Scoble deals with the Microsoft blogger who got fired. "I've learned over and over in my career that whenever someone gets fired, you rarely know the whole story."
The Edwards weblog has an RSS feed.
Microdoc: Why Google Will Never Partner with Microsoft.
10/16/03: "As I get older, I keep getting reminders that there's less time to correct mistakes, so I strive to make fewer."
Andrew is using Radio's outliner to post to Movable Type.
Ed Cone: "I'm dressing up as a middle-aged man in a t-shirt and shorts."
23 new feeds from ABC News.
NY Times: "Google, the highflying Silicon Valley Web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a partnership or even a merger with Microsoft."
Economist: How good is Google?
The Thursday meeting is on, however I will not be there tonight. A chance for the group to run itself. I want a salon in Cambridge in mid-November. And Chris wants to launch a new website. There's lots of talent in the room. I'll be back next Thursday.
Scripting News dinner in NYC on Saturday? What do you think? I'm going down tomorrow afternoon, staying for the weekend. Maybe this time we should have it at Junior's in Brooklyn? Given the last minute I guess we'd have a light turnout. Here's a survey. Click Yes if you'd come.
MSNBC: Blogger dismissed from Microsoft.
Scott Rosenberg on the rush of venture capital into social software companies like Friendster.
Andrew posts the specs for the machines we ordered today.
Ed Cone: "Dave wants to take a road-show version of BloggerCon to San Francisco and maybe New York. Great idea, but I hate to see the rest of the country left on the other side of a digital divide. There's only one Dave, but there are a lot of us who have learned from him and with him, and we should be doing the same thing wherever we are."
Bill Koslosky: Pictures taken with the Treo 600.
One of the ideas I'm trying in the new design for Scripting News is that everything is an outline. To kick it off, here's the On-This-Day-In outline. It's a work in progress.
NASA: "Arctic perennial sea ice has been decreasing at a rate of 9 percent per decade since the 1970s."
An old demo: "According to our records you are not funky."
Okay the West Wing has gotten lame since Aaron Sorkin left, but it's still the WW. Can you see the seed of the sequel?
Jessica Baumgart, a Berkman-Thursday regular, says she's heard that Tufts wants a blogging program like the one we have at Harvard Law School.
Today is a big day because, with help from Andrew Grumet, we're placing the order for two new servers to run in Cambridge. This will be the new home for Scripting News, DaveNet, Weblogs.Com, basically all the non-product sites currently at UserLand. This will allow the company to focus on Manila and Radio, and allow the non-profit stuff to chart their own courses. I may transfer some of the stuff into Berkman, as I did with the RSS 2.0 spec. Both machines will be 3Ghz monsters (not mere honkers) with huge RAID hard drives, so there should be some room for more new apps. After this move Weblogs.Com should be fast, because we're going to recode the ping handler in C. I like working with Andrew, he's a sweet guy, and a kickass programmer. He was a lead developer on the ArsDigita Community System and is one of the regulars at Berkman-Thursdays.
Great feedback in response to last night's trial balloon for a mid-November salon to gather knowledge about citizen weblogs and democracy. Why so soon? The political season in NH will be moving into high gear. The primary is in January. December is the holiday month (of course we'll be working). That's the thinking behind mid-November. As with the early October confab, this one would be webcast.
The new Scripting News archive is deployed. Yesterday I flipped the switch and redirected from the old archive into the new one (both are still being maintained, praise Murphy). The really big change will be coming shortly, when the home page changes to the new format, and becomes just a page in a directory, containing my blogroll, etc. The new design is very spartan. I showed it to Chris Lydon yesterday and he got it immediately. Even though the design looks nothing like Scripting News, he still immediately recognized it as being Scripting News. What did they used to say when something works the first time? Bing.
Part two of Chris Lydon's interview with Stirling Newberry.
Manila: Password-protected RSS feeds.
Jay Rosen: "Case closed."
One of the things on the roadmap for Berkman-Thursdays is a series of mini-BloggerCons, half-to-full-day salons in Cambridge and/or San Francisco (maybe NYC), where we discuss the art and science of weblogs. As the culture and technology grow, the topics grow to be more inclusive. Being at Harvard has expanded my horizons, and I've tried to pass that on as much as I can. Now I'm thinking about having the first salon, possibly as soon as mid-November, to talk about weblogs and democracy. It's pretty clear, based on discussions we've been having with the campaigns, and with journalists covering the campaigns, and with academics covering both the journalists and the pols, that the shifting of power isn't done yet. Dean was a good first step. Clark clearly has missed some opportunities. Edwards is doing some things right. What we haven't done is define what over-the-top would be. What do we want? Should we be lining up behind candidates yet, or should we be figuring out what our new democracy will look like? And what about the rest of the world? I just took a trip to Canada, and it's a lot further away than I thought it would be. So maybe it's time to start the process. This event would be free, and totally open, following the pattern of Day 2. We'll ask for contributions so we can fly in some experts who don't have much money. Consider this a trial balloon. Is there interest in a November meeting of the minds about democracy and the Internet?
We had a visit today from the Bill and Myles Berkman, members of the family that provided the backing for Berkman Center. So I asked if I could take their picture, along with the faculty directors, with apologies to John Palfrey, who has a silly thing going on on his face.
Steve MacLaughlin gets the skinny on Nick Denton's new Fleshbot.
Rogers Cadenhead has a list of weblogs covering the California fires.
Diego Doval: "As open as people can be on their weblogs, there is really no substitute for knowing the person."
Jim Roepcke blogs Tim O'Reilly talking about Mac OS X.
Essay: "To me, standing up to help a person being attacked is the best we can do. If it's the US government or a BigCo trying to keep people from talking about them, or a lout with a website, trashing good people's reputations."
Our Harvard weblog passed one million page reads today. Also just noticed in the referrers that PDCBloggers.Net gave us a nice link and a bunch of flow, pointing to the weblog-defined piece I wrote for Jupiter. After all the nasty crap I've read about myself from Linux bigots in the last few days because I dared to criticize their favorite OS, it's nice to get some respect from developers (I also criticized Windows, btw). You know the old saw about catching flies with honey. Linux has a lot of sour pusses catching nothing but losers. Bad evangelism.
Google Toolbar gives my weblog a page rank of zero. Thanks to Ole Eichorn for the screen shot. I'm sure this is just a bug, and not something deliberate. He says that Glenn Reynolds gets a 7, his own blog gets a 6, Scoble gets an 7.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch explains: "I show you as 8 out of 10. The toolbar has been notorious over the past few months of failing to show ratings or correct ratings for all types of sites."
Jay Rosen reports that the Siegal Report, the results of the NY Times investigation of itself after the Jayson Blair incident, has gone 404. For the non-technical, this means it's gone, the links don't work. He suggests that finding out what happened should be the first priority for the Times' Public Editor, named yesterday.
I'm just about ready to flip the switch on the new archive for Scripting News. We've also made major progress on bringing a new management team on board for UserLand. Hope to have the deal ready to announce next week. And to celebrate 500 days of No Smoking Dave, I placed an order for two new servers, to run in a new cage here in Boston. This is where I'm going to put various specs and public services that are currently running at UserLand, so the new team can focus on Manila and Radio. Murphy-willing there will be quite a few changes, for the better, in the remaining weeks of 2003.
Taegan Goddard: "Karl Rove wants to run against Dean."
Jon Udell: "Microsoft is pitching a Windows-only UI renderer that targets 2006-era desktops and notebooks, while allowing MSIE to stagnate. I can see how and why they arrived at this strategy, but it doesn't seem to be the kind of Web/GUI convergence I'm looking for."
A data point in the Great Google Blog Experiment. This weblog, presumably because it's run by the Boston Globe, is included in Google News. So the owners of Blogger, and the company that loves the Web, is tilting the table in favor of people whose main qualification are the ink stains on their keyboards. It is ironic, isn't it?
A report from the Blogger's BOF at Microsoft's PDC.
Ed Cone on presidential spin re Iraq.
Speaking of presidential politics. Dean is the leader, but with the other candidates focusing on specific primaries, and the Dean campaign spread thin, and his lead not really all that great, it seems that the early primary season is going to be split, and maybe Dean won't win any of the contests? Was it enough to use the Internet to raise market-leading amounts of money? It didn't turn out to be enough in technology, why should it in politics? Imho, the Internet race will go to the candidate that unlocks the eBay-like secret to Web politics and keeps them coming back for more. Get out of the hub and spoke mode. No rock stars. Knock down barriers. Let's crack the blog hosting problem and figure out how to give everyone who wants one, no matter what their party, persuasion or political affiliation, a modern weblog with all the bells and whistles. Take a chance that all those voters may not choose your guy. What exactly do you have to lose? Will politics-as-usual get your guy elected?
This is what passes for respect among Unix fans. It's also the first clear statement that Red Hat closed the huge security holes that were present three years ago. I stand corrected. Mea culpa. Anyway, the Linux community has been plagued by flamers for ages, it's deeply integrated in the culture, so much so that they had to write an Advocacy Howto, to have some hope of attracting ordinary users. Unfortunately it is widely ignored. That's also part of making shitty software, having an arrogant, xenophobic, user-hostile community.
