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. :-)
I saw Prometheus this weekend, and liked it.
I also read the NY Times review, and completely agree with it.
It's a nice movie, goes slowly and has lush visuals, good use of 3D, and there's lots to entertain. But it ends a little roughly, I hoped for more, to be left with something to think about. But that doesn't happen.
A little background...
Blogging and aggregators were innovations ten-plus years ago, but the product categories haven't stopped evolving. Much of that has been inside Twitter and Facebook but these are awkward places to do journalism, and it's a problem if those become the sole channel for the distribution fo news. They're too easily shut down by governments, financiers, or just the people who run them, whose interest may, in the long term, not be a good match with the news orgs that depend on them.
I have developed my own software in this area, new stuff, that's completely connected up to Twitter, but here's the key point -- it still works without them. So if there should be an outage, anyone who publishes their link flow the way I do, using RSS and a simple bridge to Twitter, we will stay on the air, but those who rely exclusively on Twitter could have problems.
I would like to come talk about rivers and linkblogging at #ONA12. I've talked at ONA before. At the fifth meeting in Hollywood, on the keynote panel with Joe Trippi and Arianna Huffington. And last year, Jay Rosen and I did a podcast from the meeting in DC.
This is an important year of change for publishing. There are new possibilities that I think the ONA members should be aware of. It's a good time to have a look at what's possible.
When I was in my late thirties I had an awakening that's not uncommon for people that age. I realized that the family I came from was not like all other families. And that things that happened in my childhood that seem strange or painful were not normal, or okay. Or possible to bury. And that they were responsible for me having lots of very negative ideas about myself.
I didn't have a choice but to confront these issues. They were front and center in my life. And I got help, and did a lot of work, and wasn't able to rid myself of my demons, because I don't think that actually can happen, but I did learn how to talk to them. And make them feel unwelcome. Put them in their place.
I don't want to go into details, because that's not what this piece is about. Instead it's the realization that the work never stops. The things that press your buttons are still out there. And they're doing their thing, and we're basically on our own to resist the downward spiral that comes when you give in to them and let them dominate your being. You know you want to do it. There's a lot of comfort in the pain they offer. But you know it doesn't end well. So you want to resist.
A technique my teacher offered was to first project the demon on the people who probably gave it to you. My parents. I would have a waking dream, deliberately, where I dump a big steaming bowl of spaghetti on their heads (with tomato sauce!) and lock them in the bathroom, saying I want you to think about this, young man and young lady. Then I would go about my business (still in the dream) chuckling while thinking of them in the bathroom crying and feeling unhappy about the spaghetti and being locked up. The most important thing is that when they are locked up they can't fuck with me. And it's a reminder that they aren't real. (A gentle and fun reminder, not an order or edict.) My parents are no longer the menace they once were. Children acting out their misery, probably caused by their parents, and projecting it on their child. They're no longer a threat to me. But my little boy, the one inside me, the one who remembers, doesn't know this isn't still going on. At the first sign of trouble -- panic. And depression. And self-hatred. And well, lots of self-abuse like smoking and drugs.
Child abuse carries a stigma, like alchoholism. But we're addicts, and we need the same kind of support network. Someone to call to say something happened that's making me spin, and I need someone to talk with, just to connect with another adult, to help me take better care of myself. Note, it's not someone to care for you, but someone you can lean on, temporarily, to have that conversation where you reaffirm your self-love and adult competence to take care of any demons that might show up (the spaghetti and the bathroom with its wonderful lock).
Me, I've decided it's okay, just this once, to use my blog for that purpose.