DaveNet: Is CBS Lying?
Washington Post: "Sen John F. Kerry, who has made a fight against corporate special interests a centerpiece of his front-running campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, has raised more money from paid lobbyists than any other senator over the past 15 years, federal records show."
Chris Allen shares his concerns about Orkut.
Over the last couple of weeks a process that was formerly hidden became visible, as the powers of television, radio and print decide which candidate they want to run against George Bush in the fall. Doc Searls famously told of the role developers and users play in the design of Apple computers. ("The influence of developer will be minimal. The influence of customers and users will be held in even higher contempt.") It seems the role for voters is similar. Chris Lydon tells of a story that was snuffed during the Carter run to the Democratic nomination in 1976. "I have been unable to discover that you believe in anything other than yourself," said Carter aide Bob Shrum of Carter, on the record and for attribution. But the editors of the NY Times refused to risk exposing Carter. The last half of the 20th Century was an excessive monoculture, centralized thinking system, where we think, as Citizen Kane snapped "What I tell them to think!" The American news executives who deleted the Dean candidacy through misinformation should do as the leadership of the BBC did -- resign and make way for an overdue reformation of journalism, and as a result the American political system. It's time. As Lydon tells us, the corruption isn't new. What's new is that it's visible now that we can inform each other without relying on them.
Kaye Trammel: Protecting Your Secret Blog.
Let's say for the sake of argument, the Kerry campaign wants to buy insurance through weblogs that the CNN, ABC, Fox, CBS conglomerate can't do unto them what they did to Dean. What would they do?
In a fascinating meta-discussion about a Wolf Blitzer interview with Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, Jay Rosen explains why television reporters ask such embarassing questions of public figures. "Blitzer is a pro. He knows how to ask what the pros, in a calculus all their own, call the tough questions."
Wired: "It appears their efforts to save Hubble, along with political pressure, may be paying off."
Susan Kitchens is blogging it.
NY Times: "CBS says it has a policy against running issue advertisements during the Super Bowl."
ABC's Diane Sawyer, along with execs from CNN, CBS and Fox, says that the tape that halted the Democratic nomination process during the crucial week between Iowa and New Hampshire, was overplayed, and presented an inaccurate view of the event. Interesting that they admit this now, long after the damage has been done.
John Palfrey asked if this is the first New York Times weblog?
MoveOn.Org: "At 8:10PM and 8:35PM EST, switch over to CNN to watch 'Child's Pay' on a channel which doesn't censor its ads."
Taegan Goddard cites a NY Times article which contains a blockbuster that we missed. Did Joe Trippi get a commission on every ad run by Dean For America? Third Superpower has an interesting sequence of quotes leading up to this revelation.
Personal note. There's a class at UW-Madison that's reading my blog and commenting on it. That's really cool. I'm an alum of UW, got my Master's in Computer Science in 1978. Have a brat and a Leinie for me, stay warm, and Fuckem Bucky!
Scott Rosenberg: "Many dot-coms flamed out -- but the Internet is still reshaping the world."
David Appel: "I no longer believe anything the pundits have to say. They wrote off Kerry a month ago, they highlighted Dean before his time. They clearly have no idea what they're talking about."
Seth Finkelstein: Howard Dean, Joe Trippi and Bubble Valuation.
Tristan Louis: Blowing Bubbles.
Gigaom: "TiVo is finally getting its digital hub act together."
Dan Gillmor: "Neel is as inside-the-beltway as you can get."
David Isenberg: Dean Campaign Hires a Bellhead.
Andrew Grumet: Nutty RSS/Tivo hack. Cooooool!
Marc Nozell on how a reporter found him via GeoUrl.
Michael Feldman summarizes the discussion last night. Even more important than knowing who the Deaniacs are/were, imho, is how can we grow the tent so it fits more people than those who support Dean.
Clay Shirky: Is Social Software Bad for the Dean Campaign?
BBC: "Warner Bros and Columbia film studios have reportedly sued an actor and a man arrested for allegedly distributing movie preview tapes over the internet."
NY Times: "The head of the board that investigated the Columbia space shuttle disaster has agreed to examine NASA's decision to cancel missions to extend the life of the Hubble telescope."
NHPrimary.Com: Closing up shop.
Rogers Cadenhead notes a bandwidth concern with the Trillian IM client.
Dean said he needed centralized decision-making, and the bloggers pounce. I'd love to see a conference run with decentralized decision-making. I'm just an attendee. I get to decide who speaks. Why? Because decision-making is decentralized. Of course a campaign needs centralized decision-making. No question. But an election is a ouija board. The voters' decision is decentralized. Too many people believed the hype about Dean without thinking for themselves. Now you have to think. It wasn't a marvel of Internet technology, it was just an improvement, which ain't bad, but it's not a revolution. Here's the epitaph on Dean's of the Internet. It was 98 percent hype, two percent substance. The hype bought him an avalanche of free positive coverage in print, radio and television. The coverage, as usual, was bullshit. That was the juggernaut. Jim Moore, the insider, is the only analyst who has a story worth listening to. You're breathing each others fumes. Shame on you. So few people are thinking here. Just like the media we aspire to do better than, or so I thought.
Four years ago: "Not only do you have to create the parachute while you're in free-fall, you also have to invent the damned thing!"
Command Post: ďHeís pathologically optimistic.Ē
It's really gratifying to see Chris Lydon come down to earth re the Blogging of the Presidency meme he hitched his wagon to. Dean wasn't the savior, he was a candidate for president. But the people who stood up for Dean are revolutionaries. At best the Dean campaign was Netscape, inwardly focused, with a top-down map of the universe, with guess who at the top? This is the problem with looking to Presidential politics to be the venue for our salvation. Dean's choice was to start a new 25 percent party, or fire the Internet and try to stop Kerry. He chose the latter. That's fine. What about the rest of us? Find a local candidate who wants to win using the Internet, and as Picard said, make it so.
When PubSub came out I signed up, using the service to do a vanity feed. It alerts me through RSS when it finds something with my name in it. The system isn't perfect, it repeats some items for days and days. Occasionally they dig up a gem from the past, like this post from Oliver Wrede in November, quoting Scripting, explaining why presidential candidate blogs of 2004 were destined to disappoint. "When people say they want the candidates to blog, they're not stating their wishes accurately. What they really want is to know the candidate as well as they know their favorite bloggers. If one writes publicly without editing every day for a few years, people get an idea of how your mind works. This builds trust, the kind of trust a candidate just can't build in a couple of months of stump speeches."
Jim Moore: "The Dean campaign is no longer a momentum play. Momentum investors are going to go toward Kerry, or stay with the ultimate momentum stock, George W Bush."
Joe Trippi lost his job today. Dean hired Al Gore's former chief of staff, Roy Neel, to run the campaign. So we got our answer. Dean wants to catch Kerry, and the Internet will have to wait. The new manager is a long-time lobbyist, a "special interest," influence seller, canonical insider. This is an okay outcome, not the best one, but okay. It's safe to support either Dean or Kerry, and we'll get a traditional Democrat administration either way. The CNN guys will treat him well now.
Mihai Parparita has a bridge between NNTP and RSS.
Tim Bray has a picture from the conference room at Technorati.
News.Com: "Google's experimental social networking site Orkut.com resurfaced Wednesday after being offline for nearly three days."
BBC: "BBC chairman Gavyn Davies is to resign in the wake of Lord Hutton's criticisms of the corporation's reporting."
Taegan Goddard has the latest February 3 polls.
Real Clear Politics on how the pollsters scored in NH.
Pete Prodoehl analyzed the feeds in the Top 100 on SYO.
Okay time do some programming. First to-do -- update my subscription list at the Share Your OPML site. Then a little tweak -- there's now a white-on-orange XML icon on the page with my subscription list. Click on it to get the OPML version of the subscription list data. Next I'm going to switch and use it as my harmonizer. Enough procrastinating!
Walter Shapiro: "Dean still controls the tempo of the Democratic contest, even though the odds are dwindling on his becoming the eventual victor."
Scoble: "I already have enough people who hate me right now."
After watching the spin on CNN last night, and switching in and out of the more interesting MSNBC coverage, Chris Matthews was great, as were Bob Dole and Bob Woodward, here's my spin. If Dean is just like all the other candidates, there's nothing remarkable about his 25 percent of the NH vote. But, if instead of repping the entertainment industry as all Washington Democrats have done so far, he actually considers Internet users to be a contituency, and watches out for our interests, then 25 percent is just awesome. It's on the map. If any minority got that kind of turnout all of a sudden you'd see a big shift in US politics. So let's watch Dean in the next few days. Now it's time to be creative with the much-mailigned Dean Corps. In the Iowa circus, that lasted months, okay people got tired of all the enthusiasm. But in a national campaign lasting a few weeks, use the advantage the Internet gives you. It's a word of mouth campaign.
DaveNet: Is Dean the Internet's Candidate?
Kerry wins, Dean second. Command Post has tons of data.
Political Wire: "Preliminary exit polls in New Hampshire show Kerry and Dean in a closer than expected battle for first place."
Bryan Bell: "I am constantly looking over my shoulder at Win-IE just to make sure the my sensible decisions are not being overturned by that freaking-lunatic of a browser."
No matter what happens as a result of New Hampshire, I sincerely doubt whether Al Gore's endorsement of Howard Dean will end up mattering. Yet it was just a little over a month ago that major press outlets were declaring the nomination process finished, with the poor voters playing no role at all. For example, USA Today said: "Gore's early endorsement drowns out voters' voices." It's like saying a baseball game is over before the first pitch. It's wrong on its face. Some games aren't over with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Second, when estimating the sheer idiocy of the press, there is no bottom. You can always go lower. Just look in the archive to see what people believed at any point in time. It seems at this point that the Dean endorsement was the last hurrah for Mr Gore. Bill Clinton, the wise odds-maker, could have flushed his career down the toilet by endorsing the other main candidate of late 2003, Wesley Clark.
