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. :-)
Apparently we're not finished with this story.
I forgot I had written this piece about Path at the end of 2010.
11/15/10: The tech industry is a virus. "After entering my name and email address, gender and password, it asked if it can use my location. I said yes. Then I went to the People section to start looking for friends to share my pictures with. I was astonished to see a list of suggestions, all of whom are people I know. I was confused. How could they know I know all these people? I jumped to an incorrect conclusion, they were all following me. I smiled -- it's really cool that all these people, some of whom I haven't spoken with in years, are following me on Path. After happily adding eight people (noting that Andrew Baron had signed up twice, with two different email addresses), I realized that can't be it. Some of these people are so totally offline they could never be using this app on its first day of public existence."
Oh yeah. Now I remember.
And that's not all. Ryan Tate at Gawker followed up with the Path CEO and he said it's not a prob because they're not retaining the data. He kept a copy of the email. Good thing because in the email Path said it isn't keep copies of people's address books. Uhhh and today we found that they are.
This doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
I don't like the post I wrote about Path.
I'm not taking it back, and I don't want to explain it too much.
I don't know what anyone else should or shouldn't do. Sometimes I get the idea that I do, but then I realize I don't.
I don't like it when people say what I should do. And I'm a fan of the Golden Rule.
I'm going to be more careful about software I install, and will look for developers to say clearly that they aren't doing anything with my address book.
I will feel better about using Apple's products, which I do, if they would consider the personal data I enter into my iPhone, iPad and Mac to be mine and not to share it with anyone, unless I explicitly ask them to. Thanks.
No software company wants people to feel the way any iPhone user feels about Path right now. That's their problem. Path investor Mike Arrington gets it 100 percent wrong. Companies caught stealing private data from users have a serious problem, possibly one that can't be recovered from. He shouldn't put his own rep out there. His advice to Path is terrible. Instead he should be quietly working with his other investments to be sure they aren't doing the bone-headed thing Path was doing with users' data, and if they are, they should proactively clean up their act, publicly.
I just took a look at my contact info, which is shared between several of my web services. I wonder how many of them feel as Path does, that whatever is within their reach is theirs for the taking. And despite what they tell you most users think the contents of their address book is theirs and not Dave Morin's or Mike Arrington's.
Mike and Dave, if it's not a problem, would you please immediately publish the full contents of your address books. No fair editing. Let's see what you have going on. Heh. Not much chance of that is there?
Users, it's time to wise up. It's not just about being open, it's realizing that you have more at stake here than you might think. The people who run these companies are just like people who run all companies. They don't know you, care about you or look out for you. If there's something they can do to make a buck, no matter how cheap or sleazy, they're going to do it.
I was once fairly naive about this myself. I had a failed hard drive on my Mac laptop. Brought it into the Apple store. They wanted a lot of money for the replacement drive, and they wouldn't give me back my old drive. The one with all my private info on it. It's as if I had a wallet malfunction and the wallet manufacturer would sell me an overpriced replacement, and wanted to hold on to all my credit cards, and other private stuff I keep in my wallet.
This is a really bad situation.
And let's be clear. The real culprit is Apple. They let app developers have access to users' private data without asking for permission. They're really careful with their own data, but they clearly don't give a damn about their users' security.
Update -- there's a lot more to the story.