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

Essential television Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Watching the Democratic candidates debate on MSNBC, all the candidates sound excellent, if not presidential, the kind of people I'd like to see in the Cabinet.

A picture named thinkusa.gifHowever, to make an informed vote, to even understand the context that the United States exists in today and in the near future, we need a lot more information about terrorism and the war in Iraq. Luckily, PBS has produced an excellent series that's eye-opening, and fills in a lot of blanks in the picture that's been created for us by the press and government.

You can download all 11 episodes via BitTorrent, and I highly recommend we all do that, watch the shows, talk about them on our blogs. Let's have a great discussion about the future of our country, and have an equally great election in 2008.

And if you get something out of these programs, as I'm sure you will, please give generously to your local PBS station.

Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10, part 11.

The changing role of the source Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Must-read piece by Jeff Jarvis on the future of the interview.

I think Wired is doing a wonderful job of listening, far better than any previous print pub has. It's awkward because a lot of understanding hasn't yet taken place. No pain no gain.

The new reality for all publications is that their sources can go direct. It's just like every other activity that the Internet touches, disintermediation happens.

This is a much bigger story than they were aiming for -- it's the still unwritten story of the blogosphere. Wired has a chance to get this scoop that has been out there for the getting for more than ten years, even though, ironically, I wrote much of the story myself, when I was at HotWired -- before leaving, to bootstrap blogging.

Oh it's a great big circle, it is. ;->

Scott Rosenberg: "In the online conversation, the reporter doesn't get the last word. And the reporter doesn't get to filter which parts of the conversation are available to the public. No wonder journalists want to stick with the phone."

A perfect demo Permanent link to this item in the archive.

This blog post from reporter Ryan Sholin perfectly illustrates why we need to create a record of our interviews to provide an incentive to report only the story, not to make up stuff to add drama to it.

For example, where did the "if he wants to" bit come from? Certainly not from me. I would have bent over backwards to answer his questions, of course it would only be "If I want to," but that's the same rule that would apply if he asked me a question on the phone, I would only answer "If I want to." Sloppy reporting.

The second mistake is much more serious: "The problem, of course, for folks like Dave and Jason, is that they've done enough print interviews to get frustrated at the fact that not everything they say, not every bit of context, not every piece of backstory makes it into the final published piece."

That doesn't even come close to reflecting what I said or what I believe. I'll leave it to your readers to click on the links and compare the way you've expressed my opinion and the way I express it.

My belief: You need the discipline of having your sources fully on the record so that you're more careful about representing what they said. In this case, where the reader can fact-check you, you've utterly failed in your responsibility to tell the true story. And this is an insignificant meta-story, and not very complex, and in your area of expertise. I don't have much confidence that you'd be straight with me or your readers if the story was more subtle, or complex.

Conference business models Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I think I'm one of the people who Jim Forbes was on a first-name basis with when I used to run a software company in the valley, and he was a reporter for various tech pubs.

As I read this rambling and interesting blog post, I started to get the idea that Jim was talking about me, and as it progressed I was sure, but he didn't actually say my name.

I don't have anything to hide, either about my involvement with the TechCrunch 20 conference (I'm not being paid for my services, and so far my only involvement has been to say that I am involved) or in the back-channel discussion with the Wired reporter. The only part that hasn't been disclosed is a little advice I offered, on background, but if he wants to disclose it I don't mind. (Maybe I'll dig it up tomorrow and run it as a post.)

I certainly never said anything, publicly or privately to call into question Jim's integrity, nor do I believe there is any cause to, but I do have a problem with conferences that showcase technology, charge people to attend and charge people whose products are demoed. I'm sure, based on knowing JIm for many years, that he never did anything unethical. And Demo, the show that he worked on, is better than a lot of shows, they tell everyone that the participants are paying, in other words, they disclose.

But I've paid to go to conferences where I was sure I was watching ads. Boy did that feel slimy.

People I used to admire did it. That felt worse than slimy, that felt like betrayal.

I know the pressures people operate under, I ran four conferences myself, and never took money for a speaking slot. But it's common practice in the tech industry. And I'm glad that Jason and Mike are going to make an issue of it, because it will put pressure on other conferences to clean up their act. There will be a lot more disclosing in the future, and maybe some conferences will have to find a new business model to keep people coming.

Anyway, it's late, I'm listening to old live Dead music as I write this on my new stereo that I love (a Mac) that's also got an outliner and a browser on it. I'm so glad I lived to see all this convergence. I've smoked a lot of cigarettes with Jim, and maybe a few other things, many years ago when we and the industry we're part of were much younger. I love the guy, and if I said anything that hurt him, it was inadvertent, but I'm sorry nonetheless.

I don't do interviews by email Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I'm so tired of reading how I prefer to do interviews by email, as if to prove my point -- can't these reporters read or don't they care about getting the story right? This is crux of the story. It's not a minor detail. I don't do interviews by email.

Here's the piece where I explained how I do it.

Here's where I explained it again.

One more time: I am not Jason Calacanis, who expressed a preference for interviews by email. My name is Dave Winer. I prefer to do it in blog posts, totally out in the open, in writing, on the record.

We're in really deep shit here in the US, at least partially because reporters don't do their jobs. I'm up to episode five of the PBS series. I've spent hundreds of hours reading news coverage of Iraq, and now I'm finding out what I suspected, all the reports were 100 percent garbage. Nonsense. Fiction. This is how it happens. They write what they think should be true, they don't bother finding out what's actually happening.

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

NY Times: Jack Valenti dead at 85.

Newfangled indoor BBQ movie.

Checkbox News, Day 4 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Thanks Doc. What a nice thing to say. ;->

I think Checkbox News is all the things you say it is.

Uninstalling IE7 renders machine useless Permanent link to this item in the archive.

  1. I installed IE7.

  2. The OPML Editor doesn't run on Windows XP if IE7 is installed.

  3. I want to use the OPML Editor on Windows XP.

  4. Therefore, I uninstalled IE7 using Microsoft's Add/Remove Programs control panel.

  5. It told me I had to restart.

  6. I restarted.

  7. iertutl.dll blah blah blah.

  8. Didn't the government sue Microsoft over this?

52, the perfect age? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I was born on May 2, 1955.

Which means that on Wednesday I will be 52.

Think about this.

May 2.

5th month, 2nd day.



Perfectly symmetric.

As is the number itself.

5 is an upside down 2.

And vice versa.

Sometimes life makes sense.

Or will make sense.

Next Wednesday.

We hope.

Praise Murphy. ;->


Last update: Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 11:48 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.

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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."

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