Don Park has a picture of the LA fires from space and the wind that causes them. "It's the Santa Ana wind, high deserts' middlefinger to Pacific Ocean."
Every so often I hear from a person with a weblog who has asked to be included in Google News, was turned down, and is not happy about it. I understand this must be difficult for Google, how do they decide? Some of their choices are puzzling. And it seems to matter what CMS is used. If it's weblog software, it can't be included, if they use a more expensive CMS, they can? If it's one person writing, they can't; if there's more than one they can?
Here's what they say when rejecting a site for inclusion in Google News: "Thank you for your email. We have reviewed [url] but can not include it in Google News at this time. We currently do not include news-related blogs. If there is a non-blog news site associated with this movement, we would be happy to review it. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us and will log your site for consideration should our constraints change."
Chris Lydon interviews Stirling Newberry. "He is the blogger who wrote earlier this month: 'By the time you read these words the bell will be tolling for Wesley Clark's candidacy.' And thus he crystallized a contest between people who drafted Clark and those who manage him; between analog and digital politics; between the Pyramid and the Sphere, as Newberry likes to illustrate it."
Joshua Brauer: "Should web crawlers respect robots.txt files on government sites?"
BTW, while they were ramping up to the PDC, I worked privately with Microsoft developer relations people to make sure that the RSS support for this major news event would be perfect. It was a total pleasure working with them. Here's the main feed for news linked to from the home page of the Longhorn site. It's so sweet. I think anyone with a basic understanding of the Web could understand it. No locked trunks. That's very very cool. Thanks Microsoft.
Don Park: "Scoble, give us a screenshot that will pop my eyeballs, something that justifies all the hype."
Feedster has a special page of PDC news.
Jeremy Allaire is reporting from the PDC. It seems after skimming the various reports, that the innovation in Longhorn is in the plumbing. I'm with Don Park, I haven't seen anything that gets me going. I think it's interesting that Don Box's demos were about posting to his weblog. Note that Microsoft doesn't run videos that make real weblog software look hopelessly out of date, like Apple did with Marc Canter's software (and mine, btw). Ten developer relations points for MS. However, there's got to be something better they can do with all the R&D money they spend. This feels like a reinvention, and wheel-spinning. Can't tell for sure. Scoble, is there a technical summary of what was announced? One that doesn't assume too much depth in Microsoft lingo?
Gina Smith, one the regulars in our San Francisco gang now has a weblog and it's gooood. She's had an incredible life. Here's a picture of Gina interviewing Walter Cronkite. And lookin good addressing the Steel Industry in 1999.
Question. The Columbia Journalism Review article about the history of weblogs is wrong. They don't list the author's email address or provide a place for comments. I've posted two public notices here on my weblog. No response. What's the next step? I think the CJR is authoritative. If so, we must get this corrected, asap. Do I channel this through Harvard? If so, how? (Postscript: I believe I now have the author's email address thanks to Seth Finkelstein. I have sent an email. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.)
AP: Red Sox fire manager. Obviously he made some incredibly good decisions over the season. Only two teams did better than the Sox. Could they have won? Yeah they could have. They didn't, but sheez, what happened to their sense of humor? What happened to the Red Sox philosophy? They should beg him to come back. What's next, are they going to fire the Green Monster because the team wasn't number one. Mark your calendars. 2003 -- the year the Red Sox became the Yankees.
AP: "Howard Dean is maintaining his lead among likely voters in the New Hampshire presidential primary, despite the entrance of retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark into the race, according to a new poll."
Josh Marshall: "No More Contributions!"
Peter Rukavina on the CBC and RSS.
Jon Udell on Apple's Knowledge Navigator vision.
Marc Canter: "Apple sucked the energy out of the nascent multimeida industry by making promises that were unachievable."
Kicking Ass, the DNC weblog, on robots.txt disabling of caches on White House pages about Iraq. Interesting point. Now would be an appopriate time to ask the Democrats if they will have a different policy should a Democrat be elected to the White House in 2004.
Rogers Cadenhead's Radio UserLand KickStart is shipping. A sample chapter on Radio's outliner. And even though Amazon is still a patent abuser, here's a link to a page where you can buy the book. I can't recommend that you buy it from Amazon, but Rogers seems to want the book to rise through the ranks there, so I'll play along. It's also available on Barnes & Noble.
Wired: DirecTV Takes No Prisoners.
NY Times: "With Cable TV at MIT, Who Needs Napster?"
Andrew Grumet (at MIT): "The project looks to me like a legal hack more than anything else."
Lessig likes the idea: "Most universities have a blanket license for music distributed on campus."
Gary Wolf wants to know what you think of the Dean campaign.
News.Com interview with a Canadian law professor on issues related to "cyberpiracy."
Halley Suitt narrates a user's experience with a new piece of software.
Last year on this day: Weblogs.Com for RSS.
Reality lies somewhere betw Cringely and Ballmer and Linus. How about this. Both guys (Ballmer and Torvalds) make really shitty software. Microsoft, after decades of Windows development still can't make a robust operating system that a normal person can use. And Linux ships with every security feature wide open. An end user who actually installed it (an amazing accomplishment in itself) would end up (instantly) hosting a playground for script kiddies everywhere. And the user interface of Linux sucks. Windows isn't totally terrible. It's a huge embarassment that with many billions of dollars, dozens of years, and billions of man-hours, this is the best the human species can produce.
I had a wonderful time at two very different conferences. The first, NextMedia, was a descendent of Apple devcon's and Microsoft CD-ROM conferences. It would be hard to throw a pot sticker into the room and not hit someone who developed for Macromedia. They use the Web, but they prefer Shockwave, and will use Flash if they absolutely have to. Because it's Canada they have lots of money (this was a surprise). There were probably more Australians and Brits at the conference than Americans. They joke about how unaware we are of Canada. Even though it was just a 3 hour plane trip, with a connection in Halifax, they're right. There's so much we don't know about Canada.
My presentation, which closed the conference, will be available on MP3, I'm told. Highlight, the interviewer, Andrew Cochran, was rolling through Scripting News mottos, and when he said "It's even worse than it appears," the crowd broke into laughter. This is the first confirmation that other people see the irony. It's an elegant motto. Also, they called people who participated in the conference "delegates," which I think is a really good phrase-turn. So much better than "audience" which is a word I'm trying to strike from my vocabulary.
About a half-hour drive from Charlottetown (pronounced Charle-town), at the seaside resort of Cavendish (mostly closed now for the winter) was the Zap Your PRAM conference, put on by young geeks from PEI, of which there are quite a few, and unlike geeks elsewhere, they have plenty of work. I got a ride from Jevon MacDonald, who reminded me of Nicolai, the kind geek who drove me from the Copenhagen airport to Reboot a few years back. I had dinner with two beautiful and super-smart librarians on Saturday night, Lisa Sloniowski and Mita Sen-Roy, and Art Rhyno, Lisa and Mita's house geek, and Stephen Regoczei, a professor from Trent, and we sang Alice's Restaurant and Que Sera Sera. Yes, we had a little to drink. Just a little.
I especially enjoyed Rob Patterson's talk about the philosophical context of weblogs, and we're going to do some broadcast collaborations with John Muir from Trent Radio.
There was lots of love in both rooms, had a great time, thanks to Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north. I invited everyone to come to a Thursday at Harvard and let's work together to tie our universities and libraries together, and create new business opportunities for everyone. Canada is close. Let's have fun.
I'm at the Zap Your PRAM conference in Cavendish, PEI.
Scoble is in Los Angeles for the Microsoft devcon.
Rob Patterson is talking about how blogging is like a torpedo to a battleship.
Buzz just walked up and introduced himself. He came from Florida. Some people came from Germany, lots of video cameras, good sense of humor. Buzz says I have to check out his blog.
What is the Peer Site Network?
Timo Soininen, the CEO of Sulake, the company that does Habbo Hotel is speaking now. "Massively multi-player games." Social and casual gaming. "Everyone can play."
What is there.com?
ZeD is a "synapse-teasing space where the yin of the Web slips seamlessly into the yang of TV, and back again."
NY Times: Broken-down Yanks tottering on the edge.
Wired: "The notion of Amazon scanning all of its books but allowing users to search only those they own is a clever way around the central barrier to creating a digital archive: Copyrights are distributed among tens of thousands of publishers and authors. But when Manber told Bezos his idea, he found the Amazon founder ready to work on a grander scale. Bezos wanted his customers to be able to search everything."
Pictures from the nextMEDIA conference. I'm going to add pictures to this list weblog-style, in reverse-chronologic order.
