Scripting News for 8/25/2006

A moderated mail list for people who blog and want to use a Blackberry, Treo or other web-enabled mobile device to create and edit blog posts. I’m starting this group to test some software I’m working on, but it can be used to discuss anything related to blogging and mobile devices. Please join the list if you have time in the next few days to test the software.  

Harish Rao: “Nicco’s recent post about his support for Senator John McCain has caused quite a lot of ruckus. We at EchoDitto disagree with his decision. While Nicco does not work for Senator McCain, his support for a possible McCain candidacy runs contrary to many of our core beliefs at EchoDitto.” 

Scoble is hosting a no-foo no-fight at the Ritz in Half Moon Bay tomorrow at 2PM.  

Mike Arrington proposes the creation of an open API for job boards. “I don’t want to have my own garden, a sort of mini I want to be a part of an ecosystem.” Amen. 

Guardian: Dipping into the River of News

I just spoke with Nicco. I don’t think he really thought it through before he said he supported McCain. He’s definitely not a seasoned political operative (not that I am either). I consider Nicco a friend, and I know him pretty well, and I’ve been listening to McCain, and I think it’s a total mismatch. Almost every reasonable person can agree that there’s something admirable about McCain. But he can’t be the next President and solve the problems created by the current President. He is a loyal Republican. Even if he were secretly against the war, he couldn’t take the steps needed to end it. And he’s always said we need more troops in Iraq. Nicco worked for Howard Dean, and while there’s a lot that I don’t like about Dean, he got the war issue right, back in 2003. It’s even clearer in 2006. For Nicco to support a pro-war candidate now is completely unreasonable, and I told him so. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this. 

BTW, even Republicans can now agree that Dean got it right, no matter how galling it must be to admit you were wrong. What if we had never gone into Iraq? Would the country, the region be better off than it is now? Obviously, no matter how bad Saddam was, his crippled and contained regime was preferrable to the bloodbath that Iraq is now; and come on, we all know it’s going to get much worse before it gets better, if it ever does. We’re not the idiots the Republicans make us out to be. And never mind Iraq for a minute, what about the US? Isn’t the President’s first responsibility to America? There’s no doubt we’d be better off if we weren’t fighting a war in Iraq. Something to think about when pulling the lever in November.  

I told Nicco he was going the wrong way. People are going to be leaving the Republican Party in droves. It’s like buying a house as the market is collapsing (which I just did, btw). Buying Republican stock right now is a bad investment. 

Denise Howell on legal issues raised by the rivers.  

Steve Garfield is testing a Nokia 93 cell phone over wifi with the R.O.N. 

Yesterday Andrew Baron and Nicco Mele met in NYC. I suspect this meeting will be recorded in history books. 🙂 

Nicco is always surprising. Yesterday, I just found out, he announced he’s going to work for a Republican, John McCain. Moral of the story — be careful who you help today, they may become a Republican tomorrow. And to think Nicco is a Mets fan, and therefore, presumably has a philosophy. What now, is he going to start rooting for the Yankees? Arrrgh. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education on Google’s agreement with the University of California, via Jeff Ubois

“So Much Better” 

People are still saying I’m a bad person in the comments on various blog posts. It’s funny how they only say that when I’m doing good, if I stay quiet and don’t ship any software they aren’t compelled to say how much they despise me.

When it gets my blood hot, I calm down by explaining to myself that I chose to do this work knowing that the usual people would try to hitch a ride on the flow with their negativism. That’s the way it works on the net. So be it.

I chose to do it because I knew that the River of News method of reading news is vastly superior to the hunt and peck method. On mobile devices it’s so much better that it leads to an AHA moment for everyone who tries it. Kind of the way outlining made building a slide show so much better in 1986 with MORE (thanks to Guy Kawasaki for that breakthrough idea).

