Archive for May, 2004

Crackdown on smaller ISPs in Iran

May 31, 2004

Hossein Derakhshan writes in his English weblog on Iran, technology and pop culture, Editor: Myself, that the judiciary in Iran has begun a “widespread crackdown on many medium or small sized ISPs” there.
Explaining why an upcoming blog ging festival in Iran is important, hoder writes:

[I]t has a big government organization backing it which spends a big amount of money on these kind of events.
There are workshops, roundtables, and exhibitions planed for it and on their website they have interviewed the IT Minister and some other officials. I’m sure it attracts a lot of people and attention.
But the thing is that while the judiciary has started a wide-spread crack-down on many medium or small sized ISPs, and given their religious and political concerns, I guess the whole IT industry in Iran is in real danger in short-term. (I really don’t know why the recent crack-down has been ignored by the western media)
The hardliners are very sensitive to radical anti-religious and anti-government websites. Also the student protest anniversary is to come in July 9th and like every year, they are going to fully control or close every possible channel of incoming information to Iran again, say Satellite TVs, Internet access, VoIP phones, etc. They usually become paranoid at this time of the year.
So the blogging festival is important in that it helps correct the bad image that the computer-illiterate judiciary officials and other religious groups have about the Internet. (Internet in their eyes is nothing but sex + radical anti-religious activism + espionage)
Many, among IT professionals and journalists, are seriously worried about the fate of the Internet in Iran, especially since the hardliners are coming to power.

Bernstein's essay on 'writing the living web'

May 31, 2004

Looks like I hadn’t linked to Marc Bernstein’s popular essay yet. Marc credits the term to Dan Chan of Daypop, btw.
(via my blogging-related outboard backup brain, A List Apart: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web @ Radio Free Blogistan)

Rules of the game, by the people, for the people

May 31, 2004

I envy Shirky his steady voice of reason. He’s got a good look at user empowerment and the potential for experimenting with greater self-rule in virtual environmnets, particularly games, in his latest writing, Nomic World: By the players, for the players.
Inspirational quote:

This would fulfill the libertarian fantasy of no coercion on behalf of the group, because no one would ever be asked to assent to rules they hadn’t voted for, but it would also be approximately no fun

RSS meme gets a weblog

May 31, 2004

Just when I’m thinking of saying webfeeds to people and wondering why any normal person would care if Atom or RSS were or were not offered in equal measure by some service, Dave Winer puts his weblogging where his mouth is with the new Really Simple Syndication site.
I’ve just posted more about this (and reprinted Dave’s inaugural post) over at The Power of Many where we tend to refer to much the same assorted phenomena with the umbrella term “the living web” coined by a fellow from daypop and reamplified by Marc Bernstein in his famous 10 Rules post for A List Apart, which I believe has also been linked from both Blogistan and the POM blog.

RSS 2.0 branding strengthened

May 31, 2004

Generally, most followers of RSS and weblogs and syndication and the living web consider that the RSS tipping point has already been reached. There is mass buy-in to the approach.
Even Atom advocates generally view Atom as simply a flavor of the broader RSS concept (regardless of what the letters stand for, point to, denote, or connote).
It looks like Dave Winer has launched a site called Really Simple Syndication to put the broadest possible stamp on RSS as the name of this new idea, and most especially to start talking directly to users instead of getting bogged down in the insider cant of other developers and ubergeeks.
His post from over the weekend could be viewed as a kind of manifesto for RSS in general and RSS 2.0 in 2004 in particular:

RSS is…

  1. A format.
  2. Content management tools that generate feeds in the format.
  3. Aggregators and readers that subscribe to the feeds.
  4. Search engines and utilities that crunch the information and ideas.
  5. Services from technology companies like Microsoft and Apple.
  6. Authoritative publications like the BBC, The New York Times, CNET, InfoWorld, PC World, Time, Wired, Salon, Yahoo, Reuters – that distribute news and opinion in RSS.
  7. Many thousands of weblogs covering virtually every aspect of life on this planet.
  8. A vast and growing community of thinkers, writers, educators, public servants, and technologists.

