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                          Archive for Sept 2009


                          New Media Platforms, Building Audience, and the Purpose-Centric Web

                          Last week Seth Godin posted a piece on his blog called The platform vs. the eyeballs. The idea is that in "old media" the medium has control of the customer and "rented" them out to people who wanted to influence them. This is the premise of anyone getting paid for advertising. If you have control of a flow of users, you can charge other people for access to that flow. In essense you're renting out the flow. Seth argues that in "new media" you're not renting an audience, you're building one. Seth calls the thing you use to build
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                          The Futility of Positively Identifying Commenters

                          Image by El Tipo Gráfico via Flickr A recent NY Times article discusses the Chinese order for Web sites to register and post comments using their true identities. Of course, in a totalitarian regime (are we calling China that these days?) identity is a tool that the state uses to control dissent and it's clear that's what's behind this. This article caught my attention because of the attention that SideWiki has been getting this week. John Gillmore said "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." SideWiki is an example of how what China's attempting is ultimately
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                          Usability Study at HP

                          Image by w?odi via Flickr A friend of mine, Esther Sumner, is running a usability lab at HP in American Fork, Utah the end of this week or beginning of next. She's looking for participants who are business owners who will come and review their product for 1 hour. In exchange you'll get a $50 American Express gift card. No technical skills required. If you're interested but not a business owner, you may still qualify for a $25 American Express gift card to participate in a lab. if you work closely with a business owner (e.g., admin, someone planning
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                          You're Invited to Kynetx Impact

                          I've recently been writing about my thoughts on building a purpose-centric web and how SideWiki illuminates the client-centric focus of a purpose-based Web. If you've read through these (yeah, they're long) then you'll know that Kynetx is in the business of helping developers build purpose-centric applications that run in the browser. If that interests you at all, I'd like to invite you to sign up for Kynetx Impact, our conference for bringing together anyone interested in the idea of a purpose-centric Web and building applications for it. Doc Searls will be giving the keynote and I'll be speaking about
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                          Claiming My Right to a Purpose-Centric Web: SideWiki

                          Image via CrunchBase Yesterday Google released a small project called SideWiki. SideWiki, enabled by the Google Toolbar, allows people to write commentary about Web pages and see the comments that other have left. The service is opt-in: people can install the toolbar or not and even when it's there, turn SideWiki off if they don't want to see it. But it's not opt-in for a site--you can comment on any page without the permission of the owner. The reaction has been interesting. I've seen tweets from people about how they thought it was wrong for people to be able
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                          The Forgotten Edge: Building a Purpose-Centric Web

                          Abstract Since it's inception, the primary metaphor of the Web has been one of location. By framing the Web as a collection of places, we have necessarily caused Web development to focus on servers. But people don't get online to go to a server. They get online to get something done--achieve a purpose. This talk argues that focusing on purpose allows us to build Web applications that more closely align with what people want from the Web. Focusing on purpose will require a move to more intelligent client-side applications. Technological development in the area of Internet identity over the
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                          Utah Open Source Conference and the CTO Breakfast

                          The Utah Open Source conference is a gathering of over 400 open source supporters from Utah and surrounding states. It's happening on October 8-10th at the Miller Campus of the Salt Lake Community College. This is a great event. This year's keynotes include: Daren Brabham of the University of Utah will speak on Crowdsourcing on Thursday, October 8 Stormy Peters of the GNOME Foundation will discuss 'Would you do it again for free?' on Friday, October 9 Dave McAllister of Adobe explains 'Big Company, Open Choice: Why Adobe is becoming Open' on Saturday, October 10 In addition, there will
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                          Space-Time-Travel Data Changing the World Now

                          Jeff Jonas, who is one of the world's premiere data analysis experts writes: Mobile devices in America are generating something like 600 billion geo-spatially tagged transactions per day. Every call, text message, email and data transfer handled by your mobile device creates a transaction with your space-time coordinate (to roughly 60 meters accuracy if there are three cell towers in range), whether you have GPS or not. Got a Blackberry? Every few minutes, it sends a heartbeat, creating a transaction whether you are using the phone or not. If the device is GPS-enabled and you're using a location-based service
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                          Conditional Expressions and Explicit Logging

                          This afternoon I released build 329 of Kynetx Network Services (KNS). This build includes two new features for the Kynetx Rule Language (KRL): explicit logging and conditional expressions. Explicit logging allows developers to place information in the ruleset log when a ruleset runs. For example, the following example would place a string with the value of a variable named query in the log if the rule fired: fired { log "query:"+query } Explicit logging is useful for recording information about the rule environment in the logs for later analysis. Conditional expressions allow expressions to take on different values depending
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                          On Health Care

                          Steve Gillmor invited me on the new Gillmor Gang at Building 43 yesterday. The topic was health care. I enjoyed the discussion which even included live music. I've avoided posting anything here about my thoughts on the health care debate, but since I've said them on the Gillmor Gang, I thought I'd better get them out in writing too. First things first: We're long past the point where keeping the current sytem is an option. It's unsustainable and broken. We need to reform the health care system. The current employer supported model doesn't work for small
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                          A Virtual Printer for OS X

                          Image by Aeternitas. via Flickr A few weeks ago I discovered the CUPS-PDF package for OS X. This package installs a virtual printer in OS X that prints PDF files to a directory. Why do this when you can "Save as PDF"? Because hitting one button is easier that hitting severa and selecting a directory. For 90% of the PDF printing I do, it's exactly what I need and for the other 10% it's no more work than the standard way. When I discovered it, I tweeted something about it. Then I upgraded to Snow Leopard and it stopped
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                          What Would Google Do: The Slideshow

                          Here's a slideshow that does a nice job of summarizing Jeff Jarvis' book What Would Google Do? The book is worth reading, but this presentation hits the high points.
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                          Persistent Variables in KRL: Threading Sites Together

                          Yesterday I released build 325 of Kynetx Network Services (KNS) which includes a significant addition to the feature set of Kynetx Rule Language (KRL): persistent variables. Persistent variables allow KRL rulesets to store and react to data over multiple visits. This data isn't personally identifying information, but rather the kind of information that makes writing intelligent Web applications easier. Here's an example: an information box placed on a Web site can now have a "don't show this to me again" check box and act accordingly. Persistent variables, or just persistents, will ultimately come in two flavors: Entity variables store
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                          IIW IX Is Coming Up! Register and Spread the Word

                          The Ninth Semianual Internet Identity Workshop (IIW IX) is coming up in about 9 weeks: November 3-5 (Tuesday to Thursday) in Mountain View California at the Computer History Museum. It's time to register and to help us spread the word about the event. We are excited about all the developments in the industry with protocol evolution in the social web space AND larger and larger scale deployments of open identity technologies including OpenID and Information Cards. There will be much to talk about at this fall's event. We have low rates for early bird registration until September 16 then
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                          Shift Index, Intense Competition, and Continual Innovation

                          Image by Joi via Flickr This morning, I was listening to John Hagel talk to Moira Gunn on IT Conversations. The topic was a recent report he, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison wrote called the Shift Index (PDF). They spoke about how the Internet and computers are different kinds of technological change than, say, TV. TV wasn't a tool anyone could use. Computers are--and people do. Blogs, twitter, and social networks are examples of that. The result is constant change leading to intense competition. Moira talked about how one of her grad students has a little Web business
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