heading to crystal mtn - solo - with pack + gear

In the spirit of being smart, I'm headed up to Crystal Mtn. this morning for some cold deep fresh pow pow. Expect to leave around 7:30am and back to Seattle this afternoon. If you don't hear from my by 5pm, please call Crystal Mtn Ski Patrol. I have my full compliment of gear - avalanche transceivers, shovel, probe, fire making tools, shelter, water, food, etc. etc. Will not be heading out of bounds or into the back country, but knowing that Crystal has gotten over 40" in the last 4 days, its going to be deep. Pics will be taken from my mobile and posted to my flickr stream.


Late night wrapup...uhhh..make that early morning wrapup

OK. It's 2:11am and I've been posting like a madman over at the recently launched Techcrunch Forums. I've finally found a venue to post a thread on the topic of tagging, socialsoftware, and the issues I have with today's tagging systems. Thanks to Michael Arrington and the team over at Techcrunch for rolling out another vehicle to build the community. Great stuff.

Oh and while I'm at it, please forgive the mess here on my blog. I'm so friggin #@!$@!#$ed off at the "New Blogger", that I MUST MUST MUST get my Ubuntu server setup, dialed in, loaded with Wordpress, and extract my feed to a dedicated server. I can't wait for the day to rid myself of my dependence on Blogger. With that, I'm calling it a night..err morning.

After all I have the Comcast guy who is supposed to show up tomorrow morning from 8-11am to swap out my existing Motorola HD-DVR with a new one that has a BIGGER hard drive -- and get this -- it's not costing me a dime!!! I'll post some more nuggets on how to get Comcast to kick down a brand spankin new HD-DVR with a bigger HDD.


Is it just me, or is web2.0 losing it's steam?

I remember about a year ago when just about any time of the day I could login to del.icio.us/popular, digg.com, popurls.com, originalsignal.com, etc. and be completely and utterly blown away by the amazing content that so eloquently ebbed and flowed on their most popular lists.

I've become a frequent visitor to buzz.originalsignal.com, labs.digg.com/swarm, and http://technorati.com/pop/ and maybe its just my warped sense of what I find to be interesting, but over the past few months, the quality of content that rises to the top of these sites has gone way way down hill. I still get my daily dose of web2.0 crapola from these sites, but a year ago I was learning all sorts of new and interesting stuff from just about every link I clicked from the above mentioned sites. Now it seems like the quality of the coent being submitted has gone down significantly. I think I saw an article yesterday about the "dumbness of crowds." I think where I'm heading with this post is perhaps a completely factless and baseless hypothesis that as these social sites grow their userbase, quality suffers. I think I'll go explore the "dumbness of crowds" meme and report back.

Fellow tecnho-geeks, is it just me, or is web2.0 played out? Are the amazing benefits of socialsoftware and related web2.0 technologies, techniques, and philosophies meant to stay with us techies and never reach the masses? I sure hope not. What is it going to take to gain widespread adoption and bring the benefits of web2.0 to the masses?

standards for tagging
standards for tagging
standards for tagging


technorati tags vs. blogger labels

So I've been using this nifty little Greasemonkey script that inject a Technorati tag input form field to the blogger post GUI so I can embed technorati tags in my blog posts. As a recently upgraded blogger user (to the "new" system), I see that they've implemented a labels feature, which is strikingly similar to what I'm trying to accomplish by injecting technorati tags into my posts. Does anyone know if the Blogger labels are picked up by the blog engines like technorati, feed readers, and plain 'ole search engines? I guess I'll need to do some more research on Blogger labels.

My question for all you tech bloggers out there is:

technorati tags or blogger labels, or both?

This tagging stuff is getting to be a real pain in the a$$. sigh.

standards for tagging
standards for tagging
standards for tagging

[maybe if I repeat it enough, one will magically appear]

sigh. time to setup my ubuntu server with wordpress.

tagwars - del.icio.us, myweb2.0, bluedot, flickr -- we need tagging standards -- + a quick review of the del.icio.us Firefox extension

Building on my previous post and initial review of the Bluedot socialbookmarking site, as a daily, yet somewhat frustrated del.icio.us user, I figured I'd give it a go and see if Bluedot might trump del.icio.us as my socialbookmarking tool de jour (see previous rants on Yahoo's overlapping tagging and social bookmarking systems and issues with tagging & social bookmarking in general). The jury is still out on this debate, but I'm going to give Bluedot a fair shot, especially seeing some of the interesting features it appears to have in the works.

This post is a cut and paste from my post below (which was becoming a bit bloated), so I decided to extract this out, as it primarily is a review of the del.icio.us Firefox extension and how I am using it instead of my old FF links toolbar.

