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The Natural Flow and Collection of Information

Cool! My visions of forests and streams come to life! Check out this little program entitled For All Seasons by Andreas Müller I found over at Kaliber10000 which shows a textual representation of memories that are also interactive to the user’s mouse movements. For All Seasons is about using interactive elements to help communicate more…

Cool! My visions of forests and streams come to life! Check out this little program entitled For All Seasons by Andreas Müller I found over at Kaliber10000 which shows a textual representation of memories that are also interactive to the user’s mouse movements.

For All Seasons is about using interactive elements to help communicate more of the memories transcribed than a purely textual representation could do on its own.

Words and text are traditional conveyors of information however, in the same way interactive environments can be used to represent emotions and experiences.

Hmmm, this sounds very close to what Saheli just said in a comment.

And then from that we somehow thought of a movie where somebody was talking about something, and as the words were coming out of his mouth, they would be continually visually sketched out in the air around him. Makes present-day TV seem kind of weak, no? I like the idea of standing by the flow of conversation and every now and then sticking your hand in to pluck some particularly exciting flow.

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Recovery 1.5 vs Hurricane Rita

Hmmm, well so much for people being proactive about getting information online before Hurricane Rita hits this weekend. Haven’t seen one person talk about standardizing tags to use for Technorati or creating emergency banners for websites that link to missing persons databases and what not. Sure evacuations are underway and most people will be able…

Hmmm, well so much for people being proactive about getting information online before Hurricane Rita hits this weekend. Haven’t seen one person talk about standardizing tags to use for Technorati or creating emergency banners for websites that link to missing persons databases and what not. Sure evacuations are underway and most people will be able to get out but who the hell knows what’s going to happen with a Category 5 Category 4 hurricane. I mean let’s put some of our thoughts into action this time.

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Sharing-Enabled Software

I was just jumping around on the Apple site when I clicked on the .mac page and was suddenly reminded of something I had thought of a while back. That being why is it that companies like Microsoft and Apple don’t design their software so that any information from their products can be transferred or…

I was just jumping around on the Apple site when I clicked on the .mac page and was suddenly reminded of something I had thought of a while back. That being why is it that companies like Microsoft and Apple don’t design their software so that any information from their products can be transferred or uploaded to any web location of their choice? Of course the primary answer here is money. Why make their products compatible with any web/ftp/rss transfer mode when they can charge a monthly fee to use their proprietary hosting services. The real question here is how long will this last before their customers demand this openness.

For example, Mac OS X already has RSS features within it and Windows Vista will have RSS as a core part of the operating system as well. Imagine if iPhoto allowed you to upload your photos to any web space of your choice (utilizing your templates to do so) or even better did it in the background automatically. Imagine going to someone’s site and seeing a list of their latest bookmarks, music, photos, videos all posted their automatically because the user just clicked a single checkbox in the software somewhere to "Share" that information with others.

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Blog Author’s Not Responding To Comments

Ok, this is has got to be one of my all time pet peeves relating to blogging. You constantly hear how blogging is so great and everything, yet of the sites that I visit, I would say that like 60 to 80% of them have authors who words very rarely grace their comments area to…

Ok, this is has got to be one of my all time pet peeves relating to blogging. You constantly hear how blogging is so great and everything, yet of the sites that I visit, I would say that like 60 to 80% of them have authors who words very rarely grace their comments area to respond to their visitors. I mean there are people out their preaching about blogging and how it lets you connect with people, yet some of these people are guilty of not connecting with their own visitors. And yes I realize that site author’s can’t respond to every comment but I’m talking like maybe responding to like one or two people a day at least! And hell the problem doesn’t even end there, it occurs with the visitors as well. They don’t even communicate with each other. Instead what is achieved is something like a bunch of people all crowded into a room, talking out loud to the entire room, but not talking to anyone in particular. Geez, wake up people! Engage and interact with each other!

As for myself, I’ve almost come to the point that if I’ve commented on a site numerous times and haven’t heard nothing back from the author on my response or even others in the same conversations, then I pretty much see no point in commenting on the person’s site. I’ll look elsewhere for other conversations where people actually engage each other. Actually to give you a perfect example of this, I’d have to say the best weblog that I’ve been to in the past year, where the people within it got very engaged with each other and had great conversations, was The Game Chair which is a blog related to gaming. Here’s one post from a while back to show you the type of interaction I’d like to see on most blogs.

