I’m over at BlogOn today. There’s not much need to upload notes. Heath Row already has transcripts up:
Weinberger picked up the post about Technorati providing blog information during the Democratic National Convention. The story has been picked up and spread all over the place by the blogging “in crowd”, but I figured I would spread it here also cause it seems like I have more of a mix of social software and mobile readers than hard core bloggers. I’ve posted about Technorati before, but basically it’s a service that allows you to figure out who’s blog is linking to what. There are a few technical reasons behind why their link searching works mostly to find what blogs are linking to, and not web pages in general. But take it on faith that most of the information they have comes from people writing blogs entries with links in them.
infogargoyle has a post about mapmaking, in particular the use of RDF to collaboratively define space. I’m surprized that a strong open source community hasn’t already started to form around mapping for mobile devices. Maybe it has and I just don’t know about it yet? I see projects like OpenGIS and GeoURL (unfortunately down right now, but that’s not my real point) and I see what seems to be a great set of building blocks. If we could get the basic map down, and from what I heard there were some people lobbying hard to get better map data for the US put in the public domain, a service like GeoURL that gives you local points is a great start. If those points could be filtered by trust of the source, or even beter FOAF type analysis out to some sane degree of connectedness, I think we would have a great app right off the bat. And of course, once you have a good starting point, that’s when people actually get interested and start filling in their own points of interest.
TheFeature has an article, Now That Bluetooth Is Alive, It’s Dead Again, which is a nice even bit of commentary about Bluetooth. I am actually pretty surprised that Bluetooth sales have picked up the way that they have. I’m a pretty heavy Bluetooth fan I guess. Maybe fan isn’t the right word. I’ve worked on some Bluetooth software for Linux, bashed my head against the various problems till I got things working. And there are problems. Even with my relatively recent devices, there were things I had to do to get them working together that it’s just pure folly to expect an end user to be able to do. I get dizzy when I think about how long ago I first started talking about Bluetooth. Something goes wrong when I’m fooling with Bluetooth and I think to myself “hell, it’s still new, it’s gonna have glitches.” But no, it’s not. I don’t remember when the first version of the spec was published, but it must have been before 2000 cause I know I was still in New York. If it’s four years later and there are still major incompatibility problems, something has gone wrong.
At the AlwaysOn conference Tom Byers mentioned the Stanford Technology Ventures Program Educators Corner. The web site has a number of video clips from famous or interesting people in business, talking about the kinds of things they normally talk about at conferences. But you can download them any time and check them out. Nice resource.
There’s a web cast from AlwaysOn today and tomorrow. There’s also an event wiki at SocialText. And a few of us have jointed #alwayson on irc.freenode.net instead of using the live chat they have setup.
Mohamed Salem mailed me to say that his article An introduction to open-source hardware development was published in EEDesign. Congratulations Mohamed and Jamil!! He mailed me a copy while he was still working on it, and I’ve been anxiously awaiting the publication so that I pontificate on the subject without trying to lay down some technical details I don’t know (not that it usually stops me). I have no practical hardware design experience at all. I normally get the stuff after someone else has put it together and now they want it to do something.
We just finished up the pre-forum forum meeting of the Bay Area Mobility Forum (BAMF). I hung around to drink more cause, well, I have a GPRS connection and it’s nice out :-) The meeting was actually really good. What we’ve decided to do is have a few relatively low-key events. One a month, for three or four months. Each time we’ll have a main topic, but have an “open mic” time when anyone who attends can harangue the audience about pretty much whatever they want (time limit in effect of course). The hope is that over the course of a couple of months we’ll manage to build up a bit of an audience, “build up critical mass” so to speak. And at that point we’ll plan for an event which has a format more like a standard conference. Multiple sessions on a number of topics. It was universally felt that we would like to bring together people from all the different part of the equation (technical, business, developers, manufacturers, standards organizations, carriers, end-users, etc) and provide a way for them to interact. But first we need to build up a group, which is best done in a more intimate setting than a conference normally affords. All in all, a very hopeful meeting. My sincere thanks to Ted, Erik, Spencer, and Russ for coming out to set down an outline for what I hope will grow to be a great community.
I’ve been thinking a bunch about what makes people contribute to shared online systems. I mean both public systems like wikis or shared blogs, and private systems like a corporate mailing list or intranet site. CommunityWiki has lots of great information about this topic in general. There are a bunch of issues with long standing projects that seem to be pretty difficult to tackle. How do new members get acquainted and start contributing without demanding too much of their time for startup? With some open online projects, you actually want this “barrier to entry” for new members. You want them to self select by requiring that they dedicate some time to at least understand the norms and conventions. If they don’t understand the norms they are easier to ignore. So this is one of the potential filters, keeping out people who aren’t genuinely interested in the topic by way of making them easy to spot and ignore.
I just installed Gentoo on my girlfriends old laptop, and I’ve started using Thunderbird as my mail client. I do miss some of the features of Nautilus, like correct as you go spellcheck (not sure what the name for the feature is, where there’s a colored underline under misspelled words as you type). But there is also some coolness that I didn’t expect. For instance, Enigmail, a plugin that adds easy encrypt/decrypt/sign/verify using GPG. I’ve only just started playing with it, but so far I’m very impressed.
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