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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

In this post by Apophenia - there is the sense that Genrefication is the solution - but I think the "would you make me a dub-mix" line is the key - it is the play list you want to listen too - not just the Genre's - genre's cannot be specific enough if there's only one field of information - even within one artist - there's too much variety to pack into a single genre, let alone mood, and setting.

Someone in a position of authority (read Steve Jobs? or an appropriate iPod minion) needs to think about this for a while and come up with a  list of fields - 2.0.  I know there are a few solutions out there, but none seem to do it quite right.  So maybe there's an opportunity for Apple or Creative, or Red Chair, to come up with the solution that will take this whole thang to a new level.


music genres and moods.

One of the reasons that i loved Napster was that you could see how people labeled their music, particularly the genre. In music, i use genre like i use tagging in Gmail, and Flickr, only i'm a bit more obsessive about keeping them organized. My playlists are all automatically created based on my idiosyncratic genre labels. The labels are not for you, but for me and i don't care if PsyChill doesn't really exist - it's the label that ties together things like bluetech and Shpongle.

Due to 1) my new iPod, 2) the barfing of my Mac, 3) the scanning of CDs and 4) my obsession with last.FM, i am diving deeply into my music collection to re-genrify things. It is this attribute of last.FM that is given me the greatest curiosity. Last.FM is full of people with - shall we say - "interesting" tastes. I'm sorry but there is no playlist in the world that should have Gwar and Nina Simone together. Wrong wrong wrong. And why is Elliott Smith on the top artists page of the genre Breaks? No no no.

Of course, i'm part of fucking this up. I love Elliott Smith and i love breaks. Since i am in the breaks group, my listening to Elliott Smith is affecting that genre page. This is a problem. I know better when i manually genrify my music. Elliott Smith is is the MaleNeuvoFolk genre (which is effectively equivalent to Sadcore except can also be listened to when not depressed). I would never recommend Elliott Smith to a breaks aficionado.

I'm worried that this diverse listening pattern is messing up all the data. After three days of listening to non-stop chillout, goa and breaks, i should not be getting recommendations for Rancid and Ludacris. The problem is that there's a big gap between Beth Orton and Son Kite and i fear that trying to resolve those two listening patterns will result in abysmal results. The system should know that i'm listening with two different faceted patterns - the chill danah and the dancey danah.

When i ask a friend for music advice, i don't simply say "give me anything you listen to." I know better. But i would ask "could you make me a dub mix?" or "what would complement Dr Toast?" Or think about the Back to Mine series (collections based on what musicians chill out to). I want my last.FM to understand that there are moods. All of my playlists get this. All of my genrification gets this. Now it's time for last.FM. I should be able to play everything that userx thinks makes for "coding music" or for "chill out" or for "getting ready to go out." I want to be able to cluster my music. I want to be able to inform Audioscrobbler to only tell the genre group "PsyTrance" about things that i've marked Full-On, Melodic, Scando or PsyChill. Or tell them about a playlist or two. Tag the genres so that i don't blush when i see my love of Johnny Cash appear as appropriate for other Trip-Hop fiends.

2:09:50 PM    

Just a quick happy new years message.

I had the delightful and surreal experience this year of running into my high-school girlfriend and her family while on Chirstmas vacation with my wife and family.  Everyone was on their best behavior and it was not too awkward - my guess is that once the ice was broken, and everyone hugged everyone else then the tension was released.  But in fact it was a wonderful gift to see her again after all these years.  She looked great, and her family (parents and daugters) looked great - it was like no time had passed at all.


1:46:31 PM    

Monday, August 09, 2004

Unlocking Human Potential Through Social Networking. By David Gurteen

Lee Bryant I was just looking to learn a little more on Social Networking for my upcoming Exploiting Social Networking in Organizations conference in September and stumbled across a post by Robin Good on his weblog where he raves about a paper from Lee Bryant on the topic. Now it just so happens I have seen Lee speak, the last time at the Social Tools Symposium conference in London last week and was so impressed with his deep understanding of the subject and the people issues that I 'signed him up' to speak at my conference. Smile!

