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Blogger of the Year

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 by Dave Winer.

I guess Christmas Eve is the day to announce the Blogger of the Year. It's only the second time I've done it, and I did it last year on this day, and it seems like a good day to do it. That's what being a real blogger is like. It's like just feeling like doing something and then doing it.  Permalink to this paragraph

I hope that makes sense. Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway... Permalink to this paragraph

In my teaser I said that this year's BOTY is a smoker, but when I told him he was the guy, he said he stopped smoking four years ago. That's very good. More blogging for the rest of us. Permalink to this paragraph

So who is it? Permalink to this paragraph

Well, it's Jay RosenPermalink to this paragraph

Now I'll tell you why. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named rosen.jpgJay is one of those guys who has spent 20 or 30 years really studying something, really understanding it. He developed a theory about his subject of study, but instead of stopping there, Jay is always learning, asking questions, considering whether his understanding of the world actually reflects what's happening. And he does all this out in the open, on a blog, and most recently, very deliberately and systematically, on TwitterPermalink to this paragraph

This is the future of news.  Permalink to this paragraph

That's what Jay studies, but as it always is, you teach what you most need to learn, so Jay's study of news, ironically (or maybe not so ironically) is a demonstration of how news will work in the future. We will still need domain experts, people who spend 20 or 30 years studying something, learning and challenging their assumptions -- so that when something happens in their field of study we have someone with a historic perspective who can tell us What It All Means.  Permalink to this paragraph

Of course we can't get by with just one person in each domain, we need many. And that's where people like Jay are so valuable -- they don't just have their own theories, they also tell you about theories other people have, and he points you to them.  Permalink to this paragraph

Does this sound familiar?  Permalink to this paragraph

12/12/05: "People come back to places that send them away." Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named hamster.jpgThat's what blogging, when it applies to serious study, is all about. And Jay is the best example I can think of, so that's why I chose him as my Blogger of the Year for 2008. Permalink to this paragraph

There are others who perfectly exemplify this principle. I'm thinking of Doc Searls when it comes to fires in Santa Barbara. When I hear there's a fire down there, I know where to go. Doc takes it very seriously, and I'm not kidding about that. I don't have a special interest in Santa Barbara, but I do have an interest in examples of the way news will work in the future. Permalink to this paragraph

And there's Paul Krugman at the NY Times. I'm very pleased to honor a blogger at the Times, to show that it doesn't matter where you hang your hat -- real blogging can happen anywhere at any time. The thing that makes Krugman such a fantastic example is the same thing I like about Jay's blogging and Doc's -- he sends where you need to go to find out what you need. It's the same principle of the web, applied over and over again. When it works, it works because they trust you to come back after sending you away. Permalink to this paragraph

Next year's BOTY, knock wood, praise Murphy, etc -- will share this quality, with these fine people and NakedJen. When they write it's not a business model, it's their passion for knowledge, both of self and the rest of existence. Permalink to this paragraph


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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.

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