ENTRIES TAGGED "user generated content"

Four short links: 9 March 2011

Four short links: 9 March 2011

R IDE, Audience Participation, Machine Learning, Surviving Success

  1. R Studio — AGPLv3-licensed IDE for R. It brings your R console, source code, plots, help, history, and workspace browser into one cohesive package. We’ve added some neat productivity features like a searchable endless command history, function/symbol completion, data import dialog with preview, one-click Sweave compile, and more. Source on github. Built as a web-app on Google AppEngine, from Joe Cheng who did Windows Live Writer at Microsoft. (via DeWitt Clinton)
  2. Adventures in Participatory Audience — Nina Simon helped thirteen students produce three projects to encourage participation in museum audiences: Xavier, Stringing Connections, and Dirty Laundry. My favourite was Dirty Laundry, where people shared secrets connected to works of art. Nina’s description of what she learned has some nuggets: friendly faces welcoming people in gets better response than a card with instructions, and I am still flummoxed as to what would make someone admit to an affair or bad parenting in a sterile art gallery, or the devastating one that read, “I avoid the important, difficult conversations with those I love the most.” Audience participation in the real world has lessons on what works for those who would build social software.
  3. Why Generic Machine Learning FailsReturns for increasing data size come from two sources: (1) the importance of tails and (2) the cost of model innovation. When tails are important, or when model innovation is difficult relative to cost of data capture, then more data is the answer. [...] Machine learning is not undifferentiated heavy lifting, it’s not commoditizable like EC2, and closer to design than coding. The Netflix prize is a good example: the last 10% reduction in RMSE wasn’t due to more powerful generic algorithms, but rather due to some very clever thinking about the structure of the problem; observations like “people who rate a whole slew of movies at one time tend to be rating movies they saw a long time ago” from BellKor.
  4. Anatomy of a Crushing — Maciej Ceglowski describes how pinboard.in survived the flood of Delicious émigrées. It took several rounds of rewrites to get the simple tag cloud script right, and this made me very skittish about touching any other parts of the code over the next few days, even when the fixes were easy and obvious. The part of my brain that knew what to do no longer seemed to be connected directly to my hands.
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Four short links: 8 December 2010

Four short links: 8 December 2010

User-Contributed News, Web Services, Kinect Piano, and Designing Maps

  1. Send Us Your Thoughts (YouTube) — from the excellent British comedians Mitchell and Webb comes this take on viewer comments in the news. (via Steve Buttry’s News Foo writeup)
  2. Amazon proves that REST doesn’t matter for Cloud APIs — with the death of WS-* and their prolix overbearing complexity, the difference between REST and basic XML RPC is almost imperceptible. As this essay points out, the biggest cloud API is Amazon’s and it’s built on RPC instead of REST.
  3. Kinect Piano (YouTube) — turn any surface into a piano. (via David Ascher on Twitter)
  4. Google Maps Label Readability — detailed analysis of the design decisions that make Google’s labels so much more readable than the competition’s. Fascinating to see the decisions that go into programmatically building a map: leaving white space around cities, carefully avoiding clustering, even how adding an extra level of information can make things simpler.
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Four short links: 2 November 2010

Four short links: 2 November 2010

Participation, iPhone Games Programming, Mobile Keypad Magic, and Web App Security

  1. Lessons from the Johnny Cash ProjectWhen a participatory activity is designed without a goal in mind, you end up with a bunch of undervalued stuff and nowhere to put it. (via Courtney Johnston)
  2. Doom iPhone Review — fascinating explanation of how the iPhone works for programmers, and how the Doom source code works around some of the less-game-friendly features. (via Tom Carden on Delicious)
  3. The 8 Pen — new alphanumeric entry system for Android.
  4. Salesforce Security — lots of information for web developers, most generally applicable. (via Pete Warden)
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Redefining Professional Content and Accepting Digital's Limitations

Scott Karp's 10 observations about the future of media inspired a few thoughts on the shifting definition of "professional" and the limitations of digital.

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Maintaining a Web Community is as Hard as Building One

Notoriety tools provide one way to keep a Web community vibrant and engaged.

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Ruling: Consider Fair Use Before Issuing Takedowns

A fairly significant ruling came down Wednesday in Lenz v. Universal, a rather infamous case where Universal Music Publishing Group issued a takedown against a YouTube video of a young child dancing to a song in the background — a song in which Universal maintained some rights. Universal later acknowledged that this was a fair use of the music,…

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Web Community Management Tips

As a reignited debate over user comments rages, we use the opportunity to look at time-tested community management tips.

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TOC Recommended Reading

This is Not a Comment (Derek Powazek, Powazek.com) Chastising all internet commenters for the actions of the loudest, craziest ones is no different that swearing off all newspapers because of Jason Blair. Silicon Valley's benevolent dictatorship (Rebecca MacKinnon, RConversation) The guys running Google, Apple, Microsoft, and many other companies represented at the Fortune Brainstorm are the benevolent dictators of the…

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Photography Up, Photojournalists Down

In a Columbia Journalism Review essay, Alissa Quart looks at the future of photojournalism, which is not unlike that of journalists now that everyone has a camera in their hands: While professional photographers are suffering, news photography and photography of all kinds is flourishing. Citizens around the world can cheaply photograph and distribute images of their own countries and…

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What Makes a Collaborative Writing Project Successful?

Publishers have experimented with wikis and computer games to create successful collaborative projects. We explore some lessons learned from recent projects, and describe a newly-launched game from The Guardian.

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