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

Anil Dash, tear down that wall Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named crusty.gifAnill Dash ran a piece this evening about Twitter's Suggested User List.

He gets that he didn't do anything to earn his placement on the list. He talks about washed-up actors who are on the list who use their follower numbers as supposed evidence that they still have pull with the people. SUL-celebs sell tweets for thousands a pop. A kid sold his SUL-enhanced feed to Microsoft. All this stuff makes you nauseous, and presumably it makes Anil ill too -- so why is he still on the list?

Further, he says that Twitter will kill the list any day now, but doesn't address the fact that people who were on the list will be walking around with hundreds of thousands of unearned followers.

Dan Bricklin says Anil is being a mensch, but that's ridiculous. You want to see a mensch. Let me show you a mensch.

Om Malik is on the list so he has 1.2 million followers. I happened to notice this the other day while conversing with him on Twitter. I said what I felt, I was pissed at him for feeding at the trough that way. After a series of tweets I concluded that position on the SUL and links from TechMeme were both ways to keep people in line. Om, whose career could suffer for saying he agrees, said he agrees. In public, for everyone to see. That's a mensch.

Anil Dash who is trying to build a career bridging the tech world and government cannot afford to appear to be in the pocket of a single tech company, yet that is exactly how it appears. And further, I know from talking with him that he understands this. Yet he remains on the list, and is keeping the account that got inflated.

The only thing he can do that has any integrity, and allows his career to remain on track, is to not only ask to be removed from the list, but delete the account that got the benefit of being on the list and start over. There are no shortcuts possible here, imho.

Marrying RSS and Twitter Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named shirt.jpgThis may be one of those moments like the time when the guy put peanut butter on chocolate and came up with Reese's peanut butter cups.

Maybe a kind of breakthrough.

So here's the peanut butter -- a screen shot of the River2 aggregator. You can see at the top there's a big logo doing nothing, and below it is a list of new articles. This is what I call the River of News, it's what Twitter does so nicely. Or more precisely it's one-half of what Twitter does so nicely.

And here's the chocolate -- a screen shot of Twitter.

Where I have my logo it has a small text box for entering a 140-character message.

And here's the new idea.

What if you took the text box from Twitter and put it at the top of the River?

Where would the text go? Ahhh that's easy -- a Realtime RSS feed. And from there it could flow into other RSS rivers and of course into Twitter or Facebook or anything else that likes streams of 140-character messages.

I'm going to do this in the next couple of days and see how it feels. ;->


Last update: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 8:52 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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