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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, February 26, 2003. Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Reuters: Blog publishers stealing Web limelight

I'm not pro-war, but all the estimates of what it would cost to win the war I've heard are missing one thing. We can pay for reconstructing Iraq by pumping oil. We can also pay ourselves back for the cost of the war.  

A picture named upfrontwithbillandsteve.gifI'm not pro-Microsoft but I'm listening. What am I hearing? A realization in Redmond that developers can read books and trial transcripts. We remember Smart Tags. Yeah Netscape was arrogant, but Microsoft screwed everyone by driving them out more viciously than anyone thought they had. I recall the work on SOAP interop that was flushed down the toilet, after telling Markoff at the Times that Microsoft understands why interop is so important, and won't screw it up this time. Well they screwed it up anyway. These days I hear a lot from Microsoft asking what will it take to get us to invest in them. The answer has become clear -- put some of your skin in the game. Implement our protocols and formats in your software, instead of trying to convince us to implement yours in ours. Been there, done that, lost, again and again. No more of that. Make sure that when you screw up, and you will, that you lose, not us. Then we can talk. 

BBC: "Pioneer 10, the first of only four spacecraft to leave our Solar System, has sent its last signal." 

Paul Boutin is moving to NYC this weekend.  

Looking for a job in Spartanburg, South Carolina? It's now a weblog with an RSS 2.0 feed, a first, as far as I know, and a very valid application of RSS. Steve Ivy writes: " has RSS Feeds of each of their databases." Aaron Cope reports that the Perl jobs site has had feeds for "as long as I can remember." 

UserLand is offering storage upgrades for Radio users. 

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon was issued a patent yesterday pertaining to discussion group software. 

Kottke: "When companies get big, do they just naturally turn into bullies or is it a conscious decision?" 

On this day in Y2K, Manila got a plug-in architecture

RSS for liberal arts majors 

Not enough people are using RSS aggregators. So far it's mostly been for people with a substantial investment in information, engineers, librarians, lawyers. A lot more people, even people with liberal arts degrees, would use the software, if they knew how valuable it is.

Denny's is NOT IHOP and does not serve Cheese Blintz's. That's as bad as going to Burger King and asking for a Big Mac!Back in 1999 the first aggregator -- My.UserLand, was very easy to use. There just weren't that many feeds that would appeal to someone with an English degree. Now that's different. We have the NY Times, BBC, the Harvard weblogs, and more on the way all the time. So I spent some time yesterday creating a prototype for something that I'd like to add to Manila, as a gift, no need to pay me -- an aggregator at the community level. Here's how it works.

Each Manila site has one or more managing editors, contributing editors, content editors and members. The ME's can decide how public the site is, it could be totally private, members only, or some sections can be private. In this model, the MEs decide what feeds the community subscribes to. Then, using the same aggregator that's built into Radio, every hour, Manila reads the subscribed-to feeds, and they come together on the aggregator page on the Manila site. Each site on a server can subscribe to any number of feeds. If two sites subscribe to the same feed, it's actually only read once each hour. This optimization was surprisingly easy given Manila's internal architecture.

Anyway, a rough prototype of this is up and running at Harvard. You're welcome to try it out, even bookmark it. I still have a lot of work to do here. I want to have a page that shows you which feeds it's reading. The Prefs panel hasn't even started yet. Lots of work to do, but it is usable. Now if you've been curious about what it's like to run an aggregator of your own, check out this one which we're running for you.

Web services for the people 

In the News.Com interview that ran yesterday, I repeated an oft-repeated mantra. "The corporate application of Web services is perfectly valid. There's nothing wrong with using the Internet as way of moving money and purchase orders around. But that's not all there is, and it's not even the most interesting application. The way I see Web services is as a way of connecting server applications with writing tools for the purposes of creating weblogs."

It really is very simple. SOAP is glue that connects apps with rich user interfaces to gutsy faceless back-ends running on the Internet. It unplugs the bathtubs so you don't have to get into the trunk while the big guys do the driving. You can ride up front with Bill and his friends.

BTW, News.Com says "Web logs" and the rest of us say "weblogs." When quoting myself through News.Com I take the liberty of correcting the spelling.


Last update: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 10:15 PM Eastern.

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