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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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My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


July 2010

Jun   Aug


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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.

Fire in lower Manhattan Permalink.

A picture named fire.jpgI was working on some code in my apartment, was thinking about going out, and looked outside and the sky was black. At first I thought it was another thunderstorm. I got drenched this morning. But then when I got up to look I saw it was a fire. I got out my camera and took a picture, uploaded it to Flickr, and tweeted a link to the photo.

Then I noticed that other people were posting pictures of the fire from all different points of view. Within a few minutes we knew the exact location. Now about 1/2 hour later, I can see that the fire is out.

Here's the best close-up of the fire. A search for all the fire pics.

This is a new kind of reporting. Everyone has digital cameras and everyone is networked.

Science goes direct Permalink.

A picture named hope.jpgI've been reading about the crazy stuff going on at scienceblogs.com, and wondering if there isn't something the tech community can do to help the bloggers.

Scientists who are also natural-born bloggers. It's a perfect example of people with information going direct to the people who want it.

I've always felt that reporters should apply the scientific method. Here are writers whose lives are devoted to the service of science.

It's not surprising that a corporation like PepsiCo would want to get in the middle of such a good thing.

What's needed, it seems to me, is a simple blogging platform, probably WordPress or Drupal, that could host all the science bloggers who wanted to be free of the corporate situation.

I am not using this as an opportunity to promote my blogging platform. It seems to me it's too delicate a situation to insert anything like personal interests into. Rather, it would be great to get a home for these people, asap, one that will make it easy for them to migrate to a new home, but still maintain the integrity of the community.

I can help in getting the feeds together into a single reading list, so that we can follow all the science bloggers where ever they go.

Update: There is a "diaspora" feed managed by Yahoo Pipes for the science bloggers who are leaving scienceblogs.com. This is great, but I wanted something different -- an OPML reading list that points to all the feeds. I don't just want the posts, I want the feeds too.

People hosting their own servers Permalink.

My Scripting2 to-do list is getting small again, but there are still some big items there. One of them is to get an Amazon AMI ready for people to create their own blogging servers.

My goal is to make it as turnkey as possible to set up your own server. One of my frustrations with WordPress is that you have to understand so much about hosting before you start hosting. There's so much you have to understand before you start. It's kind of a Catch-22. You have to be highly motivated, you're making a real commitment. That's why so many people go with wordpress.com. (None of this is presented as fact, just my conjecture.)

With Scripting2 there will be, at first, a scarcity of hosting options. I want people to seriously consider setting up their own EC2 server. It costs about $90 per month, and it can host dozens of bloggers using Scripting2 (in theory, that's what we're going to find out). The economics work for me. With Radio and Manila, I had to get into the hosting business. This time, I am determined not to be the central point of failure. Eventually it made so sick that I had to drop the ball. This time I don't want it to be dependent on me. That was the mistake last time.

A picture named hamsterCage.jpgMy role is to work on software and to be a community leader. That's what I do best.

Also, by having people host their own servers from the start, we get past the bottleneck of the typical "User Generated Content" play in the tech world. In that world, the users are like little hamsters in cages spinning around the wheels that drive ad impressions that generate revenue for the tech company and stock options of the programmers go up in value, and the little hamsters have the satisfaction of knowing they helped make other people rich. This always struck me as out of balance.

It works when the founders can find a quick exit as the YouTube guys did. But in the more common case, the company drifts and the platform suffers, and the users wait and things never get better.

The WordPress guys found a better formula, by offering people the option of hosting their own blogs on their own hardware for free. Even your wordpress.com blog is free. You only pay when you get serious about your blog. When you need features that serious people need. That ecosystem has a much better feel to it. And they get to relax, get rich, and the users have their independence.

A picture named cage2.jpgAt my point in life, I'm less concerned with making money myself, and more concerned about setting up something that works, long-term. I was looking for an answer and along came Amazon and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. With EC2, I get to create my own operating system, and offer it to you. Eventually I can even ask for some of the money to flow back to me to fund the continued development of the software. Maybe I'll even get rich from it, that wouldn't be so terrible. :-)

Unlike the WordPress ecosystem, that had evolved to create entities like Bluehost, who have confusing startup plans, we'll have one that's a simple howto that takes at most an hour from beginning to end, and has zero commitment to anyone. You can launch the server, create your blog, and after one day decide it's not for you, and owe Amazon less than $1 for the experience. (It's all charged to your credit card the same way you pay for books or clothes.)

So now I'm swinging back to polish the AMI, get it so that the code within auto-updates properly, and then at some point I'll be looking for guinea pigs er testers to try it out. :-)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:42:11 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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