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Why decentralizing Twitter is hopeless

Sunday, May 11, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named esther.jpgTo every yin there's a yang. Here's a brilliant counterpoint to what I've been writing here about decentralizing Twitter. I've excerpted the last paragraph because it is some of the best tech writing I've ever read. Wonderful.  Permalink to this paragraph

Echovar: "The idea of building competitors to Twitter on the same platform, or redistributing Twitter to multiple players reminds me of the idea that New York City should be rebuilt in Ohio because it would be cheaper. Or perhaps we could distribute a little of New York City in every state of the Union. New York City is what it is because of the people who live and visit there. Building another New York City in Las Vegas doesn't result in the phenomenon that is New York City. In a very important sense, Twitter is decentralized at its core, it is rhizomatic rather than arborescent." Permalink to this paragraph

Now go read the whole thing, please. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

PS: As has been pointed out by several emailers, the idea of relocating cities in the virtual world appeared in a piece I wrote yesterday, where I said indeed it does happen. It can't happen in the real world. But in defense of echovar, it would only happen if there were a war where platform vendors were fighting in vain to lock us in, and only when Twitter was so mature that we understood every nuance of how it's used. Yes, we are, today, locked into Twitter. And I'm not comfortable about that. Eventually, relocating New York may be what we have to do. Charles Cooper is very correct though in his piece on this subject, it's time for Twitter to get into this discussion and tell us what their thoughts are.  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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