Doc Searls is moving his blog to a Harvard-hosted WordPress site.
I’m helping him do this transition, the first part is done. His editorial tool, an outliner, is working with WordPress, and knock wood, praise Murphy, he’ll be updating that blog, and we’ll be archiving the original blog.
If you’re reading his blog look for new posts on the WordPress site, and you can subscribe to his newly located RSS feed. We’ll be redirecting that as well.
Raines Cohen is organizing UnGnomeCamp for the day after Gnomedex in Seattle, a week from Sunday.
Forrester analyst Vidya Lakshmipathy claims that the iPhone’s approach to the web eliminates the need for “stripped down sites crammed onto the small screens of devices meant for phoning, not browsing.”
I would love to agree, but I came to the opposite conclusion.
7/25/07: “I think what Apple has attempted is noble, but it’s not going to work. The screens have limited resolution, and even if they didn’t, even if they could cram a billion pixels into every square inch, there’s the limit of how much detail our eyes can see and how big our hands are.”
I’m glad to have the opportunity to elaborate.
The iPhone view of the web is not optimal for the user. GIven a choice between a site well-designed for mobile use, and the extra work you have to do to zoom in and out and scroll in all directions to read a page laid out for a big screen on a tiny one, there’s no choice at all, I’ll go with the one designed for mobile use.
To prove the point, compare the user experience, on an iPhone, of the default NY Times site (as demo’d in the commercial), and the river version. No doubt which one is easier for the user, and isn’t that what counts? (To me as a user, of course it is.)
Now if Forrester had said that many sites aren’t available in mobile versions, or the mobile versions often aren’t any easier than the larger versions, or the problem of where they link to hasn’t been soved, or that there are tradeoffs, of course, as a user and an engineer, I’d have to agree. But a special mobile web will be needed as long as we want to use devices the size of an iPhone.
There is some point, not sure where it is, where the screen gets large enough to work. Maybe that’s the computer Apple will announce next Wednesday.
1. The great thing about the Internet was and is that it’s the platform without a platform vendor. That’s why it has been the engine of growth and innovation for so long, over thirty years now. There’s no entity with eminent domain to forclose on a developer’s relationship with customers. And none of us are incentivized to care for a vendor’s garden in the same way we are with the community garden.
2. Perhaps it’s for the best that the iPhone has no Apple-sanctioned SDK. That has forced developers to create their own, even though results so far haven’t gotten beyond “Hello World.” If Apple had provided an SDK, then Bug Labs would not be quite as welcome, and every developer that gained traction would be wondering when Apple was going to take their market.
3. Facebook is a platform vendor, obviously, and when one develops a Facebook app, one is willingly climbing into the trunk, which has a lock, and only one entity has the key, the platform vendor.
Continuing the Status of the Platform story…
4. Harold Gilchrist asks if Twitter is a platform vendor, and of course it is, but I’m not climbing into the trunk, just studying it, sort of sticking my hand in there. Sure they may slam the lid (I kind of expect they will, actually) but there’s still a lot to learn. And I love their API, as a template for something basic.
Much as RSS 2.0 was a format used to communicate between various UserLand products that turned into a lingua franca for an industry, the Twitter API may end up having significance outside the confines of the startup that’s launching it.
At tech industry parties occasionally there’s talk about cloning it in open source, much the way all the components of Google’s back-end are now being cloned. That should certainly be done. Maybe we should have a two-day camp just for that purpose. Hmmmm.
Continuing the Status of the Platform story…
5. You know I’ve been writing about Feedburner, and its potential of being a disaster for the RSS micro-industry. An email from Daniel McKeown this morning got me thinking, why don’t we fix the problem? Maybe because most programmers have good log analysis software, or we have our hosting act down, or know how to manage domains, the idea of a creating an open source Feedburner never occurs to us. But if we see an oil spill coming, shouldn’t we be investing in technology to clean up oil spills? Or maybe we should take some steps now to avoid spills?
One of the things I’ve heard over and over from non-technical users who have the same concerns now that Feedburner is owned by Google, is where do we go if we want to switch? Ahh. There is no place to go.
If there was only one company that made mail servers or one company that hosted blogs, how quickly would there be a second and third, and how quickly would software emerge that allowed you to host your own? And why hasn’t this happened with Feedburner, and maybe it’s time that it did?
Todd Sawicki likes the idea of an open source competitor to Feedburner.
I probably shouldn’t watch the rank of this blog over at Technorati, but I do.
It’s like watching the value of a stock portfolio fluctuate over time.
It seemed to have something to do with what was happening here on the blog.
But last night, in a few hours, the rank went from 122 to 270, after spending a couple of weeks steadily going down (which is really up) from around 150.
What could account for such a huge overnight drop?
We don’t really know how Technorati works, it’s a secret algorithm, and it seems a buggy one at that. Yet the many treat it as authoritative.
Maybe someone can explain why rank can seem so volatile?
PS: As if in response, it now says my site is ranked 120. Geez Louise. What’s next?
PPS: Please, could someone with some logevity and system management expertise buy Technorati. Think of it this way. McAfee in some sense owns the Oakland Colliseum. Monster owns Candlestick. AT&T owns the stadium where the Giants play. Okay, what if IBM owned Technorati, it would then be called the IBM 100. Think about the goodwill you’d buy. You’d be famous as the arbiter of popularity in the blogosphere. You’d be thanked for bringing stability to a metric that desperately needs it. Sifry, if this approach works, you owe me 1 percent. :-)
It appears it’s been down since about 4:30AM Pacific, the message at the top of the page says it should be back around
This is what it was like before TechMeme, there was no central place to find out what’s up. We were all on our own. I kind of liked it that way.
On the other hand, I can’t wait to find out what people are talking about so hurry up and get it back onine Gabe! :-)
12PM: Techmeme is back, as is Gabe’s sanity.
Do all Sun people look like young versions of Scott McNealy?? :-)
Disappointed to hear Jaron Lanier (a nerdy rastafarian who
laughs giggles like Jerry Garcia) focus the virtual worlds conversation on revenue streams. They all say the same thing, every time the question is asked. Blah blah blah, let’s move on.