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Thread started by Dave Winer on Friday, September 21, 2012.

An open note to Doc

My longtime friend Doc Searls and an outliner guy going back many years is now using the OPML Editor and has started to post items to the OPML Comments community.

The community starts with the humble concept of a comment, and develops out from there, to create all the essential elements of an online community, but one built around replaceable parts.

Small pieces loosely joined. It's the philosophy of Unix from the 70s, the PC world of the 80s, the Mac of the mid-late 80s and early 90s, the web and open source communities of the 90s, and the beginnings of Web 2.0 -- blogging, podcasting, RSS.

It's a good moment, because Doc has wicked way of writing about this stuff. His stories are very different from mine. He goes deep on photography, radio, geography, airplanes. But when it comes to formats and protocols, we are on exactly the same page. He's on the odd-numbered side, and I'm on the even-numbered one. But it's the same idea, flip sides.

A picture named dolls.gifIt's a good time to write this story, because the very people that Twitter is pushing out the nest are the ones we want to work with. There will be competition for their hearts and minds. Evan and Biz are launching Medium. One of their colleagues is launching Branch. app.net is out there. There will be lots of new communities vying for the attention for the most creative and intelligent people on the web.

By actively participating, I hope to nudge all the new bootstrappers to share data with each other. So the users can not only delight in the experiences each of our software can create, but also in the magic they can create by combining our tools to create new online communities that the software architects would never imagine.

My belief is that if the right design, programming and writing tools are out there, and we foster easy movement of ideas, the amazing things we could only dream of in the past will come into existence. There are hundreds of millions of people in the world now whose minds share the space of the Internet. It can get a lot richer. They're ready for it.

Anyway, this is an invitation to Doc to post a response below, in the outline that's attached to my post. I would like to read a Doc ramble on these topics. It would be good for my soul. Then I will show you another way of looking at what Doc wrote.

Update: Doc posted a comment. And it appears on its own page, where you can comment on his comment.

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