I've made it to the nextMEDIA conference. Easy trip. The afternoon keynote is about to begin. When they asked me to speak I knew I'd be looking for something to do after BloggerCon. It's a media conference, we're watching videos right now as the warm up for the keynote, just like the Apple developer conferences I used to go to, except there are a lot more women at this show. I don't know who these people are. Lots of Candians, that's for sure. I learned at registration that it's okay if I call myself an American. These people all work for big media companies. Lots of money here. What do they think of blogs. I have no idea! I just took a bunch of pictures of the room so you can see who's here. Ashley Highfield of the BBC is our keynote. He is talking about half-steps, still thinking in terms of "audience" and high production values. He says we're about at a tipping point, but I wonder if he's the point of the tip. His new video player has DRM built-in. I wonder why -- his content doesn't need it. He says they're starting with nature programs -- why? Because chimps and giraffes don't have agents. Amateurs don't either. The BBC doesn't need the DRM, unless I'm missing something, it's disappointing that they're using it.
Chris Heilman: "Debbie asked 'What does RAW format mean?'"
Scoble: How to Hate Microsoft.
As I write this at 7AM Eastern, it's snowing in Boston. The first snow of the year gets me out of bed, just like a kid. New England townies snicker about the newbie. "He's a fucking retahd," they say.
Last year on this day: "I called both of the creators of the RSS Validator yesterday, Mark Pilgrim and Sam Ruby, to congratulate them on a very nicely done piece of software and to thank them for making a very positive contribution to the success of RSS."
Betsy Devine is now working for Feedster. Scott and Betsy are both wonderful, sweet people. Is it a surprise? Yes it is!
Well, I stand corrected.
London blogger's meetup with Dan Gillmor.
After last week's meeting, I wrote a new manifesto for Berkman Thursdays, which can be summarized in two words: Branch Out. Tomorrow I will be in Canada during the Thursday evening meeting, and I've left no instructions on how to have a meeting without me. I expect something interesting to come from it. And today I had a great lunch with Berkman founder Charlie Nesson about really big picture stuff. Seems there's lots of ideas brewing around Berkman about Doing More, which is pretty consistent with the Branch Out idea. More hope for the Tree Of Knowledge. I must talk with Palfrey about that. Now it's time for me to go for a walk and listen to the Heiferman interview. I love the media lifestyle.
Playing with a new template for the Scripting archive.
Blog of Ages is a blog about a book called Book of Ages.
Redhead: "I saw Condoleezza Rice on Oprah. She seemed like a lovely person. It kills me to see her following Dubya around. It kills me." Why? Because she's a beautiful soft-spoken intelligent successful woman? More.
Kaye Trammel: How do you blog an event?
Motley Fool interviews Yahoo CEO Terry Semel.
RSSWeather forecast for tonight: "Showers changing to snow showers near midnight."
Cory is upset that Wired News ran an "idiotic" Reuters story about The Broadcast Flag. I was just about to point to a bit by Joi Ito correcting a piece in Wired (the magazine) praising him as The Tokyo Node. Seems they made a bunch of mistakes in 200 measly words. I found one he didn't. The piece says he rubs shoulders with Timothy Leary. Ooops. Did I read that correctly? Leary died in 1996 and if he's rubbing shoulders at all it's with the fishes. So which is it -- the pros have the bucks and time to do the fact checking we can't in blogland, or..?
Three years ago: "Welll, the Mets lost, and I'm sure I'm not the first to say they deserved to lose."
Condoleezza Rice is a clue, like Colin Powell.
It isn't how they look, or how they act, it's what they do that matters.
Powell lied when he went before the UN to talk about the weapons of mass destruction. I assumed he was telling the truth. My mistake.
So many people choose their candidates on warm fuzzies. Rice, even though she's beautiful, soft-spoken and intelligent, is every bit as nasty as Rumsfeld. The lesson they teach is important. Count the F's. How about that sexism. Why are we willing to hate Rumsfeld, but so surprised when hating the beautiful, feminine Rice is just as correct?
This isn't about Rice, or Powell, or Rumsfeld or the President. It's about you.
What happens when the snake oil salesperson is a beautiful woman?
For extra credit -- How many Americans have been executed since Karla Faye Tucker? How many of them were beautiful women? How many did we care about?
News.Com interviews Blogger's Evan Williams.
Simon Fell: "What is sa.windows.com and why is my XP box talking to it?"
Rosen: "O’Reilly blows up a lot. He is wired for argument and controversy because he is willing to fight the spin of others with righteous spin of his own."
Ed Blogger 2003 in SF -- Nov 22-23.
Chris Lydon interviews Meetup founder Scott Heiferman.
Added to special Lydon RSS feed with enclosures.
Jeff Jarvis lists ways weblogs can be useful to professional reporters.
5/7/02: "I can't speak for all amateurs who blog, but I would like to see more pros use the technology."
In October 1998 I had a month-at-a-glance archive page. I'd like to have that feature again. I wonder what happened to it.
BTW, about yesterday's Google story -- I got an email from Nate Tyler in Google PR saying he's looking into it. I reviewed the situation as a user would. The pages don't say that Google isn't responsible for the content, in fact they brand the directory pages very clearly as being a Google product. Same thing with the DMOZ results they integrate with the search results. If Google asked my advice (they haven't) I would say it's time to do directories right, break the link with DMOZ, it was never the right answer, let's apply the logic of the Web to directories, and get something that works in place, work with librarians and developers, but unlike Yahoo, don't hire them, any more than you hire bloggers to write Web pages for the search engine. I think in the end we'll find that it's a software bug. But as one correspondent put it so well, "If this were an isolated mistake, okay, mistake, we all make them. But there is a trend here. Google is not a cute little company with great technology any more, they are now a big company with too much power."
So I went ahead and gave DirecTV the extra $5 per month so I could use the DVR I had already paid for, and it's great. I can watch the News Hour in ten minutes, skipping not only the commercials, but the parts where the talking heads drone on. I re-subbed to Six Feet Under, the Sopranos, West Wing; and added K Street, which I've heard so much about. I've watched two old movies and one new one. I still have my Netflix subscription, but am wondering if I need it. They're sending me a movie I just saw on HBO. Ooops. I find that I want Netflix to just upload the movies to my DVR. Anyway, net-net, I don't like dealing with the DirecTV company, but I love the product, esp TCM, which I really missed.
The graphic to the right first appeared on Scripting News in October 1998. It seems to me that it's been making that face continuously, even when we weren't watching, for almost five years. These digital things never wear out. BTW, don't stare at it too long, it can make you crazy. Trust me, I know.
I think I'm going to have to do something radical to bootstrap the distributed directories idea. Here's what I may just do. I could turn Scripting News into a directory. Forget the weblog. We already have enough of those. My directory would be the top of the tree of knowledge, like Yahoo used to be. You guys could send me links. I'd ignore you, because I'm so cool, I'd only point to people I like and people who pay me lots of money, or kiss my ass. I wouldn't point to any of your sites or your friends sites, and you'd get pissed off. "I'll show him," you'd say. "I'll do a kickass directory that's a billion times better than his! A trillion times better. I'll make him look like a total idiot. And I won't link to any of his sites" And then we'd have two directories. Someone else will think you're a total idiot and make one that's a trillion times better than yours. And so on.
Ed Cone: "The most powerful piece of software inside Microsoft may be the $40 application from a tiny vendor called Userland that Robert Scoble uses to write his weblog."
A recent Columbia Journalism Review article gives credit to Pitas for having the first weblog tool, in July 1999, but UserLand's NewsPage suite shipped as part of Frontier 4.2, in early 1997, and was in wide use when Pitas arrived. Jorn Barger said: "Scripting News formalised many characteristics in 1997 by building them into the Frontier scripting environment, in its 'Newspage suite'."
Just had a phone talk with Scoble, and finally I have a clue why people use aggregators integrated with email clients. He had a couple of compelling reasons. 1. Since it's integrated with email he can easily forward an item to people he works with via email. 2. He has a folder where he drags items he wants to write about later. BTW he uses NewsGator. I still prefer the blog-style interface of Radio's aggregator.
Andrew Grumet: "Does this sound crazy enough that it just might work?" Yes.
Google's directory of weblog tools. None of the tools I wrote made the list. Centralized directories on the Web are like buggy whips for cars. Let's fix this bug. Google, this makes you look like a total asshole company. Your tool is listed first, and your competitor's tools aren't listed at all. When will it become too embarassing to support this antiquated model.
When I first posted that I thought it was just a repurposing-DMOZ-problem, so it was a question of how Google looked, not anything they had actually done. But then Seth Dillingham posted a pointer showing that Radio UserLand is actually on the DMOZ list for weblog tools, so Google modified the list to take Radio out. This is surprising, and imho, requires an explanation. Did they modify it? If so why? And do they modify search results to favor their products and services? This is scary stuff.
I'm getting lots of comments but only in email, so I can't point. Apparently the problem is page rank, there's no way Radio has zero page rank, but that (apparently) is what Google thinks. I can tell this is going to get nasty. Folks, I didn't say Google is a total asshole company, I said the mistake makes them look like a TAC. That was this morning. This evening I'm beginning to wonder. I certainly have heard from a number of total assholes, but that's life on the Internet. I'm used to it.
