Community River, Day 3

The Scripting News community river is one of the most exciting projects we’ve done here in a while.

Here’s the OPML for the river. Look at how many feeds are there.

I took a snapshot of the OPML so we can have a benchmark, and if this thing takes off, you all can have proof that you were among the pioneers that got the bootstrap going. I have a feeling this idea is going all the way.

A picture named santa.gifAnother reason I’m so excited about this is the quality of the content. There are a fair number of people who blog about the same mix that I do. Tech, people, design, politics. Low-tech stuff that works. Empowering people. Learning about ourselves. And it’s interesting stuff! I’ve already gotten some new ideas and perspectives. Folks, that’s what I’m here for. :-)

Each blogger has his own way of connecting with others that works for that blog. I’ve had comments here for the last few years, thanks to Disqus, but I find comments are good for brief notes tacked on to a post. When people start writing blog posts in the comments it stops working. It very much matters which “space” you’re writing in. When people write in their own blog, the writing has to make sense mostly standalone. You get more interesting stuff that way. Comments tend to be very relative and therefore not so interesting. “You’re right and btw, here’s the product I’m selling,” is the basic message of a lot of the stuff that gets posted here and taken down right away. The line between comment and spam is getting harder to find. If you can’t find the value in posting a complex idea on your blog, then why should it be as a comment to my post? Only if you want to get some of my flow. And of course the people you want to reach have figured that out, long ago, and mostly don’t pay attention to comments.

I’m also interested in trying more experiments with these feeds. Assuming we get a critical mass. And it’s already driving ideas for the software that’s running the river, which btw is free, and available for anyone to run. Mac or Windows. And this software does not have to be on a publicly accessible server, even if you want your river to be publicly visible. It can write static files to Amazon S3, which is a very economical way to host this stuff. For most people hosting a river there will cost pennies a month.

This is what I wanted. As the OWS folk say — it’s the beginning of the beginning. And I’m glad it’s happening now! We’re absolutely ready for it, knock wood, praise Murphy, IANAL, My Mother Loves Me and I’m not as stupid as I look. :-)

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About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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