Archive for July, 2007

Social Network Portability

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Tantek mentions he’s been sitting down with a few folks for “a vigorous brainstorming and discussion session on social network portability.” Some of the outcome can be found on the microformats (where else) wiki: Social Network Portability

For anyone interested in helping solve this important piece of the social networking puzzle, there’s SocialNetworkDevCamp coming up September 8/9 in Richmond, CA:

SocialNetworkDevCamp will focus on API and Widget development from Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, Linked In and others. The camp will also start the process of identifying open APIs and data structures which would facilitate the creation of open standards for social networking.

Inspired by the success of the iPhoneDevCamp, we would like to post a list of application ideas that we can actually implement at the event, or at least get the ball rolling. To that end, please review the list of ideas, post your own, sign up for a project, or if you are a non-coder, add use cases, design ideas, comments, etc. PLEASE do attend if you are not a coder, as we will need testers, usability ideas, design creativity, documentation, etc. All are needed!

Seems like things are still in the process of being organized, so Data Sharing Summit and SocialNetworkDevCamp may well be one and the same (at least the date, topic, and location seem to somewhat match).

Veteran startup advice

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Axel Schmiegelow shares some startup strategy advice today: Monetization or Reach?

Very familiar to what I think I would do if I ever were to launch a you know what.

BarCampBlock: Palo Alto, August 18-19

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

You know what to do…

Sunday hard rock V

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Ok, Sunday came early this weekend.

I’m enjoying a DVD of Revolutions in Music: Copland and the American Sound:

Keeping Score is the ground- breaking series by the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas. It’s designed to bring classical music to people of all ages and musical back- grounds.

This mini-series, Revolutions In Music, focuses on the meaning of music, with episodes devoted to Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Copland, highlighting what made their music so revolutionary, and why it is still so powerful today.

More about Aaron Copland and his Fanfare for the Common Man:

Fanfare for the Common Man is one of the most recognizable pieces of 20th Century American classical music. One of composer Aaron Copland’s most popular works, the fanfare is a short piece scored for brass and percussion written in 1942 at the request of the conductor Eugene Goossens.

I had a chance to hear the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas perform Mahler’s Seventh earlier this June (their live CD won two Grammy Awards last year). If you haven’t had a chance to see them in concert yet, take a look at their 2007-2008 season’s highlights. Some great music coming up.

My Akismet has caught 100,000 spam comments this year so far!

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

I installed Akismet on New Year’s Eve.

A short while ago, it hit the 100,000 mark. That’s 100,000 spam comments caught this year so far, or 500+ per day, or 20+ per hour.

Somehow, I find it mind-boggling that we still — remember? it’s 2007 already — haven’t really found a way to combat spam effectively.

What if you had to make a deposit first before you can leave a comment? A deposit of, say, a few bucks, e.g. via a third-party broker (could vary depending on the type of blog, the time passed since the original post, what information we have about the comment author etc.)? Then, if I deemed your comment spam, I would get the money (minus a small fee for the broker). Someone please build this?

n2eu — NetSquared Europe shaping up?

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Dan McQuillan, the web manager for Amnesty International, is working on the idea of launching NetSquared in Europe: UPDATE on Netsquared - the European Remix

About NetSquared:

Our mission is to spur responsible adoption of social web tools by social benefit organizations. There’s a whole new generation of online tools available — tools that make it easier than ever before to collaborate, share information and mobilize support. These tools include blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, podcasting, and more. Some people describe them as “Web 2.0″; we call them the social web, because their power comes from the relationships they enable.

They are the makers of the annual NetSquared Conference, which was great last year and which I was unfortunate to miss this year.
More information about the n2eu initiative can be found on their wiki.

Via NetSquared: Net2EU: Join the NetSquared Europe List Serv and Wiki

Checking in with four current examples of wiki-based dialogue and deliberation

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

I’m following a variety of projects in the area of online dialogue and deliberation. This past weekend, I took the time to look in a little more detail at four of the ones that follow a purely wiki-based approach to find out how they have been doing lately (screenshots on Flickr).

Please note that all four projects have slightly different objectives, covering such things as dialogue, deliberation, debate, discussion or argument mapping.

1. More Perfect

About More Perfect: “Imagine an entirely new approach to democracy where everyone is able to participate. Imagine a way to enable more direct public involvement and participation, creating a marketplace of ideas where the public can collaborate with each other on the matters that affect their daily lives. Fundamentally change the way policy makers and citizens approach the creation of laws today. That’s our vision.”

For the ten weeks between April 20 and June 29, 2007, a total of 43 edits occured according to the recent changes page. That’s an average of about 0.6 edits per day for this 71 day period.

2. Politicopia

I had mentioned Politicopia back in January. According to the wiki, Politicopia “gives people a solid handle on the Utah Legislature. Users create summaries of bills, pro and con arguments, comments, links, and more.”

There don’t seem to have occured any edits recently, though the wiki does not allow to examine this in more detail. As a proxy, I looked at number of revisions per page. The wiki currently lists a total of 116 pages. I count 1240 revisions, bringing the average to 10.7 revisions per page. The wiki has been live for roughly six months. Assuming a time period between December 25, 2006 and June 29, 2007 (184 days), the average is 6.7 revisions/edits per day.

To be fair, however, the wiki may have just been a first pilot to prepare for future projects. It was most active during the 45-day legislative session which ended in mid-February. Based on this shorter period (45 days), the average is about 27.6 revisions/edits per day.

3. Debatepedia

About Debatepedia: “Debatepedia is the free wiki encyclopedia of A-to-Z debates and pro and con arguments. It is the home and future of sound reasoning. Debatepedia is a project of the International Debate Education Association’s (IDEA) and Debatemedia, Inc. Debatepedia enables anyone (you included) to click “edit” and engage in a collective endeavor of documenting and structuring unique pro and con arguments on any topic, even topics that you initiate. Debatepedia is quickly becoming an indispensable resource for debaters, students, citizens, and even politicians to uncover salient arguments in important public debates and develop rational positions and perspectives. At its highest level, Debatepedia will help improve the quality of decision-making itself.”

Between March 23 and June 29, 2007, a total of 106 individual edits occured on the wiki. That is an average of about 1.1 edits per day during this 99 day period.

4. Campaigns Wikia

Back in January, I had already noticed a slow-down in activity at Campaigns Wikia. According to their mission statement, “it’s time for politics to become more intelligent, and for democracy to really involve the people. Broadcast media tells you what to think and doesn’t let you get involved. It’s time to focus on what you need, what you care about, and the messages you want to get out.” And: “This website, Campaigns Wikia, has the goal of bringing together people from diverse political perspectives who may not share much else, but who share the idea that they would rather see democratic politics be about engaging with the serious ideas of intelligent opponents, about activating and motivating ordinary people to get involved and really care about politics beyond the television soundbites.”

Between May 12 and June 29, 2007, a total of 447 individual edits occured. That’s an average of about 9.1 edits per day during this 49 day period.

I’m leaving the conclusions and evaluations for a later post, but the obvious question here is why neither of the four projects seems to be able to gain any significant traction.