Spread some peanut butter on this

Ok. I've been wanting to post on this topic for a couple days now and think I'm ready to sit down and write this post.

I first wrote about potential issues with the del.icio.us - Yahoo! mashup a while back.

Then I started thinking about some issues related to tagging.

And of course I recently read the Yahoo Peanut Butter Manifesto.

Now let's take a quick look at some evidence of overlap and poorly rationalized technologies in two specific areas that were mentioned in the memo that are near and dear to my heart, yet continue to co-exist as overlapping pieces of innovation within the Yahoo! empire.

Overlap #1: MyWeb2.0 vs. del.icio.us - WTF? I tried MyWeb2.0 when it first came out, but by then I had already been using del.icio.us. If you sit down and compare the features of WY2.0 vs. del.icio.us, you'll notice a couple things. Here's a quick feature comparison:

Edit Tags
* del.icio.us = YES
* mw2.0 = NO

Delete Tags
* del.icio.us = YES
* mw2.0 = YES

Rename Tags
* del.icio.us = YES
* mw2.0 = NO

Merge Tags
* del.icio.us = NO
* mw2.0 = NO

Detect Equivalent Tags
* del.icio.us = NO
* mw2.0 = NO

Support Compound Phrases
* del.icio.us = NO (workarounds in play)
* mw2.0 = YES

Bulk Tag Editing
* del.icio.us = NO
* mw2.0 = NO

Bulk Tag Deletion
* del.icio.us = NO
* mw2.0 = NO

Overlap #2: Yahoo Photos vs. Flickr. Again WTF? Can't we rationalize or collapse these services into a single offering. Which one are we supposed to use? Personally, I use Flickr over Yahoo! Photos, but again, why should I use one over the other? Both share some features in common, but there are some features in Flickr that Yahoo! Photos lacks, and vice versa. I've not used Yahoo! Photos enough to do a detailed feature comparison, as I have with the MyWeb2.0 vs. del.icious feature comparison, but I'm sure if you took the time to dig deeper, there will most likely be some degree of feature overlap as well as some degree of feature gaps between the two services.

Oh - I also forgot to mention that the tagging-related features in Flickr are also not quite the same as del.icio.us and MyWeb2.0, which is yet another layer of features to rationalize.

I want to make it clear that I'm not knocking any of these services, because quite frankly they all kick ass. My main point of contention and source of much frustration is the feature gaps that exist between services that are clones or closely complimentary to one another as I've outlined above.

After reading the Yahoo! memo, I welcome the changes within the walls of Yahoo! and look forward to seeing them give Google a run. They clearly have some AMAZING IP. Will be interesting to see how quickly they begin to morph into the company that Brad Garlinghouse alludes to in the memo.

Maybe in the back of my head, part of the reason why I'm focusing on yahoo and the recent release of the PB Manifesto is to drum up more support for, and attention to my desire to bring some of the basic concepts and techniques of traditional cataloging and classification to tagging and folksonomy, which are evident in the feature analysis and gaps between the tagging mechanisms built into del.icio.us vs. MyWeb2.0 vs. Flickr.

Do we need a standard for tagging? Dave Winer & friends - if you're paying attention to issues with socialsoftware, tagging, and folksonomy, which I think you are, please take a couple minutes to think about this.

With that I will conclude this post.

Epic day at Mt. Baker

Here's a recap of my trip to Mt. Baker on Friday, Nov 24, 2006.

Truly one of the best "opening days" I've ever had.

Quick clip of the drive up:

Spent most of my time off Chair 6 (Sticky Wicket, Pan Dome), but also had great fun on Chairs 8 and 3. Waist-chest deep powder off piste in the glades with face shots at just about every turn.

Took a couple runs to get used to my new skis, but damn, these Elan 777s plow through just about anything and when you do get into the deep stuff, it's like floating on air. Next time I'll try to capture more video clips. Maybe give some live action shots a go. Was too good to stop though, hence the reason why I don't have too many cameraphone pics.

The Canyon or Backcountry were not open (for obvious reasons), so while I didn't really need gear bag, on days like this, it makes me feel more secure knowing that with that pack I can survive for several days in the most extreme conditions (e.g. stuck in treewell or lost off trail).

Here are a few of the cameraphone pics I took. Complete set here.


Geared up - this is a test post that I published directly from Flickr

Geared up
Geared up,
originally uploaded by bdeseattle.

