January 2009 Archives

Big Mo' and The Bears

If you watch sports, as many will do this with the Super Bowl on Sunday, you know that games can change direction. Something happens and momentum changes quite suddenly. A team that was piling up scores suddenly becomes tentative and defensive, as was the case with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, even though they held on to…

Webcast Video: Essential Tools of an XML Workflow

Below you'll find the full recording from the TOC webcast, "Essential Tools of an XML Workflow," with Laura Dawson….

Privatizing Success, Socializing Failure: FAIL

I decided to turn the "Twitter quote of the day" series into real posts, rather than simple "retweets." There is so much great stuff on twitter, but some links stand out. Someone posts a short bit from something they've read or thought. I retweet a lot to share the best of what I find, and pass on stuff not just…

Four short links: 30 Jan 2009

Four short links: 30 Jan 2009

Two serious links and two fun today, thanks to Waxy and BoingBoing:

  1. EveryBlock Business Model Brainstorming — Adrian Holovaty’s project was funded by a Knight Foundation grant that’s about to run out. The software will be open sourced but he’s inviting suggestions of business models that would enable the project team to continue working on it full-time. Having used and created open source to show newspaper companies how to do journalism online, will he now work on an open source way for them to make money?
  2. Infrastructure for Modern Web Sites — Leonard Lin lays out what’s required in systems and platforms for modern web sites. Perl succeeded in part because its data types were the things you had to deal with (files, text, sockets). Will the next gen of tools (the ‘Rails killer’ if you will) offer users, taggable objects, social objects, etc. as primitives?
  3. Academic Earth — takes open courseware from different universities and integrates them into a coherent UI. Transcripts. Slurp.
  4. Love2D — a Lua-based 2D game engine. I’m looking at it to see whether it works for me as the next step for 9 year-old kids interesting in programming games in my computer club.

Everyblock's Dilemma: How Do You Open Source Your Entire Site and Survive?

This morning Adrian Holovaty announced that he will be open sourcing Everyblock. Everyblock is a site that crawls local data sources, aggregates the data, and then surfaces them geographically. For instance I get an email everyday that alerts me to news, fire department activity, health notices and flickr photos taken within blocks of my house. Everyblock is available in…

Twitter Quote of the Day: 29 Jan 2009

@gnat: a city is a schematic for a computer of citizens. library=memory. industry=cpu. sewage=waste heat. traffic lights=clock ticks. discuss….

Four short links: 29 Jan 2009

Four short links: 29 Jan 2009

Luck, craft, coding, and strategy today on Four Short Links:

  1. Because — After a NZ big-money low-success e-tailer closed, there was widespread “ha! about time!” in the blogosphere. This post, by one of New Zealand’s most successful web entrepreneurs, is a fantastically humble reality check. “Build it and they won’t necessarily come, no matter how good you think it is and how much you try and tell them about it. Looking at a high profile failure, and thinking that you just need to do to the opposite to be successful can be quite misleading.”
  2. Ira Glass’s Manifesto — the man behind This American Life talks about the art and craft of creating great radio stories. I learned a lot from reading it, and not just about radio. “I’m not against manipulating feelings. The whole job is about manipulating feelings. If you don’t get in front of that and embrace it with a big bear hug, you’re not doing your job as a radio producer. You just don’t want to be all corny about it.” It’s the great lesson I’m still learning from Sara Winge at O’Reilly, that humans are built of emotions and stories and if we want to reach a human then we must speak with emotions and stories.
  3. Switching from scripting languages to Objective C and iPhone: useful libraries — Matt Biddulph notes some libraries that made his first Objective C programming easier.
  4. Three Freemium Strategies — I’ve been looking for an excuse to link to this blog, Startup Lessons Learned. It’s well-written and informative. “Strategy is all about what you’re not going to do; for a freemium business, it’s about which users you’re willing to turn away. Knowing which model you’re in can make these decisions a little less excruciating.”

Github: Making Code More Social

Github launched less than a year ago, but it's already making an impact on how open-source software is being created. Rails was there from day one, kick-starting the social software repository's traffic. It has taken off though it still doesn't compare to Sourceforge's traffic. Github combines "standard" features of social networking sites with distributed source-control Git. You can follow…

Hope Art

The Capitol Hill Seattle blog has produced a short video about the surge of Obama art around Seattle. On the street you can find Shepard Fairey's Hope image has been put on garage doors and merged with donuts. It's also being used to advertise for local businesses (as seen in these coffee posters). The other day I heard an…

A Climate of Polarization

We are entering an new era of seismic change in policy, business, society, technology, finance and our environment, on a scale and speed substantially greater than previous revolutions. More than ever, we need to create space for learning, communication and understanding.