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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, March 03, 2002. Sunday, March 03, 2002

Good morning Web Masters. 

New Radio 8 feature: Web Bug Simulator

Jon Udell comments on today's new feature calling it the "RSS Stock Exchange." In yesterday's rant about Orlowski's blogging piece I said "to get a balanced view there must be people who are watching it," so it's important to see how my ideas and implementation bounce off The Mind of Udell.  

Jenny the librarian: "I've come to believe that news aggregation based on RSS feeds of web sites (newspapers, blogs, magazines, etc.) is the future and that the Net Gens will grow up with this as their primary news source." 

Anyway now that I can see the initial results, I think we must tweak the readout (done). Seeing Weblogs.Com Changes in RSS at the top of the list, with Daypop In RSS in the #2 slot, says that counting the number of new items may not be as juicy as it seemed at first look. Just one person subscribed to either of those sources pushes it to the top of the list, esp the first source, which blows a hailstorm of new links through the aggregator page. It's surprising that anyone actually reads the Weblogs.Com changes list that way! To each his own. 

Lots of great stuff on John Robb's site today. We're out of the recession he says. Good news! 

Stroll on Brighton Beach with East Broadway Ron

Steven Levy: "No outlaw service can ever provide consumers with the deep libraries at guaranteed high quality that content owners can deliver." 

Pew Internet: "As Americans Gain Experience, They Use the Web More at Work, Write Emails with More Significant Content, Perform More Online Transactions, and Pursue More Serious Activities." 

Scoble snapped this pic of me speaking at the InfoWorld Web Services conf in January. Note the Radio screen in the background. That's called Marketing. Sneaky.  

We have to figure out what's going on here. We're so short-staffed. I wonder if someone who's expert in Frontier and up the curve with the Radio 8 runtime model could dig in and find out why for a few users on a fast CPU Radio consumes all the available CPU resources. We have not been able to reproduce this here.  

Last night at a party in Portola Valley I met a man who collects tanks and fire engines. He even has his own Scud missle and a mobile launcher. Nice. 

Tim Jarrett: "I would think that newspapers, above all, would understand the importance of syndication." 

On this day last year I thought SOAP was in a critical section. Today, interop in SOAP remains confusing.  

NY Times: "Many companies are establishing 'alumni networks' for laid-off employees through Web sites and special events in the hopes of rehiring them when the economy improves." 

Next bootstraps 

In stealth mode, I've been working on a project called RCS, or Radio Community Server. It's basically at an alpha level now. The idea is to make installing the centralized side of a Radio community as easy as installing Radio on a workstation. It's a fascinating bootstrap, the software is ready, but I need users. How to entice them? Features, of course. So this morning I'm turning in a different direction, I'm working on the Web Bug Simulator for XML feeds. It's very interesting, along the lines of the articles by Udell and Gillmor. A lab for developing community services. OK, here's the idea. We can track hits and referers for HTML by putting a web bug in the page, and when the browser loads the page it asks for the bug, and with a little Javascript magic, we can tabulate and rank the sites, and count the referers. But how to do that for an XML feed which only goes through the browser after being digested by the aggregator? Not so hard to figure out when you phrase the question that way. But there's an opportunity for refinement because my client code is less crude than the meager power the HTML browser gives me. I'm tracking the number of new stories times the number of people who read it, so a site that doesn't update its XML feed falls off the chart, as it should, because it's not saying anything new even if a lot of people are subscribing. Anyway I hope to have some results to show for this shortly. Diggin.

$0 for Eisner 

A picture named elviswithfan.gifSome time in the last couple of years I stopped talking to the music business. When they shut off Napster I stopped caring. A few days before Morpheus shut down last month I downloaded the software and installed it. I had a specific mission in mind. My MP3 collection had almost no Elvis Costello, and, having heard an NPR interview with him, I was interested. So I booted up Morpheus and went looking and found lots of hits, mostly the songs I already had, and downloaded a couple I hadn't, and the quality was so low, I threw them in the trash. My time is worth money and of course I would have happily downloaded a curated and quality-assured package of Elvis songs, with written narrative (he's an interesting guy, very smart, a good story teller) for $39. Charge it to my credit card. I thought I'd mention that, because like others, A picture named eisner.gifI spend $0 on music now, and no that's not a story of Napster screwing things up, it's Eisner and Case that screwed it up. While I was using Napster I was a veritable pump of money into their coffers to make the point to myself and anyone else who cared that it wasn't about money, it was about love of music and wanting it to come to me easily, conveniently and with high quality. For the 18th time, we want to work with the music business. Why can't they hear that. Instead they're lobbying Congress to rape the computer industry so they can get all the money we would supposedly send to them after they did that. Oy. We'd burn their houses, figuratively of course. No money for losers.


Last update: Sunday, March 03, 2002 at 9:14 PM Eastern.

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