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

The small picture Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Why is it that the highest-rated sites, some with supposedly hundreds of thousands of subscribers, only generate a couple hundred hits when they link to you?

As Pete Cashmore on Mashable says, it's because the subscriber numbers don't reflect actual readership. The people who subscribed may not even be aware that they are subscribed. Or put another way, we haven't learned yet how to measure what's valuable, we only have the crudest ways to measure value, so crude as to be meaningless.

Ultimately what matters to me is not how many people subscribe to my feed, rather how much of a connection I can make with the people I want to connect with. I'm satisfied that the people I care about read my site, and the aggregators flow mostly the wrong people through my posts with the most sensational headlines, ignoring the ones with the greatest value, imho.

A picture named smallmona.jpgI'm a blogger not a broadcaster. Blogging isn't about mass markets, it's about the small picture. My small picture (and for you, yours). I'm trying to draw a picture, create a frame of reference that's personal, not corporate. I'm a zig to corporate media's zag. I am a blogger. I am personal.

I don't want a hundred thousand ghosts "subscribing" to my feed. I want to influence the thinkers of the tech sphere, and I'm satisfied that I do. No leaderboard is ever going to reflect that, even though my site is often favorably rated by them.

I want rating services to provide clues about what I should be subscribing to. I want them to find not what's popular with the masses but what will be valuable to me. My favorite movies are not the ones the masses like, I prefer art films and ultra-violent comedies (I like everything Quentin Taratino does, for example).

It's a simple matter to apply collaborative filtering to this problem, we've even done it in SYO. These ideas need revisiting now that everyone else seems to have caught on that this is a problem worth solving.

Fred Wilson: "I totally agree about engagement being the right metric."

Photo set: Berkeley Hills, sunny after rain Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Instead of using my iPhone and Twittergram to post real-time pictures, I used the Nikon and took higher resolution pictures.

The leaves are turning, and the sun was out after a huge rain. I thought there would be some good pictures, and there were.

A picture named clouds.jpg

Click on the picture above to see the set.

My iPhone stopped ringing Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named iphone.gifSometime after I updated to 1.1.1 my iPhone stopped ringing. I checked myself, calling my iPhone using my Blackberry. Sure enough, no ring. I did a soft restart (hold the button on top down while clicking the menu button on the bottom). Didn't help. Did a search, found I'm not the first with this problem. Dr Fran says she missed a social event because her iPhone didn't ring. I missed a bunch of important calls before I realized my phone wasn't ringing anymore. This is the nightmare, I can't afford to be without the phone, but a phone that doesn't ring is like 1/4 a real phone. Oy. Let me know if you have any ideas. I don't relish getting in Apple's loop on this.

Update: Ben had the answer. Yehi!! The phone rings again. Happy.

Rainy day over the bay Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named hazyday.jpg

New home page Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The home page on Scripting News has changed to match the RSS feed. Now the 20 most recent items are posted, as opposed to just the items of the current day. The current day's items are expanded, the previous days' items are collapsed. You can toggle the expand-collapse state by clicking on the plus or minus to the left of the title. As always, the blue arrows are the permalinks, if you're going to point to an article, you should use the page it points to. This is an experiment, it's possible that the expand-collapse approach doesn't work in all browsers. Report any problems here. Hope you like!

Saving the h-word Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Usually I ignore the moralistic snipes that come from a handful of bloggers, but to characterize a post of mine with a term like "hate" is really over the top. The post certainly was critical of a piece of software, but hate is a special word, and should be saved for special circumstances.

My family emigrated to the U.S. during World War II from fascist-occupied Europe. Growing up, my grandparents told us stories of how they fled for their lives and how the U.S. welcomed us. Without that, I wouldn't be here today, I never would have been born, because my parents and grandparents wouldn't have survived. What they dealt with certainly was hate. It was there in NY when I was told by schoolmates that their uncles were killed in World War II fighting for "The Jews." To be blamed for the deaths of loved ones when I wasn't even born was, imho, an example of hate.

Saying that a software system is controlling its users, when it obviously is, is not hate. It's criticism, and it's one of the things guaranteed by our Constitution in the United States. In this country hate speech does not enjoy the same protection. So let's not cross that line so easily. Let's not devalue a term like hate, let's save it for those special circumstances when speech is used to persecute innocent people.

PS: I turned on the TechMeme blocker to be sure this post doesn't appear there. I don't want this to turn into a topic that other people pile onto in hope of improving their rank on the Leaderboard. I'm seriously considering leaving the flag on, because the atmosphere there has turned so acrid.

Good morning everybody Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Working on code today, may be limited updates.


Last update: Monday, October 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM Pacific.

Dave Winer, 52, 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.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

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

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"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.

October 2007
Sep   Nov

Lijit Search
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.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

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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