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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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People are always asking about my bike.

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Here's a picture.


October 2011

Sep   Nov


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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.

Working on the linkblog box Permalink.

As I work on the design of the blog, it's been really interesting to get feedback from people who are serious readers of this blog. I feel like it's the first time in the many years this blog has been running that it is enough under control that we can start to have a serious discussion about how it works. Gives you an idea of what kind of haze we operate in in Internet land. One of the reasons I decided a number of years ago to S L O W D O W N and start re-doing everything in my toolkit, one piece at a time, and this time really understand how the bits work together.

I still don't really understand, but it is now possible to talk about it, some more.

A picture named balletDancer.jpgAnyway...

I just did some work on the linkblog in the right margin here.

1. I made the first word in the box "linkblog" so there's no doubt what you're looking at. One bit of feedback I got was that people didn't know it was the linkblog. Totally makes sense. Unless they were reading on the day the feature came online, how would they know. And I'm not entirely sure I even wrote it up. All of a sudden one day there are links in the right margin. Who gives them much though.

2. I removed the Last updated time in the upper right margin, the one that applied to the content in the left column. It was completely non-obvious, in fact it sort of implied that it applied to the linkblog. Oy. Anyway, now the time does apply to the linkblog. I know this may screw up your reading habits, but it's in a good cause, imho.

3. I put a gray background behind it so it appears different from everything else on the page.

4. Added a mini XML icon at the bottom. Now you can easily find the linkblog feed. It won't work in Google Reader, I can tell you that right off the bat. Most of the items have descriptions and no titles. GR doesn't like that. Until they fix this bug, the feed won't work there. And if you think you can do a transformation on the feed perhaps with Yahoo Pipes to make it work in GR, go for it. Publish a link to your version of my linkblog feed, and I'll link to it right here.

BTW, if you look at the RSS in that feed, you'll see a bunch of new stuff from the "microblog" namespace. It describes the archive for the feed, so you can get back to every item ever published in it. I hope this becomes widely used by other tools. Using RSS as an archive format for all kinds of blogging is a perfect use for the format, which was designed to mirror the content of a chronologic website (i.e. a weblog or blog).

I also include the full link, because we live in an era of link-shortening. If rot ever becomes a problem with these links, it'll be good to have the full links around too.

I hope to be able to address some other longterm limits of RSS, for example, we need a way to do feed-level redirects. Always have. I plan to provide a mechanism for that.

Now the question is what to do about the blogroll. Note that it is also available in the World Outline. This is the next thing to think about folks. All this shit has a life "over there" too. Whatever that means. (Mwhahahaha.)

Herman Cain Permalink.

If the press would do their job we would never have to waste a moment on a sham like Herman Cain.

In the last debate they could have killed his candidacy when he said that if ObamaCare had existed when he had cancer he would be dead now. They asked for an explanation. He said he would have had to wait to get treatment and while he was waiting his disease would have killed him.

A picture named godfather.gifIt's not true on many levels. ObamaCare is just the current private insurance system we have now, with rules that make it impossible for an insurance company to turn down coverage because of a pre-existing condition. And it requires everyone to have insurance, which broadens the pool to include more healthy people, thus making health care available to everyone. That's it. It doesn't say anything about waiting times for treatments. There are reasons to believe that care will become quicker. And poor people today don't get any treatment for these diseases. Under ObamaCare at least they have a chance.

That's all under the assumption that Cain is poor. Of course he's not poor, and if he got sick under any circumstance, he can buy all the health care he wants, whenever he wants it. So the idea that he would have died because of ObamaCare is the worst kind of pandering. To the fears of people who have legitimate fears about getting sick and dying because of bureaucratic or financial reasons. If they believe Cain, and apparently some do, that belief will put them in more jeopardy not less.

So there you have it, the press is complicit. They had him in their crosshairs, and they let him go.

He keeps doing this, btw -- and now that he's a front-runner they've lost all excuses for pressing him on the implications of what he says. Tonight is another debate. Let's see if they do it now.

