Tag: media


Dawdlr: Slow Media?

November 29th, 2007 — 8:00pm

In a world that’s mov­ing so fast it’s hard to keep track of when you are, let alone where, there’s a need for expe­ri­ences that move at more relaxed paces. This basic need for delib­er­ately mod­er­ated and human-speed expe­ri­ences bet­ter tuned to the way that peo­ple make and under­stand mean­ing is the ori­gin of the Slow Food move­ment.
Nat­u­rally, there’s room for a vir­tual ana­log of slow food. I’m call­ing this kind of medi­ated expe­ri­ence that flows at a kinder, gen­tler pace “slow media”. Dawdlr, “a global com­mu­nity of friends and strangers answer­ing one sim­ple ques­tion: what are you doing, you know, more gen­er­ally?” is a good exam­ple.
dawdlr_image.jpg
Assem­bled one post­card at a time, Dawdlr exem­pli­fies the col­lec­tive form of Slow Media, one you can con­tribute to by cre­at­ing some con­tent using a stan­dard inter­face and then sub­mit­ting it for pub­li­ca­tion, as long as it car­ried the proper postage. The paper blog — now updated and known as paper­cast — might be a pre­cur­sor.
What are some other exam­ples of Slow Media? Back in Jan­u­ary of 2007, AdBusters asked, “Isn’t it time to slow down?” dur­ing their national slow­down week.
Slow food has a web­site, annual gath­er­ings, pub­li­ca­tions, a man­i­festo, even a mas­cot / icon — the snail of course. What’s next for slow media? Maybe a slow wiki, made up of image-mapped screen shots of chalk­boards with writ­ing?

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Photoshop And Knowledge War in Iraq

May 7th, 2007 — 9:37pm

Direct con­nec­tions between the war in Iraq and the realm of user expe­ri­ence are rare, so I was sur­prised when one popped up today in an arti­cle by the New York Times, titled 2 Car Bomb­ings in Iraq Kill 25.
The arti­cle quotes an Iraqi, react­ing to the destruc­tion of a house con­tain­ing a cache of muni­tions by Amer­i­can sol­diers.
“The Amer­i­cans are lying,” said Ali Jab­bar, 28, one of sev­eral men dig­ging through the rub­ble, where bicy­cle han­dle­bars could be seen pok­ing out. “If there were weapons there, they should have taken pic­tures to prove it.” But in a sign of the chal­lenge Amer­i­cans face here, Mr. Jab­bar said that even if he saw such pic­tures, he would not be con­vinced that the destruc­tion was jus­ti­fied. “The Amer­i­cans can make it up with Pho­to­shop,” he said.
It’s simul­ta­ne­ously ter­ri­ble and fas­ci­nat­ing that a tool I use reg­u­larly would appear in this sort of con­text. And yet it’s not unrea­son­able, given the ways that many futur­ists envi­sion and describe war­fare cen­tered on infor­ma­tion.
Here’s Alvin Tof­fler, from How will future wars be fought?

Above all, the full impli­ca­tions of what we termed Third Wave “knowl­edge war­fare” have not yet been digested — even in the United States. The wars of the future will increas­ingly be pre­vented, won or lost based on infor­ma­tion supe­ri­or­ity and dom­i­nance. And that isn’t just a mat­ter of tak­ing out the other guy’s radar. It means wag­ing the kind of full-scale cyber-war we described in War and Anti-War. Cyber-war involves every­thing from strate­gic decep­tion and per­cep­tion man­age­ment down to tac­ti­cal dis­rup­tion of an adversary’s infor­ma­tion sys­tems. It also means under­stand­ing the role played by the global media in any con­flict today. It means enhanc­ing all your knowl­edge assets from intel­li­gence, to research and devel­op­ment, train­ing, and communication.

