We need more people like Aaron Swartz

Here is my latest column on VentureBeat: We need more people like Aaron Swartz.

I spent much of the past few days thinking about Aaron Swartz and what a loss we suffered when he took his own life last week.

His passing breaks my heart. I didn’t know him, though he was in my circle: I know many people who knew him well. But he made my life better, and every day I use technologies that he contributed to. Whether that was working on an early version of the RSS spec, laying out the Python framework for web applications known as web.py (used by many sites now, including Reddit), or working with Larry Lessig on the launch of Creative Commons, he had a knack for finding useful projects where his considerable talents could make a real difference to millions of people. I use the fruits of those projects constantly.

That, in a nutshell, is the focus of what I look for and try to write about: technologies that have the potential to make a difference to millions.

Unfortunately, most of what tech journalists wind up writing about instead are technologies that have the potential to make millions (but only for a few people).

Read the rest of the story: We need more people like Aaron Swartz.