It's even worse than it appears.
I haven't been listening to a lot of political podcasts these days because political reporting is asleep at the wheel, like the Biden administration, re the coup that keeps going, but this week's Amicus podcast is the exception. Though they are too kind to the press, the guest, Walter Shaub, has a clear mind re the coup, and the Biden's lack of response. I highly recommend a listen. #
  • GitHub has a nice feature called gists. They're little documents you can edit and share with other devs. GitHub hosts them.#
  • For fun here are all my gists. #
  • You can also embed them in web pages. I tried it, and it works.#
  • But they won't for some reason let me embed them in blogs that my users use. #
  • So maybe I'm missing something? Or maybe I have to replicate the functionality of their plug-in.#
  • But I really want the look and feel of their plugin. #
  • Oy! There must be an answer to this. #
  • PS: I embedded a gist here, manually. Hey maybe this is good enough. #
  • #
  • I was talking on the phone yesterday with Scott Hanson, a Drummer user and programmer, and longtime friend. He's been using the OPML package. Among other things it reads OPML files into JavaScript structures, and goes the other way, writes them out as OPML.#
  • It's like reading and writing JSON. It parses and stringifies. #
  • Well Scott was surprised at how simple it is. I was surprised that he was surprised, but pleased that he used it, and happy to shine a light on what he saw. #
  • So -- here's an OPML file. Click on the link to see. #
  • Here's an app that uses the OPML package to read the file and it displays what it gets, which should look familiar to any JavaScript programmer. #
  • From there your code and do anything it wants with the data it has. #
  • Maybe I should write some high-level routines that do common operations to an in-memory OPML structure. Hmm.#
  • If you have questions about the OPML package, here's a good place to ask. #
  • If there is actual substance to the hijack called "Web3" then they should do two things.#
    • Come up with a name I can use for it that doesn't begin with W-E-B because I don't want to support hijacking the web.#
    • I'm going to keep working in JS and Node, and writing my blog, but give me bridges into your world. I am not under any circumstances moving my act into your space. Only suckers would do that, so you have to build these bridges so you might as well start there. #
  • I asked this question on the blog and on Twitter yesterday. And so far all the answers have been about the companies, and imho they've been wrong. First, there are plenty of huge tech companies that have set out to own podcasting, and were fairly sure their dominance in other categories would help them achieve dominance in podcasting. I've listened to their bluster and at times have been worried that it might work. After all Google owns search, and Apple made the iPod (and therefore it's assumed by many that they invented podcasting). Amazon owns Audible which dominates audiobooks. Spotify is huge, and they've set out to dominate podcasting, and maybe they will, but they haven't so far. #
  • Second, how do I know that no single tech company dominates podcasting, or as some people claim a few of them do? Because the market doesn't behave like one that is dominated. There is no gatekeeper that can turn down your podcast, make you not cover topics they don't want covered or use language or images they don't think are acceptable, or compete with them. All these are features of dominated product categories. The press doesn't turn to Spotify or Apple to blame them for something someone said on a podcast that incited a riot or threatened a celebrity or politician. They don't turn to the companies because they are not dominant and they know it. I know no big tech company dominates podcasting because if you want to start a podcast there's no one who can tell you you can't. If you want to listen to a podast on your favorite player, yes there are some you can't, but you can for the vast majority of them. #
  • Now to the question that I actually asked that no one seems to want to answer. Why? Why is it this way? Why podcasting and not the other tech-based media. Why is podcasting still open after over 20 years? Drumroll please. The answer: there are enough users who understand how it is supposed to work. They expect to be able to listen to any podcast anywhere they want. Most probably don't understand why they have this ability, about the history and technology design that made it possible, but they understand that they have the ability. And it doesn't have to be all of them or even most of them, just enough of them, whatever that means. And for right now, at the end of 2021, there are enough. Podcasting has always been and remains an open platform. I can't say it will be for the future, but so far so good. #
  • I'm not saying this as a form of self-congratulation, or an appeal for kudos, though I gratefully accept any that are offered. I'm focusing your attention on this because we can do it again. Start a new medium with the understanding that users have the right to move, the right to use any tool they want to create media or listen to (or read or view or experience) it. That there are no gatekeepers that control them. #
  • In other words the example of podcasting says there's hope. We don't have to accept a bad answer. We can have freedom, and users are the key to that. I've always said that, because it's true. Users have the power, but they have to use it. But first developers have to set it up from the beginning so they are not locked in and so creators are not controlled. To set the expectation that they have the freedom to not be.#

copyright 1994-2021 Dave Winer.

Last update: Wednesday December 22, 2021; 9:43 AM EST.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)