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. :-)
For inspiration, please read the 50,000 foot piece.
Here's what I did today in EC2-for-Poets land.
1. I wanted to get an idea of how many servers were running, so I pushed an update that has each server ping one of my servers once a minute. I keep a table there indexed by IP address with the number of times it pinged and when it last pinged.
2. I am now running a micro-instance, based on a discussion in the comments under the Howto. I'm going to leave it running a while and see how it performs. Micro-instances are much cheaper than "small" ones.
Well, we're over the initial hump.
Now I can tell you where we're going on this little trip.
We're going to Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where our forefathers, here in the USA, decided to be independent from Great Britain. We appreciated the training wheels they provided when we were a very young country, but now it's time for us to be on our own.
In other words...
I'm pretty sure we know how to create a micro-blogging community with open formats and protocols and no central point of failure.
So we've got a start. There's a River2 aggregator running on each of the EC2-for-Poets machines. It's the same feed reading tool we had in Radio 8, a few years ago. There's a lot more stuff working in there, it's faster, and we've got a little community doing skins for it. It's a start.
And it's in a different place now. Instead of running on your desktop, it's in the cloud. Where one installation can serve many users. It's like having your own Google Reader running in the cloud. Where you can customize it to work the way you work.
Next we'll have simple blogging and synchronization tools that run in this environment.
And all of it will be built around an open format called RSS. That's how all the components talk to each other.
So if you want to use someone else's software, god bless, please do.
This is a very deliberate attempt to create a coral reef. I will put all the pieces together. I hope to make a little money from this work at some point. But I don't expect or want to make all the money. I'm more interested in creating a wonderful environment for sharing our thoughts, images, music, sounds, ideas and code. Places we can work together.
It's the same idea we started blogging with in the mid-90s, but freshened up for the way we do it in the teens.
Yesterday afternoon I went to see Inside Job at the Village East Cinema on 2nd Ave in NY. It's a haunting movie. It fills in a lot of missing pieces on the meltdown of 2008, vs what we were hearing on TV and NPR and reading in the news. Not that any of the journalists did anything wrong, they didn't. It's such a complicated story and the misdeeds are so enormous and on such a huge scale, that it takes some time and probably a few tellings for it to sink in.
At the same time I'm reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis, which is filling in the details about how the idea of CDO's and CDS's developed. What's amazing about it is that, according to Lewis, the people doing it were fully aware of how depraved and immoral it was. (It would be hard to see how they wouldn't be aware of it.) How they were deliberately creating bad products to sell to their customers, and then betting against them. The worse they were, the more money they made! And they were doing it on such a massive scale that the only way to clean it up would be with public money.
It's as if you are selling $100 notes for $1 and getting a 20 percent commission on each sale. The notes come due in two years, but you get your bonus at the end of this year. Who cares? You're selling off your own employer, knowing that when this process unravels, and it will unravel, they will die. That's not old-fashioned free market goodness, that's new-age cocaine-inspired depravity. (And yes they were doing coke.)
BTW, one thing I didn't understand about credit default swaps, which is simply insurance on a bond becoming worthless (simple enough idea), is that I could take out insurance on a bond I don't hold. It's as if you could take out insurance on my house. Hundreds of people could. And you can bet as much as you want! I might have built my house on a hill where it rains in winter. And the guy selling you the insurance didn't even look to see where the house was. Unbelievable as it may be, that's the story.
We tend to believe the free unregulated market is the best, and maybe it was when we were trading goats and wheat, and selling our own goods, not our neighbor's. But computer networks and creative lawyers and people with no pride, honor or empathy have made it possible to pervert that so that even if there were laws to protect us from them, there would be no one to enforce them. That's made totally clear by Inside Job.
I think of my former colleagues in Silicon Valley who are understandably proud of their Davos invitations. You guys should watch the movie before you go, and know that's who you are hanging out with. It's playing at the Bridge Theater, 3010 Geary Blvd, San Francisco. I think they should have a showing of the movie at Davos, it's so important. Might really change the discussion.
And the academics, well I'm proud to say that the only academic they interviewed with any integrity was Nouriel Roubini, from NYU. The others, from Columbia, Harvard and elsewhere, were on-camera saying some very awful things about their own ethics. Just awful. These people have a lot of explaining to do.
As do the members of Congress. The movie shows some of the most famous ones, of both parties, grilling execs from the banking industry after the meltdown, asking the right questions, and not accepting bullshit answers. You want to cheer for them, except now it's 2011, and they're in the pocket of the banking industry again, pushing more deregulation, gutting more investigations, putting the same foxes in charge of our hen house.
It looks very much like it's happening again, and we're in the dark. Hopefully there will be enough left of our economy after they rape it this time for Charles Ferguson and company to do another chilling expose like Inside Job. Or you all could watch it now, and let's figure out how to put a stop to this, before it's too late.
Krugman: "I think this film will stay with us; when you ask how the even worse crisis of, say, 2015 happened, the fact that these people got away with it will loom large."