Posts Tagged ‘Radio Userland’
My first blogging platform was Dave Winer’s Radio UserLand. One of Dave’s mantras was: “Own your words.” As the blogosophere became a conversational medium, I saw what that could mean. Radio UserLand did not, at first, support comments. That turned out to be a constraint well worth embracing. When conversation emerged, as it inevitably will in any system of communication, it was a cross-blog affair. I’d quote something from your blog on mine, and discuss it. You’d notice, and perhaps write something on your blog referring back to mine.
I would love to be able to comment on an article or a blog entry by passing a link to a blog entry within my own WordPress instance on WordPress.com. However rendering that ‘feed’ back into the comments section on the originating article/blog page doesn’t seem to be common. At best I think I could drop a permalink into the comments section so people might be tempted to follow the link to my blog. But it’s kind of unfair to an unsuspecting reader to force them to jump and in a sense re-direct to another website just to follow a commentary. So I fully agree there needs to be a pub/sub style way of passing my blog entry by reference back into the comments section of the originating article/blog. Better yet that gives me some ability to amend and edit my poor choice of words the first time I publish a response. Too often silly mistakes get preserved in the ‘amber’ of the comments fields in the back-end MySQL databases of those content management systems housing many online web magazines. So there’s plenty of room for improvement and RSS could easily embrace and extend this style of commenting I think if someone were driven to develop it.
Byte Magazine is one of the reasons Im here today, doing what I do. Every month, Byte set its sights on the bigger picture, a significant trend that might be far ahead or way far ahead. And in July 1994, Jon Udell to this very day, among the most insightful people ever to sign his name to an article was setting his sights on the inevitable convergence between the computer and the telephone.
I also liked Tom Halfhill, Jerry Pournelle, Steve Gilmore, and many other writers at Byte Inc. over the years too. I couldn’t agree more with Scott Fulton, as I still am a big fan of Jon Udell and any projects he worked on and documented. I can credit Jon Udell for getting me to be curious about weblogging, Radio Userland, WordPress, Flickr and del.icio.us (social bookmarking website). And watching his progress on a ‘Calendar of Public Calendars’, The elmcity project. Jon’s attempting to catalog and build an aggregated list of calendars that have RSS style feeds that anyone can subscribe to. No need for automated emails filling a filtered email box. No, you just fire up a browser and read what’s posted. You find out what’s going on and just add the event to your calendar.
As Jon has discovered the calendar exists, the events are there, they just aren’t evenly distributed yet (ie much like the future). So in his analysis of ‘what works’ Jon’s found some sterling examples of calendar keeping and maintenance some of which has popped up in interesting places, like Public School systems. However the biggest downfall of all events calendars is the all too common practice of taking Word Documents and exporting them as PDF files which get posted to a website. THAT is the calendar for far too many organizations and it fails utterly as a means of ‘discovering’ what’s going on.
Suffice it to say elmcity has been a long term goal of organizing and curatorial work that Jon is attempting to get an informal network of like-minded people involved in. And as different cities form up calendar ‘hubs’ Jon is collecting them into larger networks so that you can just search one spot and find out ‘what’s happening’ and then adding those events to your own calendar in a very seamless and lightweight manner. I highly recommend following Jon’s weblog as he’s got the same ability to explain and analyze these technologies that he excelled at while at Byte Inc. And continues to follow his bliss and curiosity about computers, networks and more generally technology.
- Accidental Time Capsule: Moments from Computing in 1994 (readwriteweb.com)
- Tagging mechanisms and strategies part 2: Portable tags (jonudell.net)