In Robin Good's words: "the paper entitled Smarter, Simpler, Social - An introduction to online social software methodology is an absolutely brilliant and well referenced resource to understand and appreciate the forces at work in our communication efforts."

Robin is spot on. The paper is brilliant. [Gurteen Knowledge Log]
6:45:19 PM    

The Support Economy. By David Gurteen

The Support Economy by Shoshana Zuboff, James Maxmin A week or so ago John Maloney e-mailed me a weblog entry of Bill Ives on the book The Support Economy by Shoshana Zuboff and James Maxmin. I loved the opening premise:
"The Support Economy starts with a compelling premise: People have changed more than the corporations upon which their well-being depends. In the chasm that now separates the new individuals from the old organizations is the opportunity to forge a capitalism suited to our times and so unleash a vast new potential for wealth creation."
And then at the week-end, although the book was published in 2002, it was the fist book I come across in my local bookshop. So of course I just had to buy it. Its not light reading and I have only got through the first 30 pages or so but the concepts are awesome. Here is another quote:
"The last fifty years have seen the rise of a new society of individuals, but corporations continue to operate according to the logic of managerial capitalism, invented a century ago for different people, different markets, and different needs. Today's individuals seek psychological self-determination. They are the origins of their own meanings, not a passive mass audience."
I like that phrase "psychological self-determination". To me its another way of saying that people are becoming more responsible for their own lives and learning to be themselves. [Gurteen Knowledge Log]
6:43:18 PM    

Good example of business networking through social knowledge management.  This is a case from Interface Software's files from a Boston-based accounting firm.

Concept:  Query Partners for personal relationships with CEOs -> Prepare direct mail piece -> Insert personal note from Partner with the relationship.

"The marketing team queried the system and determined that partners had existing relationships with fifty percent of the 200 CEOs on the new prospect list. A high-end mailing piece was sent to each of those 200 CEOs, along with a personal note by the internal relationship holder. “The results were phenomenal,“ said Jill Hulsen, Vitale Caturano’s director of marketing. “Twenty-three of those two hundred companies we mailed to have since become clients, with resulting revenues in excess of 5 million,“ she added. “We could never have expected results like this from a mailer without the advantage of knowing about those personal relationships in advance.” [thanks to]"

Now, is it necessary to have internal corporate social networking software to do this?  I suppose the abilty to do the query is greatly enhanced by scanning the social networks (rolodexes) of the Partners without the effort of having to ask each of them to do it...  In fact this is probably the key advantage of the system.

So why not ryze or LinkedIn?  I suppose it comes down the the issue of people not putting their whole rolodex into the system - or, maybe more accurately their TRUSTED social network.  I'm guessing that this example worked because the 200 or so CEO's known the the partners of the accounting firm were truly known, not just acquantances (at least a good portion of them).  And as a result, you could offer a reasonable, quality service from people who were known quantities.

So, where am I going with this...  There are at least two types of searches in social networks - the first is a specific search for specific information where there is usually a small number or even a single target that is unknown to the search initiator.  The first type of search usually follows a path longer than 2 links - that is beyond the network horizon.  The second type of search is to "mine" the data within the network horizon for contacts that have some need, want, desire or capabilty in common.  Then you use the resulting subset of contacts for a targeted communications campaign.

Bottom Line - Mining Data within the Horizon, or Searching Beyond the Horizon.  I suspect both are facilitated by an environment (corporate or otherwise) in which trust is high enough that people will disclose their high-trust social network information.

6:27:45 PM    

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Must Do in Schedule, Pattern interrupt! You are a font of Museful Ideas!


Monday Thing.

Monday Thing

I have this theory that people try to get 85% of what they need to do for the entire week done on Monday. This makes them half nuts and very unpleasant to be around. (Once I started working on my own, I realized this was a good reason to crank up rock and roll very loud around about 9:00am on Monday and spend the first hour of the week dancing. This, correlated with the fact that the highest rate of heart attacks take place allegedly at 9:00am on Monday, seemed a much more healthy response.)

