Tag: blogging


The Value of the Network: Links As Social Capital

August 30th, 2007 — 3:17pm

This is a small site with mod­est traf­fic. But it is still the case that a sub­stan­tial set of inbound links lead peo­ple from diverse ori­gins — search engines, blogs, con­tent aggre­ga­tors, feed read­ers, direc­to­ries, etc. — to many des­ti­na­tions within the site every day. Some of these con­nec­tions are vis­i­ble in the del.icio.us tag clouds that appear with indi­vid­ual post­ings, my con­tri­bu­tion to the Web’s ongo­ing col­lec­tive exper­i­ment with tag­ging and social book­mark­ing.
French soci­ol­o­gist Pierre Bour­dieu named this set of con­nec­tions and the social rela­tion­ships asso­ci­ated with them in the early 1970s, coin­ing the term social cap­i­tal, and thereby inspir­ing legions of civic and inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tions to cre­ate devel­op­ment, invest­ment, and man­age­ment strate­gies for this new valu­able kind of resource.
But what is the <a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalfe” onclick=“javascript:_gaq.push([’_trackEvent’,‘outbound-article’,‘http://en.wikipedia.org’]);“s_law”>value of the network?
Fast for­ward a bit, and we can see that no mat­ter how you choose to cal­cu­late that value, Google has built a busi­ness rely­ing the new resource of cumu­la­tive social cap­i­tal, using it via mech­a­nisms such as latent seman­tic index­ing.
And we can see that in giv­ing form and focus to the idea of social cap­i­tal, Bour­dieu set the con­cep­tual stage for the recent explo­sion of social media and net­work­ing appli­ca­tions. Simul­ta­ne­ously des­ti­na­tions — albeit of unknown lifes­pan — and busi­ness ven­tures, the social net­works are recent exem­plars of long­time cul­tural move­ments of reifi­ca­tion, vir­tu­al­iza­tion, and visu­al­iza­tion of fields — another key con­cept iden­ti­fied by Bour­dieu.
Behind the scenes, the infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture that solid­i­fies the lim­ited social cap­i­tal of this site in phys­i­cal / dig­i­tal form is a mot­ley col­lec­tion of dis­parately named HTML files, tag des­ti­na­tion pages, cgi-powered con­tent streams, RSS feeds, local search results sets, etc. The prospect of get­ting another pub­lish­ing plat­form to mimic this mis­cel­lany was — like tun­ing an instru­ment to play songs com­posed with notes from another music sys­tem — not some­thing I could do as quickly and cheaply.
And so in com­bi­na­tion with the per­pet­ual urgency of the DIY mind­set, the imper­a­tive of pre­serv­ing the value of the exist­ing store of social cap­i­tal made the deci­sion to upgrade along an exist­ing path to MT4 sim­ple.
Archi­tec­turally, this is the equiv­a­lent of stick­ing with the brand name you know well.

Comment » | Networks and Systems

Upgrading to MT4

August 22nd, 2007 — 3:11pm

We’ll be upgrad­ing to MT4 in the near future. Apolo­gies for any tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties that result.

Comment » | About This Site

JL.com Changes: Tag Cloud Nav, New Styles

February 14th, 2006 — 10:02pm

On Sat­ur­day and Sun­day, I took advan­tage of the Bliz­zard of ’06 to:

  1. imple­ment a tag cloud for navigation
  2. tag all posts with sub­ject metadata
  3. rebuild the some­what creaky col­lec­tion of stylesheets behind JL.com
  4. add a recent com­ments tile

(And peo­ple say I don’t know how to have a good time…?)
The tag cloud is pow­ered by the Move­able­Type plu­gin Tags.App. New stylesheets are loosely based on an Open­Source tem­plate from www.oswd.org called Phe­nom.
Between trips out­side to shovel, I for­got to upload one of the new .css files. Fol­low­ing that, some Notes apol­o­gists justly sent me to school for dis­play­ing my com­ments in crip­plingly small text font.
Thanks to the Notes faith­ful for the feed­back, and con­do­lences to any and all who con­tracted eye strain as a result.

Comment » | About This Site, Tag Clouds

Four Things...

