Scripting News for 2/24/2006

David Wilkinson has a mockup of an OPML Editor 1.0 website for review. It’s a little homey, imho, I was hoping for more color, like the Firefox download site. Maybe even with rounded corners and Ajax-ish tech. 

I’m thinking about a series of OPML Roadshows in April, to take the 1.0 release around the U.S. to show it off. So far I’ve asked about venues in Cambridge, New York and Seattle. Obviously there would have to be one in the Bay Area. Maybe this time (I’m going to get in trouble for this) London. :-) 

It was a rougher week on the net than you could see on the mail lists. I’m getting pushed around again, that’s the bad news. The good news is that a bunch of people wanted to get a flamefest going with me as the guest of honor, and it didn’t take root. Even so, I have reached a new level of exhaustion, and that’s not a good thing. In some conversations, I’ve tried, to no avail, to explain that I am a real person, not an object, and I’m just asking to be treated as you would treat anyone else. But I’m also an A-lister, and a celebrity, and being treated like an object comes with the territory. But I’m also a blogger, and I’m sorry, I just doing go for the regal treatment. Anyway, maybe next week will be better. I sure hope so. 

Sean Kaye: “My great concern is that companies like the ones above will ‘simplify’ the standard for themselves thus making it considerably more complicated for everyone else and far less effective than it is now.” The companies are Six Apart, Feedburner, Technorati, Newsgator and Socialtext. 

Thanks to Dave Sifry at Technorati for helping RSS get out of conflict.  

Press-Republican: “Dr Robert Johnson, a Democrat from Sackets Harbor, near Watertown, who is challenging incumbent Republican John McHugh in the 23rd District, said he was denied access aboard a Continental Airlines flight to Florida on Jan 17 from Syracuse after officials informed him that he was on a ‘no-fly’ list.” 

Essay: It’s their world, not mine

Rex Hammock: “It’s a mistake when anyone attempts to place mass-media business metrics to defining success or failure of a weblog.” 

Blogging for newbies 

When I encourage people to start a blog here’s what I suggest they do.

First, create a new weblog on one of the free services, like Blogger or MSN Spaces. It takes about five minutes, and is about as hard as creating an email address on Yahoo or Hotmail, and represents less of a commitment. Then make your first post, something like Hello There, or Testing 1-2-3. Once you’ve verified that it works, you can stop there.

Then someday, when you’re in the shower or lying in bed in the morning and get an idea that you wish you could tell everyone, remember that you have a blog, and go to the computer, and write it up and publish it. That actually feels pretty good, even if you think no one will read it, because you got it off your chest.

Then in a few days Google will probably visit your site and index the post, and then when someone searches for that subject, your page will come up, and maybe you’ll pass that idea on to someone who can use it, or meet someone who agrees, or someone who disagrees. And that’s blogging, and that’s all it is.

To illustrate the point, this morning I woke up thinking that I should really post my standard blogging pitch. And there, a few minutes later, it is.

The elevator pitch for OPML blogging 

At lunch on Sunday with Rick Segal, the Toronto venture capitalist, and ex-Microsoft fighter pilot, he asked if anything new was coming in blogging. I said yes, there is, something big.

And so there is. People who use the OPML Editor for blogging know what it is. And I even have the elevator pitch, and it’s been tested on Rick Segal, and it works. It goes like this.

Did you ever have an idea you wanted to post on your blog that didn’t seem big enough to be an essay? An idea that could be expressed in a sentence, or less, but still deserved to get out there? In writing school they teach that less is better. If you can say someting in three words instead of twenty, say it in three. It communicates better. Well, none of the existing blogging tools can do little sentence or phrase-size blog posts.

That’s what we’re doing, perfecting a tool for easier, quicker, blogging on a smaller scale.

Don’t forget 

Commenting is back. Your thoughts are welcome!

But please keep it friendly. Thanks.

39 responses to this post.

  1. “Well, none of the existing blogging tools can do little sentence or phrase-size blog posts”
    really ?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Tom on February 24, 2006 at 5:35 am

    Yeah, clearly that statement’s a lie as it stands; I think I know what Dave means, but maybe he should say it more explicitly!