Blog Graham has become 100 million times more interesting since the candidate dropped out of the race. Eventually he will be joined by nine other Democrats, former candidates for the nomination, with varying amounts of life left in their political careers. Perhaps one of them will find a new purpose in punditry. I check out the Graham site every time it updates nowadays.
Sander van de Donk asks about sub-feeds in RSS.
Wired profiles Harvard cardiologist Mark Keating, who believes that human bodies can be taught to regenerate hearts, livers and kidneys.
Maybe Gregg Easterbrook said the stupid things about Jewish execs in Hollywood for the obvious reason, to get more flow for his weblog. It wouldn't be the first time that happened.
Four years ago today: "One would think that, by now, with the Internet and 'convergence' that I would have my choice of talk-tracks. Why couldn't I do the play by play myself? Instead of making stupid comments about people and history, instead we'd make metaphysical observations. 'I wonder what God meant by that?' Dave the announcer would ask. We'd call a random fan to ask his opinion. 'Sir, are you watching the game?' I'd ask. 'What did that last play mean to you?'"
1. Decide on a format for a directory. It should be XML-based so people can use any text tool to edit them. I designed OPML for this purpose, but if you want to use another format, I won't fight you on it. This is too important to have the usual fight over the bits on the wire.
2. Build software that renders data in this format as if it were a Yahoo or DMOZ directory. All environments should have well-tested efficient renderers, commercial and open source.
3. When this software encounters a node that includes another directory, include its hierarchy in that directory. These inclusions are what determine page rank, just like links in HTML pages.
4. If you run a search engine, index these files. Use page rank to determine which is shown first. Don't segregate these files, include them in the returns for HTML and all other formats you support.
5. Evangelize. Get academics, librarians, researchers, etc to produce data in this this format. Link and organize.
Ed Cone: "Real bloggers read blogs."
Jay Rosen lists ten conservative things about weblogs.
A new Berkman blogger, Andrew MacLaughlin.
Red Sox Haiku Dot Com. "Going, going, gone. In the eleventh inning. Winter has begun."
Diego Doval writes about the Dublin blogger's meeting.
Three years ago: Transcendental Money.
Four years ago: "I like baseball because of the metaphysics, synchronicity and improbability of it. It's a puzzle. How does it work? God speaks to me thru baseball, at least my god does."
Jim Moore: "Why have just one World Series?"
There's trouble brewing. A columnist for New Republic (and ESPN), Gregg Easterbrook, said something anti-semitic in a blog post, Roger L Simon, a novelist and screen writer with a weblog blasted him for it, he's been fired from ESPN, and Simon expresses his regrets, as does Easterbrook (although half-heartedly). This all appears to have happened in the last 24 hours. Even weirder, all the posts on ESPN's site from Easterbrook are 404, but they're in the Google cache.
Easterbrook: "Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, is Jewish; the chief of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, is Jewish. Yes, there are plenty of Christian and other Hollywood executives who worship money above all else, promoting for profit the adulation of violence. Does that make it right for Jewish executives to worship money above all else, by promoting for profit the adulation of violence?"
Kevin Werbach makes a feature request to the universe. Interestingly, the feature he asks for is one UserLand implemented in March 2002, however it's the kind of thing that won't really be useful until most aggregators implement it, and a non-aggregator vendor (a non-profit, possibly) runs the central component. It's also a perfect example of something that was much-discussed during Day 2 at BloggerCon -- how to use the powerful communication systems we have to help the users express their wants to software developers. If you want to hear my evangelical plea about this listen to the Fat Man session. I think it's important. The only way we're going to move forward, is if the users are empowered.
David Weinberger reports on a Clay Shirky presentation. Clay's still giving the power-law rap. His thesis is that weblogs are just like television all over again. That makes Luddites feel comfortable, until you see that's not what's actually going on. My thesis: it doesn't matter if only 25 people read your blog, or even 2.5 people, if they're the right 2.5 people. My weblog worked, we were able to route around the BigCo's and establish new standards without their help or approval. Clay went contrarian on that too. My distribution didn't come close to matching PC Mag or PC Week, yet somehow I was able to influence the whole industry from this little pulpit. It's not about how many eyeballs you aggregate, it's which ones.
Here's an example of an ambitiously titled weblog with a small number of readers, that works. I read it whenever it updates. There's value for me. I'm glad he publishes it. What else matters, exactly?
AP: "Short people may be shortchanged in salary, status and respect."
I have a story to go with that. I'm fairly tall -- 6 foot 2. When I was in college sometimes I'd go out drinking with other students. Quite a few times a really short (drunk) guy would pick a fight with me. It was never a problem, I'd just put my hand on his head, and keep him at a distance where his fists couldn't reach me. Some little guys love to fight, they pick on the biggest guy around. It's usually not the best idea.
Dowbrigade: "The outcome of the game and the fate of the Red Sox season depended on what I, the Dowbrigade, did during the next few crucial moments."
NY Times: "The editorial page editor, Bob McManus, prepared two editorials well before the end of the game -- one if the Yankees won, the other if they lost -- each written in such a way that it needed no editing to reflect the exact score or game details."
Two years ago I won Wired's top prize as technology innovator of the year.
Three years ago: "The Mets even in the bozo years, knew that we were in the eye of the storm, or the center of the universe, whatever you want to call it."
Greenspun: "Do we live in an age of wimpy enemies?"
At dinner last night, one of our regulars, Jay McCarthy, was talking about his favorite programming language, Lisp. I like Jay, we all do. He's young, smart, and courageous. He talks back. That's good. Later that night he pressed one of my buttons, not sure if he knew he was doing it. (I bet he did.) He said that it's understandable that a platform vendor would choose to bundle a scripting language, and if it wiped out the other languages, well that's just the way it works. I had to think about this. Is this right? I don't think so. If such a rule had existed in the 80s, that probably would have been the end of Lisp, right? And Jay was born in the 80s. So his favorite language would have been nuked before he would have had a chance to fall in love with it. I rest my case.
You're going to see more pictures on Scripting News because I have a new super-fast picture upstreamer. Save to a special folder, then a window opens in my editor containing the HTML, ready to copy-paste. It happens in five seconds or less. Also thinking it might be time for a new template for this weblog. This is my weekend for nerding out. Next weekend I'm on PEI, and the one after that, Florida.
Right now as we speak DirecTV is being installed in my house. Pray Murphy it may actually work. TiVO too.
Hal Roberts reviews OpenOffice.
Megnut: "Silently, numbly, we exchanged good byes, murmured hopes for next year, next year, and I walked home alone."
Elizabeth Spiers says Markoff doesn't read many blogs.
Lessig: "When they write the account of the 2004 campaign, it will include at least one word that has never appeared in any presidential history: blog."
Jason Levine: "Bill Buckner must be breathing a sigh of relief today."
Werbach: "100 songs in your pocket ain't bad when the same device is also your phone, organizer, camera, and wireless email tool."
NY Times: "This winter in New England, the fans will question why Boston Manager Grady Little left Pedro Martinez in for a pounding in the eighth inning."
I watched most of last night's game with Michael Feldman at Bombay Club, an Indian restaurant. Finally in the eighth inning he had enough, we left, I drove home, now it's tied 5-5 in the eleventh. The Red Sox are an emotional experience unlike anything I've ever seen. Lots of Yankees fans around Harvard Square. Not me. I hate the Yankees. It's not over yet. (Postscript: Yes it is, and the Sox lost.)
Postscript on DirecTV installation: It works but not TiVO because they require a full-time phone connection, but with my DSL, I gave up on the voice line a long time ago. This is new, my DirecTV in Calif didn't require the phone connect. Plus they want to charge me $5 per month for the priviledge of recording. They didn't tell me up front that I couldn't record without the phone link or extra charge.
It's strictly copy protection, they want to be sure you don't record a show and then take the unit over to a friend's house to play back. So I have the equivalent of cable, for a lot more money. And a one year commit. Bastards.
Baseball or no baseball, we're on for tonight's weblog-writer's meeting at Berkman. We'll talk about webcasting the meetings. And having people other than me moderate. I won't be at the next two meetings, but I want them to happen anyway. Should be interesting.
Mark Bernstein: "The knights of the keyboard were the first bloggers."
Emerson scholar Cornel West added to the special Lydon RSS feed with enclosures
In the aggregators session on Day 2 at BloggerCon I promised Jenny Levine that I would write up my plan to empower librarians and scholars to build distributed Yahoo-like directories, with the key ingredient that makes the Web work so well -- competition. The idea is for geeks and librarians to work together, a dream of mine for a long time. As with weblogs and newspapers (see the Markoff interview below) the technology I propose would work equally well for librarians who work at Yahoo, as it would for those who don't. It's a decentralized application of OPML in all its glory.
8/28/01: "I really like making software for librarians."
Paul Boutin explains 21st Century Web Directories.
OJR interviews John Markoff from the NY Times. "It sometimes seems we have a world full of bloggers and that blogging is the future of journalism, or at least that's what the bloggers argue, and to my mind, it's not clear yet whether blogging is anything more than CB radio. And, you know, give it five or 10 years and see if any institutions emerge out of it. It's possible that in the end there may be some small subset of people who find a livelihood out of it and that the rest of the people will find that, you know, keeping their diaries online is not the most useful thing to with their time." He's not listening.