Ready for the deep stuff at Baker.

Trying to figure out most efficient way to upload, convert, and include pics that I take. Still a work in progress.


Mt. Baker - Here I come. [Includes WA State Avalance Report]

OK. It's DUMPING in the Cascades.
I'm heading to Mt Baker to ski the deep powder.
Leaving @ 6am. Back around 7-8pm.
Call for help I'm if not back by 10pm.

Suffice it to say that I will be bringing:
my avalanche beacons,
and shovel.

This is is a serious dumping that is not for the feint of heart.


I love the interweb.

Look at the wealth of resources that are helping me make my decision.

1. KIRO TV Pacific Satellite Loop
2. KIRO TV Local Doppler Radar Loop
2. WA State DOT Mountain Passes
4. Mt Baker Conditions
5. Technorati Search for >> skiing seattle baker, led me to [6]
6. Pics taken from Mt. Baker today [gotta love the blogosphere]

Cameraphone pics to follow on my flickr stream


Source: http://www.nwac.us/products/SABSEA

0845 AM PST THU NOV 23 2006

NWAC Program administered by:
USDA-Forest Service
with cooperative funding and support from:
Washington State Department of Transportation
National Weather Service
National Park Service
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association
Friends of the Avalanche Center
and other private organizations.

This forecast applies to back country avalanche terrain below
7000 feet and does not apply to highways or operating ski




Considerable avalanche danger above 5 to 6000 feet and
moderate below increasing Thursday and becoming
considerable above 5000 feet and moderate below late
Thursday except for locally high danger on southeast
through northeast facing slopes above 5 to 6000 feet.
Further increasing danger likely Thursday night and
Friday, becoming considerable above 4000 feet and
moderate below except for locally high danger on
southeast through northeast exposures above about 5000

Moderate avalanche danger above 5000 feet and low below
increasing Thursday and becoming moderate above 4 to
5000 feet and low below except for locally considerable
above 6000 feet on southeast through northeast
exposures, especially steeper terrain near the crest.
Further slowly increasing danger likely Thursday night
and Friday, becoming moderate below 7000 feet except
for locally considerable danger above 5 to 6000 feet on
lee slopes.


In most mid and upper elevations of the Olympics and
areas near and west of the Cascade crest, increasingly
large recent new snow accumulations have been deposited
over the generally stable and increasingly refrozen old
snowpack during the past three days, with accumulated
snowfall totals generally ranging from around 20 to over
40 inches. Along with relatively low freezing levels and
intermittently strong winds this new snowfall has
produced a generally increasing danger, especially at
higher elevations on north through east facing slopes
where the danger is now considerable and human triggered
avalanches have become probable. On these lee slopes,
some weak layers created during intermittent breaks in
snowfall or briefly decreased winds may now be buried by
wind slabs of up to 1 to over 3 feet and travelers should
exercise increasing caution in such steeper lee terrain.
Also, with the recent cooling, field reports indicate
that slow weakening of the snow near the interface of the
recent snow and the old rain crust is occurring and more
faceting and weakening of this bond is expected over the
next few days. At lower elevations and along the Cascade
east slopes, less recent snowfall has been received along
with a still relatively shallow but increasing snowpack.
This is resulting in an overall lower danger, but here
too the danger is increasing especially on lee slopes
where initially shallow but increasing wind slabs are



Moderate snow or snow showers early Thursday should
increase later Thursday morning through Thursday night,
with locally heavy snow accumulations likely in many
locations especially in the Olympics and most locations
near and west of the Cascade crest. Along with moderate
to strong ridgetop winds and continued relatively low
freezing levels, this should create increasing wind slabs
over several weak layers formed during breaks in snowfall
either Tuesday or Wednesday, especially above about 5 to
6000 feet where most potential anchors are rapidly being
buried. At lower elevations of the Olympics and Cascades
near and west of the crest, a still relatively shallow
snowpack is helping to limit the danger. However, with
anticipated heavy snowfall, many of the existing anchors
should be progressively buried, thus producing a
generally increased danger here as well, especially on
steeper terrain having a smooth underlying ground
surface. Also, the overall colder weather projected
through the remainder of the week should allow for
further weakening and faceting of the snowpack near the
interface with the old rain crust formed last Sunday.
While most avalanche activity should involve only the
most recently received new snowfall, some larger slides
may break down to the old crust and involve all of the
snowfall received since last weekend. As a result,
travelers are urged to monitor and assess the bond at
this old interface and perform stability tests on this
developing weakness, and travel is not recommended in
steeper, higher elevation lee terrain on Thursday.

