So long web2.0. Nice to know you.

After a long 72hr marathon down at the Moscone Center at the web2.0 expo, I've come to the conclusion that its time for me say goodbye to web2.0. It's been fun kids, but I've got more important projects to work on.


Lifecasting mashup with Justin.TV > Chris Pirillo > Robert Scoble > Jeremiah Owyang

OK. this is a long post. I wrote the first rough draft on the airplane this morning after being up till 3 am, sleeping till 4:30am and then catching a 6am flight down to SFO. Now I'm about to finish it here at the web2expo @ Moscone west (level 2).

Here's the background - I started checking out justin.tv after seeing some early coverage of his project on the usual techno-geek blogs. The whole idea and concept behind what he is trying to do fascinated me and while I have not been watching from the begingging, I have been watching quite intently over the past week or so. Quite an interesting little science project they have going. Clearly capturing a certain buzz and the media seems to be in a frenzy. What the media has no clue about is what I want to focus on in this post.

So as I started watching justin.tv, about a week ago, I began to notice a very strange phenomena taking place in the chat rooms. During pauses, technical glitches, or times when Justin just wasn't all that interesting, the action in the chat rooms picked up considerably. As I started to poke around, I realized that ad-hoc communities and new relationships were forming right in front of my eyeballs were being forged directly in the chat rooms.

For example, Lobby 1 on justin.tv is quite active and there seems to be an entire group of folks who are now "regulars" - myself included - at least since this week (lol). I started to make connections (via IM, txt, twitter, blogs, myspace, etc etc) with several really interesting people in the chat rooms -- which is really what piqued my interest and led me to want to participate more and more, especially during the times when the live feed went down or the feed was just plain boring.

It became clear to me that the chat rooms are where the real action takes place and that's where I found myself being drawn in the most. Being able to chat with people from around the world in real time while also watching the live feed from justin.tv results in some pretty interesting discussions. Sure there's your fair share of immature, inappropriate, and sometimes just downright nasty chatter in the rooms, but the rawness and uncensored nature of both justin's live feed and the raw nature of the chat is what makes it so addictive.

The more I watched, the more I realized that the entire concept of lifecasting is poised to become the next social networking medium. forget myspace, blogs, and the like, a new generation of social networking is upon us - sites like twitter, jaiku, and justin.tv represent the dawn of a new era - the next generation of the web - what some call the semantic web - and others call web3.0. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the term "web3.0", as the whole versioning thing is pretty silly. Let's get web2.0 out of beta and into production before we really start to build the web3.0 platform.

I think what we are seeing happen before our eyes is watching people like you and me take back the internet from the establishment. We saw this on Saturday when Robert Scoble began his very own lifecast of his car trip to Merced. Robert, with the help and "sponsorship" from UStream, setup his Sony Vaio laptop with a Verizon EVDO USB modem, connected to a pretty standard webcam, and hit the road with his family.

Robert started broadcasting and I immediately hopped over to his live stream. Then the craziness ensued. I started chating with Robert while he was driving in his car and talking with his family. Through the IRC chat, Robert began answering questions and interacting with the 20-50 or so folks who were in his chat room and watching his lifecast.

At this point, I realized that the whole game was changing right there in front of my eyes. Then I did something else. I posted a WTF on Technorati and a story on Digg (minimal action on both posts - I don't often post to Digg or Technorati, although I monitor them quite frequently on my orginial signal feed), so I'm not in with the front page posting crowd. I'm a mere mortal. Anyway, that's not the real point here.

Now here's where things go a little Twilight Zone.

Next, I pasted the link to Robert's live feed in the Lobby 1 chat room on Justin.tv.

Then in Robert's chat there is talk about getting Justin in Robert's chat / video stream - which I thought was going to go down at the web2expo and not on a Saturday morning.

Well, we didn't get Justin in Scoble's chat (he was busy with trapeze lessons), but we got some of his crew. Emmett from Justin.tv was in Robert's chat room for a bit and was actually watching Robert lifecast and participating in Robert's chat.

Then things get even weirder. Robert is taking phone calls and somehow word gets out to Chris Pirillo that Robert is broadcasting live from his car. Sure enough a couple minutes later Pirillo shows up in Robert's chat and they start talking.

Then Robert's connection goes down. As a backup, Chris gets Robert on his mobile, turns up the volume of his own live feed, and voila, there you have it - the first human to human lifecasting mashup. Then it got even crazier when Jeremiah Owwang (who is also broadcasting live?) joins both Robert and Chris's live feed. So all of a sudden we have a 3 way live and real time lifecast enviornment with at least 4 lifecasters talking to each other using at least 6 different mediums - chat, IM, IRC, cell phone, video lifecast feed, skype.

