Jeff Random

musings and metatheory

Linked Data

TimBerners-Lee takes the concept of mashup and goes beyond giving the world a structure for powerful change.

Basically a way to move from the economics of scarcity, to the economics of abundance when it comes to data.

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Published by r8ndom, on April 16th, 2009 at 11:37 pm. Filled under: Content,Metatheory,New Media,Personalized Content,Posts,Trust,VideosComments Off

We are the web

“We”ll need to rethink a few things

From this excellent video

Sounds exactly like what we should be considering regarding a singularity.

There is only one time in the history of each planet when its inhabitants first wire up its innumerable parts to make one large Machine. Later that Machine may run faster, but there is only one time when it is born.

You and I are alive at this moment.

KK for Wired

Published by r8ndom, on February 6th, 2007 at 5:23 pm. Filled under: Community,Content,Media 2.0,Metatheory,New Media,Personalized Content,PostsNo Comments

Beyond Backlinks -Search Conversations

TalkDigger is a great tool that lets you search conversations about a specific URL.

Talk Digger

This is a metasearch that covers Technorati, Google Blog, Bloglines, Feedster, BlogDigger, Icerocket, MSN Search, Google, Yahoo!
You can outuput the results as an RSS feed to keep track of your sites and stay involved in the conversation.

Published by r8ndom, on December 29th, 2005 at 1:07 am. Filled under: Integrated Marketing,New Media,Personalized Content,Posts,SearchNo Comments

Glad to get a Virus?

With reports that a “New Worm Chats with Users on AIM” link and even goes so far as to respond “lol no its not its a virus” when questioned it’s not too far of a leap to imagine personalized viruses.

Don’t imagine the personalized viruses tailored to your DNA that many sci-fi novels talk about, but instead think the evolution of Spear-Phishing.

This kind of an attack could use the information it gathers about you (contact names, frequency of contact, online purchase history, emails, IM history etc) to masquerade as a “trusted” contact to everyone you know. If it wasn’t too intrusive, then it would be difficult to even notice if your system had been infected.

Imagine that instead of trying to steal your credit card numbers, or other information that has a lot of attention focused on security this “personalized” virus simply pretended to be you occasionally.

It could IM/email your contacts, and suggest products or services. If it only chose things that you would recommend, or have purchased (think of Amazon’s suggestion engine), to the type of people who would be interested (search for keywords in email/IM interactions), and could do it in your ‘voice’ (copy phrasing from IM/email) it would be very effective. Perhaps it would even place VOIP calls, and remix your voice for maximum effectiveness.

Whatever the mechanism, the fact remains that eventually one of your friends would say ‘Thanks for the heads up on that (stock pick, book, software package, membership website etc)’ and it would come out that you didn’t actually tell them about it.

The question is – would you mind?

Think of it this way – If someone had a website with EXACTLY the news that you were interested in, and nothing else you would be very happy to read it. It wouldn’t matter that the site was a splog newsmaster site, or the product of a great news team. Either way you are happy with the end result.

By the same token, you really would like to let all of your friends know about the products and services that you think would improve their lives. It would be even better if you were able to do so without taking any effort on your part, and it just “worked in the background”.

By making itself unobtrusive, and even helpful you would have very little incentive to track down and remove the bot. From there it’s just a short step to reminding you about appointments, screening phone calls etc. After all if it’s doing a good enough job, you might even want it to help you to manage your relationships a little. Imagine being able to delegate those obligatory chats to your Fetch* .

As I have discussed before the revolution in personalized content may well evolve from search engine spammers. That is just one niche in the digital ecosystem. In order for digital life to evolve there needs to be competition and consequences. With anti-virus, anti-spyware and other types of competitive software in the mix only the fittest will survive.

I can’t wait to see what comes out from this.

* Fetch = autonomous adaptive software agent or knowledge based agent.

