Roblimo of Slashdot fame brings out some useful lessons learned about the use of the Internet and the fate of newspapers in his Slashdot post today.
The lessons point to some of the underpinnings of Web 2.0 that many organizations are just not quite ready or fully comfortable to handle yet: direct participation from the community.
Community and social computing
Continued from my previous post...
As I said, we already have an internal taxonomy data structure that is used for our internal search engine, for categorizing our content, etc. It's crucial to keep this or things start going array when those tools are used. Each item in that taxonomy is used as a tag for marking items.
Now for dW Community, currently only the bloggers have their own "Category" tags, which are separate from the dW taxonomy. Because each blogger can create their own tags personally categorizing any of their posts, this can result in many variations of the same tag (same idea, different names), conflicts in the semantic usage of tags (different ideas, same name), and even ownership of those categories. Thus, you can think of these tags as having their own "individual scope" and exist in a different tag space than the full dW taxonomy.
Thus, there are now two scopes of tags: personal, and dW.
Next comes the issues with the big improvements coming in 2006. The plans for 2006 have been laid out but we haven't completely worked out the full tasks and implementation model. Hence, I haven't really described it yet... BUT it is coming and it will have a BIG impact in change! (we hope for the better in many ways)
So, with the new plan, we will start considering another scope of tags: those that span community-wide as a general folksonomy (see previous post).
In this scope, dW Community members can create a tag that exists in the public scope that anyone else can add, modify or even delete items from. This is where we start trusting our users to do what's best for themselves.
With any folksonomy there is potential for abuse and disaster when:
Thus, a pure folksonomy can become total chaos if the facilities to backtrack, undo, alert, or generally administer those tags are not available.
Yet another way to do this is to introduce a new type of scoping. You still have a folksonomy, but you subdivide topics at a high level, and break them down into groups. Each group can have its own tags created by anyone in that group. It's folksonomy in limited scale and actually breaks the original idea some, but limits widespread chaos.
So thus the potential is that there may be a number of scopes: individual, group, dW, global
How do you refer to each of these scopes?
Globally-unique naming of each scope is usually enough.
With our shift towards the more social interaction of Web 2.0, we're currently trying to figure out what makes sense in terms of defining topics and taxonomies in developerWorks.
We already have an internal taxonomy which is used as a table of data in things like our search boxes (see the choices for "topics").
Now we are tackling the issues of how do we build a new taxonomy-like structure that also allows community members to contribute. This is very much in the folksonomy concept in sites like: del.icio.us, flickr, 43things.com, etc.
First, a quick review of things that contribute to complexity of these issues.
There are a number of faces of the same thing which I'll define to point out the differences:
In addition to these concepts, dW itself has some concepts we use regularly, primarily the zone which covers a major topic that we want to publish information on. Thus a zone is a variant of a topic. We also have had "special topics" (smaller than a zone), an "area" (also smaller than a zone), a "station" (guess what: smaller than a zone).
A summary of the topics at the recent O'Reilly Web 2.0 conference the three significant ideas that emerged were:
On the first idea, the focus is on syndicating outwards your data, and not trying to control what happens on the other end of the connection. This is a crucial idea that many companies are not quite prepared to handle. Legal and marketing groups in many companies have so long focused on exactly how some offering is presented that they may balk at the thought that in Web 2.0, they need to loosen their grip. There's always the worry of "what happens when someone does X or Y with it?" It's not quite so terrible.
This is actually quite related to SOA terms. Essentially, what you establish is a service-level agreement and a level of trust in your users and customers. The SLA defines your service endpoint, how it can be used, and how it will perform. You then trust the consumer of that service to make use of it according to the defined policies.
Once you use the word "policy" (however loosely), it seems to put the hawks more at ease. Obviously even "policy" is a vague and relative term. Watching Pirates of the Carribean (again) last night, they should think of it more as guildelines than as The (Pirate) Code. :)
Coincidentally, that is just where the fear stems from: that it would lead to "piracy", "stealing" or misuse of a service.
To paraphrase Princess Leia Organa to the Imperial Grand Moff:
"The more you tighten your grip, the more [they] will slip through your fingers."
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From slashdot. In the US, the federal legal establishment has decided that some bloggers can actually be considered as journalists. This is quite specific to a political blogging site called Fired Up and specifically on journalistic freedom of access to information in government elections, but is a good step. The slashdot article has more info.
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In the two months in the new house, the animals came to me...
Many sucidial chipmunks,
Nine howling coyotes,
Eight flying roaches,
Seven dying scorpions,
Six incher centipedes,
Five pesky deer,
two fighting owls,
and a rabbit murdered by a hawk.
livin in da West-side
If you're a fan of the genre that Sid Meier created with the original Civilization, the latest incarnation released through 2KGames was probably already on your list.
Despite the fact the game actually keeps crashing on my WinXP box due to problems in its use of DirectX somewhere during cut-scene/video playback, it's still gives the excitement I enjoyed with previous version.
Civ - original game - well-worth it then
Civ 2 - some improvements but nothing really fancy
CivNet - really lame excuse for a multiplayer version
Civ 3 - new graphics (eh so what), and only real new element is the "loyalty" factor displayed on the map. It's like they weren't really even trying to make it better.
Civ Test of Time and other off-versions - I can't tell if these were knock-offs or that while they used the Civ2 engine they were written by an entirely different team(s).
Civ 4 - TBD... at least the multiplayer aspect looks more practical.
What I really get out of it is the interesting game elements they try to layer into the game without making the process of building a civilization way too complex. (After all it is a game).
Common elements and Civ 4 adds:
It's still a game in the fact that the rules have changed but it still fun to play. Too much detail in graphics. It's hard to see things clearly with so much detail. This thing is also getting so resource demanding of your computer, it's not a surprise to me that my install is running into problems running the thing. The more complex the simulation after all... Who knew that old "cell" game from the 1960s/70s would grow up to be this...
Now if they'd only help fix my DirectX problems that cause blue screen of deaths. I guess I'll go look at Civ Fanatics.
I've finally seen my new book on a physical book shelf at an actual bookstore. The Service-Oriented Architecture Compass is a project that I started working on as part of a team with four other authors, all senior architects. It took a long time to get this book off the ground simply because SOA is such a wide-ranging topic at IBM. There are products and projects that spread across our entire family of middleware products. Needless to say a lot of people were interested in the work and I'm happy to say we got a lot of support putting this book together.
This is also the first book in the developerWorks series of IBM Press which I helped to conceive. This partnership with the Pearson group of publishers (Prentice-Hall, Addison-Wesley, Penguin, Pearson Education, etc.) aims to produce the high-quality content of developerWorks into an even more in-depth format beyond our articles and tutorials for topics that need such broad coverage.
For SOA, even this one book is only the start. This book focus on the initial aspect of figuring out what an SOA project entails, how to explain that to your management, how to start planning your team, and the technical areas that you need to consider.
We're (across IBM) will be working on more books on the topic of SOA, so that we can get the full scope of what this technology really entails starting from the planning to business process modeling, services programming, services assembly, and eventual monitoring and administration.
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The Cell Processor is the brain of the upcoming Sony Playstation 3. You can download the Linux-based development kit and start working on your next gaming masterpiece with the new Cell Broadband Engine Software Development Kit for free from our alphaWorks site. This also includes a full simulator for the processor system.
You may also want to read more about the architecture of the Cell Broadband Engine and a general overview of how it works.