Home > Archive >  2009 >  May >  29

Is there value in being on the SUL?

Friday, May 29, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named pepper.gifI think it's self-evident that there is a lot of value in being on Twitter's Suggested User List, especially for publications that run ads on the pages they link to from posts to Twitter. And many of the most-followed Twitter users do that. You can see that if you look at the main 100TWT site, the posts of the 100 most popular Twitter users. Permalink to this paragraph

http://100TWT.com/  Permalink to this paragraph

I wrote this app so I could get a sense of how these feeds were being used. Some even run outright ads in their feeds, not links to pages that have ads. AdventureGirl, with 493K followers, is an excellent example.  Permalink to this paragraph

Some people have said that being on the SUL is like being linked to, but I don't think so. There is no web equivalent to the SUL. It's as if Google seeded their search engine so that every web newbie, when they searched for anything, got 20 of 200 sites in every response. There would be no correlation between the sites returned and the query. Further, the power of these initial sites in recommending other sites would be almost absolute. New users wouldn't have any other way to find things on the web other than the first few sites they got in their very first Google search. It's so out-there that it's hard to even explain, the web could never have worked that way, people simply wouldn't have gotten the point. Permalink to this paragraph

Another experiment would be to walk around the office and ask every Twitter user if they would mind having more followers. Don't say why you're asking, just ask. If they all say they don't care how many people follow them, I'll buy every one of them a bagel next time I'm in town. Permalink to this paragraph

I couldn't discuss this on Twitter because there's no way to explore any subtle subject 140 characters at a time. But I'm willing to discuss it here, as long as we're uncovering new ideas, and not rehashing stuff. Permalink to this paragraph

Note: I originally wrote this piece to reference a specific organization, but on reflection I think it works better if it it's general. These are my opinions, I don't present them as gospel, as always your mileage may vary. Permalink to this paragraph

   Recent stories

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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

© Copyright 1994-2009 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 5/29/2009; 9:12:10 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.