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. :-)
Can you imagine if you wanted to play professional basketball, and you were good, you were on a couple of championship teams, and have set a couple of records, that they'd say to you "Okay, we'll let you play, but you have the be a CEO and give us a business plan we like."
What if in addition to being a great painter or musician, you also had to look great in a suit and have an MBA?
Or if you wanted to be a surgeon, and had to spend all day every day in meetings with people you don't like or respect, explaining to them, without hurting their feelings why you have to use this scalpel instead of that one.
Maybe you might not be a great CEO but you could paint Starry Night or sing a nice ballad, or arrange flowers nicely, or cook a great meal for 2000 people.
There are a lot of talents that have nothing to do with being a CEO.
And then there's this...
I don't want to be a CEO.
Let me say that slowly.
I. Don't. Want. To. Be. A. CEO.
But I do love to make software.
I suspect in 20 or 30 years the tech business, if it survives all the bubbles that will come and go between then and now, will be structured around creative talent as well as corporateness (and I'm being generous to corporateness). But that day has not come yet. And until it does, btw, the tech industry is just as vulnerable and just as dumb as industries it looks down on. As long as you think of programmers as employees and not creative people, or see being a CEO as superior to being a world-class developer, you're vulnerable to disruption. Really big time disruption.
A lot of things are working now in the WorldOutline, so I've really slowed down the development work and am spending a lot of time trying things out just using the product.
I used to do this at Living Videotext, a long time ago. Back then, I wasn't coding the product, so I got to play a different role in the development process. I called that role First User. I would use the product to do the things it was intended to do, and in doing so would bump up against loose-ends or rough edges. I would then communicate them to the lead developer, in a daily meeting.
I would always bring my notebook, which was a physical thing, because the tool I was working on was a notetaking tool. I needed to have some other work to use the product for, which wasn't a problem because I was also the CEO of the company (my Day Job) and was working with a lot of other people on a lot of projects. That's what a CEO does. Juggles lots of things, all of them important, some tedious, but necessary -- and others more than necessary, crucial to our success. Making sure the product could be used for what it was meant to do was somewhere between necessary and crucial. And it was also a matter of honor. One of my pet peeves are products that have glitches that every user must see. That means the company either didn't know or didn't care. By glitch, I mean an annoyance that could be easily fixed.
The project I'm playing with is the "threads" app. It uses Disqus for comments, and all of it is embedded in the Bootstrap 2 environment. So I can use any of the gizmos or doodads that they define there. (This gives me an idea, Disqus should have a switch that allows me to tell it that it's running inside Boostrap and it could use their doodads and gizmos too.)
Here's the example that goes with this post.
The menu you see at the top of the screen is the one I'm going to use to tie together all the scripting.com sites. They don't all have the same menu, but they should. That will happen when all my content is flowing through this engine. That might be a very long time from now.
BTW, I set the menu for a page, or a site by setting the menuName attribute to the name of the menu. There is no command yet for setting that attribute in the OPML Editor, but I can do it with a one-line script.
op.attributes.setone ("menuName", "scriptingNewsMenu")
That's the advantage of having your editor be a scripting environment too.
Also one of the things that comes out of using your product as it was intended to be used, is that you learn how to explain in very few words what its intended purpose is. As you're developing it, especially if you're not following in someone else's footsteps, that can be a hard thing to come up with.
I've created an abbreviated version of this post on the threads site in case you'd care to comment, or have a question.