Dave Winer at Harvard
Wednesday, February 12th, 2003
I drove to Cambridge last night to attend a powpow convened by Dave Winer, the blogging innovator and evangelist who has been invited to agitate (or meditate?) at Harvard for a year.
Dave is as pugnacious in person as he is in pixels. He exhudes relish at his potential role as a blogging Socrates inside the crimson polis along the Charles River. Since blogging topples the walls that sustain entrenched geographic and geneological networks — and what is Harvard but a factory for networking elites? — I suggested that Dave may be a “jackhammer inside the Ivory Tower.” He responded that a good tower has room for a jackhammer.
Dave ran the meeting like a blog, bouncing around, cutting off wandering threads, even playfully browbeating one participant (“Bob”) who apparently regularly over-speaks around Dave. (“You only get to talk two times tonight Bob. Is this going to be one of them?”)
I learned more about RSS, and have to look more at the SMBmeta project, which involves creating a small-business-specific xml format.
Only two of the fifty-odd attendees were women. One of them, Donna Wentworth did a heroic job blogging the event. Dan Bricklin has posted a short account and photos of the event, including one I shot. His camera was incredible, making the room seem far brighter than it actually was. Dan says he gets 150 visitors a day to this page from Google for people looking for “home network 802.11b.” I suggested he sell blogads; in response, he joked “not unless I lose my job.”
Hylton Jolliffe quietly rounds up the different accounts of the event.