Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

When I was in New York, I met Britt Blaser and Josh Koenig. They came to the Six Apart meeting. They are both working on the Dean campaign and it was great talking to them. I had seen both of their names online and I tried to store their faces in the approximate location in my brain of where I thought I had remembered seeing them online. Then when I was reading an entry on Britt's blog about how much fun they were all having working on the campaign, I clicked thru to Josh and remembered Josh was Outlandish Josh. I was on the phone with David Kirkpatrick of Fortune yesterday so Fortune magazine was fresh in my mind. I remembered that I met someone at the Fortune conference in Aspen who was a "friend of Josh, Outlandish Josh." A few more synapses fired and now Josh has unique spot in my brain. The problem is, I remember people mostly by their first name and there are also Josh and Josh. There are way too many Daves and surely a lot of Ross's. Lots of neuronal name space collisions. On IRC people naturally pick nicknames so there are no name collisions and I find it convenient to remember and refer to people by their IRC nicknames. (Although it's a pain when they contain non alpha-numeric characters.)

I wonder if there is any way for social software to help me remember people and keep them sorted and in context in my brain... Maybe photo albums, my own blog and links to other blogs is maybe the best way. I wonder if I should make a search engine for my own blog instead of using Google so I can sort comments by person and display inbound and outbound links, link to Technorati ID's and other cool things. Maybe I can get Jibot to help...


isn't it cool that all the new official political blogs are using MT?

Yes, isn't that something all this FOAF and Technorati stuff can "fix".

I want Technorati and MT/TP integrated. There should be a "enter your Technorati API key here" field. etc etc etc.

Hm. So much to do. No time to do it. :\

Edd Dumbill's foafbot has much of what you want here, see (sometimes there's one running on in #foaf too, but its up and down depending on sysadmin, whether edd's hacking vs travelling, etc.)

Some example dialog:

foafbot, edd's name
edd's name is 'Edd Dumbill', according to Dan Brickley,
Anon35, Niel Bornstein, Jo Walsh, Dave Beckett, Edd Dumbill,
Matt Biddulph, Paul Ford

And for photo stuff:

foafbot: picture of edd and yoz
Picture at
-- according to Edd Dumbill
Caption: From left to right: Edd, Yoz, Matt Webb,
Jo Walsh, Celia Romaniuk

(the 'according to' is mostly based on PGP-signed data, see Edd's site for detail).

Re the technorati connection, it'd be good if the new 'get' facility there were to export foaf directly, so foafbot could read it. Failing that we could probably XSLT it...

Jeannie assigns unique names to people in #joiito

It obviously isn't practical to assign unique names to everyone in the real world. I recommend that you close out on the names dave, ross and josh. Just don't bother to become friendly with anyone else by that name. It's a pain to do, but you'll thank me in the end.

Lucky for you, I suppose, that there aren't a lot of "Brendyns" :)

For the record, whenever I meet other Josh's I always (jokingly) tell them, "in the end, there can be only one."