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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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September 2011

Aug   Oct


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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.

Reporter's conflict of interest Permalink.

A picture named elephant.gifI mentioned in passing the other day the conflict of interest reporters have re bloggers.

I'm pretty sure I've written about this before, but it deserves a re-visit, in a little more detail.

First, you have to accept this premise:

1. Reporters get paid a salary to report.

2. In general bloggers do not get paid.

Now I don't believe they do the same thing, and if you're going to rebut me by saying that they don't do the same thing, forget it, because I agree with you. (Also, some people who call themselves bloggers are paid to write. I don't think they are bloggers. But there's nothing I can do to stop them from calling themselves bloggers.)

With those recitals out of the way...

I see the bloggers as sources. Not all of them, and not for all reporters. But the people who reporters quote, more often than not these days, have blogs.

The relationship between reporters and bloggers is the same relationship that travel agents have to flights or hotel rooms. Reporters facilitate access to the sources. And to the extent that we can go direct to the sources' blogs, that interferes with #1 above.

In the old days the reporters had an exclusive on access to sources. Today that exclusive is gone.

So if we were to respect blogs, that serves to undermine #1.

So the reporters have an interest in their readers not respecting blogs.

There's the conflict.

It's the same conflict my travel agent (who I have not spoken to in 20 years) had about the prospect of me using Expedia to book my own flights. She had to believe she was doing something special that I could not do for myself.

When I was finally able to do it for myself, this is what I learned about booking my own trips:

1. It takes a lot more of my time to do it.

2. But it takes less time as I learn how to do it and the sites become more accomodating to a person such as myself.

3. I generally end up spending a lot less money, and get more of what I want.

4. I think the travel industry has adapted, and have products that more suit the traveler, now that they no longer have to serve the interests of travel agents (My agent loves golf. That's probably why I ended up staying at resorts with great golfing. I don't golf myself.)

Anyway, all this is why I don't expect blogs and blogging to get fair treatment from professional reporters.

PS: And this is not their only conflict. They can't report on the media industry without a conflict. That's the industry they work for. Too bad, because they have great access, and it's a very important industry going through great changes. They could tell us how it really works, instead of reporting the company line, or ignoring it altogether (more common). I once had a big argument with Dan Gillmor over this, when he was working for Knight-Ridder. They were in the news. I wanted him to tell us what was going on. He wouldn't do it.

Cellphone progress! Permalink.

A bunch of good stuff happening in the phone department.

1. AT&T, as promised, disconnected the service on my iPhone.

2. Surprisingly (because I hadn't thought about it) the damned thing still works, over wifi. I get text messages, and Twitter updates, etc.

A picture named cowgirl.jpg3. Someone sent me a pointer to the T-Mobile website. Just for fun I tried entering the number I had for the phone when I first got it back in April. It asked me how much money I wanted to add to the account. I said $50. It said OK. And a couple of seconds later, the phone made a nice little sound and a text message arrived saying it was working again. Oh. Had I known it was that easy...

4. Next stop, and this one is going to take some guts, is to disconnect the Droid, but first have the number transferred to Google Voice, so I can keep getting calls on the number.

At that point I will be entirely month-to-month. And that's how I'd like to stay, forever. Hopefully when the iPhone 5 comes out I will be able to buy one without signing up for a 2-year plan.

And at some point, I expect to stop signing up for voice. I just want data anyway.

5. Can I still use Cyclemeter on my iPhone without an AT&T connection? I guess we'll find out. But it's raining in NY, so not today.

Updates: 1. The weather cleared and I went for a ride. 2. Cyclemeter does not work without a cell connection. I came back with 0 miles, and no route on the map. Going to have to find a Plan B. Wondering why it doesn't work.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:27:16 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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