Ed Cone's mom on Markoff: "He doesn't want to get it."
10/6/03: If The Gray Lady Could Blog.
Jeremy Allaire on his $5 million investment in PingID.
Rageboy is broke and needs help.
I refuse to be angry with O'Reilly. Here's why.
Via Ross Karchner, via Gizmodo, via ThinkSecret comes a rumor of a microphone for recording voice memos and a Flash memory card reader for storing digital photos on Apple's new iPod, to be announced later today.
Don Park asks the W3C to define a simple registry-like directory for websites.
It didn't take long for Paolo to do something interesting with the hierarchic subscriptions format.
Andrew Grumet ponders the mysteries of title-less Movable Type posts via the MetaWeblog API.
The Marlins beat the Cubs 9-6 in the final game of the NLCS. Wait till next year for the Cubbies. No joy in Mudville tonight.
Matthew Langer wants to put a full-page ad in in the NY Times for $156K.
RSS2Mobile is an RSS-to-WML service. Coool!
Gwen Graham Logan: "It is sad to see the blog all white."
Derek Slater reviews the new online music services.
Gregor Rothfuss can convert MindManager files to OPML.
Last night in my wrap-up on the day's discussion about myPublicFeeds.opml, I pondered the existence of a theoretical folder that every website could have, a folder like the System folder on the Macintosh, or Documents and Settings on Windows, but for a website. A place for software to store and access public information about the website. A folder for metadata. A place to stash application data. A small cost, a used-up name, a very small cost, but with the gain that we could add new functionality. A W3C working group had the idea of a well-known location in work on the Platform For Privacy, and created a hypothetical folder called w3c and put a site's privacy settings there. That's a good idea. I could then start a folder called Berkman, and applications that originated at Berkman would store their data in that folder. But now the W3C is having second thoughts about this. That's the problem with the W3C, one year they tell you to go north, then after you've gone a thousand miles they change their mind and tell you to go south.
Kevin Werbach's first thoughts on the Treo 600.
An example myPublicFeeds.opml, pointing to the public RSS feeds of weblogs we're hosting at Berkman. Sites that have syndication turned off, or are private, are not included.
Here's something really strange. On October 22, I'm going to Prince Edward Island to speak at a media conference. I'm one of the keynotes. It sounded like a great group of people and I've never been to the maritime provinces in Canada, so I said yes. Now I read on Sebastien Paquet's weblog that there's a weblog conference in PEI immediately after the one I'm going to. Buzz Bruggeman is coming. Is it a coincidence?
Last year on this day: "The Giants won the game, the series, the championship, and stole our hearts."
Two years ago, in the aftermath of 9-11: "In the future, a man helping a woman, or a woman helping a man, may be seen as a sign of people being kind to each other, and nothing more."
As luck would have it, I will be in the Bay Area on November 24, so I will be able to participate in the Ed Bloggers meeting in San Francisco. My mind still has to adjust because at first I wondered if it would be okay if I attended, then I realized that I am an educational blogger. Reminds me of something about old dogs and new tricks.
Yossi Vardi will speak next Tuesday at Harvard Law School.
Cristian Vidmar has a new Radio theme..
Notes after a full day of discussion on myPublicFeeds.opml.
Fascinating discussion about categorized feed lists, and how to preserve hierarchies across aggregators that understand hierarchy and those that don't. Great back and forth between Ethan Diamond of Oddpost and Brent Simmons of NetNewsWire. Finally, a discussion starts among aggregator developers. To me, the subject matter, while important, is nowhere near as important that a respectful and (no surprise here) intelligent conversation has started.
Ethan Zuckerman: "I've been trying to find collections of blogs, both personal and newsy, from sub-Saharan Africa."
Andrew Grumet: More Blogs Like This.
Fast Company: Joe Trippi's Killer App.
A discussion that shows how confusing RSS is to the unitiated. These are developers, imagine how confusing it must be for users. They do eventually figure it out, but man, what they had to go through.
Python Community Server, a clone of Radio Community Server, now has a search engine.
Q&A about myPublicFeeds.opml.
Now I'd like to ask a question of aggregator developers.
Excellent, Andrea doesn't mind that I scarfed her pic for yesterday's Scripting. I always thought it's an amazing picture, it was done by someone who knows how to use a camera and gets how pretty she is. She says she got a lot of hits.
And, no surprise, Paolo's flow went up when he posted soft-porn pics of topless Italian babes. We've rediscovered the secret. Everyone likes a pretty girl.
Jay Rosen: "Strange, what's unsayable."
Uncle Vava built a wind mill on his hippie commune in Florida. It was a unique design, instead of having vertical blades, it had a pinwheel, which meant it could catch wind from any direction. It worked, they had water pressure, and with solar heating, hot showers.
Andrew Grumet: "Spammers have developed robots that target Movable Type."
Jeff Jarvis on Presidential blogging.
Lance Knobel: "Bill Clinton looks good."
British Pathe: "You can preview items from the entire 3500 hour British Pathe Film Archive which covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970."
Essay: "Ever since Steve Jobs, all geeks think they're Him."
A family picture taken (probably) fifteen years ago in NY. From left to right, Ken, Sparky, Rudy and me. Sparky is Ken's longtime friend, Rudy was Ken's father, my grandfather (he died about ten years ago) and I'm looking pretty buff, if I do say so myself.
Simon Willison: "Enough of the theory: the web needs practical advice on developing Unicode enabled web pages and web applications."
Kevin Werbach likes RSS. He wants us to fix it.
Beta: Password-protected RSS feeds for Manila sites.
Paolo has pictures of beautiful Italian babes on his blog. And get this, they have their own weblogs.
Derek Balling on O'Reilly's exclusive confab.
Tim Bray says that to get rid of spam we're going to need to pay to send email, as much as one cent a message.
Don Park comments on Tim Bray's solution. BTW, I should mention that I have been briefed on another solution that's different from both Bray's and Park's and doesn't involve money. It's clever. Wish I could talk about it.
Another insidious Internet problem, random people who challenge your integrity. I just tried a new method and it seems to have worked. Mr X wanted to start a round of flames challenging my integrity over a format I designed and promote. Somehow I have been doing something evil there, he claims. So I passed the challenge back through a reputable person, Mr Y, who knows both of us, asking that he look into X's claims, and let me know if there's any substance to them. I don't think Y would bother me with something that's not important, where X has done that many many times. The idea is that a public figure would have a committee of three people who vouch for his or her integrity, kind of the role the editor and publisher of a magazine or newspaper plays. If you have an issue with me, take it up with one of my committee members. If they think there's an issue, then I have to take a look at it. This would up the level of discourse in the weblog world substantially. So many of the challenges don't provide any data at all. I am tired of getting these hits. There's almost always two or three people trying to end my career in humiliation. Let them take some risks when they do that. No I don't think it's funny that you think I'm an asshole. Find someone else to pick on.
Simon Willison stumbled over an effective comment spam measure.
Ed Cone: "John Edwards blogs about sharing a plane from Phoenix to Charlotte with rivals Gephardt and Braun."
Back home in Boston from NY where I got a bunch of pics of my uncle scanned and uploaded. Here's one of my favorites, with Vava as a kid with Cousin Joe Bahr, in one of my grandfather's schmata factories, taken in the early-mid 50s. It's a total classic. Cousin Joey was the favorite of the kids. He always had a present and a tickle. For some reason the adults thought he was sad, but I don't remember why. He was one of the fun adults.
Jim Moore on the Clark and Dean campaigns.
Tim Jarrett defines weblog.
Steve Kirks interviewed Adam Curry at BloggerCon.
NY Times: "As musical recordings have increasingly shed their physical form, the record industry and its customers have been at odds over what it all should cost."
Lena comes rushing home screaming and yelling. "What are you so excited about?" asks Ole. "Oh Ole, I won the lottery, I'm so excited, I made a lot of money, hurry and pack your bags!" Ole asks "Should I pack clothes for warm or chilly weather?" Lena answers: "Oh pack all your clothes Ole, you're history around here!"
Betsy Devine's mom would look in the mirror and ask "Who is that old woman?"
It's easy to convince people that someone else is doing something nasty if you don't mind them thinking that about you. Here's the algorithm. Start abusing them. Call them nasty names. Draw pictures of obscene life forms and place them in the middle of your spewage. Everyone who reads this will think there was a fight between the two people, because our mothers taught us that it takes two to fight, therefore both people are equally bad, so just stop already. But the other person can't stop because he or she wasn't doing anything in the first place. Cute, eh?