When I worked in real offices, Monday mornings were often spent in sales or marketing meetings where the boss was yelling at the staff like an angry dad and the staff was stuffing themselves with pastry and coffee to feel better like unhappy children eating sticky treats.

Then on Tuesday, people do the last 15% of their week's work and fix mistakes they made from rushing around like crazy people on Monday. Then Wednesday, they see what really matters that week and what they would have been better off focusing on right from the beginning to be really effective. Thursday they rest because they start thinking about the weekend. Friday they don't do anything because it is Friday after all, Thank God! [Halley's Comment]
7:38:07 PM    

Halley, you are always expressing thoughts that so many of as have-but fail to Say!

i woke up in a hotel room this morning, and flipped on the TV after getting out of the shower.  there was this movie w/Sean Connery, where he plays an author.  He is helping maybe Denzil Washington to learn to write, and spends the whole fame saying: Write Don't think! Something I need to do!  In this way You Capture raw ideas and at least say staff that ends up being meaningful to your self, your family and as you do anther post-tell people they mean something to you. Even of you don't do what you say yon should or ought to do.

Wouldn't It Be Nice?.

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

My Monday mornings, as much as they get jam-packed full of things to do and places to go and people to see and ALL THAT, are still emotional and lush and human.

But even on those hustle bustle Monday mornings, I would like to remember to let the people I love know one thing -- that I love them and appreciate all the nice things they do for me. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all take time to do that? [Halley's Comment]
7:22:10 PM    

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Took the quiz - got the same result...

I too am a books and language snob - although drinking, music, art and travel are up there too...


Saw this quiz on somebody else's LJ and thought it looked cute.

Book and language snob
You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You
are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to
impress at a party. What people love: You can answer almost any question
people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves. What people hate: You
constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks.

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Not entirely true, but close enough. [By the way, do people like these quizzes? I've seen several others I've been taking, but I'm not sure whether to post the results, or if it will just bore the heck out of you all.]

My writing plan for this morning didn't work. I polished up the conclusion, but that one scene still escapes me. I can visualize it, but I just can't seem to write it. I wish I could do like Terry Moore and just have the story switch from prose to comic-style illustration for a scene and then back again. Meanwhile, the rest of the story has reached the point where it's starting to feel like overworked bread dough. I shouldn't tinker with it any more. But nyarrgh! <gnashes teeth? And I can't focus on that any more for the day, since I need to continue jobhunting.

Finally, through that Jay Leno quote I posted yesterday, I discovered that Associated Press runs a daily column, Comedians on the political campaign with excerpts from Leno, Letterman and Craig Kilborn (no Jon Stewart, alas, but he usually puts at least one video segment from the Daily Show on the website). At any rate, this link will take you to Google News where you can conistently get the latest day's column. Enjoy!

[Riba Rambles:]
9:31:27 AM    

Saturday, July 17, 2004've done it again! Praying is alot thee sex. As You Said , it was meant to do everywhere and always improves the day!

places I've done it :

Piano-on top/underneath


Cadillac-Lots of Cars

Kitchen -Bent over an oven

Ina bathroom -Shower/toilet/Floor...

Couches Chairs File Cabinets Desks

Boats -Sail/Power /Paddle

And the list goes on and on...


My Friend Rob.

My Friend Rob

I have a friend who reads my stuff and sends me thoughtful email and I got a great note from him this morning about my son being ill and how sometimes praying can take the edge off -- I totally agree.

I completely misread something he wrote, however.

He wrote this -- about how his kid's illnesses could "send me into the closest church to pray."

And I read it quickly as, "send me into the closet church to pray."

And I thought, wow -- THE CLOSET CHURCH -- he prays in the closet sometimes too? Okay, so now I have to explain that I pray EVERYWHERE any old time and I have a big closet and sometimes, it's a great place to pray. Praying's a lot like sex that way for me -- I figure it was meant to do everywhere and anywhere and always improves the day.

