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. :-)
At the end of last night's press conference, Scoble was doing an interview with a Twitter guy, I think his name is Jason Goldman. He said he was Vice-President of Product. Scoble observed that the changes they announced yesterday were cosmetic, that the underlying structure hadn't changed. The Twitter guy agreed.
Then Scoble asked about a serious flaw in the structure, one that a lot of us have observed, and it's hard to see why it hasn't been fixed. I've written it up both in tweets and a blog post. Now Scoble got to actually ask a Twitter guy the question.
Here's the problem.
Someone addresses a message to you, like this:
@bullmancuso, you should stick to writing about mob violence. You don't know anything about sports or the Mets. So STFU already.
Okay, now assume three things:
1. Bull Mancuso doesn't get a lot of responses, so that message is going to linger in his Replies tab for a long time, maybe weeks.
2. Bull, even though he's a mob enforcer, is a sensitive guy, and this tweet hurts his feelings.
3. But he's also interested in what people say about his tweets, so he's always checking the Replies tab.
So here's the question for the Twitter guys.
Q: Why does Bull have to keep looking at that offensive message?
A: He doesn't. He could block the asshole.
Which leads to the next question.
Q: Wouldn't it be simpler to give Bull a command that just blocks that one message (you could call it Hide or Delete).
I'd love to hear a Twitter guy explain that one. Because blocking is a very serious thing to do, and probably is overkill.
Every so often I get asked to look at a Twitter app. I usually look, and usually am depressed by what I see.
They're all scams. If they're any good they'd be better without the connection to Twitter. At least they'd be more honest.
I don't like calling software or platforms dead, but if I did, I'd say that about the Twitter API.
In any case, I don't expect to see any compelling Twitter apps from here-out.
Last night at 7PM Eastern those of who care about the evolution of Twitter were glued to the TV set the same way millions watched Mercury rocket launches when I was a kid. The image was scratchy and the sound imperfect, but we hung on every word.
In the 60s we wanted to know if John Glenn would make it to outer space. Yesterday we wanted to know what Twitter had to announce that it thought was so big.
Someday these announcements will go without a glitch, the video will be at least watchable, but this time we had to settle for a camera between Scoble's legs. Which led to some fun moments where Scoble bent his head down and whispered to the gathered masses that he was going to ask our questions. But he didn't ask the one I wanted to ask. Here goes...
Let's put it another way.
For the first few years of Twitter encouraged guys like me to write little hack jobs to make it do things they didn't have time to make it do. So I did. What's the point if you don't continue to support that work. I didn't see my name in the list of 16 media partners. You say you didn't know. That's the point... You can't know all the good stuff that's happening so don't make it all flow through you.
The idea of "working with X media partners" instead of having an open interface so everything "just works" -- this is the big fork in the road. It was inevitable that they'd do their own client. They more or less telegraphed that. But why can't they just stick to the API-based approach and a level playing field, and let the best man win? Why do they have to tilt the table toward big companies and the companies that their board members invest in?
The net-net -- my photo app will look like crap compared to those of the media partners. I'm sure Twitter will work with their URL-shorteners, but they won't work with mine. Time to look for greener pastures.