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Sharing links in the River2 community

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A new feature makes it easy to share links to stories from the River2 news page to followers on Twitter. Permalink to this paragraph

http://newsriver.org/r2ly.html Permalink to this paragraph

It also maintains a Top 40 list for River2 users. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named elephant.jpgThis feature is itself a bootstrap since one of the key ingredients are the people using it. Just the right number and the right kind (thoughtful, passionate, forgiving, visionary) are needed. The result can be an editorial product in its own right. And the first experiences will probably certainly suggest the second and third level of features. Permalink to this paragraph

Bootstrapping is for users too. In fact at some point, without users participating, the bootstrap stops. You have to wait until they show up, or keep trying to figure out what it will take to entice them to participate.  Permalink to this paragraph

I realized something yesterday, that bootstrapping is hard because you have to use things that don't exist yet.  Permalink to this paragraph

I often use bridges as metaphors to describe bootstraps in software. Here goes..  Permalink to this paragraph

People hardly notice driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, they might notice the scenery, or the walkers or bike riders, or think about the oncoming traffic. But one day, a long time ago, someone stood on one side or the other -- in San Francisco or Marin -- and looked at the Golden Gate (which was the waterway before it was the bridge) and thought "I bet we could put a bridge here." Nice thought, but then what? What's the first step? And when that doesn't work, what's the next first step? Long before there's a bridge, someone has to make the trip in a bucket hanging from a cable. Today, River2 users are those kinds of people.  Permalink to this paragraph

I've been having an on-and-off discussion with Marshall about this. He's been frustrated by the software. I understand. But I need people like him to struggle through it, tell me what went wrong, so I can try to fix it, and then tell me if it worked. The rewards mostly come from within, to know that you played a role in making something new happen. In this case it will be a distributed loosely-coupled 140-character message network that is free from YWFFTMMR. And there might be business opportunities to provide services to users. No one's saying you can't get rich. But it has to be fair, and people should always have lots of choice. Permalink to this paragraph

One more note -- it's taking a long time for the domain I'll use, r2.ly, to come through the registration process. So to begin with we'll use a teamrss.com domain to share links. If you see one of these on Twitter it's coming from this part of 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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