And I wanted to answer that other question Rob asked -- why do I always wear black in all my pictures -- and the answer is -- I don't know, just because that's what I always wear when I get dressed up I guess.
[Halley's Comment]
9:24:22 PM    

This is my first post since getting my Toshiba M200 tablet PC.  Will see if it actually works after moving everything using PC Relocator.  In fact I've been pretty impressed with everything about this whole relocation process.

BTW this whole post is being translated on the fly by the Tablet PC input panel of the Toshiba! Great handwriting recognition, or is it great handwriting? Also -Great Wireless WIFI!

Well Got to Run

4:32:06 PM    

Friday, April 23, 2004

Monday (Patriot's day for those of you who are from MA), my daughters were home and decided to go outside and rollerblade.  I suggested they dig out their wrist guards, etc...  No of course not, they are tough, they don't need no stinkin' wrist guards!  While guess what!!?

I got to spend a big hunk of yesterday hustling one of em around from Pediatrician to Hospital to Orthopedic guy, and now we have a broken radius, ulna and and big honking pink cast.  No not the lovely delicate waterproof gore-tex cast, but the huge, above-the-elbow fiberglass (looks like the old plaster type I had when I broke my arm) type.  And Pink - Oh my God!  It's practically neon.  How do you sign a cast like that...  Oh well.  Live and Learn.  Sometime's Dad knows what he's talking about.

At least the general level of embarrassment over actually having fallen and hurt herself kept her from wimpering too loudly or complaining about the consequences.  It was her own damn fault.  And in fact she was tough and did show great courage.  Coming in the house, getting an ice pack and taking tylenol - all before informing me of the injury at all.  Quite stoic!  She is a cool kid.

Now the gym teachers who were having her do LONG-JUMPING before I picked her up for the trip to the pediatrician will think twice when a kid says they can't participate because they hurt themselves - jees, can you imagine if she had landed on her broken arm during gym!  Wow!

7:12:13 AM    

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The list has been moved to here: Social Networking Sites and Software sorted by name
Please note that YOU can edit this list yourself to make it more accurate and up-to-date! I am not personally maintaining this list anymore, I am counting on all of you to continually keep it updated. Thanks very much.

Ryze: business
ecademy: business
LinkedIn: business
itsnotwhatyouknow: business
Friendly Favors: business
ZeroDegrees: business (corporate)
Accolo: jobs
RealContacts: jobs
Eliyon: business, jobs
Friendster: friendship, dating
Sona Matchmaker: friendship, dating (India)
Huminity: friendship friendship
Ringo: friendship
PalJunction: friendship, business, dating, roommates
Tribe: friendship, business, dating, roommates, classifieds
Club Nexus at Stanford - need URL: alumni, article
MeetUp: in-person
Buddy Zoo: IM social networking analysis
*PayDemocracy: political groups
* alumni
* alumni
*InfoSpace: yellow pages (references)
*SwitchBoard: yellow pages (references)
* dating
*People on Page: friendship, dating
*all of the other dating sites
People Aggregator: ???

*= could easily cross over into social networking

Spoke SW: business (corporate)
Visible Path, business (corporate)
**wwPlaxo.: contacts
**GoodContacts: contacts
**Accucard: contacts

** contact software could easily add social networking features as they have all of the necessary data

Blogs with some features of Social Networking
livejournal: blog
Expressions: visual blogging
Fotolog: visual blogging

Question Marks

Preliminary Analysis
It seems pretty clear that not all of these social networking sites or software will survive. Clay Shirky states "The *only* thing these services have to base a business on is lack of interoperability". I believe there is another part to the value proposition that they offer users -- the ability to go beyond 1 degree of separation. However, it's really difficult to think of situations where going more than 2 degrees of separation is worthwhile, unless you are a contagious disease - see my whitepaper Links and Nodes in Social Networks. Unless >2 degrees of separation and node secrecy are valued by users (maybe not everyone but an interestingly large set of users), an "open" networking service will make these proprietary services and software obsolete. before they've made a penny.

Thanks to the many people who helped me compile this list including:
  • Clay Shirky
  • Danah Boyd
  • Doug Rush
  • Sean Murphy
  • Debi Jones
  • Patti Anklam

If I left your name off let me know and I will add it.

