Greetings and welcome to mediahackers.org.
My name is Dave Winer. I'm a blogger, software developer and lover of news, among other things.
I created this site to stay up to date on things I care about. Each of the tabs is explained below.
The server behind this software reads all the feeds we're subscribed to, once every ten minutes, and adds the new stuff to the top of each river.
I use River2, an RSS aggregator to generate the news. The design of the rivers was done by a community on the River of News mail list. It's a very functional design that has stood up well over time. The format behind each river is JSON, so it can be used inside any app that runs inside a web browser. Details and links are in the technology section, below.
Some of the tabs listed here don't show up in the user interface, but the rivers are still there and the links should still work.
I grouped together my favorite feeds for podcasts in this river.
This river is made up of the feeds in TechMeme's leaderboard. It's cool because it's a view of TechMeme that previously only their bot would see. When I want to know what's new, I want to know it all, not just what's popular. Sometimes the things that are least popular are the most interesting, and shift my point of view.
I have a script that reads their leaderboard page every night, and pulls out the RSS feeds to form an OPML file that then acts as a subscription list for River2. You're welcome to use the feed in whatever aggregator you use. But remember that it's dynamic, it changes every night. Most readers can't handle that (if yours does, let me know).
There are plenty of New York Times stories in my personal selection, also known as the Dave tab (see below), but there are lots of other stories as well. This river contains only stories from the Times, so it's more concentrated..
The World tab contains feeds from non-US sites about the rest of the world. This was an attempt to create a flow that's not mostly about America. This was a community project, in a thread on scripting.com. In fact the idea came from an earlier thread.
I started with the "international" feeds from major news outlets such as the ABC from Australia, Ria Novosti from Russia, Al Jazeera, Ha'aretz, The Hindu, NYT international feed, etc. Then I asked people who read the site for other feeds. English-language. Cover non-local news for their geography, but not be focused on the United States. We already have lots of American news in other tabs.
Frontier is a powerful scripting and database environment that has been my life's work in many ways. It's centered on outlining, and has hooks into all the powerful protocols of the Internet. It's also got deep content management capabilities. The latest incarnation of Frontier, the OPML Editor is also the server environment that runs all the software you're seeing here.
This river combines all the feeds and mail lists for the community. It's the one place to go to find out what's new.
These are my own personal selections. It started as the first river, the one I used in all examples and demos, and it's what I rely on to stay current. It's an eclectic selection of news sources and blogs, columnists and gadflies. The only qualification for being in this river is that at one time I thought it would be interesting to follow this source. I almos tnever unsub from one of these.
I asked John Gruber, Brent Simmons and Marco Arment for the Apple feeds that are most important to them. Then I added feeds from the major tech pubs and blogs.
Apple news became the "lead river" when the Olympics were over. Apple is the hot topic because there's an announcement coming in September so there's likely to be a lot of news.
If you want to follow these feeds in another news reader app, here's the OPML reading list. Note however that this is dynamic and may change, so you'll want to reload it every so often.
New Orleans' main newspaper, the Times-Picayune, has curtailed publication. I love the city, I went to college there many years ago, and it's been through a lot. But I think something good can come from this. A river of news combining the flow of a number of blogs and community publications makes for interesting reading. That's what this river is about. If you have suggestions for feeds, check out this thread.
I spent a couple of years at Berkman Center at Harvard, and met a lot of interesting people there, many of whom have gone onto to other interesting things. I thought that a river of that community might be interesting. So far I don't have a lot of feeds, but I'm keeping this here for a while in the hope that it might develop. If you have suggestions post a comment here.
This river was taken off the tabs in v3.0, but it's still accessible at this URL.
River2 is a server app that reads your feeds every 15 minutes and builds a static river. All these rivers are created one of my servers. It supports podcast enclosures, realtime updates with rssCloud, dynamic OPML reading lists and all flavors of RSS and Atom.
OPML Server is server environment running inside the OPML Editor.
Following in the tradition of powerful Unix editors, we have an incredible programming language, database, and communication stack built into our favorite outliner.
It's so powerful that you can make a complete server environment out of it.
It's so cool that you can create a new virtual server when you want one. A server is almost like a document. And when you're done, throw it away.
Amazon had a great idea. It could be simpler, but it's a great start.
I wrote a howto that shows you how to create a new instance of an OPML Server on EC2. If you're new to EC2, the first year is free! Wow. :-)
It's a great storage system. Fast, high availablilty, infinite scaling. Cheap. Easy API. What else could you want.
I wrote a howto called S3 for Poets that makes it easy to get started with S3.
Rivers run in Bootstrap, which is a great platform for web apps. I love all the things it shows you how to do.
The tabs in tabbed rivers are Bootstrap tabs, btw. The dialog you're reading this in is a Bootstrap dialog. Yehi!!
On each item in all the rivers you'll see a RT link. The first time you click on one it will ask for the address of your linkblog server. It's a very simple protocol. It passes the title, link and description for the item to the linkblogger, which then will likely put those elements in a dialog that you can tweak before sending to your followers. It's the feed-oriented analog of Twitter's retweet command.
I use Radio2 as my linkblogging tool.
People ask if they can pay for this. It's so gratifying to hear that people think it's worth money. But for now, the best thing to tell people about it. Especially people who work at news organizations and bloggers. I want them all to do rivers for their communities. They don't have to be as fancy as this one. And we'll help. It's important to have these streams running all over the web, not just on Twitter and Facebook.
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