Scripting News for 8/8/07

Today’s links 

Doc Searls remembers summer heat in New Jersey before air conditioning.

Dan Gillmor discusses a new Google News feature that’s on the right track, but not the right implementation. Google should just buy Technorati (Note to Sifry: 1 percent please), and get it reliable, and use it in place of this new human-intense feature. Let the people discussed in news articles get blogs, Google can even host them. Let the readers sort it out. Much better than depending on employees.

Gabe Rivera notes that Google News doesn’t allow sites like Techmeme to crawl Google News, but they depend on other sites being open to make Google News possible. The news organizations should offer blogs to everyone who’s quoted in their articles, btw. Should have done this a long long time ago (I suggested it to the NY Times in 2001 and to the SF Chron earlier this year). Instead Google does something lame, and beats the whole news industry. Some days it seems the whole world is built on cowardice and fear.

TorrentFreak reports that Google filters torrents out of search results.

This appears to be an article about RSS, in Hebrew.

Flickr-to-Twitter, day 3 

I added another user, Fred Wilson of A VC.

He successfully posted a picture this morning. He asked that I add a feature that uses the title of the picture in the Twitter post. Of course, makes total sense. Done.

Now this new feature, and TwitterGrams, suggest that perhaps Twitter should have the concept of attachments for status messages, esp if they’re posted through the API.

There would be two parameters:

1. A content type, like image/jpeg or audio/mpeg.

2. The bits of the attachment.

For a small set of types, Twitter would know how to display a “thumb” — in the case of an image, it would be a tiny rendering of it. Click on the thumb to see the full picture. For MP3s, there would be an inline player.

People are kind of repulsed by the urls I’m dropping into the feeds, on one hand, on the other, I’m getting a hundred new subscribers a day, so people are attracted to it in (much) greater numbers. Rich media in Twitter posts makes a lot of sense. A much prettier UI is possible, but this is something they have to do.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Robertson on August 8, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Hello Dave Winer,

    Yes I like the pretty UI stuff, but is that what Twitter was design for? Was is not designed as a simple communication tool to alert friends to what they are doing. Ideally it could be used to allow people to meet-up in person without having to spend too much time before hand making arrangements.

    Now it seems to be touted as a micro-blogging platform, would it not be better to create something like this from scratch?

    The other point is why should any of the tools made to work with twitter not comply to an open XML standard (both input and output)? Yes Twittergram has the input API in XML-RPC but what about allowing the user to choose their preferred micro-blogging publishing system ie. Jaiku. At the moment we have no control over the pipework once it enters the first web service.

    Looking forward to what new toys come along next.



  2. James, yes but…

    I’m not one to argue with how I reach nirvana, and in technology, the evolutionary approach always seems to work better than the big bang theory. One step at a time…

    Ultimately however it’s up to Twitter how they want to take their product.

    And the idea is out there in case there are competitors brewing that might want to go this way.


  3. Twitter seems like it would be hard to turn into a business; i’m thinking encapsulating ads into the messages? but that would do nothing but kill it.

    as for attachments, maybe you’re creating a propietary email list; same communication method except with the added feature, every can talk back (more american/internet that way). Twitter seems to be perfect for the paris hilton crowd, like, if i was paris, this is what i’d do…and millions would follow…so, its useful, but I think you need to get the right celebs (bloggers, movie-stars, etc.) using it…

    i’m creating a publishing/artist network, and a publisher may control several artist, i’m thinking of using twitter-like (maybe twitter itself) for artist to communicate with their fan base; but this is done already on other platforms.

    AS FOR GOOGLE…why do you guys think google is so great? They block torrents so they’re video propeties have the advantage over others; and they probably use it as a trump card against the movie industry…saying, “fuck with us, and we let the commies destroy your industry.” I’m more street than the usual suspect, hopefully my french didn’t offend. But, change comes from the ground up.

    hopefully twitter will find cash flow, but as an identity system; facebook looks pretty mean right now, though i’m not really a facebook fan; if everyone is using it, and everyone thinks it’s great, then….you gots to go ground up…cause we should all know, persuading people really just takes money.

    i think we need to turn the internet back to 1994, with an added dose of experience, and change the world. Too many me-toos, to many newbees not realizing they’re being sold into a platform/way of thinking.

    the internet promised freedom, instant communication, friendship, etc…I don’t see it.

    well, sorry the rant/long post/mispellings/etc…i just had to vent before i get back to work; though, i don’t mind google blocking torrents, in fact, it helps my business tremendously…but, in my heart, i know it’s wrong.


  4. Twitter could add inline players etc, thus becoming pownce, etc. I’d rather see the Twitter API apps decode tinyurls and present the resulting mime-type in a smart way.


  5. You’re quite right about Google News. This is (I think) their first staff-heavy project since Google Answers went wrong. Self-expression hosted by Google? Nice. Big office full of editorial staff? Not reall their thing, is it?


  6. Identity — changing the subject

    I would like to collect my various profile pages via rss. I could have them all in one place. When I changed one it would show up changed in the collection.

    Is there anything like this anywhere? Is there any prospect that we might stumble across this “evolutionary approach” to dealing with identity?


  7. I am always surprised when something I know and use is not known by others.

    For posting my cell phone photos to twitter I have been using flickr, tmobile cameraphone, twitterfeed, twitter and to view other tinyurl’s and flickr urls in twitter I use

    I take pics whenever I feel the need and send to flickr via the email address that I set up with them, and have them apply the tag “moblog” to each photo sent to that address. Then I have twitterfeed read the RSS feed for my flickr pics that have the moblog tag from this page,

    Twitterfeed then adds whatever text I tell it to, and includes the title of the photo and posts it to twitter, i.e. and

    If viewing in the tinyurl is transformed into a thumbnail of the flickr photo.

    Twitku is worth using even if you are just using it for twitter.


  8. I used this all last week from hawaii, and when I saw you posting iPhone pics to flckr I assumed that you were using the same process


  9. Posted by w_seidlich on August 9, 2007 at 4:24 am


    The PREV link at bottom of page returns file not found.


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