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. :-)
So far the two new elements of the architecture are: 1. One-click to subscribe. 2. A central server run by a foundation that provides OPML subscription lists for each user to feed engines.
Now the third element -- short names for feeds.
On Twitter I am known as davewiner. Same on Facebook. On Apple's network I am scriptingnews, on Google's dave.winer.
On the RSS network I have a strange name:
This puts the RSS network at a distinct disadvantage, don't you think!
I would much rather have a name than a URL, even though the URL is a good thing, because it's how the network gets its loose-coupled-ness. It tells anyone who cares how to find the new stuff from me. It's stood the test of time, it works, it scales reasonably well, and it allows choice. The only thing wrong with it is that it's ugly!
1. If you don't already have a domain, and most of us don't, you can go to a registrar like GoDaddy or Gandi and buy one. But most people won't do that because you will also be able to go to providers who will sell you a sub-domain much more cheaply if not give it to you for free. It'b been argued that it's too hard to get a domain or a sub-domain, but it doesn't have to be that way. There's no reason it should be any more difficult than getting a username on Twitter or Facebook. All you're doing is associating a string of characters with an email address. There's nothing hard about that, not in 2010.
2. When you register the name, if you already have an RSS feed you want to be associated with that name, as I do -- you'll just enter it into a text area on the registrar website and click Submit. Then the URL will be stored as the TXT attribute of the name and served up to anyone who wants it over the DNS protocol.
For example, my name would be davewiner.com (I already own that domain), and the associated URL would be http://scripting.com/rss.xml.
3. When someone decides they want to follow me, instead of entering the URL, they will be able to enter davewiner.com. That's all.
Now you could imagine a special TLD, something like .rss, that would be understood when you enter a name. I could register dave.winer.rss for a nominal charge, and if you want to subscribe to me, you could enter dave.winer. The .rss part would be assumed, just as .com is assumed in a lot of contexts on the web.
See how this is working? Everything in this space seems to involve URL-shortening. This is no exception. And this is as far as we want to go, because now the name is as short and as easy to sign up for as the centralized networks, without the centralization penalty.