Today's another travel day, back to Boston. Either tomorrow or Tuesday Chris and I will go to Burlington to see first-hand what the Dean operation is like. The quesion is, how deep does the Internet go into the Dean camp. Is it just a few people, or is the campaign electronic, or is it something between. It's Chris's show, I think they've sold it to NPR or PRI, not sure, I'm going along for the ride, maybe I'll write something, maybe I'll just take pictures. Watched the Red Sox lose to the Yankees last night, not happy about that. You shouldn't let them get a lead. Oh well. I'm with Philip, I go to Red Sox games even more infrequently than he (I've been to Fenway once, a few years back, with Sally Atkins). Even though I hate the Yankees, and therefore automatically root for whoever might beat them, I don't have strong feelings about the Red Sox. Mostly I think of them as a team that the Mets beat in the World Series. When I think of the Red Sox I think of Bill Buckner, as do most Red Sox fans, I imagine.
Jon Udell: Why Mozilla Matters.
Manila: Discussion Group RSS Feeds.
Cluetrain author Chris Locke was a guest at the Thursday evening meeting at Berkman, two days before BloggerCon.
Doc: "I was getting ready to crash when word came down that Stuart Cheshire was giving a talk on ZeroConf/Rendezvous. So I followed the crowd up to the third floor and here I am in a room full of people, listening attentively. It's 11:40PM."
Foo Camp grid for Saturday, thanks to Danny O'Brien.
Greenspun: "It seems that I must be gay because instead of watching the Red Sox (I attend one game every 10 years and never watch on TV) I watched the last season of Absolutely Fabulous on DVD."
Dowbrigade reports that fellatio may help prevent breast cancer.
On the drive down to NY I heard a bit of last night's debate. Who I liked best? Al Sharpton. I had fun dreaming about offering my services to set up a great web presence for his campaign. The thing I like about him is that he really talks straight. Someone with nothing to lose. Bob Graham should have given it a try. I swear, the public is primed for a candidate who forgets about sound bites and looks into the camera and tells the truth. Sharpton does that. I think. Of course who knows if he's really telling the truth. I know who isn't telling the truth. Lieberman, Gephardt, Dean, Edwards etc etc. I know the Dean people think he's different, but I don't. Oh yeah, and Clark too. He should look into the camera and say "Hey I made a mistake. Fuck you." I know they'd throw a tantrum about that on CNN. But it's just the kind of thing the voters like. Remember what happened in California. The guy can barely speak English. He made nothing but mistakes. He won anyway.
Andrew Grumet is publishing an OPML file of IP addresses that have spammed his comments.
Adam Curry's BloggerCon retrospect.
Jeff Jarvis conversation with Jay Rosen. Revolutions aren't that rare, there seems to always be one happening. People came to BloggerCon looking for a revolution. And people came to find that there is no revolution. Both got what they came for.
Thoughts from last night's meeting at Berkman.
Pito Salas, who came to last night's meeting, says Microsoft may be a model for how campaigns use weblogs. I agree.
Elwyn Jenkins of Microdoc News is always a good read. I just read a Register piece that calls him a bad name. They are constantly hitting new lows at the Register. I'm sure they don't care, but I don't get it. It's like watching an old friend die. They'll probably ridicule me for saying this. Whatever.
When the Register trashes someone I know to be honest, I will tell you so. This is the way to fight back. They trash me all the time, not much I can say about that -- except you can make up your own mind. Look at their accusations, carefully, and factor out the charged words, substitute more emotionally neutral words. See what they're really saying. Ask yourself if there's another obvious way to spin it. And consider the source. If it's the Register, it's probably not true.
BTW, I don't take Google ads, never have, so I can say whatever I want about them. As Jenkins explains, the Google ad bar is a huge disclaimer saying "I can't talk about Google." And since Google is known to put gag orders in their agreements, who knows what other gag orders they've put in their agreements. We depend on light to get our information. Now Google is a source of dark. Exactly wrong. What's the opposite of bing?
Essay: If the Democrats Could Blog.
Jim Moore: "The Clark imbroglio continues."
Political Wire: "Kerry's campaign also appears to be in turmoil."
Dowbrigade pic of bloggers with Macs. "Ax of choice."
Dorothy: "What would you do with a brain if you had one?"
A slightly different question.
Jay Rosen remembers Neil Postman. "He was expert in nothing. Therefore nothing was off limits."
Rogers Cadenhead: "While doing research on Java implementations of the xmlStorageSystem API, the backbone of Radio UserLand web hosting, I found something unusual: Full support for the API in a commercial server product."
Don't forget to check out Harvard's Sex Tutorial Weblog, for a refresher course.
Greenspun: "Anyone who can afford to charter a $2 million, $1000/hour helicopter ought to be someone with, if not a lot of friends, at least a lot of dependants."
Timothy Appnel: "Is Ben wasting his time trying to implement something that is stated to appear in his company's products because it could drastically change in the coming years?"
Response to Tim Appnel is here.
Mini-essay: "A friend who was at BloggerCon writes, saying he thinks I prefer to work with people, instead of having them work for me, and asks me to explain this."
Phillip Pearson needs help with Movable Type's XML-RPC.
If you recorded audio or video at BloggerCon, please post a note in the comments on this news item.
Last night the Cubs won, evening their series at 1-1. The Red Sox won to take a 1-0 lead over the universally hated NY Yankees.
For some reason Sam's weblog is not accepting comments, so here is my response to Tim Appnel.
Tim, this is the tricky thing about formats and protocols, when to freeze them, and getting buy-in on the freeze. If you look at the history of RSS, and assume it predicts what Atom will go through, the answer is that Ben will have to pedal hard to keep up. If anything, because there are so many more cooks, it looks like the Atom experience will be even worse. But it's hard to predict what will happen.
BTW, they have to worry not only about current implementors but future ones too. When we tried to freeze RSS 0.91, there was no Movable Type, or even Blogger.
DaveNet: Nine Years of DaveNet.
I'm speaking at Stanford Law School on November 24, a series hosted by Larry Lessig. The talk is at 12:30PM and is open to the press and public. I'll stick around and do Thanksgiving in the Bay Area. Good timing, that's when it'll be starting to get really collld here in beantown.
Draft Clark: "By the time you read these words, the bell will be tolling for Wesley Clark's candidacy."
Taegan Goddard: "There seems to be full scale turmoil in Wesley Clark's campaign."
Jim Moore: "Three weeks ago a friend of mine traveled to Little Rock and began working for the Clark campaign. Despite having very good personal access to General Clark, he quit after a few days, citing the closed nature of the campaign organization. And now we hear a similar tale from the campaign manager."
AKMA's BloggerCon retrospective.
MIT Tech Review has a weblog. No permalinks, no RSS.
Official map showing counties where Schwarzenegger won.
At every conference it seems, someone gets mad at me. My style of public talking has its pluses, the discussion can be lively, but some people's buttons get pushed. Most people go through this without making a scene. At this conference no one went ballistic, I'm thankful for that. But the Web being what it is, it still could happen. My job is to take a deep breath, and go on.
If you're in the Boston area and were at BloggerCon, you are especially welcome at tomorrow night's weblog writer's meeting. I want to hear what everyone thought of the conference. How should Thursday nights change now that it's behind us? Should we webcast the Thurs meetings so that when we have guests they have an idea of how they work? Where are we going next?
Wired: "As the major record companies scramble to put a lid on peer-to-peer file-sharing networks like Morpheus and Kazaa, an upstart California record label is trying to revolutionize the industry by taking the opposite approach: making file sharing the heart of its business."
Last year on this day: "I tried Google News. 4000 pubs all reporting the same story is 4000 times more boring than one. Didn't interest me one bit. I'm spoiled, I've got my own virtual newspaper.
Chris Lydon interviews Jeff Jarvis of Advance Publications.
Michael Feldman: "Among certain Amazonian tribes of my acquaintance Glenn and Eugene would be more likely to wind up on the menu than on the guest list."
AP reports that Clark's campaign manager has quit. "Donnie Fowler told associates he was leaving over widespread concerns that supporters who used the Internet to draft Clark into the race are not being taken seriously by top campaign advisers. Fowler also complained that the campaign's message and methods are focused too much on Washington, not key states and the burgeoning power of the Internet, said two associates who spoke on condition of anonymity."
Thanks for the BloggerCon!
Bryan Bell's BloggerCon trip report.
Ed Cone: "Weblogs bring Second Amendment logic to the First Amendment."
Jim Moore: "Without Andrew’s attacks, I’m pretty much an obscure researcher at Harvard Law School."
Jesse Berney at the DNC reviews the new Bush blog.
Rogers Cadenhead sent an email asking how I would vote if I were in California today. Good question. I'd vote against the recall and for Bustamente. Here's why. California needs better government, but this isn't the way to get it. And Schwarzenegger is the wrong guy and hasn't explained in anything but superficial terms how he would govern. Let's hope another referendum comes up where voters can express displeasure with the government in more constructive ways.
Paolo and team have localized Radio to German.
Candidate George Bush has a weblog.
The Bush RSS feeds are a total mess. At the Day 2 community session Joi Ito said the usual, "we work together well in the weblog community." It's not true. We work terribly together. I wish someone would explain to me why a user like the President of the United States has to have such a jumble of formats. Does anyone else care how hard it's going to be to move this mess forward? (Impossible, actually.) I've really tried to get people to play together. Didn't happen. At least we can be truthful about our failures, as it gets too late to fix them. I'm afraid, at the technology level, it's business as usual, and not much win-win. Our shame. Blogger, Movable Type, I'll take my share too. Maybe we can have a grown up conversation about this some time, and try to make the best of a very bad situation.
