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. :-)
Back when I lived in Calif, when I'd come to NYC in the summer I'd be incredibly uncomfortable. I'd wonder how anyone could live here in the summer. I'd stay inside in the air conditioning all the time, and only go out when it was absolutely necessary.
Then, this year, as summer approached (me, a NY resident), I feared I'd be incredibly uncomfortable as the temperature rose. But a funny thing happened. It was as if I was the frog in the slowly simmering pot of water. I barely noticed it was beginning to boil. Sure it was hot. Sure I was sweating. Some days I'd come close to fainting in the heat. But what the fuck, that's the way it is. Not a big deal.
Then I went to Berkeley last week and froze my ass.
I stayed near the water, and went walking on the shore of San Francisco Bay. You'd think -- how nice -- a cool breeze. No way. It was frigid!
Now I'm back in NYC. High in the mid-upper 80s today.
Nice weather! ">
When I left New York for California a week ago I was emerging from one of the most productive development spurts I'd ever had. I didn't know it then but I was about to enter a slump. Since leaving and returning I haven't gotten very much work done at all. I've tried all kinds of tricks to get myself back in gear, but none have worked.
Over the many years I've been a developer, I've hit these periods of stagnation many times. I don't usually write about them -- who wants to say "Geez I didn't get very much done in the last few days" or I'm spending most of my time sleeping or playing video games or eating sushi or hanging out with friends or even hanging out by myself. Or waiting in a line at the Apple Store. Or whatever. Mostly, whatever.
The next thing on my development plate is very exciting stuff!
I want to make it so that blog posts can disappear from the timeline, and become standalone articles.
Every blogging system needs this feature, and most have it. (For example Posterous just added it, with some fanfare.)
The challenge is to do it without giving up too many features (hopefully none) and minimum disruption to the framework. My plan is to simply have a boolean for each post that says whether or not it's in the timeline. If it isn't we just skip it when building whatever it is we're building. I hope to catch this by sub-classing a relatively low-level verb that traverses a calendar structure in reverse-chronologic order. Come to think of it, maybe I'll just make it a new optional parameter to that routine. Maybe that's a good place to start?
So at some point you might see this post disappear from the flow on scripting.com. When you see that happen you'll know that at least my period of stagnation has temporarily abated, if not completely receded.
Another thing I want to do is designate a post as being rendered as an RSS feed, in addition to being rendered as HTML and OPML (as they all are). Hey maybe I should by default make all posts be rendered as RSS feeds? That might be pretty cool. The idea is that the post could then act as input to the EBS of Twitterlike things. Each headline in an outline is an awful lot like a tweet, especially in a world with annotated tweets. If you read the OPML spec and think about outline-level attributes you'll see what I mean. I want to get away from the idea that every tweet is entered into a dialog box as a separate thing. I like thinking of them as a connected stream of consciousness. Also dammit, sometimes my paragraphs are more than 140 characters. But when they flow to Twitter they will get cut off at 140 minus the length of any link pointing at it.
Another thing I have partially done that I need to finish is the right-click menu for the blog post editor. In addition to the usual outline-editing commands I need some that are specific to Scripting2.
Now a prayer to the programming fertility gods. Please let Dave resume his fecundity. Or fecundness. Or whatever. Mostly, whatever. ">