Home >  Archive >  2010 >  August >  8

Previous / Next

Christmas Tree
This site contributes to the scripting.com community river.
About the author

A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He 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 New York City.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.

"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.

10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.

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.

8/2/11: Who I Am.

Contact me

scriptingnews1mail at gmail dot com.




My sites
Recent stories

Recent links

My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.

My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

A picture named bikesmall.jpg

Here's a picture.


August 2010

Jul   Sep


A picture named warning.gif

FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

A picture named xmlMini.gif
Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Craigslist under fire in MSM Permalink.

A picture named hippieVan.gifI don't know what to make of all the publicity that's been appearing in the mainstream media about Craigslist.

I worry that these organizations have huge conflicts of interest when it comes to reporting news about CL, which has single-handedly undermined many of their business models. The articles I've read so far don't seem skeptical enough, and don't answer obvious questions that any intelligent reader would have.

Who paid for the ads in the Washington Post? Certainly not the underage prostitutes.

Then I saw this piece in the Guardian.

Guardian: "Craigslist is hub for child prostitution, allege trafficked women"

Oy. The first part is an assertion, the second part qualifies it. The story is the allegation, not that CL is a hub.

The story is flimsy. This, from a news org that doesn't have a conflict. The Guardian is not commercial. It's supported by an endowment.

I don't know what to make of it.

Forgiveness Permalink.

A picture named rose.gifChris Gulker tells a story of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa about forgiveness.

It's a big thing to forgive. It cleanses you of life's biggest burdens. It's how you move on without having to process every last unhappy detail of your life.

I wrote a piece in 1995 about forgiveness that, in the spirit of curation, is worth linking back to and quoting.

It goes like this...

What if instead of greeting people with 'Hi how are you?' we said 'Hi I forgive you.' It would get routine. It would be impossible to carry guilt or a grudge, all you'd have to do is shake hands and you're absolved and have given absolution. I'm OK and so are you.

How do you spell relief? 'Hi, I forgive you,' says Jeff. 'Thank you. And I forgive you,' says Judy. 'Thank you,' says Jeff.

Check it out. I think there's something here.

I forgive you! :-)


Bike trip #5 Permalink.

This time I used an iPhone app called EveryTrail to track my trip.

This time I got up to 94th St on the Greenway.

10.0 miles, 1.25 hours. Feel even better than yesterday. :-)

Lots of pictures.

Here's a fantastic map of NYC bike paths and greenways. I want a hard-copy of this map. Any clues?

I've been intrigued by Pier 66a. There's a really funky old boat parked there and what appears to be a restaurant or a club. Looks quite Amsterdamish. Wonder what it is. (It's a bar!)

Rebooting the NYT Book Review Permalink.

With my new Kindle, I've become a more avid reader.

I'm sure there are thousands of books on Amazon that I would love. But how to find them?

A picture named bookreview.gifIt seems some of the answers are locked up in the New York Times Book Review, but so far I've been too lazy and too cheap to buy a copy of it. This is the one product where the Times change the way it pays, and give it away like the ubiquitous AOL disks a couple of decades ago, and get a cut of the revenue from every book they sell. Book reviews should be free, because the books they sell make lots of money. Probably the same with the collection of NYT movie reviews.

The trick is to maintain the separation of editorial and publishing, as they do now with advertising. Except change the way you view the editorial product. It's not a way of drawing in eyeballs to ads, instead it's a way of selling books. And once the money is flowing, they could build the business by creating tools that improved the process, made it easier to find books you like.

I've always felt that news organizations have certain very valid conflicts of interest, conflicts we want them to have. Lke the difference between good cholesterol and bad. Think of it this way. What would be wrong for the San Jose Mercury News thinking that San Jose is a great place, and doing things to promote it? In the same way, we know the NYT thinks books are great because they publish a book review. They're not saying you should buy just any book -- you should buy the books they like, and not buy the ones they don't. The reviews have that bias already, so there's absolutely no problem basing a business model on it. (But in this model they'd get a cut off any book you buy through the review, even if they panned it.)

Now books aren't a huge business, but they got Amazon launched a few years ago, and today it's a big battleground that the Times already has a big position in. Their name is plastered right there on the cover of every book that makes its best-seller list.

A picture named lotsofhits.gif

If the Times got in the business of telling us where to live if we want really great Internet service, it seems they would be entitled to a percentage of the rent we pay on the housing we buy based on that recommendation. Now we're talking some very serious money. And the incentives would now be there for landlords to upgrade the Internet service in their buildings. It's a pretty "green" technology, so where's the harm? And doesn't the Times have a stake in New Yorkers getting better Internet access? Wouldn't that endear us to them? Make us want to give them more money? And how many new bloggers could they hire with that money? Done right, quite a few!

Eventually this is the way it's going to work, I'm absolutely sure of it. In programming we call this refactoring. You move code around, put this piece over there, that piece here, until eventually it's structured in a wholly different way. But still does the same thing.

In the future news organizations will still get us news, and they will still follow the same rules that let us trust them. But the way the money flows, that will be a whole different thing. Everyone knows that. I'm pretty sure this is how it will work.

Finally, Twitter suggestions make sense Permalink.

Following up on two recent posts.

Observations on Twitter's newest iteration on suggesting people to follow.

1. They're not just suggesting people with mega-inflated follower lists by the SUL mess. Some of the people they're suggesting have small lists, so what they're saying is inherently more interesting to me. People with a million followers tend to run ads, whether they're directly paid for them or not.

2. The seeds they are using appear not to be random. In other words, somehow they've figured out who I'm related to professionally and intellectually. I have tended to follow a fair number of people who are random, just based on them saying something interesting. Those people don't seem to be playing a role in who they choose to recommend.

3. Many of the people they suggest are people I am actually interested in following, though I'm not yet doing it, I already have an overloaded Twitter stream. As some have noted they recommend people I know who I have deliberately chosen not to follow. But they are easily removed from the list and once-removed it stops suggesting them.

4. Anticipating that more people are seeing my profile now in a semi-serious mode, I've made mine more factual and less snarky.

Some suggestions for the suggestions:

1. I'd love to see know who Twitter is recommending me to. And are they subscribing?

2. Even better I'd like to have a way to walk the network of recommendations to see who they're recommending to the people I follow, and the people they follow and on and on. Is there an API for this? (Admittedly I haven't looked at the Twitter API in quite a while. Not interested in firehoses, and the rest of the movement seems to be pointless make-work for developers. Something like a server software dead-man switch. Ugh.)

Hey it's been a while since Twitter did something interesting. This qualifies.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:41:03 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for Scripting News

Previous / Next