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Scripting News -- It's Even Worse Than It Appears.

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.

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Here's a picture.


December 2011

Nov   Jan


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

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

If I were the NYT CEO Permalink.

Mathew Ingram at Gigaom wrote a piece about the five things he'd do if he were the new CEO of the NY TImes. I said something about this in passing in a piece earlier today that I'd like to expand on.

I think the Times has to do what all news organizations have always had to do. Whatever their community demands of them. If the community isn't speaking loudly enough, they have to figure out how to rig amplifiers. Or play a game of 20 Questions. Or do a better job of putting themselves in the other guy's shoes. Their constituents' shoes.

When I lived in Silicon Valley, I used the Mercury News as my example. They have to try to be balanced in all areas -- except one. They are allowed to be boosters based on geography. In other words, the Mercury News has a bias in favor of San Jose. They are allowed to look at things in a San Jose-centered way. In the same way the Times can be a partial to NYC.

A picture named iLoveNY.gifIt's useful to think this way because it leads you to new missions when the assumptions you've built on are no longer valid. News is no longer distributed on paper. So the Times doesn't have to try to make a better paper-distributed product. What they have to do is make the Internet-distributed product work better, be more useful, better at doing what the people of the city want. And in NYC, everyone knows it, but until recently hasn't really started talking about it, that the state of the Internet is abysmal. It's absolutely Third World. They talk about how they have to get Internet into rural settings, but pardon me Mr and Ms Policy Maker, first let's get it going in the biggest city in the United States of America.

Imagine how the Times would benefit from better Internet in NYC. I mean literally, imagine it. Go to a whiteboard and start making a list. If you come up with nothing, then you need to send some of those great reporters out there, talking and listening, to figure this one out.

I'd argue that until we get decent Internet in New York, there really is nothing else for the Times CEO to do.

Because what you'll find when you really open yourself up to it is that the news is out there, and the people you need to be communicating with, in both directions, are the people of NY. Luckily we have a fantastic design for an infrastructure. Now all we need to do is deploy it. Right here. In New York.

Linkblog pointers by domain Permalink.

My linkblog is almost one year old.

I've always wondered how often I was pointing to which sites, so I wrote a little script to figure it out. Click the + to the left of this paragraph to see the table.

BTW, I found this so interesting that I'm having the table rebuild every night.

True moment for NYT paywall Permalink.

A moment of truth for me and the NY Times paywall. Dec 31.

That's when my free account runs out.

Just got an email. No doubt the first of many. :-)

I might pay. But I'd like to know how much it will cost me for a year. Not a few weeks at a time.

Right now they say: "99 cents for your first 8 weeks."

And how easy is it to turn off if I decide to opt-out?

I'm wary of subscriptions. I like month-to-month, and I like to know how much each month will cost. And I must believe that I can turn it off at any time without hassle.

On the other hand, the Guardian is making a strong effort at web-based US news, and they already do an excellent job of covering the world. And no paywall at all. It's an easy decision to keep reading the Guardian.

PS: I would love to pay for the NYT if they did something to improve the bandwidth situation in NYC. They are, after all, the New York Times.

RT in a static river Permalink.

I've always wanted the ability to re-transmit an item from a static river to my linkblog. I knew at some point I would figure out how to do it. Here's how it works.

If you see an item in my river that you want to post to your linkblog, click the RT link.

A picture named domainDialogSmall.gifThe first time you do it, a dialog pops up asking for the domain of your linkblog server. This is the domain that your Radio2 blog software is running on.

Here's a screen shot of the dialog.

Then the river redirects to this domain, and the elements of the item you RT'd appear in its dialog box.

It remembers this domain in a cookie, so from then on, when you want to RT, it'll just take you to the blogging software.

I have to add a command that makes the river forget the domain, so you can connect to a different linkblog.

The nice thing about this is that there is no server involved. All the code running is in JavaScript, running in the browser.

Also, if you want to use this technique in your static river, here's the URL to my template. You're free to use it as-is, or you can copy and modify it.

This feature is almost exactly like the POST button in Radio UserLand in 2002. It appeared next to an item in the aggregator. When you clicked it, the elements of the item would populate its built-in dialog for a new post. The difference is that in 2011, the two pieces are de-coupled. The aggregator and the linkblogging software are two different things, and don't even have to be made by the same people, and can be running on different servers.

A beautiful little bit of plumbing. Like putting a subway station in an airport. :-)

Yesterday's puzzle (with solution) Permalink.

Yesterday on Twitter I posed a puzzle. Permalink.

Here's a tune. Tell me what it is.

I was hoping to get pointers to web services that do this, and I sure did!

The most commonly suggested was SoundHound. But my query stumpted it.

Here's me humming the tune.

The human search engine worked.

Lance Knobel correctly identified the tune. (Thanks!)

Rather than spoil it, I've hidden the solution under this headline. Just click the plus to the left to get the answer.

Question re jQuery/JavaScript Permalink.

I hit a problem yesterday in the interaction between jQuery and JavaScript, I think. It's time to ask the Scripting News brain trust to help me figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Here's the page in question. Suggest you View Source.

Search for the call to sendToLinkblog. I've pasted the text in below.

escapeParam is doing its job correctly on item.title, but not on item.body. I can see this by looking in Firebug, as well as in the behavior of the app. Calls to sendToLinkblog for items that have one or more single-quotes in their title fail, presumably because of a syntax error, due to the unescaped single-quotes.

So the question is this -- why does the call work for item.body and not for item.title?

I thought perhaps it was a type issue, that they weren't all strings, but I can't figure out what else they might be.

For an experienced JS developer I'm sure this would be easy.

Thanks in advance for your help! :-)

Update: Problem solved, though no one person had the answer. Nik Cubrilovic suggested adding a call to "escape" at the beginning of the escapeParam routine. But this just had the effect of doubly-encoding the params, and didn't solve what was clearly a syntax problem in the call to sendToLinkBlog. However, it gave me an idea. I could do the URL-encoding in the call to sendToLinkBlog, and solve the single-quote escaping problem, and eliminate the escaping in sendToLinkBlog. Bing! It worked. So now I'm ready to move on to the next problem/bug. Thanks as usual for the brain-trust help.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/19/2011; 10:24:53 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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