Scripting News

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

Will the advertisers turn Twitter into TV?

A lot of raw ideas here, sorry -- I wanted to get this all down and think some more. That's what my blog is for in case you're new here.

First, how long will it be before there's a little video box on the Twitter home page that shows you whatever it is we're all watching. Because there are moments when it seems everyone on Twitter is watching one program on TV. The SuperBowl, the MTV awards, the Breaking Bad finale, etc. It seems inevitable that before too long you'll be able to watch the show right there in Twitter without budging.

Then it occurs to me that the advertisers could be the ones who drive this. They're obviously going to some new places with interactive advertising. For example, today I got a tweet from the Central Park Conservancy, an account that I follow (I live near the park and use it a lot) offering to subscribe me to their email newsletter. The button to click was in Twitter. I bet they paid Twitter a lot of money for that, or perhaps Twitter is doing the fulfillment and not sharing my email address with them. Either way, it's another way for Twitter to get rich, and there was no TV involved.

Not that it would matter. I'm simply not available on TV these days. I know CNN is covering the DC shooting every minute, and they're getting all wrapped up with the next budget battle. I catch little glimpses at those things in my rivers. But I don't connect my emotions up to those stories. Those are TV stories.

Evan Williams was right, btw, about tech news being disconnected from tech. Where were all of them while the industry was getting owned by the NSA. Why did it wait until the story was gifted to one of them by a leaker. And the biggest tech story in a generation wasn't even reported by tech. Couldn't the NSA presence have been felt, and reported on, by all the reporters covering Washington on the net? Where was Kos and Talking Point Memo, Andrew Sullivan? But as Williams says if they're watching the tech they're doing it superficially, thinking the story is somewhere else. The only thing I'd fault him for is that he didn't go far enough, because basically all reporters these days are tech reporters.

There's no doubt that all media is vulnerable to Twitter now, and Williams knows as well as anyone where the gaps are. He gets a lot better data on it, I assume, than the rest of us do. And they're doing some creative stuff with advertising on Twitter, stuff that the TV networks are nowhere near doing.

I'm getting a feeling that things are about to shift pretty radically.

9/17/2013; 7:11:58 PM

Why we breed men to be strong and silent

After I wrote yesterday's piece, it finally dawned on me why it made sense for our species to evolve to prefer young men to be strong and silent. It's really simple. It's easier to send people to war if we don't know them. And of course we want our warriors to be strong. So shut up, do your duty and die for us. And it wasn't all that long ago. When I was warrior age, there was a draft.

A picture of a slice of cheese cake.

9/17/2013; 6:31:16 PM

Tomorrow we learn something

One way or the other we're learning something tomorrow, the day iOS 7 ships to multiple hundreds of millions of users.

It's got major user interface changes. And lots of end users who don't know that the basic operational features of a computer can change will find out, they can.

And their patterns of use will change.

Brain cells will burn.

Will the users shrug it off or even cheer, as Apple expects/hopes?

Will users respond as they did with Windows 8 by rejecting the update?

Will they have an option of going back to a previous version or is this update irreversible?

Or is it mandatory? Can you not update your devices? If so, how?

I haven't done it yet, but I know two people who have. One says OMG and the other says the changes are cool.

But tomorrow we find out for real if Apple can rock the boat.

9/17/2013; 12:12:14 PM

Important podcast re Concord & GPL

Here's a very clear message to developers.

If you want to build a product that includes outlining, or include outlining in a product you already have, I'd like to work with you, and at the very least I'd like our software to interoperate so there's no user lock-in.

That's why Concord is GPL-licensed. I have good reasons for doing it this way. And I explain them in this 11-minute podcast.


9/17/2013; 11:10:35 AM

Concord in GPL, Day 2

I'd say yesterday went pretty well.

The GitHub repository has 17 forks and 141 followers.

There was a huge uptick in Fargo use.

There was a lively not-too flamey discussion on Hacker News.

And a very long thread under the original blog post, dominated by people who think it's a mistake to use the GPL.

Of course I think GPL is exactly the right choice.

I want to feed the open development community.

And I meant what I said in the readme about talking with commercial developers. I like commercial development. I have been a commercial developer myself. But these days that means creating silos that trap users and their content. That I am very much against, and don't want to do anything to support it. I merely want to have a conversation with commercial developers, and perhaps derive some revenue from the licenses, to share in their bounty, and support continued development of the open source project, and most important insist that the user's data not be locked up.

I've had a lot of experience with funding VC-backed companies with ideas and work, and have gotten $0 and no equity from it. These people are very protective of their capital, so I'm doing the same. If that means less uptake for Concord, I'm okay with that. If that means another outliner toolkit comes along, that's great! I hope they're compatible with Concord at a file format level. I hope to give them very strong incentive to be compatible.

Remember who I am and what my experience is. I don't care to repeat the format wars we had over RSS. If you want to use my software, that's fantastic. Hopefully we can work out a fair deal without fighting over compatibility.

Mostly, I envision a community that works entirely on open source software, the way Linux or WordPress works. I don't see that excluding commercial development, but I don't want commercial development to dominate. The Internet works best when everyone contributes to the commons, not just some.

Ask not what the Internet can do for you, ask what you can do for the Internet.

9/17/2013; 8:55:25 AM

It's even worse than it appears. © 1997-2013 Scripting News, Inc.