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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.




My sites
Recent stories

Recent links

My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.

My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


January 2011

Dec   Feb


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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.

Twitter's "What's Happening?" box Permalink.

A picture named sadelephantsmall.jpgOne of the huge pieces of prior art for my minimal blogging tool is the What's Happening? box on Twitter. It's almost like magic, esp combined with a bookmarklet. You're on a web page that you want to link to from Twitter. Click the bookmarklet. The title and a shortened link appear in the What's Happening box. Edit. Submit. Back. You're in and out real quick.

It's why Twitter is, for me at least, what del.icio.us is for others. No problem sharing the link, but I'm primarily motivated to save the link as places I want to come back to later.

So as I've been honing my.reallysimple.org, I finally had to deal with this. How to reconcile two aspects of the app:

1. It's designed to output RSS.

2. I want the stuff to flow through Twitter.

Turns out this is a bit of a difficult question.

What it boils down to: If you had to map the Twitter "What's happening" box onto a feed, would it be the title or the description?

I think it's clearly the description. Because titles are (intuitively) one-line things. The Twitter box is multiple lines. That's the description.

I wrote up the problem in more detail on my changes page.

Comments, respectful of course, and not personal -- are welcome.

NYC mailbox Permalink.

I chuckled when I saw this. Had to take a picture.

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Maybe this is why I like NY. People hardly notice. Certainly no one has the time or attention to be upset by this. In Calif, such a mailbox would get people all agitated. "Why is he so difficult."

It's not an angry thing -- it's informative. I think that's what you have to know to get NY. Look, life isn't easy. Let the small stuff roll off you. And you feel good about that.

Not victimized. Victorious.

PS: As if to prove my point. :-)

Brockman's science Permalink.

I've known John Brockman and Katinka Matson, NY book agents extraordinaire, for over 25 years. I first met them when I was the CEO of a software company making tools for visualization and organization of ideas. We called them idea processors. The category eventually was known as outliners. In the mid-80s, there was an idea that software might be like books, with publishers and agents. So the big NY book publishers came to Brockman to see if he could put something together. That's how we met.

A picture named head.jpgThey're an odd couple, for sure. Brockman is a Jewish guy with a Boston accent, and a past rooted in 60s counter-culture, but these days he hangs with the richest and most famous of the tech and academic world. His annual dinner at TED (which I have never attended) is thought to be a ticket to party with the elite insiders of tech. Katinka is a statuesque beauty with a fierce intelligence. She is an artist. John often wonders how a guy like him attracted a woman like that. It's part of what makes them such a memorable couple.

I love them because they are so weird and interesting, but also because they encourage me as a writer. I think they genuinely enjoy good writing, especially stuff that reaches into the heart. And while I'm not famous or popular enough to get a ticket to TED, I was profiled in Digerati, their original book, given the title of The Lover. I think that was an inside joke, because at the time I, like Brockman, was dating way above my level. Or maybe it was because in the early DaveNets I wrote about love and respect, a lot. Who knows. Steve Case was quoted saying I was the poet of cyberspace, but I don't think the top guys at Apple or Microsoft thought that about me. And I imagine John Perry Barlow might take exception. :-)

Anyway -- at the end of every year Brockman circulates The Question to an elite list of scientists and tech leaders. I've been on the list for many years, but this is the first year that I wrote an essay. What inspired me? Jay sent me a copy of his essay, and I thought, that looks easy, and a few minutes later I had mine. It's about social connections in the big city, but it's really about intimacy. You see, there I go again writing about people instead of science! :-)

I told Brockman, it's too late. I'm a populist. Can't help it. That means I am mainly interested in people. Pretty simple.

Anyway, I'm proud to be in great company this year. There are so many famous and wonderful essays by people I love and respect. I hope to have the time to read them all very soon.

PS: The title of this piece is a play on the name of my high school, which I visited on Monday. Fresh memory. :-)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:35:03 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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