Scripting News for 7/1/2006

Amazon: Virtual Hosting of Buckets

This speculative post on Scripting News on 3/2/05 was cited by Blake Ross in his presentation at Gnomedex as evidence of something I did that was wrong (not sure why). Had he blogged an objection or correction, or sent it via email, I would have happily presented his point of view. There’s nothing wrong with speculation as long as it’s clear that’s what it is. I make no apology for what I said. As a user of Firefox today (I wasn’t then), to the exclusion of any other browser, I would like to know what features they’re going to add, what bugs they’re going to fix. That’s what I asked him for here at Gnomedex, and I didn’t get an answer. I don’t care about their aspirations re Microsoft, that’s where the software industry went wrong. Focus on what you’re going to do for users, and all it right.  

BTW, I don’t think my speculation was that far off. Today Firefox generates millions in revenue from Google for the default search position in the browser’s chrome. I’d like to know in what way that’s not an ad.  

Pictures from the Gillmor Gang at Gnomedex. 

Seattle P-I: John Edwards courts tech crowd in Seattle

Notes for a talk that I gave in Pisa, Italy in May 2005.  

A more reasonable size of the RSS Days proclamation. 

Attn Jeff Barr 

I had another brief conversation this morning with Jeff Barr of Amazon. He saw my note about my note yesterday, so it seems to work. I have more ideas, but since we have an open flow of ideas going through Scripting News, let’s keep going the open way.

1. Domain mapping. I want to point a sub-domain at a bucket on S3, so they can host my weblog along with my BitTorrents and the address of the site is something like Well, the turnaround time on this request is less than zero, apparently they’ve already implemented it! As Ze Frank says, “Awesome.”

2. Developer pricing. I’d like to make my OPML Editor software connect to S3, but I don’t want to pay for the service for my users (my software is free, after all) and while I don’t mind building business for Amazon, it does seem kind of weird that they will be making money from my work, while I’m not just making nothing, I’m actually spending money for the users of my software (which is the current situation, btw). So at first I thought I wanted them to offer a 60 or 90 day free trial for my users, but that led to an even better idea. How about paying me to generate business. Seems I should get a big portion of the revenue, so I’m incentivized to build business for Amazon. Seems like a no-brainer. Voila! Business model. Aha.

My talk this morning 

I’m going to try to explain how I think about communication, technology, creativity and making money. There are a couple of very very simple ideas that are behind everything I do, RSS, blogging, OPML, outlining, podcasting, unconferences, everything.

The two ideas are outlined in two DaveNet pieces:

1. How to Make Money on the Internet, v2.0 and

2. Monoculture, An artifact of the 20th century?

Imho, these two ideas explain everything.

Last night I was talking with Dave Luebbert, my dear friend, who I met when he was a Microsoft engineer in the mid-80s. We talked about Jeff Harbers, a Microsoft guy we both knew (he did due diligence on a company I wanted to sell to MS in 1987). And where Microsoft is at today, and why Bill Gates quit now and what it means. (That’s #1, users design technology, which is why Google is ascending now as Microsoft is declining.)

If you want to understand why the music industry is going where it’s going, that’s both #1 and #2. There’s still a bit more money to be made off the music of the 20th century, but there’s no time to waste, soon that opportunity will go away, and what remains of the centralized music industry will wither and die, not to be replaced (it’s as obsolete as the buggy whip industry was during the ascendence of the automobile).

They also answer the questions asked by Senator Edwards yesterday, you can’t follow the algorithm inadvertently pioneered stumbled on by Howard Dean, that’s too simplistic. Maybe we will have one or two more elections in the 20th century mode, and then our political leaders are going to be users of democracy, whatever that means. (It’s basically up to all of us to figure that out.)

We live in the age that Emerson predicted, self-reliance. Make your own music and your own products. Everyone gets to be creative. The brains are in what we used to call the audience. No more looking up to the ivory tower for all fulfillment. Thank god we don’t all have to be as beautiful as Farah Fawcett and Christopher Reeve. Everyone gets to sing. Users and developers party together.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous1 on July 1, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Yep, Firefox hawks the default search engine position to the highest bidder (I believe it’s Yahoo on Asian builds). It’s basically adware at second-hand.


  2. How did your copy of Firefox cost you?
    How can you manage to sound off on business practices of an organization when you are enjoying the fruits of their labour?
    The Mozilla Foundation has to keep their lights on too, so if they want to whore out their search engine to the highest bidder for the sake of earning a little extra revenue to ensure that Firefox will continue to roll out, then let them whore it out.


  3. Bill, I never said it was wrong.


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