Scripting News for 11/1/07

This says it all 

Dare Obasanjo, who works at Microsoft, says that Google has transformed itself into “Microsoft of Old.”

It seems true, with a bit of Sun and Java thrown in as well.

It’s the hurt of the software industry, moving away from serving users, and getting spun in its own drama.

It’s not much longer before something totally new sprouts, quietly, out of sight, and re-energizes the people who care about the purpose of technology, which is to enable and empower, not limit and cripple.

We lifted Google on our shoulders as our vision of what was good about the web. They’re so far from that ideal these days.

MySpace and Google, where’s the beef?? 

I had a lunch in SF, so I missed the rush of news today.

Scoble called while I was driving east on the Bay Bridge. Apparently he was the only blogger at the press conference. He channeled inquiries from people on Twitter to the participants in the conference, while he captured video live on Kyte. I know a lot of “real” journalists and academics who study journalism don’t use Twitter, they should, it’s an amazing tool for exchanging fast-breaking information, in other words, news.


Mike Arrington posits: “Google may have just come out of nowhere and checkmated Facebook in the social networking power struggle.”


Imho, Google has a long way to go to build the base of users and developers connected using the new protocol that is the subject of all this chest-thumping. Do they exist in any tangible form? How much of a moving target are they? It’s like proclaiming the new owners of A-Rod’s contract as the winners of the 2008 World Series. Only in tech, a persistently immature industry, could such an idea be aired seriously (assuming Mike is actually serious).

I hope that the Facebook people, many of whom have never been in the middle of a tech PR war, don’t overreact. Me, I’ve been around this block so many times and it’s boring. Let’s see some software then I’ll let you know if this means anything. But Google is keeping people like me far away, which suggests that there may actually be no “there” there.

Lack of updates disclaimed, explained 

I’ve been head-down on a test version of some new software, really serious about it, and if I do say so myself (Murphy please forgive me) I love the way it works.


Jay Rosen is onto something. Beat reporting and social networks of people who know the beat and want better reporting. Please help him if you can.

Want to see a great movie? You’re in luck. One is playing at a theater near you. Went to see Michael Clayton yesterday and was thrilled. George Clooney is becoming a really great actor, getting parts that refine his skills and make me look forward to see what’s coming next. Pay attention as the plot unfolds, at first it’s confusing but it intrigues. Eventually it all comes together, maybe just a bit too neatly.

Trying to figure out exactly who Clooney is like. The Times reviewer said he’s like Warren Beatty, another actor who really delivers, but I was thinking bigger — perhaps Clark Gable or Cary Grant. He has that kind of presence. Michael Clayton might be his North by Northwest.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Dave,
    Real journalists almost never ever exchange views on breaking news before they publish. To do so, –in every news organization where I”ve ever worked –is grounds for instant dismissal the very second such behavior is learned. And when that happens, it’s very hard to find gainful employment again at the same salary level. Coming up in Los Angeles, I once saw a reporter get summarrily fired and removed from the news room for this very act. That reporter has never had the title or pay they had in Los Angeles and embarked on a two-year unemployment period following his dismissal “for cause”


  2. Dave, I have to say that I’m surprised by your reaction against Open Social. It’s true that it’s currently a blank slate without anything to really recommend it. But you have to look at what it’s not — it’s not Facebook. FB was the looming juggernaut, the one that could use its marketshare (as MySpace declined) to muscle users into whatever position they wanted. Open Social provides competition, if nothing else. That should be good for everybody.

    And technically, I think it’s likely to be better-designed. I’ll admit that I haven’t yet grokked the appeal of building social network widgets, but clearly a lot of people think this is an important avenue for development. Facebook was pushing this field in some very bad directions, inventing one bowdlerized, proprietary extension to an existing standard after another. FBML, FBJS, FQL — it’s amazing! They even released a new RPC framework. In 2007! Surely that’s not something that endears them to you.

    I imagine that your reaction will be that you’re not pro-Facebook, you’re just underwhelmed by Open Social. If so, fair enough. But by virtue of the diversity of the Open Social coalition and the people behind it, it seems likely that it’ll be the more open of the two social network frameworks, and the one that spends less time creating proprietary standards. For that reason alone I’m expecting it to at least prove to be the lesser of two evils, even if it doesn’t fully satisfy your goal of putting data under the control of the users who own it.


  3. Posted by scott on November 2, 2007 at 7:18 am

    > there may actually be no “there” there


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