Archive >  2008 >  August >  14 Previous / Next

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

FlickrFan is converted Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The Summer of OPML is rolling right along.

The next app to be converted is FlickrFan.


Which bank has the best online UI? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I had a huge problem last night with the online banking website at BofA. I needed to adjust a repeating monthly payment, the price had gone up, and I was getting nasty letters from the vendor. I couldn't figure out how to do it. This morning I chatted with one of their online support people, who told me I had to call the 800 number, and amazingly it took less than two hours to find the answer, which I never would have found just by navigating the site.

I did finally solve the problem but now I wonder if there are any great simple UIs for online banking out there? It would cost me nothing to switch. So I'm wondering if any of the readers of this blog have good experiences with their online banking service? I've heard good things about Citibank, Wells Fargo. Are there any that are just plain great??

Great comments here and on FriendFeed.

A brilliant idea at Harvard Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named underarmGirl.jpgBefore I started blogging, I held many if not most of my good ideas in reserve because I thought some day I might do them as products. But as you get older, you realize that most of the things you think of are going to be outside your grasp, you're not going to get to do them, so rather than hold on to them, it's better to let them go. Maybe someone else will do them, and at least you'll have the pleasure of using the product before your time is up. That was one of the ideas that led me to write the first set of DaveNets, I was just dumping all the ideas I had pent up that I was never going to do.


When I was at Harvard, I came across a project called H2O, which was an abbreviation for Harvard 2.0, kind of like Web 2.0. Cute, eh? I believe it was the brain child of Charlie Nesson and Jonathan Zittrain.

At first glance it appears to be a discussion group, a way for a community of people to discuss something, but it's actually twice as clever, and represents a fundamentally different idea. Something new in discussion groups, you say? Cannot be. Everything's been done, everything's been thought of. Well unless I'm mistaken this is a new idea. It was for me.

Let's say you're in an online discussion. Someone asks a divisive question. Quickly the discussion devolves into personal attacks. Sometimes it's amazing how quickly it gets personal. Of course there's nothing interesting about that, the people don't know each other personally, so the attacks aren't even on target. And you get no new perspectives on the issues, no new information that might change your mind or at least help you see the other side of the argument.

What if, instead, you couldn't see what other people said for 24 hours. Then the first responses are unveiled, and you can write a rebuttal, but once again, they stay hidden for 24 hours. You can write as much as you like, or as little, or edit or refine your position, but only you see it. It works, you learn a lot more this way.

And then you can tweak it from there. What if during the 24 hour period only one other person, chosen by the moderator, can see what you wrote? The moderator can be devilish or compassionate, he or she can choose someone who will agree with you, or show you the folly of your ways, or show you a perspective you've never considered. That's where people like Charlie and Jonathan really shine, they are always thinking of ways to bend your mind. Why not make an online platform that enables them, not just the idiotic pointless banter that most online discussions devolve into.

Anway that's the new idea for the day.

PS: Pretty sure H2O is open source.

PPS: The discussion software is called Rotisserie, the project is H2O.

The EFF position on Wikipedia Permanent link to this item in the archive.

EFF: Wikipedia Wins Dismissal of Baseless Defamation Claims.

While it may have been a good defense in court, their position is nonsense. Wales et al promote Wikipedia as an authoritative encyclopedia. Wikipedia likes certain people, and dislikes others -- it tends to like people who say it's wonderful and utopian, and dislikes people who have mixed opinions about it. I believe it's used as a way to attack people they don't like. I bet the profiles of everyone who has ever given Jimmy Wales good press are positive. Show me one where they are trashed. (I was thinking about this watching Wales on a WNYC radio show the other day, I bet the interviewer, Brian Lehrer, has a great profile on Wikipedia, otherwise he might have asked some non-softball questions.)

I'm reminded of this when I see the glowing bios for Nesson and Zittrain and am reminded of the way they treat me. Just in their choice of pictures you can see their opinion.

So the court may have been convinced, but I am not. Let Wales disconnect, stop promoting the thing so much, let the Wikimedia Foundation fade into the background, and then let's start talking about how to make this thing really neutral and independent of these people's interests.


Last update: Thursday, August 14, 2008 at 6:07 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.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

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

August 2008
Jul   Sep

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."

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2008 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next