Home > Archive >  2008 >  December >  27

My brother Om

Saturday, December 27, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Om just wrote a one-year retrospective on the big event last December that set his life on a new course. It's a beautiful piece. For people like Om and myself, it took a big wakeup call to help focus us on what's important.  Permalink to this paragraph

What can I say. I still eat red meat, but I stopped smoking and I work out every day. I've lost a fair amount of weight this year, which makes me feel better, but there's more to lose.  Permalink to this paragraph

I still blog, I can't not blog, basically -- it's in my blood along with lots of other stuff that keeps me alive. I'm also addicted to humor and irony. Greatness in others inspires me more than anything else.  Permalink to this paragraph

That's why I love Om -- he's always had a warmth and charm, people notice that, but in the last year, he's grown in ways that weren't possible before. That's what wakeup calls do for you if you're listening.  Permalink to this paragraph

So -- Om gets many more years of life, and we get many more years of Om. Win-win. ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

In 2004, when I made a decision like the ones Om describes, when I dropped a project that would have shortened my life, a very smart man, Michael Winser, posted a note about dropping things that bounce and those that break. Unfortunately his post and the speech it refererred to are no longer online. But the short story is worth repeating.  Permalink to this paragraph

"A rubber ball will bounce and someone else can pick it up. That's your work life. The glass ball is family, friends, your health. Drop it, and if you're lucky it'll just crack. If you're not so lucky, it'll break into a million pieces. No matter what it'll never be the same. The people were shocked because I dropped a rubber ball, deliberately. Had to do it. If you don't understand, ponder it, and you'll learn something about life that's important. No Web project is worth dying for. Well, maybe it's possible that one is, but this one ain't it." Permalink to this paragraph

Maybe our little community is ready to grow up in a new way -- people get sick and sometimes they get better, but sometimes they don't and sometimes the outcome depends on what they do. In 2004 I guess people didn't believe that heart disease is a killer, or didn't accept that I had it, or that I might act to protect my health. Maybe now we're ready to face that? Permalink to this paragraph

That's what Om's story is all about -- I know because it's my story too.  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.

© Copyright 1994-2008 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 12/27/2008; 4:02:13 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.