Thursday, September 30, 2004

Gmail blogging

Gallina is an cool Gmail hack. With one GB of space, it would make for a heck of a photoblog.

Community, collaboration and content

That's what Adam Bosworth says the platform of this decade is about. And he's right on. The portion of my day that I spend using Web tools is typically much greater than the portion of my day that I spend using thick/rich/smart/whatever-they-are-calling-them-today clients. As some commenters on Adam's post pointed out, you still are going to have private content. But does that mean that you won't have a web interface of some type. Clay Shirky's concerns are valid, but I believe that they can be addressed.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Internal blogging

We finally got enough cycles to get our internal blogging software up, which has led to a slowdown here. It will be interesting to see how the internal/external posting thing works out over time.

So right in so many ways

Steve Gillmor is absolutely dead-on with this take on RSS:

Nothing indicates success more than the counterattack by those threatened by disruptive innovation.

Preach on, brother!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

In the beginning...

We've typically assumed that the document life cycle begins with an individual working on something until it is good enough to be shared and to get meaningful feedback. How is this different from an email? Is it just a matter of degree? Of volume? Of completeness?

What exactly is a document?

Email v. blog posts

I have long been an advocate of replacing many types of email with blog posts. I still think this is the correct approach in many situations, but their does seem to be a fundamental difference in writing email and writing a blog post which has everything to do with the audience.

The smaller and more highly trusted the people on a particular email distribution list, the more likely you are to write quickly and off the cuff, with less sanitizing of the message. The broader the distribution list and the greater the potential career impact of the people on that list, the longer you are going to spend composing and polishing that email. It's a fundamentally different sort of communication than the first email.

Blog posts are much more like the latter. Even if only a few people actively read what you write, the potential for lots of people with lots of influence to do so is there. This may be a contributing factor in me writing a lot more emails than blog posts. I certainly don't want to get fired for blogging.

Document or container?

I have been spending a lot of time recently pondering the document life cycle - how does a document get created, when does it get shared, where does it get stored, how does access to the document change over time, what can you reasonably expect people to do with metadata, etc. I've been fixated on document storage and access control this morning.

We assign control by containers, which requires us to copy or move documents from one storage location to another -- home drive, shared drive, collaboration site, web server, etc. But why move a document? Why not just leave the document in place and change the access to it?

One reason is personal backup. People tend to want their own copy of a document in case something goes awry once it leaves their sole control. More importantly, though, is convenience. ACL's are a pain. It's simpler to move a document to a container with predefined access that suits your needs, even though access to that container may be too broad, too narrow, or both.

The question on my mind is do we simplify granting document access, or do we provide more and more granular containers? Ideally, I think you simplify access control. If that is the right answer, how do we start moving there?

you say you want a revolution ?

I've been thinking, apropos of nothing here, the big deal about VoIP is not cheap calling. We already have that in abundance. It's tax avoidance (and yes that's a worthy goal, when the tax is punitive and used to prop up inefficient economic development models from our 19th century agrarian past.) If you're like me, the tax portion of your monthly phone bill is five times or more greater than what you spend on LD over the same interval.

So, at home we've been experimenting with Skype, and liking the quality of service a lot. But the headset/desktop interface (as a requirement today) is a total bummer. It has to date dramatically curtailed the network effects I expect to see from tools like this. Developments on several different fronts simultaneously, however, indicate that those days are about to change real soon.

Three cheers for popular representation!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Welsh blogging revisited

A while back, Guy made a snarky reference to Welsh blogs. I believe that his somewhat obscure point was that you can find (and post) nearly anything on the web. Although he hadn't found any Welsh blogs, he figured they were coming.

Then, Blogger's email comments feature brought Nic Dafis to my attention:

I make no claims to be particularly scintillating, but I've been blogging in Welsh for years, and I'm not on my own any more.

(I know this is an old post, but I'm Googling for Anglo-Welsh blogs and came across this.)
The web is a wonderful "third place." When you wander a bit (ahem) off topic, it's amazing who might wander in to your neck of the woods.