Comment » | User Experience (UX)

The Aargh Page: Visualizing Pirate Argot

January 10th, 2006 — 1:13pm

What hap­pens when this clas­sic ver­nac­u­lar inter­jec­tion meets lin­guis­tics, data visu­al­iza­tion, and the Web?
The Aargh page, of course. (It should really be The Aargh! Page, but this is so fan­tas­tic that I can’t com­plain…)
Here’s a screen­shot of the graph that shows fre­quency of vari­ant spellings for aargh in Google, along two axes:
aarrgghh_full.png
Note the snazzy mouseover effect, which I’ll zoom here:
aarrgghh_zoom.gif
Look­ing into the ori­gins aargh inevitably brings up Robert New­ton, the actor who played Long John Sil­ver in sev­eral Dis­ney pro­duc­tions based on the writ­ings of Robert Louis Steven­son. I remem­ber see­ing the movies as a child, with­out know­ing that they were the first live action Dis­ney movies broad­cast on tele­vi­sion. So do plenty of other peo­ple who’ve cre­ated trib­ute pages</>.
Aargh may have many spelling vari­a­tions, but at least three of them bear a stamp of legit­i­macy, as the edi­to­r­ial review of
The Offi­cial Scrab­ble Play­ers Dic­tio­nary (Paper­back) at Amazon.com explains, “If you’re using the 1991 edi­tion or the 1978 orig­i­nal, you’re woe­fully behind the Scrabble-playing times. With more than 100,000 2– to 8-letter words, there are some inter­est­ing addi­tions (“aargh,” “aar­rgh,” and “aar­rghh” are all legit­i­mate now), while words they con­sider offen­sive are no longer kosher. “
There’s even Inter­na­tional Talk Like A Pirate Day, cel­e­brated on Sep­tem­ber 19th every year. The orga­niz­ers’ site offers a nifty English-to-Pirate-Translator.
Most ran­dom per­haps is the Wikipedia link for Aargh the videogame, from the 80’s, with­out pirates.

Comment » | The Media Environment

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

Musical Signatures From Your iTunes Library

December 15th, 2005 — 11:51am

We rely on many ways of rec­og­niz­ing peo­ple, near at hand or from afar; faces, voices, walks, and even the scents from favorite colognes or per­fumes help us greet friends, engage col­leagues, and iden­tify strangers.
I was in high school when I first noticed that everyone’s key chain made a dis­tinct sound, one that served as a kind of audi­ble call­ing card that could help rec­og­nize peo­ple. I started to try to guess who was walk­ing to the front door by learn­ing the unique com­bi­na­tions of sounds — clink­ing and tin­kling from metal keys, rat­tling and rub­bing from ceramic and plas­tic tokens, and a myr­iad of other noises from the incred­i­ble mis­cel­lany peo­ple attach to their key rings and carry around with them through life — that announced each of my vis­i­tors friends. With a lit­tle prac­tice, I could pick out the ten or fif­teen peo­ple I spent the most time with based on lis­ten­ing to the sounds of key chains. Every­one else was some­one I didn’t see often, which was a fine dis­tinc­tion to draw between when gaug­ing how to answer the door.
There are many other audi­ble cues to iden­tity — from the clos­ing of a car door, to the sound of foot steps, or cell phone ring tones — but the key chain is unique because it includes so many dif­fer­ent ele­ments: the num­ber and size and mate­ri­als of the keys, or the lay­er­ing of dif­fer­ent key rings and sou­ve­niers peo­ple attach to them. A key chain is a sort of impromptu ensem­ble of found instru­ments play­ing lit­tle bursts of free jazz like per­son­al­ized fan­fares for mod­ern liv­ing.
