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Permanent link to archive for Friday, May 07, 2004. Friday, May 07, 2004

Yesterday's top item: Reuters RSS Feeds. Worth repeating. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Via Elmer Masters via LawLibTech comes news that Westlaw now supports RSS. It's behind a user login, so we have to go by what they're saying (so far apparently no press release). An example of one of the feeds. They're using RSS 0.92, perfectly appropriate for the application. Bravo! Two big publishers come online in two days. Bing-bing! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

'Help -- my iPod won't play! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sailboat at sunset, Lake Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Statue of Beethoven with a pigeon on his head, Bonn, Germany. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named rumsfeld.jpgI listened to Rumsfeld's testimony before Congress today. He apologized, but only to the families of the people who were abused by American troops. I think he needs to apologize more broadly, to all Arabs, everywhere. And after he does that, he needs to do a mega-apology to the American people, who made the huge mistake of trusting him. He puts himself on our side, saying that the behavior of the military doesn't represent American values. He's hardly an authority on that, he's a public servant who is failing to serve the public. They're still trying to serve the Iraqi people, but their jobs require that they serve the American people. I've yet to hear why it's in our interest that we be in Iraq, borrowing more money that we can't repay, and helping Al Qaeda with their recruiting campaign. There is a massive insubordination here. We're the ones who pay their salaries, and vote for their re-election. They're still dancing, not getting how deep this incident cuts. Why would anyone vote for them? (And this is Bush's problem, not Rumsfeld's.) Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Wall St Journal via Scott Rosenberg: "Mr Frist at one point said he'd like to sit down with Mr Bush and ask which two or three people in the administration could tell him what's really going on with Iraq, according to one person in the room. 'I don't think he knows who could do that,' replied Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar.'" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Lance: "Maybe Dave should spend his summer in Poland?" ! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named 16K.jpgWhat does it mean when they say a cellphone comes with WiFi? Is it a VOIP phone? Or does it appear on the network as a shared hard disk so you can edit your address book on a PC? They never seem to say what features are made possible by WiFi support. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

An O'Reilly report on news standards says RSS is here to stay.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Adam: "I don't feel bad that I bittorrented the sucker this morning." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Sponsors, speakers, panels, audience Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Supernova and the recently announced Web 2.0 conference are throwbacks to the priorities of old conferences, of the eighties and nineties: sponsors, speakers, panels, audience.

Execs from high tech companies pay sponsorship fees, not disclosed, and guarantee that the content is paid advertising and that nothing real is said on stage. If you don't pay the sponsorship fee, you don't get a speaking slot. If you offend a sponsor, you don't get invited back.

These conferences are all spin, and empty bluster.

A picture named shirky.jpgThe organization of the conferences, with speakers and panels, guarantees that the audience falls asleep or is frustrated, waiting to make their point until they get to ask questions at the end of the session. Questions. What a silly concept. Look in the room. It's pretty likely the people who know the most are in the "audience."

By the end of the day people are in the hallway or outside, talking to each other, and when that gets boring, talking on cell phones.

Now that they have WiFi, at least there's an outlet for the audience's ideas, their blogs.

But as we learned at BloggerCon II, it's totally possible to do a conference without sponsors, without speakers, panels, without an audience. In this model, the rooms are full to capacity and even though there's WiFi, there was hardly any time to post to blogs. You can steal the design for this conference. And if you do, sign me up, I want to be there.

If you really want to get the most out of people's time, switch models. You don't need the money from the sponsors, and you don't need speakers, and you surely don't need an audience.


Last update: Friday, May 07, 2004 at 5:23 PM Eastern.

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