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There's a missing product

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 by Dave Winer.

There's a missing product in the social networking space. I'm going to try to describe it, but I think it may be hard. But I'm willing to give it a go. Permalink to this paragraph

A little over a week ago I got an email from a very good friend in Europe asking if it was true that I was going to Reboot. I replied with an email saying it was. And I thought to myself, I thought by posting that fact to Twitter four or five times that I would have informed him of this. It is not his fault. There's a missing product. Permalink to this paragraph

Yesterday, I was trying to figure out what to do with the four hours downtime between flights in CPH, so I posted a note to Twitter hoping someone with some time to spare that was interesting would respond. I got two responses to my blog post, when it was two hours into the downtime. It's not their fault. There's a missing product. Permalink to this paragraph

Here's what I think the missing product would do. Permalink to this paragraph

It would allow me to make announcements the way companies make announcements. The announcements would have good metadata attached, and would be stored in a database. People who follow me in this system are saying "I want to know everything Dave announces." Key words in that sentence: Know and Dave. I don't just want these facts to stream by in a river. I want Dave's name to go bold in a short list of people I choose to follow. Unlike a river, where I want volume and don't care about missing an item, in this product the oppositie is true. I place high value on not missing anything. I want to know literally everything Dave announces. (Or Paolo or Karin or you get the idea.) Permalink to this paragraph

I started to get a clue that such a product was needed when I started the FOD feed on Twitter. It monitors the blogs of people who are so important to me that I never want to miss one of their posts. People like NakedJen, Jay Rosen, Sylvia Paull, Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Fred Wilson and Michael Gartenberg, and people I don't even know personally like Paul Krugman and Nate Silver. It was a success. It has kept me in these people's loops, and it required them to do nothing special. Now I'm thinking about what comes next when I want other people to do something similar with me.  Permalink to this paragraph

It may be that just monitoring blog posts is enough. Tweets are too cheap, but keeping track of people through blogs may be just right.  Permalink to this paragraph

Still thinking about it.  Permalink to this paragraph

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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.


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