Press: No one is making Mac software.
Dave: We are!
Press: Everyone knows no one is making Mac software.
Dave starts blog.
The domination of the web by Facebook is just as much a problem for bloggers as it is for journalists. Fact.
People want to read stuff in Facebook, they do -- it's great, but when our stuff appears there, the links to pages on the web are missing. And if we use a little styling in the post, like bold or italic, that's gone too. No titles and no ability to include a podcast.
Facebook says "But it works in mobile through Instant Articles, and that's where everyone reads these days."
Yes. But I want these features in the web version of Facebook. Because we're talking about the web, where web writers work. It's like D'oh. It finally dawned on me that's the bug.
I think most users are aware there's a problem but have trouble expressing what the problem is. I am very focused on it because I've been developing new blogging software for the web. I want to cross-post on Facebook without losing the links, styling, titles, and enclosures. That's it. That's the problem. Once Facebook supports this, the problem goes away and we can stop bothering them. Until it's solved we will watch the web continue to decline, and a very good art, linking, will diminish. I'm sure Facebook doesn't want to cause this, but they are causing it just the same.
The blogosphere does amazing things. Little wonder the amazingness is slowing down these days because we're being cut off from our air supply -- readers. Mobile isn't everything. For the web, it's the web that matters. Just give us a few of the features of IA in the web version of FB and we're happy campers.
In this 15-minute podcast there are three calls to action.
1. If you're the person who decides whether or not to add web support to FB posts, please do it. You'll be happy you did. I promise.
2. If you're a technology influencer please support this effort to convince Facebook to open itself up to the open web through linking, style, titles and podcasting.
3. No matter who you are please listen to the podcast. It's a good story. Just 15 minutes.
All silos are not equally silo-y.
For example, Twitter is a silo, but I can reliably point to a tweet from outside Twitter, and you will be able to read it even if:
However, if the user has blocked you, you won't be able to read it.
So that's mostly like the open web in this regard.
Facebook on the other hand is also a silo, but you can't reliably point to a post, because unless you're willing to research the settings for this post and the settings of the user, it's so hard to say whether or not people will be able to read it, that I usually don't bother linking. For example, here's a link to a public Facebook post. Can you read it? I don't know.
Some sites we don't think of as silos, are as hard to point into as the most restrictive silo. For example, news sites with complicated paywalls. Some paywalls are designed to be porous, meaning if you point to them from a social media site they let you in without paying. I find that's hit or miss, and none of them view my rivers as exempt from the paywall. So I tend not to link to stories that are behind a paywall.
The point: we could come up with a Consumer Reports-like rating for all sites that indicates how much they participate in the open web at a content level.
It struck me last night as I watched MSNBC, and all the talk about Trump's tortured flip-flop on immigration that this outcome was totally predictable, and that all the time leading up to this point in the election process was wasted, at least on the Republican side.
We need a much shorter process, so the entertainment value of the election is lessened. If the people want long entertainment, give them an incredible reality show that runs 365 days a year, every year, but whose winner is merely a title-holder, not an office-holder.
We revert to the Electoral College to choose the president, and we can choose to watch or not. Far too much depends on the outcome of what has become an incredibly strange process.
When reporters interview Clinton people they always bring up the topic of a press conference. They're being tricky, and I as a voter know it.
The big question: When are you going to have a press conference?
The Clinton person gives a decent answer, she's done 300 interviews this year. And there have been plenty of gotchas and fake controversies. That's why reporters want to interview her. To help perpetuate the idea that she can't be trusted and won't give a straight answer. Which is both ridiculous and not news. She does answer the questions, answers that they would be delighted to get from her opponent, who rarely answers any of their questions, when they can get an interview, and these days he won't even be interviewed by any reporter, unless you count Fox News people as reporters (they're more like PR people or campaign flacks).
And her opponent has real controversies not these bullshit ones. Is he owned by Russia? Where are the tax returns? How badly did he screw the Trump U students? Was he raised as a member of the KKK? Why did it take him so long to disavow their support? That's just the beginning! And what are you worried about with Hillary? It's so stupid I can't even find words to describe it.
