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I want RSS to disappear.

I want RSS to disappear. The question was posed, “What do users want from RSS”? I thought long and hard about this and here’s where I come out.


Speaking strictly as a user, what I care about are RSS applications. I care about reading, scanning, writing, absorbing, learning from, contributing, and sharing. So what I want from RSS is to disappear into the plumbing, and in every way possible enable and encourage great applications to be designed and built.


All kinds of wonderful new stuff that is yet to be invented. Authoring tools, reading tools, syndication applications, content applications, distribution servers, mass political blogging platforms, search engines and indexes, rating systems, and zagat’s guides, catalogs and taxonomies, categorizations schemes and services, content crawling services – summarizers – delegators, translators, linkers, transmitters and receivers. This is still just the beginning, in my opinion.


So while I could list (and I will) a set of more prosaic wishes for the protocols and technologies which will enable these wonderful applications, I think at the core, I wish that the users never had the need to know the word Are-Ess-Ess.



By the way, lest anyone misunderstand. I think RSS has been and is an absolutely seminal invention and has enabled and will continue to enable a whole new class of communication with an impact that we can still not fully measure. It’s just that, like TCP/IP and SS7 and Jet Engines and GPS Satelites, the people who use it don’t want to know that it even exists.)


(More prosaic list follows: I wish trackback worked reliably; I wish permalinks always worked; I wish that when I moved my blog from one home to another, all my hard won traffic didn’t get lost because no-one knew where I had gone; I wish I could use a richer editor to create my posts; I wish… I wish …; I wish)

David Isenberg’s WTF Conference: This

David Isenberg’s WTF Conference: This is from David’s newsletter, SMART Letter:



…. Here’s the idea — an instant, bottom-up meeting. WTF.  Let’s get together face to face. Let’s talk about the end of telephony and the beginning of communication, about the end-to-end principle and its enemies, about smart people and dumb companies, intellectual property and creative commons, digital democracy and info-surveillance, e-commerce and the war against customers, and whatever else is on our minds. Let’s get to know each other, learn from each other, exchange ideas, frustrations, tools, toys and hacks. And let’s see what happens from there. WTF — it’ll be lots more exciting than talking corporate heads behind podiums…..


David, count me IN!

Scott Kirsner of the Boston

Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe:Salas has spent the past few months developing BlogBridge, software that allows users to easily keep tabs on multiple weblogs — kind of a “Reader’s Digest” for the blog world.” Thanks for the mention, Scott. The whole bit is:



Pito Salas was the chief technology officer at eRoom, an online collaboration company acquired last year by Documentum, which in turn was bought by EMC. Salas has spent the past few months developing BlogBridge, software that allows users to easily keep tabs on multiple weblogs — kind of a “Reader’s Digest” for the blog world. (You can try out an early version at http://www.blogbridge.com.)


But now it seems like Salas, a onetime Lotus exec, has put the project on hold temporarily, and is turning his energies to consulting.


This is accurate, but with a strong emphasis on the word TEMPORARILY.


I am looking into ways to add resources to the BlogBridge project. I continue to feel strongly about the underlying ideas. In fact with every week that goes by, things get more interesting. Please contact me if you want to talk or get involved.


By the way, you can find more information about BlogBridge at http://www.blogbridge.com.

It’s easy to predict the future!

It’s easy to predict the future. Tim Bray has just concluded an interesting series of postings on what he calls TPSM or Technology Predictor Success Matrix. I’ve had a belief for a while that actually it’s easier than you think to predict the future of technologies. I will limit my comments to technology and computer related predictions, but I bet this applies to other fields as well.

Want to see? I predict that in the future:

  • Computers will be able to recognize handwriting
  • Computers will be able to understand human spoken language
  • There will be pervasive, high bandwidth, wireless connectivity

And let me try some non computer predictions. I predict that in the future:

  • Personal aircraft will be a common mode of commuting
  • Self-piloting and automated terrestial vehicles (cars) will be commonplace
  • There will be a cure for cancer

Ok, enough nonsense.

My point is predicting what will happen eventually is easy… What’s hard of course is to predict when.

So the first question to try to pin down a prognosticator is When? Without that, the prediction is more or less useless. What do you think?

Wonderful Mars pictures? Unavailable! I

Wonderful Mars pictures? Unavailable! I was looking around the Mars Rover Web site for some of those amazing pictures, and to my surprise they are now asking for a password to get into the ‘raw images’ area. I’ve got to believe that this is not for security but because their server was getting totally beat up by people like me browsing around.


Hmm, maybe they should use some warez technology? Here maybe for the first time is a very ligitimate, legal, and useful place where Bit Torrent and other clever file sharing technologies could be used as a force for good 🙂