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. :-)
1. Steve Jobs is dead.
2. For a dead guy he sure is saying a lot.
3. A lot of it is trash talk!
In an earlier piece I mentioned iTunes, which started me ranting about it. As a user, it's one of the least intutive pieces of software I've ever used. You pay dearly for every bit of knowledge you gain. And then they go and change the UI, and you have to find it all over again. To make it even worse, and hide the functionality behind bugs so you can never figure out what to do when you have two minutes before you have to leave and the thing you need isn't on your iPad.
So Steve is out there trash talking everyone else, Google, Microsoft, Obama, come to mind, even though the guy just died two weeks ago.
Does that mean the respect-the-dead period is over?
If only Steve was a blogger who spoke his mind when he was alive, we could have fixed some shit! Oh well.
Here's what I would say to him: Steve, iTunes is some shitty software. How about getting with it and straighten some of its shit out.
Oh yeah and thanks for listening.
I don't follow Google Reader. Basically I think it's great that there's an RSS tool that people like so much. But it's scary, because so much of RSS use is in that one app.
Google seems to have the power to either seriously injure RSS, or perhaps set it free. Not sure which would happen if they radically changed course. I just know that users have made the other RSS reading tools be dependent on it. And that's not a great way to do things. What makes RSS useful is its power to de-centralize. To re-centralize it for a little convenience is to miss out on the variety that's possible if you're willing to suffer a bit. Software is full of tradeoffs.
Anyway, I've been hearing little snippets of conversation here and there that things have changed, or are going to change, in Google ReaderLand? I don't know. So if you don't mind -- could you all tell me the story. What just happened? What are your thoughts?
Perhaps now we can start working on a variety of tools from independent developers that don't depend on a central mother ship to coordinate. That's really taking too big a risk with something as important as RSS.
So I'm all ears. Tell me what happened, please.
PS: As Google Reader is to news, iTunes is to podcasting. Major dependence there, for a lot of users. Not good, imho.
PPS: Please don't tell me how futile it is to use RSS independent of Google and Apple. I do it, and I think I have a better system than you do. Not only do I refuse to be dependent on those companies, I've done something about it.