Look I don't give a shit if you trust her. You're so confused about what's real and not that your trust doesn't mean anything. 90 percent of the time you're just interviewing each other about optics and impressions as if they had any substance. I have an almost permanent eyeroll as I watch you guys discuss politics. You just recite the same bullshit over and over. You never get an expert in to tell us what it might be like to have a Russian puppet in the White House or a President who's just now learning what the Constitution is.
Has anyone looked into his education? Did he learn anything in school? Ask him a basic history question next time you're granted an interview and see if he can answer it. Hey Trump, can you name 10 former US presidents? I would be surprised if he could. Name the wars the US has fought in in the 20th century. What year was the Constitution signed? Who was the second president? Third? First?
And where are the fucking tax returns?
Anyway, reporters, I think people who care know exactly what you're doing. The only difference between a one-on-one interview and a press conference is that in a press conference there are 50 reporters asking gotcha questions and in a one-on-one interview there's only one. The number of ridiculous questions is exactly the same, either way.
If your listeners were stupid, your tricks might work, but even the dumbest among us have probably figured it out, because you've repeated the same bullshit over and over.
Reporters who ask about a Clinton press conf are like post-truth Repubs. She's running a good campaign. That's why you're so stuck.
BTW, my guess as to why no press conferences is that she doesn't like them. But your thesis that she's hiding from the press is a lie. She's not hiding from the press.
Mostly, I tried to keep Gawker and its subs at arm's length.
I had mixed feelings about them. Some of their journalism was excellent and needed. We needed more news orgs to take on Apple. They were too controlling, and covered too much territory. They were stifling progress.
There are many other tech companies that do the same.
But Gawker tended to go after individuals, and often not individuals at big powerful companies, just individuals, some who didn't even have a job. And when they did go after big execs it was often because they were caught being human. Which meant they became even more private, and less accessible, and their thinking became more introverted, narcissistic and inbred, even paranoid. So Gawker while it was sometimes a force for good, was often a source of pain for the people of the tech industry, and as a result had a negative net effect.
News orgs have to strike a balance, and they have to appeal to the good nature of their readers. I know Nick doesn't think this way, but that's why I so rarely pointed to them, and why I so rarely wrote for them. I didn't trust them.
There's a lot I didn't know about Gawker as a result.
Reading some of the postmortems, I think wow I should have tried to write for them. But then I remember how they attacked people I knew who were struggling to make a go of it in tech, and how they treated me even. They once wrote about a trip to the bathroom at a conference that I never took, another time criticized me for a personal ad that had run 15 years prior when I was in better physical shape.
Mostly they were a source for bad in tech. So I understand how a guy like Thiel with too much money and an exaggerated sense of self-importance might do what he did. But that doesn't excuse it.
On the New Republic they say Gawker was a blog and now blogs are past tense.
We've been over this so many times. Blogs are what sources write, not what reporters write. An irreverent scandal sheet written by professional reporters is not a blog.
Blogs are under pressure from Facebook just as journalism is.
The shame is that reporters never learned to use blogs as a way to be informed by sources. They thought what they do is blogging. They are idiots. (Bloggers can be irreverent too.)
So when they say blogging is over, they mean they aren't listening. As if they ever were.
When I was growing up I knew a family with two kids, a boy named Ronald and a girl named Jillian. The girl studied hard and got good grades. The boy threw tantrums.
Jill was blamed for Ron's tantrums, because that's what Ron said, and it was easier for the parents to punish Jill than to argue with Ron. He seemed to have an answer for everything, even though the parents and Jill all knew he was lying, always.
Fargo will stop working on June 28, 2017.
That's the headline. Now the background.
I've received notice from Dropbox that the API we're using in Fargo will stop working on that day. Since Fargo is built around that interface, it will stop working at that point. I wanted to give users as much time as possible to prepare for this change.
It's been a good run, it'll be about four years give or take, when June rolls around. I had hoped that Fargo would take off, or that Dropbox would notice it and help us build a modest community around the product, but neither has happened.
