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. :-)
Is waterboarding torture?
Most newspapers thought so, until the US started doing it.
Then they changed the tune.
This is the result of a famous Harvard Kennedy School study that came out in April.
According to Brian Stelter in the NY Times: "The New York Times characterized waterboarding as torture in 44 of the 54 articles that mentioned the practice from 1931 to 1999. The Times called it torture or implied that it was torture in two of 143 articles from 2002 to 2008."
They studied four publications: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and USA Today, and found similar results in the others.
Stelter also has extensive quotes from Bill Keller, the executive editor of the NYT. It's embarassing in that it does not include a mea culpa. This was an obvious mistake, even understandable. They might not have been aware they were doing it. What's not understandable is that, once caught, Keller starts spinning.
One line in particular caught my eye, as well as many other people who read the piece.
Keller: "I think this Kennedy School study -- by focusing on whether we have embraced the politically correct term of art in our news stories -- is somewhat misleading and tendentious."
That's fairly outrageous.
Adam Serwer, writing in the American Prospect, summed it up as I see it. "It's a good rule of thumb that anyone responding to a criticism by accusing someone else of enforcing 'political correctness' is factually incorrect. That's because if the actual facts of the criticism were in dispute, they'd dispute them."
There's been much comment on the piece, as you would expect.
My own two cents. I come from a profession, software development, where we actively seek out our mistakes. We have formal processes for it. We teach our users how to report the mistakes, so we're more likely to understand what they're saying. We'd be nowhere if we tried to deny or spin them. Bugs could never be fixed, processes could never be corrected, we'd never move past the mistakes we made in the past.
The thing that troubles me is that reporting is no different.
One of the things I looked forward to about living in NYC is the opportunity to travel places easily from one of the most connected airports in the world, JFK.
I'm about to get to a place with this development project where a week or two away from it would probably be good for the project.
We have a small group of testers here in NYC, and I'm getting ready to add some old friends to the test group, and then I want to let things settle in for a bit. Travel, take some pictures, go swimming, whatever.
I may also just get in the car and go somewhere in the northeastern US. It's been five years since I've taken an east coast road trip. Lots of interesting places to go, some close by like Boston.
That's what I'm thinking about this morning. ">
Last night I tried something daring, it didn't work, so as it got late -- I backed off.
Then, overnight, a reader, Daniel Kurejwowski, posted a carefully written analysis. It looked promising, so now I want to give it another try. So that's what I'm doing.
I have a fresh pot of coffee brewing, and a sense that it can be done! Let's see...
Update: It worked magnificently.