    Reply

  3. Sure, I could create a WordPress blog post for a sentence or a phrase, but that’s like driving to the supermarket to pick up a pea.

    Reply

  4. What I’ve found as a teacher of sorts to bloggers-to-be, is that what I (and maybe the rest of us,too) need to do is start somewhere *before* the “first, create a new weblog on one of the free services, like Blogger or MSN Spaces”

    Most people still don’t get that technical part. Yes, those of us who’ve been online for awhile can easily grasp working with Blogger, or Blog-City, but the general public still doesn’t understand how it works, and what to do when they get there.

    I’m working on it, tho!

    Reply

  5. Dave, I’m interested in OPML-style blogging (honest) but most of my (work) day is spent in Linux. Has anyone tackled trying to port it there yet? Or, failing that, has anyone managed to get the Windows version working in Wine?

    Reply

  6. What if you have a phrase-only blog, and you find yourself wanting to publish, just for once, one big mammoth of a post ?

    Really, any blog tool will work for phrase-size posts. The only relevant point is, is the CSS adapted to both long and short writings. I think the french Embruns.net, with its two-columns format, is the way to go : one colum for thoughtful/long posts, another one for daily rambles and phrases/links. And it uses Movable Type.

    Reply

  7. We can do long posts too, no problem.

    Reply

  8. I would give much the same advice that you give to new bloggers, but with one difference.

    First, what is the same? Get that quick and easy weblog set up – it is a no brainer. When you get an idea, just post it. The real life of a blog is not just what you write, but what happens when others see what you write and react.

    The only difference is that I encourage people not to wait to post. I suggest that they “prime the pump” a bit by just starting to write _something_ on a fairly regular basis. One problem that I often see with new bloggers is that they wait until they think they have something profound to say and until they can refine it to a state of perfection. This notion prevents them from seeing that blogging is a form of communicating that is active and evolving and is better served by getting “it” out there than by keeping things to yourself.

    Thanks.

    Dan

    Reply

  9. Dave, I have to admit I have been behind in playing with the OPML Editor of late, but it looks like the development is an interesting one.

    I do have one concern, though. Is it going to be possible to use this “short and sweet” posting ability without being tethered to a desktop application? For example, the wonderful part about my WP blog is that I can post from anywhere. If I want to get a quick blurb out, I want to be able to do it from anywhere.

    Additionally, I find that some of the coolest templates in WP don’t quite lend themselves to this method of posting. The templates need to have the capability of having all posts beneath a certain date. Presumably, this would take a bit of tweaking, but I will have to admit I have been lazy on that front. :-)

    Am I missing something or will what I am looking for be feasible?

    Reply

  10. […] Kind of ironic. Or not. I read Dave Winer’s blog on a daily basis and it happens today that he decided to address new bloggers. I agree with Dan’s comments that it will help not to wait for something profound to post. I am going to try to do a lot of posting. It might not entertain everyone but what does. I’ll post stuff that interests me & stuff that will help people out. You have to start somewhere. […]

    Reply

  11. […] Kind of ironic. Or not. I read Dave Winer’s blog on a daily basis and it happens today that he decided to address new bloggers. I agree with Dan’s comments that it will help not to wait for something profound to post. I am going to try to do a lot of posting. It might not entertain everyone but what does. I’ll post stuff that interests me & stuff that will help people out. You have to start somewhere. […]

    Reply

  12. Posted by Ramin on February 24, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Well, none of the existing blogging tools can do little sentence or phrase-size blog posts.

    Hmm. Not sure if I agree with this one. None of the tools I’ve seen or used show any bias for post size. Content-type (i.e. text-only) yes. But not size.

    Perhaps a diagram or screenshot would help clarify what you mean.

    Reply

  13. Dave – your post on “Hate in the Blogosphere” turned up in my aggregator. The link takes me to scripting.com but the post isn’t there? I wrote in my own blog on the rising tide on personal attacks and offensive commentary but I’m not sure how we address this as a community.

