June 2005 Archives

The other day, I met with the guys doing Tokyo Art Beat. Tokyo Art Beat is probably the most comprehensive art event site for Tokyo in both English and Japanese. Interestingly, even though they are both French, the site is not yet available in French. Anyway, I know at least a dozen people who have pinged me that they are going to be in Tokyo over the next few weeks so I would recommend this site to find cool things to do when you are in town.

Frode and his team at Liquid Information have launched a demo of Hyperwords. Hyperwords is a very big idea about tools that make the web a lot more linky and contextual. For now, the demo allows you to load a web page through Hyperwords and mouse over and select various functions from a menu including looking up the definition, searching for on search engines including Technorati and highlighting. The cool thing about the highlighting is that the info is added to the URL so you can copy paste the URL to someone to give them your highlighting. Anyway, I know Frode is looking for feedback so give it a try and let him know what you think.

This blog piped through Hyperwords

Demo page for Hyperwords

UPDATE: Interview with Frode

UPDATE 2: Frode has released a new version:

demo page

This site viewed through version 4

To the page where you can make any page live

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about the rise of more aggressive nationalist Japanese politicians. The article gives the example of the recent decision to willingness to challenge China, for instance, in the dispute over natural gas drilling in the East China Sea. These politicians, according to the article, are taking leadership away from the bureaucrats who traditionally ran most of the foreign policy. I haven't read much about this and have been away from Japanese politics for awhile, but if this article is accurate, it's a disturbing trend. I think the move for Japan to become more "normal" is a good thing, but I don't think that a nationalist position is a good one.

However, the Asahi reports that 52% of Japanese polled say Koizumi should halt shrine visits and the Japanese Emperor Akihito made a surprise visit to a Korean war dead memorial in Saipan on Tuesday.

So it appears to me that once again, the central government and the LDP are out of touch with the people and even the Emperor and it's the politicians who are fueling this nationalist mood. I wonder what we can do about it... It's clearly a bad idea.

If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging the last few days... I've been at the Creative Commons Summit with this amazing group of people.

Last night I got Asterisk working on my PowerBook with the help of Benjamin who runs astmasters.net. Asterisk is an open source PBX. It allows your computer to send, receive, route and provide services on a wide variety of voice connections including SIP, IAX and various interfaces for normal phone lines. I've always had fairly complicated phone line and call management needs and now I can program everything myself. There is an amazing feeling of liberation when you realize how much control of your phone system you can actually have. Asterisk is a bit difficult to do without some help, but once you start to get your head around it, it feels like you're running a mini phone company. They even use legacy words like "trunk lines" which were named after the cabinets in the phone companies that held the groups of 9999 lines. It's going to take me awhile to get it completely configured, but I'm not going to feel truly VoIPy until I am in total control of my phone system.

Take THAT telephone monopolies! ;-)

UPDATE: François asked for more detail in the comments.

I'm using the PowerBook now mostly to play around. It will eventually be on a stationary machine. The first step will be to forward all of my calls to Asterisk. These include Vonage, Free World Dial, Voice Pulse and a few other VoIP things that I have. I will also try to find a service provider who will take all of my business lines and convert them to VoIP and forward them to my PBX. Vonage and Sound Pulse will allow me to dial out. The idea is to have all of my calls aggregate at my Asterisk PBX. Then, I can have various profiles on Asterisk that I can change in a number of ways. I'm hoping I can use, email, phone, Jabber presence, SMS and various other methods of changing my profile. The profiles will be set up to forward calls appropriately to me or my assistants. The calls can forward to a soft phone on my computer, my cell phone or any other phone that I register with Asterisk. I can also send calls to voicemail. If I can get caller ID working properly, I can set up different groups to allow me to let certain people through for emergencies.

Because the system is so flexible, there are a variety of configurations so I'm trying to figure out what I really want and how best to do it before investing in a bunch of interface cards. One key point will be whether I do the POTS termination myself or have a service provider manage my POTS lines. (POTS = Plain Old Telephone Service)


We just launched the Technorati Live 8 site.

