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

Scoble, your blog still loves you Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Just got off the phone with Robert Scoble.

I've known him for a long time. He's not so much a Natural Born Blogger as he is a Natural Born Evangelist.

For the last couple of years he's committed himself to the success of FriendFeed. It's really been awful to see how much he promotes it. All the time, as I watch, I'm thinking -- "Those guys are going to screw him."

Today it happened.

All the effort he poured into FriendFeed is for naught. They sold to Facebook. In the announcements, no mention of the users, and certainly no mention of Scoble. Now would have been the time for them to tip him, throw him a few thousand. Or if not money, how about at least a hat-tip -- an acknowledgement of the help they received from users, esp Robert Scoble. Nothing. They didn't even give him the first interview.

A picture named love.jpgScoble it's time to use the web again to store our ideas, and instead of relying on Silicon Valley companies to link our stuff together, let's just use the Internet. That's what it was designed for.

And I told him I'd write a blog post about him, and that he'd like the title.

Our blogs are still there, as is the web and the Internet. They never went away just because we foolishly flirted with something fast and easy and seductive. Our blogs never went away, they're still ready to share our ideas and connect us with others.

We'll go back to basics now, take what we learned from this round of innovation, and build it for real this time.

Enough with shortened URLs Permanent link to this item in the archive.


With every shortened URL the foundation of the 140-character-sphere gets shakier. Now we know that when Twitter switched from tinyurl as the default shortener to, they cut off the path to growth for the other entrepreneurs exploring this space.

Now, according to Mashable, wants to absorb They would make URLs work for the forseeable future. That is, until runs out of cash and has to shut down because it doesn't have a way to support their service.


URL-shorteners are at best a temporary workaround for a limit Twitter shouldn't have.

It's time for Twitter to add a simple feature to their platform that allows users to attach a URL of arbitrary length to a message, without using up any of the 140 characters. That would be the rational way to get out in front of this mess -- to remove the reason it exists.

Even if they can't implement it immediately, just announcing that they will would restructure the "market" and allow us a way forward that has a teeny bit of safety. We will still have the mess of the last three years to clean up. No way to avoid that.

If Twitter won't do that, then it's time that users insist that URL-shorteners at least provide the safety that Feedburner provided, by allowing users to point a subdomain at their server, and use that as the address for their shortened URLs. If had that feature, I would now be able to take over hosting of my own URLs and walk away from the mess. However because they didn't have that feature, I, and every other user, is stuck. Locked in, with no way out.

Twitter created this mess, now it's time for Twitter to become a leader in its own community and get involved in cleaning it up.

Two choices: 1. Obviate shortened URLs, or 2. Require portability.


Last update: Monday, August 10, 2009 at 6:19 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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