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

Yahoo embracing Twitter? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named theTruthCanBeAdjusted.jpgSilicon Alley Insider has an interesting piece about Yahoo's obsession with all-things-Twitter. And at the end they have an even more interesting strategy. "Yahoo should work to be a better place to use Twitter than"

This sounds a lot like the winning strategy Yahoo used to best CNN and MSNBC in web news in the 2004 timeframe. With My Yahoo they became the place to go to find out what's new on CNN and MSNBC, and of course on Yahoo.

This kind of embrace is a perfect prelude to competing with Twitter. First, develop a base of people who use Yahoo as their interface for Twitter, and then gradually add features that only work Yahoo-to-Yahoo.

Twitter could add those features too of course, but they might not, since they believe (incorrectly, imho) that the 140 character limit and URL-shortening are part of the magic of Twitter.

Yahoo, or anyone else who adopted this approach, could capture the users who would like to have a bit more space to express their ideas.

Courage and cowardice Permanent link to this item in the archive.

First courage...

Arthur Frommer, the famous travel writer, writes on his blog. "I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks and as a means of political protest." He's talking about the event where people openly carrying guns, one carrying an assault rifle, gathered outside an event where the President spoke.

Arizona can say that people have the right to openly carry guns of any kind at any time, and we can choose not to spend time or money in such a backward place. Perfectly appropriate way to react to an obvious attempt to scare people.

Now cowardice.

Last week I wrote about how Republican Senator Charles Grassley from Iowa, one of a very small number of Republicans who, imho, was honorable -- took the coward's route and threw grandma under the bus, doing his part to confuse the electorate on the issues in the health care decision we will soon make. Paul Krugman follows up, now Grassley has the gall to blame first President Obama and then one of his constituents for his cowardly deception. He's 75 years old. Is winning another election so important that he wants to be remembered as a dishonorable liar and coward?

In all the debates about health care reform, the real issue isn't getting talked about. It's about the people who don't have coverage. Some of the easiest cases are people who have the money to buy insurance, and would buy it, if the industry would sell it to them. But they only want to insure healthy people. So we're in the ridiculous situation here where the people who most need care can't get it. Someone should tell Grassley that some of those people are our grandmothers, and grandsons and granddaughters. Nieces and nephews and mothers and fathers. Don't go claiming the compassionate high ground, when you're selling us out. Shame. (And it could be that some of his own family are screwed by the insurance industry. If not, why not?)

Of course there are the cases where people pay premiums for years, then get sick, and the company denies coverage, disputing information on their application, or claiming a pre-existing condition, long after accepting the premiums. What recourse do we have? We can sue the companies, but that takes huge money, money they have and we don't. And what difference will it make if by the time the case is decided the patient is dead? The whole idea of pre-existing conditions is one that we need to get rid of, completely. Everyone who wants insurance must be able to buy it. Period. No exceptions.

Because these problems concern millions of Americans, everyone knows someone who has been put through the ringer by the insurance process. These stories about angry people (what are they angry about exactly and what does it have to do with health care) are drowning out the tragic stories of people who die because they aren't covered.

One more pointer.

The Democrats aren't blameless because they aren't selling health care reform.

George Lakoff explains how it must be done. Not with lengthy explanations of policy, but with stories that fit into the experiences of all of us, and connecting the values of universal health care with what it means to be an American.


Last update: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:39 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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