Respecting Dave Winer, part II

Here’s an excellent example of the value of the Web’s long tail.

Ed Cone wrote this insightful piece on Dave Winer for Wired four years ago. An excerpt:

He’s a big guy in jeans and a yellow button-down shirt who looks something like Jerry Garcia crossed with a rabbi. Winer talks the way he writes: discursively, constantly, and with no shortage of opinion…

He can also be a grump. When I ask Winer to recap an anecdote from dinner the night before, he says crossly, “I told you that already,” a reprimand he will repeat several times in the days ahead. It’s a real-life version of his online persona: Dave Winer, the obnoxiously rational man. Still, his willingness to occasionally turn that criticism on himself, along with his genuine enthusiasm for ideas, gizmos, food, music, and friends, tempers his prickly nature and makes his company not just bearable but fun.

This is valuable insight for those who seek to understand what happened at Winer’s BlogNashville session Saturday. Some will argue that they don’t need any further understanding — that his actions were unjustifiable regardless of the motivation or source. I’ve found in life, however, that eccentricities are a part of the package with many creative people, and that to understand them better makes those eccentricities less threatening than they might seem otherwise.

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