Technorati has teamed up with Live 8 to bring you the latest conversations about the campaign to Make Poverty History. Read first hand accounts of the concerts and events, and get all the news and opinion from the blogosphere.

We've also put together some resources to help you find your way around Live 8 and the blog world:

What is Live 8? Which organisations are behind Live 8?

Are you new to blogging? Find out what it's all about.

Get a Live 8 badge for your blog.

Join in the conversation and find out how to make your posts show up on Technorati.

Do more than just blog - contact the G8 leaders.

The posts listed on the Technorati Live 8 site have been written by bloggers worldwide and appear in real time from Technorati's index of 1.1 million blogs. Find out more about Technorati.

Joe Trippi called us about two weeks ago with this idea. Thanks to a guest appearance of Suw Charman as the producer of the site and extra hard work by the Technorati team, we were able to get this site out in time.

This is such a good opportunity for nations like the United States and Japan to helped their damaged images and also show their solidarity to a cause that they shouldn't have to think twice about. I'm amazed at how poor the response of some of the developed nations has been to this call. Hopefully this concert and the voice of the blogs will help get their attention.

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Dan Gillmor has created a Citizen Journalist Pledge for contributors to Bayosphere.

Citizen Journalist Pledge

By submitting this form, I agree to be accurate, complete, fair and transparent in my postings on Bayosphere. I will operate with integrity.

I work in the community interest.

I report and produce news explaining the facts as fairly, thoroughly, accurately and openly as I can.

  • Fair: I'm always listening to and taking account of other viewpoints;
  • Thorough: I learn as much as I can in the time I have, and point to original sources when possible;
  • Accurate: I get it right, checking my facts, correcting errors promptly and incorporating new information I learn from the community;
  • Open: I explain my biases and conflicts, where appropriate.
I may also provide reviews (such as a critique of a movie or book) and commentary with a point of view based on facts, but I will have no significant financial or otherwise direct connection (membership, affiliation, close relationship, etc.) with an interested party.

If I do have such connections, I'll disclose them prominently, and my work may be labeled and/or categorized appropriately.

I agree, as an active member of this community, to help uphold the integrity of this pledge by challenging and reporting inappropriate postings or abuse.

I think this is a reasonable pledge. One real difference between a citizen journalist and someone who isn't is whether they make such a pledge or at least agree to adhere to principles like this. I will also agree to a pledge.

One modification that I would have to make is conflict of interest disclosures. We've talked about this quite a bit on this blog. At one time, I started disclosing conflicts on every post, but people thought it sounded boastful. Lately, I try to make it clear by saying "we" or "I" when it is an organization that I am involved in, but assume that most people who read my blog understand my primary affiliations. Most of them are disclosed on my wiki page. Any new affiliation or minor affiliation to something I am writing about will be prominently disclosed.

The only other type of article that may not fit "citizen journalism" are posts where irony or some joke is the point of the post. I used to think that such material would be obvious, but I find that irony is often missed an taken seriously. I don't have a good solution for this.

I chose to be a mage on Warcraft. Mages are pretty cool, but they can only fight with one enemy at a time. They are useful in groups, but not good for playing alone. What's funny is that it's really hard for me to make friends on Warcraft. According to my sister, many people join Warcraft together and hang out with the real-life friends. Anyway, it's a humbling experience. I'm begging people to let me join their group and casting nice spells on people trying to earn their friendship.

If anyone has been considering starting World of Warcraft, please join Khadgar and be my friend. ;-)

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Nukastir
Nukazuke is a type of Japanese traditional pickling that requires a special kind of mash that is made from rice husks and a number of other ingredients. This mash is called nukamiso. Some nukamiso is very old and it requires a special touch and constant mixing to maintain the special flavor. Vegetables are typically stuck in the nukamiso overnight or for the day.

