Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Furure of the Web - In reply to Scoble

Scoble asks for opinions about the future of blogging... I opt for a comment here...

Here is my hypothetical Web 3.0 link to his post, to provide context.

Robert, I feel that Comments ARE the future of blogs as far as I'm concerned. Blogs as we know them are like this.

In order to comment on a post, you're forced to make a choice:

1) Hope the blog has a nice comments service that is working at the time, and friendly enough to let you work efficiently.

2) Create your own comment about it in your own page, and hope that Technorati or Google, or pingbacks let the author find it (assuming, of course, he's looking for it. To do this you have to cut/paste the URL, and copy/paste the germain piece of text (in an attempt to provide context), and then write around it to try to make your point.

Neither of these is optimal.

The clever web services set up to add comments to a given post are locked in a battle with the spammers, so they don't always work.

The loss of context when trying to post a reply via one's on blog forces one to invent a way of trying to get the context back.

I believe there is a better way.

If there were a way to collect comments EXTERNALLY, and get them included at the time the page is read, multiple layers of info could be combined to make things clearer because the context doesn't get lost.

As in this example... written in plaintext... I reference the URL of the permalink, and then specify a search to enable matching EXACTLY the context.

THAT is the future of blogging, as I see it.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Humans DO scale - Scoble's near miss with the truth.

Robert Scoble brought some pretty good value to bear in the blogosphere with his prediction of the demise of Google. As with any strong statement, there was a strong backlash as well, along with some useful discussion and lessons learned.

Now, I'll happily admit that I didn't watch his whole video... I've got a very heavily interrupt driven life right now, and 20 contiguous minutes aren't easy to come by. What I did see seemed off the mark to me at the time, so it went into the background.

Dennis Howlett however provided this bit of catalyst which brought it back into focus:

I spoke to Robert about this in the context of what matters to business people. He agrees these services are not ripe for prime time business use. He also agrees that humans don’t scale - the premise upon which Mahalo’s human built directory operates. But neither of these things are the point either.

Human's don't scale? That's big news to me... do you think that machines spit out ALL of the web? It may be true that spam engines make up most of it... but the VALUE is all from people.

The information about what's a good page, and what is crap does exist.. in the minds of whoever just looked at the page... the trick is to extract it at low cost, without opening the door to gaming the system too much.

I've tried (and obviously failed) to explain the idea of adding external data to existing web content... and this is a near perfect case for it. If we can somehow capture the a "vote" on a page, but lock it into identity to prevent gaming... we can continuously add value to search results.

Of course, this is the least amount of data possible to capture... one bit... but linking it to identity makes it far harder to corrupt or game. If you can see the value in this... why not go the rest of the way and add tagging and commentary to the mix as well?

I hope someone makes sense out of this... I look forward to feedback.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

VMware - It's all about control

Why do I use VMware? It's all about control...

It used to be that you could install applications simply by copying them into a system, and adding the directory to the path if necessary. Microsoft broke things when they decided to go with the registry and all of the non-friendly things that ensued. Application portability evaporated.

Then the holes started to appear, and this magical thing called UPTIME disappeared when we started to have to patch things on a regular basis.

The emergence of VMware allows us to start to put things back the way they belong. We can now have portable applications once again, albeit one per virtual machine. We can have this thing called uptime back, because the physical machine is running something more secure and doesn't need to be rebooted all the time.

We're taking back control of our environment... at long last!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's good to be back home

Got my Windows XP workstation back at work... it's good to have native 1280x1024 DVI with proper drivers, etc...

it's not about the best OS... it's all about having it all just so


Monday, August 13, 2007

Feeding memes

I've got some memes stuck in my brain, and it's really frustrating to try to get them out, so they can live:
  • External annotation of web sites as the basis of VRM, and the future of the web.
  • Layered annotated source code as the basis for a far more productive method of programming
  • A dirt simple programmable logic array which wastes gates in the name of ultimate flexibility
I've also got some ideas I really wish I could just let die:
  • We're running out of oil, and our nation is one big clusterf*ck
  • Democracy is around only for show in the US, and has been subverted
  • We're about to relive the stock market crash of 1929
  • Computers as they are currently conceived in the market, can't be made secure.
The first set is frustrating because of my inability to make a case for them in a manner which others can grasp. The latter set is ones that I worry too much about, but unfortunately for me, seem to be grounded in a very hard reality.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Today's Rant - Lack of Broadband in the US

I left this over at Doc Searl's new web log:

#1. File sharing… I’ve got 160 GIGABYTES of photos, and a rapidly growing set of AVI files thanks to my Nikon Coolpix L12, that I’d like share with my friends and family. I’d like to do it without having to depend of flickr, zoomer, or any other hosting service.
#2. Backup - of the other stuff, I’d like to back up my servers off site, on a continuous basis. Doing this with throttled/metered traffic doesn’t work. If BroadBand (100Mbps or faster) were available in the US, this would be commonplace.
#3. Cool Web 2.0 stuff - I’d actually be able to host a n annotation server, and get the low level inverse of VRM online and running, from a bottom up approach.

Our current lack of real internet is crippling the yankee inventor spirit inherent in all of us. I hope that someone, somehow gets around the mentally handycapped one-way dribble that passes for internet in this god-forsaken country of ours.

Real internet is bidirectional, unfiltered, and far too dangerous to hook to something lacking security like a standard Windows/Mac/Linux box. This is being used as an excuse by the powers that be to give us a pale weak imitation called "Internet Access"... like the Internet is some box somewhere that we mere mortals might be allowed to consult for a modest fee.

We need to be able to run servers, to build new things, to innovate if we are to have any hope of retaining any technical skills in the US. The Koreans can have broadband... why can't we?