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Harry Truman probably would have liked Twitter

Friday, January 09, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Harry Truman: "I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell." Permalink to this paragraph

80 characters, including punctuation. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

It occurs to me this morning this is one of the most American ideas out there.  Permalink to this paragraph

"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen," another Trumanism.  Permalink to this paragraph

52 characters. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named truman.jpg Permalink to this paragraph

At dinner last night in a discussion about the future of the University of California Journalism School, I figured something out. Journalism has always been about the sources, but somehow we lost our way and focused on the reporters, the conduits, the pipes. Okay, so the way we move news from sources to their destinations is changing, but when it's all done, the news process yields the same result.  Permalink to this paragraph

So this explains why a 140-character limit in Twitter is so in tune with our times. It teaches us how to summarize, to condense, and it rewards those of us who are good at it by making our ideas go further.  Permalink to this paragraph

It also levels the playing field. Last night there was a 5.0 earthquake in southern California. Not a big one, but Twitter had the full story within a minute. Was there more to say, for cameras and analysts to pore over? Not this time. 140-characters was plenty. Permalink to this paragraph

Update: The buck stops here. 20 characters, including punctuation. 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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