Published by r8ndom, on December 8th, 2005 at 1:10 pm. Filled under: Content,Metatheory,Personalized Content,Posts,TrustNo Comments

Personalized Social Search

One of my friends takes great joy in tormenting Google cheerleaders. He likes to say things like “I’m going to use Yahoo, it’s the best search engine”, or “I’m going to Yahoo for it, that way I will actually find it”. When he wants to find something Y! is the first place that he goes.

What makes this funy is that he makes a good part of his living through “creative search engine marketing” and is generally much more able to game Yahoo than Google.

But now it looks like a lot more people may be thinking his way. Yahoo has launched personalized social search.

Save to My Web is a simple, sociable button you can add to any and every page of your blog or website. Users click to save your content and add it directly to their stored pages on My Web 2.0. From there, the page is easy to retrieve, and easy to share with others. …

By distributing the tagging/microchunking of content to it’s users, Yahoo goes from search & communities (Y! groups) to search + communities + reconstructor. This could be the missing piece for the Yahoo triple play, a la Media 2.0 Strategic Maxims.

via John Battelle’s Searchblog

Published by r8ndom, on October 30th, 2005 at 6:17 am. Filled under: Personalized Content,Posts,Search,Search Engines4 Comments

Granularity Metaphor

Nivi offers a great metaphor for understanding the benefits of granularity for RSS content.

The RSS is the TCP/IP of Web 2.0 is a very interesting read, as is Nivi in general.

RSS is like an API for content. RSS gives you access to a web site’s data just like an API gives you access to a web site’s computing power. Most important, RSS gives you access to your data that you have locked up on a web site.

Every Web 1.0 company will have to decide what content they will open with RSS. For example, Amazon already makes their content like their book catalog available through their API. But will Amazon open up user-contributed content through RSS?

Will you have access to

  • Your explicit content like your purchase history and reviews you’ve written?

  • Your drive-by content like the books you have recently browsed on Amazon?

  • Other user’s content such as book reviews?

I believe I heard Jon Udell say that the winners of the Web 2.0 orgy will be the sites that don’t lock up user-contributed content. Instead, the winners will create a compelling ecosystem for you to store your content and bring in your content from other sites via RSS. Food for thought.

Note: This is Part 3 of a continuing series called RSS is the TCP/IP of Web 2.0. You may also like Parts 1 and 2.

Published by r8ndom, on September 6th, 2005 at 10:24 pm. Filled under: Media 2.0,Metatheory,Personalized Content,Posts5 Comments

Copy Optimized- DVDA & more

Metadata that reconstructs the file via the web – exactly what we need these days. The more granular content gets the better this works.

There needs to be a standard so that it’s completely unambiguous just what one means when one says “Copy Optimized DVD Audio disc”. It’s that clear specification that will make embedded players and perfect peer-to-peer network copies possible. A disc containing such files could be popped into your home stereo DVD player and made to play, copy and share with no more user intervention than hitting a button…

But here’s the key: each file will be named in a way that’s optimized for file sharing, with artist, album, title and track number right in the filename, and with all the right metadata already embedded in the file when the album was mastered at the studio. To share Copy Optimized music you just direct your peer-to-peer filesharing application to your DVD drive so it will share what you’re listening to, have your friends copy the tracks onto their computers’ hard drives, or else burn them copies of the whole DVD.

But wait: there’s more! The DVD disk itself will have a metadata file in its root directory that will specify the contents of the entire disk. My idea is that one could make a bit-for-bit reconstruction of the whole disk just by grabbing this one metadata file and then looking for the tracks on the file sharing networks. This file would be one or two kilobytes of XML that would have each track’s metadata as well as its Secure Hash Algorithm checksum so it can be uniquely identified over the net.

