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Berkeley is a small town

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named yeah.gifTom Hunt a Berkeleyite since the 60s, who makes a living helping people keep their computers running, says Berkeley is a small town. If you look at the University as a factory, everything else is just a little place where everyone knows someone who knows everyone. I've now lived here 2.5 years and it's not unusual when I go out to meet two people I know. It's a small town with lots of creative people who like to use their minds. My kind of place. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway -- there was a Laconica hackfest here a couple of Saturdays ago, at the open working space on Shattuck near Ashby. I had never been there, but I know a bunch of people who work there. Turns out a friend, Ken Sedgwick, was hosting the meetup even though he doesn't use Twitter or Identi.ca very much. But Ken knows how to package up Unix software so that it's easy to install and maintain. He's a consultant, that's one of the things he does for his clients.  Permalink to this paragraph

So I went to the hackfest with a mission -- I wanted to create a Twitter that anyone one could install for themselves and host in Amazon's cloud. I have a theory that Twitter can be like Lotus Notes, a workgroup application that installs like shrinkwrap software did in the 80s. I want to learn about this, and hopefully -- if the theory is right, help start a billion Twitters to go with the billion weblogs we've got running now. Or something like that. Permalink to this paragraph

We had a dinner last night at China Village on Solano, eight people showed up, Ken told us where he was at. It sounded great, but he kept saying how much more there was to do. Even so he let us try out what he had, and it was a lot easier than most of the tech I have to crunch my head through (I was thinking of OAuth, which took two weeks). I was able to get my Twitter running in 10 minutes. Nothing to it! (Now, I have a little experience with EC2 and that probably helped. But it's still really easy. A tech type could get through it in no more than an hour.) Permalink to this paragraph

So here it is... Permalink to this paragraph

http://home.smallpicture.com/  Permalink to this paragraph

This is going to be the Scripting News community Twitter if such a thing is possible. Create an account if you want. I have no idea if this is permanent or if we'll have to start over at some point. But I'm proud of the work that Ken did, and excited about the possibilities for the future.  Permalink to this paragraph

I don't want to point to Ken's HowTo until he says it's okay. I think it is. But you never know, we'll do things in the right order. But know that Berkeley is humming, we're creating some good stuff. Glad I moved here.  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.

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"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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