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Dave Winer is Still a Dick

I'm sure Mr. Winer had very good reasons for dumping the 3,000 weblogs he hosted, but to do it so abruptly, without any warning and to tell the owners he'll give them their data when he's good and ready is just more proof that Dave Winer is the only real person that exists in his world. Everyone else is just filler. There really had to be a better way of handling this than just having a whole load of bloggers going to check their blogs this morning and finding the doors shut with no prior notice. I really understand the not being able to afford it thing. My problem with this incident has nothing to do with Dave pulling the plug on years of free hosting. What I take issue with is Winer's total disregard for the bloggers he shut out. For a man who claimed for years to be the best friend of the user, this sure is an asshole move. I suppose I shouldn't be suprised, though. If you're checking any favorite blogs today that were hosted on weblogs.com, this is what you'll get. Dick. See more here. Update: My detractors should note that this is not my first claim that Winer is an ass, so no, I didn't just jump on the Bash Winer train. I've been driving that train forever.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Dave Winer is Still a Dick:

» Whither Winer's Weblogs from Outside the Beltway
Dave Winer suddenly and abruptly shut down all blogs hosted on weblogs.com. I agree with Michele Catalano that, while he had every right to stop giving away free hosting, it would have been decent of him to give notice ahead of time to allow people to ... [Read More]

» On Winer from This Blog Is Full Of Crap
(Via Michele) Aparently, Dave Winer of weblogs.com just shed 3,000 blogs worth of ballast without warning. Some folks are pissed, and others are thankful for the time and resources he gave in hosting them. Some thoughts: You get what you... [Read More]

» Winer's side of the story from Tao of Dowingba
Much stir has been made in the blogosphere lately about Dave Winer's dropping of 3,000 weblogs he hosted, for free. Now, Winer often creates controversy -- and usually it is because he's an asshole -- but this time that simply is not the case. I'v... [Read More]

» Winergate from Wizbang
As blogging reaches critical mass, in terms of media exposure, one man quietly fumed that people had stopped kissing his ass. That man is Dave Winer. Since the late 1990's he has given the blogging community several valuable contributions, yet... [Read More]

» Weblogs.com R.I.P. from The American Mind
This is pure inside baseball. Nevertheless, it is interesting. Dave Winer weblogging pioneer shut down all the free weblogs at... [Read More]

» Dumped: 3,000 blogs from Right Side of the Rainbow
The guy provided a free service, so he had every right to pull the plug. But to do it without any notice? Geez.... [Read More]

» Winer vs. Communication from Business Logs
Breaking News: Dave Winer, inventor of the syndication format known as RSS and former-proprietor of Userland software, shut down close to 3000 weblogs this week after releasing a statement noting that the financial burden of hosting these free web... [Read More]

» Thanks, TextDrive; Thanks, Hosting Matters! from Rodent Regatta
I've got two web hosts. I like them both. TextDrive is new and I have less experience doing things there.... [Read More]

» Random radicalism from Simon World
The cynical charity readership drive continues apace. At the moment we're staring down the barrel of a single figure donation despite the best efforts of several people. Obviously you haven't been randomly stopping people in the street/internet cafe/mo... [Read More]

» his is Only a Test... from Sekimori.org - Live Blog
This is a test of the weblogs.com ping function. This is only a test. . .. ... This has been a test of the weblogs.com ping function. If this had been a real ping, Dave Winer would not be the... [Read More]

» Um... from Spot On
....any idea of where Candied Ginger has gone to? Was it part of the weblogs.com massacre?... [Read More]

» Feedback's A Bitch from American Digest
.... or, as one of my emails said this morning, "Now, THIS is a good use of technology..." After Dave Winer killed off 3,000 blogs by taking them down and redirecting their urls to his own stumbling experiment in audioblogging... a NINE MINUTE JESUS WE... [Read More]

» Enemablog from Simon World
It is time again to look at the week that was around the blog-o-planet. My desperate bid for traffic finally hit pay-dirt this week. Firstly a link from Michele, then from Sgt. Hook of Operation Shoe Fly has seen the Sitemeter spinning off the charts. ... [Read More]

» Linkology 101 For The Week of 14 June '04 from Cranial Cavity
"Class.... class please take your seats and ready your browsers for this weeks lesson. We will be covering many subjects this week so accurate crib notes will be essential in achieving a passing grade in "Linkology 101." "Shall we begin:... [Read More]

» Honey? Does this "News" make my Blog look fat? from Who Tends the Fires
The Word for the Day is: "Misfeasance" Kewl. We've discovered who the CuriousLabs of Blogdom is... Winergate is reverbating throughout Blogistan. Michele says Dave Winer is Still a Dick. "Ohhh I'm glad I'm not a welog dot com weiner That... [Read More]


What an ass! Yes, it's free and he can do what he wants, but you take on a responsibility to people when you offer something like that and have them all ensconced. I host two people on my site and when I moved and reorganized my shit, I made sure they had notice and were taken care of. Yes, 2 is easier than 3000, but the obligation is the same.

