Living Public

Hasan M. Elahi
I just read this article about a guy who was harasser by the FBI for 6 months because someone reported him as having explosives in storage somewhere (which he didn’t). They wanted to know everything about him for the last 6 months. SO he started to make EVERYTHING publicly available:

When I first started talking about my project in 2003, people thought I was insane. Why would anyone tell everyone what he was doing at all times? Why would anyone want to share a photo of every place he visited? Now eight years later, more than 800 million people do the same thing I’ve been doing each time they update their status or post an image or poke someone on Facebook. (Just to put this in perspective, if Facebook was a country, it would have the third highest population, after China and India.) Insane?

What I’m doing is no longer just an art project; creating our own archives has become so commonplace that we’re all — or at least hundreds of millions of us — doing it all the time. Whether we know it or not.

Last weekend i also watched ‘We Live In Public’

about Josh Harris who was ahead of his time putting every room in his house online and living in public with his girlfriend. His life became Hell.

With Facebook becoming the internet for most people, this is happening more and more. The first artist thought it was a good idea the second not so good.

As Conan the Barbarian says: “I live, I love, I slay” whats to hide :)

Social Games

Just had a great idea for social software sites

I was chatting at work about how to encourage community interaction between people on a community site. I was thinking having some sort of recommendation system that would figure out who you might like and then notify you of there most recent actions. After chatting with Alex about it the idea of community games amongst people on the site came up.

I noticed that on Vibewire forum games always had the most posts, which were similar to those voluntary surveys that move around email like chain letter, the ones where you have to answer a series of unrelated personal questions. Some people love those things.

I think good interactive online games would make a big difference to a community site in terms of retention of attention. Its hard to talk about as there aren’t any ‘community metrics’ yet. Something I would like to do some work on at some stage.

Hi stranger

You have received a Friendster message from Olga. The message was sent on 07/15/05 08:16 AM.

Ogla on display
Hi stranger.
I have found your email in the Internet.
I want to find the man for serious relations and probably creations of family.
I want to know you more.
I’ll tell you a little about myself.
My name is Olga.
I’m 28 years old.
I live in Russia in city Yaransk.
I like to do in for sports.
I write, read and I talk in English not so bad.
I have never been married and I do not have children.
And unfortunately, I have not found my second half.
But I want to do it.
Probably we can become more than simply friends.
I wait for your letter and photo.
My email adress is olgamay@something.ru
If you will write me I’ll send you more photos and it will be a beginning of our correspondence.
With impatience I wait your reply.
Olga.

Blog to log

Online services that relate to managing RSS feeds from blogs (mainly). Some new ideas emerging but no killer yet.

Just sniffing around I can across:

  1. Reblog, filter and republish other peoples feeds on your own site. “Useful to individuals who want to maintain a weblog but prefer curating content to writing original posts”. This is a poor way of describing a Planet or Portal, but with more editorial control.
  2. TagCloud extracts keywords from a set of given RSS feeds and builds a ‘tag cloud’ (or a ‘keyword cloud’ technically).

Rise of the editor

Beyond the self publishing revolution to the rise of the editor: as more content comes online good editorial will be needed to sift though it. This role will become more and more important and sites like Slashdot might be knocked off the top of the ‘most read geek portal’ list.

I envisaged sites like Vibewire being a collection of blogs, ether hosted by them or where ever, that feed into the individual channels and the editors simply selecting from what is already published on these blogs. These channels in turn would feed into the main page.

Reblog gives anyone the power to be their own Slashdot or Vibewire.

Update: Looks like someone already has.

RSS needs Tags

TagCloud illustrates one of the main problems with RSS, and that is that it provides raw information without any means to contextualise it. With the recent rise of tags or Folksonomy (I that that word) feeds need to be extended to allow for keywords/tags to be provided with the feed. Then tools to map theses remote taxonomy’s to local ones would be needed but would provide a means to manage the large volumes of information effectively.

Update:
Seem someone is trying to put a name on this problem: Feed Overload Syndrome, and its solution ‘Meta-Feeds’ (I guess everyone is trying to be the first to name the next big fad). But lets break Mr Burnham down a bit:

Burnham reckons tagging is no good because it makes tag soap as every one has their own tags, which is OK and that’s what so called ‘folksonomy’ are about. Individually they are worth little but on mass these little bits add up to more than the expert made taxonomies which are worth a lot (if you know how to use them). The goal however is to map from whatever incoming taxonomy a local personal one which will ultimately have more meaning to the viewer (the advantage of folksonomys).

Burnhams solutions breaks down to what Reblog is doing:

…the posts are categorized and placed into a taxonomy using advanced statistical processes such as Bayesian analysis and natural language processing

So basically machine keyword scraping and the mythical ‘natural language processing’ (oh for a computer that can understand!). This is never going to be as valuable to the end user as human tagging and won’t map perfectly to an expert taxonomy. What we really want is some sort of collaborative filtering process that maps from one folksonomy/taxonomy to another based on trust networks that the end user subscribes to. As a result of this Peer to Peer Social Networking looks promising and more like a realistic solution, or even some sort of Google ranking based on community and author.

Burnham did get one thing right however, this mapping process will have to be external to the actual feeds, ether with a smart feedreader client that talks to a service/community to do the mapping.

Zine distribution website

Website idea: Zine distribution. Organise mailing zines to people.

Wouldn’t it be good to have a website that lists zines as they come out and give you some way of getting a copy if your not in their city? Maybe just a postal address to write to get a copy or the site could charge postage and organise and send it. You’d have to be a real zine nut to do that however. If it become popular you could charge a $1 per post. Maybe get the ‘work-for-the-dole’ people to do it for you? You could offer subscriptions to certain zines and post em automatically.

Like the equivalent of a small record company but for zines. Just a random thought…

Story of my life

Odd Todd (cureently unemployed)

Odd Todds Laid-Off series is seems to hit close to the mark with me. A little too close…

There has to be a name for this type of Flash animation. Amateur productions doing funny stuff outside the main stream. I guess some net guru will come up for a name for it. God bless em anyway. Power to the masses I say.

p.s. at an internet cafe and the guy next to me… well he stinks.