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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, December 28, 2000. Thursday, December 28, 2000

Just for fun I added a SOAP box to this DaveNet piece. It'll update without me, the channel author, having to do anything.

Mary Jo Foley: Web services, few actually deliver. "Are the industry leaders onto a hot trend? Or are the emperors parading around without clothes?"

Jimmy Carter: Make This Natural Treasure a National Monument. "The reason the Alaskan coastal plain is home today to a pageant of wildlife is that there have been both Republican and Democratic presidents who cared about the environment."

XML Magazine: More than just Jabber. "Although Jabber was designed as an instant messaging system, its XML architecture enables it to do a whole lot more "

MailToTheFuture's XML-RPC interface. A Frontier script that uses this interface.

BTW, NewsBlip has an excellent JIT-SE.

Wired's vaporware list for Y2K is out.

Stephan Somogyi: "OS X is not a revamped NeXT OS or even a seasoned Unix. It more closely resembles a computer-science Ph.D. project morphed into a commercial product spec."

New channels: Evhead, Qmail.

C/C++ User's Journal on SOAP.

Frontier: How to make a macro legal in Manila.

A candidate for DaveNet of The Year. It's concise.

Brockman's question Permanent link to 'Brockman's question' in archives.

Remember John Brockman's question?

"What questions have disappeared and why?"

I found time to work on it, and came up with a good one.

Question: What's your business model?

Until this summer this was the most common question at Silicon Valley parties, at bus stops, conferences and grocery stores. Everyone had a business model, none planned to make money, all focused on the exit strategy.

The euphoria attracted a despicable kind carpetbagger, one who wanted nothing more than money, and had a disdain for technology. All of a sudden technology was out of fashion in Silicon Valley.

Now that the dotcom crash seems permanent, entrepreneurs are looking for real ways to make money. No more vacuous "business models." VCs are hunkering down for a long haul. The average IQ of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs is zooming to its former stratospheric levels. There's a genuine excitement here now, but if you ask what the business model is you're going to get a boring answer.

Silicon Valley goes in cycles. Downturns are a perfect time to dig in, listen to users, learn what they want, and create the technology that scratches the itch, and plan on selling it for money.

My UserLand on the Desktop Permanent link to 'My UserLand on the Desktop' in archives.

Adam Curry: "No updates yesterday due to this AWESOME new piece of software from UserLand that helps me flow news through all my Weblogs. Typical that I was so enthralled playing with it that I didn't get around to actually updating my site!" Tease!

Another teaser screen shot. This may be the single most important screen in MUOTD, it's where you route a news item to your output channels. In this example, the Wired News story is routed to my Dot-Coms and The Web channels. Tomorrow we'll be able to include those in a box in a Manila site, and (key point) you will be able to subscribe to those channels so they can be input to your story flow. Think of this new software, the thing that Adam loves so much, as an editor's workstation. If you manage more than one weblog, you gotta have it. Adam says it's broader than that, he says you need it if you manage information for other people.

This app can handle any source that's in RSS, and it's a great news reader even if you don't want to create output channels. And it's a P2P app, the power is on your desktop, as is all the data. Therefore it's fast, and always up, and it scales beautifully. Most important, though, is it's not just for reading, you can create news with it. It's Two-Way.

BTW, this is the ideal way to develop software. It helps to have a user in mind when you're developing. In NY, when I met with Adam for two days he kept trying to explain what he wanted, but he's not a software developer, so to my ears it came across like hodgepodge. But I listened anyway, I kept trying to feed back what I heard, but we weren't connecting. When I got back home I did what programmers do, I iterated, and kept showing it to him. Is this what you wanted? Eventually we got there, this software hits his button. It's also a framework for his vision for last yard connectivity. You can move huge pieces of content without any waiting and using the bandwidth that you don't use. When you're home sleeping in your bed your desktop system can get the big stuff, you won't even know it's there until it's fully downloaded on your hard disk. This is how video and music are going to move over the net in 2001. Who would have thought RSS would play a role in this? Adam did.

This software is also the realization of Dale Dougherty's vision for an editorial workstation. Like Adam, Dale is not a software developer, so his idea was hard to understand to my developer's mind. But then I hit the problem myself. Managing multiple weblogs, and one central one, I did by hand what I knew someday a tool would make easy. One story belongs on the SOAP weblog and one belongs on the Napster site. This is Dale's vision for O'Reilly Network. He wants all the stories to come to him on one screen where he can route them to different groups of developers. Some stories might go to their Python site, some to the Perl site, and some are so general that they go to all the sites.

Dale Dougherty: "A relatively new requirement for content management systems is that they be able to talk to each other more effectively. For instance, in building the O'Reilly Network, we wanted to share content with our affiliates, but all of us had our own home-brewed systems. Our solution was to use RSS to create a story flow from each site that our producers could direct to other sites in the network. As a result, our production team is not only responsible for the content on our site, but also for managing the flow of content around a network of sites." Exactly.

In a way the software we're working on now is network management software, at a content level. Who needs to see this story? That's the question this tool empowers you to answer -- to route news to people based on their interest and expertise. We don't need a lot of people doing this for this to improve the quality of all our websites.


Last update: Thursday, December 28, 2000 at 9:59 PM Eastern.

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