Seb's Open Research
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Friday, October 03, 2003
Telepathy of sorts

Alf releases the code for HeadCloud, and provides his best description so far of the ridiculously easy thought sharing service it enables:

HeadCloud is a Napster-style service, where people connect to a central hub,
send a list of the thoughts they want to share, and search the database of other
people's thoughts to see who they want to connect to. It's called HeadCloud
after the original vision - being able to walk down the street and see little
clouds above people's heads that showed what they were thinking.

I haven't gotten around to using it, as I have yet to embrace Instant Messaging. (Gosh I feel old.) I could see it being useful for a tribe-sized cluster of users who already know one another, though. For instance, it lets you think out loud about a movie that just came out and that you're curious about; if someone else happens to also care (e.g. has seen it/is thinking about seeing it), the two of you can connect easily using the title as a bridge. Hey, this might come in handy for Skypers (paging Stuart...)

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:16:50 PM  
Blogcount update

The Perseus sampling [via Dave Winer] suggests upwards of 1.4 million weblogs are active, and at least 2.7 million have been abandoned (i.e. not updated in the last 2 months). Phil summarizes.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:45:54 PM  
Begin with small groups

Charlie offers a sensible suggestion to accelerate the building of a community feel into classrooms:

Building a Community of Webpublishers [Kairosnews - A Weblog for Discussing Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy]

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:21:38 PM  
GeoPhotoBlog: Name says it all

This, I'm sure, will rip through the blogosphere in no time flat.

geophotoblog - wow, Mikel just doesn't stop. I generally avoid using the word cool, but GeoPhotoBlog certainly deserves it. [Puzzlepieces]

Update: it doesn't get updated as quickly as the world as a blog, which limits the interest a bit; I take it back. It won't catch fire now, but it's got potential.

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:05:24 PM  
Another musician's weblog

Scott Andrew and the Walkingbirds "are apparently some kind of lo-fi, DIY urban acoustic pop and weirdo country thing". Free (for non-commercial use) MP3 downloads. I like. Quite well-known already in blog circles, it seems.

Related earlier posts of mine: "Musician weblogs", "Freeing the music".

This post also appears on channels free music, musicians

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:00:45 AM  
Mobile composition

Wired: The Incredible Shrinking Studio.
What do you think? []  links to this post    10:38:39 AM  
The end of open?

After writing my "Accountability in comments" post, I found an enthralling discussion of parasitism and the decline of openness going on over at Many-to-Many.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:33:15 AM  

Jeremy's instructional design and technology blog is simply full of gems. I'm very glad to have discovered it. Just two examples.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:47:58 AM  
Accountability in comments

Gary again:

end of an era here folks. Open blog comments: 1997-2003.

He and dragoon are thinking about schemes to counter comment spambots (these automated scripts that scatter droppings everywhere and anywhere in weblog comment sections). The challenge here is to build a validation system that is painless to use but hard to game. Gary's proposal might break spambots but will do little to get in the way of human spammers who smell PageRank from afar.

One thing that's relatively hard - though not impossible - to game is one's Technorati inbound link count, which serves as a reputation system of sorts for weblogs. My earlier suggestion of using Technorati data to rank or selectively cull comments might be appropriate to bring up again as the barbarians are quickly closing in...

Of course this would have to go hand-in-hand with the previous comment logging (comlogging?) suggestion, as forging signatures is trivial in current systems.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:14:38 AM  
The straight dope on the Elingsh uinervtisy

Matt Davis [via Gary]:

I work at Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, in Cambridge, UK, a Medical Research Council unit that includes a large group investigating how the brain processes language. If there's a new piece of research on reading that's been conducted in Cambridge, I thought I should have heard of it before...

I've written this page, to try to explain the science behind this meme. There are elements of truth in this, but also some things which scientists studying the psychology of language (psycholinguists) know to be incorrect.

What do you think? []  links to this post    8:17:20 AM  
Tied research

Integrity in Science Internet Database: Scientists' and Non-Profit Ties to Industry via Michael - neat idea... as an illustration, here are the results of a search for industry-sponsored coffee research.

What do you think? []  links to this post    7:50:37 AM  
TrackBack from comments?

I notice Michael has given up on the heroic endeavor of logging every comment he posted on other sites.  But as I wrote earlier, this is something that should really be automated. I see four advantages to having a local log of the comments you posted on remote sites:
  • It authentifies the origin your comments;
  • It provides wider exposure, both to your writing and to the sites you're commenting on;
  • It makes more of your content accessible from your site;
  • It makes it easier for you to follow ongoing discussions you're participating in, or to revisit past discussions that are scattered God knows where.
Next question is, can we hack this together out of commonly available parts? Here's one rough idea that might work with systems that support TrackBack.
  1. I post a comment on a remote site, leaving my weblog's URL.
  2. The remote site immediately TrackBack-pings that URL with the permalink to the comment I just made.
  3. My blog receives the ping and stacks the permalink on top of my comments blog, which is displayed in a sidebar.
Does that make any sense?

This post also appears on the channel lazyweb

What do you think? []  links to this post    7:46:51 AM  

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