By now, things are just getting nutty and I'm muting one feed, listening to another, chatting in yet another - at one point, I had no idea which feed the audio was coming from, which video to watch, and my head was spinning --but the amazing thing is that no matter how the connections were made -- Robert, Chris, Jeremiah, and the folks in the chat rooms were able to seamlessly (well almost) communicate for the entire exchange. At one point I was relaying messages from Chris (speaking verbally in his feed) to Robert (asking robert to call Chris at home).

After at least an hour of this insanity, I had to call it quits. My head was literally spinning and at that point in time, I realized that today the game has changed.

I think the fact that this whole thing is about people and not technology is different. We are on the verge of another wave I think. This wave is where people take back the internet from the establishment. The standards, technologies, and techniques to facilitate human to human interaction in real time on the internet are all in place. The hardware is still evolving, but its clear that sites like Justin.tv and the concept of lifecasting, along with the "wisdom of crowds" concept are fueling this fire.

The dynamics in the Justin.tv chat are fascinating. I would love to see a sociologist or psychologist analyse the logs. There is an entire micro-community of relationships being made right under the justin.tv phenom. Robert just proved that it is possible for others to do similar things. I don't think Robert was trying to show Justin up, as Justin and his team has a very impressive custom hardware solution for his live broadcast.

I think this is one of the more interesting events I've seen take place online in a long long time, which is why I am currently sitting on a plane with literally 2 hours of sleep headed down to san francisco to see how things go down at the web2expo event and also at tonight's Ignite which we should hopefully see Justin attend and speak. I've sent out some feelers to see if I can present at Ignite and tell this story to more people and get their feedback. I will be fickr-twitter-bloggign the entire experience using my Verizon EVDO phone. Here are the relevant URLs:

Follow me [bdeseattle] at the web2expo here:



Justin.tv gets one upped by Scoble. The entire game will change now.


twitter v. jaiku - a good old fashioned technorati smackdown

OK - Jaiku seems to be poised to explode and I thought I'd whip up a quick and dirty comparison using Technorati graphs. Here we go. Ready, set, go. Let's get it on!

Posts that contain Jaiku per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Posts that contain Twitter per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

3 topics of discussion on web3.0 & the semantic web.

I just finished listening to an excellent interview with Nova Spivak, the CEO of Radar Networks, and I must say that I'm very impressed with his visionary thinking and current thoughts on the state of web3.0 and semantic web technology.

Clearly we are at a crossroads and I agree that 2007 could be the year that we go into production with web2.0 and begin to really build out a production quality web3.0 platform and start to roll it out to the masses. Enough with the betas already. [Mini-rant- Let's engineer quality code first and release it later instead of the current trend in web2.0-beta-land.]

I thought I'd post some of my recent thoughts, questions, and insights on the semantic web and web3.0, as I think the interweb is about to get turned upside down and start folding in on itself, like a protein molecule in a much larger & increasingly complex strand of DNA.

Topic 1: We have the standards, do we have the tools to build semantic web apps on the web3.0 platform?

I think the tools are still a bit immature, lacking, and hard to use, but they are evolving. While I have not used this tool yet, I've heard that the the TopBraid Composer 2.0 is perhaps the best commercially available tool on the market right now and there are others coming, but the development projects I'm seeing are still very AJAXY in nature and aren't necessarily focusing on cleaning up the metadata and adding semantic web features and capabilities [yet].

The #1 issue right now seems to be answering the question: How do you build a massively scalable storage and query engine that can scale to support growth in the hundreds of billions of RDF triples range and the high volume of r/w queries to interact with them? Maybe we need to start looking at complex biological, geospatial, and astronomical systems that can approach the same orders of scale and magnitude to draw upon how they function and exist. I don't know. Totally speculating here. I'm currently liking the discussion on 3d visualization for semantic web triples.

Topic 2: Can we build interfaces that my mom and grandmother can use, while collecting enough metadata to feed the semantic web machine? What about privacy concerns?

What if I don't want your app to capture every single click I take through it? Or maybe I do? I don't know. What's the right level of user interaction that should warrant the implicit (or explicit) use and collection of RDF triples?

How can we make our apps brain dead simple enough so that end users can even comprehend the benefits that this next gen of apps will bring? I have a hard enough time explaining this stuff to my geek friends, let alone my mother. Can we really build interfaces that are seamless and hide the underlying complexities of the semantic web engine from the average joe? I'm not sure that we can.

