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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.

Contact me

scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.


My sites
Recent stories

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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.


June 2012

May   Jul


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

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Dave Winer's

Corporate Everything Permalink.

I went for my daily bike ride in Central Park today.

I haven't been blogging about the rides lately because they're always pretty much exactly the same. I start at the Columbus Circle entrance to the park and go all the way around the drive. Then I do one more partial loop, through the most famous part of the park, by the fountain, and then exit where I came out.

It's not uncommon on weekends to have my ride thwarted by a running or bike race, or a charity walk. Such affairs in NYC are almost always huge. So they schedule them early in the morning. That's when I go, on weekends, trying to avoid pedestrians and riders who can't stay in a lane. But the special races prevent me from finishing my ride, because they usually block off the road. I wonder then what the park is there for. But what can you do.

A picture named olmsted.jpgThis evening, a weekday evening, the park had been taken over by JP Morgan for some huge corporate affair. All over the most beautiful parts of the park (and it is a really beautiful place) is signage saying JP Morgan red team, or orange team. Or vomit. I've come to reallly hate corporate ownership of everything. Esp a disgusting name like JP Morgan, receiver of taxpayer largesse, a huge bailout, and without the good grace to defer to their benefactors. Quite the opposite. They feel superior to us. Well fuck that shit. Really angry about seeing a city-owned park, not just any park but Central Park, taken over by such an obnoxious entity. I guess that's what you get when you have a mayor whose name is Bloomberg.

One more note about corporate ownership. My report from this morning was a scoop, it turns out. Later in the day Twitter announced a new deal where tweets can be huge, no 140-character limit, with pictures and videos. Something I've been asking for, for years. But not for you and me. Just for their corporate partners.

Twitter: "Twitter Cards will only render for domains which have been whitelisted by Twitter."

This is their contribution to the world wide web.

Can we please, please -- just go back to the really good thing we had when we all built on the same level platform, called the web. It was a big deal that it wasn't owned by Silicon Valley. I never left the web, and this is where I'm going to be for the rest of my life. If they kill it, I'll just read books, physical ones. And spin pottery. In a seaside town in Croatia or Slovenia. Perhaps Bucharest. Far far away from Palo Alto.

Here's the map for today's ride.

And here's the Wikipedia page for Frederick Law Olmsted, the Tim Berners-Lee of Central Park.

Twitter's (not) level playing field Permalink.

Whether you know it or not, you depend on Twitter being a level playing field.

That tweets from reporters get the same priority a tweets from bloggers. (And as far as I know they still do.)

And that reports from outside reporters get the same priority as Twitter's employee reporters. (At this time, as far as I know, Twitter doesn't have any employee reporters.)

And that your blog posts get the same treatment as everyone else's.

And that last one is not true. Twitter is not a level playing field as far as where the posts come from. I just discovered this today, and was really unhappy to see what they're doing.

Here's a screen shot of three recent tweets of mine.

The middle one is expanded, the other two are not. They point to articles on Foreign Policy, The Verge and Technology Review, all respected publications, run by big companies.

Now here's a tweet pointing to an article from CNET. Note that instead of "Expand" it offers "View Summary."

And when I click on the View Summary link, I get a synopsis of the article.

This is something that had previously applied to apps, not content. Flickr pictures were sucked into Twitter and displayed along with the tweet, but pictures posted on my site were just links.

These are decisions being made by a private corporation, without explaining how or why one publication gets preferential treatment over the others. They, of course, are entitled to do this. But no one should think that this is a level playing field, that all content is treated equally, because that is not true.

BTW, it's not clear which treatment is preferrable. Would you rather have the picture on your site, where your commenting system applies, and you can count the views, and maybe show the reader an ad? But it's also clear that they are not treating the content equally. It is not a level playing field, and the basis for tilting the field is not visible. I imagine some journalism purists might argue that this already disqualifies Twitter as a platform for journalism.

Update: It's possible that Twitter is using OpenGraph tags (which I had not heard of until today). I've started a thread, if you have any information on this, please post a comment there. Thanks.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last build: 6/13/2012; 11:58:55 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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