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Archive: 12 September 2005

Skewered By a Transcript

A little while back, David Poteet of New City Media conducted an interview with me, and the much-edited version is not only a part of today’s UIEtips newsletter, but also published as a full article on the UIE web site.  In it, I lay out my case for why standards-oriented design is a good thing from a non-technical purity-neutral point of view, and use eBay as my Exhibit A for a site that could reap big returns from moving toward using standards.  Ethan has already called the article a “great read”, further cementing his reputation as the whacked-out loon of the standards world.

I have to be honest: reading the full transcription of the interview was a deeply shocking and humbling experience.  In the past, when reading transcripts of news interviews and commentary shows, I’ve winced and clucked over the mangled syntax of the people being transcribed.  False starts, weird shifts, strange commas, unfinished sentences, mind-number repetition, long rambling assaults on syntax and coherence—what was wrong with these people?  Are these the best minds our society can produce?  Can none of them do so much as utter a sentence with a clear point and progression?  How many “you know”s does one person really need?

Then I read the transcription of me, and was utterly horrified.  I sounded exactly like everyone else!  Worse, at times.  Here’s but one example, from a portion of the interview that didn’t get used in the edited version.  (Note that this was conducted before I moved to my current host; so far as I know I’m no longer in danger of hitting any caps.)

Yeah, you’re talking about actually, you know, reducing the bandwidth bill and saving money, in that sense.  I mean, for most people, for my site, MeyerWeb, I’m actually getting close to, I’m having some bandwidth, I’m getting close to hitting a bandwidth ceiling with my current provider –

And then, not five seconds later:

It’s less of an issue because I’m paying more, 30, 40, 50, whatever number of dollars per month and as long as I don’t put up The Matrix Reloaded for people to download and, you know, they use several terabytes worth of data in a month, you know, that’s what I pay.  I don’t have to pay extra bandwidth.  That gets rolled into the cost.

The horror.  The horror!

Thankfully, the published version of the interview makes me sound a good deal less like an epileptic chimp—so you might want to check it out, if you have a few spare minutes.

You know, a lot of people have told me I write like I speak.  Apparently, they were all being very, very kind to me.

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