The sound of someone’s key chain also changes over time, as they add or remove things, or rearrange them. That sound can even change in step with the way your rela­tion­ship to that per­son changes. For exam­ple, if they buy a sou­ve­nier with you and put it on their key­chain; or if you give them keys to your apart­ment. Each of these changes reflects shared expe­ri­ences, and you can hear the dif­fer­ence in sound from one day to the next if you lis­ten care­fully.
And like those other ways of rec­og­niz­ing peo­ple I men­tioned ear­lier, which all reach the level of being called sig­na­tures when they become truly dis­tinc­tive, the sound of someone’s key chain serves a sort of audi­ble sig­na­ture.
Until now, the sound of a key­chain was per­haps the only truly unique audi­ble sig­na­ture that was not part of our per­son to begin with (like the voice). Now that Jason Free­man has cre­ated the iTunes Sig­na­ture Maker, we may have an audi­ble sig­naure suit­able for the dig­i­tal realm. The iTunes Sig­na­ture Maker scans your iTunes library, tak­ing one or two sec­ond snip­pets of many files, and mix­ing these found bits of sound together into a short audio sig­na­ture. You choose from a few para­me­ters such as play count, total num­ber of songs, and whether to include videos, and the sig­na­ture maker pro­duces a .WAV file.
I made an iTunes sig­na­ture using Jason’s tool a few days ago. I’ve lis­tened to it a few times. It cer­tainly includes quite a few songs I’ve lis­tened to often and can rec­og­nize from just a one-second snip­pet. Cal­lig­ra­phers and graphol­o­gists make much of a few hand­writ­ten let­ters on a page: music can say a great deal about someone’s moods, out­look, tastes, or even what moves their soul. I lis­ten to a lot of music via radio, CD’s and even live that isn’t included in this. I’m not sure it rep­re­sents me. I think it’s up to every­one else to decide that.
But what can you do with one? It’s not prac­ti­cal yet to attach it to email mes­sages, like a con­ven­tional .sig. It might be a good way to book­end the mixes I make for friends and fam­ily. I can see hav­ing a lot of fun lis­ten­ing to a bunch of anony­mous iTunes sig­na­tures from your friends to try and guess which one belongs to whom. There’s real poten­tial for a use­ful but non-exhaustive answer to the inevitable ques­tion, “What kind of music do you like?” when you meet some­one new. Along those lines, Jason may have kicked off a new fad in Inter­net dat­ing; this is the per­fect exam­ple of a unique token that can com­press a great deal of mean­ing into a small (dig­i­tal) pack­age that doesn’t require meet­ing or talk­ing to exchange. I can see the iTunes sig­na­ture becom­ing a speed-dating req­ui­site; bring your iTunes sig­na­ture file with you on a flash drive or iPod shuf­fle, and lis­ten or exchange as nec­es­sary.
At least the name is easy: what else would you call this besides a “musig”. Maybe an “iSig” or a “tune­sig”.
Unique ring tones, door chimes, and start-up sounds are only the begin­ning. Com­bine musigs with the music genome project, and you could upload your sig­na­ture to a clear­ing­house online, and have it auto­mat­i­cally com­pared for matches against other people’s musigs based on pat­terns and pref­er­ences. Have it find some­one who likes reggae-influenced waltzes, or fado, or who lis­tens to at least ten of the same artists you enjoy. Build a cat­a­log of one musig every month for a year, and ask the engine to describe the change in your tastes. Add a musig to your Ama­zon wish­lists for gift-giving, or even ask it to pre­dict what you might like based on the songs in the file.
You can down­load my musig / iSig / tune­sig / iTunes sig­na­ture here; note that it’s nearly 8mb.
I’ll think I’ll try it again in a few months, to see how it changes.

