Tag Archives: ideas

Your list and my list

I recently discovered Listgeeks via a friend who may want to stay anonymous. I have been looking for something which did what Top10 did. However the guys behind top10 made the decision that a generic top10 site was maybe not ideal for growing a business on. So instead they focused on hotels.

This left my idea of using top10′s for floating emerging tech and designs in the grass.

I found something fascinating happened when I printed out my top10 and stuck it on the wall near me. Conversations would start and develop around the list. After top10 moved towards hotels, I tried to recreate it with a spreadsheet. What a colleague added to her top10 was fascinating again. We spent about 20mins talking about the top10s and questioning what each item was.

This shared knowledge was great and my thoughts is if we can scale it up within a small group of smart people. It can be a great tool for surfacing new ideas and trends.

I do wish there was the ability to track historic changes, so you can see things rise and fall, imagine if you could see it over a few years. On top of that I don’t understand why no one has implemented either OPML or even XOXO? You could have a nice simple exporter and importer?

The end of Schemer?

I really liked Schemer when I first heard about it. I remember calling it inspirational networking.

Well my friend Matt today pointed out it might be closing sooner than I imagined. Adam Coder points out what to be fair I’m also thinking after reading this Engadget leak.

We can’t blame you if you haven’t heard of Google’s Schemer; the goal sharing service launched at the end of 2011, but it hasn’t received much publicity (or traffic) since. Accordingly, the crew in Mountain View may be close to shutting Schemer down. Google Operating System has leaked an internal version of Schemer’s website that includes an unfinished closure page inviting users to export their data. It’s not clear how serious Google is about closing Schemer, however. The internal site may reflect real plans, or it could be a just-in-case placeholder; we’ve reached out to the company for a definitive answer. We won’t be surprised if Schemer gets the axe, though, when Google has shut down more beloved services in the past.

Looks like its the end of the line for Schemer and its a real shame because I’ve introduced it to quite a few people who quite like it. Even I have been using on and off quite a bit.

So seeing how Google are hell bent on getting rid of anything which doesn’t seem to fit Google+, has no moonshot inspiration or make them money right now.. What would I suggest happens to Schemer?

I’d love to see the BBC takeover from Google. Hear me out, its not as nutty as it first seems.

The improvement and inspiration in peoples lives is something at the heart of the BBC, ok we’re mainly talking about Great Britain but maybe its time we looked further a field. Lots of the goals on Schemer match or fit in with a BBC programme (TV/Radio/Web). For example my goal to head to TokyoThere’s 36 BBC Learning resources about Tokyo. 3 about the religion. 188 verified and checked websites. With some crowdsourcing (hate that word too) a combination of what the BBC recommends and what the people actually use, you can easily see fantastic guides for everything from reading more on the tram to going to Tokyo.

Maybe I need to write this up in more detail but thats for another day.

Interestingly with all this talk about closing down Schemer, I’m thinking what happened to the whole decentralised networking thing? Is there a way to take the best parts of Schemer but bake it into the web? Heck it could be a WordPress plugin or a RDF/a or Microformats/Data?

I have been writing my new years resolutions in the public on my blog for quite some time. I was surprised to found out its been since 2008 I have been doing so. If I remember rightly it was something to do with Critsiano Betta, Miss Geeky and a series of posts about new year resolutions.

Anyhow I’ve inspired someone others to do the same. Andy and Tim.

inspired by @cubicgarden I blogged my new years resolutions http://www.andy-powell.net/new-years-resolutions-2014/

And thats one of the wonderful things about Schemer. Seeing how your goal inspires others. You can also aid/help people get their goals. This naturally happens when you state your goals in public. For example… here’s a comment from Rachel offering her help with my genealogy.  On Facebook theres also more.

The importance of having your own blog/space, yes but its the collective nature which could make it a replacement for the almost dead schemer?

Memetic Ripples

Wispers

I recently did a 1min talk (well it turned into 90secs, but I wasn’t counting) on Memetics and a quick snap shot of what it is in theory. I didn’t do the best of jobs in the short while I had but its something I’m really interested in…

In the short… from wikipedia

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins‘ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer.

The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a “unit of culture” (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is “hosted” in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen—when adopting the intentional stance—as an idea-replicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme’s success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.