How can we encourage users to participate in the read/write web3.0 database and actively contribute semantically rich content? Can we really bring this technology down to a common level so that all users -- on a global scale -- can benefit, while actively contributing to the growth of the semantic web database?

I realize that there are more questions than answers in this blurb, but I am really struggling with this topic and am not convinced that we can build a web3.0 platform that can be adopted by the masses on GLOBAL scale [yet].

For example, it frustrates the hell out of me that when I do a technorati search for "web3.0" the majority of results that come back are in other languages that I don't understand. If I'm to understand the power of the semantic web and web3.0 platform, then I would expect this query to return results that I can read and understand.

I don't want to have to go to google translate, copy and paste the url, and get some less than perfect translation that currently only allows me to translate to/from one language at a time. Will semantic web and web3.0 really solve this problem? I really hope so, but I think we are a LONG LONG way from achieving this goal.

Topic #3 - What can we leverage / bring over from the web2.0 platform?

LOTS!!!!! I think the most important aspects of web2.0 that will fuel the web3.0 fire include: mashups, public apis, web sites as web services, social networking techniques, tagging systems & folksonomies, socially-driven software, leveraging the wisdom of crowds, crowdsourcing, the collective intelligence, and the good 'ole "unintended consequences" or use of web2.0 features in new or unconventional ways.

Ouch. Now my head hurts.

I'll leave this post with a link to my del.icio.us bookmarks tagged with web3.0.


addicted to twitter?

OK - so I've spent the last couple hours geeking out on twitter. I'm fascinated by its rapid growth and am interested in understanding how the social aspects of its features are being used. I am a twitter noob, but I've found a couple of useful posts, and more importantly found some "web2.0" friendly peeps to follow on twitter. This will be my rapid ramp up program. I just figured out how to post to twitter from my mobile via txt, I also have an IM account that I can post to using meebo.com, I also added a Post to Twitter link to my Firefox search bar, and I'm starting to understand their apis and syntax for posting to the site. I'm curious to see how this site will grow and evolve over time. Happy twittering all.

just say no to aprilFools2.0

Ok. The april fools stuff online is getting a bit out of control. and now it's spreading like wildfire across the blogosphere and interwebs. From techcrunch, to gmail, technorati, and even scriptingnews and yahoo. Great work all. Here's my collection of spoofed sites. Enjoy all.


10 things that currently frustrate me.

OK - I've been thinking about this for a bit and thought I'd toss it out there for the blogosphere to digest.

1. Not being able to capture thoughts, todo items, and having an effective way to manage them. jott is my latest attempt to bring order to the chaos that is my brain.

2. Getting 1x EVDO signal on Verizon's 3G network in my home, while I get 5 bar EDGE/GPRS from Cingular.

3. My cable internet, voip, and hd cable provider. Service is quickly going down hill and getting less and less reliable. Also can't stand the increasing cost after 6 month promotion expires.

4. Not being able to control my HD DVR from my phone. I've heard that Tivo has a solution for this. DirectTV here I come??? If what they say is true, I look forward to the days of having complete control over my DVR and a hundreds of HD channels to choose from.

5. Staring at my terabyte Yellow Machine storage device sitting next to my crappy Motorola HD DVR that only has a 250GB drive. Not being able to archive my HD content in an easy and efficient manner sucks or being able to expand the storage capacity of said DVR.

6. Being able to capture an hour of video on my phone, but only being able to send 15 sec clips over MMS / email from my LG VX9900.

7. Being locked into 2 year contract with my Verizon EVDO PCMCIA card that I hardly ever use.

8. The state of my NCAA brackets.

9. Not having the bandwidth to attend some of the interesting web2.0++ events going on right now.

10. Not having the time to get my blog off of Blogger and onto a home-hosted Ubuntu / Wordpress soln.


Let the Madness Begin

Today and tomorrow are my favorite days of the year in sports. The NCAA tournament is such fun to watch and I've got several brackets in play. Here are my picks:


Syracuse got screwed - 2007 NCAA March Madness - web2.0 Style!

Thanks to Mike Arrington for the scoop on this cool new bracket mgr / social networking / ncaa march madness site - http://hoops.pickspal.com/

Here's my widget with a direct link to my filled in bracket.

I've also got brackets filled in for Yahoo Sports, ESPN, and CBS Sportsline

Link to my comment on Mike's post on Techcrunch


cool network speed test with visualization

Check out my results of a ping from Seattle to DC using my Comcast broadband connection over wireless 802.11g from my Dell D620 laptop.