6:11:51 PM    

Stranger in a Strange Mary Sue. I just found a great old post by Teresa Nielsen Hayden on "Mary Sue".

MARY SUE (n.): 1. A variety of story, first identified in the fan fiction community, but quickly recognized as occurring elsewhere, in which normal story values are grossly subordinated to inadequately transformed personal wish-fulfillment ...

[for example] Galadriel's secret love-child (Aragorn�s unacknowledged daughter) who runs off to join the Company of the Ring, sorts out Boromir's problems, out-magics Gandalf, out-fights Aragorn during the melodramatic scene in which she reveals her true identity, demonstrates herself to be so spiritually elevated that the Ring has no effect on her, and wins Legolas' heart forever.
I loved this, and was all set to blog that Robert Heinlein falls deep into this trap in some later novels--until I discoved Teresa's commenters had already said exactly this.

What would Mary Sue do in my situation? Drink exotic poison and die a lingering death in the arms of Johnny Depp, as mascara ran down his cheeks on a riptide of tears....

[Betsy Devine: Funny Ha-Ha or Funny Peculiar?]
6:04:26 PM    

They are not better or best (although some might be), but rather different for different purposes - I find I use the services very differently - and sporadically.  In the end, I think Ryze is still doing the best job.  But I do like several features of some of the others - linkedIn Orkut, friendster, no so much flickr or the rest.  No experience with Tribe which is apparently popular.

Let me point to my January post to the SNS thesis - the key is how these services and other software enable you to manage and extend your social network.  Does it stay online? Does it translate into shared activities? Lot's of questions and some interesting early answers - but it still feels in flux.


Which YASNS is best?.

Over and over again, people tell me that one of the YASNS is *far* better than any of the other ones. Usually, they want me to agree with them. Sometimes, people just ask me which one i think is best.

Given that this is me, i have a problem with this question. My problem is not personal or political... it's contextual. In this case, "best" is in the eye of the beholder. Thus, i often ask people what *they* want in a YASNS. Almost always, there's one overwhelming factor that makes one YASNS better than another for the individual: "people like me."

In a post-finals hallucinatory state, i decided to attend a gathering with some of my peers last December. A group gathered into a "panel" to talk about social software. One very smart, very respected VC spoke about how she believed that LinkedIn was hands down the best YASNS. I found myself speaking... or more accurately exploding because of her conception. It's not that i don't believe that LinkedIn was the best for her - i truly do. It's that i don't believe that there is a universal best.

When i was interviewing early Friendster adopters about the site, over and over again, they told me that they loved it because it was a site fool of cool hipsters like them. They identified with the people on the site and they loved feeling like everywhere they turned, they saw other people that they thought were cool. They were not looking forward to it being mainstream because then there will be duds on the system. Each sub-hipster group was likely to run across more people like them depending on their linking structure. (Homophily again.) Because most people joined under one context, they never saw the other "non-hipsters" that they dealt with in everyday life. When that started happening, they were disappointed.

When Orkut exploded, all of the social software fiends jumped on the train like it was going to Disney World. It was the end-all be-all of the YASNS. Of course it was... to them... It was filled with people like them - their colleagues, those that they respect, etc. It felt like home.

Guess what? At, there are lots of people who feel at home and spend exorbitant hours on the service. Same with MySpace. Same with Everyone's Connected. Same with Live Journal.

The battle is not simply about the best tools. In fact, that's a truly secondary issue. It's about motivating a coherent group to join, participate and make it home. What makes the best pub? Is it really the beer or the price? Hell, the only reason that the music usually matters is because it draws people that you like to the pub. It's the combination of environment and people.. but the environment brings the people so the environment DOES matter.