Brent Simmons: "Is Dean angry?"
BBC have the Oscar nominees. Lord of the Rings, Lost in Translation, Mystic River. Zellweger, Keaton, Penn, Depp and Law.
Political Wire: "John Kerry has a 13 point lead over Howard Dean in the last Zogby tracking poll in New Hampshire. Just yesterday, Zogby had Dean only three points behind."
Union-Leader: "New Hampshire will probably not have the final word on who becomes the Democratic nominee."
Four years ago: "Welcome to Davos!"
Yesterday Howard Dean said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer that much of what CNN does is entertainment. Blitzer feigned surprise. If Blitzer were really on the ball he'd have turned it back at Dean and asked if his blog was anything more. He would have "got" the Good Doctor.
Bruce Jackson: Hating Wolf Blitzer's Voice.
Jenny Levine reviews My.Yahoo's beta RSS support.
Mike Walsh: "There's nothing like losing your political virginity at the tender age of 52."
BBC: "Nasa scientists say hundreds of computer files that have accumulated on the Mars rover Spirit may be the cause of problems that have crippled it."
Big snow a comin down the road.
Reuters: "A federal judge in Los Angeles has struck down as too vague part of the Patriot Act."
AP: "US District Judge Audrey Collins said the ban on providing expert advice or assistance is impermissibly vague, in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments.'"
O'Reilly is doing a Digital Democracy Teach-in in San Diego on Feb 9.
Reuters: "Kerry led Dean 31 percent to 28 percent in the new poll."
Last night's DaveNet, the first in a long time, is getting rave reviews.
Dwight Shih's standalone comment and trackback server for Radio.
Billmon, an anonymous blogger, blogs the blogging session at Davos.
It's great that Mike Walsh is updating his blog again. Every day a bunch of interesting things to think about. Maybe I'll apply for that Vermont job. I'm doing okay with the cold. Do they have a good health plan? Vermont is beautiful and public radio a good place to be.
A possible Beantowner tour of the candidates. Edwards at Noon in Portsmouth, South Church, 292 State Street. Dean at 2:30 in Durham, 83 Main St (Granite State Room, Memorial Union, Univ of NH). Kerry at 5:30 in Derry Pinkerton Academy on 5 Pinkerton St in Derry, NH.
Jessica Baumgart reports from Edwards and Clark in NH yesterday.
Scoble: "Howard Dean and Joe Trippi weren't running a weblog, they were using the weblog as a new form of PR." Actually it's probably unfair to blame Trippi or Dean, they acted more web-like in Dean's public statements on TV than their weblog did. Scoble's post highlights how unusual and ahead-of-the-curve Microsoft is for supporting a blogger like Scoble, than it is a condemnation of DFA. It's just too early to expect a presidential candidate to run a real weblog. But of all the candidates, if Dean survives, at some point the principles that Scoble outlines will probably be implemented there.
I tried tuning into Chris Lydon's radio show last night, but it wasn't on the local radio station they said it would be on. Tried the webcast but it kept going in and out. I hope they post an MP3 so we can all have a listen. Apparently there was a good back and forth between Atrios and Andrew Sullivan.
DaveNet: Alice's Restaurant.
Arlo Guthrie: "This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song, and that's why I called the song Alice's Restaurant."
There's a special public list that receives DaveNets via email.
Susan Kitchens is blogging the Opportunity NASA press conference.
Pictures from the Top 100 have become pretty interesting.
Watching Tim Russert interview Wesley Clark this morning, it occurred to me how dysfunctional the system is. I saw the Great Dean Scream another dozen times. I heard the chief of the Democratic Party asked if he thought it was the end of the Dean campaign and he said the obvious -- it wasn't, and it should't be. Then they asked if Clark had screwed up by letting Michael Moore call the President a deserter. Later Russert repeatedly asked Clark to denounce Moore for saying that, but he wouldn't. The system is so perverse that Clark just danced instead of coming out and saying the obvious, yes, he's President, and yes, he got elected without his character getting the kind of examination the Democrats are getting. "So Tim, let's turn it around," Clark might have said, "Why didn't you grill Bush on that during the 2000 election? How did he become President without that getting vetted?" I might go further and wonder how he got the nomination without his military service being fully examined. And then to nail it, ask Tim to play the Dean Scream a few more times. (I'm starting to like it.) If the Republicans cry bloody murder, let's go back and figure out who painted Dean with "angry" label. Yeah, it was the Republicans, in case you were wondering.
"thinkusaalignright"Another comment. The Democratic field this year is incredible. They're all good candidates. If you forget the labels the Republicans, the Clintons and the press have pinned on Dean, he'd be a good leader, a good commander in chief. We probably would get a good health care system, finally. His wife Judy would be a fantastic First Lady. I like the fact that she's more comfortable in sneakers and jeans than in fancy ball gowns. But Kerry is good, so is Edwards, and Clark, even Sharpton and Kucinich are interesting. Lieberman, well, he's more of a Republican, imho. Anyway, it seems a shame to waste a nomination on Dubya.
Andrew Grumet: "I spent a few hours this weekend writing code to parse the feeds in Find That Feed."
Dan Gillmor: Wikipedia Shows Power of Cooperation.
Ed Cone: Lessons from Iowa.
Don Park: "I am not yet convinced that there exists a workable revenue model behind Orkut but then I have similar opinions about Rovers in Mars."
Jay Rosen's essay about Davos 2004. It's been interesting to watch posts from Joi Ito and Ethan Zuckerman and now Jay Rosen. I had a lot of the same experiences in 2000. The New Hampshire primary happened during Davos that year, and it was a shock (a good one) when John McCain won it. There were protests, the Internet bubble hadn't burst yet, the Alps are magic, and the sense of power amazing. Also amazing was the frankness with which world leaders spoke, such a difference from their television personnae. BTW, when I first met Zach Rosen at DFA, I couldn't help exclaiming "You look just like your uncle." I bet Zach is tired of hearing that, but he took it in stride. The Rosens are nice people.
BBC: "Opportunity, the second of two Nasa rovers, has successfully landed on the Martian surface where it will search for signs of water on the planet."
Philip Miseldine: "Establishing a standard is difficult enough in such a decentralised and egotistic web, without trying to reinvent the wheel and pass through the same obstacle course RSS did to be widely accepted and implemented."
Ryan Overbey gets it. "This race has a long way to go, but it will be disastrous if we let CNN and Fox News control the message and shape what this election will look like. This year's primaries are our elections- not theirs."
Here's a social software smart mob concept. People should vote for Howard Dean because he made such a fool of himself on national television. Here's your chance to blow up the media monopoly. Think of all the brain cells that will burn in New York and Washington. Save the smart bits for the Web, when you're on radio or TV you must act like an idiot. It's a meme. Make it viral. We love you Howard. Let's do a logo. Pass it on!
The Village Voice gets it. "Howard Dean's now-infamous concession speech after the Iowa caucuses might have gotten him dubbed as a loony in the mainstream press, but on the Internet itís making him a rock star."
So does the Democratic Underground. "It isn't Howard Dean who is acting strange - it's everyone else."
Tracy Adams hiked a volcano in Guatemala!
Chris Lydon is on Minnesota Public Radio tomorrow night with a show called The Blogging of the President 2004. Guests include Jerome Armstrong, Atrios, Ed Cone, Max Fose, Gary Hart, Jeff Jarvis, Josh Marhsall, Kevin Phillips, Richard Reeves, Frank Rich and Andrew Sullivan.
Carol Moseley Braun at Dean HQ in Manchester.
This article by Dick Morris really frosts my flakes. "The concerted efforts of the Clintons and the national media have consigned the Vermont governor to history." Hey isn't Clinton history? What about Dick Morris? What's so great about Dick Morris?
Political Wire: New Hampshire Race May Be Tightening.
God bless modern medicine. For the last two days I've had an ear ailment that left me virtually deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other. Nothing permanent or life-threatening, but it's hard to feel normal without hearing, and with the disorientation that comes from that. So today I dragged my ass down to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, run by Harvard, part of Mass General, and got the treatment. First they irrigated my ears. Then vaccuumed them. It worked. My ears are sore, but the hearing is back, along with a very nice optimistic feeling. Moral of the story -- don't use Q-Tips in your ears.
AP: "Best Western will offer free high-speed Internet in all 2300 of its hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean."
AP: "A spam-free world by 2006?"
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Republican researchers have a raft of information to use against Kerry."
Not that this is going to make any difference to anyone, but if I were a New Hampshire voter I'd vote for Dean to send a message to the television networks that they can't control my vote. What did Dean do? And what are we putting up with in our President? You think the Dean whoop sounds awkward? Listen to any speech by the President. You think he gets angry? And you think Bush doesn't? I'm sorry but I don't like being lied to, and the WOMD thing was a lie, right? Does anyone say it wasn't? (Except the Bush people, of course.) Now I'm just one voter, who unfortunately lives in Massachusetts, not New Hampshire, but if I can figure this out, why can't Wolf, Jeff, Judy, Aaron or Ted? It's time to start voting against the media tail wagging the electoral dog. I don't think it matters if you're liberal or conservative. You have a vested interest in making up your own mind, and not being programmed by the networks.
Howard Beale: "All human beings are becoming humanoids. All over the world, not just in America. We're just getting there faster since we're the most advanced country."
Jim Moore from inside Dean HQ in Burlington.
NY Times: The Tyranny of Copyright?
This is the page to watch for tracking poll results from NH.