In the interim I've built a new storage system that isn't dependent on a single company, and have created an outliner that's very comparable to Fargo, that uses this new system and isn't dependent on Dropbox. Since both outliners use OPML as their file format, it should be easy to convert. You'll have nine-plus months to do that.
And even when the API stops working, the files will still be in your Dropbox folder. No need to export them, they are already in a standard format, ready to be imported into any outliner that supports OPML.
I'm sure some users will feel let down, but this is the reality of software. It's not all based on ads. We have to get enough users to sustain a growing effort. Fargo didn't make the cut. It's great software, but there are other choices. I have provided a path forward with LO2. And the outliner that's at the core of Fargo is open source, so if someone wants to create a Dropbox outliner with the new API, they can.
This change should not affect smallpict.com sites. They should continue to function after the Dropbox API change.
Perhaps not many people will see the connection between today being the first day Gawker is gone, it being the 25th Anniversary of the Web, and the message all Facebook users were greeted with this morning.
Last week I visited Seattle and Portland.
In Seattle, I spent a day with Brent and Sheila Simmons, two longtime friends. Brent and I worked together at UserLand. He's also an excellent writer. His interest in blogging stemmed from his literate side, which made him an excellent web developer imho. Making software for yourself is a path to success.
And in Portland I met with Ward Cunningham. We went bike riding in 100 degree heat, all over town, saw the sights, and talked software philosophy. We share the same basic values. It's amazing to meet someone like that. I regret that we didn't hook up 20 years ago. But maybe we each had to finish our work on our respective ideas -- mine which is blogging and his of course is the wiki.
Whereas in Ward's world, there's the writing about a topic, say The Wildlife of Antarctica or Home Run Leaders in Major League Baseball. Chronology is an attribute of each bit on a page, but it is not the structure of the site as it is on a blog.
Thing is, I yearn for what Ward's world has. I'm so frustrated that my blogging doesn't have a concordance of all that I think on this topic or that. I repeat themes here all the time. And my memory is not very good. At times I can read things I wrote and published and have no recollection of writing them. Sometimes I even have trouble understanding them!
I've written letters to execs at Google at various points in time, suggesting they have the tools to create such a resource. Supporting writing on the web is something we should all get behind. The 25th anniversary of the web is a good day to remind us what it is we're trying to do here.
One final thing to tie this thread together. Ward has a friend, Mike Caulfield who is also a web writer who also makes software. Allen sent me a link to his piece about the diff betw chronologic writing and wiki-writing, and I thought man this is just like what I was talking about with Brent the other day in Seattle. It illustrates what I have now and what I want to create.
One of the things I said repeatedly at the Portland meetup: It's All About People. I said it because this is something we don't always remember in Nerdland. We're creating tools to connect people. Not just people on one company's network or another's, but all people everywhere, in the belief that smart people may have the answer we seek even if they don't have a billion dollars to make their voice louder or to silence others.
First, I should say, and as will be obvious in the podcast, I have history with Tim. He was one of the original designers of XML, and I was working in XML starting in the late 90s and extending into the mid-00s. Tim was also one of the authors of the Atom spec, which was an attempt to replace RSS. My software supports both formats, but I was skeptical of the need to replace RSS. I felt that the people who were behind Atom didn't understand what RSS was being used for, or how widely deployed it was, and how unlikely it was that it would be replaced.
Allen was the author of the Ecmascript 6 spec, and has been a longtime language developer at Microsoft and Mozilla. It was Allen's idea to get Ward Cunningham and myself together last year in Portland. And we all got together again at the meetup at Mozilla last Friday night.
The podcast is 31 minutes. We did it at a picnic table in a forest in the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland. You'll also hear from Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Allen's wife, a noted expert on software methodologies.
Someone in NYC should have a weekly flash conf for news insiders on the dilemmas created by covering Trump. Fluid time, good for understanding and even influencing the way reporting changes. Just an idea.
I've been learning about software design patterns the last few days, thanks to my Portland friends. Turns out they use this concept to teach computer science these days. And as I understand it, it's a good one.
