Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Social Software Category

The "there goes the neighborhood" Law »

There seems to be some sort of general rule that technologies and systems like conversations on the Internet, the US democracy (and its capture by powerful financial interests), the Arab Spring movement and many other things that were wonderfully optimistic and positive at the beginning seem to begin to regress and fail as they scale or age. Most of these systems seem to evolve into systems that are resistant to redesign and overthrow as they adapt like some sophisticated virus or cancer. It's related to but harder to fix than the tragedy of the commons. I want to write a...

We invested in Twitter and are bringing them to Japan »

I Twittered this but forgot to blog it. :-P From the Twitter Blog:Despite the fact that Twitter is in English, we continue to see exciting growth from all over the world. Japan, in particular shows a very strong and growing demand for Twitter services. Movatwitter and Twitterpod are great examples. To support continued growth in Japan, Twitter has formed a partnership with Digital Garage to create the official Twitter Japan service. As part of this arrangement, Digital Garage has made an investment in Twitter, Inc and will commit engineering and other development resources to help us bring Twitter to Japan....

Dopplr opens »

At LeWeb3, Dopplr announced (the release) that they have officially launched and are now open for registration without invitations. BBC did a nice story. Dopplr is currently my primary way of figuring out where I can meet friends coincidentally because it allows me to track where my travels overlap with my friends. The only problem is that I can't yet mark what days I'm busy so all of the extra opportunities to meet often stress my already busy scheduling. Personally, I think the net result is that we have more informed choices and opportunity, but we have to build the...

Tom's Intimate Contact »

Based on the true story of Tom Coates Technorati Tags: Tom Coates...

Tom's Social Software Idea »

The saga of Tom Coates will continue... Technorati Tags: Tom Coates...

SCS 2007 »

Tom Coates Fiona and danah I'm at one of my favorite meetings of the year - the Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium. It's being streamed here: http://131.107.151.221/SCS - open in VLC as MMS We also have an IRC back-channel on irc.freenode.net/#scs2007 Also hanging out on #joiito as usual... Uploading photos in a Flickr set....

Continuous Partial Attention »

I've blogged about Continuous Partial Attention. There is a difference between having CPA and multi-tasking. Linda Stone is the person who first turned me on to this concept and now she has a wiki about Continuous Partial Attention. Yay! Technorati Tags: continuous partial attention...

Buying an island on Second Life »

I am considering buying an island on Second Life so I can donate land to various non-profit projects that I'm involved in. I've set up a wiki page for this. I will also probably set up a set for shooting video for video blogging and my TV show. If you're interested in participating in this project or have thoughts, please contribute to the wiki....

Peer to Peer Politics »

By Thomas Crampton I recently heard about lobbyists in Europe fighting for the rights of peer-to-peer software users by employing a peer-to-peer platform to analyze the law extremely quickly. Any other recent examples/new uses of peer-to-peer software in politics?...

Next Gen Publishing »

By Thomas Crampton As a journalist, I admit to having more than a passing interest in the future of media/publishing. For "next generation" publishing, I currently see two main technical developments... -wireless connections for ubiquitous Internet, and -smaller and easier-to-read screens, ...that are bringing two main social changes... -increased trust/reliance on peer-to-peer communication, and -a more conversational style of journalism that contrasts with the previous model (that more resembled lecturing). You can see the changes already having a concrete effect, with U.S. news magazines responding to the Internet -- in part by cutting back their foreign staff and editions. What...

Emergence of Digital Socialization »

By Thomas Crampton Currently in rural southern Ireland and unable to connect to my Gmail account. Problem could be Gmail server overload with so many people on holiday or it could be the slow dial-up connection. It has been interesting, however, to see how I quickly turned to my blog as a form of communication to reach the outside world. As someone who is a relatively recent convert to blogging, it reminds me of the adage that once you go digital, you never return to analog. Having been a sceptic about blogs, I am now a convert. This is a...

Will Digital Communication Undermine NGOs? »

By Thomas Crampton Just read the newly crafted elevator pitch for Benetech in a letter from Jim Fruchterman, the CEO, Chairman and Founder. His pitch: Benetech creates technology that serves humanity by blending social conscience with Silicon Valley expertise. We build innovative solutions that have lasting impact on critical needs around the world. Webcams and other digital communication could give ordinary people feedback on results acheived due to donation of their money and time. This would give the power of oversight formerly reserved for wealthy philanthropists. Does this hint toward disruptive digital technology underming the NGO world with individualized philanthropy...

