The Blogerati Files: David Crow

This week in the Blogerati Files, David Crow

Describe your blog in 10 words or less.
Rantings of a trouble maker about software, entrepreneurship and community.

Why did you start your blog? Blogiversary?
davidcrow.ca went live some time in early 2002. I had a couple of previous domains and blogs, but they fell by the wayside. davidcrow.ca is about me, the things that I am thinking about, and what is important to me.

How long have you lived in Toronto?
Since June 28, 2001 by way of Austin, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Waterloo, London.

What's the funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you in Toronto? Did you blog about it?
Strange and funny things happen to me everyday in this city. Unless their about software, entrepreneurship or community, I keep it to myself.

What are some of the changes in Toronto that you have seen in your lifetime?
I remember riding my skateboard around King and Queen Street West in the late 80s. It was an urban wasteland. Queen Street West has changed. There are big brand name stores, the Rivoli has been renovated, but there is still the Horseshoe. And King Street West has fancy office space, fancier restaurants and it continues all the way out to Liberty Village.

What era, day or event in Toronto's history would you like to re-live and why?
As Jesus Jones said "Right here, right now". Toronto is one of the most vibrant, creative, energetic cities on the planet. We're on the cusp of a revitalization of downtown living. We're making Toronto a great place to be.

Who's your favourite Torontonian?
It's a toss up between Joey deVilla and Cory Doctorow.

Can we believe everything you post on your blog?
Yes. No. Maybe. Everything on my blog is the truth or at least the truth as I perceive it.

Has blogging changed you or enhanced a personality trait?
Blogging has changed my beliefs about privacy and reputation. Cory Doctorow, an infamous former Torontonian, wrote about a reputation-based economy built around something called "whuffie". I've realized that my blog is my electronic reputation. I write about things that I believe in and that I am passionate about, hopefully, this will continue to earn me "whuffie" and build my reputation.

I've also gone from being paranoid about privacy and security to being more open and trusting. Almost my entire life is online and searchable by Google. Do I really have any privacy if my life is searchable in Google? Any smart enough individual can track me down and find me, so it turns out that being honest, friendly and passionate are a lot easier and more rewarding than fighting to maintain what little privacy I have.

Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
Do I get 15 minutes? I thought this was the Internet, we measure things in click-throughs, page views, and people, so wouldn't it be 15 people. If 15 people have read my blog, does that mean I'm Internet famous?

Ever met a stranger who already knew you through your blog? How was that?
At ETech in San Diego, I met Chris Messina. Prior to meeting in meatspace Chris and I have exchanged blog comments, mailing list posts, IRC rants and IM messages. It was like two old friends getting together. We had established an electronic dialogue and it just continued without missing a beat in the real world.

Lose any friends or muck something up because of a post?
No, I'll only write it if I'm willing to said it to their face. A bigger concern for me is revealing details about a start-up without their permission. If I'm unsure, I don't write about or I ask.

Who are your fav bloggers?
Mark Kuznicki
Tara Hunt
Rob Hyndman
Umair Hague

There's just too many people writing about interesting things. I keep adding feeds to my RSS reader.

What's happening in Toronto right now that the rest of us should be watching?
The Innovation Commons and BarCamp. The Innovation Commons is a group trying to build "third places" in Toronto, Vancouver and across the country. What's a "third place"? A "third place" is the office, the living room and meeting place for the networked community. Third places have existed often below the radar, they are the cafes, coffee shops, and pubs where communities meet for conversation. What would this space look like for freelancers, developers, designers and entrepreneurs who need to get out of the house or out of the office. Imagine.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc unconference born from the desire of people to share and learn in an open environment. We've hosted BarCampToronto twice, the first one in November 2005 and most recently just before the mesh conference in May 2006. We're planning another one to coincide with BarCampEarth in August 2006. Because we can't (or don't want) to have a conference every month we try to get together monthly for DemoCamp. DemoCamp is a monthly meeting where designers, technologists, and entrepreneurs bring their software and creations to demonstrate them to the community. The only rule is no PowerPoint, bring working things and share them, get feedback, meet others who are doing the same thing.

We're building a vibrant, thriving tech community in Toronto.

If your blog were a food, what food would it be?
Anything without dairy. Bourbon rocks, water on the side, perhaps.

If you could gather all of the bloggers of the world together into one room and tell them one thing, what would it be?
Make meaning.

Anything else you'd like to add...

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