Epic day on the backside @ Steven's Pass, WA

So after dialing in all the weather data, avalanche report, current traffic, and planned avalanche control work, we decided to head up to Stevens Pass instead of Alpental. And while I heard Alpental went off, I think Stevens got more snow. I was easily knee to waist deep pretty much all day long. I only snapped one pic from my new LG ENV phone (more on that in another post), and I still need to post it. Needless to say the skiing was epic and I'm really starting to get comfortable with my new boards. They frikin slice and dice the deep stuff and really let you commit yourself to the fall line. I went steep and deep and pointed em straight down the hill and OMFG, pure bliss. Makes the daily grind worth it.

There are more storms a brewing with more snow in the Mountains. I will be heading up to the mtns at least one day this weekend. Woot!!!

PacNW mtns rip!!!


Technorati Tags: , , , ,


new storm promises a deep powder day

So, I'm usually pretty good at heeding the warnings put out by the NWAC, but this one takes the cake. Crazy changing conditions in the northwest snopack. Am heading up to Alpental tomorrow morning for some freshies. Will be skiing with 2 others and returning in the late afternoon - definitely plan to be back before 5pm pacific. Will have full compliment of gear including tranceivers, shovel, probe, first aid, and provisions for a night or two.

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

900 AM PST MON FEB 19 2007

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 4000 feet and
moderate below early Monday, gradually increasing
through Monday afternoon. Significantly increasing
danger Monday afternoon through early Tuesday becoming
high above 4000 feet and considerable below. Gradually
decreasing danger Tuesday afternoon and night becoming
high above 5000 feet and considerable below.

Considerable avalanche danger above 6000 feet and
moderate below early Monday. Gradually increasing
danger Monday afternoon becoming considerable above
5000 feet and moderate below. Further increasing danger
Monday night and early Tuesday becoming high above 5000
feet and considerable below. Gradually decreasing
danger Tuesday afternoon and night becoming high above
6000 feet and considerable below.



Considerable avalanche danger above 4000 feet and
moderate below early Monday, gradually increasing
through Monday afternoon. Significantly increasing
danger Monday afternoon through early Tuesday becoming
high above 4000 feet and considerable below. Gradually
decreasing danger Tuesday afternoon and night becoming
high above 5000 feet and considerable below.

Very warm and sunny conditions Saturday helped to melt
and weaken surface snow on most open slopes. Cooling
Saturday night and light to moderate precipitation
deposited some 3 to 6 inches of new snow along most west
slope areas with up to 12 inches in the Mt Baker area.
This initial snow formed a relatively good bond to the
underlying wet and refreezing snow. Some reluctantly and
isolated ski triggered soft slabs were noted Sunday in
the shallow amounts of new snow from ski area
professionals. Also, very strong ridgetop winds scoured
much of the new snow on exposed slopes, exposing the hard
underlying crust. Continued light to moderate snow
showers Sunday morning through Monday morning have
deposited an additional 4 to 8 inches of new snow along
the west slope areas, Olympics and Mt Hood area.
Continued moderate to strong winds have likely built more
significant wind slab layers on many steep lee slopes,
mainly northeast through southeast facing slopes at
higher elevations where greater wind transport has
occurred. Snow pits early Monday morning at Snoqualmie
Pass noted a weak layer of grauple snow about 4 inches
below the surface at 3000 feet, likely deposited during
showers overnight. This or other near surface weak layers
have likely formed in the recent snow during fluctuations
of wind and snowfall intensity. Any triggered slides are
expected to release on these buried weak layers but may
fail or step down to the underlying crust where a weaker
bond exists, mainly above 5 to 6000 feet where
precipitation initiated as snow Saturday night.

Also, the strong winds and recent snowfall have built
extensive cornices along ridges and backcountry travelers
should be extra cautious near ridges.

Along the east slopes, significantly less new snow is
maintaining a lower danger, with shallow new snow
deposits over a very firm crust or breakable crust in
shaded areas.


Light rain or snow Monday morning, gradually increasing
with moderate ridgetop winds. This should slowly increase
the danger as wind slab deposits increase over steep open
lee slopes. Further increasing rain or snow Monday
afternoon with strong winds. This should further increase
the danger early afternoon. Further increasing rain and
snow becoming heavy to very heavy Monday night with very
strong crest level winds. This should cause mostly
unstable snow to develop above about 4000 feet near or
west of the Cascade crest, Olympics, and Mt Hood area
where natural or triggered slides should become
increasingly likely late Monday. The greatest danger
increase should be on steep lee slopes near ridges,
mainly northeast to southeast facing. Travel in avalanche
terrain is not recommended by late Monday.