So I wrote a pattern about patterns, to see if I got it. Here it is.
When you want someone to understand a new concept, provide them with a simple example that illustrates the essential properties and nothing more. Omit the formal definition. That can come later.
This pattern would be help Amazon, for example, create toolkits that are immediately useful to experienced programmers.
Today I learned that when you buy a business class seat on Delta they have the option to move you to coach, without notification, with no recourse.
They offer to refund the difference in price. But I didn't think I was buying an option to fly business class. I thought when I made the reservation, including a seat assignment, that I was not playing the lottery, that they would not give the seat to someone who paid more.
Their excuse: It was in the fine print that I agreed to when I purchased the ticket.
This is why I hate Delta.
A 30-minute podcast conversation with Ward Cunningham, prolific and active software developer, who among many other things invented the wiki.
We talked about a lot of things, I'll fill in the blanks later, but I wanted to get this out to people right away.
We were at the Bunk Bar in southeast Portland. We rode there on bike, I was using a Biketown rental. A good time was had by all (I had a large frozen Margarita and Ward had whatever he had).
On Thursday I wrote a quick post that said body shaming was wrong, unconditionally.
But then I read how the Repubs are creating their 2016 swift boat campaign against Hillary Clinton about her health.
So I changed my mind. This stuff works. Kerry's mistake was not responding immediately, not just with denials, but with attacks-in-kind.
Trump's body is very much at issue, and the naked statues of Trump were not lies, so I say go for it.
Fight fire with fire. Sorry, we have to get in the mud.
For those who are coming to the Portland meetup tonight, I've put together an agenda outline.
It's live, so if you click the lock icon to unlock it, you will see any updates as they happen.
Most important -- it's a friendly meetup. No grudges! No politics or religion. No business models. Ideas, tech, questions, all good. ;-)
This appeared as a post on Facebook two years ago today. Still relevant today.
You couldn't have had podcasting without a lot of things coming together.
1. Networks of writers who shared links. Blogging.
2. A protocol for moving links around a network. HTTP.
3. Something to attach links and recordings to. RSS.
4. A standard format for recording. MP3.
5. Inexpensive, easy to use playback devices, that could hook up to all this. iPod.
You might argue that we still haven't gotten all the pieces needed for it to really work. But one thing is for sure, none of the pieces existed when the famous patent troll claims to have invented podcasting.
Maybe we should reach not for a victory but for understanding. The patent system is making decisions about technological processes it doesn't understand. No wonder it gets it so wrong.
The life-size naked DJ Trump is funny, but body shaming is wrong.
And did you think of what the response might be.
The new .blog domain is administered by Automattic, the people who created and run wordpress.com. Even so, it's cool that it can be used with sites created with any blogging software. This is truly in the spirit of the web, open source, and the Internet itself. (Democracy and capitalism too.)
Users should be free at all times to choose what's best for them. And developers should be able to combine the output of sites, to create new flows. And the input of a content system should seamlessly flow to any other content system.
Today in 2016, the web is unfinished. It should always be so. There are more connections still to be enabled or created. Meanwhile many of the biggest tech companies try to trap users in "silos," without free movement, with no ability for developers to build on their work. Ultimately this leads to stagnation, and eventually explosive discontinuous change.
Tech has a choice: change can come with steady innovation or all at once.
I'm glad to say that my friend Matt Mullenweg and Automattic are consistent champions of user and developer freedom. That's why they host .blog for all to use.
They could have said "blog" == "wordpress" -- many companies would have -- but they didn't. That's very good! I wish more big tech companies had that philosophy.
Every developer who embraces this idea is courageous and futuristic. No one should want to win because users can't move.
I'm being recruited by a big tech co probably on the basis of my GitHub account which doesn't state my age. Also assume they haven't looked at my Wikipedia page. Should I respond? At what point should I disclose my age?
Update: Raines Cohen, in the Facebook thread, came closest to my own take on this: "If they are not hiring you based on your experience, connections and reputation, you will be totally wasted there so it won't last, you wouldn't put up with being a mindless corporate drone. If they are, that's where it gets interesting."