"thinkUsaalignright"Remember during the Thanksgiving holiday when President Bush went to Iraq and there was nothing about it on the Bush weblog. Every day that went by without any update to the blog was noted here with some satisfaction that it's one thing to put up a website and call it a weblog, and it's a whole other thing to run it like a weblog. I've been watching the weblog at Dean For America, and there's hardly been a mention of the trouble the candidate is in, the sliding poll numbers, the doubts voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere have about Howard Dean. He was great with Diane Sawyer last night. What I've seen of his campaign appearances have been very good. But the weblog is falling down. They have the most interesting story in the world unveiling around them, and have almost nothing about it. Just the usual house organ stuff. They're frozen in the headlights. Now is the time, if not for Dean, for the Internet, to really use the weblog to tell the story of the voters of New Hampshire. Okay, the television networks won't carry your story, but word of mouth can. Do something hugely innovative, tell the truth. There were moments when the Dean campaign could do that, on the Internet. It's why so many fell in love with the campaign.
Paddy Chayevsky: "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything."
New downloadable Sims objects from Don Hopkins including carpets that look like the surface of Mars and Captain Kangaroo.
Scott Rosenberg: "Before the Dean Scream gets cryogenically frozen in the collective memory as the candidate's defining moment, perhaps we have one last chance to put it in perspective."
Quick review of My.Yahoo with RSS support from a smug Canadian.
News.Com: Microsoft seeks XML-related patents.
Andrew Grumet: "Bravo, Chuck!"
AP: "Europe's Mars orbiter has confirmed the presence of water in the form of ice on the Red Planet's surface for the first time."
Lauren Gelman: "The Dean campaign still maintains a centralized, filtered, top-down approach to electioneering."
Dean For America's new RSS feed for press releases.
News.Com: "Google tip-toed into the hot market of online social networks with the quiet launch of Orkut.com on Thursday."
Jeremy Zawodny has notes on the introduction of My.Yahoo's RSS support.
This morning I watched the Diane Sawyer interview with Howard and Judy Dean, and was very touched. I told the Berkman Thursday group last night that I was pretty sure that Dean would turn the corner and emerge out of New Hampshire as a viable candidate, and after watching the interview and last night's debate, I'm even more sure. Last night I also told what I know about The Scream, and why it was so shocking and where it came from. After seeing the Sawyer interview I feel I must tell the story in public. First a disclaimer. No one in the Dean campaign asked me to tell it, nor does anyone in the Dean campaign know I'm going to. I don't work for them and I don't support any of the candidates for President at this time. Anyone who wants to point to this piece should use this link.
I wasn't counting, but they must have shown the famous Dean rant twenty times during the Sawyer interview. I saw it live and was disgusted by it, and then saw it twenty more times, so that's a total of approximately 41 times. Once was enough for me. The other (approx) 40 times it was just sensationalism, and over time my opinion of it shifted. During the interview I wanted one of them, Judy or Howard to ask her a pointed question -- what is the big deal Diane? Of course that would be anger, and was probably exactly what the producers at ABC-News hoped would happen.
I was at Dean headquarters on the night of the Iowa caucuses, and I watched the Dean rant on TV in the office, with the other Web programmers. A few minutes before the speech they had a staff meeting in the conference room. Everyone was there except me and another guest. Not being a staffer, I didn't belong in the staff meeting. Several times during the meeting a loud crazy-sounding scream came from the room, everyone was doing it, and it was really frightening. The stuff of nightmares. This was before Howard Dean's rant. I asked Jim Moore what that was about, he said it's an Indian war yell or something like that, they used to do it in United Farm Workers rallies, and they adopted it at Dean For America. A few minutes later Dean let out the famous scream, it was the same scream I heard in the conference room.
They're probably not saying this publicly because it wouldn't seem contrite to do it, and they probably know they'd get roasted for saying the scream and ranting you heard was part of the motivational culture at DFA. Some have compared the Dean speech to a similar rant by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that made the rounds of the Net. So Dean gets a bit whacky, but after seeing it so many times, the shock value is fading. Taken at face value it wasn't anger, it was a steam-letting, and an attempt to rally the troops, and totally understandable. The press, as usual, is making a big deal of catching a candidate being a human being. But that's what he is. He's not an actor, he's not a commercial, he's not a deodorant, he's not a product, and I'm glad we have a chance to have this discussion. I'm not a Dean supporter (yet, but I'm getting there) and they didn't ask me to say this, but please, it's time for the press to let us have an election, or maybe it's time for us to have an election without them.
Timothy Noah at Slate seems to agree. "If only Dean had taken a swing at Nurse Ratched before they wheeled him into the operating room." Amen!
Note: I had a phone talk this evening with Jim Moore about the piece above. He says the yelling I heard in the conference room at Dean HQ wasn't an Indian thing, although I remember him saying that, he says he didn't say it. I take him at face-value, and perhaps I embellished it in my memory at some point. Stranger things have happened.
Ways, I, Howard Dean, can turn things around.
Henry Jenkins: "At SaveDisney, Roy Disney describes what he sees as the fatal flaws in Michael Eisnerís leadership of the company."
Napster CEO and Silicon Valley VC Hank Barry is our special guest tonight at Berkman Center. 7PM. Will be webcast. Notes from tonight's meeting.
The Nation: "Was a decision to censor MoveOn's SuperBowl ad guided by the network's lobbying agenda?"
Taegan Goddard: Understanding Tracking Polls.
Tonight's Presidential debate is at 8PM Eastern. Fox News Channel and ABC will carry parts of the debate. WMUR in Manchester will televise it in its entirety. At 9PM Eastern, Howard and Judith Dean will be interviewed by Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime. Dean will also appear on Late Night with David Letterman on CBS.
Dean supporters have a point when they say that the press is treating the candidate unfairly. I watched CNN this afternoon, hoping to see some new coverage of the NH race, they played the concession speech over and over, with little snippets of Dean hugging women and then holding up some kind of doll. I wanted to hear what he had to say. They didn't want me to hear it. Second problem. There's some kind of scandal brewing in Washington. But where's the coverage? It was buried as a minor item on CNN's report. Same with NPR. Again, the concession speech is repeated over and over. New stuff, like the Mars program in trouble, gets virtually no coverage.
iTunes Music Store RSS Generator.
Google bombing on the front page of the NY Times.
Dylan Greene: 10 reasons why RSS is not ready for prime time.
Political Wire: Has Mr Positive Turned Nasty?
Andrew Grumet: Most Unique Subscribers.
Steven Den Beste: "That's Macintosh Heaven."
Furl is a "browsing tool that lets you save and organize thousands of useful web pages in a personal 'web page filing cabinet.'"
New Baltimore Sun feeds.
NY Times: "Some people make no attempt to save a page, counting on being able to find it again with a search engine."
Zawodny: "It seems to me that both PubSub and Feedster provide feeds of searches run against many RSS feeds."
Political Wire: "Kerry takes big lead in New Hampshire."
PoliticsNH: "Gephardt voters werenít the only ones drawn to Edwards today."
Christian Science Monitor: New sites fact check politicians, journalists.
Command Post: "Did John Edwards use junk science to make over $152 million in groundless lawsuits?"
Scott Rosenberg: "No one is saying 'outlaw regimes are no threat.' What a lot of us are saying is, the Bush regime is doing a poor job of handling the real threats."
Steve Gillmor: RSS for President.
Phil Ringnalda's ode to a crapflooder.
Reading comments on my session at RSS Winterfest, I wasn't clear on one thing -- ultimately we'll need help from the browser to make the act of subscribing simple. That doesn't mean the future of RSS is in the browser.
DefenseTech: "NASA researchers are using flight-safety records -- including reports of sick passengers, bad weather and sleepy pilots -- to build an anti-terror database."
Dartmouth Online: "The 2004 Democratic presidential hopefuls will spar in a televised debate at Dartmouth Jan 25."
The most pathetic moment last night was not in Bush's speech, although it was close, the prize goes to Nancy Pelosi, who misquoted JFK's Ask not what your country can do for you... (Postscript: Mea culpa. JFK had two Ask Not quotes in his inaugural speech, one was the quote that Pelosi cited. Thanks to all who sent corrections.)
Three years ago: "Software is about communication and sharing and working together. At least if you use computers, you'd better hope so."
Listening to reporter commentary today it seems Dean must have no chance of winning New Hampshire. Then multiple-primary day, Feb 3: Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina. Okay, suppose for the sake of argument that Dean loses most of the these contests. Here's the problem. Dean has tens of millions of dollars. What then? A new party?
Joshua Whelan on Vermont.
Cole C Campbell: "Just about everything you heard and read about the Iowa caucuses in November and December was wrong. Particularly those endless pieces about the importance of strong grass-roots organizations. The press would have done better if all the reporters had taken a long vacation."
News.Com: "Bush calls for the renewal of the USA Patriot Act."
Best moment of the State of the Union -- Bush says the Patriot Act is about to expire. Applause. Indeed. It's good that Bush is making a campaign issue of the Patriot Act. If that's what we debate, it will be a useful election. If we debate whether gays and lesbians have the right to legally ratify their relationships, and get the same benefits that accrue to heterosexual couples, that would be a wasted election. It's obvious that they deserve the right and a constitutional amendment preventing it would never pass. The country, even the most conservative states, understand that part of the population is homosexual, and they are valued law-abiding members of society, who pay taxes, vote, teach, etc.
An admonition to Web writers -- read more carefully before you write. I've seen several inaccurate accounts of stories I've written on Scripting News. I don't think Grand Hotel was a tale of money buying happiness. In fact it's many tales with many lessons, but that particular thread said the opposite -- the character played by Lionel Barrymore didn't find happiness until he got beyond money. I've also seen people say I was booted from Dean HQ last night. I was not. They were very gracious and friendly. I had to get back to Boston for a conference tomorrow, and my usual Thursday meeting at Berkman. We're already talking about next steps with DFA. I think the snipes are coming from people with an axe to grind. I'm still not working for a candidate, or as Steve Gillmor says my candidate is RSS. But I like very much working with the DFA people, and we're still in each others' loop. And please remember, winning Iowa isn't the same as winning the nomination. Clinton lost Iowa in 1992, for example. New Hampshire doesn't always choose the eventual winner, either.
PubSub.com "reads over 100,000 weblogs in real time, and generates new feeds containing information specific to particular issues."