I wrote a Nukamiso guide was which I last updated in April 1999. Since then, I have moved twice and in the process, killed my poor nukamiso. My original nukamiso seeded from three 50 year old nukamiso's and a 25 year old nukamiso, two from Kyoto and two from Tokyo. Killing it was an unforgivable sin. Since then, Mizuka and I have felt so guilty, that it took a lot of courage to decide to start up again. The trigger was receiving a batch of the best eggplant nukamiso that I've ever had. The container contained a healthy amount of the nukamiso in addition to the eggplant and the instructions suggested that you could seed your nukamiso with this. We tried some vegetables from our garden and it was excellent, so we went and got a cedar tub today.

In the past, we lived in western houses so one of the challenges was keeping the nukamiso as cold as possible in the summer. This was partially the cause of the demise of our last nukamiso. This time, we now live in a traditional Japanese house has an opening to the space under the kitchen. Japanese houses typically store pickles and other things that need to stay cool in this space. Unlike doing nukamiso from purchased vegetables, we will be able to feed our nuka-chan with fresh home grown veggies.

I just Flickr'd some of the pictures.


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Chris Anderson has an interesting article about the massive parallel culture on the Internet in the context of the Long Tail. He posted the picture Anil wearing the Goatse t-shirt in the New York Times interview as an example. I was looking at the list and one that I had somehow missed was "More Cowbell". (It's sort of the opposite of stealth disco.) Thanks to Google, I was able to find a video of the original skit. (The link to the mp3 on The Cowbell Project page was broken.)

The Contagious Media Showdown targets this genre, but I wonder what it is that ends up becoming a pandemic in its virality. I guess it's something that is sort of stupid, but gets funnier and funnier the more you repeat it.

I think that the "shared culture" aspect of it is important. It has to be simple (stupid) enough so that almost anyone will think it's funny or at least silly. I notice this with topics on blogs as well. Deep and well researched posts will often receive thoughtful comments, but it's the short 3-paragraph form that seems to consistently be the most read and linked. I don't think it's necessarily a good trend, but it's sort of the blog version of the TV sound-bite - the attention-span of the average blog reader.

I know that a lot of people sit around and think about memes a lot so I may be treading old ground, but I think it's interesting that non-geeks are getting sucked in and these shared ideas create some sort of community bonding that moves faster and at a larger scale than in the past, but still remains nichey and obscure...

UPDATE: Noticed the Wikipedia Cowbell entry has a reference to this skit.

Sorry about the light blogging around here. I had to take a short-notice trip to the US and was away for awhile... but another major distraction has been World of Warcraft. Although I love video games, I had banned them from my life because I decided I didn't have time for them. However, I decided I needed to try one of the new multi-user games myself for *cough* research.

Anyway, I'm playing now if anyone wants to hook up. I'm on the North American World of Warcraft in the Khadgar realm. I'm a Gnome/Mage and my name is Vfd.

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At the Internet Association Japan meeting yesterday, the folks from Impress gave a summary of their 10th annual Internet survey.

Impress 2005 Internet White Paper
There are 32,244,000 broadband households which is 36.2%.

There are 70,072,000 Internet users.

72.5% of people have heard of blogs, up from 39% last year.

25% of women in their teens and 20's have blogs.

9.5% of Internet users use RSS Readers.

46.5% of Internet users have decreased spending in physical shops because of online shopping.

29.6% of offices have wifi up from 10.7% last year.

2.8% of companies have corporate blogs and over 50% express no intention of ever having corporate blogs.

5.5% of companies have corporate web pages for mobile phone users.

I took notes based on a verbal presentation so there could be some mistakes. If anyone notices any, please let me know.

UPDATE: PDF of press release summary of white paper. (includes charts / Japanese)

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
Daily video of a geeky dancer in his living room

Daily Dancer is a site where a geek video-records himself dancing to a different song every day and posts it. Jamal recommends starting with the Fett's Vette boogie, on the basis of its laudable Star Wars Kid reference, and I concur.

Link

Some day people will look back and try to understand.

Dan Gillmor has started posting 1 minute sound clips. It's an interesting form. One "Minute with Dan" is less than 1MB and short enough to listen to while browsing through your daily feeds. It's not "save it for my train ride" size. Also, probably for people who don't know Dan's voice, it will create a voice behind the words he writes.