Its a general theory and honestly a really interesting one to think about when thinking about influence, the attention economy, globalisation and our global network. Also really fun to think and understand the  perfect conditions. Who makes for a good host, who holds back the meme spread and why? Is there a link between openess and sharing of memes/ideas/thoughts?

I have Dave, Miles and a few others for putting a name to the thing I was always fascinated with. Sarah studied disease outbreaks for the health protection agency (HPA) and remember the errly similar process of counting numbers as they grow massive very quickly. Network effects slightly excites and marvel me… Maybe a job in advertising awaits?

Anyway, I like systems and things which foster sharing. This is why I like Schemier and as I only recently discovered Google ripples. This I must have missed somewhere on my travels.

Fascinating how certain ideas spread eh?

Maybe you too, might be interested in Memetic theory?

Where have all the bloggers gone?

Jon Udell asks, where have all the bloggers gone?

Good question… I do tweet more than I blog, thats very true.

I have Published 2,559 blogs (not including this one) and Tweeted29,087 (not including this one) but there not really comparable in my mind. Not simply because of the length but the detail and thought which goes into them plus its MINE. Of course you can crosspost which I do sometimes, and like Jon I’m choosy when I do.

It’s not just about short-form versus long-form, though. Facebook and Google+ are now hosting conversations that would formerly have happened on — or across — blogs. Keystrokes that would have been routed to our personal clouds are instead landing in those other clouds.

I’d rather route all my output through my personal cloud and then, if/when/as appropriate, syndicate pieces of it to other clouds including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. A few weeks back, WordPress’s Stephane Daury reminded me that I can:

@judell: since your blog is on (our very own) @wordpressdotcom, you can setup the publicize option to push your posts: http://wp.me/PEmnE-1ff.

I replied that I knew about that but preferred to crosspost manually.

More interestingly is Jon’s thoughts on how to make our own space/cloud better and more central.

  • Different messages to each foreign cloud. Because headlines often need to be audience-specific.
  • Private to my personal cloud, public to foreign clouds. Because the public persona I shape on my blog serves different purposes than the ones I project to foreign clouds. Much of what I say in those other places doesn’t rise to the level of a public blog entry, but I’d still like to route that stuff through my personal cloud so I can centrally control/monitor/archive it.
  • Federate the interaction siloes. Because now I can’t easily follow or respond to commentary directed to my blog echoes in foreign clouds. Or, again, centrally control/monitor/archive that stuff.

I’m currently using Disqus to mix twitter and facebook comments in with my blog but it feels very clunky. Ideally you want something more distributed like I’ve been banging on about for a while.

Serendipity and the Creative Collision

Get Lucky the book

Listening to Thor Muller on Triangulation

Thor Muller is Co-founder of Get Satisfaction, a startup delivering “people-powered customer service for absolutely everything.”

Fascinating discussion well worth listening to…

Thor at one point talked about creative serendipity or as he described creative collision. Leo or Tom mention some place where all the directors have to spend a certain amount of time together in a space. Then Thor talks about co-working type spaces as great places for creative collision.

In agreement, this is what I identified a while ago with my decision to work out of the Northern Quarter every Friday. Not always but most of the time, I’m slightly inspired by listening or watching people go about their own lives. Its a lot like watching certain people’s twitter streams. As Thor says its not directly applicable to work but in the end it points towards ideas and solutions.

Get lucky which is the title of Thor’s book actually fits very nicely with Derren Brown’s experiment last year.

The funny part of this all is, this is all about applicable to dating…

At the very end Thor talks about attraction and projection, how do we draw chance events to ourselves… Or how we draw our intentions to the world.

Am I saying dating is a creative process?

No or maybe not… but exactly, but the same factors can really help your career and confidence which changes the way you look at the world and the way the world sees you…

Future Everything: If you don’t design the future someone else will…

The Future Everything conference was great this year… The line up was a mixed bag of speakers, which kept me guessing…

As mentioned in the post before, I took notes on my kindle. Here are the ones I highly recommend

Our global urban future

No picture but a great talk about.

