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. :-)
Here's a screen shot of an email that got through GMail's spam filter.
"We are shutting down some accounts due to congestion in our database system and your account was chosen to be deleted. If you are still interested in using our email service please click reply and fill in the space below for verification purpose."
It almost looks official, and it came into my Inbox, not the Spam box.
None of you guys would fall for this, but keep an eye out for friends and relatives.
I got an email yesterday from longtime friend Lance Knobel that the excellent Berkeleyside blog has been removed from Google News. I guess this is not a small issue for them, nor is it for Berkeley, which now has exactly two tiny news organizations reporting its news. Berkeleyside is one of them.
And they're doing a first-rate job. I don't live in Berkeley any longer, but I still subscribe, and regularly push links to their stories in my feed, because they're so well-written and interesting.
I've also noticed that searching for pieces on Scripting News has all of a sudden become hit-or-miss as well. It used to be that Google adored blogs, and we got special treatment. Now it seems the other way. Interestingly if I post a link to a story here in a Google Group that appears to be more likely to be caught by Google than a story on the main site.
Now of course it's Google's right to do as they please with their search engine. I haven't monetized this site, so I can't say I'm losing money, I'm not. But had become something I depend on. I've even built systems around the assumption that Google will quickly index my stuff. And it could be my fault, maybe there's something wrong with my sitemaps, or maybe I'm not very well SEO-ized. Or it could be that my blog, for some reason, looks like one of those artificial content mills with billions of pages pointing at each other trying to trick Google into giving them more juice. It's possible that it looks that way, but I assure you it is hand-written from the Mind of Dave.
But I will say that if this is a permanent thing, and not in my imagination (could be!) there might be an opportunity for a search engine that loves blogs to position relative to Google.
I wondered how I would approach it if I were completely new to this environment. There are quite a few ways to write a background process that glues two components together. If it were random, I'd probably pick a way to do it that wasn't very supportable. I might even choose a way to do it that is broken! :-(
Then I asked myself how I want him to do it. What would be the easiest to maintain as we go forward. And for that, there is absolutely no question what's the right answer.
WRITE A TOOL.
I put that in capital letters and boldfaced it because it is the absolutely number one best answer for any bit of code you want to write to run in the OPML Editor. It's also a good place to start exploring, because all the power of the environment has been encapsulated. You just put the code in the right place and it'll run once a minute, hour or overnight. Or in a background thread. Or as a web page. Or... etc etc.
A number of years ago (probably a depressingly large number) we put together the Tools framework for writing apps that run in Frontier. And we even documented it.
And for the most part it hasn't changed. A tool written ten years ago for Frontier or Radio, will likely still run in the OPML Editor today.
Everything I write is a tool, so you know they aren't going to break, at least not on my watch. And if there's a bit of functionality you need that isn't there, this is the place I would like to add it. Because it will make my programming life easier too.
Another reason to write a Tool is you may want to share it with others, and if you do, they will likely know how to use it.
Update: An excellent up-to-date tutorial on Tools by Andy Sylvester.