BBC: "Bush is due to make his State of the Union address shortly, in which he is expected to set out his case for re-election in November."
Greenspun: "A thoughtful voter could easily write off Howard Dean as a non-entity after spending 30 minutes at his Web site."
Josh Marshall: "Weíre at the Holiday Inn in downtown Manchester."
Arrived in Boston 3:10PM. Clear and cold all the way. Blowing snow. Stopped in Montpelier to look around. Sweet lookin town.
If you see this guy in your rear-view mirror, get out of his way.
The programmers room at Dean For America.
I'm heading back to Boston, taking some Chris Lydon interviews with me on the Rhomba: Paul Krugman, Jay Rosen (I met his nephew Zach Rosen on this trip) and Joe Trippi. There's a stretch on I-89 where there's not much on the radio. It'll be good to get a refresher from these teachers. Had great talks with Jim Moore and John Palfrey this morning on next steps. We're not finished fighting for democracy through technology.
There's a gem in this Register article about Google's plans. "Getting rid of the page rank spammers should be their priority, not expanding into a commodity marketplace where they will have no real niche."
NY Times: "Endorsements from Mr Harkin, Iowa's most popular Democrat; former Vice President Al Gore; two of the nation's largest unions; and 35 members of Congress seemed to complicate Dr. Dean's message more than help spread it."
Ed Cone: "A visitor to this blog joked last night that maybe Channel Dean had been cancelled. But the fact is that other campaigns would be wise to put a similar news aggregation service into use as soon as possible."
The hardest part isn't the technology, not by a mile. It was a tough night at Dean HQ. We hit an impasse when Howard Dean, on CNN, said "We came in third." He said it very clearly and unambiguously, so I opened the editorial page and typed in the quote and clicked Submit. I thought the candidate had said something very weblike. At this moment no one had said it. Not Larry King, not Wolfe Blitzer, they had qualified the statement, where Dean acknowledged it.
My post caused quite a stir in the Web bullpen and the post came down. At that point we all stopped posting. So Ed's commenter got it right. The show was cancelled last night. But in the morning light, the chance to open up the political process to the rare honesty of the Dean candidate, something the Dean workers had trouble accepting, was too good to pass up.
When I post on the Dean Channel I know I accept some compromises on my editorial freedom. That's why having Scripting News is so important. It's a bootstrap and there are always glitches in bootstraps. So last night Channel Dean went off the air briefly. This morning it's back.
An editorial comment, as if I weren't writing this from Burlington. The Internet still wants a candidate. The Internet isn't just a way to raise money, we've already seen that it can put people where the voters are. But it's not enough to have enthusiastic supporters, they must know what they're supporting, and then must have choice. We're not all anti-war. We're not all pro-life. We're young and old, students and teachers, anywhere in the world, seven by 24.
There is an Internet constituency. But we're probably not the most effective way to get Iowa voters to turn out for you. Getting Gore's support signalled that Dean would compromise any values he might have to win. Gore supported the CDA and his wife Tipper who appeared on behalf of Dean was on the wrong side of free speech in the music industry in the 80s. I used to think people don't remember, and maybe they don't, but their spotty history must be reflected in their body language. I voted for Gore last time, but only because the other choice was worse. Seeking and accepting Gore's support was a huge negative for me.
I want choice this time, and I want candidates that respect my mind. Dean still has the opportunity, but there's no time to waste.
Last night's result, two victories from the rear of the field, is why when anyone says someone has it wrapped up, I mutter "famous last words." Time is so compressed in the political process. Add to that the role that technology and hype played in this, and you get a cross between politics and Silicon Valley, Netscape up, fate conspires, Netscape down, then..? Then what?
I saw the events last night as an outsider who is inside. That puts me in a very rare place. I saw things that I would like to write about, but don't think it would be fair to write about. Maybe it's enough to say, for now, that the people in the Dean campaign are people. They've been on a roller coaster ride that swiftly and unexpectedly has come back to earth after soaring to unthinkable heights.
More than he probably should have, Dean was talking to the people in the campaign in his roll-up-the-sleeves state-recital pep speech last night. A few minutes before in a staff meeting (I couldn't attend), there was such yelling and cheering, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. If this is Netscape, they aren't blinking and Microsoft hasn't attacked yet (that comes tonight). There is bewilderment, and while they are very young, they are tired, having run a long race and still challenged to work even harder.
We all did some fantastic work last night. Together a picture of a diverse event shaped up on the Web, in a thoughtful and interesting way. Excellent work. And we'll get to do it again next week. We should be able to sharpen our skills and develop some new technology in the meantime. If you have ideas how we could do better, push them on the stack on last night's comment thread.
Where do I go today? I don't know. I may stay here, but I'll probably hop over to New Hampshire to see some of the campaign events there, and then head back to Boston this evening, and do the RSS Winterfest kickoff at 8:30AM tomorrow at Berkman Center. I know they said I would do it from Dean HQ, but it doesn't look likely.
Taegan Goddard: What Happened to Dean?
Joshua Marshall: "Stunning."
How do you feel about the results from Iowa?
Matthew Yglesias: "Gephardt's Out! And thank God."
Doc Searls: "The Dean folks have to be disappointed."
Command Post is kicking butt covering Iowa.
Political Wire notes that the Manchester Union-Leader is endorsing Lieberman.
Jim Moore has a picture of the Web developer room at Dean For America in Burlington where I'm working tonight.
CNN reports Kerry with 37 percent, Edwards with 33 percent, Dean 18 percent at 9:07PM Eastern.
At 8:48PM Eastern I'm in Dean HQ in Burlington, VT. We're all watching the C-SPAN broadcast of one of the caucuses. When a delegate switches to Dean -- cheers. We're watching the grid on the Des Moines Register website. It cross-tabs by county and candidate. It's all zeros now.
Today's Scripting News comes to you from Dean Headquarters in Burlington, VT. I'll be here tonight for the Iowa caucuses. Earlier today we announced Channel Dean here on Scripting News. In a bit there will be a post on the Dean blog. Comments are welcome.
Do you have video of Judy Dean speaking yesterday? Send me email if you do.
Steve Gillmor: "Channel Dean is a blueprint for effective advocacy that should (and likely will be) cloned by all the other campaigns."
Mike Wendland: "I am daily amazed at the Dean campaign's creative and passionate use of the Net."
A list of feeds we're subscribed to on the private group aggregator for Dean staff. Just getting started. If you have suggestions of other feeds we should be watching, please post them in the comments here.
Sitting inside Dean HQ today I find myself wondering if the McGovern endorsement of Clark is good news or bad.
GoUpstate has the AP news wire as an RSS feed. Good for firehose-sipping.
Dowbrigade: "Dave and the Deanies' first move is an innovative effort to create and distribute a really useful RSS feed - not one which will just endless repeat the main story line the campaign wants to propagate at any particular time, but one which will include 'everything everyone involved with the campaign needs to know.'"
Diego Doval has a new desktop app in Java that builds on the Share Your OPML SDK.
Meanwhile, chief Dean blogger Matt Gross has moved over one state, to New Hampshire, where he's seeking other bloggers covering the campaign there. You don't have to be a Dean supporter to participate.
I've become an old-movie buff thanks to Turner Classic Movies. One of the best early talkies is Grand Hotel (1932), starring many of my favorites. It's the movie in which Greta Garbo said "I want to be alone." Anyway, Lionel Barrymore plays an old sick guy who's dying and decides to have a final fling at the Grand Hotel. Of course the predators swoop in, but they all fall in love with the old coot (he is sweet). But at one point he loses his wallet that has his life savings, and he breaks down in tears and gives a wonderful monologue. He says no one will watch out for you, no matter what. He needs the money to have a life, he says. His thread in the movie is about unlearning a lifetime of bitterness and of course the person who stole his wallet puts it back and he finds it, and Joan Crawford takes care of him, and life goes on. I don't know why I told you this story. I guess because I liked it. ;->
Chris Clark: "Bite the bullet and give us full text."
NY Times: "CBS has rejected Super Bowl advertisements from two groups, saying the ads violated its advocacy rules. At the same time, the network has in the past and could again accept spots from the White House's antidrug office, raising questions about what is acceptable and what is not, and why."
channelDean.xml. It'll be updated through the Iowa caucuses tonight, and if everything goes well, we'll have real-time returns channeled through the feed. We'll use this channel to focus on weblog coverage of the last week of the New Hampshire campaign, citizen journalism. And beyond that, who knows. That's the cool thing about this effort. Everything is very time-compressed. There's a chance to move. Few reasons not to.
How Channel Dean came to be. "Even the longest story begins with a single weblog post."
Channel Dean FAQ. "Several editors led by Mathew Gross, all at Dean For America, are periodically scanning the news, and selecting articles for inclusion in the flow."
I've been in a very strange place the last two days.
NY Times: "Nearly every morning, some diner in the state holds a Cup of Joe session, introducing Senator Lieberman as the breakfast special of the day."
Ross Karchner on blogging APIs in Python.
Chris Lydon reports on campaign appearances in Iowa by Kerry and Edwards. "Gephardt may have asked Iowa's help one time too many."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "This year Americans can shop for their next president online."
"thinkusaalignright"Scott Rosenberg describes the process that led to Salon's blog-like war room for Election 04. It's a great idea. Where did I read that in the last election you could follow it totally by watching five rooms. In the morning check in at the war rooms of the two candidates. And in the afternoon, camp out in the editorial conference rooms at the three networks. In 2004, Salon will have a war room. Naturally. And every publication worth its salt will have one too. And the candidates will have them. All will be competing to be a valued information source for voters. Competing in ways that make the election interesting and intellectually stimulating, we hope.
After Iowa, we'll be watching New Hampshire, up close and personal.
Pictures from the Top 100 has gotten more and more interesting.
The Command Post has a neat feature, "Down To The Wire" with various candidates as we reach a milestone in the election of 2004. It's pretty honest, even brutal.
BBC explains how their RSS works.
