Last update: 1/25/2013; 11:06:31 AM.

Using Radio2

Greetings! permalink

My name is Dave Winer. When I designed Radio2, I aimed to create the minimal blogging tool, one that did the least possible and still was useful. Simple yet useful, and usable.

It's for short-form blogging, the kind of stuff we do in Twitter. You're looking at a web page, and think "I want to remember this, or share this." One click on the bookmarklet, quick -- you're still in the flow of what you were doing.

The goal was to create something that has the ease of Twitter, with the open potential of blogging. There are tradeoffs, some things that Twitter will always do better, because they are an all-in-one, centralized system. But there are also many things Radio2 can do that Twitter can't, because we aren't protecting a business model.

The goal is to create a new and thriving ecosystem, where there's lots of choice, and lots of innovation. Read on, I'll explain how we're doing it.

Quick tour of the user interface permalink

First, here's a screen shot of the top portion of my Radio2 home page.

It's ready to post a link to a story I just read and want to share with my Twitter followers.

1. There is a link attached to this post. You can see it if you expand the Title, Link and Enclosure section.

2. Just below the edit box on the right hand side is a chain of icons I call the "charm bracelet" because that's what it reminds me of.

The first icon points to the document being linked to.

The NEW button empties all the fields of the dialog, starting over.

The XML icon points to your RSS feed.

Click on the Twitter icon to connect your feed with Twitter.

The number says how many characters would be in a tweet if you posted now. If you're posting to Twitter you should keep that number under 140.

3. The Post button is big so you can't miss it. Click it when you want to post.

4. Below all that is the History table. For each post it shows when it was posted, the contents, short link and the number of times it has been clicked. In the last column are two icons, one which allows you to edit the post, and the other to delete it (with confirmation).

5. At the top of the screen is a menu. Click the name Radio2 to get back to the home page of this site.

It's all about your feed permalink

Your feed is the center of the universe for Radio2. It's used to connect to Twitter, and we hope to many other tools.

It's the key to bootstrapping a network of independent users who communicate not only through Twitter, but a new network of Twitter-like tools.

Think of it this way: On the net, your feed is you.

We also generate an HTML rendering of your feed, but that's a side-show. The feed is where the action is.

You can find your feed by clicking on the white-on-orange XML icon in the charm bracelet section. Pointers to all the stuff we generate for you are on the Links page.

BTW, here's my feed.

Where to get an account permalink

This is an unusual piece of software for this day and age. Yes, I am running a server but I'm not going to offer many people accounts. Instead, I've set up an easy way for people to run their own servers on Amazon EC2, the Rackspace cloud and other similar services. There are already people running their own.

The goal is to build a distributed network. If I gave everyone an account on my server, not only wouldn't I have a life, but I wouldn't achieve the goal. So finding a place to run your Radio2 feed is going to be problematic at first. But not so much as we go forward, I hope.

How to begin permalink

I command you to install the bookmarklet!! :-)

Trust me -- you want it. It makes the whole thing work so much better.

Then when you're traveling around the web, and see something you want to share with other Radio2 users, or just remember yourself, click the bookmarklet, maybe add a comment, and click the Post button, and go back to what you were doing.

Click the Links command in the menu bar. About halfway down the page you'll see the Bookmarklet section. Follow the instructions there for installing it.

Connect with Twitter permalink

If you want to share your ideas and links with people follow you on Twitter, just click on the Twitter icon in the charm bracelet and follow the instructions. It works the same way most software works when connecting to Twitter.

Podcasting with Radio2 permalink

Radio2 can be used to publish podcast feeds.

1. Create your MP3, somewhere on your local hard drive.

2. Go to the Radio2 website. Click the NEW icon in the charm bracelet.

3. Enter a description for your podcast episode in the big text box.

4. Flip down the Title, Link & Enclosure section.

5. Enter a title if your podcast has a title, something like My Show Episode #38.

6. Click the Browse button next to Enclosure and choose your MP3 file.

7. When you're ready to publish, click the Post button. The whole package is uploaded so it could take a little while. When it's done you'll have a new item in your feed that has an enclosure.

Here's a screen shot that illustrates.

What else? permalink

We've started a mail list to support Radio2 users.

Please join, ask questions and let's get you going! :-)

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Last udpate: 1/25/2013; 11:06:31 AM.