Okay, now Dave is starting to scare me

As I’ve said before, I think Dave Winer – one of the first bloggers, and the guy who created the specification for RSS or “really simple syndication” – has a couple of different personalities. There’s the nice Dave, who gives advice to new bloggers and sort of sees himself as the eminence grise of the Web, the one who also wants to be part of the whole blogosphere as it develops — but that can quickly turn into the other Dave, who gets all snippy when he doesn’t get invited to speak at conferences to pass on his wisdom.

“I felt so wronged, why do they lie about these things, don’t they know eventually they’ll get caught in the lies, or don’t they care. (BTW, that includes Scoble too, I asked why he didn’t give me a heads up, and the answer was unsatisfying.)”

This is an ongoing theme with Dave – and it’s tied into another one, which is that everyone steals things from him:

“Now I see things a bit more clearly, it looks like Esther wants us to think these are her ideas, and how inconvenient it would be to have the person whose ideas they really are, there, in the flesh, explaining how the stuff really works.”

Of course, this then leads us into the whole RSS thing, about which there has probably been enough written already, where Dave tries to stop anyone who is doing anything with RSS – all the while protesting that he doesn’t want to be the “Lord God of RSS.”

But now there are signs of a different side to Dave – a kind of scary side. Here’s what he said on Sunday:

“Why not wait until after the OPML Editor 1.0 release ships to try to hijack the format. After that I won’t fight with you. I probably won’t even fight very much now. The fight has pretty much gone out of me.”

I’m feeling the stress of all the fighting, and age… Why not let me go, quietly and peacefully, I’ll stop writing my blog, I’ll stop developing new stuff, you can be me if you want, I won’t be in your way.

Whoa, Dave. Take it easy, dude. Just because you didn’t get to speak at SXSW and Rogers Cadenhead tried to set up an advisory board on RSS, that’s no reason to start talking crazy. Update: Now Dave has taken things a step further and says he’s planning to stop blogging altogether.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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