While less snowfall expected along the Cascade east
slopes should help to limit the increase in the danger
particularly at lower elevations where a much shallower
snowpack remains, significant loading is nevertheless
expected on lee exposures at higher elevations,
especially near the Cascade crest. Hence locally
considerable danger is still likely on southeast through
northeast aspects above 6000 feet with moderate danger
developing on smooth, steeper lee slopes at lower


Further moderate to occasionally heavy snow and moderate
winds are expected at low and lowering freezing levels
for much of Friday. This weather should produce further
increasing danger, with the danger accentuated on
northeast through southeast facing slopes at all
elevations. On lee terrain, unstable slabs should become
likely above about 5000 feet and travel in such terrain
is still not recommended, especially during heavy
snowfall. It should be noted that due to wind effects,
significant differences in snow stability may exist over
very short distances near ridgelines. Some wind exposed
terrain may be scoured down to near the old stable rain
crust with nearby lee slopes having substantial wind
deposits and a likelihood of human triggered slab
releases. Slowly decreasing showers and winds expected
Friday night should allow for a slow decrease in the
danger as new wind slabs begin to settle. However,
anticipated cold temperatures should make this
stabilization a very slow process, and further faceting
and weakening near the old crust should maintain a threat
of isolated larger slide releases on steeper lee terrain
above about 5 to 6000 feet.


Backcountry travelers should be aware that elevation and
geographic distinctions are approximate and that a transition
zone between dangers exists. Remember there are avalanche
safe areas in the mountains during all levels of avalanche
danger. Contact local authorities in your area of interest
for further information.

NWAC weather data and forecasts are also available by calling
206-526-6677 for Washington, 503-808-2400 for the Mt Hood
area, or by visiting our Web site at www.nwac.us.

Moore/Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center


Just in time for Turkey day >> Orginal Signal rolls out new features

Woohoo. OS just pushed out a bunch of new features and signals on their site. What a treat for Thanksgiving. Thanks OS team. You guys truly rock. OS has become the most impt site that occupies the coveted space in my group of tabs that are set as my FF hompage.


Happy surfing OS addicts. Here are some screenshots.

OS Buzz Home: See the new Navbar.

New OS Feature: Rearrange modules.

OS Feature: Search OS (powered by Yahoo!)

OS New Feature: Mobile Friendly GUI


step away from the laptop

Ok. After a gruelling 72+ hour marathon web2.0, web3.0, semantic web, w3c, socialsoftware, del.icio.us, flickr, digg.swarm, originalsignal geek out session, I MUST step away from my laptop.

I've been posting and tagging like a crazy person, but it's just too damn exciting. so many ideas spinning in my head. My head is spinning right now.

Now that I've more or less made it through my work week dousing a series of fires and firedrills that kept me up till 3am last night, I'm gearing up for great turkey, stuffing, and insanely good apple and pecan pie [see the real deal here and here] (thanks a lot to Grand Central Bakery).
WARNING: DEEP POWDER ALERT That's right. It's dumping in the Cascades.

I just hopped over to SkiMart this morning to pick up my new Elan 777 skis and I finally just now took the time to troll my local mountain reports:

Mt. Baker
Steven's Pass

OMFG. This could be "one of those weekends"!!! Reminds me of the el Nino year we had back in 1997/98 (?) when the following winter in 1998/1999 when Mt. Baker broke all records. I remember staring in awe as I watched ski patrol dig out chair 6. It's looking like this weekend could be one for the record books, so I guess now the question is which mountain do I hit up first?


Ahhh. decisions. decisions.

With that, I'm going to sign off and step away from my laptop for a while. Thanks to everyone who is pushing the envelope in the latest web2.0, semantic web, social media / tagging /bookmarking / trends discussions that are funneling so many ideas into my head.

Have Safe & Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

--Brian [bdeseattle]
Seattle, WA USA

the value of metadata

While I think that Paul Kedrosky is on to something in his recent post on the release of the new flickr camera ratings page, I disagree with his comment:

"Give the software away, so to speak, and sell the data. Its day is coming."
I think privacy concerns over the use of user-generated data in general, and metadata in particular may cause a backlash and user revolt if you simply give away the software and sell the data. Isn't this what all the web2.0 "beta" sites do today? Give away their services for free and sell their usage data to spammers (uhhh I mean ad agencies) and seed their sites with Adsense / Adwords to generate enough revenue to keep them afloat?