February 1st, 2006 — 10:39pm

At Peter Boersma’s invi­ta­tion.
Who else has deliv­ered news­pa­pers?
Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. paper­boy
2. radio DJ
3. pizza maker
4. entre­pre­neur
Four Movies I Can Watch Over And Over
1. The Blues Broth­ers (not the new one)
2. Le Samourai
3. In The Mood For Love
4. Last Life In the Uni­verse
Four Places I’ve Almost Lived, And Still Plan To
1. Hong Kong
2. New York
3. San Fran­cisco
4. Ams­ter­dam
Four TV Shows I Love
1. Bat­tlestar Galac­tica (the new one, the new one)
2. Iron Chef (not the new one)
3. The Daily Show
4. Arrested Devel­op­ment
Places I’ve Vaca­tioned
1. Barcelona
2. Sor­rento
3. Lis­bon
4. Yuong Shua
Four of My Favorite Dishes
1. Seared Tuna
2. Osso Bucco
3. Phở
4. Spicy Fish Tacos
Four Sites I Visit Daily
1. Ama­zon — been buy­ing a lot of books these past weeks…
2. allofmp3.com — where I get my music fix
3. cmswatch.com — indis­pens­able when you’re work­ing a cms gig
4. Coolhunting.com — when you need a break from the func­tional
Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
1. In an enoteca in Rome
2. Rid­ing my Cus­tom X
3. Sip­ping a mojito on the beach
4. In an art gallery
Four Blog­gers I’m Tag­ging
1. Dav­ezilla (much fun­nier than any­thing you’ll see here…)
2. Face­time (is there such a thing as ital­ian motor­cy­cle envy…)
3. Rashmi Sinha (rashmi’s blog is con­sis­tently of stel­lar qual­ity — will she join in some friv­o­lous socia­bil­ity?)
4. Seth Gor­don (seth’s in seat­tle now, will he have time to indulge an old east coast buddy?)

Comments Off | Curiosities

Egosurf.org: The Medium Massages You

January 10th, 2006 — 10:48am

ego­surf: vi.
“To search the net for your name or links to your web pages. Per­haps con­nected to long-established SF-fan slang egoscan, to search for one’s name in a fanzine.“
Now a con­sum­able ser­vice at: egosurf.org
From the about page:
“ego­Surf helps mas­sage the web pub­lish­ers ego, and thereby main­tain the cool equi­lib­rium of the net itself.”

Comment » | The Media Environment

Foiling Comment Spam

September 17th, 2005 — 10:12am

A tip o’ the hat to Richard Boakes for foil­ing a second-rate spam­mer by buy­ing up the domain they were pro­mot­ing with com­ment spam before they did.

1 comment » | The Media Environment

Technical Difficulties

August 28th, 2005 — 10:54pm

After months with­out com­ments — thanks to all the dili­gent spam­mers out there for car­ry­ing out their cor­ro­sive activ­i­ties with such thor­ough­ness, I’m open­ing the site up to feed­back again.
Of course, for the time being, Mov­able­Type just does not feel like coop­er­at­ing when it comes to comments…

