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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.




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My bike

People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


July 2011

Jun   Aug


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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.

Google Webmaster Tools accept RSS feeds Permalink.

My world outline now has a feed.


As you would expect, when I post new documents to the outline they appear in the feed.

The reason I did this today, what led me to this right now was something at Google, whcih is why it is of interest on Scripting News.

I was looking into how I could get Google's search engine better looped-in with changes in my outline. Along the way I found out why the connection between the two was broken, why none of my pages were showing up in Google's search engine. This was a good bug to fix! :-)

On the way to fixing this, I noticed two things:

1. They're saying that you don't need to do sitemaps if the navigation system of your site takes you to every page. With the World Outline that is certainly true.

2. They will take RSS in place of sitemaps.

So I spent the time adding a feed, which is of course useful in many other contexts.

So now I have this feed hooked up to Google's back-end.

I love it when things like this just plug in. Boom!

The Constitution is not a suicide pact Permalink.

Amy Fried, writing in Salon, says the Republicans are still the impeachment party.

I agree. And it seems possible that before the election, Obama will be impeached by the House then tried in the Senate.

Here's how it could happen.

1. We get close to the debt ceiling deadline.

2. The President announces that he's told the Treasury to mint the money needed to run the government through the election. Or he's invoking the 14th Amendment and ignoring the fact that Congress has failed to raise the debt ceiling. A picture named uncleSamSuicide.gifEither of them would be the responsible thing to do. He will say to the people, the Constitition should not be seen as a suicide pact. And he'll be right about that. All adults will agree.

3. Further, he says the 2012 election can be a referendum on how the people want their money managed. Do they want Medicare, Social Security, an army, to pay its debt, support infrastructure, the environment, law enforcement, fire protection, etc. If they don't want all that, they can vote Republican. If they want to keep it, vote for Democrats. Then once and for all we can get past the bullshit about how the American people want what the Republicans say we want.

4. The Republicans will then play the next card in their hand. Impeachment. With a majority in the House, they could impeach the President at any time. Remember they came into office saying they believed in the Constitution as an absolute. All they have to do is provide some theory under which he has been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. Going around Congress on the debt ceiling seems likely.

Whether they have the guts to do it, your call.

Watch what happens to Murdoch's news Permalink.

Simple thought: I bet a bunch of tech companies with booming valuations are licking their lips at the possibility of picking up some of those news orgs, as Murdoch's empire comes under attack from those who it tormented.

With their stock prices so high, and the value of news orgs so low, they could staff up to compete in the upcoming social network wars very quickly for very little equity. Especially Twitter and Facebook.

Where we're at on the World Outline Permalink.

We're going much further with this than the last time around.

Which was in 2004, if I'm not mistaken.

Here's the deal. Outliners are ways to edit hierarchies.

Given the Internet, we should be able to join our hierarchies, pretty seamlessly, so when we cross the boundary from my space into yours, it might not be so easy to see we've gone from one place to another.

With this effect, we create huge multi-author places, where everyone retains ownership of and control of their own work.

It worked out really well, in 2004, when I was working with Adam Curry on the bootstrap of podcasting. If you ask me, and I bet if you ask AC, the World Outline will, long-term, be a bigger deal than podcasting. Because it relates to how we collaborate on the organization of the information we all create. If we can just entice other people to do this! :-)

Anyway, here we are seven years later, and seven years older, and more relaxed with a greater appreciation for how huge this job is, we're going slower, but yet reaching much further.

For example, the number of nodetypes has grown. We now support these types, in alphabetic order:

blogpost, code, howto, html, photo, river, rss, redirect, include and plain text.

And more important, there's a callback structure that makes it easy to add new types to the system. Or to override or subclass the defaults.

And it's open in the only way that counts. You don't have to export your data to gain access to it elsewhere. You can include mine in yours and it continues to live in both places (with only one original so changes flow in a natural way).

You'll recognize that these are problems that many others are working on. But I think we're uniquely working on it from this point of view: There is no business model, in fact no business at all, that's trying to capture anyone's content. I might offer to host it for you, but there's a pref setting that allows you to store everything in an S3 bucket that you own. Just give me write-access to it, which you can take away at any time for any reason (some have already done this) and we're still friends. :-)

What I'm going to do, over the next few weeks at least, is post stories to Scripting News that show you how this works. It'll be as if you're a passenger on a plane. Eventually, soon -- I want to teach you how to fly one of these planes. But it's complex, and if you try it without knowing what's going on, you will either: 1. Fly your plane into a mountain, killing everyone on board. Or, 2. You will flap the wings once or twice, wonder what the big deal is about and go on. Neither outcome is acceptable to me. So I'm opting for a third approach. A fairly long tease period, with a few real-world seminars here in NYC and elsewhere (Toronto and Boston, probably first, maybe San Francisco). The only way this can work, in my experience, is with a slow build. If I were doing this inside a tech company, I would just use the people of the company to boot it up. But I'm doing this work on the open Internet. So I have to be a bit more clever about it. :-)

Anyway, here's the first tease.

Today I did some development work, which naturally I wanted to narrate for all interested parties.

The work: I improved the error message for Amazon Route 53 when you try and can't create a "blorkmark." The previous message was fairly incomprehensible. The new message, less so.

I wrote-up the changes in my outliner, set the type to "blogpost" -- added some details as sub-heads, and saved it.

This is what the web page looks like.

And this is what it looks like in my outliner.

Suggestions for Google-Plus Permalink.

I was going to post a question over on my Google-Plus account, and thought since very few people would see it since my circles are so sparse, it probably is a good idea to post it here, too.

A picture named phone.jpgA suggestion for Google in case anyone is listening. Add a feature that defines a circle as everyone who has me in a circle. This makes reciprocal following a snap (automatic). Judging by behavior in TwitterLand this is going to be something a lot of people want and expect. You can send the check to my Adsense account. :-)

The question I was going to ask: Is there a bookmarklet for Google-Plus? Everyone else has one. There are a billion for Twitter, Facebook has one. It's the secret killer feature of Hacker News. It will make it easier for people to post links, and will help fill things out. I did look for it, and came up empty.

Next one. I just posted a bunch of stuff. But the Posts section of my profile is empty? Why?

Finally, things won't get started for me until you have an API. I am not remotely in the ballpark of switching off all my other network use in favor of Google-Plus. Too many people following me elsewhere. And I have a great system for writing stuff and I'm not giving that up either. So if you want my posts (no charge, really -- free for you Google) there has to be an API. Hopefully not too hard to support. :-)

Also, why not convert colon-dash-right-paren into a smiley? :-)

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© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:29:12 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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