I also noticed that VoIP in various forms on my Mac have caused me to be in an environment where I can listen to audio as my default. One year ago, I had sound turned off 90% of the time. Now I have it on 90% of the time...

A Minute with Dan: Bad Behavior

A Minute with Dan: Graduation Day

Hoder, our favorite Iranian blogger is going back to Iran. He needs our help to get there as well as possibly keep him out or get him out of jail. See his blog for details.

For the last several days, I haven't been able to access the English Wikipedia from home. This has happened in the past. The reason is that the DNS that my ISP provides me is returning an error when looking up en.wikipedia.org.

dig en.wikipedia.org
;; Truncated, retrying in TCP mode.
;; communications error to 210.130.232.1#53: end of file
The odd thing is that jp.wikipedia.org and other Wikipedia subdomains resolve. Also, when I try another DNS server, en.wikipedia.org resolves. The DNS server I am using, DNS.CDN-JAPAN.COM (210.130.232.1) is run by IIJ, my ISP. Has anyone else had similar problems either with other domains on IIJ or problems with en.wikipedia.org on other DNS servers?

Sorry, for this obscure and geeky post, but being prevented from using Wikipedia has become extremely irritating.

UPDATE: en, fr, nl, de, pl fail. ja, eo, ko, es, zh work. It appears that the ones which are failing use geodns.

UPDATE 2: I caught up with a senior guy from my ISP IIJ at the Internet Association meeting yesterday and explained the problem to him. He said that MAYBE it is because they are running a load balancing thing that might interact weirdly with geodns. He's looking into it for me.

UPDATE 3: I got a response from my ISP. They said that the "AUTHORITYSECTION" was being returned making the record longer than 512 bytes forcing it to respond via TCP instead of UDP. They said that they thought my firewall was blocking TCP responses from dns. They changed the setting on the nameserver not to add the AUTHORITYSECTION and now it appears to work for me... I've asked them to provide me with another long domain entry greater than 512 bytes so I can see if I can replicate the error...

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Dsc00186
Ever since I blogged about the anti-Japanese protests in China, I have been having a dialog with a number of people about Japanese history. One of my Chinese friends recommended "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan" (Herbert P. Bix) for a more objective and critical view of the Emperor's role in the War. I am reading the book now. I believe this book does a great job of uncovering a fairly systematic coverup by the US occupation and the Japanese media of the role of the Emperor in World War II. However, I do think that Bix tends to makes some conclusions based on the facts he uncovers that I would not necessarily agree with. It is, in any case, a very good book for anyone interested in Japan to read.

With this fresh in my mind, I visited Kyoto, my home town, and was amazed at just how much Japanese tradition is organized around the Emperor. The Emperor went though various levels of influence in the governing of the nation, but has remained in place for 125 generations. Regardless of his level of influence, the Emperor has been the center of most of Japanese culture. Kyoto, for instance, is divided into the "Right Kyoto" and the "Left Kyoto". This has nothing to do with East or West, but is the right or left side of the city when viewed from the Emperor. The bullet train "climbs" from Kyoto to Tokyo (the new capital) toward the Emperor and any road that points away from the Emperor is pointed "down". All kinds of symbols and names allow you to understand exactly what each Temple's relationship to the royal family is. Maybe it was just our guide, or maybe it was that I was sensitized, but I think he talked about the Emperor in almost every explanation he made.

I question whether we should still have an Emperor in Japan and I believe that the facts about the Emperor's involvement in the war should be more publicly known. However, I wonder how the cultural foundation of Japan will change if the Emperor and the royal family were removed.

I have Flickr'ed the trip.

UPDATE: Movie of geisha dance uploaded to archive.org and part 2. (And an older one from a previous trip...)

UPDATE: Related Article - Sanji-Chion-Ji

The new Technorati beta is live. It's a redesign of the main site. Congrats to everyone who worked on it. It's much nicer looking and hopefully easier to use than before. We'd love you feedback on it. Thanks!

Lots more about this on Sifry's Alerts.

