If you don’t want to fight for the open web, at least don’t fight against it

Dave Winer ☮
Jun 5, 2016 · 2 min read

Back in 1994 when I started blogging, the conventional wisdom was there was no new Mac software. Everyone who said it knew it wasn’t true, but for some reason they said it anyway. It appeared in countless news stories, and seemed to be on its way to becoming self-fulfilling.

The problem was solved by creating blogging, then RSS, so we could create new reality-based conventional wisdom. It worked spectacularly well.

The tech industry didn’t like reality, their eventual response to RSS was to say it was dead. It has since survived a lot of attempts to kill it. Google concentrated it and then stuck the whole thing in a bag and dumped it into a river. But that wasn’t enough to kill it. The pulse is still beating.

But smart people still say RSS is dead.

Words have precise meanings. It’s imprecise to say something inanimate that was never alive is now dead. What data do you have? Is there any other possible interpretation? How anecdotal is it. If hundreds of thousands of people use something every day, what’s your justification for saying it’s dead? Any chance of finding a different less dramatic and more accurate way to say what you’re trying to convey?

Thing is unless you’re a monopolist, and there aren’t many of them, it isn’t in your interest to make open formats and protocols diminish. You get more choice and innovation if they thrive. You may impress some people with your bold thinking, but they are the wrong people to want to impress. If you don’t want to fight for the open web, at least don’t fight against it.

Thanks for listening.

Dave Winer ☮

Written by

Developed first blogging software, RSS and podcasting, outliners, web CMS. Media hacker. Boot strapper. Writer. Academic. Friendly. :-)

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