Interesting posts from around the web

Every now and then I read through SEOData's reBlogger and pick out the titles and posts I think you might find interesting and post them here. This is one of those dayss.

  • Ad Quality – Google AdWords is improving
  • Complore : social research portal – Basically it is a place to keep all your bookmarks, but not only that, since it is based on a research model, there is also space for different document types like, articles, papers, events (create an event), and lectures…and these don’t have to have a URL, there is some storage space to upload files.
  • KM2.0 newmastering – ITToolbox is the type of km2.0 tool that I think we will see in popping up more frequently. It is basically a newsmatering tool for external news, articles, papers, as well as a collaborative tool for internal news, such as blogging, forums, wiki’s, etc…
  • Google Sitemaps Catch 22 – Apparently, in order to submit a reinclusion request, one has to acknowledge violating Google’s quality guidelines, even if they do not believe they did so.



New site is almost ready

We're readying our flagship website for reBlogger. But it's not the hosted site yet… sorry Al. It is the site where you can download the 30 day demo of reBlogger (see the release notes and features) and play with it on your own site. Until now reBlogger has been living off space on other sites, but now it will have a home all of it's own.

I've seen the pre-release of the site and it's waaaay cool. Ivan has used Ajax (Microsoft Atlas) very intelligently, for example he has an Atlas slide show so you can explore reBlogger! The site is very attractive and very interactive for visitors.

After this launch we'll issue another version of reBlogger (3.4 probably) and then we'll focus on the hosted site version.

To all the paparazzi… warm up your pens and pencils… here she comes! 🙂


Web inventor warns of ‘dark’ net

So… just as wikipedia gets "gatekeepers" (and loses it's uber-social status), Sir Tim Berners-Lee warns of the dangers of the web getting "gatekeepers"!

Web inventor warns of 'dark' net 

The web should remain neutral and resist attempts to fragment it into different services, web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has said. Recent attempts in the US to try to charge for different levels of online access web were not "part of the internet model," he said in Edinburgh. He warned that if the US decided to go ahead with a two-tier internet, the network would enter "a dark period".

… snip…

This is based on the concept of network neutrality, where everyone has the same level of access to the web and that all data moving around the web is treated equally. This view is backed by companies like Microsoft and Google, who have called for legislation to be introduced to guarantee net neutrality. The first steps towards this were taken last week when members of the US House of Representatives introduced a net neutrality bill.

Yay for Microsoft and Google for defending the masses. Now… can they also restore Wikipedia to it's former glory?

The death of Wikipedia

On the 24th of May this appeared on and it caused a stirr…

The death of Wikipedia

Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that "anyone can edit," was a nice experiment in the "democratization" of publishing, but it didn't quite work out. Wikipedia is dead. It died the way the pure products of idealism always do, slowly and quietly and largely in secret, through the corrosive process of compromise. There was a time when, indeed, pretty much anyone could edit pretty much anything on Wikipedia. But, as eWeek's Steven Vaughan-Nichols recently observed, "Wikipedia hasn't been a real 'wiki' where anyone can write and edit for quite a while now."

And the next day this appeared on the same site…

Now, let's bury the myth

I bought into the myth myself, I'm ashamed to say. In composing my requiem for Wikipedia yesterday, I originally wrote, "There was a time when, indeed, anyone could edit anything on Wikipedia." No, it turns out, there was never such a time. It was a myth from the very start. But "openness" is only the very tip of the mythical iceberg that Wikipedia has become. The bigger myth is that Wikipedia is an emanation of collective intelligence or, in the popular phrase, the "wisdom of the crowd." In this view, Wikipedia has a compeletely flat, non-hierarchical structure. It is a purely egalitarian collective without any bureaucracy or even any management. There's no authority.

Do you remember the dotcom boom? Remember the dotcom bust that some people didn't wanted to believe would inevitably happen? I can still remember Bill O'Reilly ranting that it's the new economy and that Greenspan is messing it up. Muhahahaha. I wonder if he still thinks that or has reality sunk in?

In the same way that some people wondered if there is a new economy and the old rules are done away with… in that same way how many of us thought wikipedia was the advent of truly social software – where the wisdom of the masses finally hit it's stride and conquered old media?

But… if wikipedia is a sham… then perhaps it's not something new, it's the same old same old. That would explain why old media News Corp owns so much of the new media as well. Is it business as usual?

Ah well… it was fun while it lasted eh?

Syndication but not republishing… what’s the solution?

