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. :-)
You know how they talk about "senior moments" when you look for something in your memory and it just won't come back. I have them all the time. And you get them more often, it seems, as you get older.
That's kind of like what happened last night on the Republican debate to Rick Perry. Everyone says it'll go down in history as a historic gaffe of massive proportion, along with Jerry Ford, Dan Quayle and the guy who was running with Ross Perot who couldn't remember his own name (so why should we).
This came up for me a few moments ago, when I was trying to summarize what had happened to Mike Arrington when he was interviewed for a CNN special that's airing on Sunday. Mike couldn't name a single black entrepreneur.
It turns out Mike does know more than one black entrepreneur, and had even invested in one with his new VC fund. So unlike Perry who not only will not be President, but if he were would not shut down the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Education, Mike just had a memory malfunction. Nothing more than that. Is that news? (But Mike himself has been guilty of stretching the truth to build interest in his content, so in fairness, he doesn't really get to complain about this. Not that that has stopped him from complaining. Heh.)
Surprising that CNN is making such a big deal about it.
Update: You know it's bad when your name has become a punchline.
Today may have been the peak of color in Central Park for the season.
Here's a set of seven pictures I captured today on a walk-around.
While walking I listened to Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood on the Stack Exchange podcast. I'm going to be their guest next Monday, so I thought I should get an idea of what it's like.
I can't tell anyone how to use the term RSS, but I can tell you how I use it.
RSS is a family of syndication formats that traces its roots far back in the history of computer science. The most widely used version of RSS is 2.0. I wrote the spec for that version, created software that read and wrote it, and helped content providers, notably the NY Times, get online with it.
We also adapted RSS to transport what I thought of as "audio blog posts." Working with Adam Curry and others, this became podcasting.
There are lots of different kinds of software that produce RSS and consume it. Each of them has its own name. But they are not RSS. They are applications that do stuff with RSS. That, imho, is a very important distinction.
Last night I deleted my Facebook account.
According to Facebook's rules, they will wait two weeks before actually deleting it. This seems reasonable. I've been on the other side of this, and it saves them the grief of having to deal with people who impulsively delete their accounts and then decide they want them back. Two weeks is enough time to decide if you really mean it.
Already people are wondering how long this will last, as if being part of Facebook is a permanent thing, like having a driver's license or passport.
For me it was not an impulsive decision. I hadn't logged on to Facebook since we discovered that you couldn't log out, starting with this post on September 24. But I had never been a big Facebook user. I think this is partially because I'm an early adopter and Facebook was developed for college-age people, and I'm not part of that group.
Twitter is a different story. I was a very early adopter, and it's part of my online flow. But I would like to quit Twitter. But doing it requires a lot more unraveling than with Facebook.
I just emptied out the mailbox that accumulates all the Facebook emails. It's true, there are people who seem to depend on Facebook to reach me. Well, I've missed there messages for over a month. We'll all survive this.
Bottom-line: I know from experience that it's bad to depend on a for-profit company to give me a free service that is supposed to not feel like it's free. Facebook makes it difficult or impossible to maintain an archive copy of the stuff you post there, so, knowing this, I never posted anything there that wasn't a copy of something I posted elsewhere or something I just didn't care about. And I hate the idea that they devise ever-more-sneaky ways of tracking you on the web. And I'm not one of the people who uses the word "hate" when I mean "mildly dislike."
But I'm not ruling out never going back. It's possible they'll add a feature that I feel I have to check out. Or they may relax their data export and import policies. Or there might be a law passed that everyone must have a Facebook account. All of these would be reasons why I might create a new account after my account is deleted, two weeks from yesterday, on November 23.