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. :-)
One of the professional news orgs I like getting quoted by is the Guardian.
They have an excellent piece today, by John Naughton, that explains why France wasn't clueless as so many people said they were, in establishing a rule that news organizations could only mention Twitter and Facebook if there was actual news about the companies or their products. As so many American news orgs do -- and the US govt -- they were treating these for-profit companies and their services as if they were non-commercial open systems.
I like that I'm quoted in the piece, not based on a soundbite from an exclusive interview, rather from a blog post where I had a chance to express my thoughts in a careful way. Their quote was not taken out of context, and reflects what I actually believe. And they included a link in case you wanted to find out more.
I wish the tech bloggers in the US were so careful and thoughtful, and my local hometown paper, the NY Times. But I'm afraid they don't even read my blog (if they do, it never shows up in their stories, or on their What We're Reading pages). And for the most, the tech bloggers either ignore me, or say nasty personal things about me. Pointless. I'm sure their readers don't care. I don't. I think it reflects poorly on them. (There are exceptions, GigaOm and PaidContent come to mind.)
Of course I don't agree with everything the Guardian says, but I'm finding the back-and-forth to be quite good and thought I should say so, since I'm pretty generous with the criticism when I don't like the way things are going.
I am the spokesperson, often, it seems, for people who Have Not on days when the Haves are partying.
Last year, I was irritated by all the Father's Day stuff. It was my first year without one.
I thought of it as if it were Play Catch Day in the US, and I was one of a small number of people without enough arms to play the game.
Only when it comes to missing fathers, there are lots of us. Lots of people for whom this day is a day of sadness. A day when we miss the person who fathered us. Even if he wasn't the kind of dad you played catch with.
The last time I saw my father, we both knew he was going to die soon. He was telling me stories about the past. How he taught me things as a kid, like how to kiss. I regret not letting my feelings show then, but it had been a long time since I had done that with him, a long time since I had shown vulnerability. Now I wonder what it would have been like. I wonder. I'll never know.
So if you're one of the lucky ones who have a father you can still talk with in the flesh, I envy you. I'd like nothing better than to spend another few hours with my father, just to say Hey what's happening. And tell him a few stories about what I'm doing and show him how my work with outlining is progressing. My dad loved outliners. I think that was the way we expressed our love for each other. Through a software product, if you can believe that. I guess that's better than nothing.
As you know, I am a daily bike rider, at least in summer, here in NYC.
There's a lot of comeraderie among bikers, probably because we all have to deal with other New Yorkers on foot and in cars.
The other day, a large group of students blocked the path. They were lined up, waiting for a light to turn so they could cross 12th Ave, which is a very heavily traffic'd street. If, for example, they had tried to cross it without waiting for the light, some of them would have been killed for sure. The traffic goes by at 50-plus MPH. So of course they waited.
As I approached this scene I could see that I would have to stop, dismount, and walk my bike through the crowd. But I was not the first biker to arrive on the scene. Another guy, about my age, was trying to explain to these youngsters that what they were doing was wrong, and potentially dangerous. The students were telling him, loudly, in earshot of their teachers, to fuck off. He persisted. They threatened him. I kept my mouth shut. I knew from past experience that this is what would happen. I've seen worse.
Another example. Approaching a group of people from behind, two men and two women, walking four-across, completely blocking my lane. I say "On your left," as I prepare to pass. You want to be sure they have this information, because when you pass, you never know which way they're going to shift. If they move to their left you're going to hit them. And of course they'll hit you. When the guy hears this, he yells back in a mocking voice "On your left," and sticks his arm out, with a half-full water bottle, which hits me in the arm, and knocks me off balance. I recovered my balance, and didn't stop. There's just no point. This isn't like the midwest or California. The guy isn't going to be reasoned with. And while technically I was assaulted, I doubt if I'd get much sympathy from a cop, who seem to have it in for bikers.
Not to say there aren't crazy idiot bikers, there are. There are several places on the bike trail I ride where we must share the space with pedestrians. No matter how badly the pedestrians behave, there's no excuse for using them as slalom poles, and when in their presence, you must slow down. They often have little kids with them, who can quickly dart out from between the adults. Regardless, bikers do some utterly dumbfoundingly dangerous things, rushing by at 20-plus MPH, forcing pedestrians to run out of their way, and other bikers to shake their heads in disbelief. (Like yours truly.)
On every trip I see a guy (almost always a man) riding while texting, both hands on his iPhone, eyes on the screen, riding like a missle without a brain (and of course no helmet). Okay, he feels indestructible. But I don't. The risk he's taking is a shared risk. There are other people on the road. Yet, there he goes.
Many years ago I wrote a story about the day the Mets won the World Series in 1969. How New York, that day, even in Manhattan and the Bronx, was the City of Smiles. I wrote: "There was no sadness in New York that day. The city with no heart all of a sudden had a huge one!"
I got a lot of pushback on that. People said NY wasn't like that anymore. It was a friendly city. I had no basis on which to argue, so I didn't (but I didn't change the piece, either).
The truth is, while NY has many redeeming qualities, I've lived in friendly places, and New York is not one of them.
This subject came up during a Twitter thread with Emily Bell, who expressed horror at the way New Jersey Governor Christie responded to a voter who raised the issue of where his children go to school, saying it was none of her business. To me this didn't seem particularly jarring or out of place. Not that I would have said that myself, to a customer, or a user of mine, I wouldn't have. But Christie is clearly a New Yorker (NJ is even more NY than NY) -- and while many New Yorkers wouldn't like to be treated that way, unfortunately, we are largely immune to it. It's just the way people are brought up here.
Today's ride: 1 hour 4 minutes, 11.42 mi.