Dear Peter Thiel,
Please sue Breitbart News into oblivion.
Thanks in advance,
I've had more time to think about journalists grappling with Trump.
On the subway this morning I listened to the latest Slate political podcast, where they talked about Trump's threat to have Hillary Clinton assassinated. I tried to imagine listening to this two years ago, and wondered if it would have made any sense. I would also wonder why they weren't talking about the substance of what Trump said, as opposed to trying to discern why he said it.
The words were so dangerous, it doesn't matter why he said it, what matters is what such words, delivered from the powerful podium he now speaks from, might incite. A line was crossed, a sacred and dangerous one, in a country with a long history of assassination of politicians.
The question they should have been discussing, imho, is this --
What do we do if a candidate of one of the major parties breaks an important law?
What recourse do we have?
Can we arrest the candidate?
And what if this is a warning, a shot over the bow, a test, for the next atrocity from the candidate, that might be more direct, more overt, more dangerous? What line would he have to cross to require a stronger response.
When I think about this privately, I ask myself the question they should ask out loud, in public. When is it too much, and what power do we have to stop it?
Now suppose it eventually becomes a practical, not theoretical, question.
That is, what if Hillary Clinton were assassinated and it was known that the killer was inspired by Trump? What then? Does it matter that his supporters will be upset if Trump is arrested and tried? We know that's not a justification for ignoring a heinous crime. Might want to interview a lawyer for that.
As far as I know that question has not been raised in public.
I'm friends with Walt Mossberg and Larry Magid on Facebook. Both are accomplished journalists who I have known through their work for decades and have enormous respect for. This isn't about them, rather it's about how journalists try to maintain neutrality when faced with a candidate who lies openly and admittedly in bold and dangerous ways.
Here's a link to the Facebook thread where these comments originated.
There's truth and journalism truth. When Trump calls for the assassination of his opponent journalism runs out of words to say what he just did. I was thinking of collecting the various descriptions, just to show you guys how ridiculous it has become. It's a mishmash of attribution and qualification.
Why can't journalism make a direct and true statement: The candidate called for the assassination of his opponent after he loses the election. That's what actually happened. Or, at least put someone on a panel who can say that. All the sources are as conflicted by the rules of their own trade that prevent them from saying what's obvious to every adult watching or reading.
Supposed ethics give the atrocious candidate a fig leaf to hide his sins.
The reporting, to users, and I'm a serious user of news, has little or no value. If you were relying on a journalist's description of Trump and didn't hear his actual words, you wouldn't be able to make sense of it.
I wonder if journalist ethics aren't obsolete at this point, and if they haven't been obsolete for a long time, and if that is what got us into this mess. All the false equivalence and he-said-she-said reporting has gotten us to a place where an objective reporter still maintains that "they both do it." You see that everywhere, if somehow the scale of Hillary's dishonesty is in any way comparable to Trump's. Adult to adult, it's not. And the journalist's view from nowhere has always been dysfunctional, but now it's so far from reality that it's like the emperor with no clothes.
And the danger, also, is totally obvious.
The reporting no longer serves any purpose other than to demonstrate how tortured journalist ethics are by a candidate who pushes it to its limits.
One more thing -- I noticed the other day that Chuck Todd on MTP Daily was taking objectivity a little less seriously as the crowds at Trump rallies started chanting "Lock Them Up" where "them" refers to journalists.
I am voting for Hillary and contribute to her campaign. But my complaint about the press is very similar to Trump's. I never have felt you guys gave me a chance Walt. I stopped worrying about it in 1994 when I found that I could communicate directly with users, without going through the press. I was very effective that way, far more effective than I had been by hiring PR people and going through the tech press, which always thought I was somehow incompetent or insignificant. My competitors, the biggest tech companies, used the press. We still were able to gain traction with blogging, RSS and podcasting, without the press support. I still read your stuff, always have, Walt, but I think your view of the world has been proven incomplete, and that proof has been out there for a decade or more now. You're still not accepting it, when it's risen to the point of a presidential candidate circumventing all the gatekeepers.