Heavy snow early Tuesday at cooling temperatures and with
very strong winds should maintain or increase the danger.
Unstable slabs are likely on a variety of slopes,
especially northeast through southeast facing slopes near
or west of the Cascade crest, Olympics and Mt Hood area
where backcountry travel is not recommended. Slightly
less wind at lower elevations and less new snow fall
along the east slopes should limit the avalanche danger
increase, however unstable slabs are also likely on steep
open slopes at higher terrain. Decreasing snow showers
and further cooling with decreasing winds late Tuesday
and Tuesday night should allow for a slow decrease in


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. Also note
that field snowpack information is often available on the FOAC
website at www.avalanchenw.org, and weather and avalanche
glossaries for commonly used terms in the forecasts can be
found on the NWAC education page.

Kramer/Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center


lights out @ flickr? apparent cache crash

flickr down for massage. going on several hrs now. that's not like yhoo. maybe the flickr team is still reading that lovely memo that Mike posted over at techcrunch.
Technorati Tags: , , ,


del.icio.us team rolls out sweet new keyword feature for quick launch from browser bar.

As I reported in my last post, I noticed a new feature on del.icio.us today. I think they just rolled it out. The strange thing is that I don't recall updating my del.icio.us bookmarks plugin anytime recently. what's that update process del.icio.us devs?

So here's how it works - there's a new keyword field that is available as an option when you ctrl+d or click tag / use what ever save to del.icio.us method you use. I will say that this technique does require the del.icio.us bookmark extension.Above example: I want to be able to type tc into my browser url bar and go to www.techcrunch.com. All I need to do is enter tc into the keyword field and click save. that's it. I just added keywords for all my favorite sites - flickr, del.icio.us, gmail, owa (outlook web access), digg swarm, orginalsignal, myblog, etc etc etc.

this is kind of like having a launchy-style cmd-driven interface for your favorite bookmarks. I think its pretty slick.

Update: Just posted on TC forum to see if others have noticed this feature.


an important milestone

Where to begin. It's been a heck of a week for me with several projects at work reaching critical mass. Under immense pressure to build no fewer than three custom solutions with buggy software nonetheless. But that's not what this post is about. This post is about something much more important.

Today I reached a new plateau in my quest to move from the desktop to the browser. Allow me explain - our company just rolled out Exchange 2003 and the associated Outlook Web Access (OWA) client - you know the browser-based version of the Outlook client (which I deplore, hate, and have wanted to ditch for many years). I've been looking to move to a 100% browser based email client for Exchange for some time and while OWA tends to be an IE-centric interface, I've got a quick and dirty solution that allows me to open OWA in a Firefox tab. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Install the IE Tab firefox add-on
  2. Restart FF and fire up a new tab in Firefox.
  3. Use the IE tab context switch (click the FF icon in the browser status bar - bottom of browser).
  4. Enter URL to OWA webmail client.
  5. Tag it with the brand spankin new del.icio.us keyword feature "owa" and now any time you type owa into your browser url bar, OWA will open. (you'll need the full blown Firefox del.icio.us extension to do this step). [SEE UPDATE BELOW]
  6. You're done. That's it. No more need for outlook application.
Here's what mine looks like:
Do you realize what this means for me? I've finally rid myself of my dependence on Microsoft Office as a desktop platform for personal productivity. Here's my list of Office replacements (all of which are tagged in my del.icio.us bookmarks with "start" tag - I use this to rapid fire open all in new tabs for super productivity when I need to start my day.

MSWord > Google Docs
Excel > Google Sheets
PPT > Thumbstacks
Outlook > OWA

Other MS Replacements that are part of my arsenal of tools:

Outlook Express News Reader > Google Reader
MSN / Windows Messenger > Meebo
Windows Search > Google Desktop
MS Paint > Irfanview
Windows start menu > Launchy

DEL.ICIO.US KEYWORD FEATURE UPDATE: this feature has magically disappeared. I snapped a screenshot of it. I wonder if the del.icio.us guys are rolling out a new feature? For some strange reason, I don't see this new keywords field anymore. But I do have proof that it was there at one point. See:


I got me an obama-blog-o-rama

I've read a couple articles on Barack Obama's new social network so I thought I'd create an account and take it for a spin. While I'm definitely intrigued by Obama, I'm not all that political, and I especially don't blog about my political views, not to mention that I'm not really ready to think about '08 yet. For now, I'll just keep watching Colbert & Stewart for my daily dose of political reality.

I'm more interested in seeing how each campaign is using 2.0 tech and other socially-driven techniques in their overall strategy. Clearly there are some interesting 2.0 trends like "wisdom of crowds", "collective intelligence", and "long tail techniques" -- that if applied to the political maelstrom spinning out of control in our nation's capital -- might just turn DC politics upside down. Either way, it's going to be interesting to watch it all play out.

