Home > Archive >  2009 >  November >  24

Natural-born blogger

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 by Dave Winer.

A picture named julia.jpgNot everyone was born to blog, but some people were.  Permalink to this paragraph

Pity the poor NBB who was born before there were blogs. You can imagine this person wandering the planet with some unspecified sense of purpose. Scratching his or her head, wondering what exactly it is they were supposed to do with their lives. Permalink to this paragraph

Of course that's a joke, because this instinct had many ways to be satisfied before there were blogs, but it wasn't as easy as it is for people today.  Permalink to this paragraph

I tripped across this in trying to puzzle out what was disturbing about the Julie & Julia biopic. Both main characters were clearly NBBs, and perhaps both deserved their own movies. Smooshing the stories together made for a confusing mess. I was more interested in Julia Child, the proto-proto-blogger, the blogger before there were bloggers, because her spirit is what NBBs everywhere do. Permalink to this paragraph

Americans should understand French cooking, says Julia. It's hard, she says, but you can do it. So, did she just wring her hands and wish for it? No, she took matters into her own hands (a phrase Jay thought was pivotal) and made it happen. That's the spirit we love! Permalink to this paragraph

It seems that the spirit of blogging and the spirit of America are wrapped up in each other somehow. Permalink to this paragraph

This came up in yesterday's Rebooting the News, which if I do say so myself, was one of our best. We get into the subjectives of what makes natural-born blogger. Here are some of the ideas. Permalink to this paragraph

1. An NBB doesn't wait for permission. Permalink to this paragraph

2. A NBB explains things, even when they don't understand. An NBB is often proved wrong, to which the NBB shrugs his or her shoulders and says something like Shit happens.  Permalink to this paragraph

3. NBBs go first. If there's an NBB around you don't have to wait for a volunteer. Permalink to this paragraph

4. NBBs err on the side of saying too much. If you find yourself wishing someone would just STFU you're very likely looking at an NBB. Permalink to this paragraph

NBBs annoy the hell out of you. And if they're good, they get you to think. There's the big value in having us around. We foster thinking. Permalink to this paragraph

When I say someone is a Natural Born Blogger, it's the highest praise I know. I am not annoyed by them, but I know that often people are annoyed by me. I don't plan to change.  Permalink to this paragraph

So who are some NBBs? My mother, for one. It's where I got my NBB gene. I never had to explain to her why she should blog, she just knew. The mechanics of blogging software weren't so natural to her, but she eventually figured it out. Permalink to this paragraph

Robert Scoble is a total NBB. He has an opinion about everything. I often want to strangle him, but then I realize sheez he has a point. Permalink to this paragraph

Dan Gillmor, Doc Searls, Jeff Jarvis and Howard Weaver are NBBs. Most good reporters are, but I suspect most of the true NBBs in journalism left about 10 years ago. I was schooled in how the web worked by the striking news writers in the Bay Area in 1994. We came across this in our podcast yesterday. Good reporters and good bloggers == same thing. Permalink to this paragraph

In American history, Thomas Jefferson and Ralph Waldo Emerson were bloggers. Who else? You tell me. Permalink to this paragraph

   Recent stories

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.


Dave Winer Mailto icon

© Copyright 1994-2009 Dave Winer Mailto icon.

Last update: 11/24/2009; 7:21:19 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS 2.0 feed.