Home > Archive >  2009 >  January >  22

This land is your land

Thursday, January 22, 2009 by Dave Winer.

"This land was made for you and me." -- Woodie GuthriePermalink to this paragraph

"This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -- Abraham LincolnPermalink to this paragraph

"We the People of the United States..." -- The ConstitutionPermalink to this paragraph

Our new President has said repeatedly, and correctly -- we can't wait for someone else to do the job, we must do it ourselves. That is so totally consistent with the philosophy of the country, and perhaps not unremarkably -- the web too.  Permalink to this paragraph

Go back to the beginning, the web was created in that spirit, and whenever it runs out of juice we go back to the well, draw another bucket of irreverence and gumption, and create something new. Permalink to this paragraph

It's not the nature of the US to wait for someone else to do the job, and it's not the nature of the web.  Permalink to this paragraph

When I looked at the Clinton whitehouse.gov, I felt no urge to get involved, these were the people who promoted the Communication Decency Act, which failed to extend First Amendment to the web. (And that's being generous.) They were the enemy of freedom, their website was not something I wanted to help.  Permalink to this paragraph

Same with the Bush whitehouse.gov, although I gotta say, the people who claim the Obama whitehouse.gov is so innovative must not have looked at the Bush website. They had all the technical innovation of the Obama one.  Permalink to this paragraph

As I said clearly, I supported Obama. So quickly people forget. But that website, until I give up, is mine and yours as much as it is the webmaster's. If they construct it in such a way that that's not true, then they have failed to live up to the promise of the United States and the promise of the web. And since the web is the hub for idea exchange, it means that everything else they try will be crippled, the attempt to restart the economy, to create a spirit of volunteerism, to get health care and education working, to promote our revolution of individual freedom to the rest of the world.  Permalink to this paragraph

A lot of people who use the web these days don't know how to create a web, they know how to use what was created. In some ways, some times change must come incrementally, and patience is the right course of action. But sometimes, and this is one of those times, it must come in one big discontinuous spurt and then we figure out what happened in subsequent years.  Permalink to this paragraph

The people who tell themselves and others that they run the world are placeholders, if they urge caution and safety. These are not safe times. Those people are going to be swept away by the change that's on its way. This is not a time for caution, it's a time for courage, intelligence and creativity.  Permalink to this paragraph

Update: The Washington Post says the Obama team found a White House in the technological dark ages when they arrived on Tuesday. 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 1994-2009 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 1/22/2009; 12:56:49 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

Click here to view blogs commenting on  RSS 2.0 feed.