Comments Off | The Media Environment

Mental Models and the Semantics of Disaster

November 4th, 2005 — 3:47pm

A few months ago, I put up a post­ing on Men­tal Mod­els Lotus Notes, and Resililence. It focused on my chronic inabil­ity to learn how not to send email with Lous Notes. I posted about Notes, but what led me to explore resilience in the con­text of men­tal mod­els was the sur­pris­ing lack of acknowl­edge­ment of the scale of hur­ri­cane Kat­rina I came across at the time. For exam­ple, the day the lev­ees failed, the front page of the New York Times dig­i­tal edi­tion car­ried a gigan­tic head­line say­ing ‘Lev­ees Fail! New Orleans floods!’. And yet no one in the office at the time even men­tioned what hap­pened.
My con­clu­sion was that peo­ple were sim­ply unable to accept the idea that a major met­ro­pol­i­tan area in the U.S. could pos­si­bly be the set­ting for such a tragedy, and so they refused to absorb it — because it didn’t fit in with their men­tal mod­els for how the world works. Today, I came across a Resilience Sci­ence post­ing titled New Orleans and Dis­as­ter Soci­ol­ogy that sup­ports this line of think­ing, while it dis­cusses some of the inter­est­ing ways that seman­tics and men­tal mod­els come into play in rela­tion to dis­as­ters.
Quot­ing exten­sively from an arti­cle in The Chron­i­cle of Higher Edu­ca­tion titled Dis­as­ter Soci­ol­o­gists Study What Went Wrong in the Response to the Hur­ri­canes, but Will Pol­icy Mak­ers Lis­ten? the post­ing calls out how nar­row slices of media cov­er­age dri­ven by blurred seman­tic and con­tex­tual under­stand­ings, inac­cu­rately frame social responses to dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions in terms of group panic and the implied break­down of order and soci­ety.
“The false idea of post­dis­as­ter panic grows partly from sim­ple seman­tic con­fu­sion, said Michael K. Lin­dell, a psy­chol­o­gist who directs the Haz­ard Reduc­tion and Recov­ery Cen­ter at Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity at Col­lege Sta­tion. ‘A reporter will stick a micro­phone in someone’s face and ask, ‘Well, what did you do when the explo­sion went off?’ And the per­son will answer, ‘I pan­icked.’ And then they’ll pro­ceed to describe a very log­i­cal, ratio­nal action in which they pro­tected them­selves and looked out for peo­ple around them. What they mean by ‘panic’ is just ‘I got very fright­ened.’ But when you say ‘I pan­icked,’ it rein­forces this idea that there’s a thin veneer of civ­i­liza­tion, which van­ishes after a dis­as­ter, and that you need out­side author­i­ties and the mil­i­tary to restore order. But really, peo­ple usu­ally do very well for them­selves, thank you.‘
Men­tal mod­els come into play when the arti­cle goes on to talk about the ways that the emer­gency man­age­ment agen­cies are orga­nized and struc­tured, and how they approach and under­stand sit­u­a­tions by default. With the new Home­land Secu­rity par­a­digm, all inci­dents require com­mand and con­trol approaches that assume a ded­i­cated and intel­li­gent enemy — obvi­ously not the way to man­age a hur­ri­cane response.
“Mr. Lin­dell, of Texas A&M, agreed, say­ing he feared that pol­icy mak­ers in Wash­ing­ton had taken the wrong lessons from Kat­rina. The employ­ees of the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity, he said, ‘are mostly drawn from the Depart­ment of Defense, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, and from police depart­ments. They’re firmly com­mit­ted to a command-and-control model.’ (Just a few days ago, Pres­i­dent Bush may have pushed the process one step fur­ther: He sug­gested that the Depart­ment of Defense take con­trol of relief efforts after major nat­ural dis­as­ters.)
“The habits of mind cul­ti­vated by mil­i­tary and law-enforcement per­son­nel have their virtues, Mr. Lin­dell said, but they don’t always fit dis­as­ter sit­u­a­tions. ‘They come from orga­ni­za­tions where they’re deal­ing with an intel­li­gent adver­sary. So they want to keep infor­ma­tion secret; ‘it’s only shared on a need-to-know basis. But emer­gency man­agers and med­ical per­son­nel want infor­ma­tion shared as widely as pos­si­ble because they have to rely on per­sua­sion to get peo­ple to coöper­ate. The prob­lem with putting FEMA into the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity is that it’s like an organ trans­plant. What we’ve seen over the past four years is basi­cally organ rejec­tion.‘
If I read this cor­rectly, mis­aligned orga­ni­za­tional cul­tures lie at the bot­tom of the whole prob­lem. I’m still curi­ous about the con­nec­tions between an organization’s cul­ture, and the men­tal mod­els that indi­vid­u­als use. Can a group have a col­lec­tive men­tal model?
Accoridng to Col­lec­tive Men­tal State and Indi­vid­ual Agency: Qual­i­ta­tive Fac­tors in Social Sci­ence Expla­na­tion it’s pos­si­ble, and in fact the whole idea of this col­lec­tive men­tal state is a black hole as far as qual­i­ta­tive social research and under­stand­ing are concerned.

