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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.




My sites
Recent stories

Recent links

My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.

My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


August 2010

Jul   Sep


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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.

Borgs or blogs? You decide! Permalink.

Rex Hammock, my Republican blogging buddy in Nashville, recalls that in 2005, Forbes (a Republican tool) ran a cover that announced the "attack of the blogs" and warned that they "destroy brands and wreck lives." Now in 2010, they run blogs themselves. Heh. Whatta you know!

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So... Are we bloggers or the The Borg?

A picture named picard.jpgRecall, they were the alien race in Star Trek whose motto was We Will Assimilate You. They were truly scary, and for a while it looked like they would indeed assimilate the human race.

Blogging is everywhere nowadays. Not everyone does it. Just NBBs, but there are lots of them. The cost of publishing is down pretty close to zero. As Papa Doc used to say in the early days: We'll fact check your ass. And I forget who observed that we're watching you watch us watch them watch us watch you watch them, but we're still watching them watch us watch them watch you watch all of that.

Bike trip #4 Permalink.

This one was huuuuuge.

Started at Sheridan Sq, rode east to Lafayette, turned north, up Park Ave all the way into the 70s.

Turned west, then south at 5th Ave, down to 60th. Entered Central Park, rode back up to 72nd, turned south down to 59th.

South on Broadway to 57th, west to the Hudson Greenway, south to 10th St, east to 7th Ave, south to Sheridan Sq.

How many miles is that? A lot!

1.5 hours and I feel grrrrrreat.

Time for a shower and head out to Queens. :-)

Improving discourse on Scripting News Permalink.

A picture named ohDalai.jpgI finally got fed up with people using Scripting News to post the same off-topic comments over and over. It's not just that one person is being a broken record, there's a whole cadre of people who feel they need to be heard yet have nothing to say. They repeat themselves with very simple thoughts. Apple is great, Flash sucks, etc etc ad nauseum. They can "prove" it. If you don't like it it's because they disagree with you not because you've heard it a million times and didn't care the first time.

So if I ask a question that isn't resolved by a simple Neener Neener response, yet people post them -- my solution is to do what Apple does with Flash content -- off to the bit bucket. If, after I ask you to stop, you continue to do so -- I block you. If after blocking you here, you hassle me on Twitter, then I block you there. I don't give a shit who you are, if you're the Pope's long-lost brother, or the Dalai Lama or the chairman of the Republican Party. Goodbye. Please!

Bonus link: Krugman re upgrading discourse on his blog.

Followup on "S3's missing feature" Permalink.

Quick followup to yesterday's post on Amazon and web hosting.

So close yet so far.

Turns out by coincidence Amazon had announced, the very day of my post, that their CloudFront service would support index files.

The economics are pretty attractive. The cost of the first access, assuming the index page is the only thing accessed via CloudFront, is about the same as S3. For the first access of the home page you pay double, once for CloudFront and once for S3. All subsequent accesses, until the cache expires, cost 1X an S3 access.

But there's the rub. For a blogger, the home page is a rapidly changing page. I sometimes update the home page several times a minute while I'm tweaking up a story. CloudFront, by its nature, must cache. And caching is what you don't want to do with a potentially rapidly changing resource.

It's the wrong solution.

People say S3 is just a storage service. But I'm not buying it. Why shouldn't a storage system also work as a web server? So much of S3 is useful for that, it's only natural to add the one final feature necessary to make it work. Or please let us know why. It's just a curiosity, is there some reason Amazon doesn't want us hosting full static sites in S3? (Please, unless you have a creative non-obvious answer, let's wait till (and if) we hear from Amazon.)

Visualizing failure, day 2 Permalink.

Yesterday I wrote a quick piece about visualizing failure, and didn't explain something important.

First, recall that failure was imminent. It was the expected outcome. The board had washed its hands, told me to shut it down (why they did this in retrospect is a mystery, they had no upside in shutting it down other than a possible tax loss).

A picture named earth.jpgThe problem for me was I couldn't imagine going on with my life, facing my family -- who had said it would never work and I should just get a job. Or my friends, who I had been neglecting, for a very long time, because I was hunkered down trying to make this thing work. And how would I get work after this failure? And if I could, what would it be like to work for someone else, having failed at entrepreneurship? But even more ominous than facing family and friends or finding work was how would I face myself? I had been holding on to this dream of myself as a success, a self-made man, a person who creates his own destiny. I had had this feeling when I was a student that I had discovered my purpose. What would it mean to have failed at my purpose? How could I live with that? I didn't think I could.

I think in general, except in some very lucky circumstances, success requires that level of determination. To just wish for success is not enough. To want it is not enough. To deserve it is not enough. You need a word that's stronger than wish, want or deserve -- perhaps that word is "require."

Over on Ycombinator one of the commenters, TotlolRon, quoted Apollo 13 Flight Controller Jerry Bostick. "When bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them." I think that's pretty close to the sentiment. You're out there, you're alone, and if you fail, you aren't coming back. That is the feeling I had outside the office that night.

Maybe it isn't that I couldn't visualize failure, but in some sense I could visualize it all too well.

I'm going to keep working on this. :-)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:41:05 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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