The recent interviews, Curry, Rosen, Apcar and Jarvis are in the special RSS feed with enclosures.
Nine years ago on this day I wrote my first DaveNet essay. This was the first of a rapid string of epiphanies that led to this one: I can publish my own ideas. I don't have to wait for anyone else to get it.
A list of anniversary essays.
Phillip Pearson on high-performance XML-RPC in C. Up to 1000 messages per second. This is super-important. A fast implementation of xmlStorageSystem could really scale.
10/07/94: Marc Canter Sings Again!
10/12/94: Marc's 10 Things
10/13/94: Letter to Cannavino
10/14/94: How to invest in PDAs
10/16/94: Randy Battat on PDAs
10/17/94: PDAs on Parade!
10/18/94: Bill Gates vs The Internet
10/19/94: Lots O'Comments
10/20/94: It's a Great Computer, Steve
10/22/94: Scripting the Internet
10/24/94: Software Bar, Part 1
10/27/94: Dave de'Demogogue
10/27/94: Reply from Bill Gates
10/29/94: Platform is Chinese household
BloggerCon essay: If the Gray Lady Could Blog.
Bob Graham announced, on his weblog, that he's ending his campaign for President.
The Red Sox are something like the Mets. With a 4-1 lead and 12 outs between them and victory, well, it's now 4-3 and they're going to the bullpen. Bottom of the ninth. Three outs left. Now I can see why Bostonians hate to love this team. It gets worse. The relief pitcher just walked the first two hitters. Runners on second and third, two out. Strike out. Red Sox win 4-3. Cool!
Michael Feldman has two BloggerCon requests.
Steve Outing on Apcar at BloggerCon.
BloggerCon essay: Notes from the Host.
Betsy Devine: "You can fall off a bike by leaning too far to one side or the other, but to get somewhere you have to forget about falling and pedal like hell."
An eWeek article about RSS-Data that contains more errors per sentence than usual.
Personal note. Today is one of the weirdest days of my life. I think we decided to do the conference in February, before I moved east. Now my stack is pretty well popped. Today I have nothing urgent to do. I have bills to pay, a book to read, movies to watch, a crossword to do, a walk to take, an interview to listen to, some food to eat, thoughts to share, maybe a bit of code to write. But I don't have any conferences to organize, or any cross-country trips to do. I do have to work on my uncle's estate, and have a conference to attend and a doctor's appt before the end of the month. But my queue is relatively empty. Strange feeling. Might be okay.
Chris Lydon interviews Len Apcar, editor in chief of the NYTimes.Com.
Several times, in different contexts at BC, I said that I don't care for the Dean weblog. I explained, when I go there I don't find anything that interests me. I see stuff that probably makes sense to people who support Dean but I'm not one of those people. I think the guy's an actor, and he tweaks a certain kind of person's optimism, but not mine. And get this, even if he did, after what I've seen in politics in my 48 years, and especially this year, I'm not believing anyone without a lot of questions answered in a way that add up for me. I think Dean's supporters, many of whom I admire, are selling out too soon and for too little. Dean is taking their money and giving it to Viacom, Disney, General Electric, Clear Channel, Fox and Time-Warner, just like all the rest. That's who owns him, not you. Now tell me something new on that blog, something honest, or even interesting, and I'll say so. But so far, zzzzz.
8/21/03: Pictures from Edwards & Dean in NH.
Jay McCarthy points to huge volumes of BC bloggage.
Ed Cone's BloggerCon trip report. These writeups are most interesting to me. Everyone had a unique experience. I esp like the part about the people from the Edwards campaign. There were Kerry people there too, but I don't think many people knew it.
Heath Row's incredible BloggerCon notes.
Welcome to "a demo of Feedster's soon to be officially released Feed Compare feature. What this feature does is let you see the postings from Blog or Feed A in comparison with Blog or Feed B, C, D and E."
Adam Curry is doing a feed he calls SyncPod to help developers adapt aggregators to work with enclosures. Scott Johnson says Feedster will have a special report listing all feeds that support enclosures. Now that I have more free time, I'm going to tweak up enclosure support in Radio. There are some serious problems that are relatively easy to fix. Jake, please note.
A video from Holland thanks to Adam. Very funny.
The cynicism of the US political system was at BC. At one point, a campaign technologist who I won't name looked at me with irony when I talked about blogs helping democracy. "Democracy in Washington?" he asked, as if there were no such thing. I didn't say anything for a bit. I said I am an idealist. I believe in democracy. I think most of the people in the room did, and I also think perhaps four years ago they didn't. There really were bright eyes, not all of them, for sure. But most of them. And get this, I think we're going to win.
Three years ago: "If you write for the Web, as I do, you'll get challenges to your ethics or integrity every day. How do you deal with those? Can you ignore them?"
Every time I use the word "BigCo" some guy who works at a BigCo flames me on one of the mail lists. Last night at dinner, Joey DeVilla used the word, and he kind of winked at me. I asked him if he liked it. He said he did. I told him I regularly got flamed for using it. He was I surprised. I asked if he minded if I continued to use it. He said Please do. That's that. I've been given my instructions.
Scoble: "Blame me for all of Microsoft's excesses." OK.
BloggerCon essay: The Rule of Win-Win.
I'm going through all the pages linked into the Day 2 grid, correcting time mistakes caused by the last schedule juggle. When they disagree, the time in the grid is the correct time. Sorry for the screwups.
Jim Armstrong reminds that there was an event very much like BloggerCon at Foothill College in Cupertino, CA on March 25, 2000. Phil Wolff and Dan Gillmor, who will be here tomorrow, were at that event. I wonder who else? It also will be much like the live sessions we did at Seybold in the mid-90s. One of those had over a thousand people. Craig Cline who was my Seybold rabbi, will be here tomorrow. All these events rocked. My sincere hope is that tomorrow's show comes off as smoothly, and is as memorable five and ten years from now. My guess is that it will.
We have an incredible team. Wendy Koslow, Erin Judge, Hal Roberts, Jesse Ross, Bob Doyle, Tracy Adams, Michael Feldman, Catherine Bracy, Susan "Sooz" Kaup, Maggie Cohen, Patrick Lewis, Lindsay Blohm. The law school came through and is letting us use WiFi! (Hal Roberts confirms that it works.) We've gotten fantastic support from the Berkman directors, especially John Palfrey and Charlie Nesson. A special thanks to Wendy, for managing the conference so incredibly well and taking such good care of the speakers and participants; and to Charlie who's the founder and guiding light of Berkman. What an honor for me to be introduced by Charlie tomorrow. What an honor to be able to welcome so many cool people to such a cool place!
Thanks to Myron Kassaraba for starting the BloggerCon PhotoBlog. I plan to post some of my own photos.
Adam Curry: "I'm off to meet Chris Lydon at Berkman."
Perseus Development Corp "randomly surveyed 3,634 blogs on eight leading blog-hosting services to develop a model of blog populations."
New addition to the ROWW: "The simplest example of this rule is the Reciprocal Link. If someone points to you does that create an obligation to point back? Absolutely not. But if you, at some point in the future, find something on the other site worthy of a link, you can say thanks for the link by pointing to it. There's no reason for this ever to stop. Linking is virtually free, and good for you, like Vitamin C."
Griff Wigley: "It was 22 here yesterday morn! Go Twins!"
Doc: "In fact.... well, stay tuned."
I just heard about this conference to discuss the future of Silicon Valley. This is what I left behind. Did I do the right thing? Absolutely. The East Coast has been much better for me. If I ever go back to the West Coast, I won't go to "Silicon Valley." That's over. As they say, your mileage may vary.
For the record, I believe in the power of editing. I practice it myself. I have an essay I'm working on today that I wrote two days ago but held up so I could edit it with a fresh perspective. What I don't believe in, emphatically, is what comes after editing, and often is called editing -- dumbing it down -- the notion that some thoughts are too complicated for the audience. I quit the system that requires this kind of editing because, after editing, I was saying things I didn't agree with. There's no point writing for such a system, other than earning a paycheck. And they weren't paying very much, not that that matters. At Harvard, at times, when it might appear that I'm speaking for the university, I have to be careful, and I always get approval for those things. But most of the time, "voice of the individual" applies. And unedited, to me, means you're hearing what I think, not group-think.
Mark Bernstein: "The mass audience can only hear the brutal, the stupid, the squalid -- the simplest messages of sensuality and fear."
Mitch Ratcliffe: What is good about unedited?
I added Mitch's piece to the list of BloggerCon essays, it clearly belongs in the discussion.
Jeff Jarvis: "I wouldn't blast them -- unless I'd ended up stranded on I-95."
Sara Wedeman: "Because there are many, many voices, we have a chance to stumble on one that conveys a different view than our own."
