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

rssCloud news Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The cloud keeps right on rollin along! ;->

A picture named maocloseup.jpgI love this piece by Rex Hammock on rebooting his Twitter follow list. It's great for a bunch of reasons. 1. Rex is a smart user. 2. He was inspired in part by Jay Rosen, who said in our July 27 podcast that he treats his subscription list as a resource for others who want to find people to follow in his field of expertise. 3. Rex relied on the rssCloud tool released earlier this week.

Developers -- it's our job is to listen to smart users like Jay and Rex, and then give them the tools to create the revolution. We are at best enablers. I do mean best. When we see ourselves as the show, we miss the point. The users are what's happening.

I started a mail list for developers working on rssCloud. Moderated at first to keep out the trolling and the spamming.

A picture named maoWarhol.jpgNow, that's not to say that developers can't be users too. The best ones are, and man that is powerful because there can be really good communication betw the user and the developer if they're in the same body. A good example -- Matt Mullenweg had the idea to import his Twitter subscription list into Google Reader and it worked. However, all the subscriptions were imported at the top level, meaning he had a clean-up to do.

So I added a feature to the app, if you add "&folder=1" to the end of the URL it creates an extra level in the OPML, designed for import into Google Reader (and probably other RSS aggregators as well). Example:

1. Save the list to your desktop.

2. In Google Reader, click on Settings (in the upper-right corner of the window), then Import/Export.

3. Click the Browse button and choose the file you saved above.

4. Click the Upload button.

5. When you return to the Google Reader main page, you'll see a new top-level section for your Twitter subscriptions.

Now you can follow Twitter folk in Google Reader. Heh. ;->

Re Twitter's problems today. Centralized networks are especially vulnerable to DOS attacks. Loosely-coupled networks can do better. I wanted to post that to Twitter, but it's under attack. Not a joke, but something to continue to think about, planning for the future.

Update: How do you manage the global namespace in a loosely-coupled 140-character message network.

Fight for every inch of simplicity Permanent link to this item in the archive.

People ask why not compromise and make it slightly more complicated for the user to gain a convenience for the developer. I say NFW. I fight for every inch of simplicity. Because every time you compromise you lose people. Add it all up and winning often means you fought for every inch.

This speech by Al Pacino from Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday may be corny and simplistic, but it works. ;->

Another brick in the cloud Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Got a couple of interesting calls this morning on the development of rssCloud. The idea is picking up steam. I'm liking it. For a lot of these things this is the second or third time I'm implementing them. That gives a certain confidence that you know how to do it, and know what the pitfalls are, and what challenges are coming down the pike.

One question comes up a lot -- how do you manage the global namespace in a loosely-coupled 140-character message network.

Twitter handles it simply, they have a server at and when you give it a username it knows what data it applies to. It doesn't expose the internals. That's different from the Internet's domain name system, that turns a name like, or into numbered addresses like, and

So in a loosely-coupled world how will this work?

1. We want to map names like jason, guy and carol to URLs like etc, etc.

2. Probably the way it'll work is there will be a central server run by a foundation that does exactly this mapping and nothing more. It's an identity server. You sign up for a username and password and store one bit of data, the URL of your feed of 140-character messages.

3. Another possibility is to borrow the architecture of DNS, and make it a registrar problem. Sign up with Godaddy or Network Solutions or Gandi and create a domain. Now the challenge is to have that name point to a URL instead of a dotted ID. I'll leave that up to the DNS gurus to decide if it's possible or too egregious a hack.

4. Yet another possibility is to let handle the bootstrap. Conveniently they have space for a URL in each user's profile. If you've got an aggregator and the user says they want to subscribe to someone named pearl, look on Twitter for such a user, get the URL from their profile, read it, and if it's an RSS file with a cloud element, you're home. If not, it's an error.


Last update: Thursday, August 06, 2009 at 11:17 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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