Thru the Magic of XML
Friday, June 4, 1999 by Dave Winer.
As you may know, in March we started a new syndication server called My.UserLand.Com. Along with Netscape's My.Netscape.Com, we are operating compatible servers that support a new web content syndication format called RSS. Our servers have been operating for three months, aggregating popular news channels and weblogs to each of our respective audiences.
There was an initial rush of new channels following Netscape's press release, followed by steady growth, three or four new channels every week. In the meantime we've been working on the other side of the equation, browser-based editorial software to make it easy to create vertical portals managed by potentially large teams of writers and photographers. Our attention shifted to the authoring and content management side.
Well, today our attention was forced (in a good way) to focus on the server side of the equation again!
With absolutely no coordination, today four new channels came online, all of them from prestigious net news sources.
The channels are ZDNet UK, The Register, Dr Dobbs Journal and MacWEEK. What's remarkable about this group is that each of these services use different content management software yet they plug into our Frontier-based content system thru the magic of XML.
Links to each of the channels are at the top of this page:
To me, it's surprising that that these four publications would all show up in XML on the same day! What do they have in common? I wonder.. Each serve audiences that are high up the curve of computer sophistication, ranging from the highly technical Dr Dobbs, to the designer and graphics-focused MacWEEK. All four pubs are taking a leading role in technology. This is a moment I have been waiting for and today it just snuck up and happened.
I've also been trying to make time to write about our development partnership with Buck's Restaurant in Woodside California. I've been so busy working on the site that I haven't had time to do a proper job of rolling it out! Let me tell you a little about it right now.
BucksWoodside.Com is the web forum for my friend Jamis MacNiven, the owner of Buck's, a very creative and warm-hearted guy who can write and has a digital camera. His restaurant has grown to become one of the central gathering places of the entrepreneurial community in Silicon Valley. We call the site "Silicon Valley's premier see-and-be-seen networking and gustatory hotspot," and like Buck's itself, the position is a little over-stated, but accurate. You never know who you'll run into in Buck's, what historic deal is hatching at the next table. Some people believe that on a typical weekday morning $20 million in business is done over the bagels and Chorizo Scrambles and cafe lattes.
Jamis is a collector and a social butterfly. His restaurant has airplanes and spacesuits hanging from the ceiling! And 1950s pocketbooks and a talking buffalo. Like Lee of Siam Garden in Menlo Park, Jamis greets his customers, sits down and tells you what the world looks like to him. And with all that goes on at Buck's every day, he tells quite an interesting story.
Anyway, I'm a regular at Buck's, and I've always been saying that Jamis should have a website. In February of this year I was having lunch there, and said it again, and this time he said yes, and I could tell he meant it. In the interim we met many times, and two weeks ago, the Buck's website went live. I am so proud of what we've accomplished, with our technology and Jamis's stories and pictures. So many big ideas have hatched at Buck's. Our job is to bring them to you on the web. I hope you'll all check it out!
PS: Buck's being Buck's, the new website was written up in Fortune within a week of its lauch! It's a good demo of the power of word of mouth in Silicon Valley.
PPS: We're trawling for stories of companies that started at Buck's. So far our list includes Netscape and Schoolpop. Was your company founded at Buck's? Send the story and a link to your website to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll create a plaque for your team. Let's have fun!