The ‘internet of things’, refers to the technical and cultural shift as society moves to a 24/7 form of computing in which every device is ‘always on’, and every device is connected in some way to the internet. However, many versions of this notion rely upon one significant premise: that the thing remains in existence.

Future Everything

Our global urban future

Cities are often said to be humanity’s greatest creation.  It is in cities that most wealth is created and destroyed and it is from cities that most human creations and social innovations flow.

This presentation was a excellent look at our future in a world of cities. Its weird that even with all the disadvantages of living close together, nature tends to prefer cooperative emergent properties. Two examples which were given was the Ant hill and the Beehive. Interestingly productivity decreases with colony size but somehow it works, in actual fact as a city doubles its economic productivity per capita increases by 15%. Jane Jacobs was bounded about quite a bit, with the notion that cities simply amplify interaction including the 16% increase in violent crime.

But Revolutions always happen in cities because groups of people expect better. Finally there was lots to think about in regards to the general speed of cities. Its almost like the gravitational effect of larger objects on smaller objects. There’s more to do and see, so it feels like things are much quicker.

Really got me thinking how I can’t really imagine living anywhere else.

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Robots, Editors, Strangers & Friends

Meg Pickard and Dan Catt explore some of the ways that attention and social patterns influence the way we discover, consume and curate content online.

Its so strange, I’ve never formally met Meg Pickard but have occupied the same space virtually and physically many times. Her and Dan ran through a bunch of thoughts which although not new to me, kind of crystallised a lot of them.

Generally…

  • Editors bring the authority
  • Friends bring the relevance
  • Robots bring the interestingness
  • Strangers bring the serendipity

However there was lots of discussion about gaming these patterns. All very interesting, specially with the context that Dan Catt use to work on Flickr.

New Games For New Cities

New Games For New Cities

Against the background hum of continuous technological change, contemporary urban life has undergone lasting and undeniable changes. Our views on public space, civic engagement and what it means to live well in a city have changed accordingly. Various types of organizations seek to influence urban life for the good of society, for their own interest or a combination of both. At the same time, games and play have started to break out of the traditional frame of the video screen. On the one hand, this has given us all kinds of interesting experiments in pervasive, urban and alternate reality gaming. On the other hand, more recently, it has given rise to a program of playful persuasive technology now commonly know as gamification.

Kars started his presentation with the simple question. Should kids grow up with Lego or Starwars figures? The point was about constructive vs surface play. The point was about open ended play, and was played out through out his talk. He felt unplanned playtime for us all was becoming less and less, it was time to return to the Adventure playground.

And I got to agree… Actually my question was about the bunch of skateboarders who use the steps near my flat as a place to challenge each other. Some people really hate them being there although they never actually interfere with people walking by. ISIS also stuck up signs saying no skateboarding which of course hasn’t stopped them. There simply taking advantage of the constructs of our cities, just like the rise of free running. Unscripted play makes our cities fun and a joy to be in, maybe our cities and lives are too structured right now? Serendipity is fun.

Kars called Gamification motivated play and he’s not actually wrong. Its certainly a canny observation which I hadn’t actually thought about before. There’s certainly a rush to inject gamification into almost anything recently. The warning was against shallow play like coke points. Ending with the point I’ve heard many times…

You do not play a gamificated system it plays you…

Where The Robots Work

Where the robots work

For centuries we’ve built our cities around ourselves, and our needs. As our prosthetics have advanced, they’ve shifted according to the needs of automobiles and electricity, but we have remained at the centre. Now, the city is reconfiguring itself around the network in subtle and intriguing ways.

James did a great job explaining how we’ve build places where the robots work. He started off with a picture of a robot jockey and how it was used to replace small children riding on camel’s backs. And somewhere got on how Amazon’s warehouses are optimised for robots over people and how the roumba and neato cleaning robots are like inviting a alien into your living room.

BillT

Leave no-one behind

Bill will provide a unique coda to the 2011 edition of FutureEverything, reflecting on the themes explored throughout the conference as well as his own perspectives on areas of the future that hold promise. 

We are increasingly establishing a culture where information has become the modern era’s defining quality. As humanity’s transactions are increasingly articulated and mediated in digital forms, what becomes of those that lack the access or literacy to participate in those transactions? Indeed, is such a civilisation a better civilisation?

