Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
It looks like being a good one, and I look forward to sharing ideas with some of the leaders in our field.
Anyone who's around, and fancies meeting up,get in touch... We're flyingUnited, so no connectivity in the sky, unfortunately. Still, so long as they've got laptop power and a decentfilmto watch with dinner...
For those who can't go, watch this space for thoughts on the event, and some pointers to what other people are saying about it.
Bob had some interesting things to say around the implicit contract that he feels a content creator enters into withany good faith aggregatorwhen they make a feed available “in a format that we understand” (RSS, Atom, etc), or ping a dedicated service.
Bob suggests that anyone doing so could be considered to be granting permission for that content to be gathered and passed on by a third party. By offering this post via afeed, Bob would suggest that I grant permission for it to appear inTypePad's list of recently updated blogs, that I grant permission forBloglinesorPubSuborTechnoratito extract their value from it, and that I grant permission for just about anybody to display the feed on their web site.
Up to this point, I think that I agree with him. I wonder to what extent the law does?Andrés?
There are, of course, some important considerations wrapped up in those innocent little words “good faith”. As the content provider, I would expect unambiguous attribution. I would expect me, my work (and probably my employer) not to be misrepresented. I would hope, although this is harder to define, that my work would not be used inappropriately. To what extent are my expectations reasonable?
One possible concern these days is that feeds are being created and pings ponged entirely automatically, and it's entirely possible that this is all taking placewithoutthe knowledge of the user. Is it still tenable to argue, as Bob does, that feeding and pinging areconscious actsthat the author undertakes with some knowledge of the consequences? Possibly not, which may begin to complicate the picture.
Where I disagree, quite vehemently, with Bob is around his assertion that my implicit contract with him also permits him to plaster advertising over my feed in order that he can recoup his costs. No. It most definitely does not. Let me amend ourimplicitcontract by quiteexplicitlystating that I don't wantanyoneslapping advertising on or in association with one of my posts without my explicit permission.
Bob has a lot of interesting things to say about those acts that he feels the implicit contract allows and does not allow, and he's clearly given it some thought. One downside with the podcast as a medium is the difficulty I have in quoting back to you things that I heard whilst driving several hours ago. I suggest you have a listen, and contribute your thoughts.
Thereisan implicit contract. In a Web 2.0 world of mix, re-mix, aggregation and recombination there simplyhasto be. We can't afford to enter into formal legal agreements with every potential source, collaborator and beneficiary, both upstream and down.
Creative Commonspossibly offers one solution for moving this contract towards lightweight explicitness, and I have more hope there than Bob appeared to. Thestudyinto Creative Commons funded whilst wearingmy old hatis finished, and publication simply requires me to find the time to read it through in detail and sign it off. Keep an eyeherefor notice of the publication.ODRL, too, might offer a technical solution, and it would be interesting to hear Bob's thoughts around that.
So - where and how do we draw the line? And how close is the position of the line drawn by a content author to one drawn by a content aggregator?
On Monday, I started my new job with UK companyTalis.
It was a promising start, with several conversations with a bunch of bright people, and good coffee. I look forward to learning a lot from them over the coming months. There's an awful lot to take on board, and I've been put to work straightaway, with a presentation to do for Monday and a short article for yesterday, amongst other things.
Talis, with a background inlibrary systemsand provision of aunion catalogue, is building upon these core strengths, and moving beyond their roots to engage in a range of ways withWeb 2.0and the whole next generation of web-based services. They recognise that libraries and their patrons have a lot to gain from functionality that is available to the user, when and where they want it, rather than only on the library home page. They also recognise that much of the expertise currently locked up within the organisation is highly relevant in the emerging Web 2.0 environment more generally.
Talis is committed to carrying the conversation forward, and to working with a wide range of existing and new stakeholders to build new services whilst continuing to run and enhance the existing ones.
I'll be playing a part in all of this, both on theSenior Management Teamand as a Technology Evangelist for the company.
We'll be using a variety of methods to reach out and engage all of you in conversation, from the traditionalconference, through our successfulResearch Days, to a growing emphasis uponblogsand other techniques. We'll also be capitalising upon opportunities to speak at and publish in other peoples' channels, so if you want meget in touch.
Technology, and the associated business logic behind differentiating between the free and the charged, the shared and the proprietary, the cooperative and the competitive is changing remarkably rapidly at present. Talis intends to engage fully with these new opportunities, and is actively nurturing its existing staff whilst recruiting new members such as myself. We're in it for the long haul, and we're in it to share and to cooperate.
