Life With Alacrity

A blog on social software, collaboration, trust, security, privacy, and internet tools by Christopher Allen.

Tag: Weblogs

Introduction to the Social Web (Reading List #SW4SX)

These are the initial required readings for the first two weeks of my Using the Social Web for Social Change class (hashtag #SW4SX) that I teach in the MBA in Sustainable Systems program at Bainbridge Graduate Institute. The goal of this portion of the class is to cover an introduction and overview of the landscape of the Social Web, establish among the students the beginning of a shared language about the medium, and introduce a process toward a collaborative culture that we will use for the rest of the course.

BGIedu Students Post for Blog Action Day on Food

Today is Blog Action Day, where each year a topic is chosen and bloggers and activists worldwide write about that topic in their blogs or post about it on Twitter and Facebook using the tags #FOOD and #BAD11. This year's topic is Food, and this year many of my students of my BGIedu class Using the Social Web for Social Change are using the day to help kick off their "Beat Blog" assignments.

New Blog for Ephemera

This blog has been quiet lately as I've been doing a lot of work in the last year on the iPhone. I've been speaking at conferences like eComm 2008 (presentation, video from panel), writing an book on the iPhone with my co-author Shannon Appelcline called iPhone in Action: Introduction to Web and SDK Development (first two chapters free), and I am one of the organizers for the upcoming iPhoneDevCamp 2, a MacHack style conference on August 1st-3rd, and I am working on some social software apps for the iPhone.

In Seoul for the Social Web

I'm in Seoul, South Korea this week for the 13th Global Forum on Business Driven Action Learning and Executive Development, where I'm presenting on the topic of the how to get involved with the Social Web. My presentation is an offshoot of an odd sideline of mine, executive blog and social web coaching. Basically, many times over the last couple of years I've been asked by colleagues and friends to help them with the social web.

Ratings: Who Do You Trust?

My colleague, Shannon Appelcline, has been working on a game rating system for RPGnet. This has resulted in real-world application of the principles for designing rating systems which we've previously discussed in our Collective Choice articles. Shannon's newest article, Ratings, Who Do You Trust? offers a look at weighting ratings based on reliability. On the RPGnet Gaming Index we've put this all together to form a tree of weighted ratings that answer the question, who do you trust?

SynchroEdit: Simultaneous Editing for the Web

For the last several months I've been working on a new open source project that I've been calling SynchroEdit. SynchroEdit is a browser-based simultaneous multiuser editor, useful for "same-time" collaboration. The basic concept is that it allows multiple users to WYSIWYG edit a single web-based document, all at exactly the same time. SynchroEdit continuously synchronizes all changes so that users always see the same version. They can also see each others' changes as they type, see where each user is currently editing, and see each others' changes by color.

Extrapolative Hostility in the Online Medium

ExtrapolateTo infer an unknown from something that is known; conjecture.-- The Random House College Dictionary Mick LaSalle, an acerbic movie reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, writes a regular column "Ask Mick LaSalle" in the Sunday paper, where he sometimes allows others to vent their displeasure at his movie reviews. In this week's column he says something that I find very accurate to my experience with the online medium: As for why people get hostile when they hear a differing opinion, I go back to Spinoza's definition of love and hatred.

New Sidebar: Recent Bookmarks

If you read my blog through an aggregator, you may not have noticed my new sidebar "Recent Bookmarks". It is a list of web pages that I've found interesting enough to annotate using the service. It is useful if you want to have an insight into what future blog entries I'm working on, as links will often show up there before my actual blog posting is out. You alternatively can view my last 10 del.

Future Topics

I've been working on an ambitious list of topics that I'd like to cover over the next year. I offer them to you here so you can have some idea the areas that I am thinking about. Office Architecture for Innovation -- Over the years I've built or converted three offices to my specifications. From this I have learned a number of things about about how to create a productive environment innovation-oriented businesses.

Voluntary Health Associations & Social Software

I'm a keynote speaker for the FVHA (Future of Voluntary Health Associations) Conference in Atlanta today. My job is to give to this community a gentle introduction and overview of concepts and products related to Social Software and Social Networking. (My slides are here - 6.6MB .pdf) In my research about this community, I find that they have some unique and interesting problems. The attendees of this conference are a collection of VPs and national directors from major Voluntary Health Associations such as American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, etc.

Too High a Standard

I have for some time told people that one way that my blog was different was because I was focused on offering a high signal-to-noise ratio. I told them that they could subscribe to my blog safely, as I'd not inundate them with anything but the highest quality posts. At first, this meant that I'd not post unless I had something significant to add to the topic. No simple pointers to interesting ideas, no simple rephrasing, or simple agreement -- I had to add value.

Hand-Crafting My FOAF

While at eTech, I attended a number of "social software" sessions. One thing I heard was a persistent call from folk like Marc Canter for all the vendors to support something called FOAF. FOAF is a standard for "Friend of a Friend" files, and is an attempt to make machine readable information about people, groups, companies, and other online resources. In particular, it is focused on representing the information that you might typically put on your personal home page in a form such that meta-data tools can interpret it.

Sexism, Social Software & the Blogospher

A fascinating series of blog entries shows the promise and peril of social software and Blogs as a medium in a male-dominated technocracy: In "sexist jokes and Orkut invites", Dana Boyd writes:When i received this note, i simultaneously recognized the intended joke and felt the shudder of being so blatantly seen as an object.At Radio Free Blogistan: "This social software stuff is tricky" Christian Crumlish apologizes:In my mind, I was cracking on the phenomenon of me being linked to so many other men.

Converting to TypePad Complete

For the last few weeks I've been moving my blog from Blogger Pro over to the TypePad service, after a frustrating try to get WordPress to work. While I was at it, I moved my blog from my business server to this new domain. I finally have it all working here now, but all of my old permalinks are broken. In progress is a utility that will redirect people from the old permalinks to the new.


Stuart Henshal recommended that I try out w.Bloggar for creating blog posts. I'm giving it a try here. So far seems interesting -- in addition to spell checking and handling some html related tasks, it appears to also have the ability to work with various plugins, for instance, a Windows Media Player plugin to display what music I'm playing right now. [Listening to: Crimson (4-4) - Solace - Ahsas (04:15)]

RSS & Blogger

RSS is finally available to Blogger members, so as soon as I've figured it out I'll be adding it here. original layout

Blogger Pro Free, but Where is RSS Syndication?

I have been hesitating on committing to Blogger because ever time I check into availability of Blogger Pro, it was not available. Apparently now Blogger Pro is Free. My remaining concern is that the new feature list for Blogger Pro does not mention RSS syndication at all, nor does it mention if it will be available in the future. There is a help item for for Syndication, however, it refers to a "

“Life With Alacrity” Blog, using Blogger

I decided after years of reading blogs that it was time to start blogging. Why Blogger? I wanted an easy web interface, but also I wanted it hosted on my site (which is Debian based). A couple of blog tools offer this. I wanted something really simple and I didn't want to host my own tools (keeping my own TWiki's up-to-date has been a pain) so I wanted the tools hosted elsewere.