HTMLGOODIES EXPRESS (tm)
October 30, 2000-- Newsletter #104

By Joe Burns

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HTMLGOODIES EXPRESS (tm)
October 30, 2000--Newsletter #104
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Please visit http://www.htmlgoodies.com
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Greetings, Weekend Silicon Warrior,

You are reading newsletter number 104. That means I have officially been writing this newsletter for two years. I know that statement will prompt someone to do mathematics to tell me I had been doing it for two years after newsletter 103, but that's OK.

We mark our time on earth by a series of milestones that are either important to all, New Year's Day or the first day of spring. We also mark our time by events that matter most to the individual, birthdays and wedding anniversaries. Some of us are lucky enough to get more than our share of milestones in order to mark time. This is another I add to my list. I'm actually celebrating a week before you get these words as I always write one week ahead of the publish date.

I cannot thank you enough for allowing me to drop this little bit of weekly wisdom into your email box. Although you've heard it before from various music, film, and television stars, I'll say it once again. This would be nothing without you. You are the people that make it possible for me to sit down early on a Saturday morning and rant for 1000 or so words regarding just about anything.

Over the years the newsletter has been called a bold faced lie, Spam, A load of [expletive], Joe being a whiney child, Apple bashing, Microsoft bashing, and A mouth piece for Bill Gates.

Fortunately it as also been touted as, The only newsletter worth reading, Great thoughts, The best writing on the Web, and The ranting of a genius.

I like the last statement, but I would think the real truth lies somewhere in the middle of those two opposing viewpoints. No one can be right all the time. My predictions regarding the Y2K bug bear that out.

Over the months, I've found there is no such thing as a universally accepted position. When I wrote about NAPSTER a couple of months back, I received letters telling me I had hit it right on the head. I also received letters informing me that I was in line for a sock in the jaw.

It amazes me that a simple opinion can bring such widely opposing viewpoints. I shudder to think what will happen upon telling you this, but I get up an hour earlier the day after the newsletter goes out just so I can read all of the email that pours in after people start reading that week's tome.

If you've written after reading a newsletter, most likely you received at least a short reply. If not, then you just wound up writing on a newsletter that produced 500 or more responses. Every now and again I'll pop one off that will just spark an avalanche of email. The last was the newsletter explaining that Spam attack we inadvertently launched against one-fifth of the Newsletter subscribers. Hundreds upon hundreds of people wrote simply to say that they forgave us our mistake after we (Earthweb and me) took responsibility for the attack. We didn't mean for it to happen, but we were at fault and the head of content at Goodies and I decided the best thing to do was to simply bite the bullet and tell you the truth. You responded in kind saying you had found respect for us. I cannot tell you how happy we were. That still stands out in my mind as one of the greatest feelings I've received from this audience.

Two years ago I was asked to write a newsletter. A young lady named Jen Wells asked me if I would do it. She informed me that there would be no extra pay, but not to worry. I thought that I'd only be writing it for a few months until it wasn't profitable and then they'd simply find something else for me to dowithout pay. Let's be honest. How many people would actually sign up for this thing anyway?

That was my one condition. I would write the newsletter only if people had to actually sign up for it. I refused to send out texts that no one requested. If someone wanted the newsletter, they had to ask for it. Of course, now and again someone gets signed up that didn't want the newsletter, but that's to be expected.

When the subscribers topped 10,000, I thought we had topped out. Then 50,000. It couldn't go any higher, could it? 100,000. 150,000. 200,000. Finally it hit a milestone I don't see being topped anytime soon. The Goodies to Go Newsletter is read weekly by over a quarter million people. There are other newsletters on the Web that can claim those numbers, but I highly doubt many of them could claim they grew that number only by personal requests to receive the newsletter. We did.

So here's to you, all 250,000 of you.

Here's to every one who looks forward to the newsletter week after week.

Here's to the people who remain subscribers because they like what I write.

Here's to the people who remain subscribers because they think I am the dumbest person alive and they can't wait to read what idiotic drivel I'll spit on a computer screen this week.

I am stunned at the success of the newsletter and I am stunned that after two years I still get excited when I see a news story that screams out to be included in the newsletter. I get excited when I know I've just penned something that will gain a barrage of email.

I get excited simply knowing that what I write will be read. There are millions of writers out there that put the sweat of their talent onto paper yet do not have an audience to read their work. I feel for them. I've been there and I know what it feels like to write and wonder if anyone will ever run their eyes across the words.

I say it in almost every newsletter, but I'm going to say it again.

Thank you for reading. It makes the writing so much more enjoyable.

Here's to seeing newsletter 156.

That's That

Joe Burns, Ph.D.

And Remember: You may have heard of the Crossroads often mentioned in Mississippi Delta Blues music folklore, but did you know the crossroads actually exist? According to a majority of sources and the Mississippi Delta Blues Museum, the Crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for music talent is located in Northwestern Mississippi. It's where routes 61 and 49 meet just north of Clarksdale. Also by the time you read this newsletter, I will have already stood at that point. My wife and I are making a weekend trip to see the Delta Blues sites in Mississippi.

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