Shockwaves as BlogoSphere creator Dave Winer abandons blogging
[Warning: social satire ahead--for entertainment purposes only! The only genuine quotes in this are from Tom Foremski, who also wrote this piece under his alter-ego A. Tom.]
This Monday, March 13, started off as a normal morning in the blogosphere--there were a lot of top bloggers convening at the South By South West conference in Austin, Texas and the mood was a happy one.
Yet within minutes word had started to spread that Dave Winer, the inventor of Internet 2.0 and its greatest product: the blogosphere--had announced he would leave the blogging community and blog no more. Bloggers were seen wandering around aimlesslly in a daze, while others were overloading an already fragile WiFi network and frantically IM'ing colleagues to find out more.
At the scene of his disappearance from the blogosphere, investigators found this note typed into the last remaining disk sectors on Mr Winer's server on his Scripting News blog:
"I've done it all, I invented everything of value, my work here is done. And now I want to go home and get a life. My fame has brought with it tremendous opportunities to occasionally share a hot tub with someone other than Robert Scoble or Doc Searls," he wrote.
[Please see the real words of Dave Winer here: Why I will stop blogging.]
The news of Mr Winer's disappearance from the digital ether brought a mixed reaction from other bloggers.
"I think it is a blatant attempt to boost his PageRank," said one blogger, who declined to be named. "It was no secret that his Alexa ranking was slipping, he lost an egoSurf contest with a relatively newbie blogger, so he wanted to go out at the top of his form--I can't blame him for that. He represents that old Geek guard and the blogosphere is going mainstream at a supernova rate and leaving them all behind. Nobody cares anymore about their esoteric religious debates over nuances in blogging."
Others were angry that Mr Winer, who had hyped and promoted blogging and the blogosphere for so many years, and had helped to convince tens of millions of people into becoming bloggers--no longer wanted to be a memebr of the community.
"I feel betrayed," said Mary Highground. "I got into blogging because I truly believed in what Dave was saying, and he was the first man I thought I could trust, that he would always be there. Now he just cashes out and walks away and I am stuck with feeding my blog several times a day--I have no life left at all. He's probably sipping pina coladas and partying with super models somewhere tropical."
In October 2005, Mr Winer sold his company, Weblogs.com, an innovative RSS ping service to VeriSign for several millions of dollars. [Please see SVW: Selling the BlogoSphere Part 2: Why are the Geek new media/blogging pioneers selling out to the big corporates?]
And in recent weeks, people close to Mr Winer said he began showing disturbing signs of restlessness and lack of interest in geek matters.
"He suddenly began attacking other blogs and services for no reason," said a long-time reader of Mr Winer. "He used to love tech.memeorandum and then suddenly he set off a wave of criticism against it."
Gabe Rivera, the media engineer genius that singlehandedly built tech.memeorandum said, "I'm still shocked by Dave Winer's attack, and then Scoble and the rest of his gang also attacked me. They were my most ardent supporters just a few weeks ago. And I just did a redesign and put rounded corners on everything, because that's what they said they wanted. And I hate rounded corners!" He then made this expression: :-(
Mr Winer said he would still continue with some blog posts but gradually withdraw completely by the end of this year. Even though he is still blogging, many in the blogosphere already speak of him in a past tense.
"He'll always be remembered for his original thinking and his oversized ego, and his taking the credit for nearly every new idea on the internet in the last 10 years. The funny thing is that he actually did invent all the things that he said he invented. We have lost a towering intellect," said Tom Foremski, editor of SiliconValleyWatcher.com.
"RSS and trackbacks were pure genius--these are some of the unique technologies that characterize this new Internet 2.0 phase were are in. I always said this is the Next Big Thing, that the media technologies behind blogging are the next big thing, and that is totally and completely due to Dave Winer." Mr Foremski said. "I'm dead serious," he added, seriously.
The general sentiment is that the blogosphere will go on, that it has too much momentum, it is too large to be affected by just one departure.
Charlene Li, lead Internet analyst at Forrester Research, said, "The silver lining in all of this is that companies will be much more productive. We calculated that a single Dave Winer post can be referenced by thousands of bloggers, and each of those bloggers has one thousand to several thousand daily readers. Eliminating all Winer posts could add as much as 1/2 percent to national GDP--we could rebuild New Orleans seven-times over."
(Keep tuned for live coverage of SVW's "Dave Winer takes his ball home" series.
And please send us your "citizen journalist" contributions to this event. Such as where were you when you heard the news? What this means to you :-)
Please see related:
-Update: Will Robert Scoble be next to abandon the BlogoSphere?
Experts warn of copycat behaviors.
-Update: Some mourn while others plot
Winer's abandoned eyeballs are a potential goldmine.