Archive >  2009 >  February >  21 Previous / Next

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

Irrational Exuberance 1.0 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I posted one in a long series of screeds with a single-minded message to news organizations large and small: Open your newsrooms.

The first time I said this explicitly was over nine years ago in a rambling piece I wrote in Amsterdam after attending Davos for the first and last time. The question I was asked over and over was how would news organizations make money on the Internet. My opinion was widely sought then because the dotcom bubble had not yet burst, we were still in the age of Irrational Exuberance 1.0 (version 2 would come thanks to Craig Cline and Tim O'Reilly). Looking back it was so weird, the people pressing me hardest at the famous Schatzalp Lunch on the closing day were CEOs of major investment banking firms. They also wanted to take UserLand public, which I ignored as a ridiculous concept, but I smiled at the idea, everyone likes to be appreciated. I didn't offer them hugs, but I wish I had. ;->

A picture named picasso.jpgBack then (and still today) the only things I knew for sure were: 1. People's thirst for news and ideas was going up, not down and 2. The professional news organizations were not expanding to meet the demand, rather they were contracting. Therefore: 3. Something must rise to fill the gap. Beyond that, I could only guess how it would make money. Maybe they will make money by serving lattes to bloggers who work in their newsrooms. Maybe once there's a glut of conflicted points of view out there, the public will re-hire them to act as arbiters. I don't know. But as I said to Jay Rosen in an email yesterday, "Asking about business models now is way premature. First they have to restructure, learn how it works, and then we can figure out where the money comes from."

At least the Times is using the right word these days -- open -- but not in the way that matters. They're willing to give away what we, in tech, have been giving away for a decade. Obviously that's not a disrupter. They need to give away what they have -- authority. The trick is to find a way to give it away without destroying it. If they can do it, then we will have cracked the nut, scale, massively more news, deeper coverage, and with it -- shifted economics.

Playing with Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Yesterday I posted a twit saying I'd love to try out, and within minutes I had a code and logged on. I was curious because it had been showing up in my referrer log for, and when I clicked on one of the links it took me to a framed page with a comment at the top.

Viewed from the other side, Ginx is an alternate UI for Twitter, with some immediately obvious improvements. It understands links better than Twitter does, in addition to displaying the shortened version, it also displays the full URL, the one the short URL points to. In the screen shot, the red arrow points to the long version of a shortened URL, and displays the title of the page being pointed to. Both are nice touches, but not hard to do and at some point, Twitter will certainly do it.

Observation: Products like this have to do something that is either really hard, really niche, or against the philosophy of Twitter -- if they want to have a chance to co-exist.

One thing I would like them to do, which they apparently don't, is show a thumbnail of Flickr pictures when tweets point directly to something on Flickr. For MP3s, show a little MP3 player. These are ideas that are already implemented elsewhere, so it seems a requirement at this point.

When you click on a link from Ginx it takes you to a framed page where you can read the caption the linker added, and reply. Screen shot.

If you're a Ginx user -- what other things should I be looking at??


Last update: Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 6:26 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: 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998.

February 2009
Jan   Mar

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

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

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 1997-2009 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next