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

FriendFeed gets rooms, so does Scripting News Permanent link to this item in the archive.

An interesting but mysterious new feature appeared today in FriendFeed, rooms, and of course we have to try it out.

I created a room for Scripting News. What shall we use it for? I have no clue. Help me figure it out.

Something just jumped out at me. Is this the Digg-in-a-Box that I was asking for many months ago?

These guys always confuse me, in a fun way. ;->

Twitter begins to communicate with their users Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named elephant.gifToday Twitter began to communicate with their users, which they are to be commended and congratulated for. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. There's a long road ahead, and everyone's going to learn a lot as we travel down it, and no doubt it's awkard at first. Now we can look back at the first step and think how much we accomplished, and look forward to the second.

There were two posts, one from Jack Dorsey, the CEO and another from Alex Payne, an engineer at "Twitter HQ." Payne, by pointing to a piece that dismisses decentralization and says we don't understand Twitter, thereby shows (sorry to say) that he doesn't understand it. It's like the elephant being described by a million blind men. Each of us sees something different and thinks, incorrectly, that we have the whole picture. In fact, none of us do.

It's easy to prove that Twitter is different for everyone. I'll start with myself. I have 9644 followers on my main account, and I follow 663 people and have updated 7870 times.

I can't keep up all the people I follow. Back when I only followed 100 people, Twitter made it possible for me to learn about the people I followed. It was remarkable. Today I never make it through all 10 pages of history, the rope slips through my hands. This wonderful feature of Twitter, that I reveled in last year this time, is now lost to me. (And some people follow over 20,000. Can you imagine they have any idea what all those people are doing?)

So even with just that one account I already am three or four of the blind men who think they grok Twitter, and each of them sees something different. I could write a 5000 word article for each of them, the experiences would be very different.

A picture named magoo.gifDennis Metzcher lives in New Jersey and describes himself as an "iPhone-toting super-hero." He's updated 216 times, has 36 followers and follows 48. His posts are thoughtful, and he seems to communicate with lots of A-twisters but also quite a few people with a relatively small number of followers. When he goes to Twitter it probably doesn't look like a firehose. I'm sure he sees it very differently from me.

Alex Payne -- the Twitter engineer -- follows 319 people, has 3181 followers and has updated 3430 times.

Cliff Gerrish is a website builder in SF, follows 350 people, is followed by 309 people and has updated 1650 times.

I can't explain how each of these people sees Twitter, but I'm absolutely sure we all see it differently.

To me, Twitter is a publishing medium. I wish it weren't so, I wish I had the bandwidth to really follow 663 people. I have no idea how to thin out the ranks of the people I'm following, and I don't plan to. But to the extent that the company is having trouble scaling it for me, I think they should stop worrying about it. Further, and this is important, most of the things I post are not especially time-sensitive. If it took 1/2 hour to deliver each one to each of my 9644 followers it wouldn't be the end of the world. However, a week ago I had a news scoop, the first report of an earthquake in Falls Church, VA. That was an example of a high priority message.

I have a requirement that many other Twitter users might not have -- I have to stay on the air when Twitter goes down, and this, if you think about it, makes decentralization not an option but an absolute necessity, no matter what the architecture guys may think. I must have a Plan B, because I intend to build a business that depends on this service, or something like it. I want to start that business in the next few weeks (actually I started it quite some time ago, but it's about to evolve).

It won't do any good for any of us blind men to dismiss anyone else's point of view. That's what I would like to get through to the people who run Twitter, who work there, their investors. To me, nothing is so frustrating as people who think they understand better than others when they don't. Please, don't fall into that trap. Remember we're all blind men, you too -- keep in touch with your humility.

I look forward to a long, interesting conversation about this stuff! ;->

PS: A discussion has started on FriendFeed under a post by Fred Wilson.


Last update: Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 8:01 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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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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