Home > Archive >  2008 >  March >  31

Where did you have your great idea?

Monday, March 31, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Wired has a fascinating photo-essay with narratives from famous innovators explaining where they were when they had their biggest idea.  Permalink to this paragraph

For example, Reed Hastings got the idea for Netflix in a movie rental place in La Honda, CA (a fairly remote place between Palo Alto and the Pacific Ocean). Permalink to this paragraph

Now that we have digital cameras and know people from far away through our blogs, Twitter and Flickr, it seems we could tell stories like this about the places we live and more mundane but still important events in our lives. They could become quick collaborative documents like the Wired photo-essay.  Permalink to this paragraph

Examples:  Permalink to this paragraph

1. A photo-essay of opening days at all major league ballparks in the US. Permalink to this paragraph

2. Church services in every major city on a given weekend (different religions have services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Permalink to this paragraph

3. Following a candidate for the Senate or House as they campaign for one day. (The major news outlets don't cover local races very well anymore.) Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named netflix.gifProjects like this are important warmups and proofs-of-concept for amateur newsgathering, and perhaps new politics. It's not just for Democrats or Republicans, maybe this is how we bootstrap new parties, or maybe it's just for fun. Who knows. Learning doesn't have to stop when you leave school. I like stories, esp short ones, along with pictures of places and people that are different or strangely familiar. This is part of what I meant in yesterday's post. Let's reset the dial back to the beginning, start small, and stay small. Now we have some new tools that we didn't have last time amateur public writing started up (or whatever it's called).  Permalink to this paragraph

There is no A-list, just people with ideas.  Permalink to this paragraph

The difference is people doing it for fun, versus people doing it to either get rich or earn a living. Yes, there really is a difference in approach. Permalink to this paragraph

PS: In case this turns out to be a great idea, I had it in my kitchen. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph


Recent stories:

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, 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, 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 Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

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.

Dave Winer Mailto icon

My most recent trivia on Twitter.

I'm a California voter for Obama.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 10/20/2008; 8:22:33 AM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.