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

Twitter heading off editorial cliff? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Great piece yesterday in CNET about how Twitter is no longer young. Paradoxically true and a must-read.

Jesse Stay has an interesting piece on how Twitter is going after people who game Twitter to get more followers. It's a good piece, well worth reading carefully and understanding. And I support what Twitter is doing. But...

The problem is that Twitter is the worst offender here with the Suggested User List.

A picture named graph.gifI'm watching a NY Times columnist, who was added to the list last week, leapfrog his competition. It changed the way he posts. (He openly says that, he may have been joking, but you should watch those jokes, they usually reveal some truth, that's why they're funny.)

Twitter is starting to make a difference in the world of professional poker. They put one of the competitors on the SUL, now he has 329K followers.

NY Times: "A writer with an interest in comic books can become the expert on comic books."

How long before the professional gamers privately start paying people who are on the SUL to point to them? (My guess is that it has already happened.)

What are the editorial guidelines for people on the SUL?

And why would Twitter want to enter this space? And are they ready to take an editorial interest in the people who use their system. This is why lines exist in journalism, to keep the publishing interests from having to worry about the editorial interests. Inevitably, the lines get crossed, you can't avoid it, but you try to avoid it. Twitter made a huge mistake by crossing the line with such gusto. Now you can see them approaching the contradiction. They want to stop users from doing what they themselves do so much better. Can't make that work very much longer.

Net-net: They will eventually have to publish guidelines for SUL members. Watch for a rebellion from those now very powerful people, who will neither want to give up their power nor submit to guidelines from Twitter.

This subject came up earlier this week when @anamariecox admitted that the White House treats her with new deference because she has 650K followers. A couple of months ago she had 3K. So the change is significiant and clearly due to the gift from Twitter.

Update: Getting real, we know they already have implicit editorial guidelines for the SUL. It's why people like me, who are unpredictable, will never get on the list. They don't know what I'm going to say, and they might not want to stand behind me. That's the problem, because they don't know what anyone else will say either. Sooner or later someone who they propelled to the top will do something bad. It has to happen. And that's why they needed a really strong separation between the platform and the content, and the problem, for them and the platform, is they have no separation at all. A major oil spill is inevitable.

Update: ZachsMind says "you're just hurting my head." We used to call those "mind bombs."

8/26/00: "What's a Mind Bomb? An idea that's so strange or powerful that it explodes in your mind. And that's a good thing!"

Question to professional reporters: If your publication is on the SUL, or were on the SUL, would you submit to editorial guidelines from Twitter, Inc?

CSS in a River of News, progress report Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've done some more work on the CSS-in-Rivers project.

I'm sticking with the plan. I'm going to have a new tool that makes it really easy to configure the CSS in realtime, without having to change any code, so people can play with a real aggregator and hack up its appearance.

You can see the result in the public page, which is updated every 10 minutes.

I expect to release the tool before the end of the weekend, Murphy-willing.

PS: Yes I know it's ugly! By design. To make you want to change it. ;->

Okay I'm trying iPhone tethering Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Everyone who's tried it says it works, so I'm giving it a go.

Here's how to do it.

0. I have an iPhone 3G, not a 3GS.

1. Visit this site in the browser on the iPhone. Follow the instructions to install the configuration file it needs for the country you're in. (I'm in the US, of course.) Took me about a minute. Most of that was reading the various instructions, warnings and disclaimers.

2. Then I followed the instructions from Apple to turn it on in the iPhone user interface. Easily done.

3. Now I'm going to see if I can pair the iPhone with my netbook using Bluetooth. Back in a few minutes.

4. As with everything on Windows it takes a bit of fussing, doing things a few times, but it works.

5. Now I have a $400 toy that I no longer have any use for? :-(

Bad Hair Day #1 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The first episode of the new podcast ready to go!

And it wouldn't be Bad Hair Day if there wasn't a major glitch in the show, right at the beginning.

Might as well get off to a Bad start! ;->

Yes, as they used to say It's even worse than it appears.

But it was a good show, some might even think it had moments of greatness.

Here's the RSS podcast feed.

If you're going to subscribe in iTunes, choose Subscribe to Podcast in the Advanced menu and enter the RSS link above. That's it!

Read the show notes here.

Wishing you bad hair, today and in the future!


Last update: Friday, June 19, 2009 at 5:50 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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