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. :-)
The President gave a not-tone-deaf speech yesterday, for the first time in his Presidency that I can recall. He's never known what he should do. But now he's figured it out. I guess sometimes if you're too close to the problem you just can't see it.
What Presidents have to do, every one of them, and so few do, is organize the people of the United States. Keep us thinking in a productive and useful way. If you don't do it, that leaves people's minds idle, and for some of them that means very destructive ideas get in their heads, by people who are willing to lead. People like the governors of Wisconsin, Florida and New Jersey. And Senators from Kentucky and South Carolina. And Representatives from Louisiana and Texas.
Keep it simple. See this bridge behind me. It's old and there's always traffic on it. It's safe to drive on, but it doesn't work in 2011 the way it was designed to work in 1954 or 1968. And we've got all these construction people sitting around doing nothing, wishing they had some work. Anyone can put that kind of two and two together.
You have to drill it. Repeat the ideas. And unless there's humor and levity, no one is going to listen to you say it over and over. So you have to be friendly and cheerful and keep the ideas easy to understand.
It may still be too late for us, but now at least there is some direction to where we're going. At least we have a chance to try, instead of being mere spectators. I think that's a big frustration a lot of people feel. They don't want to be on the sidelines, they want to be involved.
BTW, we could do some of this work on a voluntary basis. I think the President might be surprised at how well that would work if he applied the same kind of gentle, humorous leadership. (And the Republicans have never done this, so they shouldn't be too uppity about it.)
Celebs will understand the features they added. They've turned Facebook into a perfect platform for actors, basketball players, Newt Gingrich (if he ever gets a clue) and the next despot to rise in the third world (which could easily be the USA).
And most celebs totally don't mind being owned by megacorps. Most of them are, already.
I think when we look back we'll see the big stone Twitter left unturned was not making deals with their users to keep them from wandering too far.
They put golden handcuffs on engineers (or try to), but they let another class of valuable relationships remain uncompensated.
I think this is where UGC becomes too simple a model for tech firms.
And makes much more urgent the creation of great celebrity platforms that do not live inside megacorp silos.
A few weeks ago all of a sudden, Google search changed the way it works on the iPad.
Here are two screen shots that illustrate the difference. The first is the normal view of Google search in a normal web browser. The second is what we get on the iPad.
Yes, there is a link at the bottom of the screen that gives you the higher density "classic" view. But please Google, give me a permanent preference so I never have to look at the mobile version again. I gave it a few weeks and I still hate it.
And one more time, an iPad browser is a regular browser. It doesn't need any fancy tricks to make it work like an iPad app. The reason we're choosing to use the browser and not the app is that we prefer the browser to the app. Come on software guys, design for your users.
Also, it's conceivable that Apple could help us out and give users a pref that tells websites that we're not using an iPad, so we get their normal version. Technically, it would be very easy to do.
First, it's my fault. I take the blame. My interests shifted. I think you can hear that if you listen to the last few podcasts we did.
I got tired of talking about rebooting the news, a process that we agree started many years ago, with the advent of the web -- and wanted to get back to actually rebooting the news. There's more to do and the talking wasn't getting it done.
An analogy: You can talk about love, which certainly is fun, or you can make love, which also is good.
As Pete Seeger sang: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
We may swing back around, with enough new rebooting under our belts, with a need to talk about it some more.
"A time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted."