Why did you start writing Joel on Software?
I was on the phone once with Dave Winer, and the conversation wound its way around to Joel Spolsky. This was back in 2000, the joel.editthispage.com days. "He's our star," he said.
That's really hard to say. I can try to invent something and backfit it to match the reality, but the truth is, I just had a ton of memes bottled up inside me trying to get out. Dave Winer has said many wise things over the years, but if there is anyone I was trying to emulate it was Philip Greenspun. He had a way of putting information up on the web that he thought would be useful to other people, no matter the relevance... he would write an essay about what kind of mattress to buy, or the process of buying and renovating a condo, just because he felt others might benefit to learn from his experience. And, Philip never really spent much time justifying himself ... he just wrote as if it were natural that people would use the web to help other people learn the things they had just learned.
Philip Greenspun is definitely an inspiring guy, and I would extend that beyond the web to his "Philp & Alex's Guide to Web Publishing" book as well. I have read it several times over.
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