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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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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.

Apple gets "free publicity" from the line-ups Permalink.

A picture named apple.jpgGreat piece in Gawker by Ryan Tate about the hot-weather line-ups outside Apple stores all over the world today.

A number of commenters, in response to my earlier piece, said that Apple is unlikely to stop these line-ups because they get the most enthusiastic users in front of local reporters for the best kind of publicity. I'm sure Apple factors this in, but it could backfire on them.

A good reporter, and apparently there still are some, won't take the story as spoon-fed to them. They'll think and dig and go into the line and ask questions Apple PR apparently never thought of.

For example...

There was a reporter interviewing people in the "no reservations" line, asking if they had tried to get through to the Apple website to reserve an iPhone on the day their servers weren't working. People were saying yes. People who were pissed because they had to wait while they watched other people, who were lucky enough to get through on that day, go right by them. (I found it impossible to get through myself, and went to an Apple store to make my reservation, and that didn't go so smoothly either.)

While we were on line together, we had plenty of time to get to know each other. And as we got close to the front, it was practically a riot. The people in the "no reservations" line were totally pissed.

And this was at 9AM, when it was still in the low 80s. I can't imagine what it must have been like later as the temperature got into the 90s.

Until this product shipment, Apple could count on either not having reservations, so it was completely fair, first-come-first-serve, or the website worked -- and no one could say they tried and didn't get through. Factor in the likelihood that the weather is going to be dangerously hot somewhere on June 24, you've got a potentially bad situation.

Apple is still enjoying a honeymoon that comes from being the underdog, but that won't last forever. At some point they're going to be seen as the 800-pound gorilla they're becoming, and then the press won't always be their friends. We hope.

What does the FTC think of the Fail Whale? Permalink.

It's totally fitting that the first image I saw on my new iPhone web browser was Twitter's Fail Whale.

It fit because: 1. Twitter is my most-used mobile app and 2. Twitter, for whatever reason, can't stay up these days.

A picture named down.jpgIt also seems fitting that today the FTC announced that it had settled with Twitter over an old-old issue about security, which hardly seems, even remotely, the worst of Twitter's sins. The politicos haven't realized it yet, or maybe they have -- but we are becoming dangerously dependent on a single point of failure, and that point of failure is telling us not to trust us, these days, all the time with the cute little whale suspended by cute little birds.

Nothing to say that I haven't already said many times. A more fail-safe version of Twitter, based on the architecture of the Internet, is totally feasible. It could be implemented by the client vendors, by simply backing up their users' tweet-stream in an XML-based format to a network of safe meeting places that's activated when Twitter goes down. Eventually, of course, once that system is reliable and performs well, it would replace the centralized system. It would be based on DNS, the naming system of the Internet itself.

It wasn't that long ago that we thought the Fail Whales were a thing of the past. Now they're back. The lesson appears to be that as Twitter grows it will get more fragile, not less.

Obama to Medvedev: Throw away red phones for Twitter.

I got my iPhone 4 Permalink.

Stood in line for 3.5 hours and was cheered by Apple staff as I went into the store. The process was pretty painless, set me back $216.66 including tax. It's a nice upgrade to the iPhone, but it doesn't, after a quick first look, seem to rewrite the rules or change the game.

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Was it worth the wait? Yes, just this once. Now that I've had the experience of waiting in an Apple line, I don't want to do it again. I made a few friends, my back hurt from standing in one place for a long time, it wasn't too hot that early in the morning. I prefer to have products shipped to my home. I think Apple ought to figure out how to eliminate the need for this exercise.

Also the people on the other line, the ones without reservations, were about to riot when we got let in. This is not a happy system.

PS: Another thing Apple ought to do -- democratize the product rollouts. Use the Internet to get everyone the full experience of the product that you now give exclusively to the tech press. Their first looks are ridiculous gushes of mindless praise. We're the ones who pay your bills. It's amazing how much the users of the product put out for Apple.

PPS: It's a pretty great camera.

PPPS: They were really pushing MobileMe once the line snaked into the store. I didn't see anyone take them up on the special offer of $69 for the first year.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:42:47 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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