Heroes of the Web

Great news for the web today, some of the smartest folks I know are doing what they do best: Making the web better.

  • Take Paul Ford’s thoughts on “Why Wasn’t I Consulted?“, the driving inspiration behind much of what happens on the modern web. It was exactly this kind of insight from Paul that made working on the early parts of Gourmet Live such a joy. Discovering that someone whom I admired and had wanted to work with forever was even more insightful than I’d hoped is a little bit like winning the lottery. I get to work with people who are basically heroes of the web.
  • Paul’s ruminations also inspired Matt Haughey to write up a bit about how he came to love customer service. In short, he was influenced by Craig Newmark, another of my heroes whom I’ve been lucky enough to get to become friends with. But that deeper sense of being of service was exactly what I’d tried to allude to more than four years ago when I wrote How Matt Haughey Beat Google. If I had to characterize it, I’d say that the culture Matt’s created at MetaFilter, both amongst the people who are members of the site and especially among the small passionate team that makes up the staff, has got real soul to it. And it shows, especially in conversations like this one where Paul’s past work on Harper’s is linked to Matt’s ongoing work on MetaFilter, and we can see how these great ideas shape each other.
  • And even more fortunately, we get to see one of these soulful web communities in its formative stages. Andre Torrez and the fine team at SimpleForm just launched mlkshk. What is it? Well, we can’t say for sure yet, because the community hasn’t yet decided. But it feels like the roots of something interesting and I know it’s got the potential to evolve into something really fun and delightful. As the kids used to say, [this is good].

Be sure to read over Paul’s piece above, even if you saw it linked everywhere the past few days and Instapapered it for later. We’ll be referring back to it in future posts here.