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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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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.

The mother of all meltdowns Permalink.

During the Iraq war it amazed me that there were so few protests or civil action to challenge the war. We just kept fighting and life went on normally. I moved to Berkeley, bought a house, wrote software, spent time with friends, traveled around the world. Everywhere you went, normal life. Except in Iraq and Afghanistan, where there was war. And except at home, where the government, people are just now realizing, was borrowing hugely. Not just to fund the war, but to fund a huge tax cut and a gift to the pharmaceutical industry. There was talk of privatizing Social Security, which would have been a gift to all corporations. Esp considering the market crash that was coming (with the benefit of hindsight).

But most of all the borrowing bought our acquiescence.

Now we're building up to a much bigger crisis. One we've had plenty of forewarning of.

It's like what happened with Katrina in New Orleans. People asked why didn't someone warn us. Heard it over and over, from all kinds of people. But people were warned. Everyone who lived there knew that eventually there would be a big hurricane that the levees wouldn't handle. And it would be disaster for the city.

But there were still people who could come rescue the homeless. People left floating in boats where streets used to be.

Same in the banking meltdown in 2008. There was the government to bail out the too-big-to-fail banks and insurance companies.

This time it's the government itself that's melting down. There is no entity on Planet Earth that can bail us out from this one.

No. Entity. On. Earth. Pause right there. After this meltdown there can't be anything bigger to melt down. This is the meltdown to end all meltdowns. The mother of all meltdowns.

I'm scared. You should be too.

Why Google cares if you use your real name Permalink.

A picture named manInBlack.gifOver the weekend there was a bit of hoo-hah about accounts swept off Google-Plus, because they didn't have the users' real name.

I don't really have an opinion about whether this is good or bad. I don't think it's a moral issue. And I didn't have any illusions about whether Google-Plus was or was not a public utility at the beginning. I can see why people who thought it was not a corporate-owned resource might be surprised. But you wouldn't have been if you factored that in from the outset.

So really, swear to god, for me this is not a matter of moral judgement.

There's a very simple business reason why Google cares if they have your real name. It means it's possible to cross-relate your account with your buying behavior with their partners, who might be banks, retailers, supermarkets, hospitals, airlines. To connect with your use of cell phones that might be running their mobile operating system. To provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.

Simply put, a real name is worth more than a fake one.

That's really what it's about, money. That's why they want you to use their social network, and why they want you to not use Zuck's. Because they want the money.

Remember, if you want to understand how corporations work, if you think about money, you're most of the way there.

PS: Unfortunately, most of the hoo-hah was on Google-Plus. I can't point to those articles because only people with Google-Plus accounts can read them, apparently. Remember folks, it's an invite-only system. It's not, in any way, a publishing platform, or the open web. So I'm taking screen shots of the main article, so everyone can read about it. (Update: Apparently it is possible to make posts on Google-Plus public. I was getting complaints when I linked to people's writing on GP from Twitter, from people who weren't able to read the posts.)

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:28:51 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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