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. :-)
First, I love The Newsroom. I know it has flaws. I don't care.
Until today, a Thursday, I didn't realize how much or why I loved it.
The show is on Sunday. There hasn't been an episode in four days. There won't be another one for three days. But there's something happening in the news today, with Obama and Romney, and I'd like to spend an hour with the story on television. But I realize the hour I'd like to spend is with Aaron Sorkin. Not MSNBC, not CNN, not Fox.
I got the idea from a Utah Senator who is demanding a retraction from HBO as if The Newsroom was real. In other words the suspension of disbelief was so complete that a real politician fell for it. Strange.
I'm falling for it too. My mind is confused. It thinks The Newsroom is news.
In the last episode the exec producer wanted to know if the anchor is in. She didn't ask me, but I'm in too.
A real news network could live up to the promise of The Newsroom, and put on a real news show with the fight that's building between the Repubs and Dems over Bain Capital. I yearn to watch that, tonight, as much as I look forward to the next episode on Sunday night.
In another way The Newsroom is a more polished version of the Jon Stewart appearance on Crossfire in 2008. Sorkin is saying, as Stewart did, please love our country. Sorkin adds, okay you can't figure it out. I'll show you. It's patronizing and condescending, for sure. But nothing else has gotten through to the news people. Maybe this will.
The Newsroom is The West Wing for News. We loved the West Wing not just because the characters were compelling, but because it was happening while Bush and Cheney were wrecking the country. For one hour per week we indulged in a terrible fantasy that we were competent and caring people in the United States.
I love The Newsroom in a similar way. Okay it's not as perfect, yet, as The West Wing, but it's still very early (and the West Wing had some bad moments too). But the backdrop, the real TV news is as awful as the Bush presidency.
We only get to change governments once every four years, but we could change TV news practically overnight. Where the West Wing had the power to calm and pacify viewers The Newsroom has the potential to reform news. I know the news people say newsrooms don't work like that. Of course. I get that. I don't care how newsrooms run. I care about what goes on the screen.
Maybe professional news people could look at news through the other side of the screen, the side we look at news through, and imagine for a moment at what news might be like if it were more like Sorkin's idea, and think about how to get us some of that.
I don't think I've ever written this up, but I should.
Here's a news river.
Notice that each item has a RT link. Click on one. A dialog appears, asking for the domain of your linkblog. I enter r2.scripting.com, the domain that my copy of Radio2 is running on. Radio2 is linkblogging software. The river then saves the domain as a cookie so I don't have to enter it again. (You can change it with the Set Linkblog command in the menu at the top of the page.)
After configuring the domain, when you click on an RT link, we go to your linkblogging software, and pre-populate the entry boxes with the title, link and description of the post you came from.
It does basically what the "retweet" command does in Twitter. But it's all loosely-coupled. You can connect it up to any linkblogging tool that supports the parameter list that's sent. It's as we say "really simple" -- doesn't take very long to implement. But it provides a very nice kind of de-coupling. You can use whatever river software you like and whatever linkblogger you like. And they just work together, if everyone does a little to make it work.
Since we're very early in the era of linkblogging on the Internet, it seems like a good time to put something out there.
PS: People often ask the question of how New Orleans will get by without a daily paper, and they say no one has an idea. Like when people used to say there was no new Mac software when there was lots of new software. The river I point to above has a lot of news about New Orleans that most people aren't getting. That's how the reboot starts. By creating new conduits for news to flow through. And listening to people who want to participate.
PPS: There's another potential standard hidden from view in the source code for the river. There isn't actually any content in there, it's just a jQuery app that displays a JSON-structured news feed. Another de-coupling that could prove useful.
I'm fed up with idiots who say that government is bad. You are all users of government. All beneficiaries of the rest of our generosity.
Government is all of us. When a city like New Orleans drowns, we have a few choices, none of them good. You may not like it, but too bad, that's the way life is. People shouldn't have lived there, you say. Nice. People shouldn't live where you live either. And yet, if your world is overturned, we'll help you, if we can.
Not just because we care, and people mostly do care about others, but also because if we let a city collapse and disappear the people will just move to other cities, where we're obligated to help them. What choice do we have?
Your choice is to either face up to the fact that life isn't fair, and often isn't fun, and we all depend on each other. If you don't think so, take your vast wealth and buy an island and move there, and good luck.
Some very rich people are renouncing their US citizenship so they don't have to pay taxes here. You can go where ever they go. (I have a funny feeling you won't be welcome.)