Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2005 > November > 13Previous/Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.
Permanent link to archive for Sunday, November 13, 2005. Sunday, November 13, 2005

Reuters: "Dell is trying to spice up its image by shaking Apple Computer's hold on hipness, but it may be tough to match its smaller rival's flair." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Most-wanted feature for Firefox. Per-site font size settings. In other words, offer to remember how I have set the font for each site. Some sites are just plain unreadable unless you set the font size huge. But doing so makes every other site you view in that window too big to read. Failing that how about a setting that tells the browser to ignore what the site says about font size and always display text in the font and size I tell it to. Basically the web is and has been broken forever. Maybe one of these decades we'll get around to fixing it. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

When people come to me to write code for them that runs in the OPML Editor, they may think I'm the only person who knows how to program in this environment. Not true. There's a whole mail list of them. Ask nicely and they might help.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Alan Lööf is a 93-year-old blogger from Sweden. Permanent link to this item in the archive. "Microsoft will update its security tools to detect and remove part of the copy protection tools installed on PCs when some music CDs are played." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

AP: Web savvy seniors embrace blogsPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Om Malik: "One of the reasons podcasts have gained in popularity is because they use more maleable and open standards aka MP3 and are easy to create, and easily portable, regardless of the device." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

iPodder Lemon changes its name to Juice Receiver. "Apple went after us..." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Audible and its consultant Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I usually don't quote flamers here, but these comments by Mitch Ratcliffe, in a rather longish response to Jeff Jarvis, Staci Kramer, Om Malik, Doc Searls and myself, says everything wrong about who I am and what I do. Here's the quote.

"As primarily a writer who has stumbled into doing technology design and development, but who would very much like to be a writer, again, Dave's perspective is the height of hypocrisy, a kind of anti-creative view that has no place in a society that claims to desire to reward people who work hard to create value. Writers, musicians, filmmakers and all their creative peers work hard to make great 'content,' but guys like Dave seem to think that if, unlike software, which he has tried to charge for over many years, someone wants to be paid, then he's going to simply go around their rights as the creator."

Of course, I began my career as a software developer, in the late 1970s, developed outlining and presentation software, successfully, long before I was a writer. I developed the first blogging systems, RSS authoring and aggregation tools, a distributed web services platform, and quite a bit more. I have sold millions of dollars in commercial software, and if I advocated piracy, I would indeed be a hypocrite, that's why I don't and never have. I don't think my credentials as a software developer are in question.

Further, I'm quoted inaccurately, because I said it was unfair, but it's still true, that they have to compete with the free channels of distribution for audiobooks. And dammit, I spent hundreds of dollars with Audible, and how does that qualify as stealing? I think it makes me a customer, and deserving of a certain basic level of respect from the vendor and its consultant.

There are a bunch of people who have, in the past, tried to make a business out of trashing me, but that seems to have stopped, thanks to the success of the things they were trashing me for, and the failure of the things they were promoting as alternatives. Mitch apparently hasn't heard the news. Singling me out for abuse should be, and I believe is, bad strategy, and bad representation for his client, Audible. They both owe an apology for this abuse. I don't expect one from Ratcliffe (although I would accept it) but I do expect one from Audible.

My vision for podcasting Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reading Ratcliffe's rendition of my vision for podcasting makes me want to set the record straight. Luckily I have several podcasts which do that quite well.

Start with the Pisa podcast, a half-hour speech I gave to a conference of technologists in Pisa, Italy in May of this year. It starts slowly but it does get there, linking together podcasting, blogging, unconferences and people's media.

You might also try one or more of the thunderstorm "godcasts," done during random thunderstorms on the patio of my rented house in St Augustine, FL. They are examples of what I'm talking about. Creative broadcasting, with the kind of investment a person can afford.

Check out the breakfast podcast I did with Betsy Devine in a Cambridge restaurant.

Or try the cast I did with my parents on my birthday, also in May of this year. Or the last one I did, with an ode to Steve Gillmor sung to the tune of Turkey in the Straw.

I know some people think it isn't important, but I want to carve out and reserve a space for people to be creative for each other. We have a cultural disease, the belief that only plastic imitation people have a place in the media. I believe in something different. I love the creativity of real people, and the creativity of the people I love. I want the flaws, that's what makes it precious. I don't care about your business model, that doesn't mean you can't have one. But I want to be sure you don't roll us over just as we're getting something interesting going.

I used to have these fantasies with my old friend Adam Curry, that we could serve as examples for kids, that they don't have to be perfect to be wonderful. I thought Adam, with his perfect looks and stage presence, would be a good poster child for this, and his early pre-podfather podcasts were good. Maybe we can get back to that after the business models run their course, which I believe they will. That doesn't mean you can't give it a try, but forgive me if I promote something different, podcasting for love, not money.

As has recently been re-discovered, we have a word for this, a beautiful one, that we will come to appreciate again, in new ways -- amateur. Believe it. I read in the NY Times a few weeks ago that 20 percent of pre-teens in the US have weblogs. Wow. That's a big deal to me. Yeah, they talk about the stuff that kids care about, and that's cool with me. I even have a friend, an 11-year-old, whose blog I subscribe to. I'm delighted every time he updates. I want more.

When I see people like Ratcliffe work so hard to discredit me, I believe they will also work just as hard to invalidate the hopes and dreams of the people who are making this new media real. They have lots of dollars, and they have people sold to some extent that you have to be plastic to make a difference. I'm here to say that's not true, you can make a difference, an important one, just being yourself. I make that point by doing it myself.

I had great teachers. I'm going to quote one now.

Scoop Nisker: "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own."


Last update: Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 7:04 PM Eastern.

Dave Winer Mailto icon


Community Directory
A picture named folder.gif Seattle Mind Camp Roll
A picture named folder.gif On this day in
A picture named folder.gif News.Com top 100 OPML
A picture named folder.gif BloggerCon III Blogroll
A picture named folder.gif TechCrunch reviews
A picture named folder.gif Tod Maffin's directory of Public Radio podcasts
A picture named folder.gif Adam Curry's directory
A picture named folder.gif Memeorandum
A picture named folder.gif DaveNet archive
A picture named folder.gif Scripting News sites
Click here to view the OPML source for this directory.

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

November 2005
Oct   Dec

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.


© Copyright 1997-2005 Dave Winer. The picture at the top of the page may change from time to time. Previous graphics are archived.