    Reply

  14. d.w. says:

    “Dave, I’m interested in OPML-style blogging (honest) but most of my (work) day is spent in Linux. Has anyone tackled trying to port it there yet? Or, failing that, has anyone managed to get the Windows version working in Wine?”

    Actually, I haven’t tried it in awhile, but I had some good success with running Radio UserLand under Wine back around 2000 or so. I’d have to imagine that the situation has only gotten better since then. (I hope)

    On the other hand, if you can use Windows/Mac for the client side, I’ve started poking around at the hosting end to build a PHP-based community server as a publishing target

    Reply

  15. Oh, but on the other hand, for a linux client: The OPML community server has a pretty simple XML-RPC API as far as I can tell so far. So, if you can throw an XML-RPC call into the file-save hook of a Linux-based outliner that understands OPML, you’re most of the way there. That seems like something interesting to look into…

    Reply

  16. Les, I would love to see a Wine-based port attempted. The situation is much better now because it’s open source, so there are no secrets. I think this is the way to go.

    I saw your post the other day about the XML-RPC API, but don’t be misled, the API is simple, but there’s a lot of functionality behind that API that would need to be reproduced. It may well be that the fastest way to get a Linux-based server is to use Wine to get the kernel running on Linux.

    Reply

  17. ok, so we’re talking about making “asides” available to the masses. right?

    Reply

  18. Hey Dave, I’m curious about something. Do you think that the OPML editor is a step towards making “tumblelogging” simple?

    Reply

  19. Dave: Totally right about the XML-RPC API… I started cloning it a bit in PHP, but the API is just the iceberg tip, for sure.

    I should look some more into some Crossover Office [1] styled experiments to get the OPML Editor going on Linux. It might be a bit of a Rube Goldberg machine to get going as a headless server, but easier over all in comparison to my blue sky project for a PHP clone

    [1]: http://www.codeweavers.com/

    Reply

  20. Les, if there’s anything I can do to help gather resources for a Linux port, it’s really high up on my list.

    Reply

  21. Dave, I don’t understand your first paragraph above – what did Newsgator and Technorati do to get crossed off your list? Thanks – David.

    Reply

  22. Steve, I did briefly have a post about Hate in the blogosphere, but on reflection, decided that it would just attract more of that kind of energy, and I’m pretty exhausted from being pushed around in a lot of different ways, and I didn’t feel I could deal with more.

    Here’s the basics. A post on a syndication mail list, with fascist imagery, called a Putsch. The term is associated with the Nazis.

    Reply

  23. Dave, you can twist anything around any way you like; but this was intended to be a political cartoon to give people a laugh. Give me a different title and a different text for the bubbles and i’ll be glad to post it in the same context. Lighten up dude!

    Reply

  24. Do you have any goddam idea what a Putsch is?

    How many of your relatives were incinerated by the Putschers?

    You need to apologize right now Seth. Right fucking now.

    Reply

  25. Well i don’t know enough German to know what “Putsch” really means, all i know is about the beer hall Putsch as a kind of mob activity, a kind of political activity that changed a regime and that was the only reason i chose the title. Also, i’m serious about posting a cartoon from your point of view … same style… same bubbles if you like … your words … your tone.

    No apologies, Dave. This is just political awareness. If you read my context you would see that i was just documenting and illustrating the “drama”. Illustrate your side …. or let me, i’ll be glad to illustrate your side … just feed me the text and the images. And if you read my tag room about you, you would know that i bear you no hate.

    Sometimes i think you don’t know how loud you bark.

    Reply

  26. The last thing I want is to perpetuate that kind of racial bullshit. My race was ethnically cleansed by the putschers. Even if I werent’t characterized as the animal in that cartoon I would find it intolerably offensive. I find it hard to believe you really are that ignorant, but no matter what, you’ve said your piece, now get out. You’re not welcome here.

    Reply

  27. I’m not good for much besides low-hanging hacks until about mid-April or so – but if I get a chance, I’ll try booting up a Linux machine and see if my Wine memory isn’t too rusty… Radio wasn’t too hard to get running, might be not too hard to get OPML Editor running and try getting a more polished package from there.

