Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Veer just added a RSS feed discovery feature on blogstreet. You can search for a blog and it gives you the RSS URL and shows the RSS feed. It's very cool. RSS feeds are really significant I think. They tie so many things together... They also make banner adds sort of irrelevant. ;-)

Veer Bothra
RSS Discovery

Launched today is a new feature on BlogStreet called RSS Discovery. It finds the RSS feed of a blog if its mentioned in the blog page and then parses the RSS to display it in HTML. This can serve two purposes.

Many times for not-so-tech-savvy users finding the RSS feed of a blog for adding it to a RSS aggregator becomes difficult. RSS Discovery can take care of this by finding the feed for that blog.

Another use can be to read the RSS feed of a blog in HTML from the web when the RSS Aggregator is not available. Of course you can directly go to the blog and read it but you cannot post to your blog then. You will be able to do that using Blogger API from BlogStreet shortly.

RSS Discovery becomes the first in a series of features planned to make BlogStreet a utility provider in this space.

Today was the regular press conference of the New Business Conference. The New Buiness Conference is an organization affiliated with the small and medium sized company section of the government. I am a director and chairman of the New Business Forum Committee. I was called to the press conference to make a presentation about this year's forum. This year, the conference will be December 2 at the Tokyo International Forum. The Keynote is the Kawabuchi-san, the head of the Japan Soccer Association. A lot of my good friends such as Mikitani-san of Rakuten, Oki Matsumoto of Monex, Takeuchi-sensei of Hitotsubashi, Hasegawa-san of Global Dining, Matsui-san of Matsui Securities, Kanemaru-san of Future System Consulting and Kurokawa-sensei of Tokai University will be speaking. The opening address will be given by Prince Takamado. I am a bit nervous since I have to introduce him using Imperial formal Japanese which is only used to address royalty and I can't screw it up...

The press conference today was very disturbing. Even though I am a director of this organization, I didn't know that they were going to issue a position statement. I disagreed with one of their statements which said that the government should give $160,000 to 10,000 companies and that "experts" should distribute the funds. This sounds like pork barrel politics to me. I can't imagine that these so-called "experts" will distribute the funds fairly or intelligently and can only imagine abuse. Also, these statements were most likely prepared by bureaucrats and caused some how to be announced by the NBC so that they can say, "See, we need budget..." Phewy. I don't want to be associated with such random stupidity and possible corruption. I'm going to announce my resignation after my responsibility to deliver a good conference. Ooops. I just blogged it.

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Eno-san and Moriguchi-san meet for the first time...
Today, I went to see Eno-san and talk about blogs and other things. My good friend Hiroko Moriguchi was there working on a project (secret for now...) with Eno-san. It was the first time they had met. I love it when two people I really like meet for the first time. ;-)

Hiroko Moriguchi is very smart and very funny. It will be interesting to see what happens when we mix her taste with Eno-san who is weird, funny and smart in his own way as well. I look forward to seeing how their project goes.

Eno-san promised to help me recruit bloggers and to work on his own blog. I think we should get Hiroko to do a blog too. I didn't get a chance to talk to her about this, but next time I see her I will...

Today was the second meeting of the WEF Blueprint for Japan 2020. Oki and I reported on our presentation in Geneva.

Richard Koo, the chief economist of Nomura Research Institute talked about some of the macroeconomic issues regarding the Japanese economy which was really staggering to think about. 85% of the value of the land disappeared after the bubble. This is 3 years of GDP. That's huge when you consider that the great depression in the US was only 1 year of GDP drop in assets. The savings and loan problem in the US was only a 20% drop in the value of assets. The scale of the Japanese problem is gigantic and unprecedented. On the other hand, this could happen to any country such as Taiwan, Thailand, China or even the US. The huge drop in asset value is causing another very unique situation where 70%-80% of companies are paying down debt when interest rates are basically 0% because they are so highly leveraged against assets that have lost so much value. The fact that the economy is even functioning is amazing.

We talked a lot about the issues and how to communicate our point. We decided to focus on how diversity enables markets and democracy since this point of view is rather unique and core. We decided to start a blog about this project. ;-)

fiorella_thumb.jpgHad lunch with Dr. Fiorella Terenzi. She is an Astrophysicist / Recording Artist / Author. She recently created a line of jewelry based on astrophysical phenomenon. She is selling them on QVC. She said that some of her colleagues mocked her, but that reaching the masses and trying to appeal to them about the beauty of science was an important mission. I totally agree. I admire Fiorella and her desire and courage to break out of the ivory tower of academism and try to communicate. I feel that the art community, the science community and academic community in general shuns the popularization of their fields. I think that with the communications technologies of today, it is an utter waste to not try to communicate to the public, what is going on in art and science. It takes a great deal of courage, but I think people like Fiorella should be encouraged and supported by both the public and people in their respective fields. Fiorella has made space the theme of her music and other forms of public expression that she has been engaged in and is truly an ambassador from the field of astrophysics.