But when I read about this, I instantly recognized a core problem with the approach: it was top down community, rather than bottom up. Michael Kinsley, who created the site for the Times, was attempting to force a considered, editorial structure onto a set of readers who had yet to identify themselves or their own interests in any kind of structured way. It was doomed to fail, because communities can't be created by editorial structures - editorial structures must be created by communities.
37 inches of rain in Mumbai. Just think about that next time you are caught in what you think is punishing NYC rain. Interesting piece about people text messaging for help in the Guardian.
Very interested in the fact that Yahoo bought Konfabulator a few days ago. How will they tie in search and or content with widgets. Also a small aside about how the term, "Widget a general-purpose term, or placeholder name, for any unspecified device, including those that have not yet been invented. It is commonly used in textbook and other examples where the identity of the product or function is irrelevant and could be distracting." Has been co-opted to mean small useful things whose function is their only purpose in being.
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Time Inc is going to launch two new titles using the web first. Love it. (via Paid Content)
The NYT had a story about limited edition t-shirts (which by the way I wrote about awhile ago) and for a while they were running this picture of a gaunt man wearing a white v-neck t-shirt. The capton said something like "Hipsters wear limited edition t-shirts" . The guy in the photo has no name and he's not mentioned in the article - just a hipster. They've changed the wording of the caption but still no id. If you see this man or others who look like him - know that you are seeing a hipster. Beware.
"I was picking all the little stickers from the Piggly Wiggly off my plums and my avocado pears and my peaches," said Ms. Lemeaux, 76. "Then I had to make fruit salad out of the ones that got hurt when I took the stickers off, and then I had to wash the glue off the other ones before I put them in the fruit bowl."
"One time," she said, "I got up the next morning and looked in the mirror and there were two of them up in my hair."
From an article on fruit tatooing in the NYT. If these machies weren't too expensive it would be cool to tatoo fruit with patterns and art.
The NYT has an amazing article about two people who own a new travel site and have been going around the world staying in luxury hotels and visiting posh stores. The author must have had some fun writing this article as it simply skewers these two nincompoops as they go into Hermes and hear there is a wait for a Birkin bag, (c'mon who doesn't know that after all of the celebrity obsession about that and Oprah's recent incident), yelling at waiters to assemble bagels, raising their eye-brows because the Waldorf Astoria has old carpets, and putting down the entire West Side. As for Brooklyn I'm glad they don't seem to know where the bridge is. The idea of their site is so old that one has to think that this is could simply be an exercise to take tax-deductions while acting like swells. Their site "backed by international investors" is a subscription site with an accompanying book. The market they are going after already has some very expensive "exclusive" guide that are made by Louis Vuiton and sold in places like Paul Smith (how and why I know this tragic fact has to do with a meeting we once had for cityreads where we were urged to create "exclusive tours") The site that they are reviewing for CarnetTravels even looks like a dotcom. It features an animated fictional character named Eva and a flash interface. Flash is a particularly woeful interface for travel sites as one would normally want to print out information. Even the idea of having a guidebook and an accompanying website is old hat. Why not have a digitally printed book from web site content that is updated from fresh reviews.
Flash as used for databases is simply problematic in my view unless it is data you would really want to just use online. Use of travel sites usually involves research in preparation for a trip so I think it is more useful to be able to easily print pages. I also find a not-for-profit site called Place Matters to suffer from the same usability problem. Place Matters started out as a project to use the internet to enable people to nominate and record important places. It was a great idea that could have been done so much simpler and better.
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Suppose you bought a TV set that included a component to track what you watched, and then reported that data back to a company that used or sold it for advertising purposes. Only nobody told you the tracking technology was there or asked your permission to use it.
You would likely be outraged at this violation of privacy. Yet that kind of Big Brother intrusion goes on every day on the Internet, affecting millions of people. Many Web sites, even from respectable companies, place a secret computer file called a "tracking cookie" on your hard disk. This file records where you go on the Web on behalf of Internet advertising companies that later use the information for their own business purposes. In almost all cases, the user isn't notified of the download of the tracking cookie, let alone asked for permission to install it.
In the end he argues that sites should alert users to tracking cookies and explain the benefits giving them a clear choice to turn them off or on.
"Our belief is that in the near future, all media will be digital media, and we are helping define sustainable business models and innovation within this sector."
"Tolstoy wrote in War and Peace, 'All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' I bet that all successful social applications will be based around the same, shared social architectural patterns, while ten thousand failed solutions will fall by the wayside by adopting some 'innovative' take on social architecture that will, in the final analysis, miss the point... Even established realms like Amazon will have to rework their architecture to match the social architecture latent in our wiring, or they will get pushed aside by an upstart that cracks the social code.
This post was created on a pc app called Quamana. I like it. Very much like creating an e-mail and much easier than having to log into typepad. It is a nice helper app but I don't think it is a life changer.
First off I'm addicted to LeTour.com. The great thing about the Tour de France is that if you are on the East coast you can follow the coverage in the morning with breakfast. The site has a great graphic of the route and dispatches from the route every few minutes. Two days ago the drama of Lance Armstrong closing and then passing a breakaway group in the Alps was amazing. This morning the peloton was happily going along at an average of 31 miles and hour. 31 miles an hour! Same goes for the British Open. You can watch it without wasting your entire day like most other golf tournaments. Yes, I do watch golf. Go Tiger.
I'm writing the post using MarsEdit which Steve Rubel pointed to. At first I was wondering why I would need something like this, rather than just logging on to typepad? But it is very similar to writing an e-mail. I like it a lot.
One thing I know is that the headline "Morning reading" isn't a traffic driver.
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Google enables adsense ads in RSS but you need 100 feed subscribers which requires something like Feedburner. Steve Rubel thinks they might be going for something bigger with search and tracking.
He also writes about a new tagging community called Shadows which adds ratings to the whole kit and kaboodle of social tagging .
Mark Hurst's Good Experience great online games list.
Wists.com - visual bookmarks with a social component. I need to play with this.
A gallery of Japanese manhole covers. They are painted. who knew? Followed this from a visual link of wists.com
Fun music video with great visual photoshop puns.
Brooks Saddles site - the flash based site of the great bicycle saddle maker. Combines flash with old photography and neat use of old archival content.
I just bought a Kogswell frame on e-bay and am very excited to build out the bike.
Sad note: Byron Preiss died over the weekend in a car accident. He was a CD-Rom pioneer and book packager who often competed with Voyager in the early days.