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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 software developer 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 and NYU, 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.

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scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.


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June 2012

May   Jul


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

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Dave Winer's

Today's screencast Permalink.

There's a bigger version of The many lives of Frontier on Vimeo.

Twitter's new bird logo Permalink.

The many lives of Frontier Permalink.

A picture named krebs.jpgThere's a screencast that goes with this post.

Today I have something new to show, a way of linking together online discussions around what I think of as a stream of consciousness. The discussion organizer puts together an outline, and attached to each entry in the outline is a discussion thread. You can have as many threads as you want. You can organize them any way you want. You can reorganize them. You can add or delete threads as easily as adding a new entry to the outline.

Here's an example. Two old but great rock bands, The Doors and Alice Cooper. And three of their songs, for each.

There are a lot of places this idea can go.

1. One item for each session at a conference.

2. A business plan.

3. A family diary.

4. A month's worth of tweets.

5. A product user's manual.

The newness here is twofold:

1. Quick overview of lots of threads.

2. Easy editing and reorganizing by the discussion leader.

To edit the outline, all I have to do is open the outline, make the change and save.

I'd love to have this idea percolate through all the different instances of the Frontier user community, all the way back to the early Apple days around Computer Plus in Sunnyvale, and through the people who used Living Videotext's outliners. Oh heck, let me make a list.

1. Personal Software outliner, Visitext.

2. Living Videotext outliners.

3. Frontier, the Mac system scripting tool

4. Early website work on Mac

5. Manila

6. Radio UserLand (aka Radio 8)


8. Podcasting

9. OPML Editor (first incarnation)

Now we're ready to do yet another incarnation of the Frontier community.

I think of the early Mac outliners as part of the Frontier thread. And I think of the OPML Editor as a continuation. There was a new codebase as from ThinkTank/MORE to Frontier, but it was all done by the same brain. So there's a huge amount of continuity. And in many ways, what's happening today is the realization fo the idea that all this started with so many years ago.

If this were a speech, now I'd leave you with this.

On Twitter the other day, I realized that there are people floating around there, on my follower list, and me on theirs, of people who were important anchors for each of these communities. And in most cases I'm pretty sure they don't know each other! So I thought it would be interesting to shout out to each of them, people who are smart and curious, who throw themselves into their work without worrying where it will lead. There must be a thread of optimism and intelligence that connects them. All I know is that I have had good experiences working with each of them, and would welcome the opportunity to do it again.

I asked each of them if it would be okay to mention them in this post, and I haven't heard back from all of them. So the list is not complete.

1. John Baxter. Helped lead the Compuserve community in the early 90s.

2. Susan Kitchens. Was an inspiration in the Manila days. We drank margaritas (I think) at Manilapalooza.

3. Bryan Bell. Designed all the templates for Manila and Radio. Did the graphics for all the standards we pushed. He did the art for the Harvard blogging site, the first academic blogging site in the US. And for BloggerCon.

4. Adam Curry. The inspiration of podcasting and co-leader of the podcasting community that believe it or not booted up out of Frontier.

5. Amy Bellinger. The user-leader of the OPML Editor community in the mid-2000s. I famously sang a duet of Green Acres with her. Though we've never met. (I haven't met Baxter either.)

There were a lot of other people who did lots of great stuff to help Frontier, but these people were exceptional and I'm still in touch with all of them. I'm sure they will all read this. And I just wanted to say thanks! :-)

Now, the next thing on my to-do list is to do a screencast as I outline all the elements of this post, and turn it into a discussion tree where people can add their comments. I want to give everyone who was part of a Frontier community a place to post a comment. And no doubt I've forgotten to list some communities, so help me build out the list.

Update: Here's the outline I created in the screencast.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last build: 6/6/2012; 2:51:00 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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