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. :-)
First, previous Blogger of the Years.
In 2001, I chose a BOTY by nominating several people and letting the readers vote. That year, the choice was Joel Spolsky, who went on to do many great things, such as the Joel on Software books and the Stack Overflow website.
Then in 2007, I named NakedJen as the BOTY. To Jen, being a blogger means being vulnerable, exposing who you are, and standing by yourself. A blogger is a sole practitioner, who sticks his or her neck out, but does it with conviction and belief. That's what choosing NJ said about blogging, to me.
In 2008, my choice was Jay Rosen. Part of being a blogger is being a teacher and a thinker. Jay's mind is so flexible, he can put himself into impossible situtations, the kinds of situations we find ourselves in, and figure out quickly where the chips must fall.
In 2009, with so much else going on, a move to NY, the passing of my father, it must have slipped my mind that I had a light to shine. But in 2010, the tradition resumes.
This year it could have been Doc Searls for his pioneering work in the economics of the Internet. Or Paul Krugman, for blogging so well inside the beast. There are dozens of bloggers I admire and would happily sing the praises of.
But not this year -- because this year -- we're on the verge of big change. It's as if the Internet has turned into a giant Tianamen Square, we're having a Summer of Love, but on the side the tanks are assembling. We know the story isn't over. Not by a lot.
As I explained in this morning's podcast, the world of news might have been split in two this year. On one side are the people and organizations who want to use the information in the WikiLeaks cables. And on the other side, those who don't. So far, the US government is on the Don't side. CNN, for some mysterious reason, is there too. Some of the things Bill Keller at the NY Times has said indicate that he is on that side, while his organization is solidly on the other. The Guardian is kicking butt on the Do side. As is Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais, and dozens of other news organizations digging in and reporting WikiLeaks-related stories every day of the week.
Fox News is starting to love WikiLeaks. And Iran is blocking it. Remind me, why is the US against it?
There really isn't much gray there, not much ambivalence. Either you're for em or you're agin em.
Funny thing, as time goes by, I bet the number of people on the Don't side will shrink, until there comes a time when we won't remember when the public didn't know what the government was up to. Governments will pre-empt the leakers by leaking on themselves. People will wonder why WikiLeaks was seen as so threatening. Parents will explain to children that change is always scary to adults.
But in the meantime, we still have a lot of processing to do.
We have a fantastic communication system in the Internet -- will we use it?
Julian Assange is a very powerful and famous man, and he put himself in that position by doing something incredbily brave. It's hard to imagine someone risking so much, for a cause, but there he is. But as strange as it seems, he's from our world, and his values and ours are the same. There's not very much light between what I believe and what I understand that he believes.
NakedJen is an evangelist for radical transparency. Jay Rosen says the news process is turning upside-down. And Julian Assange put both ideas together. He says let's know all there is to know. Let's tell the people who take us to war and destroy countries and kill hundreds of thousands, for profit -- no more secrets. We're not just going to suspect you're doing it, we're going to know. And maybe, if they know we'll know, they won't do it.
So while the people on the Don't side try to discredit the man, and what he's done, the story is still getting out. There are new revelations every day. As Arianna says, all it takes is one story to electrify everything. I think in our guts we know, if the process is allowed to go forward, we can never go back.
WikiLeaks is the America's Tiananmen. Julian Assange is the tank guy. We all hold our breath to see if we go all the way.
Today, I did a 1/2 hour podcast in the coffeenotes thread.
It's about WikiLeaks, Wired, Salon and the freedom of the Internet.
New actors, same story!
Hope you like...