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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution. launches today Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named blowfish.gifFirst, go read Marshall Kirkpatrick's awesome writeup of

I was part of the team that defined the product, the development was done at Betaworks in NY (where I am right now), the team led by John Borthwick, and a bunch of ex-AOLers. Betaworks is also an investor in Summize.

Here's the official blog post.

The idea of is that a lot more could be done with url-shorteners. I found I needed to develop my own for the NewsJunk project. They asked what it would take for me to use, I said: data. I need to know how many clicks each pointer got and where the clicks came from.

They gave me that, and thumbnails, permanent caching of the pages I'm pointing to (goodbye linkrot) and a lot of smart stuff going on behind the scenes that we're not ready to talk about yet. (Though we told Marshall and he explained.) Here's the info page for this post.

And, most important, an XML/JSON interface, so I can process all that data with my own programs. Here's the XML readout for the shortened link to this post.

I'm a minority shareholder in this project, so know that I have a considerable interest in its success. Of course I think it's a great service, and I hope you give it a try.

Over on ReadWriteWeb, Allen Stern asks if there's a way to make money, and there is. We'll hopefully be ready to talk about it in a couple of weeks.

Which way will Twitter go? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named sailboat.gifBiz Stone posted yesterday about the status of services connected to Twitter via their XMPP gateway. We knew about Summize, suspected that FriendFeed had a deal, and learned that there are two others.

We'd like to see Twitter connect their full output to anyone who wants it, but without directly saying so, Stone implies that there are technical reasons they can't.

I am not an expert on XMPP so I have to defer to others who are. They say it would be possible for Summize to allow anyone to subscribe to the flow they receive from Twitter, and this would be transparent to Twitter.

Gnip, a company whose founders I interviewed last week, asked for this arrangement, and even thought Summize was willing to provide them with the flow, Twitter said no.

This is a clear indication that it is an economic issue, not a technical one.

I wrote yesterday that changes things, offering a public utility model to compete with Twitter's company-owned model. It is built around the assumption that anyone can hook into the stream of any server, allowing a "federation" where being a citizen of one community means that you're a citizen of every community.

It seems then, long-term, there are three options for Twitter.

1. Open up their XMPP interface to all interested service providers, with the help of the community, so that it has no impact on the scaling of their servers. I'm almost 100 percent sure the developers would rally around such an idea, and help Twitter get this going.

2. Wait, and support the same federation protocol as, allowing Twitter users to participate in that community, on equal terms.

3. Build AOL-like barriers around their service, to force users to connect to Twitter users only through their software.

Obviously, from the way I've written it, you can tell that I think #3 is not really an option, not if they want to learn from the experience of instant messaging.

It seems to me that blogging, which came after IM, set the precedent for Twitter-like services, and while the compatibility between blogging services isn't perfect, it's pretty good. Because of RSS (and RDF and Atom), and the two blogging APIs (Blogger and Metaweblog) you have fairly good interop. I wish it had come out better, but it's still early for Twitter-like services, compatibility could still, theoretically, be perfect.

I hope that Ev, Jack and Biz remember this, and build a business we can all respect, not built on locking users in.


Last update: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 at 2:07 PM Pacific.

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.

July 2008
Jun   Aug

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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