Archive >  2009 >  September >  3 Previous / Next

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

River2 is ready Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named rivernews.jpgOr as ready as it'll ever be. :-)

It's an aggregator that runs on your desktop and supports reading lists, rssCloud and is a podcatcher.

I'm sure there are bugs and know there are still features to come, but I and others are using it all the time to keep up with what's new in RSS feedland, and to download podcasts, and as more cloud-aware apps come online, we're going to need software that can subscribe to the. That's what River2 is for.

If you have questions or comments, post them here or on the howto linked above.

Here we go and good luck to all of us!

PS: Now I've hit my first milestone due before the rssCloud meetup next Wednesday. I have a few others to cross off the list. Wish me luck!

Hire execs who love the product Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've been in and around the tech industry since 1976, which makes me a 33-year veteran. The industry loops every 5 to 10 years so I've seen something like five or six iterations. There are some mistakes they make over and over. Wish I could tap them on the shoulder and say Don't Do It but it wouldn't make a diff. Every crop of entrepreneurs thinks it's different. They never are, but they have to learn that for themselves.

One thing they do over and over is hire execs who don't love the product.

It's as if the guy who ran professional football didn't like football. Or if Valentino Rossi didn't love MotoGP. Or the CEO of a vintner didn't like wine. Or if Alice Waters who runs Chez Panisse and is Berkeley's most famous entrepreneur didn't have a passion for great food.

A picture named rossihelmet.jpgYet Twitter just hired a COO who has one of the most out-of-whack follows-to-follower ratios out there. He follows 40 and is followed by 650,263. This is probably why his RSS company, Feedburner, made it to be acquired by Google and then crashed. It wasn't built on a foundation of love for RSS (I can attest to that) and while the people of Twitter use it and they have very passionate users, the execs at Twitter, at best, dabble. And now we know they hire dabblers. (An instance of A people hiring A people and B people hiring C people?)

When your ratio of follows to followers is 0.00006151 it's inevitable that you see Twitter as a stage like the one Barack Obama stood on in Berlin or in Denver. "I'm up here," he must think, and "they're out there." His ability to understand how people see his product is limited because his view is of users as little dots, and he and his 40 insider friends loom large.

I've sat in board meetings listening to other board members explain our users, having never met one, having never used the product. Needless to say their advice is pretty general and usually wasn't very useful.

I've had it explained to me that cancer doctors don't have to get cancer to be good doctors, and of course I agree. But using a product like Twitter is supposed to be a joy. It's supposed to be an expansive thing, not a life-threatening one. And I'd add, every company that viewed its own products with fear fails. If you make a product that is not a disease and you treat it like one, people will find some other place to congregate.

Why I love my Sony Walkman Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named walkman.jpgMy mother has a friend who was raving about the new Sony Walkman, so I bought two, one for Mom and one for me. They're not expensive, and I've never been happy with the way my iPod worked for podcasts, which is 90 percent of the use I have for them.

Do I like it? I do! I've been using the Walkman ever since, and the iPod has become a hard disk for my BMW (which has an iPod interface).

I like the Walkman because it works way better, for me, than the iPod does.

The Walkman connects easily to both Mac and Windows without any weird dialogs that warn me that it's about to erase everything on the device. It presents as a disk drive. I copy files into the Podcasts sub-folder of the Music folder. When I'm out, I click the top-level Music icon then choose Folder, and navigate to the file I want and it plays. Click Next to go to the next one.

Back at home, next time I load it up, I just empty out the folder and copy in a new batch of podcasts. Or if I'm on the road with my Windows XP netbook, or traveling with my 13 inch MacBook Pro. Or in my office using my iMac. Or at a friend's house. You get the idea. It's totally not fussy about what you connect it to, and it never gets an idea that it knows better what should be on your device than you do.

My iPod ends up with all kinds of junk on it because even though I've been using one for seven years and I still don't understand how it works. I understood the Sony the first time I used it and it's never thrown a curveball at me. A few weeks ago I had to post here to find out how to get my iPhone out of shuffle mode.

Apple really does do nice user interfaces, but I think they either don't understand users, or don't like or trust them. The Walkman has lots of nice features, but it's nicest feature is that it's really simple.

BTW, last time I was in NY I saw that my mom had taken it with her on a walk and asked if she knew how to put new stuff on it, and she said yes. I consider this a major victory for tech! ;->

Anyway it might not be for you. But a lot of people don't know that Sony now makes a good MP3 player. Hopefully I've done my part to help correct that.

RSS in your TV set Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named rss.jpgI am up late writing docs for the next River2 release and just got an email from Amazon about a new Samsung TV that has a built-in RSS reader. Here's a video report from CES 2008 where the TV was announced.

RSS is part of the fabric of the Internet which is now a feature of TVs. It's so cooool. ;->


Last update: Thursday, September 03, 2009 at 4:07 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.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

My Wish List

On This Day In: 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

September 2009
Aug   Oct

Click here to see a list of recently updated OPML weblogs.

Click here to read blogs commenting on today's Scripting News.

Morning Coffee Notes, an occasional podcast by Scripting News Editor, Dave Winer.

Click here to see an XML representation of the content of this weblog.

Click here to view the OPML version of Scripting News.

© Copyright 1997-2009 Dave Winer.

Previous / Next