Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

Irony, Dave Winer, or Just Stupidity?

Is this irony or just complete stupidity?

I'm willing to listen, up to a point, but unless your site is hosted on, I don't understand why you're hogging the microphone right now.

The ironic part being, of course, that Dave took the microphone away from people whose site was hosted on The only people left are those without microphones (and a few of his friends).

There was an uproar when iTools morphed into .Mac, and it didn't involve anything nearly as serious as immediately shutting down all services without warning.

6 Responses to "Irony, Dave Winer, or Just Stupidity?"

  1. I'm curious; what would people have had him done? He was apparently in a no win siutation. He could announce it, but that would lead to a self-inflicted DOS attack (by his estimations). That would lead people to complain about something different. It never ceases to amaze me how demanding people can get with free stuff.

  2. I think that, as a millionaire who'd hosted a free site for a long time, he could have done two things:Provided notice.Provided some functionality so that people could forward their old domains to their new locations.I'm still not sure why he was moving Userland "customers" to his own servers anyway.

  3. I think that you missed the point. He felt that notice was not an option. If a system is running at 90%, you can't tell people to scrape the system.

    As for functionality for forwarding... you're a dev; that's a PM comment. Features take time and energy. They don't just happen. He didn't feel that he could spend that time or energy.

    He offered to give people all their content...

  4. I was involved in a similar situation that was out of my control a few years ago. I had a reseller account with a company called BounceWeb (which they gave me free as an incentive to stay after a big crash). The hosting package they used for it allowed me to create unlimited email addresses in any domain created in that account.

    When Apple converted .Mac to a pay service, I took advantage of the feature by creating and offering free accounts. As was typical of BounceWeb, they had another big crash of that server after which they switched from Ensim to different software that didn't allow unlimited email accounts. That meant I could no longer host and provide free email service.

    I gave the domain to the people at along with the user list and they're now hosting with all of the old accounts moved over.

  5. He could have given notice while the sites were still hosted on Userland.

    Or he could have done other things like only shutting down blogs that hadn't been updated in the past 30 days (i.e. dead blogs).

  6. Winer is conveniently vague on the details but apparently he knew would have to move six months ago. He left it as one of the last sites to move and when he moved it, it broke, so he just pulled the plug.

    Okay. I don't know the terms of the free hosting deal but I assume he is within his rights.

    But the whole affair is amateurish.

    Most of his excuses for giving no notice are only valid because it was the eleventh hour. Why didn't he know or find out how much traffic had and what kind of server resources were required? Why didn't he try a test migration months ago? And if he couldn't be bothered doing all the rights things to ensure a smooth migration why didn't he make the decision and announce then that would be closing?

    I think he screwed up and has trouble admitting mistakes so instead of being humble he's lashing out.