Thoughts On Radio3

I have recently become a big fan of Radio3. Radio3 is a linkblogging/sharing tool from Dave Winer that is designed to make it easy to share links to multiple places (So far, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress) while at the same time creating an RSS feed and personal linkblog. I’ve long followed Dave’s work but I think the stuff he has been doing recently is really interesting. Fargo, a really good web based outliner that works with Dropbox to store your files, is another fine example of his work.

I thought I would write up a short post (spurred, in part, by a request from Dave Winer himself) to outline why I like Radio3 with a short wish list of what features I’d like to see in the future.

Why I Like It:

  • It is a simple and seamless way to share links I find interesting from my browser to Twitter (I don’t use it for Facebook or WordPress) using the Radio3 bookmarklet.

  • Through the linkblog functionality, it’s an easy way for those that wish to see just the links and commentary I’ve posted without having to wade through my whole Twitter stream.

  • In a way, this creates a “backup” of those links and tweets. That said, I already had Pinboard doing that too. But, as they say, you can never have too many backups.

  • It’s fun. Dave has invested a sense of whimsy and fun into the design. From the random sayings above the posting area to the font being used. There is a sense of casual fun while using it.

  • It has a philosophy that is stated up front. I wish more software projects would do so.

Wishlist:

  • I wish one could assign a custom domain to the link blog side of things so it felt more like “my place”. I thought what I wanted was the ability to self host it but, on further reflection, what I really want is for it to feel more like it is “my place” which could be accomplished by the above. The way I arrived at this conclusion was thinking about other services like Tumblr that I use, are not self hosted, but feel like “my place” all the same. I figured out the reason they feel like “my place” is primarily that I own the domain, control the look and feel to an extent, and minimal service branding. In a perfect world, I would have all of these with Radio3 but, if I were to focus on what I would want first, it’s the custom domain.

  • I would love if the items I shared were also stored/backed up locally in an open format like the outlines in Fargo. That would go yet another step further in the feeling-of-ownership department.

Now, a note. I realize that Radio3 has a feed and can post to WordPress and that I could, therefore, set up my own domain, install WordPress, hook up Radio3, and basically create my own linkblog that is fed by Radio3. But that seems like a lot of needless duplication to me. To be honest, the above wish list is a “nice to have” not a “need to have” as I really like Radio3 just fine as it is and believe it is worth checking out.

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