Scripting News for 1/28/2007

There’s a new quote in the right margin, from a 2005 white paper written by Tim O’Reilly. It’s one of the most accurate paragraphs on the origins of RSS, even though the chronology is a little wrong. The term “Really Simple Syndication” didn’t come until 2002, and the confluence came in 1999, not 1997. But more importantly, the beginning moment for RSS is 1997, and RSS 0.91 was the result of the joining of two forks, which is a unique moment in the evolution of formats. Usually they splinter, they don’t coalesce. 0.91 grew into 0.92 and then 2.0, which is the format most people use today.  

I don’t read Wikipedia pages on subjects that I’m close to, and I never go near my bio page, but sometimes I come across discussion about it in the blogosphere. Mark Bernstein says someone wants to delete my bio. Not sure that would be a good or bad thing.  

Steven Levy is looking for the best tech writing of 2006.  

Every week or so the crowd that’s gathered around TechMeme goes crazy about something. Last week it was social networking and press releases and how some people get it and others don’t (as in I get it and he doesn’t). Do you care? So many do. Today it’s something even more inane. I had a long talk with Gabe Rivera on Thurs night. Blogs are great, I said to Gabe, because they’re not mail lists. The problem with TechMeme is that it drives blogs into becoming a mail list, where everyone feels compelled to comment on whatever inanity is driving the herd at the current moment. It doesn’t much matter what the topic is, as long as you get heard (sorry for the pun). To which I say, bleh, that ain’t what blogs are about senors and senoritas.  

4 responses to this post.

  1. Two remarks! 1. I’d posit that over time the stampedes account for a rather small proportion of the total site “real estate”. 2. Even so, I recognize a problem here, something to fix hopefully in 2007.


  2. re: your entry in Wikipedia…

    Dave, I think you’re wise not to read your entry on Wikipedia — or, at least, the “discussion” page tied into it. It’s total middle school. In some respects, however, the entry — and wide-ranging debate on the discussion page — elevates you to some sort of mythological figure about which individuals feel the need to debate your “powers” and your role in the development the technologies and trends with which you are associated. In my opinion, there is somewhat of a Scopes monkey trial taking place in the “discussion” section of the entry in which people have divided themselves into creationists and evolutionists camps: Dave Winer is a creator vs. Dave Winer is one of many evolvers. The debate disolves at one point into suggesting (perhaps in jest) that your entry be removed because you are one of many co-creationists (my term). That makes little sense to me, however. It’s not like Wikipedians can’t create entries for all the others who may deserve credit. Are they running that low on bandwidth that they must remove you?

    Anyway, here’s an interesting statistic. Your entry runs around 1,200 words. The discussion on your entry runs about 6,300 words. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.


  3. When your bio page is hotly contested on Wikipedia, then you’re somebody. It’s when they ignore you that you should worry. I’m sure you’re not worrying.


  4. > “Last week it was social networking and press releases and how some people get it and others don’t (as in I get it and he doesn’t). Do you care? So many do.”

    Yeah, I do. I don’t care so much for the talk about who gets it and who doesn’t, but I do worry about outfits like the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and their quest to “amplify consumer enthusiasm.” I’d have thought you’d be of a like mind, Dave. For instance, doesn’t it make your heart sink to hear a signoff for a social networking podcast that goes “May all the voices you hear be marketing voices.”


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