I love Dave Winer's blog. He's even crazier than me, but he's pathologically unable to lie. Winer's latest post admits something most Californians would deny: The first time he learned a friend was married to another guy instead of a gal, he blurted out, "I find this shocking and it makes me a bit uncomfortable." He got over it, but he remembers that feeling. Dave, don't ever change. Remember when you found out I was working for Denton? That was hilarious. (Photo by tobiashm)
"I totally don't trust Rove when he says that McCain has gone too far," writes Berkeley blogger Dave Winer, of Dubya's former campaign mastermind. "I wouldn't take the bait and pass this on as the Obama folk are doing. There's got to be a virus in there somewhere. Some devious trap that springs later in this process." Aw shoot, now if that doesn't happen, I'll be disappointed.
250GB, or "125 standard definition movies," will be Internet service provider Comcast's new cap on monthly bandwidth usage for downloads, according to a release from the company — which confirms some rumors and shoots down others. Which is 200GB short of what cranky customer Dave Winer has been reported to use. Better send some cupcakes to your friendly Comcast support representatives on Twitter for overage indulgences. [DSL Reports]
It's been a rough year so far, Internet, what with Twitter's ups and downs, Facebook's family feud, and Microsoft's failed bear-hug acquisition of Yahoo. Now a bunch of grumpy old men are plotting a "bear hug" on Twitter, too. Not a takeover, per se, and more passive-aggressive than hostile. But make no mistake: Steve Gillmor and his gang want to bend the microblogging platform to their will, with their ursine embrace, at Bear Hug Camp, a group grope set for September.This techie version of a "bear hug" involves deploying powers of annoyance rather than shareholder proxies. "Dave Winer used the bearhug to wrap his arms around Netscape’s version of RSS and not let go until a merged RSS was born," muses an unusually wistful but incomprehensible as always Gillmor. "The time may be here to bearhug Twitter." Gillmor's immediate goal is to create a standard for identifying every utterance made on the new microblogging services — not just Twitter, but Jaiku, Plurk, and the rest. This will serve to make it easier to cross-reference your own bon mots, self-promotional stunts, and hookup attempts. Never mind the architectural details of Gillmor's mostly-gibberish plan: What he's really trying to do, as Winer did with Netscape, is attempt a credit-nicking takeover of Twitter's best ideas. He's unlikely to succeed. Bear Hug Camp will certainly be an opportunity for the Old Men of Blogging to stroke each other's egos, and more. But Twitter should remember: It's not a hug Gillmor wants to give them. It's an attention grab that leaves a bad-touch feeling and a permalink in its wake. Better to let Gillmor and his gang beat their man drums in the woods, alone, together.
"Some blogs, like TechCrunch and Mashable are so loaded with widgets that they take at least 30 seconds to fully render," gripes a post by frequent Valleywag commenter Alan Wilensky. So true! When I was a website producer, I used to plot page load times versus daily pageviews. Load speed affected traffic — and hence revenue and brand reach— far more than I could convince my managers.
Willie Brown, San Francisco's only black mayor (1996-2004) and a fixture in local politics for more than 40 years, has popped up as the Chronicle's latest columnist. Brown's first offering reads like a mix of Herb Caen and Dave Winer — short, first-person musings on current events, ending with a namedrop of Willie's rich neighbors at the St. Regis. It's pro forma to hate on Brown in San Francisco, even though he helped legalize oral sex and badgered President Clinton to leave the city's pot clubs alone. Willie's real crime? He always plays to win, and he usually does. For most politicos, a newspaper column would signal early retirement. In Brown's case, I can't wait to see how he parlays the Chron gig into his next big score. (Photo by AP/Eric Risberg)
Egobloggers Jason Calacanis, Robert Scoble as well as startup PR clearinghouse Michael Arrington all want to know: How amazing is it that after two years of using Twitter, they've each already got nearly half as many "followers" on FriendFeed after just a few months? Asking the question, each offer hypothetical answers involving the social-network aggregator's ease of use — "The comment systems is so fast and easy that it's perfect," says Calacanis — or Twitter's frequent outages — "Twitter downtime plays a big part," writes Arrington. But here's the real answer to the amazing growth these bloggers have seen on FriendFeed:
Nearly ten years before Violet Blue vs. Boing Boing, the Internet's early bloggers discovered their new medium's killer application: Personal spats. Radar Online blogger Choire Sicha, angling for his 14th return to us here at Gawker Media, recounts blogfeuding's past. Choire: tl; dr. Only one era bears recounting: the months after 9/11.
A reader writes to us concerned that the apocalypse is nigh. Why so scared? Because wantrepreneur Julia Allison (who was not fired from Star magazine) and cranky RSS guru Dave Winer are now link lovers. What sparked this show of mutual affection? Winer's treatise on how he created the first, true "un-conference" back in 2003, where instead of panels, it was a discussion — because "the eloquence and intelligence in the room are distributed not concentrated." This apparently reminded Allison of class discussions at her alma mater, Georgetown, "except this time you care." (Photos by Brian Solis, bub.licio.us and Doc Searls)
Internet service provider Comcast is considering instituting a 250-gigabyte monthly cap on downloads, according an anonymous source cited by BroadbandReports.com. Users would be allowed one month over the cap in a year. Any month after that, and the customer would be charged $15 for each 10GB in excess. No cap is expected for uploads. Cranky RSS guru Dave Winer, who admits to downloading an astronomical 450GB a month, would end up with a regular $300 surcharge on his Comcast bill.
Comcast has assigned a customer-service employee to monitor Twitter for the passive-aggressive whines of tech-savvy insiders. A tipster forwards us evidence of the Twitter-stalker in action in the screenshot below. Meanwhile, another sighting of this rare customer-service animal in the wild comes from bilious blogfather Dave Winer, best known for arguing about which obscure Internet technologies he invented. Yesterday he posted a rant about how the Internet service provider abruptly cut him off. (The cause: Software he wrote which inefficiently downloads Flickr photos en masse.) After Winer complained over Twitter, the stalker, a Philadelphia-based customer-service rep named Frank, reached out, but couldn't help. So Winer called Comcast's hotline for Internet miscreants and recorded the call (MP3). During that conversation, a Comcast rep threatened to shut down Winer's connection. "I asked if I could get this in writing," Winer reports. "He said no."