Tom The Architect

Technology and other Interesting Stuff

Month: May, 2006

A point of order: Linking within posts

I will no longer link within my writing instead I will provide links at the bottom of the post just above the tags. I was listening to the Gillmor Gang[1] and Steve Gillmor talked about linking being dead[2]. From a value perspective linking is challenged due to all the splinks. Companies that sell words within their articles, and spammers really are killing the informational value of linking. So in effort to make my text easier to consume, I am refraining from linking from within the post. Posts will have a links section at the bottom and eventually I will provide an icon that identifies off site links. I will also be offering the RSS feeds for sites I reference in an effort to drive folks away from a page click page model.

Get the Gillmor Gang RSS here
[1] The Gillmor Gang Podcast

Get Steve Gillmor’s InfoRouter RSS here
[2] Links are dead, Doc: by Steve Gillmor

Attention economics, ah the possibilities

As I think more about the economics of Attention I am struck by the silos. Everyday of my life my attention is disrupted by the constant silo switching. I spend 2 to 2.5 hours per day driving to my place of employment. Today, that time is better spent thanks to my self programmed iPod. There exists a huge problem maintaining the flow of information into and out of my commute silo. I have to spend time to deliver information into that silo and its a pain in the neck, sync, plug in, navigate, unplug, plug in navigate, and unplug every day. So here is what I think would be nice.

In the evening as I review my schedule for the next day, iTunes detects my car as a device on my wireless network. iTunes updates my car with the content I have added and allows me to program my drive to work with content. My calendar also detects my car as a device on my wireless network (or as a client via EVDO, a nod to Steve Gillmor) my temporal data gets downloaded and is used to prime my navigation system. The car then could make suggestions regarding when and where to get gas based on price, route changes based on live traffic data, and provide access to my voice mail. The opportunities are all over the place. Why can’t I sync my contacts in Google or yahoo bidirectionally with my cell phone.

Creating attention efficiencies for people in their daily lives is just obvious. Jon Udell writes about the broader value of attention efficiency and effectiveness [1]. Technology has consistently increased the productivity of the individual within the context of a specific task. How about life productivity, how about increasing the continuity of experience of my life, I would be willing to pay for that. In the end, all the players (companies, customers ect..) will have to focus on collaboration, continuity of experience and increased situational awareness.

[1] Attention economics: by Jon Udell

The Passion of the early Police

I have long been a fan of the Police. I have listened to every album and I enjoy almost every song. The album I enjoy most is The Police Live. I enjoy this album for 2 reasons:

  1. Disc 1 is infused with passion and angst.
  2. Disc 2 provides a point of comparison that makes the passion on disc 1 so obvious.

Disc 2 shows how the band had lost its fire and passion at the end. This comparison is hard to make on studio albums, but is made simple with the 2 disc set. So buy the album and do the following:

  1. Listen to both discs in order.
  2. Hide disc 2 and hope never to hear it again
  3. Enjoy Disc 1 and the passion of the Police as it should be remembered

A clean Design

A clean Design

Originally uploaded by TomC.

I really like the design of this truck. GE it appears thought of the out side of the truck as an opportunity to create a useful interface. The warning is right at eye level, and the driving comment number is clear and easy to read. The truck also does not carry an information that is time sensitive, like campaigns or advertising slogans. Well Done GE. meet Sxore.

Comments are now being auto moderated via Sxore. I saw Dick Hardt present on identity 2.0 at Web 2.0. I thought the presentation was really interesting. So as I update the site, I decided to add Sxore comment moderation. So if someone ever comments I can tryout Sxore. So let me know what you think.

Tagging has arrived

After thinking about tagging in depth for my employer, I thought it was time to add tagging to I think more companies will be using the distributed tag cloud to divine understanding and provide value added services. The best example I can think of is Edgeio, its a cool idea. As more independent content is tagged the global folksonomy will grow stronger and more valuable. Then the spammers and click fraud folks will move in. Eventually there will be a way to identify the reputation of the source of the content and tags. The best thing is the information will be available to everyone, unless there is a more to pass the anti tag neutrality act. You never know, crazier things have happened.

Attention: Move to a more cooperative model and increased situational awareness

I have been thinking about the Attention economy and what it means for businesses. I find the idea of a more cooperative value model eludes most traditional businesses. I have had to explain multiple times that the value of an interaction includes more than just the product and the cash payment. There exists around all interactions meta data that in some cases exceeds the value of the obvious portion of a traditional transaction. I think that many companies take meta data for granted. There tends to be an assumption that only one party is capturing meta data. In non-online interactions that assumption maybe correct, but in the online world what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Businesses will wake up real quick when customers realize that they can monetize their book purchasing or reviewing habits on amazon by sharing their meta data with Borders.

No longer is the customers meta data a private source of insight or value. As new companies move to free customer meta data and its stored value, traditional businesses will have to move to a more cooperative model. I expect some companies will fight this effort by trying to institute draconian terms of use and invoking copyright protections. Those companies will be fighting a hopeless battle, and if they are successful it will only create a black economy of customer meta data and that is never good. A transparent and open meta data trade is best for all parties involved.

The cooperative model will force companies to work to provide more value for the meta data in the form of better financial terms, increased services, and a broader continuity of experience. Cooperative companies will enable customer creation of a rich situational awareness. That situational awareness will drive productivity and create additional business opportunities.

Thomas W. Malone gave a presentation on the Future of Work at the Accelerating Change 2005 Conference, which focused on the impact of the declining cost of communication. This declining cost of communication is enabling both customers and companies alike to utilize a broader spectrum of the information in our everyday lives. In the future we will all need and have personal situation awareness systems. This will make the information management tools of today look like a Motorola Bravo pager in the age of smart phones.