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About the author

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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June 2010

May   Jul


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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.

RSS to the left of me, OPML to the right Permalink.

A picture named joker.gifJay wrote a blog post this evening whose title is a lyric from an old Stealer's Wheel song. Got me humming and it eventually became the title of this post. "Only steal from the best!"

I'm getting a lot of inquiries about sub-text in Scripting2. People still seem to love it, but they want to know how it will work with RSS apps like NetNewsWire, River2 and the omnibus Google Reader. (I first wrote ominous, for its sheer dominance, but then thought they probably don't feel dominant, just like they're carrying all kinds of passengers.) I don't have the source code to the other apps, and River2 is not a full-text affair (I strip markup and cut the text off at 250 characters, based on its design as a skimmer rather than a reader). But we should get on the road to making it possible for reader apps to do something nice with the collapsed sub-text.

So, today I did two things that should help, but probably aren't the last word in publishing the material that backs up a Scripting2 post.

1. There's now a <link> element at the top of each story that points to the OPML source for the story. View Source in the browser to see it.

2. There's a link to the OPML source in the RSS feed. It's in a new namespace called scripting2.

These are probably not the last word in linkage to the full source behind my blog posts, and if there's little or no uptake, I'm not guaranteeing I'll support them for perpetuity. If you use them -- please let me know, preferably in a public comment or post, so others can see.


PS: For good measure, there's also a link to the blogroll in the HTML source, per a request from the illustrious Matt Terenzio. <img src=">

Today's Rebooting the News Permalink.

RBTN #55 was an extraordinary podcast. We got to some of the core issues of net publishing, the iPad, Apple, the web, etc. Rich Ziade is a great interview, and having Jay there to keep things balanced was really good. Highly recommended. Permalink.


People don't read. What I'm doing about it. Permalink.

Sometime in the last decade I realized that most people weren't reading my stuff.

I don't mean this in the obvious way. There are 6 billion people on the planet and perhaps 0.00001 percent have even heard of Scripting News. That's not what I mean (though it's true).

What I mean is that, even of the people who "read" what I write, either on the blog or in RSS, the vast majority just skim, if they do that.

An author can tell.

So when people say that clicking on a little plus sign next to the text to get more is too much work, I think -- how ridiculous -- this person probably isn't even reading my stuff.

I think what they're really saying is that if the text is hidden, they can't skim it. Aha! Now, for me, the guy who just spent an hour writing the post you're not even willing to spend a few seconds with, that's a feature not a bug. <img src=">

I don't really want the skimmers. What I want is to get my ideas "out there" so other people can do things with them. If the words only act as magnets for your canned pitch, then nothing happened, and it's not worth the effort.

So a speed bump that rewards people who do read is a good thing, not a bad one.

PS: Check out the previous post for an idea of the art that might be possible with sub-text.

PPS: Sub-text actually makes it easier for skimmers, if they really want to understand what the author is saying. The background stuff is tucked away it just presents the top-level ideas.

What a week! Permalink.

So much happened, it deserves a recap.

A picture named accordion.gifIn the middle of the week, on Wednesday, we had our Sources Go Direct panel with Nick, Rachel and Fred at NYU. I think we can do better, and I hope we do. It was my first NY event since I put on a concert at Bronx Science in 1972.

Nick Denton says nothing has changed, there were gatekeepers then and there are gatekeepers now. I agree. What we didn't go into is who the gatekeepers serve, how they protect each others' business models, and how blogging can circumvent that. The perfect example is blogging itself, a story the gatekeepers refused to carry, but a story that got out there anyway. And the blogging network was used to bootstrap other stuff, including podcasting and RSS.

On Thursday we had our weekly meetup at NYU. Rich Ziade, the author of Readability joined us. We talked about a lot of very interesting and potentially heavy stuff. Rich will be our guest on today's podcast. If you care about the future of publishing as it relates to Apple and the web, I recommend listening.

Also on Thursday, I took the wraps off the new 2.0 version of the software behind the Scripting News weblog. I'm reaching for the stars with this one. I have a lot of years of experience using the old version, and I've studied the other blogging tools that are out there, and I think it's time for a re-look at the whole thing, with a new codebase.

On Friday, I shook up those people who were watching (not a whole of people, unfortunately) with a feature I call sub-text, which is actually a simple sub-case of outline-based browsing. What's important is how it's used. Just beginning to feel my way around this.

Next week should be a little quieter. I'm heading to Calif on Wednesday for a few days of business. But we're off to a great start here in NYC, and the next few months should be really something! <img src=">

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:43:09 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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