Why occupy? Permalink.

Susannah Breslin went to Occupy Chicago and asked Why?

Worth reading, but I think I know the overall answer.

People want to do something, anything, to help the world work.

We've reached a point where things aren't working very well, and there's a good chance that there will be a collapse.

It's a logical consequence of the escalating brinksmanship practiced by our government over the last four years. If you don't feel nervous about the future after witnessing all that, you weren't really paying attention.

And there's another problem, the idea that we're witnesses, not active participants. All the framing says that the battle is between Repubs and Dems. That's actually nonsense. If there's a battle, it's among the people, the voters, the taxpayers, the citizens of America. Those are just our elected representatives. The day they became more than that is the day we took the wrong turn. And that's what need to undo. Go back to that place, and re-establish our dominion over the political system of the country.

If you listen to the words people say and take them at face value, which is the only way to go, it's completely obvious.

Cynics may say they have insight into the character of the people that they themselves don't have, or that they are dishonest, but I don't see it. And I'm old enough to know that when people point the finger in accusation, it's often the other way around.

Better, tell us what you want for our country, in positive terms, not something childish and irrelevant like depriving a someone of something. What's your vision for our country. And btw, when you have that, guess what -- you're occupying too.

Two needs: webcams and linkbloggers Permalink.

Okay I'm starting to think about next steps in developing remote eyes and ears, so we can all experience as much as we can of what's happening in all the Occupy encampments around the country.

1. Webcams. Every encampment should have one or more. In windows overlooking the encampment, behind a locked door, with a 24 by 7 net connection. This is not a livestream. It's part of a security system. This way we can know immediately if an encampment is safe, or if as in Boston last night, something else is going on. Example of what you can see with a well-placed webcam viewing an historic event.

2. Pretty soon spammers are going to discover that they can get pictures onto the home page of occupyweb.org. When that happens, we'll have to switch to a moderated system. We need to be ready for that. I have software that can easily facilitate it, you just install a bookmarklet in your browser, and when you find a picture or movie that belongs in the flow, click the bookmarklet, enter some descriptive text, click Submit. Just like posting to Facebook, but it's all built on open and public RSS feeds that can be recombined any number of ways, not just how we'll do it on occupyweb.

Post a comment here if you want to start doing this now, in preparation for the time when we'll need to do it for real.

Thanks in advance! ;-)

What happened in Boston late last night Permalink.

A few minutes after posting the questions about what happened in Boston, it became fairly clear. Just needed to read a couple of reports to triangulate. It would still be nice to get some pictures of the current encampment so people outside Boston will know it's okay.

Anyway here's what happened, near as I can tell, from my desk in NYC.

1. There was a huge march yesterday.

2. OccupyBoston settled in a second encampment near the first one.

3. The city warned them to get out.

4. They didn't and the city evacuated them, arresting over 100 people.

5. There is a pledge from the city, via the mayor, not to interfere with the Dewey Square encampment. That pledge does not appear to have been violated.

Idea: How about a webcam for each of the major encampments, so we can get a view into what's happening without waiting for anyone to file a photo on Flickr?

Questions re OccupyBoston last night Permalink.

Something happened at Occupy Boston last night at about 1:30AM.

We have news reports, video and photos, but we don't have a clear idea, those of us who are not in Boston.

1. We know the police warned the occupiers to evacuate or be "subject to arrest."

2. The police attacked, arrested about 100 people. Dismantled some (all?) of the occupation.

3. Why? What changed? There doesn't seem to be any statement from the Boston police or city government.

4. What is left of the occupation?

Fresh photos would be welcome, as well as a report from an observer, someone who is neither part of the occupation or part of the police or government.

Update: OpenMediaBoston says the arrests came after an attempt to expand the encampment to a second park.

© Copyright 1997-2011 Dave Winer. Last build: 12/12/2011; 1:25:58 PM. "It's even worse than it appears."

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