Archive for March, 2003

Towards Structured Blogging. Sbastien Paquet has a great article with thoughts about how we can move towards structured blogging. You know, where the meaning of what we post is captured more systematically than just being a bunch of words one can link to.

“Lately I’ve been thinking about how we could evolve blogging tools to allow people to author more structured (dare I say semantic?) content, so that other people could find their stuff that they find of interest more easily.Right now what we have, globally speaking, is pretty much a huge pool of blog posts, each implicitly tied to a particular weblog author and with a date slapped on. Now, say I’ve written a review of the latest Radiohead album into my blog. I’d like others who are interested in Radiohead, or in music reviews in general, and who may not know me, to be able to pick out my review from the common pool in a simple way. Interesting people may come my way because of this.What we’re talking about is getting people to put more metadata on their content. Now allowing it is one thing, and fostering it is another. And I’d say the latter is the bigger challenge. Here are some ideas….continued in Towards Structured Blogging

Good stuff. Seb suggests some ways of choosing what types of thing you’re posting in your weblog entry. Like, is it a ‘Music Review’ for example. That would allow services a step beyond Internet Topic Exchange aggregating postings more intelligently. I think we need something a couple of steps beyond that, but I can’t quite articulate what exactly that is, so this would be an easy place to start. [Ming the Mechanic]

Well! Seems this meme is spreading, and primed for take off. Marc has been pushing for this for a while! (This is a big time for Marc’s ideas on Sweet Suite!!)

So now what? Feedster has some inertia, and could be led towards indexing metadata from RSS Namespaces. A generic solution, for building metadata in weblogging prodcuts, and presenting it in directories or search engines, with proper web service tie ins, is probably a ways off. A application platform for the Semantic Web. In the same way, web applications early on were hacked together project by project, until an application platform could be standardized.

The Semantic Web has had slow uptake, mostly I think, due to the lack of a killer app. This could be it. Start with movie or music reviews.
AkuAku has intergated IMDB in MoveableType. A similar plugin in Radio wouldn’t be difficult. And the server — that’s the big job.


A poem I liked, from the devadasi poetry list.


Mozilla Bug Resolved

This bug regarding Mozilla’s XMLHttpRequest object, has apparently been Resolved. Cheers to Mozilla!


Ancient Dunes vs. Exotic Trees

Ancient Dunes vs. Exotic Trees

An excellent, objective article on the discussion (or battle) waging about the future of planted forests in San Francisco’s Presidio. Just over 100 years ago, the Presidio was mostly sand dunes, and now it is a very dense, crop-like forest of cypress and eculyptus. Now there are plans to cut down some trees to rehabilitate the sand dunes.

Sand dunes may sound a bit rough, but there actually quite interesting. Many plants are adapted to survive only in shifting sands, which then support a surprising amount of fauna. I think key to the disagreement is mentioned in the article — of the 100,000 trees in the Presidio, only 3,800 would be cut down to restore the native habitat.

I’m currently interning at Mountain Lake, in the Presidio, doing water quality and zooplankton monitoring. There’s great interest, since there’s been a great amount of restoration — removal of eucalyptus (which releases a toxic in the ground and has a heavy leaf cover, both inhibiting plant growth) and and introduction of native species.




There are Peace Demos planned for this Saturday, in DC/SF/LA
It’s an amazing opportunity to experiment in action with
Smart Mobs and Emergent Democracy.

I propose…
Building an Open Moblog mailing list for the Peace Marches, for
Communication, Shared Experience, and Instant Organizing.

I envision a mailing list for mobile phones. Subscribe by text
messaging. Messages sent to the list, are then distributed back to all
subscribers; and also archived to a weblog.

Besides build up online, flyers during the march can bring others into
the mob. I think this could be a really exciting experiment!

Yet, there are many things to address. Without a mobile relay number,
posting to the moblog will require that the phones can send and receive
email — my phone does, but I don’t know most do. Some providers charge
for receiving text messages, which could be end up being costly. The
volume of messages could get annoying.

Besides that, there’s only 6 days to build such a beast!

I also wonder if any similar projects have been attempted.


mt blog
time/space scale consciousness and modelling
review rss and roogle


FM RadioStation

A Windows Front-End to Radio Userland — FM RadioStation. I’ve tried it, and it’s really nice, clean and simple. Beautiful little app. This may be what’s needed to push Radio to the next level.

The biggest missing … extendability! The ability to write Guest Tools, tie into the guts of the weblog/aggregator, is what drew me to the platform. Would be nice to add myRadio to something like this! What’s needed — an XML-GUI language to add features to the app.


Marsh Arabs

Large scale hyrdo-engineering projects, on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, post-Gulf War I, has had devatstating consequences on a millenia old way of life, and a much older Ecosystem, once home to two-thirds of west Asia’s wintering wildfowl.

The United Nations Environmental Programme says about 90% of the up to 20,000 square kilometres of marshlands have been lost because of drainage and upstream damming in “one of the world’s greatest environmental disasters”.

When will Weapons of Environmental Destruction get as much attention as the more popular sort?


International Pledge of Allegiance

Readers, I request your help, particularly if you were educated outside the US.

There’s been a media hiccup on the Pledge of Allegiance “Under God” case. What’s most surprising to me, is the absense of any questioning of the entire pledge! I find a daily act of indoctrination to American patriotism a little bizarre, and scary. My sources in Sweden tell me there is no daily act of public patriotism, and the idea is quite repellant to Swedish sensibilities. In Iran, they apparently began the school day with a “Death to America” pledge.

So, is/was there any sort of daily Patriotism in schools of UK? France? Russia? Phillipines?

Here’s John Ashcroft, reminding us what it’s all about…

Attorney General John Ashcroft said his Justice Department will “spare no effort to preserve the rights of all our citizens to pledge allegiance to the American flag.”


People of the Earth!

Ok, here we are — a map of the Population Density of the World. Nice Pic, note the population “Flare” from the East Coast of the US.

It would be so cool to see this animated, over time. Watch the population explode and recede, like colored waves of bacteria, over centuries.

This would work well for other data sets — like the spread of memes over the world. This is something I’m tooling with — + ICBM + RSS + Flash!


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