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. :-)
WikiLeaks is the perfect storm for all past issues on the net, but I'm afraid it also will draw us into a future that I've believed was coming and didn't want to talk about. We don't like to think about how much our civilization depends on the proper running of computer networks, and how vulnerable they are. Whoever it is that attacking Mastercard and Paypal are anonymous. They could be teenagers (that's what we hope) but they could also be professionals working for foreign governments, or even the US government.
I watch my friends root for the attackers and think this is the way wars always begin. The "fighting the good fight" spirit. Let's go over there and show them who we are. Let's make a symbolic statement. By the time the war is underway, we won't remember any of that. We will wonder how we could have been so naive to think that war was something wonderful or glorious. People don't necessarily think of wars being fought on the net and over the net, but new technology comes to war all the time, and one side often doesn't understand.
However, there is another side to it. The United States has been tempting someone to do this to us. The Internet and thumb drives posing as Lady Gaga music made it possible to move around massive amounts of sensitive information. Anyone who is skilled at using the net has been burned the way our government is now getting burned. And we've been pushing around governments and their people, and it's no surprise they resent it. We're afraid to see what our government has been doing in our name. That's why we should see it, and why WikiLeaks must be allowed to proceed, without impediment.
On Saturday, the Personal Democracy Forum is hosting (what I call) a flash conference to discuss the issues swirling around WikiLeaks. It's all moving so fast that it's hard to know exactly what we'll discuss there.
When we meet on Saturday I'm going to say the Internet no longer has to fight for a right to exist. The people want it. But what kind of Internet we get, and what kind of government we get, those two things are now very deeply intertwined, and absolutely not decided. And how our financial system functions, that's going to be what the war is fought over, if we can't avoid having a war -- which we should, if we can.
In the meantime, highly recommend listening to Glenn Greenwald on today's Brian Lehrer show on WNYC. As with most of the mainstream press people, Lehrer can't wrap his mind around the idea that what WikiLeaks is doing and what the NYT and Guardian are doing, are exactly the same. Whatever punishment or banishment you advocate for WikiLeaks, you must also want for the professional news orgs. Greenwald, always tenacious and brilliant, holds the line, with tenacity and brilliance.
Every day I push a bunch of links through Twitter. I have this process fairly well streamlined. I click on a bookmarklet, it grabs the headline and URL and shoots it to an app on one of my servers. It shortens the URL and then sends it to twitter.com, where it all appears in my status box. I edit it, and click the Tweet button and off it goes.
Another app checks in with Twitter every five minutes to see if I've posted anything new and if it has a link in it. If it does, it is saved in a database. This database has been going since April 2009.
On Monday I added another element to the flow. Now the current day's tweets-with-links are pushed to a post on Protoblogger.com, which is a site running on wordpress.com. The connection is very simple, through the MetaWeblog API. So now there's another way to get my links, without going through Twitter.
The links have been available via RSS for quite some time.