The revolution of RSS is what people are doing with it, what it enables, the way it works for people who use technology, the freedom it offers, and the way it makes timely information, that used to be expensive and for the select-few so inexpensive and broadly available.
RSS is the next thing in Internet and knowledge management. It’s big. A lot bigger than a format.
This is the inaugural post for a new website devoted to the community of people who create and use RSS. It’s just a beginning.
Let’s have fun!
# Posted by Dave Winer on 5/29/04; 3:54:55 PM

So the race is on to brand this next big thing (we like to call it “the living web” of course) and Dave is putting his money on RSS. It’s got a lot of memeshare, for sure, and the site is a classic “eat your own dogfood” response to a challenge. This is Dave at his best, if you ask me, and by clicking through here, I suppose you did.

The power of wiki

May 30, 2004

We’ve got one now.
Not sure anyone else can edit anything yet. I’d love to build the book’s community around the wiki and not Orkut or something….

Email trees instead of political spam

May 29, 2004

Jon Garfunkel writes at about his ideas for Replacing Spam with Social Network Emailing:

When you sign up for an organization … you should be able to specify your “captain”. This is the person who will email you, call you, and be responsible for your involvement. You may pick the person who brought you into the organization in the first place. You may pick the actual precinct captain. Or you may look at the list of people volunteering to be captains, and pick the most attractive one. Up to you. That’s democracy. That’s how real estate companies work. Big brand, personal agent.
The giant leap forward is that one should only get contacted by their captain – and not get spammed by the head office. If may be “zero cost” to send out hundreds of thousands of emails, but it’s also zero benefit if the emails. It’s more effective to send the captains, who can send it on to their teams.

Getting a word in, edgewise

May 29, 2004

A bit of shameless self-promotion is called for from time to time. I mean, hell, I didn’t even pimp my last few web-development books on this site much now did I? Plus, for a nanopublisher, I’m remarkably unconcerned with the flow of money beyond the realm of between break even and acceptable losses, so hear goes.
Since about Feb 2002 (I guess that was about five months after 9/11, so I was probably noticing the political commentary was really happening on blogs by then), I’ve been putting my political and media critical weblog entries up at its own site. It has had several names over the last few years, few of them memorable, but it is now called Edgewise (and its one of the publications emerging from the Mediajunkie collective, most of which are anthologized at Telegraph).
For a while I reposted my political stuff here at RFB, but I thought that was intrusive on the more educational, less advocacy-oriented nature of this blog, although I do list my recent headlines from other blogs in the sidebar, and that includes links to Edgewise, although only to my posts there.
I like the name Edgewise. Contributor Cecil Vortex suggested it. It perfectly captures that talking back to the mass media feel we like about political blogging. I made up the subtitle, which has two meanings, one is news-interviewer cant for ending an interview, the other is a general apology for the scantiness of blogging in general.
The best thing about Edgewise is that we now have multiple writers, three or four of which have been posting nearly every day.
I’ve Edgewise
We’re pushing each other now, with these multiple voices, and as the election heats up I suspect we’ll see more sparks fly. Cecil has already called the election for Kerry and pinpointed the tipping point. New contributor Boris Khadinov has a brief against O’Reilly and the rest of the right-wing media. David Kolodney (of Ramparts fame) betrays his philosophical training as he reframes media moment after moment – I’d love to tape an interview between Kolodney and Lakoff!
Briggs Nisbet merged her occasional Hellmouth column into Edgewise and I’m on the verge of inviting so new people to contribute as well. At least one person has access to the blog but hasn’t posted yet but may at some time or another. My father has an open invitation to present the pro-Republican side of things, for example.
I will continue my policy of keeping RFB non-ideological (except maybe in the syndication wars – I’m just keeding), but I did want to plug the site at least once here, because some of my Blogistan readers might enjoy it, and… let’s face it: blogging is more fun than metablogging (blogging about blogging).
So drop by Edgewise, or subscribe to one of its RSS/Atom webfeeds, but check out the actual site – we have a good chunk of political headlines down the left margin of the page and that’s not in the Atom feed yet – not even sure it should be?).
As soon as my book is done, I’ll probably be implementing a lot of pent up blogging best-practice ideas I haven’t had time to execute yet, across all of the Mediajunkie sites.

Kos starts collaborative political guide

May 29, 2004

Daily Kos has launched a wiki called the dKosopedia where Kos community member can collaborate to build a free online political resource for progressives.
(Note: The Power of Many interview of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga is coming up soon.)

Sam Ruby calls for RSS/Atom détente

May 28, 2004

Sam Ruby suggests that there is no one-size-fits-all syndication format and recommends a spirit of cooperation and mutual support to the extent possible.