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A story unfolds on Twitter

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 by Dave Winer.

Someone I know, not well, who lives far away is going through hell. The story is notable because it's unfolded in real time on Twitter.  Permalink to this paragraph

I don't want to say who because: 1. It's very heavy. 2. I don't want to burden this person with the decision about how public she wants to be. If she reads this and says it's okay to post a link to the on Twitter, I will. If not, I'll wait. Permalink to this paragraph

I wanted to write about it because the story is so powerful. Permalink to this paragraph

It begins a few days ago, her mother is sick. She takes her to the hospital. It's obviously pretty bad, but we don't know how bad. Not clear if they do, but her mother is terrified. The sister is there, with neices. They argue about something. The mother gets worse. The doctors do tests. The mother dies. Permalink to this paragraph

From there the situation spins out of control. The story is told with a very wet brush, with lots of paint splattering all over the place in 140-character snippets separated by huge gaps of time. It's the unpredictability of it that makes it so compelling.  Permalink to this paragraph

I can't imagine the pain.  Permalink to this paragraph

But there it is, shared, in real time, with a few hundred on-lookers.  Permalink to this paragraph

I feel like I'm witnessing history. Permalink to this paragraph

It helps that the protagonist is a great writer. 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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Last update: 1/14/2009; 4:57:51 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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