I just listened to the first episode. It was good, but I can imagine if you're not a Hillary fan you might think it's dorky or self-promotional. But I am on board with her, and I think dorky is fine, esp when the other candidate says he's being sarcastic while he tries to rip up our political system.
The interviewer, Max Linsky, asked her what's the last thing she thinks of as she goes to sleep. That's the kind of podcast this is. I'm not going to spoil it, but she had a good answer.
People ask if they did this in response to my Hillary's Daily Show post and podcast. I don't think so. It's not the same idea. They're creating a platform for her to talk directly to her supporters. It'll be a weekly thing, not daily. It clearly won't be edgy, newsy or comedic. But it is a great first step.
I'm always glad when someone I'm interested in starts a podcast. I'm not sure I'll be a regular listener, but I'll certainly listen to a few more shows.
Also, on the subject of new political podcasts, the new NY Times Run-up podcast, two episodes in, is very good. Because it's a podcast they can run whole interviews, not just excerpts. In the first show the star was Newt Gingrich. We got everything including his admonition at the end to not quote him out of context. I actually really like that. I've been hearing Gigrich interviews for 30 years, never heard that part before.
This week they interviewed a former Trump exec and tried to answer the question we're all wondering about -- What exactly is going on?
A good contribution to the political podcastsphere.
Politics, when it's done right, is pretty boring.
The person you want running the show should fairly quietly make things better.
You aren't going to have a beer with them.
You need to trust them enough to not blow up the world, and in our form of government to have the kind of personality that can compromise and work with others.
You want someone who's thoughtful and loves to understand how things and people work.
Mostly you want to feel things are being taken care of and get on with your own life.
It's hot, so hot that I decided a bike ride would be better than a walk. At least on a ride you make your own breeze.
It was good until the final stretch which is all uphill, so sloooow and no breeze. And hot, and no shade, so sweat was pouring out of my eyes. I brought a towel with me so I could wipe the sweat off my face, many years of bike rides in hot weather, but when I did it, out popped the contact lens and my vision became uncorrected. Now I have to navigate by color. There's no detail to my vision without lenses.
Even worse, I could feel the lens in my eye, somewhere, the wrong place. And I thought oh shit, it's behind my eyeball. Now I'm screwed.
I made it home. Went to the mirror and looked, and it was right there, so I pinched it and took it out and put it in solution -- I'll put it back in. Maybe I'm getting the hang of it. Knock wood.
Here's a 25-minute podcast about my experiences learning to program and the central role that C played in the journey.
This podcast was spawned from the hashtag #firstsevenlangs, which for me were:
One interesting question raised in this podcast -- the Apple II clearly isn't a Unix clone, but the Mac borrowed lots of ideas from Unix. Did Woz play with Unix before designing the Apple II?
Hope to do a bunch more of these. I want to start talking more about the internals of software. As I explain in the podcast, I've been focused on "poets" for my career, but underneath it all there are a few new software ideas that haven't been well-enough discussed, and the things we learned are not reflected in other people's software. It's now time in my career to think about passing off, so I want to be sure to cover the important stuff. But first we have to talk about the foundation, and for me that was C and Unix and how they were one and the same, how a language could be the core of an OS and how an OS could be the core of a language. And how C was both a machine language and a high-level language (something I did not go into great detail in, in the podcast).
C and Unix integrated two big concepts in two dimensions. Once I saw it could be done, I wanted to do it for storage and editing too. And that's what Frontier is/was.
Little-known fact -- you can use Amazon S3 as the storage system for 1999.io servers. This came up in discussing the Docker implementation of the server with Don Park.
So yesterday I wrote a doc that explains how to configure the server to use S3 instead of filesystem storage.
If you have questions please ask on the 1999-server list.
Here's an idea for hacking the campaign.
When you see people debating something nutty that The Troll said, like whether or not he really meant for a crazy person to assassinate his opponent, instead..
There's lots to choose from.
It's all so parallel to his request for the President's birth certificate. The President eventually relented. Let's make sure The Troll does the same.
And celebrate creative campaign humor.
