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Permanent link to archive for Monday, August 18, 2003. Monday, August 18, 2003

A picture named halleySmall.jpgPictures from Bob Graham talk at Rotary Club of Manchester, NH. Assembled in an Internet Cafe on Elm Street in Manchester NH. Halley and I had lunch with the Rotary Club, and heard Bob Graham speak. Lots to digest. Halley's using one of their desktops for $6 per hour. I'm using my 802.11 laptop and that's free. An excellent high-speed connection. Praise Murphy. 

The key point, the one not to miss, is that anyone can do this. Today's Rotary session was open to the public. We paid $10 each so we could eat, but if we didn't want to eat the cost would have been $0. The candidates want to talk to you. If you can get yourself to New Hampshire or Iowa you can participate in the political process as any local voter does.  

A picture named blueDressWoman.jpgI haven't read Halley's comments yet, but here's my take on the event. Graham is a serious politician, he had several opportunities to stick his foot in his mouth, but stayed serious, only joked in a self-deprecating way. He was perfect. He would inspire confidence in a time of crisis, much more so than Gore or Bush did. But he's cut from the same cloth as Clinton, fighting for the center, insisting on saying nothing. His homilies were hackneyed and dishonest, for example he repeated the story pols love to tell, about passing on debt to the next generations, as if anyone who thought borrowing for growth meant they don't love his grandchildren. It's misleading, the grandchildren get to live in a richer world because of the debt we create today. I guess I'm on a mission to find a politician who will talk to adults as adults. But he was on TV, the cameras were there, so he gave a speech filled with soundbites. Look at my style. I'm a solid man. No substance. I didn't ask any questions. I'll say my piece here on the Web for now. BTW, Halley sat next to a Rotarian named Tom. He told her the room was filled with Republicans. Heh. 

WSJ: "Is Google slipping?" 

My questions for Presidential candidates. 

NHPR has a series on the Presidential primary. 

Gnome-Girl: "Doesn't anyone else think monthly 4 day weekends would boost our morale for work?"  

Comments here on Wired's article on news aggregators. 

Text of email sent to BloggerCon subscribers. 

Good morning. Up early, excited about my first trip to see a presidential candidate in NH, Bob Graham. The talk is in Manchester, New Hampshire's largest city. Approx one hour drive from my front door. 

Dean Landsman says Yes to an Outlines and the Web BOF at BloggerCon. 

Michael Feldman, who's been to a couple of Thursdays at Berkman, has a great weblog. Hard to classify. I'm a regular reader. Keep going! 

Two years ago: "If you ever get the blues, try getting your car washed." 

Three years ago, nodetypes were rolled out. They explain how the type attribute on an OPML outline element works, triggering a callback mechanism in the outliner, which allows it to route to the proper code to process an expand operation. That allows an outliner to be used to browse resources that aren't in memory, that can be located anywhere on the Internet. We got it working for RSS, and it was beautiful. It still works today. Maybe soon it will be time for this innovation to be used by users. 

Wired on Aggregators 

Wired News: "At heart, RSS is simply a specification that a site uses to produce a page of XML code. The code breaks up each entry or story on a website by title, description and direct link. An aggregator then determines how to display that output in a reader."

Comments. I love how Wired side-stepped the issues around all the angst among techies about whether it's RDF or not. I suspect that the RDF people might not be very happy. But it really hurts forward motion to have the reporters try to cover the pie fight. So on that, thanks Wired, you said there was trouble, but kept going anyway. That's what I did too. That's the right way to go.

Now, I'm not happy that neither this article or Dan Gillmor's piece yesterday, mentioned Radio UserLand. It's a very fine aggregator, and if it wasn't the first, it certainly predated all the ones they did mention. It's in very wide use. I think it's still the best one out there. So I feel sad when an article appears about the category Radio pioneered, over a lot of naysayer's objections, and it isn't even mentioned.

There are two schools of thought about aggregators. One says that they should work like a mail reader, the other that it should work like a weblog. The former shows you each feed as a separate thing, the latter shows all articles in reverse-chronologic order, grouping them by time. Imho we already have enough mail readers, wire up RSS to email and you're done. Who needs another piece of software to do what an already-existing category does so well. But the latter, which is the approach I used in Radio's aggregator, works incredibly well. People who are just using mail-reader style aggregators are really missing something. Articles that only write about mail reader aggregators are also missing something.

Reporters, here's a new category of software, scoop your competitors, get the real story, not the easy one.


Last update: Monday, August 18, 2003 at 12:34 PM Eastern.

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