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Lessig Blog
the spread(of)CC
Slide1.jpg

As of Thursday, the current spread of Creative Commons. The green are countries where the project has launched. The yellow are close. The red is yet to be liberated.

A lot of progress, but a lot left to do...

Dvorak reports that the leak about Apple switching from IBM PPC chips to Intel was leaked by someone at IBM to analysts who leaked it to CNet or someone close to CNet and then somehow the Wall Street Journal got the story. He wonders whether Apple was suing bloggers in anticipation of this announcement to try to plug the leaks. Dan Gillmor wonders whether Apple is going to sue CNet.

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Mpaacam-1
Photo of camera
by Jeff Koga
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is paying the Los Angeles police department to install cameras to crack down on DVD bootleggers. So far four cameras have been installed and six more are on the way. Although the LAPD refuses to say where the cameras are installed, but there is information on Xeni's post on Boing Boing. The post also contains funny details of their adventure.

I hadn't realized that there was DVD piracy activity in LA. I wonder how much "lost revenue" they will recoup from these cameras. I wonder what else the LAPD going to use these cameras for. Having said that, I think we probably have more cameras per square inch in Tokyo than in LA. Welcome to our world.

Xeni has filed a story with Wired News about this as well.

UPDATE:

Xeni
Hi, Joi -- Sean Bonner created some topographical maps of the site, and posted those along with more photos and his first-person account over at blogging.la. Check it out:
http://blogging.la/archives/2005/06/sekret_location.phtml

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Kevin Marks has created a Quicktime movie of the Steve Jobs keynote at WWDC 2005 with chapters which makes it easier to view. This is the first time I've seen chapters. Pretty neat.

UPDATE: Here's how you do it.

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I've created a torrent using the Trackerless Auto setting on BitTorrent. It's a 37MB movie of my Roomba having some trouble with cliff detection and my dogs having trouble with the Roomba. It's probably not worth downloading, but if you feel like testing trackerless torrents, give it a try.

roombadogs.torrent

UPDATE: I've updated the torrent with the new version of the trackerless client. Can you give it a try?

UPDATE 2: I didn't have port forwarding on. I've turned it on now so it might work. However, I'll be on the road again in a few hours...

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I just created a torrent for Tex Live. Tex Live is a ready-to-run TeX system for Unix. I just set up the torrent for the TeX Users Group, but I'm currently seeding it on my laptop so I would love a few other people to get the file from me and seed it so there are a few more seeds. It's a 580M file. Thanks!

texlive-live.iso.torrent

More details on the tracker.

UPDATE: Doh. The reason I'm helping out the TeX guys is because I think it's a cool project. If you're geeky and into typesetting, you should check out the project.

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I wrote earlier about the origin of the Japanese the ritual of chopping off pinkies. In Japan, the ritual comes the importance of the left pinkie in the grip of a Japanese sword. Removing the left pinkie is literally disarming and was used to punish people in the past. This has been ritualized and continues to be used by small number of Yakuza and others in Japan as a form of punishment or taking responsibility.

This is why I didn't understand why the Koreans were severing their fingers in protests against the Japanese. Two Koreans chopped their little fingers off in in front of the Japanese embassy in March to protest Japanese comments about the Dokdo islands and in 2001, 20 Koreans chopped their off their little fingers in protest against Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.

I was beginning to understand the issues that the Koreans were protesting against, but I didn't see how this finger chopping was involved. I decided to get to the bottom of this and asked friends during my trip to Korea.

Although it is an ancient custom, if I understand correctly, one of the most famous incidents was An Jung-geun, a legendary leader in the armed resistance against the Japanese occupation, chopping off parts of several of his fingers and writing "Korean Independence" in blood on the Korean national flag. Later he assassinated Japanese politician Hirobumi Ito in 1910. Hirobumi Ito was a key figure in the Meiji Restoration of Japan, former prime minister and former Resident-General of Korea. Using the blood from severed fingers to write such statements became a sign of solidarity in the resistance against the Japanese and I believe the recent finger chopping is a continuation of this.

