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A picture named daveTiny.jpgDave 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.

Contact me

scriptingnews1mail at gmail dot com.




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March 2010

Feb   Apr


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FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)

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Dave Winer's weblog, started in April 1997, bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Be wary of Google patents Permalink.

A picture named elephant.gifGoogle has been pitching its use of open standards as a way to insure yourself against Google going away. That's much appreciated, no sarcasm. All companies should plan for their users' data surviving them. But my concern is what if Google doesn't go away. This is a company that's at least heavily influenced by lawyers, if not run by them. They aggressively patent. Personally, I'd rather not build a new ecosystem out of Google patents.

If you have a choice of using an already-existing format or protocol that works just as well as the new one Google is trying to replace it with, the rest of us, who don't patent, are better served if we all use the older one, including Google. That way we know that we won't be forced out of the market at some future date, when the cost of staying in is paying huge legal expenses, and royalties, for "technology" we could have had for free.

Unless Google also adds a disclaimer of all patents on all the new stuff, I'd be very careful about which ones we adopt.

Alice in Wonderland Permalink.

I am a big huge fan of Tim Burton movies.

He's right up there with Quentin Taratino and Martin Scorcese. When one of these directors ships a movie, I'm often the first person in line on opening day.

So this morning I took off and went to the 11AM showing of the newly released today Alice in Wonderland, at 850 Broadway.

First a caveat. Don't read this if you haven't already seen it. No matter what anyone said about the movie I would have seen it, even though I did read the NY Times review before going.

1. The Times review is right. The movie is pointless, lifeless.

2. It's not even remotely a Tim Burton movie.

3. It's almost as if as they were nearing completion someone said "Hey wait a minute this doesn't have any Tim Burton stuff in it," so they quickly added a bit of buffoonery, but it is totally embarassing.

A picture named beetlejuice.jpg4. Hollywood has a formula that it can't seem to escape. A hero forms a posse of colorful allies with big hearts who are in love with the hero. There's an evil adversary and she has a posse of despicable, frightening and evil allies. The movie is a buildup to the final showdown. The two do battle. The hero wins. The adversary is humilated and most of his posse is killed. There's a closing scene where everyone agrees life is great and the credits roll. It's Star Wars meets Harry Potter, Avatar meets Indiana Jones. Every movie with a budget fits this template, with the exception of parts of recent Pixar movies (they always include the basic elements but it doesn't always completely dominate the plot). Once you realize this is what you're watching, unless you really get off on special effects, you might as well walk out.

5. A few people walked out. I stayed to the end, but I started checking email on my Droid during the movie.

6. Zero suspension of disbelief. I was always thinking "I'm in a movie theater watching a dumb movie." The plot never sucked me in.

7. Next time let Tim Burton do a Tim Burton movie. Break new ground. Big Fish was great. At least the parts that sucked represent risks taken. This movie took no chances, it was boring. I want great acting, and stuff to think about and to laugh about. I like dark comedy. Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland were great titles, but neither produced an interesting Tim Burton movie.

8. If you like Tim Burton, go see it anyway. The next movie you see can only be an improvement.

9. Probably because it's a Disney movie, the characters lacked the usual Burton depravity, seen in Beetlejuice, Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride. The ghoulishness in Burtonia can be very friendly, like the zombies in Corpse Bride. Or musical like Oogie Boogie in Nightmare. Or humorous like the cigarette-smoking angel of death in Beetlejuice. Or the poor misunderstood Frankenstein -- Edward Scissorhands, who was only trying to do good, yet was run off by the villagers. Other reviewers say that Burton movies lack plot direction, but I disagree. The plots don't always end happily, but they often end with a song, nonetheless. I doubt if Disney would let the film be anything but colorful, but even children like a little depravity as long as it's not too dark.

10. Wait a minute -- I don't think there were any songs in Alice! WTF.

Real-time search Permalink.

A picture named elmersGlueAll.jpgKara Swisher reports on a study that shows people are ignoring "real time" search results. This matches with my experience.

The reason? It's impossible to convey much information in 140 characters. So when a search hits a tweet you get at most a soundbite, telling you something you probably already knew. When you search you're looking for information you don't have but want.

I have a collection of Google Alerts that report once a day or immediately, via email, telling me about occurrences of my name, products I've made, other topics I'm interested in. These used to be pretty useful until they started including tweets in the body of stuff they search. Now the alerts are mostly useless. So in this case, adding real-time stuff actually subtracts value.

If Twitter wants to make money by inserting ads into search results, and all indications are that they do, they should seriously consider relaxing the 140-character limit, so tweets can carry information worth searching for.

Update: Liz Gannes has the report too.

Josh Young adds: "Yes, real-time results in search suck because the feed is what's important, not the individual tweet."

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:46:39 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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