Scripting News for 8/4/2008

Micro-blogging meetup in September? 

Following up on yesterday’s piece about fragmentation in the micro-blogging world; on my walk yesterday I took a Steve Gillmor podcast with me, an interview with Dustin Sailings, the developer of TwitterSpy. All three of us, like Rafe Needlman at Webware, and many others, are trying to sort out the “micro-blogging” world we live in now, how we got here, and where we’ll be. Is this like the first Iraq War, or the second? Is it like Instant Messaging, where interop has always been a problem, or like blogging and RSS, where it wasn’t (much of) a problem. I’d say we’re at an inflection point — a lot of it depends on what people do, actually the technology doesn’t seem to be the issue, it’s what people and money do that will make the difference.

That’s why I suggested to Steve, on identi.ca, that maybe a micro-blogging camp-style meetup in Sept would be a good idea. I also sent an email to Rafe with the same suggestion.

We could do it in Berkeley at the Hillside Club, lots of great restaurants nearby, easy to get to from BART. Or we could do it in San Francisco, or down in the valley, or in NYC, or Montreal. I think it should be in North America since almost all the development is happening in the US and Canada.

What’s cool about where we’re at is that users understand what’s needed this time, before the technology has arrived.

I’m anxious to hear what everyone thinks and I don’t think there’s any substitute for a face to face meeting.

It would be great to keep it small, but it must also be open to anyone who wants to participate. No way can this be an invite-only “Friends Of Someone” type gathering. No one must be able to say they weren’t allowed to come.

Anyway that’s the idea. What do you think??

Update: After saying most of the development is happening in North America word of a Japanese Twitter-like service just popped on TechMeme.

My kind of blogging and the 2008 campaign 

Not that anyone is paying attention, but I seem to disagree with almost everyone about what blogging is. To me it’s the empowerment of the individual to speak for him or herself, not through filters of the press.

I learned first-hand about those filters when I briefly took a professional job in the mid-90s. Some editors are great and some really interfere. Add enough editors, and what the author thinks gets lost. So does the man or woman in the street or the experts who were interviewed for a story.

It got really bad toward the end of the 20th century, but as the cost of publishing tools went down, and their ease of use went up, and as people got more familiar with the technology, the rules started to change. The gatekeepers lost a lot of their power. And now when the media starts to go along with a corrupt campaigner wanting somehow to make Britney Spears and Paris Hilton figures in this election, like WIllie Horton was in 1988, well — guess who speaks up and calls bullshit on it.

Paris Hilton’s mother!

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

If you see bullshit, call it. If you’re the mother of one of the celebs who happens also to be a donor to McCain’s campaign, it has extra ooomph when you say the ad is a waste of (your) money, money that should be spent improving America, because that’s what we want from our President.

No I’m not going to vote for McCain, but Kathy Hilton is. McCain should pay attention. He can manipulate the press, for sure — they love to be whipped into frenzy (it’s what they do, they live for it) but the rest of us are truly sick of being on edge during these campaigns, wondering if some crazed scream is going to end up flushing our chances down the toilet. But there’s a new safety valve now, and it’s my kind of blogging, not the professional’s that’s going to save the day. I hope.

BTW, what hypocrisy for McCain to boast that he’s always put America first. To say Obama would rather lose a war to win an election. If McCain were putting America first, he wouldn’t make a mockery of the process. Take the Presidency seriously. We do, so does the rest of the world. He snickers — “we’re just having fun.” Take up a hobby, play golf, get a dog, a puppet, do your mischief in private. (Funny how he sounds just like the dirty tricks pranksters that worked in the Nixon White House).

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