Scripting News for 5/28/2006

Barry Bonds hits #715 to pass Babe Ruth. 

8/28/96: “I wonder if the bees are philosophical about their condition in the last minutes of life.” 

SYO: The chicken, egg & frying pan 

TechCrunch: “Share Your OPML is already a good blog ranking system, and over time it has the chance to become the definitive ranking and recommendation system for blogs. And when I saw that, I’m thinking the very long tail of blogs, not just the top 100 or even 1,000.”

I really appreciate that Mike Arrington is taking another look at SYO.

For people who are new to the process of innovation in RSS, it’s a bootstrap, it’s how RSS got started in the first place.

There was no chicken and egg at first, we needed both a chicken and an egg (and a frying pan too).

The three parts were:

1. A tool that could generate RSS (that was Manila, and then Radio);

2. An aggregator that could do interesting things with the RSS (Radio) and

3. Content (first Wired, Red Herring, Salon, Motley Fool, Scripting News, a handful of blogs, then a torrent, followed by the BBC and the NY Times and then a flood of BigPubs).

SYO is not a new idea, it’s actually the third implementation of an idea that started with the Radio Community Server, circa 2002. We tracked the subscriptions of all Radio users, and published the results. In 2004 came the first SYO site, the first to introduce rudimentary collaborative filtering. It hit a scaling wall and had to come down, until we could get up a LAMP implementation, earlier this month. We’ve basically matched the functionality of the 2004 edition and are ready to grow.

Now, at this point, I’m looking for co-investors and a handful of developers to work on the software. If you find the prospects intriguing and have resources to contribute, think about it, and let me know. I’m interested in working with people with deep experience in collaborative filtering, to balance my understanding of RSS, OPML and the various communities involved.

We’re going to build all three legs, again, and when it’s done, there will be a new layer on the RSS activity, and it’ll be interesting and fun. I know this because it is already interesting an fun. Now we need to make it easier, and more automatic. 🙂

An upgrade to the XML-RPC server in Frontier 

The Frontier web programming environment moved fast in the late 90s, but maybe a bit too fast, and some ideas that came later didn’t get pushed back into the earlier stuff.

An example is the very neat way mainResponder mapped domains to content. This is something we never did with XML-RPC, yet it’s very easy to do.

A few weeks ago, I needed it, when implementing the ping handler for SYO. After doing it in a one-off fashion, I then did it in a general way, and released it for the OPML Editor.

5/24/06: A simple enhancement to the XML-RPC server.

I’d like to see it make its way into other distributions of the Frontier kernel.

Tom Morris asks… 

Tom Morris: “If you know how to automate tool updates (like Dave does with NewsRiver etc.), I’d love to talk to you.”

Wellll, if you haven’t heard from anyone Tom, I’d be happy to show you how to do it.

The first requirement is that you have a server online 24-by-7, running the OPML Editor, so it can be the subscription server. That may not be possible. But if you can, I’ll outline the steps for you, maybe even write a script that automates the process.

You also have to learn how to use WebEdit to check in new parts that will be received by your users when they update. It’s not hard to learn how to do this. I can show you how.

The only thing I ask in return is that when the next person comes along wanting to do this you will help them.

Tom Morris responds. Okay, I’ll start assembling some docs, in a little bit.

2 responses to this post.

  1. How will SYO make money?


  2. I’d like to propose a moment of silence for SalonHerringWiredFool, the proto-mashup. It was at least as important as Radio, etc in showing what could be done.

    Too bad Userland let the domain expire.


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