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. :-)
If you have a web app you're putting up that you think should have a subdomain of occupyweb.org pointing to it, post a note here with a pointer to the app. Say what subdomain you'd like to see mapped to it, like hello.occupyweb.org. I'll map it as soon as I can. Obvious caveats for spam sites, or overtly commercial or political sites. Thinking of apps that cover the OWS movement in a neutral way.
Going back to before Dean For America, I was hoping that, with the advent of the Internet, the economics of elections would change. I got close to the Dean people, but they either didn't see the possibility, or felt it was too early, or felt they couldn't afford to be an experimental campaign.
But with Occupy Wall Street, it would be wholly inconsistent to use their presence on the Internet to raise money to buy ads on television. If they did that, we would need to start an OOWS to occupy them.
Look at all the attention this leaderless movement has managed to draw to itself, without any kind of a media budget. And I have a feeling this is just beginning. Hopefully we will build decentralized communication networks that allow ideas to be distributed instantaneously without being controlled by Time-Warner, News Corp, Comcast, or even Google, Twitter or Facebook. Of course we already have the technology, it's just what the Internet already does. But we have to build a critical mass outside the corporate silos to have the independence we'll need, imho.
If the economics of politics were really changing now, it would be a predictable part of the usual technology cycle, written about here many times. First with a new technology the users need training wheels. Limits that make it easy to approach. For that you need companies. But their utility diminishes as two processes converge:
1. New people come of age, to whom the technology is natural. They don't have to unlearn an old way of doing things. And other users gain experience. What was once strange and different is now normal and familiar.
2. The technology is better understood by developers, and they are able to make software simpler without giving up power. This always happens as a technology matures.
If politics has changed, it's now in the domain of tech, completely. You won't use the web to raise money to buy television ads. Instead, money raised on the Internet will stay in the Internet, helping to build the communication systems we need not just to get candidates elected, but also to govern. Obama could have figured this out, but he didn't.
In the new politics, you campaign 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, world wide. The American president has to communicate with citizens of India, Malaysia, China, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America, not just the people in the 50 states. Public opinion is now a world wide force. And communication isn't just getting your message out. If Obama had been listening he might have heard that many of us trust the Republicans a lot less than he did. He might have had a better feel for the crisis happening with users of real estate, not just developers and financiers.
It was naive of the President to think that, once elected, he could ensconce himself in the gridlock and somehow his charm would overcome Republican barriers. They weren't charmed by him, and they saw his reliance on charm as a weakness, and took advantage of it. Had Obama kept his army of discourse mobilized, developed it, we would be able to now tell him exactly what to do to get us out of the ditch he drove us into.
Instead, as usual, he's focused on raising money so he can buy TV ads to get re-elected. This does us, you and me, absolutely no good. They never get around to following the lead of the voters. They have no way to hear the voters, yet. But I think that's what OWS could lead to.
BTW, I saw an ad on the web yesterday for Google Ads that said a good ad is just information. Glad they finally got around to that. The next step, for them is to realize (if they don't already realize it) that their search engine and ad engine are in direct conflict. The better search is the less people need ads. Google's future, if it all shakes out as it should, is as limited as the advertising-based political industry.
PS: I was thinking about two people as I wrote this: Doc Searls and Nicco Mele. Both live in Boston. We should all get lunch sometime.
PPS: Of course I was also thinking of the absolutely beautiful little girl with the hand-drawn Tax The Rich banner. There's so much love in that image!