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Archive for September, 2007

The future of content

Martin Weller has an excellent article on the future of content, presenting an economic and a quality argument for why it’s bound to be (in my terms) miscellanized.

This is the first in a “distributed blogging” experiment that will have three other bloggers responding. [Tags: content publishing books clay_shirky martin_weller long_tail chris_anderson]

Sentences are miscellaneous

Rico at RicoBlog intersects EiM with discourse analysis and discourse grammar, about which I know nothing. He refers to Stephen h. Levinsohn’s  The Relevance of Greek Discourse Studies to Exegesis, which talks about the tendency for sentences to place the non-verbal elements that convey established info before the ones that convey new info. (I don’t know which non-verbal elements Levinsohn is referring to since the article is about the Greek version of the New Testament.) Rico relates this to what EiM says about going through one’s mail. So, even though I don’t know enough to understand it, I enjoyed Rico’s leap.

Wine is not miscellaneous

Donna Maurer, an information architect, writes about how she organizes her wine, thereby answering the question: What is the opposite of miscellaneous? But who cares? She is not aiming at organizational purity, although her scheme has the attention to detail that purists often demand. But those details represent the information that matters to her, and her system lets her find and use that information…exactly as you would expect from a leading information architect. A folksonomic, tag-based wine cellar — while a fun concept — is not exactly called for here. [Tags: tags taxonomy wine donna+maurer information_architecture ia everything_is_miscellaneous ]

NYTimes coming awake…

My Times is in beta. I’m not sure how much of it I’m getting for free because Times Select comps people at universities. And I haven’t played with it extensively. But what I’m seeing I’m liking. lets you choose your feeds. Of course, NY Times material is available, but you could make a page that shows the feeds from the Washington Post, Slate, and BBC and not the NY Times. The site lets you see suggested feeds from various NY Times celebrities. You can add widgets like a Flickr photo browser. You can lay out the page you want. You can add tabs to organize your many feeds. You can even add your own feeds. Plus there’s a meta-tab that will take you to Times Topics, taking them from their undeserved obscurity.

It’s not perfect, even at first glance. The feeds only show headlines, not any of the text. It doesn’t input or output OPML. The feed of the NYTimes columnists only shows the title of their posts, not the names of the authors. There’s still no way to comment on the articles, not even a thumbs up or down. The articles don’t link to blog posts about them.

Nevertheless, the decision to allow us to aggregate other sources on a page at the domain is a big symbolic deal. [Tags: ]

Bin Laden word cloud

W. David Stephenson has created a word cloud of the latest bin Laden video. Interesting… [Tags: ]

Wikipedia edit timeline

Fred Stutzman writes at TechPresident about WikiDashboard, from PARC, that provides a visualization of who has been editing an article with what frequency. Very cool and sometimes revelatory.

They ought to make this deliverable as a sound, so when you go to a page, you can tell the shape of the edit history by the pitch, quaver and number of voices. [Tags: ]

Filtering on the way out

Dave Davison at Thoughts Illustrated gives an interesting illustration of the “filter on the way out” idea from EiM. He notices that Picasa has been silently aggregating the images in his blog. Now he can go back through it and notice relationships and trends. He gives six steps of working through the pile of images. The six step certainly seem to work for this example, but I’m not sure how generalizable it is since, in my view, the miscellaneous is a pile of raw potential for the emergence of every sort of understanding and meaning, from noticing that you’ve used lots of pictures of Michael Jackson to running statistical and semantic tools that discover deeply hidden relationships.

The idea behind “filter on the way out” is that it’s often (usually?) better to give users tools for sorting through the pile the way that suits them than to <i>only</i> give them a single, pre-baked categorization.

Social reading

John Sutherland writes in The Guardian about William Gibson’s latest book being absorbed into the cloud of links, annotation and commentary. It’s a great example of both the enriching of ideas through their miscellanizing and how reading is becoming a social act. Fascinating. (Thanks to Terry Martin for the link.)