Dave Winer, Revolutionary

Dave Winer wants publishing platforms to stop locking writers into using the platforms’ own writing tools to compose content:1

I’d like to see someone like Substack or Medium, for example, who says “Write your stuff in your favorite writing tool, export it in Markdown, and give us the link. We’ll take it from there.”

That way you could:

  1. Use a tool that fits your writing style perfectly.
  2. Developers would be incentivized to create such tools.
  3. You could use more than one service, say use Substack to manage your mail list, and Medium to manage your web presence, and Facebook for discussion among your friends, Slack to discuss among your work colleagues. […]
  4. Great archival services could come about because they could be one of the services you cc on your writing.
  5. Service providers could make custom toolkits to make it easy for tools to adapt to this interface. […]
  6. Who knows what else will come about.

[…]

It’s amazing that we have this incredibly powerful network, but the business models of service providers protect their services by not allowing writers a choice in writing tools.

Everyone wants to make money and try to build an empire on the basis of their suddenly being an essential middle-man. Even if that entails complicating the task of providing access to (mostly text) files over a network, a process that the World Wide Web made a pretty decent start on resolving a couple of decades ago.


  1. Apologies to Dave Winer for the length of the quote from his original post, but I thought the points he was making about the implications of the basic concept he’s putting forward deserved to be spread far and wide.