I sent the following email today, after seeing this homepage on Scripting News...
To: Dave Winer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: You're Important
I think I understand how you feel. For years you persevered with RSS, fighting Microsoft alongside Netscape, and now that it is finally getting traction and being used widely, this Echo thing has come along. I honestly don't understand why RSS has to be fixed - it doesn't seem broken to me - but what must be especially frustrating for you is that the reason seems to be that people don't like working with you, not because of some technical reason. If RSS 2.0 needs extensions or the spec needs tightening up, fine, invent 2.1 and tighten up the spec. If the metaWebLog API needs additional features or the spec needs tightening up, fine, extend the API and tighten up the spec. But don't turn it into a personal attack.
I think you're really important. I sometimes joke about you - I've been known to say my WN is 1/2 - but I don't mean anything by it really; like a lot of people I have respect for you and respect for the things you've built. You have also kept the big picture - that it is important for small developers and users to unite on RSS otherwise some BigCo will have the opportunity to dictate.
Anyway, please hang in there. Hopefully this Echo thing will pass, but even if it doesn't it will owe all its concepts and underpinnings to RSS.