Via Boing Boing

Published by r8ndom, on September 5th, 2005 at 2:27 pm. Filled under: Content,Media 2.0,Media Economics,Metatheory,Personalized Content,PostsNo Comments

From Tastemaker to Collaborative Filter

“DJ’s are like collaborative filters – but the best ones are also sources of novelty. Noise, if you like, – but good noise. Filters that can jump from peak to peak – from things I might like now, to things I will like when my preferences will evolve (or, better yet, that evolve my preferences). Algorithmic solutions don’t do this yet – and probably won’t for a while, because it’s a (really) hard problem. But it’s also a (really) big market gap.” link

You don’t need an algorithmic solution when you can have your users brute force it for you more accurately, and also introduce novelty.

The question becomes where are you going to get a dedicated group of users who are willing to invest their time, efforts and attention into your system?

Untold numbers of music fans & teenagers seems like a good place to start.

“MTV Hits, an MTV offshoot channel in UK, will turn into a fully interactive service, encouraging viewers to choose playlists and influence the on-screen look of the network.

From later this year viewers will initially be invited to create their own home pages on, with features including personal blogs, all-time favourite track lists and current favourites.” -link

Published by r8ndom, on September 3rd, 2005 at 12:52 am. Filled under: Content,Media 2.0,Media Economics,Metatheory,Personalized Content,PostsNo Comments

Web as Operating System

Kottke make a great case for the web as the next operating system here

Compared to “standalone” Web apps and desktop apps, applications developed for this hypothetical platform have some powerful advantages. Because they run in a Web browser, these applications are cross platform (assuming that whoever develops such a system develops the local Web server part of it for Windows, OS X, Linux, your mobile phone, etc.), just like Web apps such as Gmail, Basecamp, and You don’t need to be on a specific machine with a specific OS…you just need a browser + local Web server to access your favorite data and apps.

It raises one of the major obstacles facing the idea of Web as Operating System – Lameness

One thing that might deter you from writing Web-based applications is the lameness of Web pages as a UI. That is a problem, I admit. There were a few things we would have really liked to add to HTML and HTTP. What matters, though, is that Web pages are just good enough.

With the introduction of ifthen YubNub could be a solution to the “lameness” of web pages as user interface.

Just as using CSS allows separation of the content from the presentation, Yubnub allows separation of the interface from the application.

This allows for the hypothetical “WebOS” to have the advantages without suffering from “lameness”

Published by r8ndom, on August 26th, 2005 at 11:50 pm. Filled under: Media 2.0,Metatheory,Personalized Content,PostsNo Comments

The Value of Trust

Jeff from BuzzMachine says:

Who wants to own content?

Distribution is not king.

Content is not king.

Conversation is the kingdom.

The war is over and the army that wasn’t even fighting — the army of all of us, the ones who weren’t in charge, the ones without the arms — won. The big guys who owned the big guns still don’t know it. But they lost.

In our media 2.0, web 2.0, post-media, post-scarcity, small-is-the-new-big, open-source, gift-economy world of the empowered and connected individual, the value is no longer in maintaining an exclusive hold on things. The value is no longer in owning content or distribution.

The value is in relationships. The value is in trust.


Information wants to be free while trust wants to be earned.
We pay attention to those that we trust.

Trust in network environments
The need for a cognitive model of trust
The socio-cognitive model of trust
The beliefs of trust: what X thinks about Y
The “Motivation belief” of trust
Yin-yang trust
Internal and external trust
The sources of trust
Trust and irrationality
Degrees of trust
Trust and risk
Trust and delegation
Trust and control
Trust and adjustable autonomy
The dynamics of trust
Trust and experiences
Trust elicits trust
Trust atmosphere
Trust as a three parties relationship: contracts and authorities
Trust as a communicative act
Trust as a fuzzy network
Trust in contract nets
Trust, security and technology
Trust and technical knowledge
Trust and knowledge management

Published by r8ndom, on August 24th, 2005 at 11:52 pm. Filled under: Content,Media 2.0,Media Economics,Metatheory,Personalized Content,Posts,Search,Trust3 Comments