Bill Thompson’s "keynote like" presentation was fantastic. He talked about the revolution of tools. Tools that fundamentally change us, change the way we perceive our reality. There was a revolution through literacy century’s ago and it fundamentally changed the way our brains work.

Its hard to do it much justice in written form but I was literally punching the sky inside my mind while he spoke out to the slightly skeptical crowd. I kind of wished it was recorded…

He ended the presentation with a slide saying "if you don’t design the future someone else will…"

The point was Digital Culture is now the dominate culture now. "We won! Digital Culture won…" Thinking digitally is fundamental and analogue thinking is on its way out, like it or not.

A strangely inspiring and excellent talk…

Continue reading

Welcome to mydreamscape.org

a inception poster

I love Inception, there’s no doubt about that….

But what really got me going was the idea of dreams.

So here’s the background

Everyone has dreams but up till now dreams have been very personal. People have them and talk about them all the time to there close friends but up till now its not been something you share socially. Well I say that but actually people do share aspects of there dreams. For example

janeygw‎: @MetsThrifty Are you serious? omg I had such horrid dreams last night too

Clodyyyy‎: You wish you can record your dreams and then watch them later. #DamnItsTrue

collinbeballin‎: I have had so many bad dreams tonight that they have left me praying. And thats some real shit.

PatRobeck1ofHis‎: Goodnight, my friends. Dream good dreams!

ohhdarylann‎: if love is a way out, then please let me in. don’t start, darling, don’t you turn my nightmares into dreams once again

stephalicious‎: Just had a dream @natbat had taken up smoking and I threatened to tell @simonw if she didn’t stop 0_o

Natbat‎: Woke at 5am with panicked dreams. can’t sleep. wonder if I should just get up and have breakfast now. hungry

…. lots more on twitter people talking about there dreams on blogs.

So we share aspects of them with friends, family and even total strangers.

The concept

mydreamscape.org to become the flickr of dreams.

Make dreams social with controls so only certain people can see the parts you don’t want to disclose. Use social tagging to add relevance and additional metadata to the dreams.

The concept in more words

Why not have a place where you can share your aspects of your dreams with other people and of course perform analysis on your dreams?

When I say aspects of your dreams, I mean just that. You should be able to add levels of privacy around aspects of your dream. Bit like how flickr.com only shows you certain photos if your a friend or family. I expect this would be quite difficult to do but it should give you the option of defining certain aspects which are public, private and of course who can see that. Hey would you want your girlfriend to find out you have dreams about a ex-girlfriend every night?

So I expect the gui for that would generate some special but simple xml (I’m thinking about using a subset of XML encryption to hide the information in plain sight) . I imagine it would look something like the modern editors such as Etherpad (colored text to indicate who can see what) but there would be levels of access to tied to the information.

Etherpad

dreams tend to have some sort of structure but its not very defined but there’s no doubt that you can say this is how it started (even if it’s just I’m in a room with no windows) and a middle (a woman talks to me in french which I seem to be able to understand) and a end (she gets up and leaves through a wall, leaving me in the room alone, then I wake up). It may not be clear how you got there or even how it ultimately ends but you could just say I don’t remember to that section.

Obviously there will be the ability to run your dreams through a dictionary of sorts (this may cost) so you can work out what your dream is about. But on top of that there will be tags/keywords will link you to other people’s dreams. So if your dream is about falling off a building, you can see who else has similar dream or even the same dream? Maybe you might find people who are having the same dream but with a unique twist. Heck, you might even find people who are in your dream who happen to be having the same dream! Of course Locations can also be tagged using geo locations, so you can see who else has been having a dream around a certain location. I’d also like to include Times, so you can say if it was night or day. Also people, so you can say I had a dream and he or she was in it. There may be others but that will do for now.

This is really interesting information but when socially put together across many people you got something extra special. Not only can you see trends across dreams but you can also spot how memes start to spread and where they end up.

The other part of this is the ability to write comments or add annotations to your dreams. So certain people (definable list) can add tags or link to other stuff. For example a dream about identity thief might lead back to the new itv tv series “identity” which you might have forgotten about but your friends remember you watched a couple of days ago. A dream about running down endless stairs could be the result of watching inception and thinking/dreaming about the architects role. Basically you can have many people adding analysis to your dream instead of just one so called expert. In actual fact your friends may know you better and where aspects of your dreams come from.

