30 January 2006


FeedButler is a fresh webservice, a hybrid between digg (stories can be promoted) and a collective feed aggregator (stories are streamed from the pool of all added feeds.)

It will be interesting to see how this approach will scale once there are a few hundred feeds added.

Brian Benzinger has more on it.

29 January 2006


2 more interesting open source applications for Rails (see Locomotive) – both of them tweak our notions of hierarchies:

Hieraki which lets you to organize digital documents in a hierarchical tree structure

Fugi is a different kind of forum

29 January 2006

Something 2.0

These new dynamics set the stage for the literal evolution of innovation. Startup costs and barriers to entry diminish; opportunities for creating entirely new value increase; human muscle no longer gates scalability; transactions are not bound by time, distance, or size; and something intangible – a better algorithm – can massively increase global utility and welfare. This pattern is not merely about new applications. It’s about a revolution in how we create, share, and refine anything that can be digitally encoded, be it news and information, artistic forms, scientific breakthroughs, personal communications, economic transactions, and, yes, even software. This is not Web 2.0. It’s World 2.0.

Gary Flake in Microsoft Live Labs Live Labs Manifesto

29 January 2006

Value for Money

Joshua Schachter on why he picked icio.us

When .us became available, I wrote a quick script to figure out the shortest prefixes that would allow me to generate the most number of names:

$ grep us$ /usr/dict/words | sed ‘s/.*\(....\)\(us\)$/\1.\2/’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -n | tail

6 aceo.us
6 mino.us
7 ario.us
7 onio.us
7 urio.us
8 aneo.us
8 orio.us
10 itio.us
14 icio.us
18 acio.us

25 January 2006

Reinforcing Information

But there’s a problem. Ever since I’ve started using [memeorandum] to the point where it replaces many of my other sources, I have gotten stupider.

... This is a well-known phenomenon in psych and econ – I’ve been locking myself into a diet of reinforcing information. Nothing really challenges my beliefs, and so I get hyperpolarized, or echo-chambered, sure – but the deeper effect is that I also get stupid, fast.

Part of the reason is that all the attention markets, reconstructors, etc push all the same stuff to the top – they all converge to the same equilbirum. Paradoxically, it’s an environment of incredible diversity, but incredible sameness at the same time.

Umair Haque on memeorandum

25 January 2006


If you are curious about Ruby on Rails but didn’t jump on the bandwagon yet, you might want to check out Locomotive (which has been around for a while now, but I just discovered it this weekend.)

Locomotive is a self-contained one-click solution for Mac OS X (10.3+) and includes everything to get you started deploying existing apps for Rails.

In most cases running an application via Locomotive is as easy as to:

Here are my favorites so far (a list of available open source projects is here):

25 January 2006

Round-Trip RSS-ineering

Four fresh tools for utilizing RSS:

FeedXS – which lets you create, write and publish feeds supereasily (think of it as your favorite blogging tool without the blog.)

Feed43 – which lets you extract a feed from any website which doesn’t provide a feed.

ReminderFeed – which delivers nugging reminder messages right to your feed reader (for reminders I prefer emails though)

and Feed Pile – which lets you glue all your feeds together to one, sharable, page.

24 January 2006

Social Coordination

Tagging enables social coordination that is simultaneously more direct and abstract than collaborative filtering. More abstract since we are exchanging conceptual information. More direct, since there is no algorithm mediating our connection. When we navigate by tags, we are directly connecting with others.

Flickr and del.icio.us both show that tagging helps in the spread of ideas, memes, trends and fashions. A related question – what role does it play in concept development, in social consensus building? Our concepts and languages are constantly in flux. If tagging systems allow a loose coordination of terms across people, then the question arises: “What role do tagging systems play in ebb and flow of concepts”.

Rashmi Sinha in A social analysis of tagging

(excellent read)

17 January 2006

Public and Private

There are going to be so many permutations and approaches to making sense of private tags and public tags (where “private” = done for oneself, but still accessible by the public). This will all intersect with social networking software, analyzing tag usage among users who know one another and users who are share interests and demographics. We need, imo, room for both public and private. That’s why I’d like social tagging sites to allow me to designate a tag as private.

David Weinberger commenting in his What is a folksonomy anyway?

17 January 2006

Fairy Tale

Because Web 2.0 is everything and nothing all at once. Materially it is basically nothing: a melange of technologies, most not that new. But conceptually it is everything: a rethinking of the way we view web applications and data management, a re-vision of how we approach the user interface.


That’s what Web 2.0 is. A shorthand. It represents something good – a good change in the way web apps work, a good refocusing on user’s needs for functionality and data transperancy, a welcome turn of attention back to making a better web UI. Like all such terms, it will mean different things to different people at times, and venture capitalists will create a bubble around it – but what’s the harm for all that good.

Chris Lott responding to Jeffrey Zeldman’s Web 3.0 (a modern fairy tale.)

17 January 2006

Beta 500.0

The MoMB just hit a mind-boggling 500 entries mark.

9 January 2006

Cough, cough

First things first: Happy New Year!

Second things second: sorry for the unannounced stealth mode of Blog before you Think! during the last few weeks. I had the opportunity to visit Shanghai for a couple of days on short notice in december and was chilling in Vienna without convenient access to the internet for three weeks.

Third things third: I’m in the process of switching this blog from Blogger to Textpattern and I still need to figure out the odds and ends, so a few things might look weird or not work at all.