What I wanted

I wonder if they recorded the talk I gave in Madison because I think it might make a good podcast.

A question came up — what did I hope to accomplish with blogging. I gave an answer that I would like to amend.

I said Democracy. That by giving people their own platforms to speak on that there would be more listening and better government. By implication, I was saying that it had failed. But that’s not all I hoped to accompish.

I wanted to disintermediate journalists. I had learned that the journalism system we had required intermediaries who I felt were not trustworthy. They created the stories based on their own filters, instead of finding out what was actually happening.

Of course this is an illusion. Because my view of what was actually happening was just as wrong as theirs.

What I really wanted, and knew it, was to arm creative people with tools to communicate with people who wanted to know what they think. I wanted to hear from the software developer what he wanted to accomplish with his software. I knew this was needed because I was having trouble communicating about my own software. I was reduced to the ideas that I could convince reporters to pass on. I learned lots of tricks, and as a result my products were successful. But I wanted to eliminate the trickery and talk directly to users.

And where I was a user, someone who read a book, or watched a movie, bought a car, went for a trip, needed medical care, I wanted to hear directly from people who knew what was going on.

However, I did not want to forgo what the journalists add. I want to emphasize that point. I just wanted to give them more sources and honestly, some competition from people who know what they’re talking about, to encourage them to be better at learning and really listening.

Anyway, that’s what I would like to have said when answering that question.


About Dave Winer

Dave 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.
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