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. :-)
Last night Twitter unveiled their Olympics site.
When I saw it I was surprised at how useless it is. I had no idea what they were saying. There wasn't anything about the Olympics that I could see. I think they made a mistake by rolling it out before there was any news. Or maybe they don't plan to put news there? Hard to say.
But the site is not useful in any way that I can see. Maybe I'm old-fashioned guy. I don't care much about snorts and grunts. I like stories and pictures and video. That kind of stuff.
Now, just so happens, I had a great A-B comparison ready to go.
It's a very simple page.
1. It's a river.
2. It's subscribed to a few special Olympics feeds from NBC, BBC, Guardian, NYT, USA Today. I was looking for Olympics blogs, and if I find any, I'll add them. I also am getting together my own Olympics feed to pick up stories from places that aren't doing special coverage.
3. It updates every 10 minutes.
4. No ads. No flash. No tweets. Just links to stories with synopses and titles. A RT link if you happen to use a linkblogging tool.
5. It's hosted on Amazon S3 so it can take a lot of traffic, theoretically.
That's all there is. And I think that's all you need.
It's a partnership between a few great news organizations, and it didn't require any agreements. They all get as much flow as they merit, and can put ads on their pages. They don't have to point to it, but of course I wouldn't mind if they did.
This is the escape hatch if it ever looks like Twitter is a media company that's competing with the big publishing companies. Your RSS feeds are your secret security blanket.
Keep those updates coming. Love Dave
A fair number of people are asking me what I think about Apple and RSS, so I might as well put the answer on my blog.
They just made a change, taking it out of the UI of Safari. I'm okay with this because I hated what they were doing with it. Hopefully they will let me look at the feed when I click a link to it, instead of showing me a mangled version.
None of the browser guys asked me what I thought they should do with RSS. Actually Microsoft did, but when I expressed an opinion they looked at me in an odd way as if to say "We didn't know you could talk." They ignored everything I asked them to do. It didn't turn out that they took over the world as they were sure they would. Almost everything they did was predicated on the assumption that they would.
I don't think the browser guys ever understood RSS or liked it very much. Their idea was to try to sweep it away, or make it look like a website, but they couldn't make up their minds, and their implementations were all over the map. I'd say they hurt the cause by adding all that confusion. So when Apple pulls back, I'm okay with that.
If I had to guess their motives, I'd say it probably goes something like this. Not too many people are using this feature, and it confuses everyone, so let's take it out.
It might be more nefarious, but honestly, I only care a little, and I don't have the bandwidth to pay much attention to the things I don't care about a lot.
What I recommend is to do this -- put an XML icon on your website. Point it to your feed. Don't say "Click here to subscribe" because that isn't what happens. If you feel you have to say anything, just say "this is my feed."
Try to have the feed you link to correspond to the HTML content they're looking at. That's a good consistency to try to establish.
Beyond that, there isn't much more any of us can do at this point. It's a fairly tangled mess. Try to see it as good news that the browser guys are getting out of this space, that means some of the tangled mess is going away.