A relatively quiet revolution

In a speech at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference yesterday, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey urged developers to join a revolution. This speech for me was a punch in the gut. Because I had been saying things like that about Twitter myself, hoping that the founders wouldn’t do the obvious thing and factor all the revolution in the service to squeeze as much money as possible out of the coral reef that had sprouted up around it. As they have. I don’t think Jack Dorsey has any credibility left in the revolution department. He went for even more riches and sold out all the revolution-potential in Twitter, as far as I’m concerned.

Coincidentally, it was also the day when we reached the top of one of the peaks of our little mountain range of post-Web 2.0 software. In a simple announcement on the Frontier-user list, I asked people to try out a new feature — OPML comments. They did, and it worked. Pretty flawlessly! And it is in every way the revolution that today’s Twitter is not.

You can try it too. Here’s a thread that explains how in five fairly easy steps.

Where is this going? Well, all the places I’ve been writing about here on Scripting News for the last two-three years, when I decided to no longer build my software on Twitter’s platform.

What works here?

1. Users creating content which is published on my site, but they retain the original content on their hard drive. So if they write something they want to refer to later and my system is down, or gone, they will still have it.

There’s more coming.

2. A DNS-based identity system that’s as easy to create an account on as Twitter or Facebook and gives you the flexibility to move your presence to some other server without any help from a vendor who may not be cooperative, or may not even exist. The robustness of DNS is something the Web 2.0 vendors don’t want to give to their users because without it they wouldn’t be trapped.

3. A gateway to a truly revolutionary web content management system that makes it easy for individuals to manage huge websites easily and naturally.

4. A design environment that makes CSS work in new exciting ways.

5. A way to build web apps that’s also pretty new (I’m running out of adjectives).

But first let’s start simply. Everyone can comment on my threads using an outliner. That’s a pretty good first step.

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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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