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Journalists as ski instructors

Thursday, November 19, 2009 by Dave Winer.

One of the cool things about riding on a train is that you meet a lot of people. Permalink to this paragraph

There are Europeans who are visiting the US and have the train riding habit from home. Permalink to this paragraph

There are people who remember the golden age of trains and can tell you how this or that is a shadow of its former self. Permalink to this paragraph

And there are people who are afraid of plane travel and prefer trains to buses. Permalink to this paragraph

There are also people like me who had a cross-country train trip on their bucket list, and found that the fantasy was better than the reality. (Partially because this trip follows the route of I-80 and I-70, which for me is well-traveled, by car.) Permalink to this paragraph

When you're sitting with strangers in the dining car, conversation turns to What You Do, and part of my story is Rebooting The News. In explaining what was happening with the news system in the US, I came up with a new analogy this time, which I told in Rebooting The News #33, and thought I should repeat here.  Permalink to this paragraph

Journalism is like skiing in the 50s or 60s. Previously it had been a sport that very few people enjoyed, and they were all very good. But now the doors were opening to amateurs, as it did with skiing. The pros are going to have to share the slopes with people who don't take the sport as seriously as they do. They're still going to be able to ski, but the rest of us are not just going to admire them for how skilled they are, we're going to do it too. They can even earn a living as ski patrol and ski instructors. Or lift operators or more mundane jobs like people who work in hotels and drive the shuttle bus. There are still jobs in skiing after the arrival of the amateurs. But the exclusivity is gone.  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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Last update: 11/19/2009; 6:45:26 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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