Vision for WebSanDiego.org

Draft for Speech Given at Happy Hour #4
October 1999

Hi, my name is Joe Crawford, and I make web pages for a living. I'm delighted to be a part of an event like this -- and proud that WebSanDiego, the list I started has been a part of inspiring a gathering like this.

WebSandiego.org (not dot com)'s mailing list is a living thing that sprouted in March of this year [1999] with about 30 people and has grown to 130 people in that time [October 1999, now closer to 200]. In the past month we've added at least 20 new people.

We have students, programmers, designers, academics, writers, managers, recruiters, human resources people, database experts -- hobbyists, volunteers, and everything in between.

WebSanDiego.org is an idea -- without interesting people and their ideas, there is no list. What's more, it's not any one thing - it's not just a way to find a job - not just a place to get technical fixes -- not just a place for news - not just a place for sales leads. It is all these things at once. But above all, it should be a human space for people to teach, talk and live, and learn. That's pretty grandiose, I know - and I sometimes forget that this is "just a mailing list" -- because I'm very passionate about this idea of community. Putting faces with names in a context like this validates this feeling for me.

WebSanDiego is unmoderated, if you can abide by standard netiquette and have a directed interest in the web, you're welcome to join. All opinions are welcome. Anyone may post. At its' best, this results in unorganized cooperation which leads to personal and professional growth.

San Diego has a reputation as a sleepy town. When I was still in L.A., I told an acquaintance of mine that I was moving here. He's had a real interesting life. He told me to "watch out -- that place'll kill your motivation -- it's too pretty -- you'll just be admiring the climate and hitting the waves." There is a bit of that, but look at everything else down here...

The web is big. The web is big in San Diego. We have mp3.com, WebSideStory, aspiring portals CollegeClub and Edupoint, international companies like iXL. Technology companies like enonymous.com, bidland.com, QuickenMortgage.com. And of course there are many web development houses serving San Diego, who are at least partially represented here. If you pick up any Sunday Union Tribune you'll find web work of all kinds. Programmers, designers, marketers...

As I say this I think I must sound like part of the Chamber of Commerce... it just bothers me that so much is happening here in San Diego but there's a lack of awareness of it. Part of my goal for WebSanDiego is to open eyes, and provide opportunities on the web.

We are working in an exciting field at an exciting time. As far as I can see it, the web changes everything, and I intend for WebSanDiego to be along for the ride.

- Joe Crawford
October 1999