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Is Twitter more open than News Corp?

Thursday, November 19, 2009 by Dave Winer.

My chin fell to the floor this morning as I read a BBC article quoting Twitter co-CEO Biz Stone advising Rupert Murdoch to be more open.  Permalink to this paragraph

This got me to think about where Twitter is and where they're going and how similar it is to where Murdoch's newspapers are.  Permalink to this paragraph

In a newspaper, reporters get the prime space with the big headlines, and the readers are placed in a corner, Letters to the Editor. Or represented by a "Public Editor" who does a better job of representing the editors and owners. Permalink to this paragraph

In Twitter there's a similar hierarchy developing, pretty rapidly.  Permalink to this paragraph

The prime space is allocated, in a totally non-transparent way, to certain people, and the rest of us are mostly talking to ourselves, in very small numbers. Permalink to this paragraph

I was having coffee the other day with a former colleague at Berkman, Ethan Zuckerman, who said he would try to do something special if he had the millions of followers you get when you're on the Suggested Users List. I've seen people go that route. All of a sudden it's not good enough to be yourself, now you have to do something to take advantage of the flow you're able to generate. I wonder if that distortion, when it all shakes out, will be all that different from the feeling a reporter gets that he or she is more than a person writing from their own point of view. My guess is that it's more or less the same thing. Permalink to this paragraph

Stone has made a mess of something that could have been great by not being tranparent. How ironic that he advises Murdoch on something he himself so badly needs to do. Pretty typical of the way the tech industry relates to media. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, I think it's inevitable that Murdoch and many others in the media business will see the need to challenge Twitter for dominance in the realtime message distribution network. I don't see Twitter as being any more or less open than Mudoch's company. The basis for success will come elsewhere. 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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