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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

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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.


June 2011

May   Jul


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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.

No journalism on Facebook Permalink.

A picture named sam.gifMathew Ingram has a riveting piece about how Facebook shut down Roger Ebert's account on Facebook because he said something that offended some people.

The only thing to add is that it is not possible to do journalism in an environment where your writing can be taken down if the company hosting it deems it offensive.

We need to work on creating places where journalism is possible, where you can say what you have to say. And the service is provided by a vendor who has no interest in what you say.

Late afternoon ride Permalink.

Tail wind up, head wind down.

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Map: 1 hour, 0 minutes, 11.23 miles.

API designers should be writers Permalink.

When I was an freshman in college I took a required writing course. Good idea. If you can express yourself in writing your professional life and maybe your personal life will be more rewarding. Catch em while they're young.

I don't remember the teacher's name, but I remember her lesson. Say it directly. As you revise, look for words you can take out remove without changing the meaning. You'll be more persuasive, and better understood.

I find, to this day, my first drafts have a lot of extra flowery bits that don't do anything for the reader. It's as if while I'm drafting the prose in my head I need extra words to help pace myself. There's always a rewrite coming, and the text always gets shorter as a result. So I don't try for economy in version 1. (I made some of the edits here with strikeouts to show you how it works.)

The same economy is important in designing APIs.

A picture named man.gifI've been working with an Amazon API the last couple of days. They could use an editor. There are extraneous concepts in their APIs that don't help anything, just add confusion, and inefficiency, and raise barriers to adoption.

Another rule that API designers violate -- the easy stuff should be easy and the hard stuff should be possible.

Too often you have to master the most complex part of the API before getting Hello World to work. Very frustrating. I may never need to set a hundred DNS values in one shot. Yet, I have to understand how that works just to establish a value for a single CNAME.

Another thought occurred to me about the art of programming, related to this subject. Why do we change the rules every five years? I know, it makes older programmers obsolete faster, and the younger guys like that. Heh. Nice. But look at baseball, another game that favors the young. The rules change very slowly. To me the DH rule in the American League still seems new and controversial. Maybe it does to you too. Yet it's been around 38 years.

We rip up the pavement far too often. I know I've been saying this for decades. But we're still doing it.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:30:12 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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