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. :-)
Today I'm just moving crosstown, from the West Village to the East Village. The reason -- to be closer to the J-school at NYU, and because I want to try the east side and see what it's like.
I also get FIOS at the new address, and if you've been reading this blog you know how much I want that.
I want to be inside the territory of the Local East Village, the student-run news blog that's a joint venture between the NY Times and NYU. By being in the East Village, I'll be able to write about things that are part of what the LEV covers.
Expect some blog posts about the difference between east and west.
What's interesting about the move is how I found the movers.
I started asking friends in NYC if they could recommend movers. I got a few recommendations. I started doing web searches, but then I thought to post a query on Twitter and on Quora. Something interesting happened on Twitter. Within a half-hour I had responses from two local moving companies. Both had staff members whose job it was to rep the company on the social nets. One of them tried harder to get my business, and offered a better price too.
All through the process I was aware they were giving me special treatment. Probably because of the 33,000 followers I have on Twitter. Who knows, but they're aware this job will impact their online rep.
I'm going to wait until the move is over before saying who the company is. For some reason that seems the right way to go. But as I type this, in the bedroom of my old apartment, there's a moving guy behind me packing up the closet. In the other room, two guys are wrapping my sound system and TV and a couple of computers that didn't have boxes.
I feel pretty good about it. And of course I'm excited to be at the other end of the move in my new apartment, the east side, and next week, a better, symmetric net connection.
Most of the hype from anti-government people are mashups of what President Reagan said to get elected, but had nothing to do with the way he governed. None of the things he said about government could actually work in the world he lived in, and would work even less in the world we live in today. But he didn't try to implement his ideas. He was a pretty normal politician that way. Sure wasn't anything remotely like a prophet.
Honestly, our problem isn't government, it's the huge number of people on the planet, multiplied by the complexity of the lives we lead.
Reagan's imagery might have worked when we lived on a mostly unexplored planet, without computers, and our complex computer-managed systems. If you didn't like having neighbors, you could just pick up and go somewhere and be by yourself, rugged and individual, and get some peace and freedom. If that world ever existed, and I wonder if it really did, it sure doesn't exist today. Not if you want your kids to go to school, and get proper health care, and get on the Internet and listen to your iPod, etc etc. Sure it sounds nice in a commercial, but you're not actually going to do it, even if you could, and you probably (almost certainly) can't.
We're living on the edge now, and we could still tip over into the abyss. It might even happen soon. That's what we we have to worry about, not whether we can "get government out of our way."
We may be on the cusp of another 2008-type financial meltdown. Turns out the banks may not actually own the houses they've been foreclosing. Now we have no idea who owns the places we live in.
All of the problems we're dealing with stem from the complexity that computers have enabled, and the scale of our civilization, the enormous number of people living on the planet, and the lack of education, intelligence, competence of the people who are running it. They may dress nicer than us, but it turns out the people running the banks and government don't actually understand the systems any better than you or I. They've just figured out how to get paid millions of dollars for looking and sounding like they understand.
If you all of a sudden said it's a free-for-all, everyone do exactly what you want, well, if you had the power to say it, you never would. Because you'd look at the situation and realize that's more or less what's already going on. What we need, with the vast number of people leading enormously complex unsustainable lives, is more of a collective sense of where we're going and what we're doing, not less. Otherwise we have no clue what's waiting for us, but it probably isn't very good.