    Reply

  28. Dave:

    The non-sense with the RSS board reminds me of a quote I posted to my blog last week.

    “I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.”

    – Umberto Eco

    Reply

  29. Hi Dave,

    I can definitely see the concept of using the OPML editor for short posts. I am guessing that posting piecemeal in wordpress is the same as Radio userland. It would be good to see a more fuller feature set for Movable Type even at the 2.661 version. :)

    Reply

  30. Hey Dave,

    If your planning on coming to London, any chance you could visit Dublin for a few days?

    The first irish blog awards are being held on the 11-March. That would be a great time to swing by.

    See the Irish Blog Awards Website for details.

    Joe.

    Reply

  31. “Then in a few days Google will probably visit your site and index the post, and then when someone searches for that subject, your page will come up, and maybe you’ll pass that idea on to someone who can use it, or meet someone who agrees, or someone who disagrees. And that’s blogging, and that’s all it is.”

    I think you gave good advice on how to start (using a free service). But thinking that Google will pick up the new blog and even sending searches there within a few days… Well, all to optimistic. It can take weeks before Google even finds your blog, and you would still be on page 300-hundred-something and no one will find you.

    So don’t expect any traffic from Google unless you write about about something very special that no one else writes about…

    Reply

  32. Regarding an OPML tour, any chance of perhaps making a Chicago stop? I know you’ve said before that you tend not to come through Chicago anymore, but there are a lot of us here who would love to see OPML demonstrated, as well as get to ask you questions about it. Just something to consider, I guess.

    Reply

  33. Hi Dave, just curious if you’ll be strolling a couple of blocks over to Berkeley BrainJams today, it’s the nearest thing I’ve seen to your HyperCamp concept… or rather, a different take with similar aims, a nice integration of process/group dynamics with creative engagement among technologists.

    http://www.brainjams.org/

    I’d be there, except I’m in Port Townsend,WA for the weekend, working with real-world communities – cohousing and intentional communities.

    Raines

    Reply

  34. Posted by Xavier on February 25, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    AFAIK, the word “putsch” is a synonym of “coup d’état”, and is not specifically related to Nazis. The Beer Hall Putsch is not even the first one in 20th Century history. Yeltsin came to power in Russia in ’91 thanks to a failed coup, and it is said Putin’s was also from a putsch.
    Calling something a putsch does not imply a racist statement (or a religious one, as you apparently understand it) : it just means a change of power. Yes it’s a german word. But german != Nazi, you know :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putsch

    http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=putsch

    http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/archive/2005/01/08.html

    Reply

  35. Xavier, do a Google search to get an idea of how often it’s used in a non-Nazi context, and you’ll see a different picture.

    Reply

  36. ‘…do a Google search to get an idea of how often it’s used in a non-Nazi context…’

    Pretty often, is the answer. I assume that all those people are unwelcome here?

    Reply

  37. Dave, in regards to the flaming you’re taking, this is the basic problem with participation in the blogosphere. When someone attacks you, you’re damned if you, damned if you don’t.

    If you respond, you invite more and escalating attacks. If you moderate down or delete attacks, you’re a heavy censor. If you don’t respond, attacks will still continue, with all the vileness that entails.

    The only “solution” I can see if one still wants to participate in the blogosphere, is to remove any visible, public feedback that gives aggressive people the forum they seek. This seems to be what MSM bloggers are doing (journalists and such) — either they don’t have comments on their blogs, or comments are moderated by someone else, so they don’t have to deal with the muckiness.

    You don’t necessarily participate in the “conversation” anymore, but I have my doubts now if there was any conversation in the first place. (Perhaps there was when the number of blogs was few; but now its just a crapflood).

    Reply

  38. Sorry, I don’t base my opinions on Google results. I prefer facts – like offline dictionnaries and such.

    Reply

  39. At Corante we use a category called a Blink, which strips out most of the usual metadata from the display and created a unique border around the post. Works well, almost like a Stickie notw.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers

%d bloggers like this: