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Month: February 2007

Bloggers: Not Guilty; Journalists: Guilty

Here’s a rare but notable thing; a post by Dave Winer I agree with completely:

Keen’s work is a book-length sneer at most of what we hold dear. He blames bloggers and podcasters for the demise of professional media, as if somehow we’re responsible for the endless coverage of Anna Nicole Smith on cable news, for Judith Miller’s complicity with the Bush White House, for the shameless way the press, without notable exception, hounded Howard Dean out of the 2004 presidential race. Of course we’re not responsible for any of those horrors, and Keen should, somewhere in this book, consider that blogging might be an attempt to solve some of the problems caused by a vacuum of responsible high-integrity journalism.

Amen to that.

links for 2007-02-24

Worries and Threats: Can Codes of Conduct Work?

Tony Fish is our contrarian for the night. Apparently the semantic web won’t work because Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey cook differently, and restaurants are a finely tuned environment. Or something.

Strangely, now that Q&A has started, the conversation has moved away from technology issues to social ones. And, essentially, people are worried about trust systems and how that works. The eBay sellers issues and their rankings seems to be default example and it’s leading to a discussion about how systems break down as we move from geeks to the general public. Big company buy-in is seen as vital by people on the floor.

Labelling The Web

Paul Walsh of Segala is up now. OK – they’ve written a browser extension that indicated in search results which sites are making declarations about their content. IE: a medical site could declare that it adhering to a code of practice. Others could declare that they are suitable for people with certain disabilities. It’s sorta like metadata on steroids for websites.

I like this guy. He’s talking in user experience terms. Like porn sites being able to declare that they aren’t child-friendly. Responsible porn?

SearchThresher is the extension he’s demonstrating. ContentLabel is the place to go for the labelling.

Explaining the Semantic Web (Or Die Trying)

Sam Sethi is giving us a quick rundown on Microformats, and demonstrating how they can be used to embed data in a web page and then be used by other applications after they’re auto-detected.Nice little demo. First time I’ve got a handle on it.

Marc Birbeck of Xport (the next speaker), is getting a little techie for me. He’s talking about blurring the distinction between the desktop and the web. (Didn’t Microsoft try to do that about five years ago?). Ah, now he’s made it clear – he’s talking about browser-based mashups, rather than relying on them happening on servers. That’s interesting. Uses xforms.