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. :-)
I want to talk about the greatest thing our forefathers and mothers left us here in the United States.
It's known around the world that the United States always pays its debts. Rain or shine, war or peace. Whether we're a scrappy young country or the sole remaining superpower. Hey you might not like us, or we might not like you, but that's not the point. You will invest in the United States because when it comes to money our word is sacred. We are safe. We're pretty much the only country that people depend on this way. It's something we can and should be proud of.
And that, I hear, is the cornerstone of the world economy. Take away the trust in the United States economy and the whole thing crumbles.
The tradition goes all the way back to the first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.
And because of that, our currency is the reserve currency of the world. We create money that everyone believes in. We are exceptional in this regard. It's why we live relatively well while producing relatively little. The thing we make that everyone wants that no one else can make is the US dollar. But it doesn't have to continue that way. We could be the generation that blows up the legacy. Simply by failing to pay the interest on our debt. Which is, I understand, what would happen if the Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling. Or even seems to be seriously considering it. That would spoil the trance and we would quickly (instantly) lose what makes us special.
The people we elected are getting ready to piss that away. If we let it happen not only will our children and grandchildren curse us, rightly, but so will the ghosts of our ancestors. We will go down as the stupidest generation ever. The one who had it all and threw it all away.
It's an interesting question.
Let's start with who doesn't run Twitter.
1. It's not Evan Williams who just left the company. And this time it feels like it's for real.
2. It's not the CEO, because they just brought back another founder, Jack Dorsey, to run the product. What kind of CEO isn't in charge of the product? Esp a company with exactly one product. Maybe if they were a diverse conglomerate you could find a way to run it without running product. But this is not a diverse company.
3. Is it Jack? Doesn't seem like it could be. If so, is he really committed to Twitter? He's only a part-time product guy, with another company he's CEO of. He probably wouldn't be a great choice for CEO either. Nice guy, but running a 350-person company with millions of users is pretty hard stuff.
4. The board? My guess is yes, they probably are actually making the executive decisions for the company. But it's just a guess.
What do you think?
I love mottos. Here's a good one...
Ignore what you don't understand.
So if I see a link to a page on 127.0.0.1 and I don't understand it, shrug it off. That's not a bug -- it's just something I don't understand.
Or if I click on a link and see a bunch of stuff I don't understand, just hit the back button. Observe that I just saw something I don't understand. But I know what to do. Ignore it.
This is the philosophy of XML, and it works great. It allows you to put data in a file that's for a specific kind of app. Others wouldn't understand it, which is OK cause they ignore what they don't understand.
It also allows you to use the web to bootstrap something new that runs above the web. Where the web is the gateway that gets you in. When you see the door, many people won't get it. But that's okay if they remember the rule.
I have been letting my development work get ahead of my blogging. There are lots of things working that I have not yet written about publicly. So I'm going to catch up a bit here. This is mostly for friends who read this blog as a way of staying up on what I'm doing, btw -- not a press announcement or a howto.
1. The EC2 for Poets tutorial and the software it launches reached a new level recently. When you install it now you get an integrated news system for reading and writing, all based on RSS of course. In the past, it launched more of a demo. Now it launches something that is useful. It's been ported to Rackspace and once they offer the ability to publish machine images, it will be available there too. Also working on a general version that will install on Macs and random Windows machines.
2. I'm working with Adam Curry. I know this will surprise a lot of people. But he and I do good work. He's a user who loves to get his hands dirty. He almost prefers if the software doesn't work when he gets it so he can then figure out why. Any developer would see why you like those kinds of users. I also like working with him because he has a vision of how all the pieces fit together, which not only agrees with mine, but he also sees things I don't see. Of course we had a big blowup in 2005, but the dust has settled from that. I may be a fool, but I gotta say work flows much better with AC around. There are some things I don't like about him, like his Twitter icon, for example. But you take the good with the bad.
3. There is a new development community forming around this work. We used to call these "classes" back in the day. There was the class that gathered around the AppleLink forum and then the CompuServe forum. That's how far back this stuff goes. Clay Basket, which is where I met Andre Radke. Then we had the crew that came together around the 24 Hours project which is where Brent Simmons came into it. Then there was Manilapalooza, weblogs.com, editthispage.com -- man the list goes on and on. But I've been working solo for a few years, which actually has been pretty productive. Had a chance to slow down and think a lot about how I want things to work. 15 years into a project is a good time to do that. Now we're adding a new developer every week. Some weeks more than one. Some of them are people I've worked with before, and others are completely new. But they're all really excellent. I see this as a very good sign.
The technology we're using in 2011 to glue us together is a Google Group, an Instant Outline, and I plan to use the code in #4 below to organize the docs which are all over the place and it's hard for me to remember what we have documented and what still needs to be worked on.
4. Okay so here's a really funny story. We're looking for a way to reboot the world outline, and don't want to make the mistakes we made in prior bootups. Adam goes on a hunt to find code. Stumbles across something I didn't know about or remember, html.directory. At some point we factored out the directory code from Manila and it became builtin. It was right there in opml.root. A couple of days ago I wrote a little shell website for it, it just worked. The last time this code had been touched was 2002. I think it's pretty good testimony to Brent and Jake Savin that it worked. I wanted to make sure they saw this. Here's the prototype.
5. I'm going to Europe next week. That should shake things up a bit. I'm speaking at The Next Web conference. I'm going to talk about shrink-wrapping software for the cloud and building a microblog platform without a company in the middle. Then I have a few days to improvise. Right now very tentatively I'm going to move in the direction of London after Amsterdam. But not sure what I'm actually going to do. One thing is for sure I'm going to look up from this screen ahd check out the rest of what's going on in the world.