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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, December 09, 2003. Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The Philadelphia Inquirer announces RSS support. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Brian Jepson pointed to this great letter written by Jerry Rubin in 1969. Who was Jerry Rubin? Read it and find out. Sounds like a letter I was just writing to Jay Rosen.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yoz Graham is working on the centralized comment problem Paolo described this morningPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Doing another corner-turn this evening. You may be seeing some broken links and images. Sorry for the ugly stuff. Dig we must.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Debbie Weil: Top 20 Definitions of BloggingPermanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mccain.jpgOne more time. Any candidate who made an effort to understand the political issues of the Internet could make a difference. Whether they would win or not, whether they beat Dean or Bush is hardly the point. Find out what makes the Internet so great. Take a weekend off from your campaign that isn't working anyway. Then stand up and tell us what you learned. You might be surprised to see your poll numbers start climbing. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Klaus Schwab: "Mr President, to conclude our session, you have in front of you the 1,000 most influential business leaders. What would be your single, most important wish towards them, at this moment?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

CNN: "I'm very proud and honored to endorse Howard Dean to be the next president of the United States of America," Gore said. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: "The endorsement of such a mainstream figure is a major boost for Mr Dean." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Signs of life at the Clark weblog, asking people to spam an MSNBC survey. Whether you think that's nice or not, at least they're using the weblog to fight for their guy. BTW, the Gore endorsement means bupkis to me. I thought the guy was a weenie in 2000. Imagine losing to George Bush who's an even bigger weenie. I know everyone thinks this validates Dean, pushes him over the tipping point. But I don't care about candidates at this stage, I care about a discussion of the issues, a meaningful vote, an election, not a TV show. And that's looking pretty grim now.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Andrew has been TiVo-hacking. Interesting stuff. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It's been a tradition, every year on this day I check in with Google to see how my John Doerr investment is doing. It's been a good year. I own the Number Two link on Google when you search for John Doerr. And get this, I have the Number One link for his partner, Will Hearst. I wonder if there's some way to monetize that?  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Interesting little rant by Zawodny about Trackback and corporate secrets. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Hands-down the most useful coverage of US politics is Taegan Goddard's Political Wire. I'm sure Gore's support will turn out to be worth something less than $100 million, but it's still a good quote. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Paolo: "I would like comments I write on other weblogs to be saved on my own weblog." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Early morning RSS rants Permanent link to this item in the archive.

RSS clearly is about to go through another growth spurt. And as with each other time its eclipsed its former self there are people who seem to want to take control, redefine it in some bizarre and undignified way. If people would first study the history of RSS and see how much it has suffered from this kind of greed, perhaps they'd back off and just be grateful that there's new technology that makes the Internet much more useful, and leave it at that. (They usually say their ignorance is their strength, btw.)

The name RSS is every bit as good as any other name you can come up with, and it has the advantage that it's already the name everyone uses. Read a marketing text book. Trying to make a new name stick will only make the whole thing weaker.

For example, imagine falling in love with someone. "You're the perfect person for me," you say. "But your name doesn't communicate who you are. Let's have a contest to come up with a new name for you." Now, how clueless would that be?

One more thing. There's a myth going around that there is a way to do publish-subscribe without polling. Not true. At some level, every apparently non-polling technology is built on, you guessed it, polling. It's all just an illusion. Computers don't really do interrupts. At some level it's polling.

Now, should an aggregator be polling every 30 minutes? The convention early on was no more than once an hour. But newer aggregators either never heard of the convention or chose to ignore it. Some aggregators let the users scan whenever they want. Please don't do that. Once an hour is enough. Otherwise bandwidth bills won't scale. Further, there are good ways to optimize this stuff, but that would require cooperation among members of the community. And this community is well-known for not cooperating with each other. We let a small number of people fillibuster the mail lists, people who don't produce software on either end of the RSS equation, and thereby progress happens in very small steps if it ever happens at all.

Net-net, it's good that users are taking an interest in RSS. But it's bad that they're behaving just as the geeks did, selfishly, in a controlling way, fighting over things that were decided a long time ago. Human nature comes along for the ride with us on our journey to more effective communication tools. Can people see the big picture and let good stuff like RSS rise to the top without pulling it down? I've become a pessimist over the years, I think they can't help themselves. So it's a miracle something new happened. Enjoy it while you can.

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Last update: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 at 9:52 PM Eastern.

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