How much data about users and user behavior is too much to collect? Exploit? Sell? Privacy and identity theft are the biggest concerns I have about exposing my data on the net today.

Sites like Wesabe and the trend that we are seeing here with Yahoo's use of Flickr's user-generated metadata may drive new business models, but I think that there is a fine line that most intelligent users who actually read EULAs and privacy agreements are probably going to be a bit reluctant to cross.

The cost of giving up your identity and privacy information versus the perceived benefits of doing so (e.g. the wesabe community approach) are a debate that will wage on for some time. As an example of putting a value on my personal [meta]data and identity, I recently chose to NOT fill in and print out a $3 off online coupon for the Seattle Ski Expo this past weekend in favor of NOT having to give up my identity to get a lousy $3 off the entry fee.

I like to think that my identity and [meta]data is worth more than $3.

UPDATE: Thanks to Marc @ Wesabe for the detailed commentary and clarification on Wesabe's model and Data Bill of Rights.


Problems with the socially driven news sites [authoritative sources]

Here's a link to a brief commentary on problems with socially driven news sites (ala the digg effect). Hmmm, now we're moving on to the "authoritative sources" debate. Another fundamental concept from the library science field that has yet to be widely embraced by the socially driven sites. That said, sites like eBay and Epinions do offer ways of establishing your 'net cred, but not all sites do. I think that the social news sites need to borrow from the ebay model and build this feature this into their systems.

make your own "countries I've visited" badge

Countries I've visited:

create your own visited countries map


The problem with Folksonomies and tagging.

I came across an interesting article published in the November issue of D-Lib magazine today [1] that focuses on some philosophical issues with folksonomies and tagging The author brings up some good points about the culture of tagging and folksonomy. This immediately reminded me of a parallel thread that I captured on this topic a while back in a late night blog post. [Scroll down to the Call To Action section after top 10 list]. I vaguely recall commenting on the need for controlled vocabularies for tagging / folksonomies.

After re-reading my post, I think the author of this article does a decent job of articulating the need for (and value of) applying techniques from the world of cataloging, controlled vocabularies, and well defined rules for cataloging works (e.g. Dewey, MARC, Library of Congress), while at the same time understanding that folksonomies and social tagging are driving much of the web2.0 phenom. Anyway, I need to get back to work, so I'm going to cut this short. Maybe I'll try to expand on this post another time.

Here's my original call to action from my January 7, 2006 post:


We need a controlled vocabulary and some best practices and/or guidlines for taggers asap. If not, this whole social tagging and bookmarking phenomena is going to implode and get muddied with dirty metadata. I am of the opinion that we should strive to apply the library of congress cataloging rules (or similar methodology) and establish a set of rules for tagging and assigning metadata descriptions to internet works.

It's got to happen before tagging goes mainstream or else we're going to be back in the same place we were with the early search engines in the 1998-2000 era of the interweb.

Who wants to join my mission to bring the concept of a controlled vocabulary and set of guidelines for tagging to sites like del.icio.us, digg, and all the other tagging sites? If you're on board, please leave me a comment or track me down on my blog.

[1] Beneath the Metadata. Some Philosophical Problems with Folksonomy. D-Lib Magazine, November 2006, Volume 12 Number 11, ISSN 1082-9873. Elaine Peterson , Associate Professor / Information Resources Specialist, Montana State University


don't believe the [web3.0] hype?

So I recently started tracking the spread of web3.0 hype, buzz, FUD, whatever you want to call it and there's no doubt that it's spreading like wildfire across the inter-blog-web-social-net-icio.us-sphere.

Check out technorati mentions of "web 3.0" and also related tags on del.icio.us.

Reminds me of the hype and buzz that ensued with the evolution of the "next greatest" distributed computing technologies over the past 15 years. Remember how we went from CORBA > DCOM > RMI > XML/SOAP/WS and all the hype around xml and webservices.

Here are some initial thoughts.

web2.0 = XML/SOAP/WS for the masses and the maturation of the NKOTB like eBay, Amazon, Google, and Yahoo. Then came AJAX and the rise of public apis, the concept of the mashup, and the domination of socially-driven sites like myspace, friendster, linkedin, flickr, del.icio.us.

