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

Podcast with Chris Brogan Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I did a quick 1/2 hour podcast with Chris Brogan this afternoon about "100 Twitters" -- a topic we have both recently posted on.

Confusing the cause with the effect Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named scoop.gifI guess I should be flattered that some professional reporters are mistaking my writing for the cause of the problems in their industry, when my work is a reaction to what's happening.

They could also react to the changes, instead of waiting for the wave to roll over them. Don't brace yourself against the wave, that doesn't work -- it's better to be limber and be ready to surf.

I once described the change as jumping out of a plane with no parachute. The chances of a safe landing are virtually nil. The challenge is to prolong the ride, and to have fun while rushing to your demise.

I once wrote: "Fifteen years ago I was unhappy with the way journalism was practiced in the tech industry, so I took matters into my own hands. And then dozens of people did, and then hundreds followed, and now we get much better information about tech. It will happen everywhere, in politics, education, the military, health, science, you name it. The sources will fill in where we used to need journalists."

This didn't in any way put even one reporter out of a job.

The reporters were going to lose their jobs anyway, as people's attention moved to the net and away from papers, and the news organizations braced instead of surfed.

A picture named obamaGoHome.jpgThere was an opening, and some of us rushed in to fill it. It meant our ride was more fun and rewarding, but it didn't change the outcome, for us or anyone else.

Same thing happened in my industry, software development, when I was in the middle of my career. Most of the stuff people use now is either free or very inexpensive. I used to earn my living by selling packaged software that costs between $99 and $249 per copy. It was all less capable than the software I give away these days. I give it away because I am a software writer. I can't not write software and feel fulfilled. But I share the frustration of today's writers. I've lived it.

Even so reporters look for scapegoats -- and increasingly I am one of those people. So be it. I started claiming the title of Most Hated Person on the Internets, and life got a lot easier. If hate makes you happy -- enjoy. ;->

I've also put free ideas out there that might help with the aggregation or curation of news, which are now super-hot topics, but areas I have been active in for about 12 years. Maybe if instead of villifying me, you did more listening, we could fly together instead of falling faster? Just a thought.

Links on Twitter, day 3 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named loco.gifWhen Scripting News started twelve years ago, it was a link blog, the only kind of blog that existed at the time, and of course they weren't even called blogs, a term that wouldn't come along for another three years. Over time I started including "posts" -- longer essays, following the form of other bloggers. Just before I started using Twitter, early in 2007, I made a conscious decision to stop linking from Scripting News, and to make every bit of content here a post. It wasn't doing any good to be the only link blog. When I started using Twitter it provided an outlet for links, I pushed the links I'd normally post on Scripting News.

I tried a lot of experiments with links, but they all came up short. Either I didn't have enough people following to create critical mass, or the attention span of Twitter users is too ephemeral to make it worth the effort. You could see it in the read counts of things I point to on Twitter. In the first few minutes there would be hundreds of hits, then the traffic would fall off immediately. For most people Twitter scrolls fast, it seems a waste to put much thought into linking, because it doesn't seem to generate much thought.

Now I think I've hit the sweet spot, for a variety of reasons:

1. No special feed, the links go out to my main Twitter account, so the most people see them. This means I have to be the only editor. The feed has my name on it, so the links come from me.

2. I have a very sweet editorial tool. It's so simple and effortless I actually look forward to pushing a link cause it's so much fun. ;->

3. The links are not ephemeral, they accumulate on a page of the 25 most recent links ranked by the number of clicks, thanks to the facility of the API. I find myself going back to that page as part of my rotation, along with GMail, Twitter and FF -- I want to see how each topic is viewed by the people following the flow. There are real differences. A link to me singing Green Acres with Amy Bellinger didn't rank so high (shame cause it's funny) but a Lifehacker article about running Ubuntu in a Window on Windows ranked very high with over 1000 clicks over a long period. Clearly this link was passed around. I think more people are going to tune into this list, esp as I branch out and do it for other prominent Twitter linkers, and it gets included in something bigger I'm playing with. ;->


Last update: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 2:51 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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