Home > Archive >  2008 >  June >  17

AP pay-to-quote, day 2

Tuesday, June 17, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named peter.gifA commenter named Billenator says it's all about money. It's a good essay, and worth thinking about.  Permalink to this paragraph

But what's been missing in much of the discussion is an understanding that large entities like AP rarely are of one mind about anything. I first learned this in the 80s trying to make sense of Apple, a company that was, while Steve Jobs was gone, a land of many opinions and much second-guessing. Today's Apple is still a complex animal, for sure, but it presents a simpler interface to the world.  Permalink to this paragraph

Harvard is an interesting place, all great universities understand that every person has their own opinion, they celebrate that with something called academic freedom. Universities see diversity of opinion as part of their mission. At least good ones do. Permalink to this paragraph

AP is a large organization with many opinions, and they're not like Apple nor are they like Harvard. How many people know that AP is a not-for-profit cooperative? Does that change your thinking? Permalink to this paragraph

And while it seems that lawyers are running this show, how much do you know about what actually happened here? Are you sure the blogger is telling the whole story? (I have no reason to believe he's not, but bloggers are people too, and sometimes they have motives other than the obvious ones.) Permalink to this paragraph

I want to testify on behalf of the AP. I did a deal with them at the end of last year, a quiet one, that the tech community mostly ignored. We didn't run press releases or go on a press tour. I did talk with a few analysts, there were a few articles, but none seemed to catch the trust in the community coming from the AP. It seems that the last 10 years have influenced AP, they are willing to take some risks with their content, but it seems many if not all bloggers are not quite as innovation-aware as they think they are -- how many were willing to give any thought to the unique experiment the AP did with some of their most valuable content? If any were, they never made their presence known to me.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named cloud.jpgNeither Mike Arrington or Jeff Jarvis, two of the leaders of the AP rebellion, noticed the good work that AP was doing, but they were willing to shut down the relationship between the blogosphere and the AP, over what? All that had happened was a threatening letter was written. Arrington is a lawyer (disclaimer: at one point he was my lawyer) and he knows how insignificant such a letter is. He actually publishes the ones people send him on his site! All of a sudden the earth shakes because AP sent one to another blogger? Come on, the blogger dost protest too much, methinks. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

The point is -- as a group -- we haven't grown up yet. We're in the middle of a revolution, and we've attracted some of the energy we're revolting against. Time to stop thinking about centralizing power and punishing those who don't recognize it. That's not going to work for AP anymore if it ever did, and it's not going to work for BuzzMachine or TechCrunch either. I don't respect your brands, I respect ideas and thought, innovation, generosity, even kindness. Permalink to this paragraph

AP is a large organization that serves many constituencies, and is dependent on them in ways very few people outside AP understand. I certainly don't. But I do admire the courage of the people I've met there, for good reason. I'm willing to cut them a lot of slack, because whether you like it or not, the relationship between bloggers and the AP continues, and it's nowhere as simple as you think it is. Permalink to this paragraph


Recent stories:

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.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 10/20/2008; 8:22:33 AM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.