I am not trying to make a statement about or a judgement on the anti-Japanese protests or the actions by the Japanese, but trying to clarify something that was confusing for me.

PS I found this article about the protests that ran in today's Korea Herald insightful on the relevance of these protests.

UPDATE: Edited post to reflect comments that An Jung-geun chopped his fingers before the assassination and that it's an ancient custom which didn't start with An Jung-geun.

Yesterday the ICANN board discussed and approved ICANN staff to enter into negotiations with ICM Registry, Inc. for the .XXX Top Level Domain (TLD). I'm sure there will be a longer more complete presentation from ICANN later about this, but as an individual board member I thought I'd post a quick note before people got carried away with speculation based on a lack of information.

I realize that the formal documents on the ICANN page are difficult to read, but I suggest people take a look at the actual application before jumping to conclusions about what the .XXX TLD is. It is actually a well thought out structure that provides a balanced approach to an issue with many stake holders.

The .XXX TLD is a sponsored TLD or sTLD with a sponsoring organization. Policy will be managed by a non-profit organization called the International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR). (Here is the org chart.) IFFOR will have a board of directors comprised of members from several supporting organizations. These organizations include 1) privacy, security & child advocacy, 2) free expression, 3) online adult-entertainment and board members selected through a nomination committee system similar to ICANN. No one constituency can capture the board and all have a say. There will be an Ombudsman. The organization has demonstrated strong support from all of the constituencies and also the credit card industry. A portion of all of the revenue from domain names will go to a fund that a Grant Advisory Committee will use to support child advocacy. Credit card companies are working with the legitimate adult sites to create incentives for them to switch to .XXX.

ICANN has been mandated with trying to increase the TLD space and the .XXX proposal, in my opinion, has met the criteria set out in the RFP. Our approval of .XXX is a decision based on whether .XXX met the criteria and does not endorse or condone any particular type of content or moral belief. This is not the role of ICANN. I realize that some will view this as ICANN endorsing pornography on the Internet, but this is not the case.

There are people who are concerned about censorship and control. These are issues that have been raised, but I think the .XXX proposal is more about creating incentives for legitimate adult entertainment sites to come together and fight "bad actors" and is not focused on forcing people to use the .XXX domain.

Some people have argued that there has not been enough public debate, but we have been taking public comments for quite a while. We DO read them and have encouraged people to discuss their issues with us through the process. I believe we followed a rigorous process. We started with an RFP and over the last 15 months, we have had independent evaluators, numerous meetings, public discussion and public comments.

I think Bret Fausett summarized the situation well on his blog.

The decision on .XXX may be one of the most difficult ICANN has ever made, and you can expect ICANN to be criticized whatever it decides. I imagine that many of the countries participating in the GAC aren't ready to be part of a decision that will endorse a space for pr0n on the Internet. The fact that .XXX could be a political hook on which the governments of the world could hang Internet zoning laws could make the decision more palatable, but it's still a political minefield for ICANN. Again, I hope the proposal is accepted, but it's going to take a great deal of courage to do that.
I think any decision would have had strong critics. I believe we have made the best decision possible considering all of the issues involved. Having said that staff are now negotiating the contract. If anyone has any thoughts that we should consider in negotiating the contract I would be happy to hear them. Staff are working hard to produce a contract that ensures that the TLD functions as advertised.

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
GOATSE t-shirt in the NYT

Anil.184

Anil Dash wore a subtle and arcane GOATSE t-shirt for a recent New York Times photoshoot, and they ran a pic of him wearing it. GOATSE is an Internet legend -- a repulsive photo that used to live at www.goatse.cx that Internet pranksters went to great lengths to trick others into seeing.

SFW Wikipedia entry on Goatse, NYT Link

This is excellent... Wait, does this guy work for Six Apart?

Dsc00041
Thanks to Jin Ho, Heewon, Goo Dong-Eon, Xenix, Qho, Young Wook, and BK for a very interesting dinner discussion and explaining the Korean blogging scene to me.