Any idea what happened to Cold Fury and Sasha Castel? They weren't on Winer hosted sites were they? I thought that Mike hosted them himself...

The sites were killing other services he needs on his server. He's offering to export the site data by hand and forward old weblogs.com URLs to new ones. How is he showing disregard by shutting down the sites for two weeks while this transition takes place?

Who is Dave Winer?

Don't know Winer but he sounds and acts like a completely self absorbed dickweed who needs to get plucked.

When you take on the responsibility of providing a service for someone (even if it's free), you also have the responsibility to keep them involved in change.

Clearly Dave missed that. This is very similar to what happened to me with Blog-City's "upgrade" in March. They told everybody it would take a day - it ended up taking a week with little or no communication even to the paying customers.

Rogers: You've quickly gotten a reputation for being an open-minded guy, so please think about it. This was a very sudden change -- no notice at all, unless you count a couple of grumblings in DW's blog over the last couple of weeks.

And from what I'm hearing, it's not (at least, not at the moment) a matter of shutting down for a couple of weeks. It's a matter of closing off recognized addresses with no forwarding. It's been an accepted principle of web usability FOREVER that when a site or page is moved, you redirect the user to the new resource. That's a USABILITY concern -- it should be important to someone who "fights for the users".

This sounds like a situation where the 48-hour rule should be observed. Wait 2 days to draw conclusions.

This is the same Dave Winer who castigated the Six Apart folks recently for not communicating with users enough.


I'm surprised anybody who had spent any amount of time reading Winer would be confused at all.
I guess people really don't pay attention.
Couple of good, easily found examples via Brian Carnell...


I appreciate the compliment, e scoles, but I've also talked to Dave personally about this subject and I think a lot of critics have run through the guardrails and are flying Toonces-like into the ravine.

He's planning to forward URLs. He wants to accomodate everyone who asks for their site data. People are helping them find a new home.

There could have been more notice, but does that mean dozens of uninvolved parties should say that he "sounds and acts like a completely self absorbed dickweed who needs to get plucked"?

Why did this mook get in the business if he didn't intend to BE in the business?

"does that mean dozens of uninvolved parties should say that he "sounds and acts like a completely self absorbed dickweed who needs to get plucked"?"


They're saying that based on his history of being a complete prick, not on this incident alone. Although this incident alone qualifies as a self-absorbed dickweed in my book.

"The Cluetrain says we should be more open and communicate. I've bought into that."

Guess who said that? Dave Winer.

I guess he's also heard the one "it's always easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission."

Rogers - love the Toonces reference.

However, it should be noted that I've been on the Dave Winer is a Dick train for a long time. He kind of makes a habit of it.

Rodgers Cadenhead:

Having no horse in this race, but having watched Winer over a number of years, this is sadly, par for the course.

He might do all that you say. I'd hope that he would. But I'm seeing not enough of a scandal over this IMO. Ripping down hundreds of web logs with no warning, no explanation, and deleting comments on it? That fits in perfectly with the persona Winer has shown for years.

It was incredibly rude to do that, even more so without warning, even MORE so to be deleting complaints as he is apparently doing. Some reports have already pointed out people are "scared" of saying anything. Scared? Why could that be? Unless they thought Winer might do something unreasonable? Seems to be a spreading viewpoint (and I'd agree with them, that's what I'd expect, personally). Toonces like? Maybe it's Winer who went over the cliff. Again.

Addison: just to clarify, it was without warning, but there WAS an explanation. A reasonable one at that. He's still a dick for doing it without warning.

Rogers, there's nothing on the site or in the comments about redirection. You wrote "He's planning to forward URLs." Huh. Everyone is being asked to post comments instead of, for instance, having a private form in which they could simply enter their URL and a forwarding URL. The forwarding could happen right now, in fact, and people could restore their sites via Google.

And for locking up other people's data for the next two weeks without having given warning. If I'd been one of those, I'd be hopping mad.

I have been giving this some thought for a while. Reason? I have a second, lightly read, second blog (Full Throttle) that is hosted free by MBlog.com. I have been with them for about six months with no problems so far. BUT this story makes me wonder, and has prompted me to do a backup of the site everyday if the same thing happens down the road.

