Dave Winer, 56, is a visiting scholar at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and editor of the Scripting News weblog. He pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in New York City.
"The protoblogger." - NY Times.
"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.
"Dave was in a hurry. He had big ideas." -- Harvard.
"Dave Winer is one of the most important figures in the evolution of online media." -- Nieman Journalism Lab.
10 inventors of Internet technologies you may not have heard of. -- Royal Pingdom.
One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.
"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.
"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.
"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.
8/2/11: Who I Am.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
I'm sitting in a class at NYU listening to a discussion about local blogging and the NY Times. Rather than speak up to the room, I thought I'd just write a blog post that explains where I think the money is in local.
First, where I don't think it is -- getting ad dollars from the local pizza parlor or stationery store. There may be nickels and dimes there, but the mega-dollars come from slicing the pie differently from the geographic way people are slicing local news up now.
Instead, pick the businesses that generate billions of dollars in the local economy that are information-based, where the information currently being supplied is inadequate. That's not restaurants and entertainment.
When I started looking for an apartment in Manhattan, one of my requirements was FIOS. I naively assumed I'd be able to get it because my mother had it in Queens. Manhattan is a bigger, more lucrative market than Queens, so of course Verizon has it covered. Turns out, for a variety of reasons, it's not true. There's almost no FIOS in Manhattan. But if you went to the Verizon site you'd never find that out unless you punched in every address in Manhattan and found out that very few return positive.
Time-Warner Internet is not bad, in some parts of the city, and awful in others. If you want great Internet service, where should you be looking? The only way to find out is word-of-mouth.
Business on the Internet is driven by finding places where dollars are spent, where people need lots of good information to make a decision they're going to spend a lot of money on. Become the place where people go for that information and then sell space on your site to businesses that sell products and services in that space.
This is local. But it's local on a wide scale. This is where I think the money is.
This is a continuation of the Big Change in the Tech World thread, February 25.
We may look back at these as the Good Old Days before the tech guys clamped down and closed off all the loopholes that allowed us to create and share our own content, as well as program our own use of the content created by the entertainment business.
The norm in entertainment, the system I grew up in -- the entertainment industry controlled what you watched and listened to, and when, where, and how much you paid for it. You could make your own special mix tapes, but that was hard and most people didn't do it, so they looked the other way. Napster was a big breakthrough. All of a sudden all the music was there for the asking, whenever you wanted.
People were talking about music in supermarkets and on airplanes. We all bought iPods.
Charles Mann called it the "heavenly jukebox." I found I could listen to a Cat Stevens song about fathers as many times as I wanted. "I don't just want to listen to music, I want to study it, and let it really sink in, soak it up, and then go on. No medium before the Internet made this so easy."
I had a phone talk with John Gruber from Daring Fireball the other day, which I requested, after reading a piece he wrote suggesting that Apple's closing of the Flash hole in the iPhone/iPad was a way to enforce "web standards." I said it's a lot simpler and more insidious. Apple doesn't care about web standards, nor do any other large companies. That term, and "open" are just fig leaves that cover up what they're reallly doing. Instead of opening things up, they're doing just the opposite. Closing as many holes as they can as quickly as they can. Because they're doing what the media business wants to but hasn't been able to do, yet -- control and monetize user programming of content. Apple and many (if not all) of the tech companies want to get the control back from the users. Of course they can't say this, and they won't. But actions speak louder than words.
Then I read this article in CNET that says Apple wants to cut a deal with the entertainment industry to store all their content on Apple servers. There's a chilling comment in the middle of the story saying they want to get rid of hard disks. That, my friends, is Hollywood's dream. The real culprit, the real cause of their economic problems isn't the Internet, it isn't the wires that connect computers. It's the under-$100 terabyte hard drive. With a terabyte you can store hundreds of hours of movies and TV shows. That enables you to do your own programming.
To Hollywood, a perfect world would be one without hard disks.
To Apple, a perfect world is one where every moment a user is reading, listening or watching causes cash to flow back to Apple.
WordPress announced today that they've added support for PubSubHubBub to their product.
This is great news. More realtime support is a good thing.
I'm sure some people will use this moment as an opportunity to say bad things about RSS, that's just the way it goes. I've always encouraged people to see more realtime support as a just plain old good thing.
I would love to see Google support rssCloud in Google Reader and their other products. It would show that they support all ways of doing this stuff.