Scripting News for 3/22/2007

Today’s links 

Randy Morin: SEOing Dave. Heh.

Steve Rubel: Twitter may face huge SMS bills.

Michael Gartenberg reviews and positions Apple TV.

Marc Canter nails it. As long as war is incredibly profitable, the US will continue to “solve” every problem with war.

Personal Democracy Forum 

I spoke with Micah Sifry this afternoon and we agreed that I would do a keynote at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, on May 18 at Pace University.

The topic is the importance of open standards for all kinds of tools and devices. As with the Public Media conference last month, I’m going to write a series of essays here to prepare for the talk in New York.


I played hooky today and went to see 300 at the IMAX theater in San Francisco. Not exactly my kind of movie. Pretty linear, the costumes were cool, and some of the monsters were so ugly they were funny.

Not sure why people think this movie is so great. But IMAX sure is impressive. If I were as rich as Mark Cuban I’d have one installed in my house.

McNulty from The Wire is in the movie. It was funny to see him speak with a British accent and pretend to be an ancient Greek.

I guess you can tell I didn’t get sucked into the plot. I don’t think you’re supposed to come away thinking the movie is funny. πŸ™‚

Top Dave 

Randy Morin notes that I’ve been gradually changing the way Scripting News works. It’s true. I’m trying some experiments, to learn, but not to improve the rank of the site, rather to make it more useful to readers, and make it more likely that the things that I want to get attention, get attention.

For example, I noticed that I was always in the choir on TechMeme, but rarely did people discuss what I was interested in. Over time this got more pronounced. So I decided to opt-out of TechMeme, and rebuild, and see if I could reposition Scripting News as an originator of ideas, which it always has been. It seemed to me that Gabe’s engine had drawn an incorrect conclusion about this site. I’ve noticed that Scoble can get an essay near the top of TM, even if no one is pointing to him, and if three excellent sites point to an essay here, it barely makes a blip on TM.

So I don’t think his system is fair, or right. But unlike the B-list complainers, I’m not going to try to guilt Gabe into fixing it. I think a route-around is the web way of doing it. Make it all happen outside Gabe’s world, and that will get his attention.

Now I may not be into SEO, but the changes are improving my rank, nonetheless. I’ve noticed that my articles now are showing up closer to the top of searches in the areas they cover. Of course I like this. Nothing wrong with a little respec!

BTW, I’ve been doing this with O’Reilly for a long time. I don’t get invited to speak at their conferences, but they talk about what I want them to talk about anyway. Blogging, RSS, podcasting — these are always big topics at ETech and the Web 2.0 conference. Same with SXSW. You think people don’t know I’m behind these things? Heh. Of course they do.

You know the old Godfather rap, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer. Seems Tim and Hugh could learn a few tricks from Don Corleone. πŸ™‚

6 responses to this post.

  1. Hmmm. I do find that I’ve been clicking through more often from my Kinja feeds. (How does one live with feeds that require 30 hours a day to read?)

    Ten years! My blog has just turned 9 — it was your bootstrapping with RSS/My.Netscape that prompted me to start. Now, with other people blogging more often and more importantly, I’m not quite sure about the role of my blog. But as my kids’ principal ask for an abject apology for my postings, I suppose I can just pass on the blame to you! πŸ™‚

    In the spirit of the approaching Passover season, Four Questions i would love to see answered:

    1) Scoble left Userland saying he was blown away by Longhorn. Scoble has since left Microsoft… and no-one is being blown away by Vista. Has Scoble ever indicated what it was that amazed him, that Vista reviewers aren’t seeing?

    2) We have the potential to write and publish an infinte amount. We have a finite amount of time…. and other people have even less attention. How do we draw the balance?

    3) We have the potential to access and read hundreds of hours of fascinating information every day. Besides newsfeeds, you can go to Usenet and download pirated copies of, for example, dozens of physics textbooks. I’ve got them on my hard drive. What’s my excuse for not understanding how my electrons operate? What the balance between the studied ignorance of our rulers, and the line we have to set up against information overload?

    4) Joshua Marshall of is doing what the NYTimes used to do: Synthesizing reports from local newpapers, and then throwing superior brainpower and talent to advance the story. The NYTimes has decided not to be in that business. Why? They could easily buy up Joshua and make him their new Washington Bureau. If, as people are betting, the NYTimes shrinks into irrelevance, their failure to make that move will be seen as a fatal mistake. What similar fatal, stupid mistakes are we each individually making?


  2. Cool, my older son attends Pace. I’ll have to sign him up if you have some kind of gathering while you’re in NYC.


  3. My father used to teach at Pace.


  4. Dave, the links from 2003 that I get from your feed are on purpose or just a glitch?


  5. you didn’t like 300????

    I sure did. I’ll admit, it was lots of eye-candy. but it re-tells an interesting tale. And as we are certainly not above repeating history (especially with this president). may I suggest this:

    and a phrase I’ve come to love after reading the wikipedia entry: “…what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for money, but for honour”

    does this sound familiar?


  6. Calvin, I have a confession to make.

    After watching it in the Imax, I downloaded a copy through BT overnight and this morning started watching it a second time on my 17 inch MacBook Pro.

    The second time through I liked it much more. There were elements to the plot that I had missed in the spectacle of it all. I may change my review after I finish watching it the second time.


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