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. :-)
When I first went down to Zuccotti last Saturday I left with an uneasy feeling about how it would end. I imagined that eventually the police would move in and clear it out. The kids would go home, dejected, defeated. And then where would we be. I want to see something honest and righteous build, not be so easily knocked down. This thing looked easy to knock down.
And last night it looked like it would end this morning. I didn't imagine what would actually happen, that the police would back down. I think they played it out and realized the situation was more complex than it looked at first. Then I figured it out myself...
I remembered a post by John Robb, which seemed to contain a brilliant insight. Something I hadn't thought of. I used to work with John at UserLand quite a few years ago. He's a smart dude, in an ex-Special Ops spookish kind of of way. He said there were three recourses for the protestors if Bloomberg's army invaded:
1. Make Bloomberg own it.
2. Disrupt Manhattan.
3. Make sure the world can watch.
Now, 1 and 3 were obvious to me. I think in those terms. But I'm chickenshit when it comes to confronting cops -- people with guns and big sticks and mace, and the power to put us in jail. So my mind tends not to go there.
But man, if that isn't exactly what the occupiers did when Bloomberg backed down. Even if the plan wasn't written down somewhere, there were enough people in a place where you could easily disrupt a whole business day in Manhattan. They just marched around City Hall and down Wall Street. But they could have done much more.
Think about where they are. The Brooklyn Bridge is just a few blocks away. In the other direction, West St is a major north-south artery, also just a couple of blocks away. And on the east side there's FDR Drive. A couple of blocks south is the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. And there's a subway entrance on every corner down there. A few thousand people could freeze a million. And it's pretty clear Bloomberg didn't even think of this when he planned the takedown on a weekday morning just as rush hour was starting.
Like I said, this isn't the kind of stuff I think of. I don't think in terms of civil disobedience. I'm more of a press person. I think in terms of telling the story.
But it's obviously a good deal to let them have Liberty Park. And probably any other park they want. The reason? Their grievance is real and it's fair, and as the idea spreads people are going to figure out that they agree. Strongly. The people might not mind if work in Manhattan stops for a day. Just to make the point that things have to change, now.
What's amazing is that more politicians haven't figured out yet that this is a tide that's turning. The parade they want to try to get in front of. What's also amazing is that they didn't realize there was a limit to how far they could push before people would go to the streets. We didn't dream what happened in August when the Republicans almost pushed us to default, and the Democrats couldn't say a thing about it. They ended up voting for the ransom the Republicans demanded. Isn't that just plain amazing. We would never let them do it now. That's even more amazing.
It won't be much longer before the Tea Party people figure this out and start occupying too.
Think about it.
In the 60s one of our mottos was Power To The People. Of course we've always had the power. It was just sitting there waiting to be used.
I've been writing and programming writing and programming all day. It had been four days since my last ride. I said Dave you know what you need. I don't know Dave, do tell. Dave you need a ride.
I went out even though the sky was menacing. Got as far as the 50s and I said to myself Dave, you know what -- looks like rain. Okay I think you're right. Let's turn around. So we did. And then the sky opened. Boom.
So I waited around at 46th St under an awning and watched the rain. Finally it stopped. Got back on my bike, but by the time I was at the 34th St heliport it was pouring again. No shelter. Okay I got soaked. But I'm home now.
That's the story of my summer rainstorm in October.
Map: 52 minutes, 9.2 miles.
If I were Michael Bloomberg, a very smart and wise man, I would take a deep breath and spend one day this weekend trying to learn what Occupy Wall Street is about, from the point of view of an average New Yorker. He's so smart he will get it. The problem is his perspective. He's one of the few people who they are angry with, and rightfully so. When the light goes on for him, he will be able to explain it to others in his class. Whether they listen or not is their problem. But it's up to him, as the elected leader of all New Yorkers, to listen and understand, and make wise choices.
If I were Apple, I would quickly find a product in the pipe to release that's new and interesting and get us Apple devotees who already have one of everything to buy this new thing. We need a post-Steve experience to remind us of Apple's ability to get the money out of our pockets.
Also, if I were Apple, I'd re-run some of the his most brilliant commercials. The funny ones. The stylish ones. The crazy ones. Let us remember how inspired we were by Apple's mission. We can be inspired again. And remember that they weren't hollow promises, they actually delivered.
If I were one of my friends on Twitter who is at the exclusive elite invite-only Shorenstein conference celebrating Shorenstein, I would not tweet about it. If I were at Davos earlier this year I would not tweet about it. In fact if I were invited to an exclusive elite invite-only conference I would not tweet about it at all, to anyone. Twitter is unique in that it lets everyone in. The rabble. The non-elite. Could be the season, or the politics, or the fact that people are camping out in lower Manhattan for freedom. The contrast is not flattering. Imho. (And I know this will piss some people off, so be it.)
Update: The conference at Shorenstein was not invite-only. It was and is open to the public. I feel very foolish. Apologies for the mistake.
That's all I have in If I were's for right now.
One more: If I were a rich man I'd buy Kyle Shank lunch at T-Rex.
I'm not going to make a huge deal about this, but River2, my river-of-news aggregator, turned 1.0 yesterday.
To celebrate, I also did a new release of the OPML Editor, the environment that River2 runs in.
So if you've wanted to operate your own river-of-news, now's a good time to start.
Who would find this interesting: news organizations and journalism schools. Operating a river is a way to automate news gathering in your sphere of interest, your community. And for J-schools, it's a way to give your students a head start on the news system of the future, which will surely operate in this fashion. Imho of course.
I would love to get feedback from any news org or J-school that started doing rivers with this software.
It's available for Mac and Windows. The Mac version is a universal binary, no more need to run Rosetta. The Windows version runs nicely in EC2 for Poets, which means you can operate a river in the cloud if you want.
EC2 for Poets also got a refresh a few weeks ago, so it's current and tested, and works nicely.
Support is available on the River2 mail list.
If you're an old-time Frontier user wondering what this is all about, we made a site just for you that explains!