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No one asked this question

Saturday, January 19, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Amazingly no one asked this question at the meetup, but it just came up in an email from a journalist who works at a gadget site you've heard of and probably read.  Permalink to this paragraph

The question goes like this.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now that Apple is reading Flickr feeds in AppleTV, maybe there's no point continuing to develop FlickrFan.  Permalink to this paragraph

I always wonder what's behind this question. Does the person think that people who use FlickrFan will stop using it because AppleTV can read the RSS feeds that Flickr produces? How would that work? I don't understand. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named mini.gifI bought an AppleTV, I tried fitting it into my lifestyle, but it didn't. Apple's vision of how the Internet connects to the living room is a very controlling one. They attain a certain ease of use, true -- but the trade-off is too great. I like all the special effects, but I like to be in control of my own experience. I want to be the programmer. And I despise DRM as much as my customers hated copy protected software in the 80s. It does nothing positive for me, as a user, and I don't think it works for the vendors, but then that isn't my problem, it's theirs. Permalink to this paragraph

I much prefer the Mac Mini to AppleTV, and to everything else. But this question has always been the stinkbomb lurking over the whole Mac market. The reporters don't stand up for the vendors. What does this guy want me to do? Would he prefer if I stopped developing FlickrFan? Will he say I'm stupid if I do. Maybe I am. Hey, I don't ask for any money for it. Basically I do it because I want to help create a DRM-less environment for us to enjoy networked living rooms.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named fired.jpgFlickrFan is one of the things I'm working on. Sure it's crazy to think that I could actually contribute a little to the Mac platform. Apple surely is going to crush me tomorrow, maybe they already have. But why do users care? Why do reporters? It seems to me that we all benefit from choice. When it's a single-party system things stagnate. When there's competition, new ideas can gain traction even if it doesn't fit into the Apple vision for its users. (Which is fairly limited, read this Doc Searls piece written in 1997, it's every bit as true today as it was then.) Permalink to this paragraph

Hey if you think building on Flickr is crazy, think about this. My next product competes with iTunes as a podcatcher! I must be out of my mind, eh? ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

Finally, I could ask this guy, who I respect enormously and whose work I read practically every day, a similar question. Hey Apple writes about gadgets on apple.com. What does that say about YourGadgetSite? Got any plans for a new job? Perhaps a new career? Now that would be just rude, wouldn't?  Permalink to this paragraph

How about some respect for developers?  Permalink to this paragraph

Can't believe we're still having this discussion in 2008. Can't we get past this? Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, 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, 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 Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

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.

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