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. :-)
This is the first in a series of blog posts I'm going to write that define a opportunities for startups.
In all cases, these startups will have a business model that revolves around an old-fashioned idea that will, imho, once again become fashionable -- the customer. People pay the company for a service they provide. This has all kinds of good side-effects. We'll see customer-driven products, ones designed to serve users, instead of some vague idea of a marketer that can sell things to the users. It will foster competition to serve users. It will help the economy straighten itself out and start creating products with obvious utility. Most of the scams that are supposed to be businesses turn out to not be all that lucrative anyway.
Okay enough preamble.
Everyone wants a way to associate a name with a net resource. We've been arguing about this for a long time. Yet, all the time we're debating, we're using one that works perfectly well, operates at Internet scale, and has a proven business model that generates real money. It's called the Domain Name System. Each of us is using it hundreds if not thousands of times an hour while we surf the net, write code, play Angry Birds or Words-With-Friends.
It's so obvious, so everywhere that pundits don't even bother saying it's dead. It's so pervasive -- it's the Super-Dead. The VCs don't understand it, they don't see it, that's how dead it is.
Even so, we need a web service that makes it easy for people to:
1. Buy a domain.
2. Give a sub-domain to a friend.
3. Charge someone to use a sub-domain.
4. Manage sub-domains.
A good designer could come up with a browser-based editor, it seems to me, fairly quickly. Even better, Amazon now offers a web service that allows you to manage domains and sub-domains. Iterate over the design to take out every gotcha, every unnecessary concept, to make it accessible to as many people as possible. And fast. 1-2-3. In and out quick.
Setting up a sub-domain must be as easy as signing up for Twitter or Facebook, or buying a shirt on Amazon.
The only part of this deal that isn't simple is #1, and that's largely a bizdev thing. Get 2-4 going, and then we'll find an existing registrar to merge with. And off to moon!
I would love to be an adviser to such a startup, in return for options (of course). The software I'm building absolutely needs this service and I would recommend a good implementation, even if I weren't an investor.