Could 1.2 million Swedish teenagers be wrong? »

By Thomas Crampton Highlights from my story on Lunarstorm, the giant Swedish online community. Claiming a youth audience three times larger than MTV in Sweden, two times larger than the entire readership of all of the Swedish evening newspapers combined and more members logging on daily than the total number of young Swedes watching almost every television show, Lunarstorm has become an accidental media titan here. Lunarstorm's impact on Swedish youth is widely recognized. Church leaders used the community to console young people in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami that killed more than 500 Swedes. Meanwhile, concerns over the...

IHT Journalist Trespassing in Blogosphere »

By Thomas Crampton Dear All, As happened in previous posting, I am happy to revisit the issue of my guest blogging on Joi's site. Why blog with Joi? As Joi mentioned, I am trying to fast-forward into new media. Whether covering war, disease outbreaks or eathquakes, I always head for the frontlines. The frontlines in blogging include the readers of Joi's blog. Great ideas have emerged in discussions here on how to combine blogging with more traditional media. If you want to shape traditional media's interaction with bloggers, please join the discussion. If not, excuse us and rest assured that...

Success on IHT Column pitch! (and next issues) »

By Thomas Crampton Pitch to the editors of the International Herald Tribune about launching the paper's first blog-based column went well!! (Incorporating many of the ideas from this blog.) Sounds like I might be the first-ever official blogger of the IHT. Still wrestling with a variety of details - technical and editorial - for version 1.0. It will be rudimentary to begin with (and quite labor intensive for me). Thanks for further ideas and I will be counting on readers here participating through this blog (or directly on the IHT site.) How would you prefer to give submissions: a- I...

Collaborative Newspaper Column, Part 2 (The Pitch) »

By Thomas Crampton On Monday the Tech editor and I will pitch the blog column idea to the top editor of the International Herald Tribune. Great suggestions when we discussed it here earlier. Current thinking: The Column: Of about 700 words will appear occasionally (until we can be sure quality is high enough) in the tech pages of the newspaper. The Title: Lessons Learned; Digital Conversation; Any other ideas? (Actually, any other ideas might be a good name!) The Form: Could be broken into three sections of roughly 200 words or one long column if interesting enough. The Content: Would...

Collaborative Newspaper Column - Wiki-style? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Tech editor of the International Herald Tribune seems open to publishing a column of blog-generated ideas. I need topics of interest our newspaper's readers (wealthy global audience of frequent travelers with diverse interests in politics, economic and culture). Conversations on this blog that might work have included my postings on Global Sociology of Online Shopping or Joi's post on ideas for new inflight software. Input welcome on: Layout - should it be in blog-style or reworked into a newspaper format. I tend to prefer reworking it, but my editor liked the idea of experimenting with a...

Ballmer in Munich: Google, Linux & the future of corporations »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Just returned to Paris from Munich where I went to write a story on the progress of Open Source implementation by the city government: Microsoft Chief Dines in a Linux City The project has been troubled but is still on track. Attended a small dinner hosted by Dr. Hubert Burda of Hubert Burda Media that was attended by the CEOs of BMW, Adidas and other major German companies. Steve Ballmer, the guest of honor, spoke briefly about Open Source and Google. Ballmer clearly views Google as enemy number 1. He said something like Google had better...

Blogging vs Journalism »

Posting by Thomas Crampton Time for some reflection after more than a month of blogging here courtesy of Joi. For my part, I have found Blogs are different from journalism because: Involvement: In blogging you engage and try to spark conversations, not lecture. You succeed by getting feedback, not by writing something conclusive. A successful posting is a work in progress. Timing: Not so important as I thought it would be. When I blog about a news article that I wrote three days earlier, the conversation takes off as if it were new. In that way, Blogs are more like...

Is it a Smallworld? »

Posted by Thomas Crampton Wrote an article on the Smallworld website. Idea behind the site is that there is a group of interconnected people around the world who have similar interests, concerns and problems. These people are wealthy, well-traveled and well-educated. They smallworld is the invitation-only community for these people. Could gated communities grow more common on the Internet? Counterintuitive for an open medium, but it does allow creation of self-selected target groups for advertisers, kind of like luxury magazines. Could almost be seen as the next generation of online publication. UPDATE: Xeni's Wired article on ASW....

del.icio.us takes outside funding »

[delicious-discuss]more on the announcement As you may know, I left my job a few weeks ago in order to devote myself full-time to del.icio.us. In order to make that posssible, I accepted an investment from a group of thoughtful and influential investors. The group I chose to work with understands my commitment to maintaining the integrity of the service and the security of your data. They were also willing to take a minority stake, which will keep me in control of the future of del.icio.us. Union Square Ventures leads the investment group, and the other members are Amazon.com, Marc Andreessen,...

Launch of Sixfoo! 660° »

Launch of Sixfoo! 660° Something from yesterday. via Quiplash on Flickr...

