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. :-)
I had a wonderful bike ride today.
New bike. And my old legs complained terribly at first, screaming in agony.
How dare you! They said. We were taking it easy for the last 15 years. Now you want us to work again! Fuck you.
When I got to the southern terminus of the island of Manhattan, I took a ten-minute break and took in the scenery. A fire boat went by. The Staten Island Ferry. A police boat. Mothers and nannies rolling babies in their carriages. The sea air. The cool breeze. It was an overcast summer day. I took a bunch of deep breaths, and re-mounted the bike, heading north.
This time my legs were looking to open up, let's get some speed, but for the first section of the trip we shared the road with walkers and runners, so that meant slow going. Finally, I turned a corner, now we had our own path, just for bikes, so I opened up. There's the speed! My legs said Okay Dave we remember how to do this! Let's go! Let's Go!! Let's GO!!!
And we went.
Finally as I approached Christopher St, the major bike path into the Village, I could see the light was flashing red on West St. Rather than wait, I gunned it, and made it across the street. I cruised up the hill, and at the first red light I collapsed. My legs said "Ohhhh kaaaaay, let's go slow from here." And we did.
But when I got back home after 40 minutes of riding, I felt the endorphins flowing through my veins. Ahhh this feels familiar. This feels goood.
No broken bones, it was a pretty nice first outing.
Tomorrow we, my legs and I, go north and see if we can make it to Central Park.
There are some people for whom this comes naturally. They sit with their hands folded and wait for you to convince them. You can talk and talk, wave your hands, raise your voice, and after you're finished they say very quietly, "I'm not sure." Or they just repeat the silly or hurtful thing they said at the outset. There's no way of knowing whether they were any paying attention at all while you carefully explained your point of view.
These people aren't built like I am. I will never understand them.
There were people in my family growing up who were like that. They annoyed the hell out of me. Because we had the same genes, and I've seen evidence of their intelligence in other contexts, I believe they knew they were being annoyingly illogical. I think that was the point. They got some kind of pleasure out of winding me up and spinning me around.
I don't know and I never will.
So this is the tweak in perspective that I've discovered: What I think matters.
Believe me, for a person like me, this is a huge leap.
I don't have to convince anyone that I'm right or they're not. It could just as easily be their job to convince me that they're right and I'm not.
I've learned that sometimes the best thing is to fold my hands and listen and see what comes back, and see if it changes my mind. I know that I am really listening, and am open to changing my mind. That way there's a point in having the conversation.
Ideally the balance, between every pair of people, should be right smack in the middle. We care just as much about what they think as they care about what we think. Or approximately in the middle. If it appears out of whack, or getting out of whack, that's a good moment to take a deep breath, and step outside the immediate situation, and make a decision -- is this conversation worth continuing?
I always like to remind myself that there are 6 billion people on the planet, you can't be friends with everyone.
And sometimes, in some situations, it's more fun to be alone.
Update: Paul Krugman is like me, that's why I like him. He's always trying to convince everyone of the errors of their ways. Appealing to their better nature. "Wake up!" says Krugman, "opportunity is slipping away from you!" He believes people are smart, but doesn't understand why they act so stupidly. I think most people (but not me) are chuckling. Someone needs to say to Krugman -- you're a Nobel Laureate. You're off-the-charts smart. You teach at Princeton and have a column in the NY Times. Let them convince you for a change.
Update #2: Glenn Greenwald is another tireless convincer. He pays attention to things people say and do, and remembers them, and can play them back in different contexts. If you appreciate this kind of rhetoric (I do!!) he's capable of masterpieces. But he never convinces the people he's talking about, most of whom are smart enough to understand what he's saying, to care enough to do anything about it.
Update #3: People like me make shitty investors. We always see things from the other guy's point of view. But if you're a smart entrepreneur you want to have a few of us around. Paradox. But we make excellent marketers and evangelists. Not sales people though, their magic is different.