Tease: I'm working on a really interesting RSS project to roll out in time for the Iowa caucus results on Monday night.
BBC: "Democratic presidential candidates have been intensifying efforts to win over Iowa voters as they approach the first hurdle in the race for the White House."
CandidateMap.com is "an impartial resource where voters can judge political candidates by the statements they make, as opposed to the image they craft."
The Nation: "Sheen is an enthusiastic supporter of the former Vermont governor."
BBC: "NASA is halting all space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope -- a move that will put it out of action within four years."
What do users want from RSS?
What do users want from MSIE?
A new look for the aggregators on the Harvard server. I swapped in the code I adapted from Radio, an improvement over the very simple one we had for Manila. More features, it looks neater, and is a better basis for evolution. However, since it's new, there may be problems, if so please report them here, and I'll look into it as soon as I can.
Ooooh oooh Matt Mower has a great idea for making Radio's upstreaming work better. I never got around to this when I was working on it. It should work well. I'm not ready to be a guinea pig for it yet, but will be soon. Thanks for diggin in there Matt.
I don't know why I didn't think to do this earlier, but I went looking for a reference on Domino's and abortion, and found this article that carefully explains that the story is false. The owner of Domino's gives to anti-abortion groups, not Domino's itself. This is an important distinction. Abortion is one of those moral conundrums where most of us think there's a clear answer, but we don't agree on what it is. That Tom Monaghan has a strong opinion and backs up his belief with contributions is not a problem for the pizza. The problem would be if, by buying a pizza from Domino's, I was making a contribution to a cause which I oppose. The power of the Internet. In the 70s all we had to go by was word of mouth, and if you tended to associate with people like yourself, you never heard a reasoned opposing viewpoint. It's fair to say that most people in Madison in the 70s, if not all, were in favor of abortion rights. Just asking a question about whether it was the company or the owner would likely get you yelled at. Really, I'm not kidding.
Ross Karchner: How to Install Python.
Later I'm going to want to refer to this disclaimer. I am neutral on the Democratic presidential candidates. I may have opinions, but in my technical work, they're simply not relevant. I believe in politically agnostic tools. For example, the Pentagon was a big customer of my outliners. I grew to really like them as people. However as an anti-war person in the 60s and 70s, who'd-a-thought I'd be creating tools for them in the 80s. Another example. I used to love Domino's pizza (in Madison it was the best you can get). Then I found out that a percentage of their profits were going to fight against abortion rights. I stopped eating Domino's pizza immediately. Why should pizza take a political stand like that? So, if a campaign wants to push the envelope, I'm there. It doesn't mean I support the candidate, or that I will vote for the candidate, or that next week I won't show up at their competitor to help them deploy the latest technology. I'll be there if they'll let me try out new ideas, to raise the bar, to help more people be involved in the election.
New readout: Most Prolific Subscribers.
Tim Oren: "Homesick for the California flora?" Heh. In this weather, being homesick for California is rational. Walking out of a restaurant at lunch we remarked how warm it seems. "I could go for a walk in this," I exclaimed. That's how cold it's been. All bundled up, wearing long johns, two sweaters, ski parka, muffler, hat and hood -- I could only go three blocks in the sub-zero temps before the panic rises at how alarmingly uncomfortable I am. So how warm was it after lunch? 16 degrees. That's livable? Hmmm.
Rogers Cadenhead, who lives in St Augustine, Florida, where it's in the 40s (very cold for those parts) has a link to a Boston Globe article that reports that a local radio news man reports on Boston weather from his home. In Florida. That's it. I'm asking for my money back.
Taegan Goddard nails the quote of the day. Brilliant.
BloggerStorm is an aggregation of bloggers campaigning in Iowa. Very cool use of RSS. It's beautiful to see the campaign using an idea that's so ready for prime time. This is what we've been asking them to do, to let us, as technologists, participate in what they're doing. Hat's off to Matt, and the team at Dean for America. This is really fantastic.
Details from an email from Matt Gross explaining the project and how to participate if you're working in Iowa this week. "Not all of the bloggers support Howard Dean -- the idea is simply to provide a clearinghouse for in-the-trenches coverage of the caucuses as only blogs can provide."
Jim Moore explains how BloggerStorm came to be.
Sebastien Paquet reports that Google has added a weblog to Google News. Now I guess when we get exclusives, like BloggerStorm above, they will deem it news worthy? They've always carried press releases, btw. This, from one of the leading weblog tool vendors, of course. Reminds me of the dead Silicon Valley platform vendor who said "We can't let just anybody develop for our platform."
Weather: "Highs around 9."
Jenny Levine reports that the US Senate begins RSS rollout.
Philadelphia Inquirer: "Dick Gephardt could play Bill Murray in the remake of Groundhog Day."
Announcing: SDK for Share Your OPML. It's a draft, that means it can change. It's time to dust off the programming manuals and think about interesting apps you can build on the data behind the SYO website. It's off to the races in DeveloperLand!
Andrew Grumet is the first to ship an application using the SDK.
RSS feeds whose title contains "librar".
Feedster is aggregating subscription lists too.
I'll be presenting at Microsoft Research on February 9 in Redmond, talking about weblogs, RSS, aggregators, OPML, content management, how we can work together. It's open to all Microsoft people. I'll also be in Redmond on the 10th. Scoble is planning a dinner (I think) on the 9th.
A brief essay about bloggers tracking reporters.
Dowbrigade: Beware the citizen blogger.
Ross Karchner is the new editor of Python.Scripting.Com.
NY Times: "Carol Moseley Braun plans to end her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and endorse Howard Dean on Thursday."
BBC: "The US robotic probe that landed on Mars 10 days ago is preparing to roll off its lander and onto the surface."
Waxy: "The Academy announced today that a second screener video was leaked to the Internet, after yesterday's announcement of the 'Something's Gotta Give' appearance."
New directory for the Share Your OPML site.
Chad Dickerson: InfoWorld moves to RSS 2.0.
Lance Knobel: "I've become involved with Dean for America UK."
Wired: "Google may be king of the search-engine world right now."
Speaking of data integrity Mark Pilgrim (apparently) doesn't want me to point to him, when I do, his server sends you right back. Okay. But he's part of the Top 100 on the Share Your OPML site so his posts show up in the aggregator there. Oooops. Mark sends you right back. Oh la. I wonder if there's a Best Practice document on how to partition the Web?
Hiawatha Bray: "If a player feels his character, or Sim, is being ill treated and can get no justice from the game operators at EA, he can arrange to have bad things happen to rival players, by approaching a local Mafia and ponying up some of the game's currency, called simoleons."
People are starting to produce OPML reading lists so I thought now would be an excellent time to publish some guidelines for things people can do now that will make more things possible later.
Should you always give the user what he or she wants? No. It would be irresponsible to do so. For example, consider doctors and antibiotics. A doctor shouldn't give you an antibiotic unless it can really do you some good, and along with the prescription should come a stern lecture about taking the full course of the drug, not stopping when you start to feel better. As a user, you may just want to feel well, and that would be understandable. But the rest of us have an interest in you not being selfish. If you stop taking the drug before all the nasty germs are killed, you're going to help create a strain of the germ that's immune to the drug. Eventually there won't be an antibiotic that works, and future generations will die from diseases that are totally curable today. So while the user may want to stop taking the drug, the doctor would be irresponsible in prescribing it if he or she felt it was likely that you wouldn't finish taking it. The same idea applies to reading bad XML files. If my code reads them, then yours has to too. Eventually the XML stops working. The reason we have XML is so we don't have to scrape HTML. If the XML becomes as hard to deal with as the HTML, then we might as well just scrape the HTML.
BBC: "The unnecessary overprescribing of anitbiotics is undesirable because it encourages the emergence of drug-resistant strains of bacteria - so-called 'superbugs' like MRSA which defy conventional treatment."
One of the reasons the Share Your OPML project has been so much fun is that it has been so easy to give users the features they ask for. Even so, I realized early-on that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the demand for new features. The solution is to provide access to the data behind the website so other people can build on it. For example, very few people know that the popular Technorati service is built on the backend of weblogs.com, called changes.xml. Another example was the open service list for UserLand's first aggregator in 1999 and 2000, which enabled a community of developers to form around RSS. We're going to do it again. I've spent the last few days coding a new flow of static OPML files. At the same time I worked it out with Hal Roberts lead developer at the Berkman geek room, to statically serve the data from a harvard.edu server. Hal has done some really excellent work. People have been asking for a service that can serve compressed content, so Hal programmed our server to do that. I'm working with a small group of developers now on testing the new capability. We're still finding problems. When it's released we'll have sample code for Python, Tcl and UserTalk and perhaps a few other languages. It's all XML so it's easy to work with. And then, when you have an idea for an app that builds on the Share Your OPML flow, you can ask any developer with a scripting language to develop it for you, not just me. This is good, users and developers, working together, having fun. Still diggin!
Ray Ozzie's subscription list.
Sometimes I try to shake your world, other times (like now) I just go for a minor upgrade. A few weeks ago I was eating at a fine restaurant in Cambridge and saw Chicken Pot Pie on the menu. It had been years since I had one, so I ordered it. It was delicious. Every bit as good as I remembered. So when it got really cold last week I went to the supermarket and bought some, figuring that I'd have to bake them in the oven, which was okay because it was so cold and I was pretty lazy and didn't mind waiting for up to an hour to eat my delicious pot pie. Well, surprise surprise, they make them now so they can cook in ten minutes in a microwave. And they have an ingenious packaging thing so that the crust browns, almost as if it had been baked. The pies come out great. They cost about $3 and are really filling. Add a Diet Coke and you got a meal. Nothing earth shaking, but if even one person gets to eat some really good comfort food on a cold night, it was worth it.