2 comments » | Modeling, The Media Environment

Reality TV Revisits Its Origins

November 3rd, 2005 — 2:35pm

Appar­ently, if you wait long enough, all cir­cles close them­selves. Case in point: I’ve always thought Golding’s Lord of the Flies nicely cap­tures sev­eral of the less appe­tiz­ing aspects of the typ­i­cal amer­i­can junior high school expe­ri­ence.
And I’ve always thought that much of the real­ity tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming that was all the rage for a while and now seems to be pass­ing like a Japan­ese fad, is sim­ply a chance for peo­ple on all sides of the screen to revisit their own junior high school expe­ri­ences once again — albeit with a full com­ple­ment of adult sec­ondary sex­ual char­ac­ter­is­tics. When I do chan­nel surf past the lat­est incar­na­tion of the pri­mal vote-the-jerk-off-the-island epic, Golding’s book always comes to mind.
Then a friend rec­om­mended Koushun Takami’s Bat­tle Royale as recre­ational read­ing. Bat­tle Royale is, as Tom Waits says, ‘big in Japan’ — it being a Japan­ese treat­ment of some of the same themes that drive Lord of the Flies.
The edi­to­r­ial review from Ama­zon reads:
“As part of a ruth­less pro­gram by the total­i­tar­ian gov­ern­ment, ninth-grade stu­dents are taken to a small iso­lated island with a map, food, and var­i­ous weapons. Forced to wear spe­cial col­lars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one “win­ner” remains. The elim­i­na­tion con­test becomes the ulti­mate in must-see real­ity tele­vi­sion.“
And so the cir­cle closes…

1 comment » | Reading Room, 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

A Very Postmodern 4th of July

July 7th, 2005 — 6:13pm

I went to the 4th of July con­cert on the Esplanade this past Mon­day, for the first time in sev­eral years, expect­ing to show some inter­na­tional vis­i­tors gen­uine Boston Amer­i­cana. After all, 4th of July cel­e­bra­tions are sin­gu­larly Amer­i­can expe­ri­ences; part sum­mer sol­stice rite, part brash rev­o­lu­tion­ary ges­ture, part demon­stra­tion of mar­tial prowess, part razzle-dazzle spec­ta­cle as only Amer­i­cans put on.
I sup­pose a unique Amer­i­can expe­ri­ence is what we got: in return for our trou­ble, we felt like unpaid extras in a tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion recre­at­ing the hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions for a remote view­ing audi­ence miles or years away. It was — de-centered — hol­low and inverted. It’s become a sim­u­lacrum, with a highly unnat­ural flow dri­ven by the cal­cu­lus of supra-local tele­vi­sion pro­gram­ming goals. The cen­ter of grav­ity is now a national tele­vi­sion audi­ence sit­ting in liv­ing rooms every­where and nowhere else, and not the 500,000 peo­ple gath­ered around the Hatch Shell who cre­ate the cel­e­bra­tion and make it pos­si­ble by com­ing together every year.
Despite all the razzle-dazzle — and in true Amer­i­can fash­ion there was a lot, from fighter jets to fire­works, via brass bands, orches­tras, and pop stars along the way — the expe­ri­ence itself was deeply unsat­is­fy­ing, because it was obvi­ous from the begin­ning that the pro­duc­tion com­pany (B4) held the inter­ests of broad­cast­ers far more impor­tant than the peo­ple who come to the Esplanade.
There were reg­u­lar com­mer­cial breaks.
In a 4th of July con­cert.
For half a mil­lion peo­ple.
Com­mer­cial breaks which the orga­niz­ers — no doubt trapped between the Scylla of con­trac­tual oblig­a­tions and the Charyb­dis of shame at jilt­ing a half-million peo­ple out of a sum­mer hol­i­day to come to this show — filled with filler. While the com­mer­cials aired, and the audi­ence waited, the ‘pro­gram­mers’ plugged the holes in the con­cert sched­ule with an awk­ward mix of live songs last­ing less than three min­utes, pre-recorded music, and inane com­men­tary from local talk­ing heads. We felt like we were sit­ting *behind* a mon­i­tor at a tap­ing ses­sion for a 4th of July show, lis­ten­ing while other peo­ple watched the screen in front.
I bring this out because it offers good lessons for those who design or cre­ate expe­ri­ences, or depend upon the design or cre­ation of qual­ity expe­ri­ences.
Briefly, those lessons are:
1. If you have an estab­lished audi­ence, and you want or need to engage a new one, make sure you don’t leave your loyal cus­tomers behind by mak­ing it obvi­ous that they are less impor­tant to you than your new audi­ence.
2. If you’re enter­ing a new medium, and your expe­ri­ence will not trans­late directly to the new chan­nel (and which well-crafted expe­ri­ence does trans­late exactly?), make sure you don’t dam­age the expe­ri­ence of the orig­i­nal chan­nel while you’re trans­lat­ing to the new one.
3. When adding a new or addi­tional chan­nel for deliv­er­ing your expe­ri­ence, don’t trade qual­ity in the orig­i­nal chan­nel for capa­bil­ity in the new chan­nel. Many sep­a­rate fac­tors affect judg­ments of qual­ity. Capa­bil­ity in one chan­nel is not equiv­a­lent to qual­ity in another. Qual­ity is much harder to achieve.
4. Always pre­serve qual­ity, because con­sis­tent qual­ity wins loy­alty, which is worth much more in the long run. Con­sis­tent qual­ity dif­fer­en­ti­ates you, and encour­ages cus­tomers to rec­om­mend you to other peo­ple with con­fi­dence, and allows other to become your advo­cates, or even your part­ners. For advo­cates, think of all the peo­ple who clear obsta­cles for you with­out direct ben­e­fit, such as per­mit and license boards. For part­ners, think of all the peo­ple who’s busi­ness con­nect to or depend upon your expe­ri­ence in some way; the con­ces­sions ven­dors who pur­chase a vend­ing license to sell food and bev­er­ages every year are a good exam­ple of this.
For peo­ple plan­ning to attend next year’s 4th of July pro­duc­tion, I hope the expe­ri­ence you have in 2006 reflects some of these lessons. If not, then I can see the head­line already, in bold 42 point let­ter type, “Audi­ences nowhere com­mem­o­rate Inde­pen­dence Day again via tele­vi­sion! 500,000 bored extras make cel­e­bra­tion look real for remote view­ers!“
Since this is the sec­ond time I’ve had this expe­ri­ence, I’ve changed my judg­ment on the qual­ity of the pro­duc­tion, and I won’t be there: I attended in 2002, and had exactly the same experience.

