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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Saturday, April 06, 2002. Saturday, April 06, 2002

Google is working on a SOAP-based API. We've already verified that Frontier and Radio work with it. I'm not sure how much more I can say about this at this time. 

Slashdot thread on Google's SOAP API. Sam Ruby has some comments. 

Check out this HTML rendering of my instant outline. Sweet! 

Glenn Fleishman: Sock Puppets and Sociopaths

The CNET staff dreams of a perfect email client. 

"Lena Lena what happened here!" asked Ole, on coming home from work. "Oh Ole, we were robbed!" "cried Lena. "Did he get anything?" asked Ole. "Yes, but I thought it was you Ole!" 

Chicago Cubs weblog.Financial Times: "With no editors to tame their writing, many of the 'thinking' bloggers have a tendency to self-indulgence, ranting and wavering off track. Yet at their best, bloggers bring a fresh, raw quality to their work. Ignoring, or ignorant of, stultifying style guides, they aim to 'tell it like it is.'" 

Masukomi sees a connection between instant outlines and conferences. 

Josh Lucas: "You are up by 3 runs. The opposing team has the bases loaded and now Barry Bonds comes to the plate. Do you pitch to him or walk him even though it scores a run for the other team?" 

A tip for people using the instant outliner. You probably don't know about this OPML file. It's a reverse-chronologic list of outlines in the order they last updated. It's exactly analogous to, but for the outline-based web. It's a mind bomb in itself. Subscribe to it for an instant pleasurable experience, if you like ahas or bings. 

Here's a sneak preview of a new Manila feature we're cookin up. Yes, you'll be able to do Slashdot-style discussion groups with Manila. Jake's been having fun with it. Hehe.  

Following the tradition of showing screen shots of work in progress, here's a snap of the user interface of the new shortcuts stuff I'm doing for Radio. And a new tradition, you can follow the work on my outline. We move quickly and we do it openly. It's a zig to the patent-based software industry's zag. As we invent, the "lab notebook" is open. Other developers can see what we do and how we do it.  

A picture named jefferson.gifThomas Jefferson: "That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." 

Morning Coffee Notes 

Good morning. Coffee. Loose-ends. Reading outlines and weblogs. Etc.

A picture named esther.gifI sent an email to Esther Dyson last night thanking her for her essay about blogging in conferences. She sent back an enthusiastic response about instant outlining. That's good, I'm glad it's on Esther's radar. She's viral. She'll tell lots of people about it. That's good.

Garth Kidd discovered the feature that makes the instant outline so much more than just an instant outline. There's a mind bomb tucked neatly in there. If you link to another outline it expands in place. It's as a web page links to another page, but you kept your context. All my work with outliners, since 1978, has been about getting to this place. It's a big idea. I call it the world outline, and it's as ambitious an idea as the world wide web.

A picture named markoff.gifEmailing with Markoff at the Times yesterday, I'm looking for a reporter who wants to start a weblog to play the pied piper role for the readers of the Times. It's not Markoff. He thinks weblogs are the CB radio thing, as his colleague Bob Tedeschi has written. Markoff points out that I have an interest in the outcome. I point out that he does too. By the time the conversation was winding down, I wasn't so sure anymore that we're such a big threat to the pro's. Then Esther's piece came out, as if on cue, because I had just told Markoff that Scripting News is like more an industry conference every day. I get to play Stewart. Now I'm out of his way. Hey I love the way Esther is giving us a chance, she could feel threatened by wireless bloggers, but quite the opposite is happening. Will her conference be different next year? Undoubtedly. A bit more premeditation and the audience can be fully included, even people who aren't daily bloggers. I'm also trawling through the Boston Globe looking for a blogger to play the pied piper. Why the Boston Globe? It's owned by The New York Times Company.

As reasonable people, I really don't think we're so far apart. I have no idea what Markoff sees when he reads the blogs. I don't even know which ones he reads (I assume he reads this one). If he read Slashdot he could be forgiven for believing that it's a cesspool of controlling idiotic mindless crap. There's a certain kind of abusive personality that shows up in droves when you say "Anyone can comment."

One more morning coffee note. Don't miss in the CNET reviews, there are very many people who want us to succeed. The reviews are uniformly well-written, intelligent, even if they're not totally balanced (a negative comment here and there adds to credibility). What I get from reading those reviews is a simple message. "Let's Go UserLand!" -- it's kind of like the way I say "Let's Go Mets!" It's like punk rock or Napster, or Mayor Koch. Our religion is DIY and Murphy's Law and Moore's Law. There's no time like now. Let's go.

OK, just one more note. I wondered what the NY Times would look like if it were a weblog. So I quickly put together a little app that scrolls the NY Times headlines through a web page based on the XML feeds we're getting, showing the last 24 hours of stories from the Times in reverse-chronologic order. Guess what, they are releasing stories throughout the day. You couldn't easily tell before because the NY Times home page is like the front page of a daily newspaper. At our dinner in January I pitched Martin on doing this for users. I want to do a bit more finish-up work on this little app before showing it to you. It's very simple. A page you can check every hour to see what's new from the Times. It's so good that it might even be serious competition for this weblog, and all the others.


Last update: Saturday, April 06, 2002 at 8:05 PM Eastern.

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