Dave Winer, 56, is a software developer 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 and NYU, 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.
scriptingnews2mail at gmail dot com.
My 40 most-recent links, ranked by number of clicks.
FYI: You're soaking in it. :-)
Henry Blodget and Kamelia Angelova wrote an inspiring piece in Business Insider about the "incredible shrinking New York Times."
They inspired me to try to connect the dots for the Times management, once again. There is a solution to the puzzle, but it requires some radical redirection of attention.
Here are the dots.
Tumblr is hiring reporters to cover itself.
Reddit is doing a great interview of a NYT reporter who wrote a book about the Obama Administration. Brian Stelter, a reporter for the Times says it's the best interview of her he's seen. (She's done a lot of interviews lately.)
Facebook will soon go public with so much cash being generated, and the Times could have been Facebook. But they keep missing that the economics of news is rapidly changing. They erected a Maginot Line to try once more to insist that there has been no change. But it's just keeping them from growing.
The function of a newsroom in the future is to coordinate the voices of the world to produce a coherent news product. That job will be done in very much the model that Tumblr is doing it. You could have started with a blogging community or you could have started with a news organization, but they're both heading to the same place.
The Times of course has the best newsroom. So why don't they evolve a blogging platform like Tumblr's? They should have. I've been begging them to do it since the mid-90s. There's still time to gather some of the leftover energy in the web, and to be prepared to catch some of the deserters when Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter et al stumble at growing into the space formerly occupied exclusively by the Times, Wash Post, etc.
But less time remains all the time.
Update: The social media editor of the Times read the piece. Apparently she doubts that the Times could have been Facebook. Why? I think it could have been a lot more. Actually I still believe it could be a lot more.
It's winter and instead of bike-riding I'm walking. Which means I can listen to music and podcasts and audiobooks while getting my daily exercise. And since my daily walk takes me near Strawberry Fields in Central Park, and near the spot where John Lennon died, I end up thinking about the Beatles a lot. And I've been listening to them too.
Another thing makes a big difference, having Wikipedia pages about almost every Beatles song. For example, I didn't fully understand how the Beatles were breaking up while doing the White Album. I didn't understand how separate McCartney and Lennon were, how bitter George Harrison was, and how frustrated Ringo Starr was that they all couldn't just get along.
But the thing that I'm left with is rather mundane, but I wanted to say it anyway. Paul McCartney was, of all the Beatles, the pure songman. He wrote music because he loved music. He really didn't want to do anything else. For him, being a Beatle was the best deal in the world.
Now that probably still is a gross approximation of who McCartney is. But without the net, without Wikipedia, I didn't even have that much to go on. Music is a story, like every other human art. It's the story of one person laid out in a way that others can understand it. A song is saying here I am and this is what I say. Reading the story of the story gives me more to think, and imagine about.
I guess I just wanted to say that all along we had the idea that Lennon was the deep Beatle, and McCartney was somehow the silly one. But I think we got it wrong. As he sang later, there's nothing wrong with a silly love song. Popular music is popular for a reason, because it engages us in a playful way that makes us feel good. Yes we feel a little silly when this point is touched. But that's kind of nice too.