Then just within the past few months, we've had a slew of press releases from enterprise software vendors like IBM, BEA, Oracle, and MSFT trying to bring web2.0 techniques to the enterprise. Something that for a time was being called enterpriseweb2.0 or enterprise2.0. Salesforce.com appears to be the model citizen of an enterprise2.0 company.

Now all of a sudden we have folks trying to spin the W3C Semantic Web Activity and the genius behind TBL's vision as the special sauce needed to get us to web3.0? And then today I see people talking about AI being an integral part of web3.0? Come on people. The masses have yet to understand the potential and value of web2.0. Let's not clutter the playing field by spinning up a new version for the web. Let's get web2.0 feature complete before starting another dev cycle ok?

From what I can tell, it looks like most of these web3.0 buzz-mongers are trying to mashup TBL's vision for the semantic web with the interesting trends, techniques, and phenomena driving web2.0.

Is web3.0 nothing more than the realization of TBL's vision of the semantic web with the current trends fueling web2.0? Someone say it ain't so? And I previously blogged about how web2.0 makes my brain hurt. web3.0 might just make it explode. Enough. Stop the madness

cross post on web3.0 links from my multiply.com site

Might as well start here. I think that web3.0 hype is about to get insanely out of control OR I think it will wither and die.

Don't believe the Web3.0 hype - check it out technorati style - Here are posts that contain Web3.0 per day for the last 365 days.

Technorati Chart

Get your own chart!

There seems to be enough buzz to set web3.0 off, but time and users will ultimately tell. Here's my initial list of web3.0 links along with some personal commentary.

Ready for list off? Here's the beginning of the web3.0 Hype Cycle --

Start here:

[2] http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=68 One blogger's perspective on 3.0 - lots of hype, but some pretty interesting ideas and predictions. Some of it is laughable, but lots of folks seem to be jockying to position themselves around the 3.0 buzz that has yet to really catch on. Some think it might just fizzle, but then all of a sudden it shows up on last sunday's New York Times [1]. ?!?!?

[3] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/ - W3C Semantic Web Activity - This is Tim Berners-Lee's age-old brainchild. I recall having drinks with TBL back in 2000 debating the merits of RDF, topic maps, and metadata at one of the W3C summit meetings in Boston. The Semantic Web activity, while typically a slow moving activity that was way ahead of its time, yet many of its specs/standards took a while to migrate out of purely academic applications to being relevant/useful in a business context.

RDF and related metadata initiatives fall under this working group. web3.0 starts to take some of these concepts and apply them into the enteprise and for specific business contexts. Building upon the success of 2.0 in "wooing" the consumer space and the empowering the masses, web3.0 solutions / services will be much more targeted, focused, and business-specific. At least that's what most of the 3.0 articles / commentary / buzz i've tagged in [4] below seem to be talking about.

web3.0 is trying to be the realization of the web2.0 phenomena in a business context. 3.0 will spin business uses for 2.0 concepts, techniques, and phenomena like the "collective intelligence", "mashups", "tagging", "social bookmarking", "social networking", "blogging", etc. Salesforce.com is probably the model company who first capitalized on this opportunity.

More links here:

[4] http://del.icio.us/bdeseattle/web3.0 - My del.icio.us bookmarks / tags for web3.0

[5] http://del.icio.us/tag/web3.0 - all del.icio.us tags for web3.0

is web3.0 upon us?

UPDATE: So the more I play with this Multiply social networking / blogging site, the more I get frustrated by it. I am going to continue blogging right here on my good 'ole blogger account, so please bare with me as I figure out the best medium to dispense with my nonsensical commentary.

OK. So I stopped blogging for a long time. Mostly due to the fact that my identity was compromised and my credit info hacked. Not fun at all. That's ancient history, and with the continued wave of innovation sweeping across the internetwebspace, I thought I'd try to pick back up and start blogging on web3.0, web2.0 and related topics. Also will use multiply to post pics. From what I can tell, multiply will act as my uber-blog-aggregator where I can manage all of my web2.0-accounts e.g. flickr, del.icio.us, digg, etc.

My flickr stream is here: http://flickr.com/photos/bdeseattle


--Brian [bdeseattle]

PS - I bookmark on del.icio.us @ http://del.icio.us/bdeseattle