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Wisdom From Wil

Wil Wheaton has an excellent post about letting loose and taking last Monday off work to have some fun on Talk Like A Pirate Day. Best of all is this sage bit of advice that he had acquired a while back but just remembered. Don’t let your work become your life, because when work isn’t…

Wil Wheaton has an excellent post about letting loose and taking last Monday off work to have some fun on Talk Like A Pirate Day. Best of all is this sage bit of advice that he had acquired a while back but just remembered.

Don’t let your work become your life, because when work isn’t happening, then what do you have?

I’ve got to remember that! Maybe even make up a poster and hang it on the wall in my den.

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Feeling Connected To The World

Below is my response to David Weinberger relating to his latest newsletter that talks about the depressing cultural effect of relativism. David, regarding relativism, are you thinking what I think you’re thinking? You’ve just explained in logical depths why our current way of thinking now is so flawed (which I fully agree with) but you…

Below is my response to David Weinberger relating to his latest newsletter that talks about the depressing cultural effect of relativism.

David, regarding relativism, are you thinking what I think you’re thinking? You’ve just explained in logical depths why our current way of thinking now is so flawed (which I fully agree with) but you haven’t mentioned anything about this new way of thinking that the Internet is giving us, that I think is becoming more and more prevalent with each passing day.

I agree that our current culture is flawed because our current way of thinking is emphasizing the wrong values within it. And yet this wrongness you spoke of is something that I think we all feel now and again. We can’t explain it but we feel it deep down inside of us every once in a while. I think we know these values feel wrong though because we are comparing them to the right values that are still in the back of our hearts and minds.

You spoke of words like truth and trust. Aren’t these values that we are told as child to pursue? And don’t these values feel right to us even without being told? They just feel right. Yet as we grow up, these values get pushed back into the recesses of our hearts and minds because those values often don’t work in real life if you want to "succeed" and in turn make money to be able to live. It doesn’t mean that we still don’t value them, its just that they get pushed back by all of these wrong values instead and thus they don’t get accessed as often.

You spoke about diversity and valuing life. Well if you value diversity then you value all life because every single person, no matter who they are, adds to this diversity. Why is diversity important? Because it allows us to collectively solve common problems and do things which a single rigid way of thinking may fail to overcome or take forever to achieve. These many small diverse thoughts, viewpoints, and approaches that the world contains, actually are a benefit because it allows the world as a collective of loosely joined and diverse people to overcome and achieve things together much faster and efficiently than before. Nature is a perfect example of this approach as it has been noted that after a fire those areas of a forest with the most diversity often recover much sooner than other less diverse areas. And hell look at the way natural selection itself works with its multiple diverse approaches to achieving a common goal of survivability for the entire species.

Now do you want to know the really weird thing that I noticed when defining some of these cultural values that feel right to me? I noticed that these values in themselves were not just a collective of small pieces loosely joined that formed an encompassing culture but, more importantly, they seemed to be interdependent upon one another. I found that when you mention one value or trait, another one is often there waiting on the side to connect with it. I mean if I say that I’m an open and honest person, what other values immediately pop into your head? The reverse is also true of these wrong cultural values. If I say that I am dishonest and closed minded, again what other values immediately pop into your head?

And finally, yes, I did mean to repeat the word "feel" so many times above. You see for the longest time I couldn’t figure out why I felt more connected offline, away from the computer, than online supposedly connected with millions of people. It wasn’t until I looked at my question and noted that single word "feel" (i.e. why don’t I feel connected?) that the answer came to me. I believe that it is our feelings and emotions that help us to connect with one another as people. I mean isn’t that what the Web is supposed to be really about? The things that we care about? And isn’t caring a feeling that allows us to connect with others?

Yes, conversations are an important aspect of the Web but they are just the medium to relay these emotions and feelings. Without them, you’re only getting unemotional factual information in the story or conversation that can be as interesting as someone telling you about going to the corner store to get some milk. Who cares? Yet, if you instill those stories with emotions and feelings, like the stories told by those during 9/11, you can’t help but to feel connected with those people and care about them because we all as a diverse group of people share these same certain emotions. Now let’s go back to the milk story. Turns out in getting the milk, the person avoided dying in 9/11. Now how interesting would the details of that story be to you now, how does it make you feel, and how does it connect you to the person? We need to instill more emotion in everything we do. And isn’t that what passion (the number one thing businesses want in their employees) is all about? We can even include our emotions in the technology that we create by cultivating it with these same cultural values that "feel" right to us. Just look at how the Web works and you’ll discover those cultural values that feel right to us, already embedded within it.