Creative Capital Conference »

I'm now at the Creative Capital Conference. Free WiFi. Yay! The DNS from the DHCP didn't work though so you have to find one and enter it directly... anyway. It looks like a very interesting conference. Some of my favorite speakers are here including Charles Leadbeater and Pekka Himanen (who I was just with in Madrid). The other speakers sound interesting too and I look forward to their presentations. I will be giving a keynote on the 18th at 11:00, doing at Q&A at 11:30 and will be on the "Publicly Financed Content" panel at 13:00. Today, the 17th,...

Bluetooth Valentine's Day »

A special form of "toothing" for Valentine's day. Encode your bluetooth device with your preferences, choose some images and participate in Bluetooth Valentine's Day. See the site for more details. via Sander...

Audio of OSN 2005 Keynote »

Howard Rheingold, Lisa Kimball and I had a telephone conversation to kickoff our keynote for OSN 2005. (17 min mp3 11.2 MB). It will soon be available in other formats on archive.org....

Online Social Networks 2005 »

Tomorrow is the official start of the Online Social Networks 2005 conference. It will be a gathering of some interesting people in the field in an online forum and they will be charging $35 if you sign up today and $50 after that. The conference goes from February 9 through the 23rd. For more information, see their website. I will be one of the keynotes and will also be on a panel on Extreme Democracy. I'm not sure how much of the conference will be made "public" but I'm sure that's one of the first things we'll discuss....

Apologies for spamming friends with SMS.ac »

I was going to do more research before I posted this, but since it appears that I've created a minor epidemic in my local community, I'm posting this a bit uninformed. I received an email inviting me to SMS.ac, which I would normally ignore, but it was from someone who's judgment I trust. I clicked through the signup process without finally completing it, but unwittingly gave the service access to my MSN IM information. This spammed my whole buddy list with invitations. It was unintuitive to unregister even though I hadn't completed the registration process. Also, I heard from someone...

Omidyar Network cooperation experiments, reputation system »

Smart MobsOmidyar Network cooperation experiments, reputation system The Omidyar Network reputation system is a new experiment in designing the social architecture of an online social network. We'll check back in a year and see how the architecture has influenced the Omidyar Network online community. Something tells me that the $25,000 offered by the network to its members, to do whatever they agree to do, will energize the experiment.When you join omidyar.net, you start with a feedback bank of 10 points. Your feedback bank can be given away, one point at a time, as either positive feedback or negative feedback to...

LinkedIn suddenly popular at PeopleSoft »

Chiara Fox . comLinkedIn Craziness Everyone at PeopleSoft is going a bit nuts with getting their networks up-to-date and whatnot. Not surprising since it's a little more than a month until the axe drops upon most folks here. Invitations to LinkedIn are flying around like nobody's business.If you search for PeopleSoft employees who have joined in the last 30 days, you get over 3,700 results. There are 5,500 or so employees listed in total which is around half of their employees. It probably has something to do with the fact that 6,000 PeopleSoft employees are supposed to get the axe...

New Lab for Social Computing at RIT »

Liz has announced her new Lab for Social Computing at RIT over on Many-2-Many. I'm excited to be on the advisory board and look forward to seeing some great work from lab....

The edge of Orkut »

I just got the following message on Orkut.Limit reached for number of friends You have 1024 friends. You can only have up to 1000 friends. Before you can add more friends, you need to remove friends.Partially because I was getting sick of social networks systems, partially because they were trying to be "exclusive" with invite only and partially because it was easy, I took the policy of saying yes to every friend request that didn't look like a fakester. Now I've found the edge of Orkut. According to Orkut, you can only have 1000 friends. I guess that's OK compared...

Global Voices »

I participated in the Global Voices session at the Berkman Center and promised earlier to post my thoughts. The bad news is that we didn't get far enough to come up with a conclusive plan, but the good news is that I think we have enough momentum to move forward. The discuss was quite sober and practical and was not nearly as techno-utopian as we are often criticized of being and often tend to get. I think the key difference between this meeting and others that I have attended was the large number of mediums (Wikipedia, OhmyNews, traditional journalism, human...

The three big Jewish brands »

I was just on a panel with Yossi Vardi, the founding investor in ICQ.Yossi VardiThere are three big brands that we have created which are well known enough to have approximately 20 million or so links on Google. They are The Bible, Jesus Christ and ICQ. The first one took 3500 years, the second one 2000 years and ICQ only 8 years as of next week. As you can see, they all spread virally....

Friendster pachinko »

You're actually just a ball in a pachinko game in the grand scheme of things. Friendster Pachinko. Via Xeni and Waxy...

