The Wall Street Journal Online published a good piece earlier this week by Carl Bialik capturing a small but significant (and, to me, personally important) moment of Net history. Ten years ago this coming November, I had my first real experience of Web publishing as part of the team that created the San Francisco Free Press, a short-lived by valuable experiment in publishing an online newspaper during a strike against the S.F. Chronicle and the Examiner (where I then worked). Carl quotes me a couple of times, noting that, for me, the choice between (a) marching a picket line in circles while chanting slogans and (b) working on editing and posting files to the Web was a no-brainer. Like just about everyone else quoted in the Journal article, I told Bialik that the Free Press experience changed my life. Afterwards, the return to the Examiner newsroom — the strike only lasted two weeks — was an immense anti-climax, and there was no question in my mind that I’d be moving my career on to the Web as fast as I could manage.
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