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Am I a hypocrite?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Sure. Of course. I am a totally f*cked up human being.  Permalink to this paragraph

Now that that's out of the way, let me explain. Permalink to this paragraph

Last night on Twitter, Staci Kramer of PaidContent asked what's the difference betwen the default list in River2 and Twitter's suggested user list.  Permalink to this paragraph

There's a qualitative difference and a quantitative one. Permalink to this paragraph

I use the default list for two purposes: 1. To provide an initial user experience that isn't blank. In this sense it is like Twitter's list. 2. To highlight interesting uses of RSS and clouds and reading lists, things I want to encourage people to support. By throwing them a bit of recognition, I hope to create an incentive to support the features that River2 is leading the way with. I did this with Radio too. I do it with Scripting News. I'm unabashed about it. It's how you bootstrap new stuff. It's a good thing. Permalink to this paragraph

No one has paid for position on the list, but I don't guarantee that I will never sell a position on the list. But I will never put a feed on the list that I wouldn't put there if they didn't pay.  Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named chef.jpgNow for the differences. Permalink to this paragraph

1. My list is like the default list in Tweetdeck or Tweetie or Google Reader. I don't have a monopoly. I am not the only game in town. If people dislike my choices they can vote with their feet. Twitter is the whole ballgame. As I said yesterday, it's as if Google favored their friends in search results. Or if Tim Berners-Lee made it so that 1/4 of every web page had an ad for Om, ReadWriteWeb, Tim O'Reilly or TechCrunch. Permalink to this paragraph

2. I have a shopping list in my pocket. On it I list products I'm going to buy when I go to the supermarket. That's also like the Suggested User List. The products on the list profit from being there. But Chef Boyardee won't notice whether or not he's on my list (he's not). River2 is a teeny weeny little product compared to the mighty Twitter, which delivers hundreds of thousands of followers to people on its list.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. I try not to influence editorial content through my choices. I've gone with big pubs like Reuters, BBC, the Guardian, CNET, NYT. Their techies hopefully will appreciate the respect, but if it influences the writers I will remove it immediately. In TwitterLand, the problem isn't so much that Twitter tries to influence, that's understandable, it's that the reporters don't object.  Permalink to this paragraph

There will continue to be a default list in River2.  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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Last update: 9/9/2009; 4:57:51 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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