One of the innovations flowing out the Share Your OPML site is the idea of reading lists. An expert in a given area puts together a set of feeds that you would subscribe to if you want a balanced flow of information on his or her topic of expertise. You let the expert subscribe to feeds on your behalf. I've gotten the first taste of what this is like by reading the aggregator page on the Share Your OPML site. As new sites come on the Top-100, as the aggregated interests of the community shift, I automatically start reading sites I wasn't reading before. I don't have to do anything. I like this. So at last Thursday's Berkman meeting I asked two of our regulars, Rick Heller and Jay McCarthy, to start doing these reading lists, and Rick is ready with what he calls a list of "political blogs that provide a balanced diet of liberal and conservative views." Now I have more work to do, to create a user interface that lets Rick edit his list at will, and presents an easy way for you to subscribe to his list so he can automatically subscribe you to new feeds (and unsubscribe you from others). The technology is not that hard, but it's essential, imho. Two comments. 1. I'm talking with other developers about building around this idea, so there will be another round of open formats and protocols building on RSS, OPML and XML-RPC; and 2. No patents.
The Command Post, another excellent political weblog, notes that Dean is slipping in New Hampshire.
QuickTime panoramic image from Mars.
Winners in the Bush in 30 Seconds contest are up.
BBC: "Hard drives have never been seen as sexy."
Scoble: "Why aren't we handing players to every single blogger in an attempt to get some buzz going for our side of the fence?"
You know what's always bothered me about Technorati? I don't care about millions of blogs. I'm going for quality not quantity. Sifry must think weblogs are like television. Shirky sure does. What is it about people with two-syllable names that begin with S and end with Y. I think I'm going to publish a law about this and go on the speaker's circuit. BTW, Shirky is speaking at Berkman on Thurs. I've asked for permission to webcast.
Lots of new pics, including a new baby, on the Pic Tuner page.
Greg Reinacker says his aggregator will continue to accept bad feeds. This may make his competitors look like idealistic dreamers for thinking it would serve users' interests if they spend more time designing and coding new features and less time working around bugs in content. With all due respect, I think Greg is wrong about users. They do care about quality. We're finally emerging from the period where users of RSS were uninformed, confused and dumb. This happens every time around the loop. At first the users don't understand how it works, then they figure it out, and they leave behind vendors who depend on them being confused. BTW, there's nothing that says that the aggregator vendors can't get their act together on all XML formats, not just new ones.
8/24/03: "It's better to insist on tight standards, so users can switch if they want to, for any reason; so that next year's feed will likely work with this year's aggregator, even if it doesn't dominate the market."
1/13/02: "It softens hands while you do the dishes."
Love Canal is a "neighbourhood in Niagara Falls, New York."
Patti Smith: "Baby was a black sheep, baby was a whore. You know she got big, well, she's gonna get bigger."
Share Your OPML is Feedster's Feed of the Day. Thanks!
Martin Sheen who plays the President on The West Wing, is campaigning for Dean in Iowa.
Wesley Clark has his pic taken with Dowbrigade! For real, no acting. "I'm a Citizen Journalist," he said. Clark did an imitation of his death mask, as a favor to Dowbrigade. Even so, no vote. "We had seen enough to know we wouldn't be voting for the good General." He looked at the young lady and smiled, "Going down?"
A new Share Your OPML toy. As described yesterday, if a Top 100 blog has a picture in a post I pull it out and add it to a flow of similar pics. I had to filter out Web bugs that one of the top bloggers is adding to his feed. I wish every image had a border attribute of zero. It's already fun, and yes I know everyone will want this RSS-ized. I'm sure if it continues to be a hit, that'll happen soon enough.
Lessig: A Taste of Our Own Poison.
NY Post reports that Bill Clinton is working for Wesley Clark.
ProjectForum, an "easy-to-setup powerful Wiki" now has RSS support.
Today's song was written by Ira Gershwin with a haunting melody by Harold Arlen, sung by Judy Garland in A Star Is Born (1954). Can't get it out of my head. And where it goes "You wanna have grapes on a vine?" I thought she was saying "babes."
Taegan Goddard: "The Iowa caucuses are now one week away."
When reporters ask Bush why we should return to the moon, will he invoke terrorism and 9-11? Are there weapons of mass destruction on the moon? Mars? How will we know until we go there. Maybe that's where we'll find Osama bin Laden? Stranger things have happened!
New feature: Subscription lists for authors of the Top 100.
News.Com: "IBM gained more US patents than any other company in 2003."
My annex to Postel's Law: "We should all collectively be conservative in what we send."
Adam Curry says we should have an image trail as part of the Share Your OPML site. What he means is this. We subscribe to the Top 100 feeds to form an aggregator that's a view into the community. Now he wants another view that shows only the pictures, and links to the full items. I wrote the code that hooks into the flow, and looks at each post, and if it has a permalink and an image, I pull out the image, and remember the permalink. Once we obtain 20 or so images I'll write a script that displays them in reverse-chronologic order. So if you're in the Top 100, why not include a small picture today.
I find it interesting that none of the Presidential candidate blogs are in the Top 100 on the Share Your OPML site. Here's a communication platform, open to the candidates, and none of them have used it well enough to match the individual bloggers? Also a surprise is the relatively poor showing of the big newspaper feeds. I would have guessed the NY Times would be in the Top 10. Not so. It's in my personal Top 10 for sure. I wonder why? I assume it's because people don't know that the feeds are there?
Watching the Sunday morning political shows: Meet the Press, Face the Nation, Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer -- tons of Presidential ads. Boston is the big New England TV market and New Hampshire is in New England, so we see the ads, and boy are they interesting. I've never seen this kind of political advertising before. Suggestion to the campaigns, post your latest ads on the the Web and send me pointers, please. It's a cheap way of getting your message out and generating buzz. A curious thing about all the ads, at the end of each, the candidate says "My name is John Kerry, and I approved this message." They all say exactly the same thing (except Kucinich who says "Did I approve this message? You bet I did." Weird.) Anyway, why? This is new. This must have something to do with campaign finance reform.
Peter Rukavina: I'm blahblahblah and I've approved this message.
Meet the Press had a particularly clueless segment on blogs. Typical BigPub arrogance. One guy says he has a blog, but his is different -- he posts columns instead of pancake recipes. Oh. Okay. I guess you're smart and we're stupid. Thanks.
I believe that Larry Lessig and I have found our creative commons, the concept of a citizen blogger. I will write a definition.
Monday forecast: "Turning milder. Highs in the mid 30s." Whew.
Bob Wyman, on the Atom-Syntax list, explains how the "liberal in what you accept" philosophy erects barriers that get no new features or performance for users.
NY Times editorial: "Your nostrils begin to freeze, and you realize that your body is somehow merging with the elements."
Don Hopkins: "Focus groups hated The Sims."
Financial Times: Bush savaged by former Treasury chief. "In the CBS Sixty Minutes interview Mr O'Neill, the former chief executive of the aluminium company Alcoa, says there was little constructive dialogue between officials and the president."
NY Times: My So-Called Blog.
Phil Wolff's complete list of blogging awards. "The title of this post is the goal, not the result."
This last week has been incredible. I put up a new application, so many cool people contributed their subscriptions to create a "commons" of unparalleled utility. I found at least 20 good feeds through this community. And even better was developing something that users loved. It's been a while since I've been there. This is the best thing for me, that connection, where I roll out a feature, get feedback, roll out another, etc. Today I tried to write some more stuff, but I was too tired. But it has been an incredible collaborative week. Thanks to all who participated!
Feedster: "Think of RSS as Tivo for the Web."
MIT weblog: "Psychology Today tells us that a growing number of people are using The Sims to make sense of themselves and the other folks in their lives."
Bloomberg reports that SCO has a claim with Google re Linux.
Howard Rheingold: "Thanks Dave!" Nice.
Joi Ito's subscription list.
Boston Globe: Clark makes inroads on NH trail.
NY Times on John Brockman's Edge.org. "Last year he asked what sort of counsel each would offer George W. Bush as the nation's top science adviser. This time the question is 'What's your law?'" I wrote one. "We should all collectively be conservative in what we send."
I've heard it said that "He who is most liberal in the formats he accepts wins." I say a couple of things in response. 1. He who says that is probably getting consulting money from a BigCo. And 2. He who has the most happy users wins (and goes to heaven). Users love features, and developers who spend time supporting the most arcane buggy formats aren't spending time on features that delight users. Formats are there to get the job done, not be pure, not be wonderful, just work, and shut up.
Proposed namespace: rssHints. "Adds elements to an RSS feed that help an aggregator process them."
Two years ago Google won a Scripting News award. "If you knew you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could only take one website with you, which would it be?"
On this day in 1999: "Get off your butt and start writing."
Weather.Com: -1°F. Fair. Feels Like -21°F.
Wired: "Apple's CEO Steve Jobs and the Macintosh are inextricably linked in the minds of most people. So it may come as a surprise to learn the Mac wasn't his idea at all."
Don Hopkins: "I'm designing an RSS 2.0 module for describing The Sims objects, which will make it easier to advertise and distribute Sims objects online, and enable the development of automated tools for assisting in this process."
I'm forming a new corporation to own the software I'm creating around Channel Z, including weblogs.com and scripting.com, and the new Feeds site. Talking with the lawyer yesterday he asked what the name of the new corp would be. "Can I get back to you on that?" I said.
Chris Lydon interviews Tim Berners-Lee.
An old joke about Apple 20-some years ago. Steve Jobs was famous for claiming credit for other people's work. So when an engineer had a particularly good idea, he'd try to engineer a "chance" meeting with Steve in the hallway. As he passed, the engineer would say, "Hey Steve, you just had a really great idea!"
Lisa Williams, one of the Thursday night regulars, couldn't come last night because she was giving birth to her son Joseph. "I'm feeling pretty good too," she says. Much love to mother and child.
Introduction to RSS en Francais.
AKMA's subscription list.
One year ago today: "I've been offered a fellowship at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School."
Two years ago: "He's informative, generous, notorious, opinionated, pushy. He shoots first and asks questions later."
RSS Weather: "Mostly clear and frigid. Lows zero to 5 below."
