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Poet's Guides

Wednesday, March 25, 2009 by Dave Winer.

I'd say EC2 for Poets was an unqualified success. Permalink to this paragraph

Its purpose was two-fold: 1. To see if intelligent people who have never put up a server before could do it with EC2. 2. Having given them the experience, they would then see new applications for servers that people who usually put up servers don't see. Permalink to this paragraph

There were requests for more Poet's Guides -- one in particular -- OPML Editor for Poets. The suggester realized toward the end of his request that the last person to write a Poet's Guide is the person who is immersed in the details of the thing being written about. The guide has to be someone who, like the reader, is a newbie -- who knows just enough to get it to work, and not a whole lot more.  Permalink to this paragraph

One thing people were disappointed about was that the instance you start doesn't retain its state when you shut it off. It would be highly desirable to have a hosting service where the image of your virtual server was retained and could be restarted just like you restart your laptop or desktop computer. But you would only pay for the time the server is actually running. This could be a lucrative business, it seems, esp if the launch times could be shorter (say the same speed that a virtual machine launches on a desktop). It would also be nice if there were a way to do this with Mac OS. Permalink to this paragraph

How about a Kindle for Poets? As you may know -- I got a Kindle recently, but haven't had a chance to use it for real until I took a plane flight earlier this week. I bought a copy of the NY Times for $0.75 and read it on the 2 hour flight to Salt Lake from SFO. I liked it. In ways it was better than reading the paper Times. Not so unweildy, easier to remember my place if I get distracted. No paper to throw out when I'm done.I didn't have to stand in line at the news stand, or have exact change for the vending box. And it's cheaper than the physical paper. Good deal. Permalink to this paragraph

Now what I'd like to do is run a script on my netbook to load up my Kindle with lots of content from bloggers I read, without going through Amazon's servers. I don't want to use their limited web browser. I want the content to be first class, as pleasant as reading the NY Times. In other words, I want it to function like an iPod -- I only use iTunes for the last step in loading content onto my iPod, I manage all my podcast subscriptions myself with my own podcatcher. I want the Kindle to work largely the same way. I bring this question to the Scripting News readership -- how do I get started? And if successful I may well write a Kindle publishing howto, if there isn't already one. Permalink to this paragraph

I would, of course, use Scripting News as a guinea pig for the process -- I'd love to make it available to Kindle readers, but I'd want to be able to tinker with the user experience if it's at all possible to do so. I see a new reading device as a learning tool not for me, as a writer, but also as a media hacker.  Permalink to this paragraph

Also I invite others to write their own Poets howto's for things they're interested in or passionate about. You learn a lot from the process. As they say -- people teach what they most need to learn. ;-> 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.

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"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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