I expect we’ll make the data freely available in the same way Okcupid.com makes stats about its users available.

Hows it going to make money?

  • Pro users – Selling access to the dream dictionary (PRO users) which won’t be a static thing, it will change based on what people say about there dreams. There may also be a limit on how many dreams we hold unless your a pro user which means its endless. Maybe also only pro users can tag other people dreams?
  • Advertising – If your not a pro user, you will get adverts next to the dream your reading. We can also add advertising to the aggregated pages like the one for falling (which I expect will be quite popular)
  • Trending – Although the data will be freely available, there will be different resolutions on the dream data. So if you pay you can get much richer data (obviously depending on the users preferences). I imagine you would be able to work out how many European citizens are dreaming about a certain delegate just before an election. Not only that but if those dreams or positive or negative.
  • Product and locational placements – Maybe a lot of people are dreaming about a certain location or a certain product. If you own that location or product you may want to own that page and make it more like yours? So for example http://www.mydreamscape.org/items/buzzlightyear/ – could be a page about buzzlight year in dreams and have images and links to the item its self. This would also be true of locations too for example http://www.mydreamscape.org/location/europe/london/thamesbarrier – would obviously link to the Thames barrier in London with information taken from Wikipedia.org and other open sources. The information architecture of exactly how this would this work needs to be sorted out.

A Totem

How am I going to build this?

Well I’m not sure. I’ve been looking at things like drupal and existing services such as Facebook to see if I can adapt there system to this purpose. But it looks like it requires some serious development as there some key elements which need work. However I expect once I post this, entry people might think wow nice idea, its got legs I might be interested in either…

  1. Getting involved, so we got a team of people interested
  2. Recommend some software or a service to set it up
  3. Steal the idea and build there own version (fine, but you must give me attribution)
  4. Steal the idea and have me help out on the build process (theres a whole lot more to this idea that what I described above, ask me if you want to know more)
  5. Build a plugin for another service which could supports this

The final word

There are some elements to this idea which may not work such as will people remember there dreams, will be willing to share them, etc but honestly I think its a killer of an idea and deserves to be built. You can just imagine what a resource it could turn out to be… and imagine this scenario…

“you were dreaming about me, but I was also dreaming about you. On the same bloody night? What are the chances of that?”

That would be amazing.

dreams are still very much a unknown or under-tapped process. We all have them even if we don’t always remember them. dream diaries, etc are good but what benefits could come to a dreamers dreams if there crowd-sourced or social? There is a lot of metadata we could add to our dreams, if we had the chance. We could start to really understand our dreams a lot better through the social network of our friends, families or strangers. Heck even if all else fails, it may get people thinking about dreams a lot more and considering what they can do with them. Be it control there dreams or as far as even sharing dreams.

mydreamscape.org and mydreamscape.com could be the start of something massive, remember where you first read about it first…

So who wants to help me make it happen?

APML as a lightweight Microformat?

My Ubuntu install is working again thanks to Jon Callas from PGP. So I can finally bring you this entry from the Airplane trip 2 days ago.

I've not blogged much of BarCampBrighton, but sitting on this flight to Boston with 2.5 hours of battery life left (54%) I'm now reflecting on a couple of my sessions

The first one was titled as Facebook is Dead, which I later changed to social network killer – reclaim your attention. The whole thing presentation went through reasons and technologies which mean the dead end, locked in social networks no needed to exist. However Jeremy Keith and Tantek had covered most of my points about Microformats and OpenID in a previous session so I skipped most of that stuff and got on to the juicy part about lifestreams and attention profiles. In a quick look, I showed off APML and suggested ways you could do FOAF+APML together to build up everything you needed for open social networking (as aposed to locked in like Linkedin and Facebook style). Oh also while on the differences I made it clear that social media sites like Flickr, Delicious, Bliptv, etc were not included in the locked in category and then started to rip the living piss out of Quechup.com (no link for this nasty social network). I think I put the slide up and asked How dumb do you have to be?. Anyway I'm going off topic here.

