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

What a 140-char message looks like in RSS Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named mwom.gifHere's a screen shot to contemplate.

There are two 140-character messages. Each illustrates features of the new shipwreck I hope to sink, to create a new coral reef for Twitter-like systems to grow on and around.

The first three items in each message are fairly obvious:

<description> holds the 140-character text.

<pubDate> is the timestamp, when the message was created.

<guid> is the identifier for the message, so a reader can tell if they've seen it before.

This makes it possible for the messages to be edited after publication, a common feature requests from writers using Twitter.

After that come optional elements.

<category> works like tags in apps like Flickr or YouTube. You specify them in a dialog, blanks separate them, you can create tags with blanks by putting them inside quotes.

<link> is used to point to web pages. No need to shorten the URLs because they don't take up space in the 140 characters.

<enclosure> is how you attach media objects to messages. Again, no need to shorten the URLs. And since the clients know the media type, they can show a preview, or embed a player.

These all use well-understood elements of RSS 2.0. Nothing new needed to be invented.

Craigslist is progress Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named bonehead.gifI don't think I've ever written about Craigslist here.

Probably because I don't spend much time thinking about it, or worrying about it. But I know that some people do, for example Terry Gross, the host of NPR's Fresh Air. It comes up when people talk about the Internet destroying things that matter, like the classified ads in newspapers. At one point in an interview with Wired editor Chris Anderson she asks, in a bewildered way, what happened. She was saying it was a shame that Craigslist comes along and does what the newspapers were doing, for a fraction of the cost, employing a small fraction of the people who used to support the classified ads in newspapers.

I'm not surprised, and if you think about it, it's very predictable. It's called productivity, and it's what new technology is supposed to do. We used to employ 20 percent of the workforce in agriculture, now it's just 2 percent. That's because of technology. You may say it's bad, but there's also less hunger in the US now than there was then. And there probably are far more classified ads today, now that they're mostly free, than there were when they cost money.

It's productivity. It basically a good thing. And as long as we invest in progress it's inevitable.

Here's an MP3 of the segment quoted above.

Another test post Permanent link to this item in the archive.

It's amazing how much discussion these test posts get over on FriendFeed.

I have to do them because my app needs something new to ping about to see if the apps that are subscribed to this get the updates, in real-time of course, via RSS.


Last update: Sunday, July 19, 2009 at 5:15 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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