After a quick register > create blog > create hello world post on the MyBarakObama social network site, I must say that it's a pretty primitive blogging GUI that is kind of klunky. Overall, the social networking aspects of the site are pretty decent - support for groups, basic profile, friends, comments, etc etc. Will be interesting to see how quickly the site grows. Hopefully Arrington will post a detailed breakdown of the site's first month traffic report over at TC.


Pipes to organize the feeds in the tubes on the internets

OK. I just spent about an hour tinkering with Yahoo's latest innovation - Pipes. Pretty interesting concept. The general idea is to empower users [geeks] with the ability to slice and dice rss feeds in new and interesting ways, in this case - bringing unix-style piping capabilities to the browser in a drag and drop GUI.

Edit mode:

View Mode:
It's a concept that has the blogosphere buzzing, with the likes of Tim O'Reilly, Nic Cubrilovic, Nial Kennedy, and others offering up their take on this new piece of 2.0 tech.

I really like the concept of tools to slice and dice my feeds. I've also been toying with some other feed manipulating tools like feedrinse, and feedburner for some time, but it seems like Pipes may give me additional capabilities. I'm thinking tip of the iceberg here.

With OPML being the preferred format for marshaling around my >150 aging feed subs - I went from Bloglines to Google Reader to Technorati Favorites to FeedEye and now am looking at my best options for further pruning my feeds with Pipes. Need to find some time to further explore this. Either way, with feeds being such an important part of my 2.0 arsenal, these tools may be just what I need to fine tuning the signal-noise ratio in my chaotic life.

Here's my first pipe - a mashup of my blog, del.icio.us bookmarks, flickr photos, and YouTube Videos, sorted by PubDate. [UPDATE - I modded this one using the technique from the pipe I cloned below]

Here's my second pipe [which I cloned and modded from this one]

Happy Piping geeks.

[UPDATE: Grrr. I just started to get excited about the usefulness of Pipes, and then I read this blog post. Sigh. I too noticed some weirdness in the sorting of items in my feed mashups. Also check out the different sort selection options based on the feeds you are working with. I noticed that del.icio.us uses Dublin Core metadata:whereas Flickr appears to use something else: Don't get me started on that Peanut Butter crap again. Come on yahoo, please tell me that the stuff I read in the above link isn't the case. Just when I thought I had some useful pipes to bring order to the tubes in my internets. ]


blogspot down for most of the day?

what's the deal with the sporadic outages that I'm hearing about from friends and family who are having trouble accessing blogspot.com sites. What gives Blogger? Please shed some light on what you are doing.


Yahoo! Flickr.icio.us - Save to del.icio.us from Flickr auto-gen's a thumbnail image for your del.icio.us entry.

UPDATE: Boy did I miss the boat on this one. Lifehacker posted this way back in May. sigh. I do like the fact that I can use this feature to mix up my del.icio.us page a bit with some flickr goodness though. Perhaps add some pieces of Flair, if you will. Think I'll tag some of my more interesting pics.heh.

Holy Yahoo! Flickr.icio.us batman. I was just over @ del.icio.us/popular and noticed something that I don't recall seeing exposed in their GUI - image thumbnail previews. Check out the screenshot of my silly self-pic taken earlier today on from my aging v3 RAZR. All you have to do is click the Save to del.icio.us link on whatever flickr pic you want to tag. this could change the game a bit.

Tags: , , , , ,

Geni - Create your family tree. Check it.

UPDATE #2 - site appears to be back, but experiencing intermittent technical glitches. 4:44pm pacific Jan 17, 2007

UPDATE: Geni down? Must have gotten overwhelmed by the traffic. Thanks TC.

Wow. Kudos to Mike Arrington for turning me on to this cool new site. I spent a couple hours tinkering with their lovely Flash GUI, and I must say that I'm very impressed. From a usability and UI perspective, this is one clean web2.0 app. Easy to use and jammed full of spiffy features. Of course there are some skeptics and haters, as you can see from some of the comments on Mike's post over at TechCrunch, but all in all, it was one of the best GUI's I've seen in a long time. Kudo's to the Geni design team. Well Done. Here's a pic of my tree so far. Pretty cool eh?

Check it out: http://www.geni.com

Here's the slickly crafted viral email that gets sent out to email addy's that you include in member's of your tree.

