stop. and i can't see bill or steve going public with a decision to remove any site. i think dave was pretty tolerant to keep hosting the site in the first place, and i suspect he would have left it there forever if its new author hadn't crossed this particular line.

look at it another way. suppose matt haughey offered free hosting, and somebody made use of those services to put up altered Metafilter graphics that included clever words like "dyke" and "whitey;" would anyone be talking about censorship if matt made the decision to stop hosting that site?

halcyon ( got into trouble with his "meat of the loom" parody in '98. he fought fruit of the loom and won. on the other hand, fruit of the loom wasn't HOSTING halcyon's parody.

i don't see that dave plans to go after this author if the guy picks up and hosts the site elsewhere. all i see is that dave doesn't feel the need to provide services to such a site. why should he? and does anyone really care about this site in its present form, except as a fodder for a metafilter thread?

greg knauss is a brilliant writer. winerlog, it seemed to me, was a one-off that would have worked better as a single entry at Suck. as an ongoing project, it naturally ran out of steam, particularly after greg lost interest. i don't know that anyone will miss it. and i don't see that dave winer's decision to stop HOSTING the thing is a big deal.
posted by Zeldman at 10:36 AM on May 7, 2000

News: Dave will let the site stay because the offending graphics were removed this morning. Winerlog still plans to move, however.

Even the hatingest of all you Dave haters have to admit he is acting reasonable on this matter.
posted by ericost at 11:32 AM on May 7, 2000

Matt, I was hoping you'd take the high road and read up on this before passing judgment. I'm taking the heat, but I'm not the only one who had an opinion about this. Zeldman has it exactly right, why should we host a site that's taking our imagery and turning it into such an ugly display of bigotry. Aside from all that, we're still hosting the site, and I pointed to Jason Levine's demonstration of support for free speech on the Internet. I was given a choice, do I want designers who are generous with their graphics or do I want a highly offensive person who is only there because we don't want to interfere with what people say in their own space. I gave it a lot of thought and time, and changed my mind a few times. Right now this is such a sore thing, I'm going to take some time off and then go back to work. Matt, I'm sure you and the Blogger folk will have to deal with this someday, maybe soon, I hope for your sake, never. When we met last week I invited you to work with me on standards for integrity on both sides, hosting and web writing. I still think this is the most valuable work we can do. Zeldman, maybe this is something positive the WSP could help with.
posted by davewiner at 12:25 PM on May 7, 2000

Dave, I was joking about the imagery on my site, sorry for the confusion. I should have added a smiley at the end.

Actually, when winerlog started, I was surprised it stayed. I would have been 50-50 on removing it in the first week, in fact I think Greg approached the project as "we'll see how long this lasts," at least, that's how the first few posts seemed.

I agree since the other editor took over, it just got messy, but I guess since you let it go at the start, it was supposed to stay up forever is what everyone is thinking now.

We do need to create some sort of policy guidelines, I agree.
posted by mathowie at 1:34 PM on May 7, 2000

It's the Dead@32 guy? I thought it was Grohol. Same person?
posted by davewiner at 2:02 PM on May 7, 2000

Um, Matt? Confirm that 'davewiner' is actually "Dave Winer"? Some comments he's made in other threads cause me to believe he's merely an agent provocateur...
posted by baylink at 2:12 PM on May 7, 2000




They sure look like the same person to me...
posted by mathowie at 2:45 PM on May 7, 2000


"Editorial policy
We have no editorial policy. This is a hosting service. "

I agree with Dave that the graphics in question were an "ugly display of bigotry", but I'd suggest that he update his policy page to reflect the fact that he personally reserves the right to pull any site that he feels is hosting "offensive" content.

posted by Calebos at 9:04 PM on May 7, 2000

Would anybody still care about WinerLog if Dave hadn't tried to shut it down?
posted by harmful at 11:18 AM on May 8, 2000

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