The setup:

So I start with my reasonably tuned FF2.0 browser that I've dialed in for hyper-productivity whilst navigating the web2.0-blog-o-net-sphere.

About 3 weeks ago, I upgraded my del.icio.us extension to the latest version, and initially wasn't too happy when my highly configured Links toolbar (aka my netOS) disappeared and was replaced with a del.icio.us specific one.

[NOTE: while installing this extension will replace your Links toolbar with a del.icio.us one, you can easily recover your old one by disabling or uninstalling the del.icio.us extension. You can also use what they are now calling the "Classic del.icio.us" extension if you want to still tag using del.icio.us, but also want to keep your Links toolbar.

After reading through the del.icio.us doc for the FF extension, in a relatively short period of time I was able to re-tune my del.icio.us toolbar to allow me to use it in a similar manner as I had previously used my tweaked out Links toolbar.

For me, the most important tag is my start tag, which allows me in one click to open all the sites I typically like to start my FF session with in a single click. I've added the Start tag as my first tag that appears on my del.icio.us tags toolbar.

Here's a screenshot of my previously dialed in Links toolbar:


versus my new del.icio.us tag-based toolbar:


Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the new del.icio.us bookmarks functionality, but I have run into the following minor annoyances:

  1. If you customize (or have previously customized) your FF toolbars (e.g. add extra buttons, rearrange things, etc) and you disable or uninstall the del.icio.us extension, all your custom buttons get reset.
  2. If you only use FF Links toolbar to organize your FF bookmarks, they will not be imported into the firefox:toolbar tab. I think this is a bug. I can't seem to track down all the links from my old FF Links toolbar.
  3. Every so often, Firefox will initiate a Bookmarks Sync process that freezes up FF and I'm not able to access other tabs or perform other functions (like type this post).
Okay, enough del.icio.us talk for now.

[UPDATE: I've gone back to using the del.icio.us toolbar instead of my dialed in FF Links toolbar. Still a work in progress, but I see the light and have some new ideas on how to kick it up another notch. sTay tuned. ]

del.icio.us vs bluedot comparison

Alright. Yesterday, whilst getting my daily dose of socially-driven news over at Original Signal, I came across Arrington's review of the 2007 web2.0 companies that he couldn't live without. After reading the first part of his post, I was intrigued by his review of Bluedot and decided to take it for a quick spin.

Let's move on to the bluedot.us install / del.icio.us import.

The install:

Simple FF add-on / bookmarklet. Install FF add-on [ Get it here ]. Restart FF.

The import:

My ~900 del.icio.us bookmarks took about 5-8 min to complete.

The Process:

As Michael mentions in his post, bluedot is really about sharing your bookmarks with friends and adds another layer of granularity to making your bookmarks public vs. private. Bluedot allows you to selectively share your dots with friends [NOTE: I've yet to explore this feature because I only have one friend so far and I'm all about sharing my dots with the masses in the true spirit of the user-driven, socially-powered web2.0 world we live in. ]

The GUI:

Bluedot organizes itself into 4 main areas.

  1. Home - sub menus allow you to filter your "dots". Dots = URI/bookmark + tags + extracted metadata. You can view Friend's dots, Everyone's Dots, and My Dots

  2. People - sub menus allow you to Find Friends, view My Friends, and Invite Friends

  3. Tools - everything you'd come to expect in a piece of socialsoftware - widgets, feeds, REST, APIs, FF extensions, bookmarklets, and blog integration. Tools page is pretty self explanatory, so am not going to go into too much detail here (also haven't explored all of them yet)

  4. My Account - standard account management features. Edit profile, password, email settings, etc.
Here are some pics I posted to my flickr stream that showcase some of the bluedot features in action:

My Bluedot homepage:

Tag view of my dots:

So I've only spent about 2 hours total playing around with bluedot, but I think I'm ready to do a basic feature comparison. There are certainly features that I am psyched to see in Bluedot (is that a USER RATING SYSTEM I see next to my profile?!?!?!?), but there are other critical features that are supported on del.icio.us that I am not seeing here (yet?). I'll wait for the experts to chime in and correct any inaccuracies or oversights on my part (apologies in advance).

With that, here's a feature comparison table with a list of features that I find most important in social bookmarking and tagging systems. It will expand on my del.icio.us vs. myweb2.0 feature bakeoff in my previous post on this topic that I've linked to from above.

OK, so I'm a busy guy and haven't finished this post. Gives you a compelling reason to check back. I promise I'll finish it soon. :-)

Tag separatorspacecommacomma