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Helping FriendFeed?

Saturday, January 03, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named tw.jpgLouis Gray offers some noble help to FriendFeed, filling in as the marketing department they don't have. Of course it would help if they did do some marketing. They may not be aware of it, but Twitter didn't just wait for people to come to them, they put up displays all over SXSW in 2007 to boot up with that community, who already knew them from Blogger days, to be the first core group of users of the service. I could see it happen, even though I wasn't part of the service then, and I wasn't at SXSW. FriendFeed hasn't done anything like this as far as I know. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, I think I know what they should do, and it isn't on Louis's list. But I wonder why I should give them the idea. This goes back to the point Arrington made a week ago, and then made again in his scolding of Scoble -- why are you working for these guys for free? It's a good question and one that bothers me, a lot. Permalink to this paragraph

Instead, I'd like to ask another question. Does anyone really think that a company-owned platform is going to win here, that it won't be swamped by an open federated system of servers that peer, like email? If so, I'd like to hear why. We went through this exercise repeatedly in the tech industry; the lesson of history is clear -- closed systems have their place and time, at the beginning of a new layer, when users need simplicity over everything else, they serve as training wheels when everyone is a newbie. Eventually we grow out of the need to have our hands held and the freedom of open systems becomes attractive, and we jump. It happened with mail, with the web, maybe not so much with IM (that's probably what they're counting on).  Permalink to this paragraph

I'd much rather give the idea to the ether, not to a company. Let's have competition.  Permalink to this paragraph

In the meantime, the clue is in the piece I wrote in early December. (I can't help it, I have to share ideas, it's the way I'm built I guess.) 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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