So many people are throwing APML around but as Jeremy Keith would say, it looks like a technology looking for a solution. So I came up with some perfect examples of APML including my killer which I thought would also attract the bigger audience who don't care about the technology of it.

First example : Tape it off the internet.com. If you join tape it off the internet.com or tioti it will ask you again and again and again… what shows you like and do you also like these shows? Now this is fine but its tiresome although you can type in your shows and hope it finds them. But what you can't do very well is give shows a certain weighting. So for example I love lost and heroes but have also started watching the new prision break 3rd season although yes its jumped the shark years ago. Now I would like to indicate that although I watch it, I'm not really that much into it. Then I also want to be able to show my friends and maybe get less matches based on this preference. Whats evern better is if I can say I really dislike something. Right now you can give it one star or not add it but what incase I want to say, I watched that show and I bloody hate it? In APML you can set a negative value to things as you'll see later. In actual fact Tioti is going to support APML in the future so that battle is done already.

Second example : Dating sites. This I thought was my killer one but maybe not? So if you join a dating site you build this profile of you and sometimes that involves answering questions and filling in a profile of who yougr looking for as such. This is usually quite detailed stuff and time sucking stuff. So imagine what happens when your friend invites you to a new dating site where he or she have previously had a positive experience. Yep fill in the forms again and indicate your preferences again. Now with APML its robust enough to maybe describe a lot of what your saying in your description and profile. You should be able to log in with your Open ID which could link to your FOAF and APML too. And because you have the concept of personas in Open ID, you could select different FOAF and APML files for those who like to have different profile. Tantek who was in the room when this was announced pretty much slammed APML but liked my example and so suggested I check out some of things people have been doing with tagging their preferences. So I did and although quite robust I had that problem of setting amounts.

So for example if I tagged this quote below you will see I've choosen to tag certain words. But there's no indication of first, if there just tags (yes some class could be added to make it clear that these tags apply to me but in what way?) and secondly what in case I tag flying and writing? How would you know I much prefer the later?

Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends.

In APML you can add values and that makes a huge difference. But maybe there is a way to have a lighter version of APML which is a microformat, so people can play with it right now.

third example : Targeted advertising So as you read before, Facebook are using your data to advertise at you. Here's the full thing.

Next year, Facebook hopes to expand on the service, one person says, using algorithms to learn how receptive a person might be to an ad based on readily available information about activities and interests of not just a user but also his friends — even if the user hasn't explicitly expressed interest in a given topic. Facebook could then target ads accordingly.


While Facebook plans to protect its users' privacy and possibly give them an option to keep certain information completely private, some Facebook users might rebel against the use of their personal information for the company's gain.


And the perceptions that targeted ads create can be as much of a problem as the reality. “Most people don't realize how targeting works; it becomes so good that even though it's anonymous, you feel like they know you,” says Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Publicis Groupe-owned consulting firm Denuo Group. However, he says Facebook needs to be careful in implementing any targeted ad system, lest loyal users “find it creepy.”

Chris Saad, is right to ask the question if users will put up with it. Also just making things private isn't the answer. What in case I had kids but didn't want to see adverts for nappies and babyware? I could hide that stuff but actually don't mind telling the world that I had kids, I just don't want the adverts. In APML i could specify my distaste and give it a nasty negative value which would indicate that I never want to see Nappies or Babyware ever. Of course Facebook or Google could over ride my APML but I wouldn't be happy, and they should be looking at my positive APML stuff anyway. I mean there's more chance I'll click a link saying latest Orange SPV phone here that latest Babyware or even in reality Latest iPhone offer for O2. And this is the killer thing, anyone who knows me will know that, even a browse of my blog will tell you this but to have it in machine readable form in APML has got be final straw. On my blog my APML is linked and its public. I'm saying advertise to me if your high on my interest list. Orange should be banging my door down every time I say I'm looking for a new phone but there not wise to all this yet. Google and Facebook are.

