Weblog Archive >  2007 >  April >  24 Previous / Next

Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Checkbox News Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named accordion.gifYesterday's piece got the most positive and enthusiastic response of any technology I've proposed in the 10-plus years I've been blogging. I love it when an idea takes root like that. Perhaps it's a measure of how fed up we are with what passes for news on television.

We live in a complex world, and many of us have minds and are educated, and want to understand what's going on. TV is not a bad way to do it, but the medium needs an overhaul in the age of the Internet. Our attention has mostly been focused on print, probably because we haven't felt we can do much about TV. But as yesterday's mockup shows, we're really not very far from turning TV news upside down much the same way RSS revolutionized written news.

To implement this style of news, two things are needed:

  1. The news has to be unbundled, each segment, each story, has to be available as a separate unit.

  2. Each item needs to be categorized, needs metadata, to fit into a folksonomy.
Both #1 and #2 are easily within reach given the current economics of TV news. They have the technical means to do the unbundling, some are already doing it (examples: 60 Minutes, NewsHour). And I'd guess that some news organizations are already generating the metadata for each story, and if not, many have the editorial staff to do it.

Once #1 and #2 are in place, just turn your news flow into a frequently updated podcast feed, and we can do the rest, building a variety of clients from Apple TV to the Windows Media Player, running on iPods and cell phones, laptops, desktops -- who knows where. All of it powered by the enormously simple idea of checkboxes.

PS: A J-school prof at Cal told me that most reporters have absolutely no idea which of their stories people read or don't read. They're flying blind. I bet TV news people are too.

Scott Rosenberg: "Not only do most reporters have no idea which stories are read, many if not most don't want to know."

Transcription errors Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named notebook.jpgJason Calacanis was contacted by the same reporter who contacted me. I'm mentioned in Jason's post, but somewhere along the line there was a transcription error. I did not offer to do the interview via email, I made a different offer.

Here's what I said: "Not generally doing interviews these days. If you have a few questions, send them along, and if I have something to say, I'll write a blog post, which of course you're free to quote. Sorry that's about the best I can do."

Like Jason, I have a lot of experience being misquoted, or having comments linked with others, as if there was some back and forth that didn't happen. Or I get used to make a point that the reporter wants to make, and my story gets lost. Often, the reporter's point is that I'm a putz. Why should I work hard to help people do that? Also like Jason, I don't have any trouble getting my ideas out on my own.

So if you want to work together, let's find a new way to do it. I'm fed up with the old system. The way we start the reboot is to do all our work out in the open, real-time. Not via email, but in full view of everyone.

I will respect the reporter's wish not to be identified, and if they want, I won't even say my comments are in response to an inquiry from a reporter.

Another super-rude comeback from a Wired reporter. And they wonder why we decline to do interviews with them. Look in the mirror guys. Imagine someone talked about you that way, and ask if you'd go out of your way to help them.

Dan Gillmor: "Every journalist should have the experience of being covered by journalists. Nothing would improve the craft more."

Joe Beda: "Talking to the media has absolutely no upside for me."

Kevin Tofel: "How about an interview Wiki?"

A picture named straightLine.gifPostscript: A Wired reporter takes issue with Jason's post, calling him "cowardly." As if to prove my point, perhaps. Can't wait to hear what epiphet they have for me. The weird thing about it is that I know and respect Dylan Tweney, which makes me wonder if he's trying to make some kind of really bad joke. If you're trying to be funny, self-deprecating humor works better. Seriously.

Today's links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was curious to find out who is going to Mix 07 next week in Las Vegas so I started a wiki page.

NY Times: "Federal securities regulators said yesterday that they would bring no civil charges against Apple over the backdating of executive stock options. But they stopped short of removing the cloud that for nearly a year has hung over the company's chief executive, Steven P. Jobs."

Dan Farber: Apple's former CFO blames Jobs over options.

Rober Ebert: "Being sick is no fun. But you can have fun while you're sick."


Last update: Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 10:48 PM Pacific.

Dave Winer, 51, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

Comment on today's
Scripting News

On This Day In: 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

April 2007
Mar   May

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

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

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

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

KitchenCam 1.0

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

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2007 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next