In closing, I just want to relay a question that I asked myself a while back that I think sums up this emotional battle that is going on inside of every one of us everyday between this wrongness and rightness of values. The question actually relates quite well to your mention of this culture’s depressing and deadening relativism that seems to stifle our emotions and prevents us from feeling.

"Are you dying to feel alive?"

BTW you may be wondering if we already have these right values in us, why are we not using them instead of the wrong values. It is because culture itself is an environment that we are within. That environment influences and effects us on a daily basis. However, as I discovered myself in the past, a culture can be changed and defined by the people within it as well. And in changing that culture, it will in turn change and influence others within it. However, for us to redefine our culture as a whole, it would require an enormous collective effort on many people’s part to achieve this "tipping point" of change. I believe this buildup of change is already happening though. To see it, you only need to start looking for the ever growing number of conversations by people relaying their emotional feelings about the things that they care about and value. Then just start collecting the common values that they keep talking about and you’ll have the values of your new culture which interesting enough equates quite closely to that of the Web.

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Forests and Streams

I just realized that both of my visions that I mentioned in the past, about forests and streams, both relate to one another. We are represented by the forest and our conversations are represented by the streams that flow through the forest. Our conversations sustain us and help us grow just like the streams sustain…

I just realized that both of my visions that I mentioned in the past, about forests and streams, both relate to one another. We are represented by the forest and our conversations are represented by the streams that flow through the forest. Our conversations sustain us and help us grow just like the streams sustain the forest and help it grow.

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Telling My Story

I was just reminded that when I was applying for jobs in the past, I always tried to speak from the heart and tell my story to let the company know who I was and what I cared about (besides the obvious stuff of what I had done and could do for them). Anyways, I’m…

I was just reminded that when I was applying for jobs in the past, I always tried to speak from the heart and tell my story to let the company know who I was and what I cared about (besides the obvious stuff of what I had done and could do for them). Anyways, I’m thinking that I’m kind of missing that. Telling my story that is. I mean I’m talking about my ideas galore on this site but I’m not really talking about me (even though my name is plastered at the top of the site). I think I’ll have to change that in the near future as I’ve always been harping about the importance of emotion in writing to help connect people. Without it, you’re just writing factual information that can be as exciting as blogging about going to the corner store for some milk. "Ya, and they even had skim milk too! It was amazing!"

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Getting Connected with FilmLoop

Oh my god! FilmLoop looks fucking brilliant! It looks like it has all the necessary elements to help in setting up decentralized connected communities. FilmLoop is free software that gives you the power to create new loops or join existing ones. Loops are strings of images that move across your desktop. They can tell stories,…

Oh my god! FilmLoop looks fucking brilliant! It looks like it has all the necessary elements to help in setting up decentralized connected communities.

FilmLoop is free software that gives you the power to create new loops or join existing ones. Loops are strings of images that move across your desktop. They can tell stories, showcase products, communicate ideas, and link to websites. A loop can contain photos of your family’s latest vacation, images of the latest happenings around the world, or pictures that link to the latest properties in your local real estate market. And, changes to a loop automatically update on the desktops of everyone in your loop, whether it’s two, ten, or a million people.

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The Business of Blogging

Blogging isn’t so much about a change of technology, as about a change of culture. While every business may not need a blog, they most definitely need the change of culture that blogging embodies. Chris Campbell: You need to create a bond. You need to be honest. You need to listen. Mike Rundle: Also, a…

Blogging isn’t so much about a change of technology, as about a change of culture. While every business may not need a blog, they most definitely need the change of culture that blogging embodies.

Chris Campbell:

You need to create a bond.

You need to be honest.

You need to listen.

Mike Rundle:

Also, a company diving right into a self-written weblog is difficult because it’s a paradigm shift away from what they’re used to. Marketing-speak, press releases, ducking questions — these might be PR tactics they’ve employed for years, but when you start a weblog it has to be honest or else your readers won’t read it and will definitely let you know.

So a company who’s not ready to be transparent and honest can still have a weblog, but we would rather not be a part of that process. We value comments and readers, and if a company weblog is just a rehash of press releases and marketing gobbledegook, then it’s not really using the weblog medium to it’s full potential.

Kudos to Chris and Mike. Thanks for making me feel not so alone anymore in my thoughts.