Posts from June 19, 2005

Something new

Something new

: Dave Winer is working on an OPML editor. Frankly, I’m not smart enough to figure out exactly what it is or what it means. But when Dave is digging in like this, you can bet there’s a truffle to be found. His explanation:

So you can use the OPML Editor to open and edit subscription

lists for all the major feed readers and aggregators, tune them up, merge

them and split them, publish and share them. Finally, there’s a rational way

to edit the subscription lists.

OPML has also become the standard format for the podcasting directories. All

the nodes in the community directory are edited in OPML, many of them by

hand. Now there’s a tool that’s designed for exactly this purpose.

The OPML Editor is good for all kinds of lists, directories, project

planning, designs. The tool can be used by professionals and managers,

doctors, professors, lawyers, accountants, writers — basically anyone who

thinks for a living.

Another way of looking at it — RSS is great for news, but not everything is

news, some things, like the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or the

elements of the periodic table, don’t change. Or change slowly, like the

teams in major league baseball, or the top home run hitters. For information

like that, knowledge, representing the relationships between nuggets is

what’s important, and that’s where outliners like the OPML Editor, that’s

now in beta, excel.

Open ads

Open ads

: In the discussion about sell-side advertising — ads selected by publishers, who know best what will perform on their sites — I pushed a few further notions, including (a) open-source ad calls to allow ad-hoc networks to be put together by any marketer anytime involving any publisher, (b) transparent targeting, allowing the consumer to save the advertiser bucks by telling him not to bother selling him something he doesn’t need, and (c) open creative, arguing that consumers can create better messages to sell products.

Here is, a marketplace that at least allows marketers and creatives to pitch needs and ideas to each other. I’m not sure how it works but Trendblog writes it up here.

Wikitorial redux

Wikitorial redux

: The LA Times wikitorial says it is “closed” now and I see no way to get in to see the latest version or the history. No explanation: Just closed.

Hope I didn’t help break it. I said that having both sides of an issue fight it out over the same text just wouldn’t work in a wiki. Wikis are about collaboration; you may disagree with your fellows but the mutual goal is clear. A wikitorial is bound to turn into a tug-of-war.

So I suggested in a listserv discussion of it that there should be two wiki versions of the editorial: one for proponents of the editorial’s stand, one for opponents; let them put their best stuff forward and may the best side win. It seemed to be that this would be like an Oxford debate, brought to software.

Wikigod Jimbo Wales replied in the listserv on Friday: “I changed it to this earlier today. I’m not sure the LA Times wants me setting policy for their site, but it is a wiki after all, and what was there made no sense.”

I went today to see what was happening and find it closed. Drat.

: See Tim Windsor’s link in the comments explaining what happened.

: See Chris Anderson’s reassessment of the experiment.