Cory Doctorow: "TiVo's new PC-viewing is deliberately broken."
Paul Hammond explains how to connect blo.gs and feeds.scripting.
OPML is "a file format that can be used to exchange subscription lists between programs that read RSS files, such as feed readers and aggregators." There's an RFC for developers at the end of the doc.
Doc Searls asks what kind of household the Net is. It was supposed to not be a household. The platform with no platform vendor. But people being people, developers fall in love with big corporate names, and people who work at BigCo's of all sizes see the size of their company as an excuse to crush the indies. The Net stagnates when people forget that it's a free-for-all, and that the biggest of the bigs can get flushed down the toilet if they forget who pays the bills.
Last night while driving to work I figured out how to solve a gnarly problem in the Feeds app. How to create equivalences so that various versions of a feed are counted as the same feed. This is the number one feature request. The solution involves a new module for RSS.
BBC: "Toshiba has developed a tiny hard drive which measures less than an inch across but can hold between two and four gigabytes of data."
National Weather Service: "Ocean effect snow showers and squalls form when frigid arctic air flows over the warmer ocean water."
New features: RSS aggregator, polling, event log, HTML links.
Notes for tonight's meeting are here.
Taegan Goddard: "Dean now leads with 35 percent, Clark is second with 18 percent and Kerry trails in third with 12 percent."
Don Hopkins is a longtime friend and one of the developers of The Sims. He's developing a set of add-ons and an RSS module for Sims add-ons.
Phillip Pearson: "Non-bloggers can now create PyCS accounts."
Jenny Levine's subscription list.
John Robb is a fan of Bush's new immigration plan.
Wired: "No company in the Mac universe is as reviled as Microsoft."
Life's full of surprises, some big some small. Last night's West Wing was excellent. Worth watching twice. They change the names of ex-Presidents, so you wonder who's who. Is Lassiter really Carter or is he Reagan. Which one is Bush I? And what ex-President does John Goodman play? Inspired casting and really good acting. The whole thing was on a grand scale, something the WW does so very well. So there you go, it didn't jump the shark, it didn't need Sorkin to go interesting places.
Jason Young: "You can get anything you want. 'ceptin Alice."
The New Hampshire lineup for the next three days includes Lieberman, Kerry, Kucinich, Clark, Gephardt, Dean and Edwards.
Brent Simmons: "What new web services would you like to see?"
I am very interested in the questions Brent asks, and the answers, because I want to keep moving with feeds.scripting.com. One of the things people want is the ability to subscribe to OPML files. This a very powerful idea, and I want to go all the way with it. It's the next level after RSS. Not only do I subscribe to your feed, but I want to subscribe to a set of feeds that you choose for me. Imagine Jenny the Librarian managing a set of librarian feeds for programmers. Or Taegan Goddard keeping a set of political feeds for people who want to watch all the campaigns. This goes somewhere. And it's curious timing because this evening I turned on the code that teaches feeds.scripting.com to subscribe to OPML files. If, instead of uploading, you enter the URL of an OPML file, we'll check it periodically to see if it changed, and if it did, we'll re-load it, and use it recalc the Top 100, and to refresh your Other People's Feeds page. It's like an ant farm. Still diggin!
Jon Udell's subscription list.
Adam Kalsey: "Yahoo is beta testing an RSS Aggregator."
We're looking into this on the RSS-User list.
Zawodny, who works at Yahoo and ought to know, says it's a bug. That reminds me of a story someone told on stage at Esther Dyson's conference in the heyday of Lotus 1-2-3. He imagined -- what if, at random, Lotus version 5.0 magically appeared on his computer one day. It's just a pattern of bits, it's improbable, for sure, but it could happen. Think of all the millions of dollars that he would have made, and all the millions that Lotus would have lost. So fast-forward to 2004, Yahoo has a bug that somehow makes it appear as if they have a built-in RSS aggregator. Hmmm. I suppose stranger things have happened?
Doc Searls quotes Jimmy Guterman in Business 2.0 on weblogs. "We won't enjoy some avalanche of great new independent presses tearing down the media monoliths or something similarly utopian," says Guterman. "The old-timers will whine about how the good old days were better." Glad to know that. Anyway, Clay Shirky isn't a blogger, he's more of an anti-blogger. Does Guterman read the people he writes about? That's the cool thing about weblogs, you don't have to guess what people think. Anyway, I've gotten used to getting pushed aside. It's happened over and over. That's life. I'm not doing this because I want to be popular, I'm doing it because I believe we need more people telling us what they see. Do I think it will revolutionize journalism? I think it is already doing that. Will it tear down the media monoliths? They're doing a pretty good job of that on their own. Would I like to see them torn down? Yes if they get in the way. Are they now in the way? No. Had Guterman called I could have explained this. Instead he wrote a stupid mindless piece, all stereotype and caricature and zero insight. Too bad because he's a smart guy. He wrote a great series about content management in The Industry Standard in the 90s. Back then I wrote him to explain how Vignette and Interwoven et al were doing it wrong, and how weblogs were the way of the future. I wonder if we could get an acknowledgement of that Jimmy? I don't think we're quite as dumb as you say we are.
Three years ago: "Most of the technologists I know have very high integrity, as much as most doctors, lawyers and cops. However because we have no rules, we're vulnerable to cheap shots and pretenders. That's the other side, the presumption of lack of integrity, and the tech press takes advantage of this."
The Top 100 feeds is being recalc'd every five minutes. Think of the set of feeds it defines, like you'd think of a stock index. Now imagine an aggregator that was automatically subscribed to all the feeds in the Top 100. I'm working on this, and it's nice.
NewsGator: "Users who subscribe to NewsGator Online Services can now synchronize their subscriptions across multiple machines."
Daniel Berlinger on the Atom process. "RSD was the clear winner, but Joe did not revise his spec to match the outcome."
Chicago Sun-Times: "The technology guru behind the scenes is Jenny Levine, Internet development specialist for Chicago's Suburban Library System, based in west suburban Burr Ridge. Her efforts to take libraries into the digital age started seven years ago, when she offered free dial-up Internet access for patrons of the Grand Prairie Public Library District in south suburban Hazel Crest."
The Nation: "Gillespie, who is supposedly trying to reelect President Bush, has been working overtime to publicize comparisons of of the Republican chief executive to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler."
Notes from Andrew's first getting-started-with-weblogs class at MIT.
How to participate in the new OPML aggregator, for people with weblogs at Harvard Law. The instructions work for anyone with a Manila site, and can be adapted to any other environment. Note the Creative Commons attribution/share-alike license at the bottom of the page.
Isn't it amazing what's happening between India and Pakistan?
Speaking of amazing things, according to The Daily Mirror, Diana predicted her own death, "in my car, brake failure and serious head injury," at the hand of her husband, Charles.
Wes Felter: "I wonder how much money Apple wasted adding ECC to the U3 north bridge when they could have just done it right the first time?"
USA Today: "Dean still tops the Democratic field in the national survey, at 24%, but the 21-point lead he held over Clark less than a month ago has narrowed to just 4 percentage points, within the poll's margin of error."
NY Times: "The first color photography of the Spirit mission, made public on Tuesday, showed that the robotic rover was resting on a broad, ruddy plain of Mars among gray rocks of all sizes and shapes, streaks of windblown dust tracks, a patch of cohesive soil that looks like mud but cannot be and hills set against a pink sky on the distant horizon."
A fantastic photo of my grandfather, Rudy Kiesler, posing with a bunch of pilots and redneck cops, wearing a cowboy hat, in front of a commercial airplane, taken in the 50s or 60s. It's reasonable to assume that this picture will be in the banner of Scripting News, in some fashion, someday.
Steven Cohen: "So, why did I change back to Blogger, a piece of software that I had written off about a year ago?"
NY Times: "The Mini is available in five colors."
Russell Beattie: "Total let down. No cool-ass products, and the miniPod is too expensive."
Zawodny writes great headline.
Jim Moore: "Blogs are weak tie machines!"
New Kids on the Blog shows new weblogs from German-speaking countries.
Today's song: "She's a valley girl and there is no cure."
Brent Simmons: "Iíve been waiting 20 years for GarageBand."
News.Com: "Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off Macworld Expo on Tuesday by announcing several new software packages, including an audio recording application called "GarageBand" and an updated version of Microsoft's Office software."
Justin Hall's subscription list.
Bloomberg: "Google Inc hired Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to arrange its initial public offering, a sale that may raise as much as $4 billion, a banker involved in the transaction said."
Boston Globe: "Howard Dean will receive the endorsement of former US senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey today."
One of my childhood heroes, Tug McGraw, died at age 59. They say he'll be remembered as a Phillie, but not for Mets fans. "McGraw coined the phrase Ya gotta believe! during the New York Mets' 1973 season and carried the slogan until he died." BTW, the Philadelphia Inquirer has an RSS feed. And Pete Rose now admits he bet on baseball, so please, let's get him in the Hall of Fame while he's still alive. Ask the fans, we want to honor the best hitter of all time. For all his moral weakness, there was a reason he was called Charlie Hustle.
4/24/95: "When we needed an example of how strange life can be, how great it can be to be alive, we always had the example of the Amazing Mets of 1969."
10/24/02: "The stories of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, Tommy Agee, Mookie Wilson, Cal Ripkin, Barry Bonds, are tales of great warriors, who, even if they lost on the field of battle, did so with great honor and courage."
As you might imagine, there's a weblog just for Thursday meetings. This Thursday's meeting is on. And January 22 is Hank Barry Thursday. Hank is the former CEO of Napster, an expert on technology and politics, a VC, a lawyer, and a nice guy. If you're in the Boston area any Thursday night, please stop by. 7PM.
The popup menu in the right margin of Scripting News now has a link to the Top-100 feeds page. BTW, I think it's really cool that when I take a screen shot that the coffee marks on my screen don't get copied.
