September 28, 2005
Want to Protest a Movie? Give Away the PlotVery sneaky trick pulled by labor unions representing flight attendants who are unhappy with the popular Jodie Foster film Flightplan. (Which is a pretty good film, actually.)
If the film offends you, give away its plot secrets. Identify the bad guys. Whoops.
Here's the Reuters new wire story (don't read if you dont want a spoiler!).
Tagging for Self, Tagging for OthersRashmi Sinha posted an article on a cognitive analysis of tagging that's being yakked about around the web right now.
I read it, and thought, nope, that doesn't quite describe what tagging is about, for me at least.
At one point, she writes, "In the digital world, we don't just categorize an object, we also optimize its future findability."
I agree with that. What I disagree with is why we do it. At least, why I do it.
I don't tag stuff for my own benefit. I couldn't care less about tags that way. I don't use them as mnemonics, I don't use them to organize my own pile of digital "stuff". I explicitly use them to help others find things.
In my own experience, tagging is about consciously optimizing an object's future findability... by others. When I go to Flickr, I'll tag things not so I can find them again. I tag them so other people will find them. I consciously think about, hmm, what words or phrases best describe and categorize this item and make it most findable by other people? I think about how other people are most likely to be thinking about tags too: how would they most likely search for something like this object? What tag(s) would they most likely apply to this object? Do I agree with what tags I think folks would most likely ascribe to this object? Are those tags already ascribed? If not, I add 'em.
This is what I do on Flickr. This is what I do on Eventful.
Another thing she talks about that I have to disagree with. She says, "Another observation about tagging - it provides immediate self and social feedback. Each tag tells you a little about what you are interested in." I think that is a dangerous assumption, to believe that each tag indicates interest. Systems built upon such an assumption will result in frustrated users wondering why they're receiving recommendations for items that mean nothing to them. Think Amazon: you go look at a book -- maybe someone's showing you something, maybe you heard about this book, or item, or whatever. You go look at its detail page. You have no interest in this type of book (say, it's a book about childcare and you have no kids, or a book about gardening when you don't have a garden). Suddenly you get recommendations for this type of book on your personalized Amazon home page. Irrelevance.
I tag items with words and phrases to help others find this item -- doesn't mean I like this item, or that I prefer or have an interest in these tags.
Maybe it's the librarian in me: just doing my job to make more stuff discoverable. Doesn't mean I have an interest in the stuff. What I have an interest in is discoverability. By others.
September 22, 2005
eventfulThe EVDB website is now called Eventful. It's powered by EVDB.
More after I catch some sleep...
September 18, 2005
(Comments on) A Letter from the EditorThe Nytimes editor, Leonard M. Apcar, posted the following letter on the nytimes site, announcing their TimesSelect service. Here is some line-by-line commentary on the letter.
On Monday, Sept. 19, the New York Times opens up TimesSelect, a service designed to block millions of readers from reading important commentary on issues concerning all Americans. At a time like this, when these voices need to be heard by as many people as possible, well, that's really too bad.
And people who choose not to subscribe will not. Or maybe they still can... Don't underestimate the power of the blog...
You should have kept the columns free, but added the "engage with columnists" as the for-fee service. That would have struck a better balance. Actually, I doubt the engaging with columnists will be useful or interesting. It almost never is. Columnists are busy. How are they suddenly going to have time to engage with readers? I'd rather engage with them through their blogs. Oh. You don't let them have blogs, do you, Leonard.
I don't want to save things in a Times File, thank you very much.
It's too expensive to get home delivery of the paper, and I'm not going to shell out $49.95.
Actually, for a lot of folks, it's going to be "Find out less." But wait. Maybe it doesn't have to be that way.
Maybe there is a way the op-ed readers can at least get the gist of what their favorite columnists have to say, without having to pay. Idea for an enterprising blogger: subscribe to TimesSelect. Read the op-eds each day. Summarize, with selected fair use quotes. Post the summaries to a blog. Call it SelectTimes.com (hey, it's available). Put lots of AdSense ads on it. Lemme know when it's done. I'll start reading it. The AdSense should garner more than $49.95/mo, plus you'd be doing us all a great service.
September 07, 2005
Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!Amazing what you find on the events radar.....
Glory Days: a Bruce Springsteen Symposium, a three-day conference featuring 150+ speakers.
Favorite EVDB tag for this conference: bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!
Now, where's the symposium on The Who?
September 05, 2005
The Hurricane ProclamationsEach year since the taking office, George W. Bush has issued a Proclamation declaring a particular week in May as National Hurricane Awareness Week. Here are links to the actual texts of the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 proclamations.
