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

How (slowly) we add metadata to tweets Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named elephant.jpgWhy make an exception for geographic data or which app created the tweet or which tweet it's in response to, or that it was retweeted by 7 people and who they are? Or who wrote it? And when?

These bits of data all live outside the 140 character "limit."

Every good idea people come up with for Twitter involves latching a new piece of metadata to a tweet. And in the middle you have a conflicted, slow and arbitrary (and opaque) decision-making process, controlled by one company.

Shouldn't the architecture of tweets be open to any kind of data that anyone thinks of?

If you make a Twitter client please, start pushing your users' updates to a RSS feed on a server outside of It's just a backup. That's the first easy small step down the path of free evolution. Once someone does that, there are more steps.

To get an idea of what's possible, I recommend reading A better design for Twitter retweets. Wouldn't it be great if we didn't have to wait for Twitter Corp to try this out?

Tumblr and Posterous Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named funnel.gifYesterday I got my LifeLiner tool working with Tumblr. Still some rough edges, but it's more or less doing the same stuff I have been doing with WordPress.

The goal is to have a single feed that captures all my online writing.

Moving toward what I call the Loosely-coupled 140 character message network.

Yesterday I also spoke with the lead developer at Posterous. We worked out an addition to their API that would make my software work with theirs. Got a note late last night night saying the feature was in. Today I'll test it, and if it works I hope to report that I have Posterous working with LifeLiner.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch has caught onto the idea I borrowed from Steve Rubel, almost. They noted that WordPress was growing while Twitter's growth has (perhaps temporarily) stalled.

The phenomenon is not, as some have said, the "death" of blogging (I hate that word!) -- rather huge growth in blogging at the low-end as NBBs discover its joys through Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps very few of them will want more, but even a few is a lot! Expect a huge surge in medium-range and high-end blogging in the coming years, with products like Tumblr and Posterous and WordPress perfectly poised to capture the growth.

Two things the Twitter guys should, imho, be thinking about:

1. How can they capture this growth as people move up-scale? Should they have a blogging network of their own? Or...

2. As people branch out they're not going to want to give up their networks on Twitter. An alternate to #1 is to fully open the Twitter architecture before the flow around it builds. The Internet routes around a funnel, which is largely what Twitter is, because it's too limiting for what users want to do. Maybe not today, but it's easy to see the day coming.

Historically it always seems to work this way. A company boots up a new activity, then people get familiar with it and want all the power and don't need the training wheels. An industry appears where there used to be a company.

More news.. The TypePad guys have also gotten in touch with news that they have a new simplified REST-style API coming for their new "micro" service. I was actually looking for it.

I totally get the sense that there's a critical mass developing. All these companies are competing fiercely, and they're sharp and focused and hungry. And attaining some success.

I got a note from David Karp at Tumblr saying that for the first time his site is in the top 100 of all sites on the Internet. That's pretty amazing and something to be proud of. Congrats!

One step at a time. This has been a pretty good week for getting things to work together.

I'll keep you posted as things progress.


Last update: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 4:22 PM Pacific.

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~About the Author~

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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