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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.




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People are always asking about my bike.

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November 2010

Oct   Dec


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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.

WinerLinks and outliners Permalink.

I'm pretty sure the Times implementation of WinerLinks doesn't have the all-important feature of allowing the author to insert, delete or move paragraphs without breaking external links.

This is just a guess, but I am inferring it based on: 1. The paragraphs have numbers like p1, p2, p3 etc. There's no evidence of reorganization, which would look like this: p12, p3, p4, p9. In other words, there would be no relation between the visual order of paragraphs and the permalinks. 2. They use WordPress, and its model can't support invariant paragraph IDs, because you're editing HTML source, not structures of paragraphs.

My content system can do it because I use an outliner to edit my blog posts. Screen shot.

Each paragraph is a separate entity. It gets a unique ID when it's created, when I press the Return key while typing. That ID does not depend on where it is in the outline. I can reorganize as much as I want and the paragraph IDs won't change. The permalinks stay the same no matter where the paragraph has been moved to.

As a demo, here's a list that has been reorganized:

1. Pepsi.

2. Ginger ale.

8. Orange soda.

4. Dr Pepper.

5. Coca Cola.

3. Fresca.

6. 7Up.

If you mouse-over the permalinks above you'll see that they're out of order. That's why this works.

There are outliners that work in a browser, so you don't need to use an external tool, it could be embedded in your browser-based blogging environment. But to make this work, WordPress itself will have to advance, I don't think you can do this in plug-ins (could easily be wrong). No matter what they will have to store two bits of text for every post: 1. The "source code" which contains the paragraph-level metadata. 2. The HTML rendering. I hope the source code is OPML, and they permit external editors like mine to be used to edit the posts. I asked Matt for a feature that would allow a bit of XML text to be stored in WordPress alongside the HTML. I don't think he understood the application at the time. This is the application (and there will be others as well, separating source from rendering is basically a good way to gain leverage).

BTW, here's the source code for this post. I store it in my CMS alongside the HTML rendering. If you change the extension from .html to .opml you'll get the source.

I'd love to buy a podcast player Permalink.

A picture named santa.gifI find the iPod software too cumbersome for listening to podcasts. I want something lighter with features that make sense for 1-hour-long programs, as opposed to 4-minute-long songs.

Nowadays the functionality I want could be done in software, either for Android or the iPhone. I carry both all the time. But I'd still prefer to carry a medium-size device just for playing podcasts.

In case someone is interested in making this product, here's how it would work.

1. The device plugs in through the USB port as a hard drive. I copy the MP3s into a folder which can then be played through the UI of the device. If this is iPhone software, I create a playlist in iTunes that contains all my podcasts.

2. At any time there are a bunch of programs in the podcast queue.

3. I can hit the pause button on a podcast, and it remembers the position. I can then skip to the next one, or choose the next one from a list.

4. When I come back around to the one I just paused the playback picks up where I left off.

5. When I make it to the end of a show, it goes in the trash. I can empty the trash later when I'm putting more programs on the device, or leave it there in case I want to listen to it again (I don't think I've actually done this even once, in six years of podcast listening).

6. If it's a standalone device, I don't want to pay more than $30. Apple's players are way too expensive, so are Sony's.

A picture named walkman1980s.jpgIdeally I'd like this to be a device, not an app, because even though both platforms claim to do multi-tasking, they behave unpredictably. I shot a movie the other day while listening to a podcast, and the podcast stopped, and when I resumed I had to start over from the beginning. On the original iPod I knew how to fast-forward to a new location, but they changed the UI, and when I'm out and about there's nothing dumber than having to stop on the side of the street for five minutes to get the software to behave itself. I had one moment where the iPod told me it had to rebuild something and I should be patient. I was standing in the middle of Houston Street with traffic all around me, and the programmers back in Cupertino programming want me to be patient. Hello.

I used a Sony Walkman for a while and loved it. It does almost all of the items on my list, but not the crucial one -- #4 -- picking up where I left off on multiple podcasts. This is a big feature. I can read three books at the same time, there's nothing so weird about wanting to "read" three podcasts simultaneously. The Kindle does this admirably. Hey maybe Amazon should make an audio book reader? Thinking out loud.

BTW, the Walkman that I love crapped out on me. It's stuck in a loop rebuilding its library.

I know people are going to tell me about products that kind of do some of what I want, or do something completely different. I think there's a $30 sweet spot out there that everyone is missing. Music and podcasts are very different forms and require different approaches.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:37:04 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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