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

Why decentralizing Twitter is so important Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named redflag.jpgAt dinner last night, Scott Rosenberg, researching his history of blogging book, said he couldn't find any trace of the original version of Tim Berners-Lee's original site, I found this amazing.

When I was maintaining the What Are Weblogs page on, in 2000, I said up-front that TBL's site was also the first weblog. The crazy thing is I remember looking at the site, with my own eyes, and realizing that I was looking at history, like listening to the first telephone conversation or watching Thomas Edison turn on his first electric light bulb.

Today, in 2008, the network we're building with Twitter is imho as historic as any of these things, we're all creating artifacts and connections that are even more fragile than the early web, because, unlike the web, it's 100 percent centralized. We all trust the owners of Twitter, but they're human, even with the best intent, we all are taking a risk that the network could disappear at any time. And unlike the Internet which has huge amounts of redundancy built-in, if there's any redundancy in Twitter, none of us outside the company know about it.

This is just plain unacceptable.

I'm on the case because I care so much about this medium, and if it were to disappear, I would feel partially responsible if I hadn't raised a huge red flag warning about this very unreliable architecture we're building on.

And, if you know where there's a backup of the original, please post a link here, in a comment.

Update #1: A new web service for Twitter clients.

Update #2: Marc Canter checks in.

Put this one on the calendar Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named chickenRoosting.gifWe had RSS Awareness Day, that was fun, so let's have another new holiday, next Thursday, May 8 is Chickens Come Home To Roost Day.

You have to fit the phrase into conversation at least once during the day. Example. "It's bad design to put all your eggs in one basket. One day your chickens will come home to roost." ;->

Sunset over the bay Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Taken last night on Indian Rock.

A picture named sunset.jpg

A view of the back of Indian Rock on Google Maps.

A new web service for Twitter clients Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named fresca.gifYesterday I wrote about a way to prepare to decentralize Twitter, in the event of a lengthy outage. The goal is to create no extra work or complexity for users. I think this is the responsible way for developers to help because it's 1. Not a good idea to build a centralized system around a for-profit company and 2. Users generally won't do anything extra to decentralize to prepare for an outage, but when one happens, they blame us (technologists) for not protecting them. Right or wrong, this is the way it is. So I'm working on a step-by-step bootstrap that, if enough developers go along, will have us reasonably protected against a prolonged Twitter outage. It's not to say that it's the only way to do it, but it seems to me that it's one way.

I said I might put up a web service to store user's RSS feeds on Amazon S3, and I'd pick up the hosting bill, to help the bootstrap. One developer took me up on the proposal, so I went ahead and implemented it. Here's how it works.

1. There's a new XML-RPC service at this address: xmlrpc://

2. The name of the procedure is twittergram.saveFeed.

3. It takes three params: The user's Twitter username and password, and the text of the feed. The password is only used to authenticate, it is not stored on the server.

4. It returns the URL of the feed as its stored on

5. Code (in UserTalk) that works.

local (server = "xmlrpc://")
local (username = "davewiner", password = user.twitter.prefs.password)
local (feedtext = tcp.httpreadurl (""))
local (url = [server].twittergram.saveFeed (username, password, feedtext))
webbrowser.openurl (url)

6. You can call the routine at most once a minute. This may be increased if it becomes a popular service. My server is limited to 70 calls per hour. Again something will have to be done if it becomes popular.


Last update: Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 8:02 PM Pacific.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, 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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My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

On This Day In: 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

May 2008
Apr   Jun

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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