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Filtering by Category: "davewiner"

Too much to see and do - where do you start?

Added on by Chris Saad.
Robert Scoble is like Dave Winer - he's feeling overwhelmed. Not him personally, but he is clear that most of us are. He rightly asserts that there are too many ideas and companies now and many of them will not achieve critical mass - not because they're not great, but because there isn't enough attention spectrum left.

I think one way to avoid this overload is to stop aiming products at our own sandbox and start aiming them towards mums and dads, executives, knowledge workers, cafe owners and others who don't care about myspace, or social bookmarking or making youtube videos.

Another way is to just let the information flow over you. Stop trying to hold onto it.

As I have written previously to Dave Winer and about Constant Pile Reduction Mode it's important to remember news was never supposed to be read like email. No one went through their newspaper and marked off each and every article. They browse and they get what they can about their world before going off to live their real lives.

With this in mind, publishers need to start offering tools to their users that are designed with this reality in mind.

I am reminded by a great quote from the movie "American Beauty"

"it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment..."

Great movie - I suggest you rent it!

Dave Winer - Are you Paying Attention?

Added on by Chris Saad.
Dave Winer just made a post that could not be more perfectly written if I had paid him large sums of money to endorse Touchstone. So... Dave, if you don't mind - I am going to quote this post of yours everywhere...

He says:

[...] Most RSS readers remind the user, all the time, how wrong he or she is. Or inadequate or lazy or behind in their work. [...]

[...] Think about it this way. Suppose you read the paper every day. What if at the top of the paper it told you how many articles from previous issues you hadn't read. Whoa. When you subscribed to the paper did you mean to imply that you would read all the articles?
Emphatically: News is not email. Unlike email, every article is not necessarily something you should read, or even look at. [...]

[...] Let the news flow by you and relax like someone sitting on the bank of a river looking for something interesting as you while away the time. That's how news works, and RSS is, emphatically, for news.

Try this one out. Imagine you're fishing, and there was some nerd on the other side of the river, shouting at you, the number of fish that went by that you didn't catch. How long before you'd want to kill the nerd?? [...]

Well Dave, I have good news for you.

Nowhere on the Touchstone interface do we count how many unread items you have. We do not have any 'mark folder as read' either.

News flows over you via a news ticker and popup alerts (or your own personalized RSS feed, or SMS etc).

In fact, we pride ourselves not by how many items we display but rather (using our clever Attention Profiling Technology) how many items we suppress because it knows the article doesn't rate based on your interests.

The only number our new build will display, in fact, is how many hours we have saved you by NOT showing you the items you wouldn't have cared about in the first place.

Because News is Not Email.

I said it ages ago, and now the man who popularized RSS agrees with me.

I think mainstream users understand the temporariness of news far better than us geeks and they will understand Touchstone far better than a full-screen, email/newsgroups type feed reader.

Who invented RSS?

Added on by Chris Saad.
Dave Winer says RSS wasn't invented.

He says:

"It wasn't invented. Something else happened, something harder than invention, imho -- an activity that we don't have a word for in the English language."

I wonder what that word could be...

Maybe it evolved. Maybe the universe gifted it to us. Maybe the people at the right time and at the right place knew in their bones that something like it was necessary and decided that making it work was more important than owning it.

I particularly like this paragraph:

"RSS, unlike other XML inventions, has made a difference. If you want to understand what made RSS happen, it's the innovation, evangelism and commitment that was behind it, not the invention, because I said before, and as everyone seems to agree, it wasn't invented. But we lack a good word for the other stuff, so sheez, what's the big deal if they substitute "invention" for all that? I've looked the other way. But to say I was the "self-proclaimed" inventor is just wrong, I just nod my head when others say it, because I'm tired of arguing."

These sorts of things happen (on scale) rarely. But when they do great things happen.

As a result of his post, I also did a little re-reading on the Wikipedia entry for RSS.