I wonder whether Dave gave any thought to the notion that all of those bloggers have copyrights to their content, which his decision has interfered with since he has taken exclusive possession of their property - without their consent - at least until such time as he does turn over their archives to them.

Bad move. Big liability.

Kate: That's irrelevant. Copyright is all well and good but certainly doesn't extend as far as requiring someone to host your work. It's not like he's publishing it, just the opposite in fact.

Rogers: "He's planning to forward URLs."

I see nothing in his words to indicate this. Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

Michele: His reason for doing this makes perfect sense. However, one would think that a pioneer in the field would have had some sort of inkling that his bootstrapped server couldn't handle the load. Maybe this is something he should have considered before agreeing to take the sites from Userland?

For those seeking solutions, Jeneane has begun listing hosts willing to help out.

This is when I should offer the refugees subdomains on isfullofcrap.com. After all, the best way to follow having your weblog yanked out from under you is to let the whole world know you're full of crap.

Although I've long felt that he's rather heartless and cruel when it comes to politics, I will speak up a bit in the man's defense.

When you offer to do something for free, I don't know that you're indebted to someone forever. That kind of gets it backwards. You do something free, they owe you the favor, not the other way around.

I'm also sure there's much legal liability here; Kate's a lawyer, but she must know that unless you can show damages it's pretty hard to get much in court on something like this. Winer didn't host commercial blogs

I will say I wouldn't have done this. I'd have let people know. I suppose I can see where he's coming from in the sense that he probably worried that if he announced it it would be a lot more work.

So I guess I'm torn. How much obligation did he have? Not sure.

I wouldn't have done this though.

We've disagreed before, but I'm a 100% with you on Winer. Let's not forget the whole handing out invitations for people to speak at Blogger Con. When he was really trying to get people to buy a $500.00 ticket to the event. The man has the soul of a telemarketer.

My blog is still working, no problems at all!

From Rogers:
There could have been more notice

Uh, exsqueeze me, but that is the whole point, no? DW totally has the right to shut the thing down for any reason he chooses. Bloody 'ell, it's his server and he can serve who he wants to (or not). He's also to be commended for offering the service for free for as long as he did. Doesn't matter a whit even if there were ulterior motives as some have claimed. It was still a cool thing to do.

Anybody arguing against these points definitely has serious issues they should lie down and discuss with a professional (and enuff with the last name jokes, awready. what are we -- 8?)

However, to summarily cut folks off their blog crack-pipe like that, w/o a whisper of warning, is just plain mean-spirited. Where there's a will, there's a way. And Dave didn't seem to have much will at all. That may be due to some combo of mental and physical problems but the blogosphere has every right to be roiled just the same.

Will he find strength enough to swallow pride and apologize for this grievous error in judgement? Seems many here would sooner expect pig flight.

blog crack-pipe

I gotta admit. That's a good line.

Is there any reason why I should ever trust or rely on DW to provide any service in the future?

Is DW still an owner of Userland? (I understand that he is not employed by Userland, but he could still own stock in the company.) If he is an owner, why couldn't he ask them to pick up weblogs.com even for a temporary amount of time?

Does DW still hold the copyright to the RSS specification? Who controls the RSS advisory board? Who really controls RSS?

Given his public comments and actions, why should I listen to what DW has to say?

In this day and age, nothing is free. And for those who chose to use a free blogging community, it's your fault. Period. You should always backed up your work. Hell, I do several times a week just in case.

David should have forewarned his user base well ahead of time, instead of screwing them last minute. I certaintly would be very pissed off having being shut off from my own personal data and even have questions of where that data would exist, if I couldn't get a hold of it. For that is MY personal information and data, not David's.

I find it interesting that in the blogging community where one is trying to make a name for oneself, that all it takes is one incident like this to soil and ruin it for everyone. Hard earned respect and recognition through URIs and bookmarked links are now lost.

There is never anything as a free lunch.


Sullivan, FWIW, that "crack-pipe" bit was me. I've decided to take a long hard pull off the same pipe myself. Just this morning I was inspired to start my own blog, mememomi. We'll see how long my interest lasts ;-)

Kerry, from Twain:
"A lie can get around the world before the truth has time to put on his shoes."
"One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."

Not to say anyone's spreading lies now, but you get my drift. Reputations, like a house of cards, are much harder to build than to destroy. DW's got to know that by now.

I suspect Dave gets a secret thrill out of putting himself in harm's way and somehow wiggling out of it.

I'll always admire Dave for coming up with UserLand in the 1980s and bringing scripting to the Macintosh. He was brilliant in his youth. Lately? Lately is a different story.

Too many people want everything for free, and take themselves a bit seriously in the process...

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