Dave Winer

Dave Winer: In the 80s we coined the term idea processing for the category of software we were creating, which eventually became known as outliners. I chose a higher-level pitch because I wanted people to see that you could do more with computers than make text look pretty when you print it. You could use a computer to organize thinking, outlining works so much better on a computer than on paper, it deserved a new name, because the activity was so fundamentally different.

The last few weeks have really stretched my mind, and guess what — I'm back in IdeaProcessingLand. Blogger and Manila are outliners, just really primitive ones. And that's cool, because this time around the loop we started where people are, on the Web, and can take them into outlining on a really easy optional slope. I believe the best blogs will be those edited in outliners (like this one) but even if I'm wrong, I'm happy because lots more ideas are flowing now.

So what we're doing today is idea processing, but on a much larger scale than what we were doing in the 80s. Networking is a solved problem. Lots of people have Internet access. And computers have gotten so much more powerful. A new mission that's a loop back to an older one. [Scripting News]

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