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. :-)
Thanks to totnuckers for asking if I'm still yawning re Google-Plus.
Executive summary: Yes.
First let me congratulate Google on a successful launch.
It's good for them, bad for the Internet.
I don't care what it means for Facebook.
Bad for users.
Neither good nor bad for me.
Thing is, I don't use Facebook or Google-Plus. I quit smoking too. (I still use Twitter, and drink coffee though.)
I don't believe in putting my best work into corporate blogging silos.
The last bit of interest I had in that, a willingness to believe in the goodness of companies (though it was more like putting blinders on) went down with Friendfeed.
I just did a review of the preferences system in the OPML Editor. There's a page in there for Friendfeed prefs. When should I take it out? It probably already should have gone. It's a joke to think at one point I was willing to build features in my product that depended on their servers.
I thought Friendfeed was pretty good, in some ways excellent. Ironically, given the name, they didn't really do great things for and with feeds. It was more of a discussion server. And it had some very nice back-end features, like stay-alive connections you could build stuff on top of. Since then I've built my own, based on their example. So net loss isn't very great.
The question is, why are you pouring your creativity into Google's box? Do you really think it's going anywhere good? Maybe you'll want to read what you were writing in 2011 someday? They're just starting, and there's sure to be rock and roll. And I'm not sure anyone there really knows how to evolve online communities. If they do, I don't know who they are.
Anyway, what they're providing isn't so hard to do, and there are plenty of programmers willing to step up and do great work that might plug into theirs. Question is -- do you think they really want our stuff to connect with theirs? I mean really want. You know, like Twitter wanted our creativity! Sure.
I wanted to develop Internet software ever since I knew there was such a thing. It wasn't until the web that I could actually do that. I've never been able to do great work, long-term, within corporate platforms. For that reason alone, I think we'd be nuts to give over our future to Google. Or Facebook or Twitter, or Apple, or whoever. They really only make one kind of corporation, and our role, at best is to buy stuff from them, or make the wheels in our cages spin. If you want to be really creative, you can't do it in their context. Luckily we have the open web. Why don't we do our work there, instead?
Anyway if you want to give them your future, go right ahead. I'm going to work on the web where the sky is blue and the air is clean, and I don't have to worry about getting crushed by no big tech machine.
Writing on GigaOm, Derrick Harris asks if Dropbox's changes to their user agreement will create pressure for other tech companies to do the same.
I don't know -- maybe it makes a difference that the FTC was looking at their user agreement before all the changes came about. Maybe Dropbox is so much bigger than the others, maybe that makes the difference.
But they are not leading here, not by a long shot.
Microsoft and Amazon already offer better terms than Dropbox. I don't see why Dropbox doesn't just copy them. Very clear on the limits on what they can do with your data. So if anyone is doing the leading here, I'd say it's Microsoft and Amazon.
What I'm looking for here is a a consumerish product with enterprise-like service. Happy to pay for the service, in fact I insist on paying. The kind of service I want is one you pay for.
I like Dropbox's ease-of-use. Always have. I declared it product of the decade, for a reason -- not because I like them (or don't, I don't know the people there). I did it because they have a great product.
That said, if there were a really simple box I could buy from Amazon that added a file server to my LAN that "just worked" -- that could be accessed from my servers in the Rackspace and Amazon clouds, you know what -- I'd buy it immediately.
I thought my old Asus netbook might be perfect for it, but you can't put a password on shared folders on the version of XP they include with it. Amazingly lame. I've tried setting up one of my Macs here, and same problem -- I can access the volume from my Windows servers without a password. WTF.
To GigaOm, this industry needs more than a privacy revolution. It needs to begin understanding that their users have legitimate needs to keep their data safe.
I'm reminded of the time, in 2007, when I went into an Apple store in Emeryville to get a new hard drive for my Mac laptop, and they wouldn't let me have my old drive back. The one with all the passwords on it, and account numbers. Eventually I did get it back, but I had to write a letter to Steve Jobs and talk with someone in his office. It was a huge privacy issue. I'm sure it's happened to many other people, for all I know it's still happening.
BTW, product advocacy has always been an issue in the comments on blogs. People appear to love the products or hate the products. It's a fine line between emotional advocacy and spam. I'm getting tougher on the line. If you make Dropbox or competitive products a moral issue, I'm calling it spam. It doesn't belong here. I honestly think sometimes the companies hire consultants to shut down discussions of their product that they don't like. Even if they don't -- I'm interested in shedding light, not casting shadows.