It's going to be a fascinating and challenging journey, and I look forward to beginning my part in it.
Jonathan Schwartz, Chief Operating Officer atSun Microsystems, was an early entrant in the senior management blogging stakes, and hisblogcontinues to prove incisive, insightful, and refreshingly free of either overhyping his own organisation or over-slating his competitors. Compulsory reading.
Hislatest posttakes a look at the role of Government in standards setting, using the public-good arguments that allow mobile phones to make emergency calls whether in-credit or signed up to a talk plan or not as his jumping-off point.
“What should we mandate? That all public information, that is, all data and services provided by governments, from 'who to call' lists to video broadcasts of critical information,leverage open, royalty free, freely sublicensable standards. The government should be silent, in my view, on the selection of technologies - that's not their core competence or role. But they have a productive role to play in the standardization and provisioning of emergency services, and the guarantees around service levels and availability. In my view, they have to date underleveraged that role in driving the productive evolution of the network as a social utility.” (my emphasis)
I agree. So, I remember, did those behind the gestation of our owne-Government Interoperability Framework(e-GIF). I do worry, though, that there is an increasing tendency to go a step too far, and stray into the fraught territory of over-mandating technology (and applications).
I've always seen a value inpodcasting(despite apparently writing to the contraryhereonmy old blog). But until this week I'd mostly grasped that value as an abstract, as something forother people. Despite being fullyiPod-ified, broadband-ed and all the rest, regularly listening to spoken word podcasts simply never really worked for me.
I often work best when listening to music, either off my iPod or straight from myPowerBook. Replace music with the spoken word, though, and my productivity plummets. I can't concentrate on my work. I can't concentrate on the words in my ears. Nothing gets done. Setting aside quiet timejustto listen to a podcast works little better. They're all too long, and I can't seem to focus my attention on listening to disembodied voices for more than about ten minutes. I miss the facial expressions and body movements of the speaker. I miss the flicker of slide transitions. My attention drifts, and I turn to read an RSS feed (sorry, 'web feed') or two.
The change came with anew car. A car withSDslots. A car with SD slots that can read and play .mp3 files. Now I simply download podcasts of interest, copy them to an SD card, pop it into the car, and listen as I drive. It's great (so long as it doesn't clash withTodaybeing broadcast to the car radio anyway, of course). I'm a convert.
Now all I need to do is find or write anAutomatorscript to streamline the process;itshould download new podcasts of interest when they become available, wipe old shows off the SD card, and copy the new ones over. All without me having to do any more than pop the card into my computer.
Oh, and I need a much bigger SD card.
For any North American reader about to tell me I should have been using aniTripall along... their use istechnically illegalin the UK, and our FM spectrum is so densely populated that I understand they don't work that well on the move anyway. Gadgets like theSmartDeckwouldn't have worked either; I haven't had a car with a cassette deck for years. As for burning them to a CD, which I certainlycouldhave done, this always seemed too much like hard work, andfeels(despiteCD-RW) more permanent than I need or want.
And the moral of that story is... people are different. Many thousands of people are happily downloading podcasts from theiTunes Storeand elsewhere, and listening to them every day. Formeto gain the benefit of podcast content, I needed to find ways to fit it into my life, rather than changing my life to fit the new delivery platform.
As I live a two hour drive from the offices of thecompanyI'll be working for from Monday, I can see me listening to an awful lot ofIT Conversations...
The tone is light, and the book is only 45 pages in length, but it manages to cover some complex ground in an accessible fashion.
Seth defines three kinds of blog;
“Cat Blogsare blogs for and by and about the person blogging. A cat blog is about your cat and your dating travails and your boss and whatever you feel like sharing in your public diary. The vast majority of people with a cat blogdon’t need or want strangers to read it.” (my emphasis)
“Boss Blogsare blogs used to communicate to a defined circle of people. A boss blog is a fantastic communications tool. I used one when I produced the fourth-grade musical. It made it easy for me to keep the parents who cared about our project up to date... and it gave them an easy-to-follow archive of what had already happened.”
“The third kind of blog is the kind most people imagine when they talk about blogs. These are blogs like instapundit and Scoblelizer and Joi Ito’s. Some of these blogs are for individuals (call them citizen journalists or op-ed pages) and others are for organizations trying to share their ideas and agendas. These are the blogsthat are changing the face of marketing, journalism and the spread of ideas. I want to call theseViral Blogs.” (my emphasis)
In the rest of the book he concentrates upon Viral Blogs, of which I would consider the blog you are reading to be one.
Take a look; Seth writes some things to make you think...