Forth and Fifth examples : LastFM and Preferences. By now you should have got the main points and can see how having a APML output of your favorate tunes in Lastfm could be useful. One example I didn't think about at the time was moving between media players. I moved from iTunes to Winamp to Madman to Amarok. There was no way to take the ratings I had build up for my music collection but now I should be able to look at lastfm and pull out decent enough scores. On the preference front, APML could be used for more that just internet applications. So yes if Amarok supported APML that would be amazing. I'm actually looking into this because Amarok keeps a rating of all music based on how many times you heard it and how much you scored it. It also keeps this information is a SQLlite DB and the rating range is between 0 and 100 which makes it easy to put into APML. Yep I might need some help from some Perl or Python people soon. Although I've learned Gnome has its own scripting language like how Applescript works for OSX. So I might be able to pull something off that way.

Right so what happens next? First up, I'm going to standardise some way of linking FOAF, OPML, OpenID and APML together. I expect I'll keep this very simple using the link element in (x)HTML or somehow combine this into a Hcard profile. Next up a APML microformat or APML lite for sure. I'll try it as I've been studying the others and the general methology of Microformats and I think it could be done. So I'll suggest it and draw up how it works and submit it for lots of review. I'm now exploring how to get APML out of Amarok and RSS Owl. If anyone wants to help with these, give me a shout. APML is awesome and I know everyones waiting for a 1.0 release (including Tioti, Google, Bloglines) but honestly give it a try now you won't regret it.

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Reach and that leap faith which is required

There's quite a few times when I have been suggesting or recommending a way forward, and the other person has looked at me with a blank stare. Its not because words coming out of my mouth are not reconisable but the concept is a step too far. I have a few good examples of this but one which comes to mind which other people may hit home with a lot of people is the net phenomena.

I remember explaining to people that I would buy real stuff online.

See this is the thing, it was back in 1996 when realistically most people had only heard of logging on the super information highway (yeah I remember those words too). The concept of buying online goods which would be delivered to you, was a step too far for quite a few people. Honestly, I dont actually remember when Tesco started delivering grocery'sexplanation online but it seemed quite logical to myself and started using the service as soon as I left my parents home in 1999.

I dont know if the leap of faith is correct, as it seems to have many religious views attached to it. Maybe mini mind shift might be a better explanation?

Another example which is bang up to date and may divide a few people. AV Content online can be delivered cheaply without a advertising or subscription model. Some people will agree and some will disagree. If you disagree, you may be familiar with concepts like P2P, TVRSS, IPTV, etc.. But have not actually fully experienced there effects. Hey a small percentage of you may say the statement was actually hogwash and what actually is cheaply anyway? And I would say, at this stage, it requires a leap of faith or a mini mind shift to see the potential which is only just around the corner.

The biggest leap of faith at the moment which I keep having to explain is Reach. When talking about blog and RSS spaces and always say something about the niche audiences, the longtail and always reach. When you use full RSS syndication and/or P2P distribution, website metrics break down and you have to rely on Reach instead. Theres a issue with Reach, it requires a leap of faith as theres no actual metric for reach (yet).
Its very painful because the arguments away from Website metrics are very clever and make sense when you look at the current landscape of the web 2.0. I mean why would you ever syndicate full text content in RSS unless you believed in (or at least thought about) Reach or cared so less about the content?

I'm just reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink now and theres something which is somewhat related on page 176.

We like market research because it provides certainty – a score, a prediction;if someone asks us why we made the decision we did, we can point to a number. But the truth is that for the most important decisions, there can be no certainty.

Another leap of faith, The public aspect of Social software can actually beneficial to you and everyone using the software. Its all about communities and I mean a leap of faith beyond Social networking sites and online forums. I'm talking about shared data with benefits yourself and everyone else. Why else do people use Flickr, Del.icio.us, Reader2, etc? Its napsteration effect, which you need to have faith in. By each person serving there own greeds, they also serve the community effect.

Personally like Reach this is so easy to understand, I wonder why it requires any leap of faith at all. But that's the nature of these things. One persons step is another persons marathon

While still thinking about leaps of faith, heres a couple other things which require that same mind shift at the moment. Creative Commons, Free Culture and Open Source. Like reach you need to buy into it somewhat before it starts making sense. Open source is quite lucky because it has quite a vocal voice and has many good examples to prove it actually works. Creative commons is well on the way, while Free Culture as defined by Lessig and others still requires a certain leap of faith.

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