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Permanent link to archive for Friday, May 14, 2004. Friday, May 14, 2004

Gazeta.pl: "Co to jest RSS?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Oliver Stor compiled a list of German news media with RSS support. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Nozell on Moyers on Fresh Air on blogs.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: "Mirror editor Piers Morgan is sacked as the newspaper concedes photos of soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Frederick Zimmerman: "Google recommends the AmphetaDesk feed reader but AmphetaDesk doesn't support Atom!" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

7/17/03: "Is the advisory board a standards body?" No. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

AP: "A new Web browser from Opera Software this week is the first major browser to incorporate an emerging technology that automatically delivers new blog entries and news articles." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Todd Cochrane: "I have been thinking over the past 24 hours what it must be like to be in Six Apart's office today. As I pondered that I thought back over the past 2 years." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Dean Peters: "Movable Type is worth paying for; the question is, how much for which features?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Kottke: "The one thing I do think 6A got wrong is the pricing structure for personal users." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Slashdot thread on Movable Type's pricing. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I heard about a user sending flowers to a developer asking that the developer do something good for the Internet. I don't want to say who sent, who received, and what it was about, because that would spoil the gesture.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named gandhi.jpgDay 2 at iLaw. John Palfrey is taking notes on Charlie Nesson's talk. If this were a discussion, at some point I would raise the question whether it's our job, or even in our interest, to protect the interests of the centralized entertainment industry. Of course I don't think we should. I think we're living in transformational times, when the value of centralization is declining, the monoculture, and do-it-yourself, the way we used to entertain and inform each other, is on the rise. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Forecast for Cambridge, MA. Also available in RSSPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Luke Hutteman: "Atom is not replacing RSS any time soon (if ever) so itís just one more format to handle. This means that from an aggregator-writer perspective, Atom just adds extra work for fairly little benefit." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The iLaw conference Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It's not really a conference, they're classes, taught mostly by people I know, who I've never seen teach. And they're good.

It's the opposite of my ideal for a conference, a teacher is like a super-speaker, but they do it so well, it's a pleasure to participate. It's been 27 years since I was in a classroom as a student. I forgot how good it can be.

Lessig, Zittrain, Fisher, Benkler. Great stuff. Glad I went. This morning it's Fisher and Nesson, then Lessig, Benkler and Nesson again.

Palfrey says this is an essential Berkman experience. Hey, it's a side of Berkman I had yet to experience, and it's really coool.

Playing real good for free? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday at the iLaw conference,nice people, friendly group, a small community of smart, earnest, do-gooding people. I wish I could have gone to the reception but we had the regular Thursday meeting, which was quite good last night. Lots to talk about! Yesterday was probably the biggest news day for news about the blogging world. Let's recap what happened.

1. Google announced that they were doing mail lists in competition with Yahoo. I'm sure the service will be good, but it comes with a gotcha. No RSS, only Atom. So Google continues to try to force the issue. Everyone I've talked with can't figure it out, why do they care? And people are starting to get angry about it. I find my own anger receding. I'm starting to accept Atom on Google's terms. But I remember that it's a bad turn. It will lead to more fragmentation, not less, and it will be harder and harder for independent developers to play in the aggregator space. I've been pushing for coalescing, not splitting apart. The big companies, if they act like their arrogant selves, will push the other way. One wonders if for once, the users will see that their interests are aligned with the indies.

2. Six Apart announced new pricing for Movable Type and hell breaks loose. The users are acting as children, saying somehow they didn't know that eventually Six Apart would charge for their software. I knew they were going to charge, why didn't you? I can say this because I'm not a customer (I do use their software, but I didn't pay for it) and I'm not them. But I've been where they are and it sucks. No one's perfect. If you use their software, you owe them some money. If you don't like the price, don't use it. Amazingly they're not asking for money if you use the new software in a limited form, or continue to use the old software. Users who can't get behind that are people we don't need to work with. Everything costs money. When you drive to the gas station, try whining at the attendant, and see how much gas you get. Do it enough and they'll call the cops.

3. This isn't really big news but what the heck. I got a very nice greeting yesterday from Lessig, who, while speaking was surprised to see me in the last row typing away into my blog. He said Dave! Are you blogging this? I said of course I am. And then he proceded to fall down. I said Larry don't hurt yourself. It was memorable. Lessig is a good guy. I gotta talk with him about what's going on with Movable Type. How can we help reset users' expectations so they understand that if they want good software, it might cost money? I wonder if Larry agrees.

4. The W3C said they wanted Atom. On the way to lunch I said to one of my colleagues that might be good news. Then I looked over and said I'm being cynical. She knew. The W3C has been the roachtrap of standards. Ideas go in and don't come out. I turned over one of my creations to the W3C, and it died there, a long painful death, where it turned into a political football for dozens of tech companies. It might be better today because the tech world has shrunk, but hell, we don't need the tech companies, or the W3C. The former are bad actors, the latter is their consortium. The syndication world is growing fast, but not thriving. Our challenges are economic, not technologic. I'd be more impressed if MasterCard got excited about RSS than the W3C getting excited about Atom. Scoble nailed it. Like all other domains, the standards bodies compete with other standards bodies. The IETF is interested, so of course the W3C is.

5. Rogers leaked that he's on the newly configured RSS Advisory Board. I didn't want to announce this right away, but it kind of got lost in all the other stuff. Count my blessings. Anyway, the other new members are Andrew Grumet, Adam Curry, and of course myself. Yesterday, we made an offer to one other person who hasn't responded yet. Brent Simmons and Jon Udell are not on the new board, their choice, not mine. It was a pleasure working with them. We'll aim for getting the site updated by next week.

So... The title of this section is the title of a great Joni Mitchell song. Software people are the "one man band by the quick lunch stand." Now Ben and Mena have lots of mouths to feed. This is good for users. It means they can can do more than two things at once. But it means they have to have money flow.

A guy asked me yesterday what happened to Channel Z, which I used to talk about on Scripting News. I said it's just for me, I'm not going to give it away. Before people even saw it, or used it, they were complaining, calling me names. Then I remembered, it's no fun to be generous. Who would want to be a software developer in 2004. I'm much happier if I forget about pleasing users and just please myself, until they get their act together and start being responsible.

Yesterday we saw people complain about spending $60 for a big useful piece of software like Movable Type. I paid $60 for a cab ride in Geneva. A good dinner is $100. A hotel room $150. You want the software, find a way to help companies like Six Apart instead of making them miserable. You've now got the tools to communicate. Use them well. Use them better.

     

Last update: Friday, May 14, 2004 at 8:58 PM Eastern.

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