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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, January 10, 2002. Thursday, January 10, 2002

OK, I'm outta here for the night. Tomorrow is going to be a double-whammy. I think you're all going to be surprised who the Blogger Of The Year is. Well, I guess not everyone. Heh. It was a race to the finish. Something to behold. But, as with the other honorees, you guys made the right choice. Hack The Planet, Black Hole Brain, Suck, Mark Pilgrim, Google and.. tune in tomorrow, about 7AM Pacific to find out who you all chose for BOTY

One more thing before I go. I own Joseph Crosby (remember him?) on Google. And I'm getting lots of hits for it. Yow. Who'd a thunk? 

Burning Bird says that Radio 8 isn't the second coming. She's right about that. It's the eighth.  

Glenn Fleishman on Microsoft's Mira: "Other companies have offered and withdrawn similar products already." 

Dan Shafer just showed up with his Radio 8.0 beta. Dan wrote the docs for 1.0, back in 1991. Nice to see you again Dan! 

Tonight fifteen fresh guinea pigs are trying out what may be Radio 8.0. If there are no deal-stoppers we're going to go with it. It's certainly not bug free. But it seems to work. FWIW. Murphy-willing. I am not a lawyer. In this lifetime. Etc. etc. 

Survey: "Has Joel Spolsky ever pointed to your site?" 

Heehe. ROTFL. As I said on Joel's DG, he's from NY, I had dinner with him at Katz's. The wiener boys were worried that I hurt his feelings. Nahhh.  

NY Times: "There are no vans with Internet Inc. logos at the roadside, no workers in Cyberspace hard hats hovering over manholes." 

Two years ago today AOL merged with Time-Warner.  

Script of the day: <%sys.unixShellCommand("cd /Applications;ls")%>. 

Larry Staton: "On the left, underneath the XML button is the temperature in Orlando at the time of this post. How did I do it? I wrote an AppleScript that executes a SOAP call to a server, and the server returns the current temperature." Try that with .NET. 

Dear Rob: The number of people who have submitted .NET solutions to the problem Larry solved -- 0. Aside from that, I heard that .NET won't run on the Mac, so how could Larry use .NET to display the temperature via SOAP on his Mac-based website? Another thing to consider, many Web developers hate Microsoft, for good reason. Consider that as another appreciable barrier to ease of use. The sick feeling that comes from hearing the trunk slam and your air supply being cut off. I could launch into a speech about how much damage that pesky antitrust suit cost your company with developers, but I have to rush off to a meeting, and you've heard it before anyway. One more thing before I run, last time I heard, .NET doesn't have a CMS. Microsoft of course does offer a CMS, it costs almost $50,000 per CPU, which is probably out of Larry's price range.  

NY Times: "Amid a general surge in patent activity, IBM was granted 3,411 patents by the USPTO last year, the first time any company collected more than 3,000 in a single year." 

WSJ: "Everyone was afraid when the Internet was introduced that people would stop coming to the library, but that hasnít happened." 

Radio 8 Roll 

Brent wrote up a description of how Radio 8.0 is a Mac OS X app. Not being a X user myself, I found it quite illuminating. He says "OS X's Services menu allows applications to work together. At this writing, very few shipping Carbon apps support the Services menu. Radio is one of those few." Nice!

I started updating the real Radio UserLand home page yesterday. One thing that's now revealed is the price. $39.95. That's less than a lot of people thought it would be. We want to sell quite a few of these puppies. BTW, looks like there's a good chance we'll ship tomorrow. The store probably won't be up yet and there will be a few loose ends, but people will be able to download the software, and start blogging over the weekend. Every copy starts out as a Trial Version. You pay the money to turn it into a real version. There's nothing the Trial Version can't do -- but it stops working after thirty days.

We're also going to open the archives of the support mail list for beta testers. What a fantastic group of people who helped us wrestle this monster piece of software into the land of ease-of-use. There are a lot of lessons in the archives, and by opening it up, we'll eventually get them in the search engines (see below) so whatever isn't covered on the website will be available to people who are exploring the product.

And we've lifted the embargo on the testers. They are now free to talk about Radio 8 on their blogs. To kick things off, an essay by Michael Fraase, entitled Sound Salvation, after the Elvis Costello song, Radio Radio. "But like old-time radio, the interesting stuff on the web happens at the edges." Yes.

More from the Fraase essay: "Radio has given moderately sophisticated computer users the power to publish syndicated dynamic content on the web with little to no knowledge of the underlying technology (although thatís open and accessible for our nerd buddies; Radio is built upon open formats and protocols). What that means is that the net is becoming less and less like television and a whole lot more like something much more powerful of which weíve only begun to scratch the surface."

Yup, the users cared 

Here's a good morning teaser question. If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take one website with you, which would it be?

The correct answer is also the winner of the award for Best Weblog Utility/Distraction for 2001, as chosen by the readers of Scripting News. The envelope please.

It's Google, of course. The relationship between Google and Weblogs has become symbiotic in the last year, as Google transformed itself a Just-In-Time search engine. Weblogs, which flip their home pages every day, provide a constant source of new stories and perspectives for Google's fantastic robot and ranking engine.

Google wasn't the Web's first search engine, but they're the best, hands-down, by far. It's fast, timely, remarkably intelligent, and easy to use. How did they get that way? They kept it simple and focused on user experience.

As they were starting up in 1998, one portal CEO told them, "As long as we're 80 percent as good as our competitors, that's good enough. Our users don't really care about search."

Oh how wrong that poor CEO was.

We really do care about search. One of the few VC-funded companies to survive the dotcom bust, Google is profitable and growing. It's one of the cornerstones of the Web's revival, focused on giving good service, and staying easy to use, and having the courage to point offsite, trusting users to come back again and again, and we do, in ever-increasing numbers.

In so many ways Google embodies what's great about the Web, and it's with a hearty "I totally agree" that we give Google our award for Web utility in 2001. Thanks Google, and keep up the great work.

Tomorrow, the final award for 2001, BOTY.

     

Last update: Thursday, January 10, 2002 at 8:11 PM Eastern.

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