I’m starting to immerse myself more in the Racket world these days. And recently, I’ve had more troubles with my server and WordPress blogs. So I’m looking into Greg Hendershott‘s Frog (Frozen Blog) to see if this would be useful.

I’m thinking of porting some of my lower-traffic, not very visually sophisticated, blogs to it. So … first step, a quick and dirty wordpress-to-frog script.

It’s a hack and there are caveats. But it more or less worked. After a bit of tidying, expect to see some of my online blogging move to Frog.

OK. At this point I’m now officially confused by the Dave Winer road-map / strategy.

I’m sure it’s evolving and exploratory. But Dave’s productivity means that I’m no longer keeping up with how this is meant to go down.

So we had an outliner. (Fargo). And then an open-sourced version of the editor (Yay! Concord). Dave got the religion of “Unhosted” apps. running entirely in the browser and using various back-end storage. (Cool). Although he has a node server for that too.

Meanwhile, there’s a radio3 which is … what? … blogging software? an RSS generator? based on the outliner? And river4 which is an RSS reader. Or is it radio4 and river3?

And now there’s a MyWord which looked like a way to format long-form essays to make an open competitor to Medium. And Little Pork Chop to cut long stories down to Tweet-size chunks to post on Twitter.

But MyWord is also meant to post to Twitter. (I think)

And now MyWord also seems to be blogging software. (Following the path of Medium?) But when I asked about how the outline editor would connect to it, Dave said he wasn’t thinking about it. Instead MyWord is gaining an ordinary in-browser text editor. But it’s also getting a “front page” which shows an ordered list of posts … pulled from an RSS feed.

Dave’s own blog seems to be outline based. There’s a liveblog version for “narrating his work” that basically IS in an outline. But MyWord seems to be going off in a different direction.

So what’s actually going on here? Are these all pieces of a single jigsaw puzzle that can be put together to make a comprehensive whole (a version of Radio Userland as a swarm of Unhosted apps)? Or is Dave running a bunch of experiments in parallel, pursuing an outliner-first strategy on the one hand, and chasing Medium and Twitter on the other?

Couple of quick notes :

1) I’m too dependent on Google. Unlike the case of Facebook, I can’t just cancel my account. Google is too deeply entwined with my life. But I am taking steps to disengage if not 100% at least a significant chunk.

2) I’m playing around a bit more with Dave Winer’s Fargo outliner. And it is shaping up to be excellent, both as an outliner and expression of Winer’s philosophy. (No surprises.)

So, to combine the two, I’m documenting my Google-leaving thoughts in a public outline. Check it out.

Update : I’ve also been wondering about having a linkblog, somewhere I can quickly throw links rather than G+ (which is inside the Google Walled River). Maybe Fargo will help there too.

My comment on Alex’s blog :

Well, you already know but I still think wiki has a future, as pointed to by Smallest Federated Wiki. There are some flaws / issues with SFW, mainly I think because not enough people are working on it, but it’s still the signpost for how wiki could evolve. 

Would still love to see you and other UseMod / OddMuse people look at ways to engage, even if you don’t switch over. 

2012 is the year when it just became more and more clear that we need our own space and shouldn’t be dependent on Fb / Tw / G+ etc. 

Fb / Tw / G+ offer two compelling things : 1) an aggregate river of stuff from people we care about, 2) really easy transclusion from various rich media sites. 

We could have a distributed river architecture if we took RSS and some kind of pubsub architecture (eg. RssCloud) seriously. SFW has made transclusion protocols central to its philosophy. If we pick up on both, figure out how to get the most important things we get from the mainstream working smoothly, we can create a compelling alternative on our terms. And one of the interesting, overlooked, facts about G+ is that it showed that significant numbers of people are still willing to experiment with alternatives. As long as you can get a critical mass of around 20 people you care about to use it, G+ is as valuable as anything else. You don’t need 1 billion users. You aren’t trying to take over the world at this point, just to have a syndication / discussion architecture which isn’t owned by THEM.