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Who or what will be the BitTorrent of Realtime?

Sunday, October 25, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named fanning.jpgA market develops, a bunch of people get it started, then someone at a big company discovers it, changes its name (sometimes they don't even do that) and relaunches it as if it were something wholly new. The press, many of whom were aware of the earlier efforts, goes for it. "Everyone knows" that it only matters when a big company does it. However, if you look at history that's often not true, it's often the small guy who ends up defining the market, despite what the press thinks. Permalink to this paragraph

A classic case is P2P. Ten years ago there were all kinds of early efforts, some remarkably popular (thinking of Napster) and the industry launched a huge hype balloon. Conferences, white papers, press tours, alliances, books, VC, startups, etc etc. Billions of dollars thrown at it. What ends up taking the prize? BitTorrent! An open source project launched by a bunch of nerds, without much PR. I don't know if it was the best technology, but it certainly was good enough. It wasn't glitzy or even particularly easy to to use. It worked, and most important, you could get the music and movies and TV shows you wanted. Permalink to this paragraph

It's a good bet that in five years we'll look back and most of the companies staking out realtime today will be forgotten and something like BitTorrent will rule this space, gently of course. A picture named sidesmiley.gif Permalink to this paragraph

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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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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