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. :-)
There's an article in today's NY Times about a group of four NYU comp sci students who are embarking on a great adventure to create a decentralized version of Facebook, where the data is under the user's control.
This goal is right on, it's something I've written about many times, it's why the Internet is such a breath of fresh air compared to the locked trunk schemes of tech companies. That the article appeared in the Times is an indication that they share the aspiration of many users to be free of control of not only Facebook, but the whole tech industry. A worthy goal for the students, a worthy goal for the Times.
The news people are always doing this. Pumping up a bunch of nice-looking young men (almost always men) to be David in an epic Boy Kills Boy battle to the death with Goliath. These beautiful young men are going to flail against the machine and emerge victorious. Or more likely be forgotten like so many who came before.
Example: A 2005 Times article by John Markoff about a new startup that aims to commercialize podcasting. Didn't happen.
It's irresponsible of the Times to run such a piece. There must be a dozen projects all over the world that are much further along than this one. It's definitely not good for users to focus so much attention on a project that doesn't exist, instead of ones that do.
To be clear, I'm on their side. I hope they're successful. But instead of setting the expectations so high, I would prefer to see them bite off a smaller piece of the pie. We could really use a great open source Twitter client, a smaller more pragmatic goal, and much more likely to be realized in the three months they've set aside to Change The World.
Last week I wrote about Coach Walsh and the 49ers and setting expectations a notch below reality. Let's step back from this and wish these young men well, and hope they can help the rest of us achieve some small independence from the tech industry. And let's hope next time a big publication like the Times writes puffery like this, that some editor points out all the pitfalls of such a project and gets them to stifle the hype, just a little.
Note: I am a visiting scholar this year at NYU, in the journalism institute. I am remarkably close to this story, but have never met the students.
Elena Kagen is not gay, she's single.
We've decided that gay people are okay. Maybe now we'll decide that single people are too.
A related issue comes up from time to time, esp in the Village -- where people make a wide variety of lifestyle choices. Should gay people have the right to marry? Of course they should, I say. If two people want to make a commitment to each other, how can anyone else say they shouldn't? It's hypocrisy for conservatives who say the government must stay out of people's lives to then turn around and say that marriage is between a man and a woman. It's okay to believe that of course, but it's not okay to deny people rights if they don't conform to your beliefs.
Here's what I do have a problem with -- the government being in the marriage business, and the government giving tax benefits to people who are married.
I don't sign the petitions that call for amendments allowing gay marriage. It can be awkward because people assume this is because I'm against gay people. It's not so. I'm against the government having a stake in the relationships between people, or lack thereof.
So I think it's great that Elena Kagen is straight and single, and may well become a Supreme Court justice. It's about time that people who say they want diversity of representation get to stretch a little.