0xDECAFBAD: "I'm really interested in seeing where this goes, because this comparison of RSS-Data, RSS namespace extensions, and even RDF seems like another very concrete, non-theoretical way to demonstrate the benefits and drawbacks of these ways of thinking about data and interoperability."
Good morning sports fans and welcome to the kickoff day for BloggerCon. It's very cold, in the 30s, but the sky is clear, and they're forecasting a beautiful New England fall day, highs in the 50s. People are starting to arrive. Last night's meeting at Berkman was packed, lots of new faces and old friends. I have a lot of work to do, not the least of which involves writing at least two essays, but for me, the conference planning is over. Now it's time to do.
One of our semi-regulars at Berkman Thursdays is Jay from MakeoutCity.Com. He's a student at UMass-Lowell, and works in the software industry there. He's probably about 19, skinny, Elvis Costello-type glasses, gelled hair. Let's see, that makes him about 30 years my junior. But he's a hell of nice guy and smart. Somehow he sees things that I miss. Like for example last night on the walk back from dinner he told me that most people his age think that talk radio is bullshit.
Chris Locke and Halley Suitt came to the Thursday night meeting. Chris is in from Boulder, CO. Based on last night's conversation, in front of about 25 other people, including Jay, I wonder if we're in agreement at all about what we're doing in the weblog world. Of course there's no law that we have to be in agreement. And if we're not, it's good because you can read both our blogs and get two views of the same data. This is called triangulation, and it's one of the great things about having lots of people writing.
A few days ago on the Zawodny blog, Jacob Levy, who I've known for many years, said I was full of shit because many people won't make blogs at all, and most people who do will make stupid ones. Perhaps, yes; perhaps no. But I still want to start billions of blogs, if only so that the 100,000 really great ones also start. Sometimes you have to plant a lot of seeds.
And perhaps we were meant to entertain and inspire each other in small numbers. Whatever happened to singing around the campfire, or family singing at holidays? Just because a handful of people do it so perfectly, does it mean that the rest of us should be deprived of the pleasure of self-expression.
5/13/02: "Perhaps the centralized system, that led to such a suffocating monoculture, was a historic anomaly, an artifact? The technology of the phonograph, radio and television demanded centralization. Distribution was expensive. To pay for distribution we needed financial entities who would be rewarded for risks."
One of my favorite pieces of music is a really funky song my uncle recorded decades ago that never made it on the air. It was great because he was such a funny guy. To get it you had to know him. That made me feel good, still does. Someone once told me that blogs were hokey and funky. I said "I like hokey and funky." She groaned -- "I know."
Overlooked in the press articles about blogs, probably because the reporters don't understand technology, is an interesting fact: blogs have been used to create some kickass formats and protocols. XML-RPC, SOAP, RSS, OPML, Blogger API, MetaWeblog API, Trackback. These formats are being used widely by all kinds of developers. Markets are being made around them. These formats and protocols could never have happened going through the proscribed methods, where the working groups are dominated by people who are not motivated to keep things simple and easy to understand and implement. These are facts, hard to refute, yet still not widely understood.
Now why should a non-techie care about this? Because it could happen again, in other areas, like politics and government. Howard Dean's campaign is just the beginning of what's possible when citizens take innovation in government into their own hands, the way we did in technology. Think what new formats and protocols would mean to politics and government. And today, I am just as committed to making that happen as I was committed in the mid-90s to have my freedom from the big technology companies. Mark my words, much more is possible than Dean's raising so much money on the Web.
This is where Lessig and I are in synch. We're talking about code. The same tools which design and popularize great code can be used to design and popularize great code. Lessig won't be at BloggerCon, unfortunately. But Lessig came through Berkman, and left behind lots of ideas and lots of love. He's here in spirit, for sure.
Looking around tomorrow's room, in my head, I see Cameron Barrett, chief blogger for the Clark campaign. I also see a guy who went to Siberia last year, and started his weblog in 1997.
1997. That was one of the big years. It's the year Scripting News started. The tools were starting to mature. There were other people to read. You could still count the blogs on your fingers and toes, but it seemed huge compared to where it was a year before. It always seems huge when you're on the kind of curve blogs are on.
Now Cam gets to lead again. Talking with him on the phone, he sounds excited, clear, knows what he's doing.
Jim Moore says his blog started on April 1 this year. I bet he doesn't know that's also the start day of Scripting News. "It's even worse than it appears."
Guardian: Why blogs could be bad for business.
NY Times: "The White House was besieged again today with questions about who disclosed the name of an undercover CIA officer in what appeared to be an attempt to get back at the officer's husband for questioning the Bush administration's rationale for going to war in Iraq."
Fraase: "In about a week or so the Republicans will realize they’re going to need an actual presidential candidate."
I'm making a list of things I can do in the opening session on Saturday. I left a huge amount of time at the beginning of Day 1 to warm everyone up. And then I just read that Joi Ito, the other one, not the cat, plans to Stealth Disco everyone. Well there you have it. That's the spirit. I want everyone to know it's okay not to be boring! Like life, BloggerCon is not serious.
And don't doubt, for a minute, that we'll have great music!
Michael Feldman: "The Hong Kong restaurant in Harvard Square, site of the sure-to-be fabulous kick-off party for BloggerCon, has a long and storied past as a dark and private rock under which Harvard students can creep when they need to disappear without leaving campus, as well as a bottomless bowl of greasy faux-Chinese cuisine and high-octane, bizarrely garnished rum-based drinks."
The BloggerCon attendee list updated. Lots of new names.
The Big BloggerCon Blog: Imagine a web service that read all the feeds of all participants in BloggerCon, and present them in reverse chronologic order as if we were all writing for the same weblog. Well, Ross Karchner did exactly that. It's totally worth bookmarking. Thanks!
I linked it into the Community section of the BloggerCon directory. The list of all RSS feeds of the Con-ers is available in OPML. If you're coming to Day 2, and want your feed listed, use this form. The feed of feeds is updated once an hour.
Friday Night Party, 7PM, Cambridge. Sponsored by Adam Curry and Dave Winer (me). We couldn't get a big company to sponsor a party without some awful strings attached, so Adam and I are splitting the tab personally on the Friday night party at The Hong Kong restaurant in the middle of Harvard Square. I've not been there myself, but I hear that it's a orgy of drunken college students. We'll be upstairs, schmoozing and trading business cards. You can drink if you want. I said to Palfrey, let's go for quantity over quality. He assures me that's the theme of The Hong Kong. I thought perhaps that could be the motto of the weblog world, sort of "It's even worse than it appears" in response to the usual criticism from the inkstain crowd.
Two of our international visitors will be on their ways soon. Got an emaill from Lance. And it looks like Adam really is coming. I just found out that Esther Dyson is coming. The Con almost under way. Start counting the hours soon.
Frank Leahy: How to Make Photos More Searchable.
Hal Roberts started a BloggerCon tech support page.
It's on days like this that I'm glad the DNC has a weblog.
Check out this new site. Does it piss you off? If it does, is your name Joi Ito? Are you laughing or shaking your fist at the screen?
Imagine my surprise when I went to configure my LinkSys wireless router, it now has a password. Oooops. Shouldn't have left that open. So now I have to change the password, that one of my neighbors must have set. Or a wardriver. So is there some magic incantation to reset the router, or do I have to buy a new one? (Postscript: Thanks to Seth Finkelstein, there's a big fat Reset thingie on the back that I missed.)
Jeremy Allaire proposes a new format called RSS-Data. He and I have been talking about this for several months. I think it's a good idea. The challenge will be to get it done without getting mired in working-group-itis.
BlogBridge is a "new kind of Blog Reader, making it practical for a non-technical user to discover, follow and enjoy literally hundreds of feeds without loosing their mind."
Cheap date for Day 2: NY to Boston, round trip, $88.
Phillip Pearson: "How do you send blog posts with complicated RSS over the MetaWeblog API?"
If you eat in Cambridge, congratulations -- all restaurants and bars are now non-smoking. You can enjoy your meal without smoking. A couple of years ago I would have found that disappointing. Now I'm happy. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Total bullshit.
If you've got something to announce at BloggerCon, it's now officially The Last Minute. Be sure to give me a heads-up. We'll try to arrange a time on Day 1 for very brief announcements, and editorial judgement will apply. Then we'll try to fit it into one of the Day 2 sessions and that's subject to the approval of the discussion leader of the session. It has to be something that's relevant to the broad blogging world for Day 1, and relevant to the topic of the Day 2 session. Feel free to approach the discussion leaders of the Day 2 sessions.
Happy birthday to Jake Savin!
Four years ago today Jon Udell and I were plotting categorization of elements of RSS feeds. It's still a big topic. It's so not about technology, it is about getting technologists to drop their egos and adopt someone else's scheme. This is a core theme in my next essay, The Rule of Win-Win.
So much interesting cool stuff happening, here's a sad note. If he were alive, today would be my uncle's 58th birthday. The Great Vava Voom must live somewhere, perhaps on the Great Dope-Smoking Beach in the Sky. I miss you Ken. Wish you were here. Happy birthday where ever you are.
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.