Dear Mom,
> I've added you to our family tree on Geni, a new website that helps families create and share their family tree and stay in touch with each other. Our family tree already has 18 people in it!
> Please click here to see our tree:
[url removed]
> Or you can login to Geni.com with this information:
> Your Username: [username removed]
> Your Temporary Password: [pwd removed]
> Here is how Geni works:
> * Each family member can add relatives to our tree. So please add any relatives that are missing. Just click the yellow arrows to add someone!
> * You can invite a relative to join the tree by entering their email address. That relative can add and invite other relatives so our tree will continue to grow!
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WTF - More craziness on Digg Swarm

WTF - this is the second time I've seen this in as many days over at Digg Swarm. A newly registered user digging stories at insane rates. Must be a script/bot doing this.

Digg User = robertkrose [Joined Jan 15, 2007]

Swarm activity ~3:30 pacific time, Jan 15, 2007

User profile for Digg user robertkrose:
Same profile but a few minutes later. The total number of stories Dugg more than doubled in about 5 minutes (from 1527 to 3645)Can anyone explain this activity? Seems like an automated Digg script/bot to me. Is Digg being gamed again but in a slightly new and improved way? Please someone shed some light?

Tags: , , , ,

post on need for tagging standards makes del.icio.us most popular page

Just came across a recent post focusing on the need for standards (or not) for tagging systems. Furthers my case that we need to do something about these tagging systems or we're never going to be able to bring it to masses.

[UPDATE: Via trackback links on the above article, I read this post, and left this response to the author. ]

I think the KISS model is highly applicable in this case. Simple, effective tagging systems that all share the same baseline features might help, but may not address the inherent issues that crop up in socially-driven systems like del.icio.us and other sites.

My comments are really focused on the need for some level of commonality and consistency across tagging systems in the following areas:

  • Ability to gracefully handle compound words, phrases, and multi-word tags. Space, no space, quotes, whatever. Pick one.
  • Spell checking. FF2.0 brings this into the fold, but spelling errors in tags results in bloated and inaccurate tag clouds.
  • Better equivalence detection capabilities - singular vs. plural, synonyms, typos, etc.
  • Better tag management - for example, right now, on del.icio.us, I can only delete one tag at a time. Tag replacement helps me get rid of equivalents, but only one at a time.
What do you think?


WTF is going on with Digg Swarm?

Came across a post by Muhammad Saleem, over at The Mu Life about a strange object over on Digg Swarm. I also noticed something very strange on Swarm this morning. Check out the screenshots below of the crazy activity from Digg User BigYellowDot.

As of ~11:15am pacific on Jan 14, 2007, this account has dugg 14674 stories. Either this is a bot/script that the Digg team is using to test, or someone else has written some slick code to auto-digg.

Watching this user's activity on swarm was very interesting. You could literally watch the size of this users BIG YELLOW BALL grow before your eyes. Also note how the stories that were dugg are sucked in like a black hole. Whatever it was, it was pretty cool to watch on Swarm.

Tags: , , ,

King 5 News uses my cameraphone picture on their Top Stories web page!

Check it out: My cameraphone pic (sent to king5 via my flickr stream set link) made their online news report. the power of mobile phones. I'm just glad to have water again. Enjoy this set my people's!!! Happy new year everyone.

Browser screenshot of my cameraphone pic:



Some new pics of my reef tank to spruce things up a bit.

Here are a couple pics I took earlier tonight of my reef tank. Just wanted to post something non-tech and non-geeky for a change. Enjoy. More pics coming to my flickr stream soon.

Rose Bubble Anemones
Rose Bubble Anemones

My latest acquisition - a ginormous brain sized bright green candy cane coral
My latest acquisition - a ginormous brain sized bright green candy cane coral

Devil's Hand coral, assorted leather corals, and my mean ass female Clarkii clownfish (my oldest fish)
Devil's Hand coral, assorted leather corals, and my mean ass female Clarkii clownfish (my oldest fish)

Digg Down! Upgrade? Installation of the anti-spam-laser-blasters?

Digg down @ 5:07PM January 11, 2007

No activity on Swarm:

more signs of strain on the web2.0 bubble

I remember about a year ago when I came across an odd new Amazon service called Mechanical Turk. I actually signed up for an account and tried to do some simple mturk HITs. I spent a couple days fiddling around, and while I saw the genius behind the application, I thought that back then, the concept was way ahead of its time. And here we are today, a year later and the folks over are ReadWriteWeb dicussing the rather lackluster rate of adoption of MTurk services in webapps and the fact that there really hasn't been a killer app implemented that leverages this service. Is there a killer app for MTurk? I think there probably is, but I'm not sure the dev community is ready to build mature apps with something like this yet. What do you think?

the end of the socially-driven-web2.0-era? Social sites reeling from spammers

OK. This now confirms what I've been suspecting for the past couple months. Spammers have REALLY increased their activity and infiltration of the socially-driven sites like Digg, Del.icio.us, MyBlogLog, and many others to the point where it could bring the whole thing crashing down.

