Anirvan Chatterjee: July 2009 Archives

I've been working on for almost 13 years now, but even the most amazing experiences come to an end. I'll be exiting in August, heading out on the very best of terms, and after years of planning to ensure that our users aren't impacted by the transition. started off as my class project in 1996. My best friend Charlie built the 486 computer that it ran on, and we teamed up in 1999 to rewrite the software and run the site as our small business. We've been together every step of the way, designing, building, and managing (and debating books and politics over lunch every day). I'm delighted to be able to pass my role on to him; the site's in incredibly good hands.

I've been planning to step back for several years now, to work on other projects, travel, and explore new opportunities. Please stay in touch:

  • via my homepage and weblog
  • via email, at anirvan (at) chatterjee (dot) not

I'm deeply grateful to the bibliophiles, booksellers, and marketplace operators I've worked with over the years. I've heard some pretty amazing stories, and I always promised myself that when I had some time, I'd try to collect and share them with others.

That's why I'm launching the Online Bookselling History Project, an effort to collect first-hand accounts of the online bookselling trade before 2000. If you were involved with the trade pre-2000, then I want your stories: bookseller BBSes, UIEE conversion nightmares, changing cataloging practices, the bricks vs. clicks debates, etc. You can help put together a patchwork history of our trade during a time of great transition. More on this soon.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who's been part of since 1996 -- Alison, Asok, Barbara, Boris, Bryan, Chaitee, Charlie, Christine, David, Fredrik, Garner, Giovanni, Hannes, Scott, Shaku, Shauna, Thomas, Tushar, Vanessa, and Wendy. I'm lucky to have friends like you.

[Now Reading: Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh]

A major advertising supplement titled "Japan's Plan for Growth" in the July 20 issue of Fortune features this doozie:

"Quaeed Motwala, a partner in Japan Asia Investment Company...foresees, for example, a virtual 'first date' program in which a man and woman at distant computers ride in a simulated car to a movie theater, screen an actual movie, and then over a simulated restaurant meal share a real conversation. 'This would protect a woman from being in the physical company of someone very unpleasant,' explains Motiwala. If the two get along, the next step is a real date. Seem far-fetched? Perhaps, but so did Twitter not long ago."

What do women want? Obviously simulated restaurant meals to protect them from very unpleasant men. The future of courtship couldn't look brighter. Who says VCs don't have a sense of humor?

This is brilliant, like a little time capsule of the frenetic cyber-prognostications of tech analysts in the early to mid-1990s. Those wacky pranksters at Japan Asia Investment Company's marketing team did a brilliant job of sticking this bit of hokery in the middle of the otherwise serious "Japan's Plan for Growth." Thanks for lightening up my day.

I helped organize two sessions at the North American Bengali Conference (NABC), held over the 4th of July weekend in San Jose.

One was on LGBT Bengali identity, the other on global warming in South Asia; both issues are really close to my heart. We just put audio and video for the talks online:

LGBT Bengalis: From Calcutta to the Castro
Listen to the MP3, or watch the video

Global warming and the future of Bengal
Listen to the MP3, or watch the video


Anirvan Chatterjee is a San Francisco Bay Area tech geek and bibliophile.


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Anirvan Chatterjee in July 2009.

Anirvan Chatterjee: June 2009 is the previous archive.

Anirvan Chatterjee: August 2009 is the next archive.

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