10 ways to “get ink”

Posted on December 20, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

is the title of a great post on the Ask 37signals blog. It’s great advice that I can fully subscribe to and recommend. Doesn’t really have anything to do with technology but is valid in a general sense.

By the way, I did watch Steve Martin on Charlie Rose, one of my favorite TV shows for which I have a TiVo season pass. One of the best and most knowledgeable interviewer of all times.

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Social Graph & Beyond: Tim Berners-Lee’s Graph is The Next Level

Posted on December 14, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The evolution of the web continues and here’s a great take on what’s coming and how it will change the way we access and consume information.

via Read/WriteWeb by Richard MacManus on 11/22/07

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, today published a blog post about what he terms the Graph, which is similar (if not identical) to his Semantic Web vision. Referencing both Brad Fitzpatrick’s influential post earlier this year on Social Graph, and our own Alex Iskold’s analysis of Social Graph concepts, Berners-Lee went on to position the Graph as the third main "level" of computer networks. First there was the Internet, then the Web, and now the Graph – which Sir Tim labeled (somewhat tongue in cheek) the Giant Global Graph!

Note that Berners-Lee wasn’t specifically talking about the Social Graph, which is the term Facebook has been heavily promoting, but something more general. In a nutshell, this is how Berners-Lee envisions the 3 levels (a.k.a. layers of abstraction):

1. The Internet: links computers
2. Web: links documents
3. Graph: links relationships between people and/or documents — "the things documents are about" as Berners-Lee put it.

The Graph is all about connections and re-use of data. Berners-Lee wrote that Semantic Web technologies will enable this:

"So, if only we could express these relationships, such as my social graph, in a way that is above the level of documents, then we would get re-use. That’s just what the graph does for us. We have the technology — it is Semantic Web technology, starting with RDF OWL and SPARQL. Not magic bullets, but the tools which allow us to break free of the document layer."

Sir Tim also notes that as we go up each level, we lose more control but gain more benefits: "…at each layer — Net, Web, or Graph — we have ceded some control for greater benefits." The benefits are what happens when documents and data are connected – for example being able to re-use our personal and friends data across multiple social networks, which is what Google’s OpenSocial aims to achieve.

What’s more, says Berners-Lee, the Graph has major implications for the Mobile Web. He said that longer term "thinking in terms of the graph rather than the web is critical to us making best use of the mobile web, the zoo of wildy differing devices which will give us access to the system." The following scenario sums it up very nicely:

"Then, when I book a flight it is the flight that interests me. Not the flight page on the travel site, or the flight page on the airline site, but the URI (issued by the airlines) of the flight itself. That’s what I will bookmark. And whichever device I use to look up the bookmark, phone or office wall, it will access a situation-appropriate view of an integration of everything I know about that flight from different sources. The task of booking and taking the flight will involve many interactions. And all throughout them, that task and the flight will be primary things in my awareness, the websites involved will be secondary things, and the network and the devices tertiary."


I’m very pleased Tim Berners-Lee has appropriated the concept of the Social Graph and married it to his own vision of the Semantic Web. What Berners-Lee wrote today goes way beyond Facebook, OpenSocial, or social networking in general. It is about how we interact with data on the Web (whether it be mobile or PC or a device like the Amazon Kindle) and the connections that we can take advantage of using the network. This is also why Semantic Apps are so interesting right now, as they take data connection to the next level on the Web.

Overall, unlike Nick Carr, I’m not concerned whether mainstream people accept the term ‘Graph’ or ‘Social Graph’. It really doesn’t matter, so long as the web apps that people use enable them to participate in this ‘next level’ of the Web. That’s what Google, Facebook, and a lot of other companies are trying to achieve.

Incidentally, it’s great to see Tim Berners-Lee ‘re-using’ concepts like the Social Graph, or simply taking inspiration from them. He never really took to the Web 2.0 concept, perhaps because it became too hyped and commercialized, but the fact is that the Consumer Web has given us many innovations over the past few years. Everything from Google to YouTube to MySpace to Facebook. So even though Sir Tim has always been about graphs (as he noted in his post, the Graph is essentially the same as the Semantic Web), it’s fantastic he is reaching out to the ‘web 2.0’ community and citing people like Brad Fitzpatrick and Alex Iskold.

Related: check out Alex Iskold’s Social Graph: Concepts and Issues for an overview of the theory behind Social Graph. This is the post Tim Berners-Lee referenced. Also check out Alex’s latest post today: R/WW Thanksgiving: Thank You Google for Open Social (Or, Why Open Social Really Matters).


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Bubble 2.0 – The Video….

Posted on December 5, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Here’s one to ponder……

Hat tip to Fake Steve Jobs for this one.

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Here’s a new take on a well known saying I like….

Posted on October 31, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll buy a funny hat. Talk to a hungry man about fish, and you’re a consultant.

Scott Adams, Dogbert; Dilbert cartoons
US cartoonist (1957 – )

Blogged with Flock


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This seems to afflict a large number of people……

Posted on September 23, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
P. B. Medawar
British (Brazilian-born) anatomist (1915 – )


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ETC Reports User Generated Content Here to Stay

Posted on September 5, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

in this coverage in Modern Agent which then begs the question: “Why aren’t they and their members there?” offering innovative tools for the millions of visitors to Europe to share the wealth of their collective wisdom for future travelers rather than maintaining traditional, and in many cases outdated websites. I understand there is an effort underway to revamp the exisiting visiteurope.com site that was introduced only two years ago with great fanfare but apparently doesn’t cut it any longer.

It remains to be seen, whether the choice of web supplier will be able to get them a leading edge site this time around rather than play catch up like last time.

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Humanizing the digital travel experience

Posted on September 5, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

is the title of a new Forrester Report that Travel Weekly’s Arnie Weismann comments on. If by “humanizing” the report means to say that the clock needs to be turned back to a pre-digital travel experience, it seems to me as a non-starter. Commodity products / services such as an airline seat can no longer be sold profitably that way. We might as well feel nostalgic about the black rotary phone!

In the much discussed area of complex travel, the human element in the form of an expert travel counsellor still plays a role and will also in future, using the digital tools available to the trade as well as the public. This added value will gladly be paid for by many travelers who mostly are time, not information, starved. As long as the digital experience to research, plan and book such travel is not improved, this is where the humanizing plays out.

Now, what will happen in this context, as the technology being developed for the next phase of the web as it evolves beyond 2.0  in the next five to ten years remains to be seen. With the advent of this semantic web, data will become more intelligent and online travel technology will become more than what today is still often the cumbersome melding of legacy systems with web 2.0 mashups and user generated content, all thrown in the mix.

Will this make for a more “humanized” experience? Probably not, but the digital experience will be so much improved that it might actually feel that way.

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Visualization of Data

Posted on August 29, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is one of the most fascinating ways to present the top websites and their interrelation I’ve seen and a great example of how data can be visually presented:

Trend Map

You can find out more – including how to download it in various formats including a Mac screensaver on the iA – Information Architects website

It’s an innovative Tokyo based web agency run by a fellow Swiss from what I can gather……

For more on data visualization, go to Smashing Magazine


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5000 Web Apps in 333 seconds…..

Posted on August 28, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

introduced by SimpleSpark

Whatever your take is on web 2.0 as a term, it’s amazing what’s happening with all the new applications being introduced and how many will change the way we interact and communicate on the web.


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Posted on August 10, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Web 3.0 or the Intelligent Web

as defined here by Eric Schmidt, Google, CEO is just around the corner, with implications that we can’t quite comprehend today, but it potentially will be a bigger jump than what’s today described as web 2.0

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