Not to rain on Dave Winer’s self-promoting parade — and I think his nytimesriver, bbcriver, etc., are all fine — but what he’s noisily done here is rediscovered the merits of a newswire. And as any journalist, broker, analyst, or fund manager will tell him, such things have been around as long as there have been terminals.
The essence: Newswires (aka “rivers”, in Winer parlance) are co-mingled stories that go out in a headline-centric format in something approaching realtime. Which is a fine idea, so fine, in fact, that I’ve only been doing it myself here (www.kedrosky.com/latest.html) for over four years. I’ve also been calling for a proper Bloomberg-killer — i.e., streaming headlines — for at least twice as long, like since I left the brokerage industry in the mid-1990s.
So don’t me wrong, Dave is on to something, it’s just a) not new, and b) already has a perfectly decent name. Building a Bloomberg-killer newswire remains a noble goal, but let’s not confuse things by pretending it’s a new idea, or that it needs another name.