Mike Arrington: "OPML is awesome."
Yahoo publishes a must-read report on RSS usage.
Google surprises no one and releases a very nicely done RSS reader. What an amazing week. I've barely had a chance to try it out, but obviously this is a market-changer. Screen shot. It supports OPML import-export.
Jon Udell explores the (for most people) unknown world of ping servers. It's great that the deal has sparked interest in how this stuff works. I'd like to help document the flow of pings through the blogging world. I obviously know quite a bit about how it works.
Good morning everybody. I just reviewed all that I could find about the weblogs.com deal. It's the top item on Memeorandum this morning. Screen shot. Everyone is being so cool about it. Thanks for all the kind words. Mike Graves wrote an incredible piece, it couldn't possibly have been better. And believe me, no one planned for it to go this way. Sometimes Murphy's Law works in the opposite way. Knock wood, I am not a lawyer, my mother loves me and all other disclaimers.
Thanks to News.Com for naming Scripting News one of their Blog 100.
These notes were written on the flight from Cincinnati to Greensboro, early yesterday evening.
Today was a travel day, an interesting one for sure, unique in many ways. It was the first time I began a trip in the East Bay, and I learned a ton about getting from Berkeley to SFO for an 11AM weekday flight. From the South Bay, it would be a perfect time, leave home at a leisurely 8AM, arrive at the airport by 9AM with two hours to spare for the usual lines at SFO, and plenty of time for coffee, maybe even breakfast. But the Bay Bridge at rush hour is intense, but smartly designed, and while the travel wasn't quite as easy as it would have been arriving from the south, it wasn't bad. They had TMobile at the gate, so I was able to check in, briefly before getting on the plane.
I had plenty of room on the plane, a good book, movie and some crosswords, when the flight arrived at the Cincinnati airport (actually in Kentucky), I had thirty minutes to get from Terminal C to Terminal A to catch the connecting flight to Greensboro. I checked my voicemail as the plane from SF taxied, and I couldn't make out the message, just bits of it. I thought it was Jason Calacanis, giving me a heads up that they were getting ready to announce their deal with Weblogs, Inc being acquired by AOL. When I got into the terminal as I rushed to Terminal A, I listened to the message. It was from Mark McLaughlin at Verisign, saying that they were getting ready to announce the deal they had with Scripting News, Inc, because it was already on some of the blogs. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I didn't have a way to write down Mark's phone number, so I called Mike Arrington, who was one of two attorneys working with me on the deal (Mike is also the editor of TechCrunch, and brokered the deal with Keith Teare, his partner in Edgio, a company you'll be hearing great things about shortly, I'm sure). Mike didn't answer, so I tried Mike Graves, one of the guys I worked with at Verisign, no luck there iether. Both are at the Web 2.0 conference in SF. As I was approching the gate for my outbound flight, Staci Kramer of PaidContent called, asking if I could confirm that there was a deal. I asked her what she had, and she said she had read something on Kottke, but so far just had rumors. I said I couldn't confirm, she asked if I'd call her back if I could, and I said I would. I've worked with Staci on a few stories in the past, and I will indeed call her back, she'll be the first reporter I talk to about this deal.
When I finally got on the nearly empty plane to Greensboro, I listened to the voicemail again, got Mark McG's number, called him, got filled in, asked him to hold off announcing anything until I had a chance to see what had been reported, then I hung up, tried Arrington again, still no answer, then I called Scoble, and he read me Kottke's piece. Not bad! He got the number wrong, but otherwise more or less understood why I wanted to do the deal, and raised a very valid question about BigCo's and Verisign, and so forth. No doubt we'll have an interesting discussion about this in the blogosphere, and I hope a productive one, and that we'll all find a way to work with Verisign. I think there's reason to believe they can and will do a much better job of running the ping center than I have been able to, and this is the perfect example of individual innovators (myself in this case) working with large companies in ways that leverage the strength of both.
The bootstrap of weblogs.com is something a bigco should not attempt, it's hard to make it go, and most bootstraps don't, and it requires trust, something an individual is more likely able to inspire than a big company. On the other hand, running a serivce that other bigco's depend on (like Google, and Microsoft, to name two) is not something a person like myself should attempt. I think Verisign is the perfect company to do it. Their name servers, I hear, respond to 250,000 requests per second at peak loads. In comparison, weblogs.com's 1-2 million pings a day seems a drop in the bucket. Further, it will require great resources to tackle the ping-spam issue, and there Verisign's expertise, not just what's visible today, but what's coming down the road, will make all the difference. I was in no posiiton to do this on my own. And belive me, the Technorait's and PubSub's, even Feedster and Bloglines, weren't helping out very much. I belive they'll respect Verisign much more than they respected me. And this deal will free me up to work on new ideas around blogging, RSS, OPML, web services, podcasting, etc. I'm good at digging holes, I have to pass off to others to make the trains run on time when the service grows as big as weblogs.com has.
Anyway, the plane has just entered North Carolina in preparation for landing in Greensboro. Writing this essay has been an excellent way to pass the time. When I get off the plane I'm going to look for a phone, call my friends at Verisign, and encourage them to go ahead and make the announcement. When they have made the announcement, I will upload this document to Scripting News, and we can continue the dialog from the ground in Greensboro.
10/6/05; 4:38:34 PM Pacific
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