PS: I've gotten a lot of feedback on this already, in just the first hour. Let's call this Ethical Trolling. Is there such a thing? Unfortunately I think there is, now.
I was walking crosstown on 57th St yesterday, west to east, on the south side of the street. The walking is easier on that side because there are a bunch of Billionaire's Row apartment buildings going up on the north side.
On the south side are shops and office buildings.
It was hugely hot and humid yesterday. It was okay I guess if you kept moving, but if you had to stop and wait for a light or an emergency vehicle (there were lots) you baked and dripped so much sweat it felt like you were taking a shower.
As I passed shops with their doors open, they emitted deliciously cold air, bathing the sidewalk in air conditioned relief. New Yorkers rush by, we all appreciate the chill, until you realize this is quite bad, climate-change-wise. Burning all that fossil fuel to cool off the sidewalk. Probably long term not a good strategy for staying cool.
And those emergency vehicles! On the way back there were more, and I could see they were all going to Trump Tower, on 5th Ave just off 57th.
I fantasized that perhaps the Republican nominee had been assassinated, or had suffered a heart attack or stroke and died.
It was not quite so dramatic, there was just a guy climbing the building.
When I got home I turned on the TV and found out what was up. Major news on all the cable shows. It was actually a lot more entertaining than the usual fare. Esp on Fox.
Another summer weekday in the Big Apple!
A quick post about fat protocols.
I don't think they're right about this.
Twitter could easily have been a fat protocol, and for quite a while the Union Square Ventures guys were pushing that idea.
It's a platform! they said.
Then they did what owned platforms so often do, they took it back.
Oh no we never said it was a platform.
We never encouraged anyone to build on it.
So instead of a million apps, there was one.
They'll do that with BitCoin too. Because it's easier to go public with a big thick app than it is to sell the idea that one of your developers might eat your lunch.
I think it's totally possible that Twitter could have been thriving as a thick platform, but it requires a technologist to be in charge, one who knows how to relate to other technologists. You have to invest in your developers both with support and dollars. The thick platform vendor must be a venture capitalist, a visionary arm-twister friend to developers.
I think they will blink, and take back the idea that Blockchain is a platform, and someone will try to own it.
But I could be wrong. That's why it's a sport and it pays to watch carefully how the bets turn out. ;-)
This is a must-read piece for anyone who has bet heavy on the tech industry. Because it isn't long before the outrage will be directed at you. Or should I say us.
I've been warning about this forever. Users eventually figure out that you're screwing them. The tech industry is built on the idea that they don't. Contradiction. You lose, eventually. So many times we've been around this loop, and every time the tech industry thinks it won't happen again. Yet it always does.
Look at the ad-blocker revolt for a demo. Ads aren't a good business model because the users figured it out. Finally someone gave them the software they need to stop being slaves to your business model. You might argue that ads were never a good business model. As the ads get better you might as well just let people use search.
People want commercial information. You don't have to force it on them. (For example, I am now contact-lens-enabled, so I can wear sunglasses for the first time. What brand should I get? How do you pick one pair over another? I've tried to provide signals to the ad services, but they don't seem to get it. I use search instead.)
2008: Perfectly targeted advertising is just information.
So if Google wants to preserve their ad business they have to cripple search. Which they are doing! Long-term that won't work. Just give me a way to tell you what I want and show me how to get it. It's really simple. Unfortunately it isn't advertising, and you can't charge for it. Ooops.
The smart money must be exiting tech now. The Trump phenomenon is a sell signal. Find a safe place to park your money. Only thing is there really aren't any safe place, because the disease has progressed so far that it's now trying to infect the US economy, it already has infected the political system. Not sure where you park your money that's safe.
Maybe the best thing to do is to start unilaterally giving the users more power over their own online presence. Stop trying to own everything. Because there's no way to win that game. Even if you win you lose.
BTW, in addition to the Portland meetup on Friday evening, I will have some free time in Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday. Always open to interesting meetings with readers of the blog. (If you see this elsewhere, please don't re-publish, I only want to get with people who actually read the blog, thanks.)