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NY Times Mistake Shows Utility of Semantic Framework

April 25th, 2005 — 10:09pm

Read­ing the online edi­tion of the New York Times just before leav­ing work this after­noon, I came across an ironic mis­take that shows the util­ity of a well devel­oped seman­tic frame­work that mod­els the terms and rela­tion­ships in defin­gin dif­fer­ent edi­to­r­ial con­texts. In an arti­cle dis­cussing the Matrix Online mul­ti­player game, text iden­ti­fy­ing the movie char­ac­ter the Ora­cle mis­tak­enly linked to a busi­ness pro­file page on the com­pany of the same name. In keep­ing with the movie’s sin­is­ter depic­tions of tech­nol­ogy as a tool for cre­at­ing decep­tive medi­ated real­i­ties, by the time I’d dri­ven home and made moji­tos for my vis­it­ing in-laws, the mis­take was cor­rected…
Ironic humor aside, it’s unlikely that NYTimes Dig­i­tal edi­tors intended to con­fuse a movie char­ac­ter with a giant soft­ware com­pany. It’s pos­si­ble that the NYTimes Dig­i­tal pub­lish­ing plat­form uses some form of seman­tic frame­work to over­see auto­mated link­ing of terms that exist in one or more defined ontolo­gies, in which case this mis­take implies some form of mis-categorization at the arti­cle level,invokgin the wrong ontol­ogy. Or per­haps this is an exam­ple of an instance where a name in the real world exists simul­ta­ne­ously in two very dif­fer­ent con­texts, and there is no seman­tic rule to gov­ern how the sys­tem han­dles rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of con­flicts or invo­ca­tion of man­ual inter­ven­tion in cases when life refuses to fit neatly into a set of ontolo­gies. That’s a design fail­ure in the gov­er­nance com­po­nents of the seman­tic frame­work itself.
It’s more likely that the pub­lish­ing plat­form auto­mat­i­cally searches for com­pany names in arti­cles due for pub­li­ca­tion, and then cre­ates links to the cor­re­spond­ing pro­file infor­ma­tion page with­out ref­er­ence to a seman­tic frame­work that employs con­tex­tual mod­els to dis­crim­i­nate between ambigu­ous or con­flict­ing term usage. For a major con­tent cre­ator and dis­trib­u­tor like the NY Times, that’s a strate­gic over­sight.
In this screen cap­ture, you can see the first ver­sion of the arti­cle text, with the link to the Ora­cle page clearly vis­i­ble:
Mis­take:

The new ver­sion, with­out the mis­taken link, is vis­i­ble in this screen cap­ture:
New Ver­sion:

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