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

Sometimes 140 characters is enough Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Just figured something out.

People confuse passion with anger.

When I get excited I speak loudly and fast.

I'm not angry I'm happy! ;->

Podcasts on FriendsOfDave Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The three FriendsOfDave channels on Twitter, and FriendFeed now have a few podcast feeds. Several of them update on Sundays. Here's the full list of the sources we follow:

A picture named rss.gif.

I highly recommend this feed, there aren't too many updates and all the writers are interesting people who travel the world intellectually, creatively and physically (a few are in Davos this week in Switzerland).

Over 400 people are following on Twitter.

Also the Wired feed on Twitter is powered by F-O-D software.

My new mission Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ever had this experience?

You think you know someone, you have them typecast as this type or that, and boom out of nowhere they do or say something that makes you wonder.

What do you do then?

There's no right answer to this question, but I think the answer reveals something about the person who answers it. Are you curious, forgiving, flexible, creative, imaginative, sympathetic? Actually I guess there is a right answer. ;->

Yesterday I wrote on Twitter something pretty heavy, but I had just gotten off the phone with a very loving friend, and decided to confront something head-on that's been lurking in the shadows. I keep hoping it'll go away, but it never does.

There's this idea out there that I'm rude and angry and do things to deliberately hurt people. Nothing, I mean nothing, could be further from the truth.

This is what I mean by confronting it head-on.

In order to be a successful communicator, which I am -- you have to have a high degree of empathy. You have to be able to jump out of your own body and into the body of the reader, and imagine what it's like to read the words. The writer already knows what he or she is trying to communicate. The only way to judge writing, and thereby improve it, is to learn from people who are confused by it, who draw the wrong conclusion. You don't assume that they failed, quite the opposite, you try to learn how you failed. And then you incorporate that learning into your process.

The same is true for software design, for getting adoption for ideas like blogging and podcasting, and developer relations -- pushing for RSS, OPML, XML-RPC and SOAP. It's all about communication (at its most mundane) and about empathy. Without empathy, none of this could happen.

Now for their own reasons, there have always been people who try to stand in the way. You can't get something new done without that happening. This is a lesson I never wanted to learn, but I've had to. It started pretty early in my career, but not at the beginning. When I was a grad student, working on my first outliner, everyone at UW was very supportive. They didn't necessarily understand what I was doing (one prof introduced me as the guy who does great error messages) but they thought it was good that I was trying to create new stuff.

The roadblocks first showed up when I shipped my first commercial product. And the second, and so on. In the market, people are always trying to make you stumble. It's called competition. I don't do it much anymore, but I used to do it, a lot. I didn't care if my competitors didn't like me. That's part of the whole thing.

But at UserLand I stopped being so competitive, I think that's part of the problem UserLand had, and why it failed. I was more into the open source philosophy like Rodney King, why can't we all just get along. People thought I was a hypocrite, even though I wasn't competing, I guess people thought I was. Maybe that's the only model they have for human behavior.

So yes, I am one of the most hated people on the Internet, but I honestly don't believe what people hate is me, I believe they hate what people have told them to hate.

And I'm beginning a campaign, a relentless one, to reverse that.

How Twitter makes you a better writer Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Twitter forces you to write concisely, and that makes for crisper, more direct, easier to read copy.

I was reminded of this when reading a piece written by Dan Santow at Edelman PR, who offers a list of phrases that can be replaced by single words without loss of meaning.

I realized you never see these phrases in Twitter-talk because there's no space for flowery prose with only 140 characters to express an idea.

Thanks to Steve Rubel for the pointer.


Last update: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 3:00 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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