When information has structure we can use it to see change more clearly.
Think about the records that describe the status of your health, finances, insurance policies, vehicles, and computers. If the systems that manage these records could produce timestamped JSON snapshots when indicators change, it would be much easier to find out what changed, and when.
Facebook may not be great for event listings, but it could be a useful conduit.
Organizations should strive to own and control their
online identities (and associated data) to the extent they can.
The Open Data Protocol is a promising approach for uniform APIs.
What if blogs had come of age in an era when a uniform kind of API was expected? We could then ask questions of blogs in the same way we could ask questions of event services.
The calendarsphere will be another collection of small pieces loosely joined.
A blog feed is just a special kind of web page. Anybody can create a blog and publish its feed at some URL. Why not calendars too?
Publishing calendars as HTML is necessary but not sufficient. We also need iCalendar feeds.
If you’re a school or a business or a band or a club whose website sports an Events tab that doesn’t offer a companion iCalendar feed, I hope you’ll ask your CMS vendor why not.
We become effective publishers when we carefully package and layer our information.
Headlines matter. They're always visible to a scan or a search, while other information — like decks and leads — are active in far fewer contexts.
The benefits of information principles are revealed through education, so let's start with digital natives.
An efficient model of collective information management relies on principles like pub/sub, indirection and syndication. Translating these principles beyond computational thinkers is the tricky part. To pull it off we need to educate the kids we assume to be digital natives.
Why we must consider the different properties and purposes of computer files.
Some kinds of computer files have different properties than others, and thus serve different purposes. Structured representation of data is one such property. If we are trying to put data onto the web, and if we want others to have the use of that data, and if we hope it will flow reliably through networks to all the places where it's needed, then we ought to consider how the files we choose to publish do, or don't, respect that property.
We all need to know the difference between pass by value and pass by reference.
Networks of people and data are governed by principles as basic as the commutative law of addition and multiplication. Indirection is one of those principles.
Social streams may eclipse RSS, but the blogosphere's roots run deeper.
Most people and organizations think of the calendar information they push as text for people to read. Few realize it's also data networks can syndicate. When that mindset changes, a river of data will be unleashed.