After this loop there will be a lot more news used on mobile devices, and that will make me happy. I know because that’s what’s happening with podcasting right now. Every time I hear a news organization, like NPR or ABC News, say they do broadcast and podcast, there’s the evidence of some good I did for the world. And I might add, for myself. I have a much richer life because the news is flowing through open formats like MP3 and RSS 2.0.

As Phil Jones suggests in a comment on this post, in the next few weeks you will indeed see a strategy emerge. The pieces will have already been invented, for sure. In many cases the invention was mine, although some people will try to say someone else did it. It won’t matter because the record is out there, people who care can find out where the ideas came from. Where the software came from will be totally apparent. 🙂

If you want to understand why honest people get upset when one of my ideas clicks, read Josh Bancroft’s post on the subject. I think his comment is very honest and fair, and it’s what I think is behind what many other people are saying. Josh wishes he was achieving the kind of success I seem to effortlessly achieve, but it only looks effortless, it’s actually a lot of work. Do a search on Scripting for river of news to see how long I’ve been beating this drum. Also do some checking to see how long I’ve been trying to gain traction with a mobile version of this weblog and those created with my software. But that said, I think I understand where Josh is coming from, and believe it or not, I often feel the same way, about many of the things I have tried to promote, only to have someone else capitalize on it. I try to find the silver lining where I can, but it is indeed frustrating. You can also find that frustration in the archive of this blog.

Josh, I suggest that we find ways to help each other. We both want an exciting future for news on mobile devices. Let’s work together to get there. Life is too short to be putting obstacles in each others’ way, imho.


A note for those going to O’Reilly’s invite-only camp this weekend in Sebastapol. Remember, no open standards work. Can’t do open work at a closed event. Otherwise, have a great time, enjoy the lovely California weather. 🙂

Announcing the Nofoo Wiki, where influential and important people who are not going to O’Reilly’s FOO Camp can sign up and be cool. Who knows, if enough people sign up maybe we can do some open standards work.

Amyloo: “I’d like to come to the virtual no foo camp, but it’s sort of hard for the self-esteem-challenged to self select as important and influential.”

6 responses to this post.

  1. When you put something out to the public you will tend to lose some level of control. For instance, when you read something you are reading it in your voice. I can’t demand that you read what I am writing in my voice because it is in your head. Something can be taken as sarcastic, mean spirited and not funny but to me when I was puting words to page I was being funny, ironic and trying to make a point.

    This is one of those areas that changes and other un-intended conquesces happen and need to adapt and change as well. I was watching a ZDTV show “Big Thinkers” there was a show with David Gelernter (more) he described a computer interface that was a stream of endless data that started from the beginning of life and was built upon everyday. At first I found it kind of hard to conceptualize but now we are getting closer to that idea. NewsRivers or InformationRivers will change how we do what we do.

    Questions and Ideas that come up:

    What do I need to create this stream?

    What type of hosted service could I subscribe to and connect to from anywhere?

    Who would take care of this information, insure it was safe, backed up and public/private?

    Looking at blogs as more than a diary but a way to interact, converse, and remember as well as interface with the machine. Check out this link. Tell me we that we are not heading that way.


  2. Do you have an OPML file of all the rivers you have done. I would like to see them all in one spot so I can put them into my favorites on my Motorola Q. I want to try out the River of News style compared to the mobile version of NewsGator I have running on it.




  3. At least with the Republicans there is a trend in the primary for secular, reasonable candidates like McCain and Giuliani, which is a good thing whatever your political affiliation. They are wrong about the war, but at least they are higher quality candidates than in the recent past.


  4. Posted by Cameron Watters on August 25, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    RE: Foo/Nofoo

    “No open standards work”

    I’m confused. Do you mean:

    Open standards don’t work.


    Don’t do work on open standards at a closed conference/camp

    Also, re Republicans:

    Too bad the Democratic party is the alternative. Being a Republican sucks, but the fact that there aren’t any viable alternatives for people who disagree with Democrats on other (non-war) policy issues sucks royally. Unless you’re a Democrat. Feh.


  5. Point of information: mp3 isn’t an open format by the usual definitions, see:


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