It's a damn shame. I get the feeling of impending doom where the entire socially-driven web2.0 bubble could come crashing down rather quickly unless these sites do more to combat the sleazy and constantly-evolving spamming techniques. We need better anti-spamming features built into these sites.

Digging and burying of comments (kind of like a peer review for comments) on things submitted to Digg is a start, but man, the flame wars going on over at Digg make me think that everyone over there is in high school. I mean come on people. The quality of content, commentary, and user participation on the social driven sites has really done downhill. Del.icio.us is in danger of following suit.

More evidence - I came across a post on the MyBlogLog blog earlier tonight where they were asking for feedback on where do draw the line between those pesky spammers vs. honest folks like myself who are just trying to grow our communities. My post from earlier tonight on the existence of possible spam-laden comments over at the TechCrunch MyBlogLog Community site also alludes to the spam-related issues that are currently plaguing the socially-driven sites.

Another example - del.icio.us spam - Here's a screenshot that I just took from del.icio.us with a lot of suspect links rising to the top of the Most Popular page. I took this screenshot at approximately 12:56am pacific time on January 11, 2007. Notice the two entries that I've blacked out below. Both link to adult-oriented porn with tons of ads, links, spyware, and such.

Very concerning trends for techno-geeks like myself who have come to enjoy the GREAT benefits these sites have [had?]to offer. Wouldn't you agree that there were MUCH more interesting things rising to the tops of the socially-driven sites about a year ago. Now the waters are muddied and the future of this amazingly interesting phenomena may be in dire straits. I certainly hope not.

It just goes to show you that it's not about the software and features driving these sites, it about building a community where users are encouraged to participate, contribute, and interact with one another instead of spamming and flaming the latest and greatest poster-of-stupid-content-that-gets-dugg-then-buried-then-flamed-in-comments.

Double sigh. Just when I thought we could bring web2.0 to the masses, I start seeing trends like this that make me think otherwise. Time to go throw a temper tantrum over on Digg.


Techcrunch MyBlogLog Community getting excessive amounts of spam in comments?

It's amazing how vigilent us techno-geeks must be to stay on top of those pesky spammers. Look at the comments from the MyBlogLog Community page for TechCrunch in the screenshot below.

@ Michael Arrington - might want to break out your spam laser blasters and clean up some of these community comments. Or not... ;-)

Catholic dating? Myspace codes? seems awfully suspicious to me...and please do correct me if I'm wrong, as I don't visit the MyBlogLog TechCrunch community page all that often.

Personally, I'm sick and tired of the spammers. I'm sick and tired of Digg. I'm getting sick and tired of web2.0. Sigh. I think I was on to something in my earlier post on the impending doom of web2.0.

I want my Radio Shack TRS80, tape cassette drive, list of BBS's, and my trusty 300 baud modem back. Ahh the good ole days when life was simpler and there were less distractions. I've gone anti-digg and am starting to digg down all the stoopid stuff that amazingly makes its way to the top. unfrikinbelievable some of the garbage that makes it up on Digg.

Question to my fellow techno-geeks - where are you going for your daily dose of socially-driven content these days?

I'm still using Original Signal and PopURLs, but I'm finding myself constantly scanning my 48 Technorati Favorites. I've got 200+ feeds in Google Reader, but I just can't seem to get in the habit of using it.

That's all for tonight. More fun tomorrow.


Finally. Flickr approves my account and removed the NIPSA lock so now my pics are searchable.

This is the response from Flickr after I sent yet another request for them to review my account in the hopes of making my pics searchable by others. Tanks Flickr.

Hello, bdeseattle!

This is an automatically generated copy of a help case reply:
Here's the response I got from Flickr after I asked for yet another review of my account to allow my pics (which were previously marked NISPA) to be indexed and available via search.


Thanks for your question.

Your account has been reviewed and set to public status. In a short time, your photos will be visible in searches and public areas of the Flickr site.



Digg swarm activity around Steve Job's Keynote @ Macworld

Wow. Check out the Digg activity on Swarm following Steve Jobs keynote.

Link to Keynote as reported by Engadget.

Holy F@#$%@#$%@# --- Eric Schmidt just joined Steve Jobs on stage. Then he brings up Jerry Yang, co-founder and Chief Yahoo!!!!

Swarm is going frikin nuts. I want a MacBook, Apple TV, and iPhone, and I want them now.