Daily Phil
Wednesday 15th March 2000

I’ve been arguing with myself over whether to write something online for some time and this is the reason I’ve frequently returned to. I don’t feel I’ve earned the right to start publishing my views on anything but whenever I hear stupid people exhibiting what passes for their knowledge I realise how low the barrier to entry is and I tell myself I should assert my ability to step over it (simply pick up the nearest Sunday paper lifestyle supplement or pick a newspaper/magazine columnist at random to realise why you too have something to say).

By stupid people I’m not referring to great swathes of a generic soap-watching, beer-swilling, tabloid-reading population. I mean people who would consider themselves above such proles but quite clearly are not. The net is perfect for allowing stupid people to show off their lack of talents, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. UK-Netmarketing is an excruciatingly fine place for finding stupid people sharing their opinions but as a friend commented after visiting some UK “noomeeja” event, unfortunately the mailing list represents the cream of the industry.

I returned from SXSW in Austin today and my resolve to begin writing was reaffirmed for two reasons. Firstly, while I wouldn’t describe many of the panellists in the forums I attended as stupid, there were few whose opinions I found particularly enlightening. If the pick of the crop is so run of the mill, why should I feel bad about giving myself a voice?

Conversely, many of the people at the conference made me want to write for less negative reasons. I came away feeling less bitter and cynical than I have for some time. I was surrounded by people producing personal and interesting sites in their free time which is exactly what I’ve loved about the net from the start. Maybe many people will, after reading some of this, mark me down on their own stupid people list, but fuck it, I’ll give it a go, and I figure the writing will only get better over time.

Whether I can find enough to write about every day is another matter, and I have no intention of this becoming either an intensely personal diary of my life or a series of learned editorials on matters of the day. But whatever.