Scripting News for 2/17/2008

Maybe Flickr should have a Twitter? 

Last summer, when I was exploring the edges of Twitter, and building a voicemail service that hooked into Twitter with BlogTalkRadio, and then hooking my digital camera up to Twitter through Flickr, it seemed inevitable that Twitter would eventually support “payloads” so that objects like pictures and MP3s could hitch a ride on a Twitter message without using up any of he 140 characters, and with a neat url-less display.

The idea just kind of sat there, we’ve been quietly using the services, accepting their awkwardness, but without direct support from Twitter, they probably won’t become mainstream.

Along comes Twitxr, in a post by Mike Arrington on TechCrunch, and I go — why? This doesn’t seem right. Too many steps. I have it much easier, Twitter is hooked right up to my camera, I never have to get my desktop or laptop in the loop when I want to post a picture. To prove the point, I’ll now take a picture of this post, and shoot it up to Twitter.

So now Twitxr basically says it’s time to give up the wait for Twitter, and maybe they’re right, but for this??? I don’t really think this is what I want. If I have to use a whole new Twitter for photography, I probably want it to be Flickr, which I already use, whose API we’ve already mastered, whose scaling we trust, and even though Yahoo’s future is in doubt, it’s more certain than that of a startup.

Choice #1, if the Twitter guys are listening, is to go ahead and help us, your developers, create something seamless out of what you already have. No matter what it’s easier for users to stay with what they’re already using. It really isn’t, it seems to me, in your interest to have users switch??

Twitxr throws down a challenge to both Flickr and Twitter.

To Twitter: Scale, scale, scale and add payloads to the API.

To Flickr: Go ahead and do an event streamer for pictures.

Alan Jones: “Twixtr seems to do a pretty fair job of guesstimating my location with each image I upload from my iPhone.”

The Obama Express 

Last night a bunch of us on Twitter watched the C-SPAN broadcast of the Democratic Party dinner in Milwaukee where both Clinton and Obama spoke.

Clinton was unusually good, but as Frank Rich says in today’s excellent NY Times column, “It’s hara-kiri for a politician to step into the shadow of even a mediocre speech by Barack Obama.”

Obama was far from mediocre last night. His speech was of such high caliber, so motivational, even in anger Obama is the man, he keeps getting better and now he’s in league with the best American political oratory. The man is only 46 years old.

Last night’s speech is archived on the C-SPAN site. We’re having trouble with it on Macs but it’s reported to work well on Windows.

So many of us want to get on board the Obama Express. This is the America we want. This is the leadership we’ve been lacking. You have to go back to Kennedy’s “Ask Not” plea to find a leader as inspiring as Obama.

And inspiration matters — totally.

How else are we going to get past the wedge issue politics of the last N years. We need some good strong glue to connect us again.

The last eight years have been so terrible. The US government did more to help Iraqis than it did to help Americans. 49 percent of the electorate was held in contempt and then after the election the other 51 percent was held in contempt as well. No one but the cronies of the Bush family were given access to power. Iraqi politicians had more influence on our government than Democrats.

Yesterday I heard that 5 percent of the homes in Detroit are in some form of foreclosure. It’s almost as bad in parts of the sunbelt, California, Arizona, Florida. And the mortgage crisis isn’t over. There are more cliffs in the coming months, more junk mortgages whose payments balloon in the summer and fall, so there will be more foreclosures, more families going bankrupt. Those who think the government will bail them out should think about how effective government help has been in Louisiana and Mississippi, American states that are still economically under water, almost three years after Katrina.

Fred Wilson is concerned about the superdelegates thwarting the will of the electorate and ratifying the wrong candidate for President. I’m not worried. Read the Frank Rich article I linked to above. Obama is a freight train. The superdelegates aren’t stupid, they can see, better than you and I, where the power is flowing. They want to be on the right side of history. And Obama is not naive, he’s running a campaign on them now, just as he ran campaigns in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, etc.

Obama will sweep the remaining primaries, and by March 4 it will be apparent to everyone but perhaps Bill and Hillary that it’s over. The superdelegates will adjust to get in line with reality.

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