A quick overview of some of the themes over the years, and how many times they've been mentioned:
From the 2001 proclamation:
It further says,
Bush made a visit to the Port of New Orleans in January 2002, from which the photo below was taken. I wonder how many of these New Orleans workers shown in this photograph have homes tonight? I wonder how many are still alive?
At this rally, Bush said, "When a longshoreman is able to keep more of his own money, his family has more money to spend." The White House caption for this photo further states, "Under the Presidentís economic plan, married couples would pay less tax, the Child Tax Credit would be raised and several million working Americans would drop immediately into the lower 10-percent tax bracket."
When a longshoreman is able to keep his home and family and job because the Army Corps of Engineers has been fully funded to build sufficient levees around New Orleans, then he's more likely able to pay his taxes, Mr. President. How's he supposed to do that now?
In 2002's proclamation he raised the theme of coordination:
The big news from the 2003 proclamation, other than the big spike in the number of times "tropical storm" was mentioned, was that new technology was going to improve NOAA forecasting ability:
As for the 2004 proclamation, strangely, we were back to just one mention of "tropical storms". But Bush made a big change this year: these proclamations were no longer about awareness, but now about preparedness. In fact, since the 2004 proclamation he's called these weeks "National Hurricane Preparedness Week."
Notable from the 2004 proclamation is this:
I'm wondering if that was the plan the implementation of which the Bush Administration later decided not to sufficiently fund.
For the first time in Bush's career as president, his 2005 Proclamation did not mention FEMA. Three times in 2001, twice in 2002, three times again in 2003, but only once in 2004, and now zip in 2005. So much for FEMA and hurricanes.
"By working together," Bush's 2005 proclamation proclaimed, "Federal, State, and local agencies, first responders, the news media, and private citizens can help save lives and diminish the damage caused by these natural disasters."
How true. We need to work together better.
September 03, 2005
SerendipitySo the question is, does the New York Times read my blog for story ideas? :-)
My iPod Shuffles NotOm Malik writes about the iPod Shuffle in his blog yesterday and repeats a misconception I have heard over and over again: that the only way to listen to the songs downloaded to an iPod Shuffle is in random order.
I wonder if he realizes this isn't true?
I am posting this right now while listening to the 4th movement from Bruckner's Symphony No. 5 in B Flat Major. Before that I listened to the 3rd movement. Before that, the second. And before that the first. It would be weird to listen to it any other way.
The way I put stuff on my Shuffle is to make a playlist, with an intentional order of songs, and then I copy 'em all to the Shuffle. And when I play 'em, I play them in sequential order, the way I want them to be played, not the way Steve wants me to play them.
Sure, it's possible to listen to the tunes in random order. And sometimes, that can be fun. Sometimes, once in a great while, enlightening, when two songs that couldn't be more dissimilar in style, timbre, mood, and genre, segue into each other and you find that they bridge just perfectly.
But most of the time I tell my Shuffle to play in linear mode. It's possible: just turn your iPod Shuffle over, and on the back side is the little white slider button, which you move to the middle position, for the linear sequence setting. Pull the slider too far down and you get the random-sequence setting.
The middle way is the way for me.
September 01, 2005
New OrleansI am appalled and sicked by the tragedy in New Orleans and the Gulf States area. Particularly at what seems to be a bungled effort on the part of FEMA and the Bush Administration to get off their butts and help the people there. What has happened to the poor folks stranded at the Superdome is beyond comprehension.
It sure does seem like there is serious discrimination going on. If there were 25000 people stuck in the San Diego Sports Arena, or Madison Square Garden in New York, or, well, take your pick of venues around the nation, would the same situation be happening? Are all the delays strictly logistical or due to flooded conditions impeding access, or is there more to it, as in, these people chose to stay, now they should suffer the consequences? I just don't understand the treatment that these fellow United States citizens are having to endure. Why must the mayor practically beg for help? I don't understand.
Read More in the Archives:
February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 | November 2004 | October 2004 | September 2004 | August 2004 | July 2004 | June 2004 | May 2004 | April 2004 | March 2004 | February 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 | October 2003 | September 2003 | August 2003 | July 2003 | June 2003 | May 2003 | April 2003 | March 2003 | February 2003 | January 2003 | December 2002 | November 2002 | October 2002 | September 2002 | August 2002 | July 2002 | June 2002 | May 2002 | April 2002 | March 2002 | February 2002 |
Be sure to take a look at these other fine websites:
Copyright 2002-2004 Birdrock Ventures. brianstorms is a trademark of Birdrock Ventures.