Boston Globe: "Because RSS-compatible products are based on open Internet standards, anybody can produce them. So there'll be no RSS media empire or RSS billionaires. That's just as well, as it eliminates the hype that exaggerated the merits of push technology, and helped to destroy it. Instead, we can see RSS for what it is -- simple, powerful, and helpful. It's an idea from the Internet's adolescence, reborn into a world that's grown up."
Marketing Profs: "Itís not because TiVo is a bad company -- but, like the Matt Damon character in Good Will Hunting, it cannot seem to reach anything near its unlimited potential."
Scott Rosenberg on Dean's supposed gaffes.
Okay the feature is done. Start on the Top-100 page. To the right of each line is an asterisk. If you click on it, you get a page listing all the people who are subscribed to the feed. Each name is linked to the page listing the feeds that person is subscribed to. Click on one. You'll see the asterisks there too. Round 'n' round, dosey doe. Where she stop? No one know!
At lunch today Betsy Devine, who works for Feedster, said that people would kill to know who is subscribed to their feeds. My eye twinkled. That's what I was working on this morning, but when I left for lunch there was a bug that was keeping it from working. So with a belly full of Bombay Club smorgasbord, the bug revealed itself, I fixed it, and now I can show Betsy who, among the members of my new site, are subscribed to her feed. Only people who have opted to make their subscription lists public are included. Here's who subscribes to Scripting News. And Boing Boing, Joi Ito, Scoble, Doc Searls, NY Times home page. In a few minutes every page that lists feeds will have an icon next to each feed linking to a page showing who's subscribed. Pretty cool.
Greenspun: "I'm thinking of writing a tutorial on how to use the Windows XP file system as a photo database."
"thinkusaalignright"People who support Bush apparently don't like the MoveOn.Org comparison of Bush to Hitler. I haven't seen the ad, but I don't find the idea offensive. It's about time people outside the blogging world started ringing the bells. Wake up. They're taking the Bill of Rights apart. Get your priorities straight. An ad with some imagery you find offensive is nothing compared to what the Republicans are doing. We live in amazing times. The professional press isn't covering the laws that are passing in Congress and being signed by the President.
Category routing, RSS, OPML: "I predict a day when everyone who attends a Clark campaign event is so well informed by fellow citizens."
Jim Fawcette: "Why would anyone with excellent computer skills want to work long hours to create code so that millionaire executives at IBM can use it to sell expensive mainframe computers and middleware with six-figure licenses? All for no compensation and little recognition."
Kudos to Fawcette, one of the smartest people in the business. No I'm not attacking open source, and I participate in open source myself, more than most of the advocates. But I am also aware of the hypocrisy of venture capitalists and IBM execs, who take home millions of dollars a year in compensation, and expect programmers to work for love and no money. It pisses me off that they get away with such excessive greed, and that my fellow programmers sell out so cheap. Programmers have to have health insurance, send their kids to good schools, make mortgage payments, and retire someday. And these days they have to hire lawyers to defend themselves against the lawyers of the big companies. It's romantic to think of programmers working just for the approval of their peers. Sure it's nice to get approval. It's even nicer to get approval and get paid for your work.
Question -- does this require a disclaimer? Does Google need to tell readers that it owns Blogger? It appears as if Blogger paid for this ad. Did they? I think they are required to disclaim if they want to maintain their integrity. Apply The Microsoft Test -- i.e. if Microsoft did this would we object? If so, it's not cool to have different standards for different 800-pound gorillas. Google dominates search the way Microsoft dominates operating systems. In 2004, it's hard to say which dominance has more potential to do damage to competition. Or apply The New York Times test. If the Times were promoting a service, or appearing to promote a service, that it owned, but it wasn't clear from its name that it was owned by the Times, would they include a note saying they owned it? Imho, without a doubt. Should we look for Times-like clarity from Google?
Scotblog is "the weblog of BBC Scotland Interactive."
If you've had trouble emailing Joi Ito, this might be why.
Don Park: "Piracy undermines the soul of our young."
Scoble: "When I've asked for guidance from the general manager who runs our group he says 'I'd rather not screw up a good thing.'"
Jay McCarthy visited with Wesley Clark in Nashua, NH. This is what blogging is about. In the future, every candidate presentation, whether it is for President of the United States, or dog catcher of Podunk, will have one or more blogger in attendance, bearing witness for The Rest of Us, in the true spirit of America. Jay is a true pioneer.
Triangulation: "Two bloggers can look at the same event and see two different things."
Wired: "Consider it a 21st century Dewey Decimal System designed to fight information overload. But unlike libraries, Vivisimo doesn't use predefined categories. Its software determines them on the fly, depending on the search results."
Elvis Costello: "She said drop dead, then left with another guy."
Coffee Mug Prefs: "Since many aggregators have unique ways to link to their coffee-mug functions, we give you a place to enter a string that tells feeds.scripting.com what to link to from its mugs."
Changes to coffee mug prefs.
Jake Savin: "Update Manila.root to get the new feature."
Nick Bradbury: "Shareware developers are losing enormous amounts of money to piracy."
Joshua Marshall: "I'm gearing up to go to New Hampshire later this month."
A solution to a long-standing, vexing problem?
How to get OPML from aggregators. Specific howto's for 12 popular aggregators, I can easily add more, if people post instructions.
Susan Kitchens is blogging yesterday's Mars landing.
The latest pictures from Mars.
Early Sunday morning on WBUR is spectacularly great. BBC and Morning Edition. None of the inane stuff like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me or Car Talk, or the sports show with the Charles Osgood imitator. But Sunday morning BBC is very nice with coffee and aggregator. Like a trip to Britain and its commonwealth, with an intelligent friend, with a British accent.
It's nice to be moving in RSS-land again. I have another goodie to roll out shortly, and then a few more tomorrow.
Scoble explains why RSS kicks butt. I totally agree about full vs excerpts. If you're going to do excerpts, please write summaries and publish those in your feed descriptions. It sucks when a summary ends in mid-sentence just as I'm beginning to get interested.
Another pet peeve is a low-level programming issue. There's no need to say isPermaLink="true" on the guid element in RSS 2.0 because true is its default value. In a typical feed this wastes about 2.2 percent of the bandwidth used by the feed.
New toy: View Other People's Feeds.
Ben Toth: "It would be nice to see 'starter packs' on specific topics."
Boston Globe: ''I have absolutely no prior restraint on what I publish,'' said Scoble.
Thanks to everyone who helped bootstrap the Share Your OPML website. There are 135 subscription lists in the database this morning. The next step is to make it possible for people to browse other people's lists, assuming they have given permission for others to browse them.
Will Richardson: Blogging and RSS. (For educators.)
Wes Felter says that the new top level domain, dot-name, started off with the right idea, but then morphed to be just like all TLDs. Wes explains the right idea: you can't buy smith.name, but you can buy john.smith.name. This is even neater than the idea I discussed yesterday. Read the comments there, good stuff, as usual.
Dowbrigade visits presidential candidate John Kerry in New Hampshire yesterday. "John Kerry is an old-line, traditional politician of the Kennedy-Patrician school, but he's a good example of the genre, and would at least stand a chance against President Bush. On the other hand, were he somehow to win the election, nothing would really change."
An idea for a new Top Level Domain, that behaves a little differently, from a technical and economic standpoint, than the other TLDs.
Jay Rosen: "Let the record reflect that on the first day of 2004, Adam Nagourney, political reporter for the New York Times, wrote an assessment of the campaign for president and the word Internet did not appear once."
Ross Mayfield: "Patriot Act II has still yet to be covered by the mainstream media."
New feature: "If you're a member, have uploaded your subscriptions, and are logged in, when you display the Top 100 page, each item will have a checkbox indicating whether or not you're subscribed."
Philip Miseldine: OPML in 2004.
Next step -- invite people who read this site to participate. If your aggregator can export an OPML list of the feeds you're subscribed to (most can) then become a member of the feeds site, and either upload your OPML, or enter a URL where the OPML can be read. 23 people are participating at the beginning of the day; I'd like to see 100 people by the end. I'm going to write some more code today and fix bugs, as they come up. So far we've tested it with quite a few aggregators, esp NetNewsWire and BlogLines, but I'm sure there are more interesting ways to export OPML that we've yet to discover. I'm going to publish the souce for the parser so there are no mysteries, using a very liberal open source license. If you have trouble, if you can provide the full OPML that would be great. Read the FAQ for details.
Thanks to Chuck Welch for explaining how to export OPML subscription lists from FeedDemon.
Thanks to Steven Garrity for explaining how to export from Straw.
Tim O'Reilly's 2004 wish list.
In a bid to get his blog to validate, Scoble removed the Trackback feature. Apparently the W3C, a big booster of RDF, doesn't like it when you include it for Trackback? It'll be interesting to learn why this is.
Scoble: "Insert evil laugh here."
The Top 100 list itself is available in OPML. Note that I included the counts, so that different communities can be added together to form a super-top-100 list. I'm already thinking that our weblog server at Harvard might produce one of these files. No need to do the work in two places.
BTW, to people who keep weblogs at Harvard, I was surprised to find that Manila already exports subscriptions in OPML; and Radio was the original OPML exporter. I started a list of aggregators and how they export OPML. If you have a favorite, please post an explanation on your blog and send me a pointer. Screen shots are generally very helpful.
Modulo 26 on how to indicate changes in your RSS feed. Actually RSS 2.0 has a beautiful (and simple) way of doing this, so people who subscribe to your feed won't even see the minor spelling and grammar changes. Ask the developer of your weblog tool to support it. Most aggregators already do. For an example look at the feed for this weblog.
Chris Heilman: Venus, menorah and a faux western town.
I am not mainstream either. (Or is it also?)
Scoble: "I find it ironic that Slashdot is worrying about offshoring of programming."
Quicktime panorama of Times Square last night.
Six years ago today: "We define manhood as the ability to control one's emotions. This has gotten us in trouble, and we know it."
© Copyright 1997-2006 Dave Winer.