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

Older people get to me too Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named timeLovesAHero.jpgJust read a wonderful post by Jackie Danicki, about how she chokes up in the presence of older people. Me too. I have tears streaming down my face as I read her piece, as I write this one, as I experience the memories it evokes for me.

A few weeks ago I was walking in my neighborhood in Berkeley, a hot day, and I came up behind an old man, all bundled up, walking slowly. The sidewalk was narrow, so I walked around him, and as I passed I said, gently "Excuse me." He jumped, startled and said reflexively -- "I'm sorry." In an instant I felt protective and sorry I hadn't found some other way to handle this. I did the best I could, and said something like Oh no, smiled and continued my pace.

He was skinny and fragile, exposed and vulnerable, and reminded me of my father, who will turn 80 this month. I felt protective for this man as I would if he were my own family. And was instantly reminded of something my father says often, that's worth remembering: Growing old isn't for sissies.

No doubt. But we, whose bodies still work, more or less, as they were designed to, can easily overlook that in every old body is a person who remembers well what it was like to be young. We are at a disadvantage, we don't know their experience, we get little inklings of it when we get sick, but we expect we'll get better. At some point, you no longer have that to depend on, and the quality of life must change.

Why do old people reach my heart this way? It could be their courage, or the inner strength it takes to compensate for the weak body. I don't know why they get to me this way. But they do.

Greetings to Chinese bloggers! Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Twenty years ago today -- the Tiananmen Square Uprising in China. There were no blogs that day, but things have certainly changed.

A picture named tankman.jpg

Now so many blogs and social media sites are blocked in China.

Here's a tool that helps you determine if your site is blocked.

If you discover anything interesting, feel free to report in a comment here.

Suggested User List, reloaded Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named reloaded.gifWhen the Guardian ran a piece over the weekend on the Suggested User List, my interest, and others' re-stoked. Then I got an idea from Sarah Delman, pondered it, wrote some code, published the results. Now we know more about the source of the SUL. More back and forth, some of it heated, then it comes together for me -- we lack leadership. I can't provide it, I'm not trying to. I'm trying to be an provocateur, a role I often cast myself into.

As I've said before, I believe Twitter is a chapter in a story that's been playing out for a long time. It's both the best news system and the worst. No pictures, no video, limited metadata, and it has an increasingly confining 140-character limit. But it connects people like no system before has. It's both the backroom for journalism and the delivery mechanism. A lot of power there. But imho it's not the last word.

The remaining news organizations will move onto twitter-like systems over the next few years. The news system of the future is electronic and real-time. The stakes are huge now. If I were in their shoes, I'd be thinking very hard about how I want these systems to evolve as environments for journalism. I'd stop worrying about squeezing Google for a handout and start thinking about how to grab some of the PE-ratio for myself.

But the lions of the news industry lack imagination and chutzpah. Where are the strategists, the bizdev people of the news industry? They're plotting paywalls, when they should be creating and linking new conduits with graphics, sound and movies.

The business model? The same one that served Google in its early years. People are so excited about what you're doing that they pour cash all over you.

The SUL is a small piece of the big picture, but it's an important one. For all the reasons I've said. No need to repeat it. Now I'm going to let everyone else worry about this for a while. A picture named sidesmiley.gif


Last update: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 at 10:52 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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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