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

Tweetree, day 3 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named tramp.jpgI'm still very impressed with the service and the team.

1. They've implemented the client side of the thumbnail code I inserted into my AFP pictures site, so now when I post one of those pictures to Twitter, they read the HTML source, find the link to the thumbnail and display that inline. Twitter only displays the URL. The user must click on the link to see the picture.

Here's the A-B comparison: Twitter vs Tweetree. One less step to find out whether it's a picture, movie or song, no delay, no context shift. To me, he difference is as striking as the difference between a command-line-based and graphic operating systems. Is it really simpler to make the user do work the computer could do for the user?

2. In the comments on my post here, and their blog post, came news of a more sophisticated dynamic web service specified by Flickr and supported by Hulu for including previews of their content in sites like Tweetree. This was very forward-looking of them, and we're going to try to make use of it. Everyone in this space already has glue for YouTube, but that's not good enough. There are many other video sites out there, including Scoble's -- who volunteered to go first with this, whose videos should be part of this new kind of blogging, but for whom a one-off just isn't practical.

3. Also in the comments, an observation that the HTML <link> element is flexible enough to do what we want, and there may be problems with including namespaced elements in HTML. I'm not convinced anything would break if we continued with the current approach, but so far the only ones implementing this format, as far as I know, are and, so it's still possible to change.

4. I've made a number of feature requests of the Tweetree team in the last 24 hours, and they've responded very well, even implementing some of the easy quick-hits. Most important, they now have an item-level permalink, so I can demonstrate the difference between a tweet as viewed through Twitter and through Tweetree. (See #1 above.)

5. My main focus is on the inline media features, not the threading. I think the service is being confused with tools whose purpose is to impose conversation on Twitter -- I don't think Twitter is about conversation, I see it as a publishing environment, like blogging. I'm going to encourage them to shift the emphasis to graphics, video, audio and other media types, and building out from there. There's lots of fertile ground there that isn't being well tended by their competitors, lots of opportunity, imho.

Tech News for Everyone? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named accordianGuy.gifMatt Cutts started a thread on FriendFeed about TechMeme. He's noticed something that almost everyone who is a regular clicker on TechMeme has noticed. There's really not much tech news there these days. It tends to find the fights between bloggers it favors and focuses on them to the exclusion of news a news junkie like myself would find more useful and interesting.

Whether it's an "algorithm" deciding or humans (who they now admit play a role) doesn't matter. Whether it was always intended to be this way doesn't matter. What matters to me is that there's news out there that I'm not getting. And as a self-described "media hacker" and news junkie, I want to do something about it.

1. And as a list-maker, I want to make a list. ;->

2. If you are unhappy with TechMeme and are looking for a way to express it, you can always opt-out by making a simple addition to your robots.txt file. If other people are willing to do this, I am willing to go along. It's one way to remove all doubt about whether your items will show up there, once you've made this change, they won't -- as long as the block remains in the robots.txt file. It would be a way to get people complaining about TM to put up or shut up. "If you're so unhappy, why don't you opt-out?"

A picture named airbus.gif3. Technically it would be easy to set up a news oriented "river" site that pushed stories out that are bona fide tech news. It would require a team of at most 100 bloggers to watch their aggregators a few hours a week and forward stories to the river. The hard part isn't the software, of course, it's first finding enough people to work, and then arguing with the people who say it's too "elite" -- somehow finding a balance seems like the hard thing to do. Having it be wide-open is a guarantee of it being spam-filled. Just read one of the many rants about tech PR people to get an idea of how quickly that approach would get out of control.

4. What else?


Last update: Monday, December 29, 2008 at 8:55 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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