Dave Winer says:

My feed is copyrighted, so they need my permission to republish it, and they don’t have it.

Well… the irony is rich on the ground. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. By it's nature it's main use is for syndication.

I can see how syndication is not necessarily republishing. To create automated services that republish, we need to have copyright built into the format. With over 40 million feeds out there it's just not possible for Technorati and bloglines to email each owner (including Dave Winer) and ask permission. So the most common solution is "opt-out" which Dave Rejects. 

I don’t think their offer of an opt-out is very convincing.

That's why I've been blogging about DRM being defined in the ATOM and RSS specs, so that the author can specify his/her expectations of how the content will be used during the entire lifetime of it's use. Have a read of my post: DRM in RSS 2, OPML 2 and ATOM 1

We really do need to resolve this problem.


Ok, now on to Boxxet.

boxxet-logo.gifThe site is not public (it's by invitation only at this stage) so I can't review their UI.

I can only guess at their functionality content by reading the various reviews.

What I found out is that you can't (yet) create a personal boxxet, you can only create publically editable boxxets. As a result those boxxets then improve and continue to improve as many people work on the same ones over time. So this makes boxxet like a wiki, because I can improve any wiki page. I really like this!

Boxxet: Wants to be the of Web 2.0

[Update: Once a user creates a boxxet, other users (who registered with an email address) can go in and rank the content there, i.e, whether they like or dislike it, and the system will respond by emphasizing or de-emphasizing that content in the ranking order. If enough people vote an item down, the content will go away.]

Review 1. Review 2.

You can sumbit books, blog postings, bookmarks, RSS feeds, gear, photos, movies, bars, hotels and restaurants. I do find the latter 3 quite strange. One thing, which I find quite sad, is how the site doesn’t have any tagging. You can, however, comment or review any submission. Also, for blog postings you can click ‘like’ or ‘dislike’, fi you choose dislike you have to say why, and this effects a score.

Review 3.

Boxxet functions like a typical Web search tool. Type a term or phrase and it produces links to existing social networks created by Boxxet users that mention the term. The results are culled from blogs, news sites, photo sites, and lists of bookmarks that people choose to make public.

PersonalBee & Squidoo (fight! fight! fight!)

I first wrote about thepersonalbee (blog) in this post: Tracking memes… and our world views

I went back for a visit today. Hmmm… it's relaxing.


I really like the simple interface. Not to ajaxified, not to techy. The left hand column "popular public bees" is so simple and inviting. (I didn't immediately see that this was a scrollable region though).


Look at the simplicity of their message:


DISCOVER the news you care about.

SHARE the news with friends, family or colleagues.

BUILD your own news website or add news to your own blog or site.

So simple. I looked at some of the Bees and chose to view the Iraq one. Check out the 4 views. The search panel is well placed to the right hand side.

I ventured over to Squidoo to find their lens for "Iraq war" and searched for it. Their search engine suggested the tag "iraqwar" so I took that, and it told me "Congratulations you're the first to search for this term" and then offered to build a lens for it. Wow. No lens for the tag iraqwar that YOU suggested? Anyway, I persisted and searched for the "best lense" about Iraq.

Do yourself a favor and compare these two pages that are covering the same topic: Squidoo Iraq and Personal Bee Iraq

Alexaholic doesn't agree with me though. I wondered why Personalbee isn't doing better. I went to their blog. I found the following:

  • The UI that I like is brand new. I am convinced it will work well for them!
  • It seems that the Bee creation process was far complicated – they eventually needed a help file online and are now making a Bee creation wizard

How does Personalbee make money (from Siliconbeat)?

How does it make money? The Personal Bee writes a cookie to your browser, which sees the news that you are reading. The cookie is operated by a third-party company, called Revenue Science, which collects information about you from other sites you travel too. All this information helps Revenue Science serve up ads to other publishers — ads that are specific to what the system perceives your interests are. (ABC News, ESPN, Financial Times, Newsweek all serve the same Revenue Science cookie, so Personal Bee is not exceptional here).

Revenue Science serves up ads on other Web sites that you surf, but not on Personal Bee, which has decided not to run ads.


Another good review on it.

Let me give you my three favorite reasons to like Personal Bee:

  1. I choose who’s important. I can calibrate Personal Bee to let me choose what RSS feeds are important to me on any particular topic.
  2. Time relevance. Personal Bee  places a three-day time frame around an event.
  3. Phrase Clouds replace Tag Clouds.