Comment » | About This Site

Survey on Social Bookmarking Tools

April 20th, 2005 — 3:56pm

The April issue of D-Lib Mag­a­zine includes a two-part Sur­vey of social book­mark­ing tools.
Social book­mark­ing is on the col­lec­tive brain — at least for the moment –and most of those writ­ing about it choose to take one or more posi­tions for, against, or orthog­o­nal to its var­i­ous aspects. Here’s the posi­tion of the D-Lib sur­vey authors:
“Despite all the cur­rent hype about tags — in the blog­ging world, espe­cially — for the authors of this paper, tags are just one kind of meta­data and are not a replace­ment for for­mal clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tems such as Dublin Core, MODS, etc. [n15]. Rather, they are a sup­ple­men­tal means to orga­nize infor­ma­tion and order search results.“
This is — no sur­prise from “a solely elec­tronic pub­li­ca­tion with a pri­mary focus on dig­i­tal library research and devel­op­ment, includ­ing but not lim­ited to new tech­nolo­gies, appli­ca­tions, and con­tex­tual social and eco­nomic issues” — the librar­i­ans’ view, suc­cinctly echoed by Peter Morville in his pre­sen­ta­tion dur­ing the panel ‘Sort­ing Out Social Clas­si­fi­ca­tion’ at this year’s Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture sum­mit.
The D-Lib authors’ assess­ment dove­tails nicely with Peter’s views on The Speed of Infor­ma­tion Archi­tec­ture from 2001, and it shows how library sci­ence pro­fes­sion­als may decide to place social book­mark­ing in rela­tion to the larger con­text of meta-data life­cy­cles; a realm they’ve known and inhab­ited for far longer than most peo­ple have used Flickr to tag their pho­tos.
I found some of the authors’ con­clu­sions more sur­pris­ing. They say, “In many ways these new tools resem­ble blogs stripped down to the bare essen­tials.” I’m not sure what this means; stripped-down is the sort of term that usu­ally con­notes a min­i­mal­ist refac­tor­ing or adap­ta­tion that is designed to empha­size the fun­da­men­tal aspects of some orig­i­nal thing under inter­pre­ta­tion, but I don’t think they want read­ers to take away the notion that social book­mark­ing is an inter­pre­ta­tion of blog­ging.
Mov­ing on, they say, “Here the essen­tial unit of infor­ma­tion is a link, not a story, but a link dec­o­rated with a title, a descrip­tion, tags and per­haps even per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tion points.” which leaves me won­der­ing why it’s use­ful to com­pare Furl to blog­ging?
A cul­tural stud­ies pro­fes­sor of mine used to say of career aca­d­e­mics, “We decide what things mean for a liv­ing”. I sus­pect this is what the D-Lib authors were work­ing toward with their blog­ging com­par­i­son. Since the label space for this thing itself is a bit crowded (con­tenders being eth­n­o­clas­si­fi­ca­tion, folk­son­omy, social clas­si­fi­ca­tion), it makes bet­ter sense to ele­vate the arena of your own ter­ri­to­r­ial claim to a higher level that is less clut­tered with other claimants, and decide how it relates to some­thing well-known and more estab­lished.
They close with, “It is still uncer­tain whether tag­ging will take off in the way that blog­ging has. And even if it does, nobody yet knows exactly what it will achieve or where it will go — but the road ahead beck­ons.“
This is some­what unin­spir­ing, but I assume it sat­is­fies the XML schema require­ment that every well-structured review or essay end with a con­clu­sion that opens the door to future pub­li­ca­tions.
Don’t mis­take my piqué at the squishi­ness of their con­clu­sions for dis-satisfaction with the body of the sur­vey; over­all, the piece is well-researched and offers good con­text and per­spec­tive on the antecedents of and con­cepts behind their sub­ject. Their invo­ca­tion of Tim O’Reilly’s ‘archi­tec­tures of par­tic­i­pa­tion’ is just one exam­ple of the value of this sur­vey as an entry point into related phe­nom­ena.
Another good point the D-Lib authors make is the way that the inher­ent local­ity, or context-specificity, of col­lec­tions of social book­marks allows them to pro­vide higher-quality point­ers to resources rel­e­vant for spe­cial­ized pur­poses than the major search engines, which by default index glob­ally, or with­out an edi­to­r­ial per­spec­tive.
Likely most use­ful for the sur­vey reader is their set of ref­er­ences, which taps into the meme flow for social book­mark­ing by cit­ing a range of source con­ver­sa­tions, edi­to­ri­als, and post­ings from all sides of the phenomenon.

Comments Off | Social Media

Paper blogging: A New Medium? Retro? Old School? Arts and Crafts?

March 23rd, 2005 — 10:25am

Prov­ing that satire is one of humanity’s fun­da­men­tal instincts, Pack­e­trat strikes a blow for (wood)fiber-based com­mu­ni­ca­tions net­works with paperblog­ging, or plog­ging.
Outstanding.

Comments Off | The Media Environment

Joining Blogstreet

February 8th, 2005 — 11:54am

I’m explor­ing some blog tools, like blogstreet…

Comments Off | Projects

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