There's an architectural lesson there... Environment matters because it draws the right people. This is why niche shit works. The biggest joke about the Internet is that the most profitable services are barely public. They address a niche market completely. One of the most unfortunate things about social software is that everyone is trying to court everyone to their service. Frankly, a far more appropriate response would be to try to figure out which users are most suited for your tool given its current state and then try to meet their needs completely. Figure out your audience. And don't simply focus on your desired audience because the tool you created may not have met their needs... be able to shift if you find that you've built something far more appropriate for another group. Cause frankly? If you have, the users know it and are using it more completely there.

[Note: Friendster's popularity in Asia isn't because it's a good tool; it's because the way the site was structured met that population's needs/desires without much translation. It was inadvertently and accidentally best for them, not well designed for them.]

4:52:55 PM    

Rob Cross: Introduction to Social Network Analysis.

Rob Cross: Introduction to Social Network Analysis

SNA 101

3:37:38 PM    

I need some inspiration to clean my workspace - only 32% sounds low - not real data.


CNET: Feeling blue? Maybe it's your cubicle.

CNET: Feeling blue? Maybe it's your cubicle

"Nearly half of women surveyed--46 percent--and 32 percent of men said their emotional state was closely tied to the condition of their workspace."
Workspace design is an important element in knowledge sharing too. Tom Davenport analyzed such causal relationships sometime back.

3:29:36 PM    

OK OK - you are endlessly fascinating - juxtaposing posts - On The Perceived Hermanetics of Didactic Fundamentalism and then this one... 

I am hot just imagining you in your bikini - pink hat - darjeeling dream

And Great Link to Daniel Day Lewis as Cecil - talk about contrasts - Room with a View and then Last of the Mohicans - don't underestimate the flexibilty of us tweedy guys...


Cock-A-Doodle Do.

Cock-A-Doodle Do

Rise and shine, guys. Let's go. It's getting late. 5:22 am here I suppose that rooster noise is what woke me, figuratively, metaphorically, not literally, as there is no strutting bird anywhere in sight, but in my mind's eye, which is to say a rather sexy dream woke me, what's a girl to do, but stagger out of bed, say ... "hmmm" about that, put a light on, shuffle into the kitchen, grab the counter for balance, flip the switch on the teapot, reach for the Darjeeling to bring her back to Earth, and with spring battling winter and my dreamy landscape a hot summer beach, I don a most inappropriate but perfect costume, last summer's black and white bikini, a black cashmere sweater, a pink faux fur hat. You can't take this life too seriously you see.

I think, "Who Was That Masked Man?"

Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
Maybe ... him?
No, must have been ... oh yes, he's the one. [Halley's Comment]
11:13:45 AM    

Thank you Halley - once again for keeping me on my literary toes.  My introduction to Uxor comes from an a capella song I sang back in high-school.  It is a very sophomoric tribute to latin lessons by John O'Keefe:

Amo, Amas

    AMO, amas,
    I love a lass
    As a cedar tall and slender!
    Sweet cowslips' grace
    Is her Nominative Case,
    And she's of the Feminine Gender.

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum, scarum Divo!
    Tag rag, merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic hac, horum Genetivo!

    Can I decline
    A Nymph divine?
    Her voice as a flute is dulcis!
    Her oculi bright!
    Her manus white!
    And soft, when I tacto, her pulse is!

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum scarum Divo!
    Tag rag , merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic hac, horum Genetivo!

    O, how bella
    Is my Puella!
    I'll kiss sæculorum!
    If I've luck, Sir!
    She's my Uxor!
    O, dies benedictorum!

    Rorum, corum, sunt Divorum!
       Harum scarum Divo!
    Tag rag, merry derry, periwig and hatband,
       Hic, hac, horum Genetivo!

    John O'Keefe

Note the line above - "if I've luck sir, she's my Uxor."  In other words the beautiful woman he is singing about will become his wife!  Or, at least will perform some "wifely" activities...;-)

Thanks again=======================================================



I used this word "uxorial" today on the phone with someone who knows a lot of words and he didn't know this one. It's a great word.

I have nothing but avuncular or perhaps, fraternal feelings for this guy, btw.

And he is not particularly uxorious either. He simply needed to ask her a question before we could plan an outing. [Halley's Comment]
10:56:33 AM    

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