Good Separately… Great Together

Tim B on Semantic Web and Web 2.0:

  • Together…interesting
  • Not alternatives
  • Tags and URIs – two paths to data

Tom Grubber on Where Social Web meets Semantic Web (he prefers the more generic Social Web to Web 2.0):

  • Semantic Web – interaction among systems, Social Web – conversations between people
  • Both are driven by user generated content
  • Both are made scalable by machine readable data
  • Semantic Web is a substrate for Collective Intelligence
  • Both Semantic Web and Social Web can use “people power” to improve collective intelligence

Two different people, the same inspiring theme -Web 2.0 and Semantic Web, Good Separately… Great Together.

Designing: Group Effects – Watch Where Younger Generation Goes

From Designing for Groups - How can you design software that attracts groups to use it?

The biggest problems in design are not code validation problems. Nor are they visual design problems. Nor interaction design problems. (although these are all very real, important problems)

No, the biggest barrier in the networked world is convincing groups of people, not just individuals, simply to use (or even try!) your software. The design needs to convince people to use it. Or, more likely, the design needs the users it has to sell it to others.

In State of the Internet – Mary Meeker tells you to:

Watch where the younger generation goes .

This is a different kind of design. How do you design products for mass adoption? How do you track future trends to design right?

Web 2.0 In a Box?

I think the idea is cool. Here is the announcement. Here are couple of snippets from the column.

The Intel partnership offers small businesses and work groups inside larger companies “Web 2.0 in a box,” by improving on internal and external communication systems, the report said.

Intel’s partners include Six Apart, a leading maker of blog publishing software, Socialtext, a provider of a form of group blogging software known as wikis, and NewsGator and SimpleFeed, providers of instantly updated news feeds. SpikeSource packages the software and provides technical support.

Socialtext said SuiteTwo will cost a business $175 to $200 a year per user, or about $15 to $17 per month.

So there is a business model after-all. I wonder whether a blog, a wiki, a feed reader mix can be called Web 2.0 In a Box? Google already has all this (with JotSpot purchase) and more (like a word processor and a spreadsheet). Microsoft is likely to jump in with its own bundle. What is Intel’s competitive advantage, I wonder.

Articles: Programming

A few cool blog entries on programming that I would like to share.

Be Careful Who You Learn From is not only great advice but also provides some very cool links. But your teachers are not the ones who teach you computer science anymore. The internet has opened up many great teachers.

The Power of the Marginal (a link I found from Des Traynor’s blog mentioned above) explores this paradox:

Great new things often come from the margins, and yet the people who discover them are looked down on by everyone, including themselves.

The Python Paradox is a bit about Python but more about software. Paul Graham is one of my favorite authors. His Hackers and Painters was one of the best books I read in 2005. You can find his essays here.

Design Process

From Designing Interfaces:

When doing design, a sound process is critical. You need to have certain elements in a design process:

  • Field research, to find out what the intended users are like and what they already do

  • Goal and task analysis, to describe and clarify what users will do with what you’re building

  • Design models, such as personas (models of users), scenarios (models of common tasks and situations), and prototypes (models of the interface itself)

  • Empirical testing of the design at various points during development, like usability testing and in situ observations of the design used by real users

  • Enough time to iterate over several versions of the design, because you won’t get it right the first time

I like the language and tone of this book. And the approach taken to identify patterns of interaction and documenting them. It is now in my Safari bookshelf (reading list). Will post more as I go through it.

Amazon Webservices for Windows Communication Foundation

In the  email from Amazon Webservices Developer Connection today. one item caught my attention. Here is the item about Amazon’s Simple Queue Service announcement.

Allows software developers who use the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to send their messages through Amazon SQS without having to change their application code. This makes it easy for WCF applications to pass messages to other systems that are not in their network, such as remote browser-based applications and systems run by their business partners.

In the Webservices area, Amazon is one of my leading indicators. They were there about 3 years ago, much before anyone else, providing access to their information assets. So when Amazon, makes a move in the webservices area, it is worth paying attention.

Websites – Numbers Cross 100 Million

Here is Netcraft’s survey of websites. The number crosses 100 million. But only about half of them are active.


The last ten million were added in the last three months. Blogs seem to have spurred a lot of this growth. According to technorati, there are over 55 million blogs (though not every blog is not counted as a site).

Improve Where Appropriate

Improve Where Appropriate, is one of the Rules of Engagement, I like from Orcas blog on the best practices of joining a Development team.

Some of the concepts of improvement (using wikis, maintaining a programming journal) have long term rewards, it is more work initially. So to “improve where appropriate”, we may also need to demonstrate how a particular improvement benefits the team.

I never thought about it this way, but you need to be salesman, even if you are developer. So I will add one more to the list:

– Learn how to sell improvement