Korea is reported by the OECD to have the highest high-speed Internet penetration of any nation. Korea has an extremely vibrant gaming, blogging, mobile phone and youth culture scene and I was eager to find out more about what was going on. I scribbled a bunch of notes over coffee during the day and over dinner. Please excuse any errors since I have not been able to fact check everything. If you could point them out and let me update them, I would appreciate it.


According to articles in the press, there are 5-6 million blogs. These are not to be confused with hompy. Hompy (a derivative of home page) are personal home pages with photo albums, guest books, avatars, background skins, and background music. There are approximately 10 million hompy pages. In a city with a population of 10 million and a country with a population of 45 million, that's quite impressive. Companies seem to be making money selling background music and items for hompy pages. Most of the posts are focused on photos and one line comments on pages of friends. They are generally closed communities and are focused more on real-time presence-like communication rather than diary or dialog.

Cyworld, which sounded like the leader for hompys has a feature they call "scratch scrap". This allows you to copy/paste content from other web pages easily to your hompy. On of the problems that I see with this is that this simple built-in feature does not provide a link back to the original source. It is rumored engineers who designed this left and joined Naver, one of the leading blog companies and created a similar feature for them. Generally speaking, it sounded like people don't link very much. They are still mostly plain html and not css + xhtml. There seemed to be some trackback implementation, but it is not yet as widely used as in the US or Japan. As far as I could tell, none of the blog systems used any of the standard APIs, and some had RSS feeds. Blogs and hompys don't seem to be pinging any pinger sites, which makes them nearly invisible to the outside world. In addition, many sites block search engine bots from crawling hompys and blogs.

It appears that one of the biggest problems is that there are several 800 pound gorilla type portals that remind me of AOL during it's powerful years. They try to create walled gardens of users. With millions of bloggers and hompy users in each community, they are focused more on integrating inside of their portals than open standards or linking across portals. There are some independent blog services and aggregators, but they still seem to be focused on community and somewhat inward facing networks. A not-so-visibile majority of blogs in Japan and the US are also this way, but the public facing citizen journalist or pundit-style blogs seem to be very sparse in Korea.

One of the reasons might be due to the success of OhmyNews. I visited OhmyNews as well, and they are truly an online newspaper powerhouse. You can read about them in detail in Dan Gillmor's We the Media, but they are a edited news website with droves of citizen journalists who submit articles. They have courses in writing for the citizen journalists, tip jars that people can pay them through, editors to help with the important stories, lots of influence and visibility and offline community activities. I can imagine that someone who had something political or pundit-like to say might easily choose to write for OhmyNews than to start a blog. This doesn't describe everything, but I'm sure that OhmyNews has attracted a fair number of the potential media blogger types.

I still have a lot to learn but the incredible difference in the blogging scene and the apparent happiness with what the people had considering the widespread adoption made me wonder if the Korean blogs would ever look like American or Japanese blogs. (Many aspects of the Japanese blogging scene seem to be following in the footsteps of the US blogging scene, albeit with some differences.)

Update:

4- jaz @ June 2, 2005 10:43 AM

hey joi. the function is called "scrap," not "scratch"
what it allows you to do is to display a particular post from someone's mini-hompy (cyworld) - if the permission setting of that post is set to "allow scrap" - not from just any website. there's a watermark-like feature that goes with it, which displays the original author's name and the link back to the origianl mini-hompy.

Sorry about the error. I was told however, that most bloggers and hompyiers didn't cite or link. Someone said that the big portals encouraged because it allowed all of the content to be searched inside the portal, rather than offsite. Does anyone have any more information on this?

I just talked to Dan Gillmor who installed the new Quicktime 7.0.1 upgrade and looks like it has broken the OS. He was running Tiger with a pretty vanilla install. Now it won't get past the end of the boot screen. This is a warning to anyone who is thinking about doing the upgrade. I would wait until there is more news.

Any information about this new upgrade would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: Dan's the only one I've talked to who has had this problem so it's probably an isolated incident. Sorry about the false alarm. Wanted to get word out just in case. It seems like it is safe to do the upgrade although I'm going to wait until I get home today.

UPDATE 2: Markoff calls this "Gillmor luck".

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