IM switchboard operator »

This morning I feel like an IM switchboard operator. "Hey, ABC is hitting us 30 times a sec and our system is getting DoS'ed" "OK, let me IM the VP Engineering at ABC" "Here's his nick, he's waiting for your IM" -- "Hey, I can't seem to reach XYZ." "Hmmm... OK I found him. He says he'll IM you in 10 min so please hang on." Don't get me wrong. I love being useful and the IM introductions and switch-boarding is a very high return on time for making connections. Much more efficient and useful than email stuff. It just...

How not to make YAPSN »

Suw blogs about Yet Another Pointless Social Network (YAPSN) issues. Interesting post and something that I've been observing myself. How can you get people to keep coming back to a Social Network Service like Orkut or Friendster once the initial fun of creating the network is gone? I think that a lot of the YAPSNs focus too much on the size of your network. When Orkut was publishing the "most networked" top 10, everyone was running to have the biggest network. It was a game. I now have 1001 "friends". Whoopie! This is incredibly useless data for me. Sending a...

last.fm and social networking »

I found editorgrrl in my last.fm neighborhood. She and I have extremely similar taste, but she seems to have a bunch of stuff that I don't have in my profile so I listen to her personal radio a lot. I notice my profile becoming more and more similar to hers as her playlist starts to influence my playlist. I just noticed that this feels a bit like online music profile stalking... I also realized that if you had a crush on someone, you could listen to their music all day long. You would show up in their neighborhood. You would...

I'm investing in flickr too »

Esther scooped me and announced that she is investing in flickr. So am I. I haven't been blogging about flickr too much, even though I'm addicted because I wanted to wait to announce this first. I'm just a passive investor, but wanted to disclose this relationship. You can see my photos on my flickr photo page. You can even subscribe to it in RSS 2.0 or Atom. Remember to check out the Tags page. There is also my personal tags page. Things have been getting very taggy around here ever since I started using del.icio.us. Thanks for the opportunity to...

Plazes and wallop »

Yes. Yet another social networking site... I decided to play with this one for awhile before blogging it to make sure it was significantly different. I think it is. Plazes takes your IP address and tries to figure out where you are asks for the address of where you are and maps it to the MAC address of the router you are connected to. If you are in a new "plaze" you can register it by entering the address, uploading pictures, making comments. You can see who is online and where they are. You can see people by how far...

Friendster cans coder for blogging »

Cory @ Boing BoingFriendster cans coder for blogging Joyce Park is a coder who worked at Friendster, leading the charge to re-engineer the poky, Java-based back-end with fast PHP. She blogged about it, got slashdotted, got written up in the press -- and got fired. Even though there was nothing confidential in her blog posts, the new CEO shitcanned her. [I]t's especially ironic because Friendster, of course, is a company that is all about getting people to reveal information about themselves... Link, Link to Jeremy Zawodny's instructions for resigning from Friendster (Thanks, Jeffreyp!)I can't find any more information on this...

Conference call surfing »

I have my PowerBook on my insTand next to my bed with a clock screen saver alarm clock. Usually, I wake up before my alarm goes off and wake up the computer instead. As soon as my status on my IM clients goes from idle to available, I get a little flurry of requests for contact. "Did you see my email?" "When can we talk?" "Don't forget our conference call coming up." "We're on a conference call right now you might want to join." I queue up these real-time requests like some sort of air traffic controller, put on my...

Pierre invests in Socialtext »

Pierre Omidyar the founder of eBay has a new project called the Omidyar Network. They just invested in SocialText, a wiki company that I've invested in and am on the board of. Pierre blogs about the Omidyar network and the investment in Socialtext. If you have heard of the Omidyar Network:Omidyar NetworkWe believe every individual has the power to make a difference. We exist for one single purpose: So that more and more people discover their own power to make good things happen. We are actively building a network of participants because we know we can't do this alone.Other investors...

chatango »

Chatango is a lightweight flash based chat program that lets you put a chat window on your web page. If I'm online, you can chat with me. Otherwise you can leave me a message. I'm going to try it out in this post. If it proves to be useful, I'll give it a more thorough testing in my sidebar. This button should let you know if I'm online or not....

Too many buddies »

I use MSN Instant Messenger, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ and Jabber and generally tried to keep groups of friends distributed across the different networks so that I wouldn't run into the buddy list limit. Today I hit my AIM buddy list limit. I think the limit is 150. For some reason, people aren't supposed to have more than 150 friends. Now, every time I want to add a friend on AIM, I have to delete someone else. I guess this might be good discipline, but I think this is a stupid feature/bug....

Technological diffusion patterns »

I get this feeling that the diffusion of new services and technologies such as blogs and social network services are not normal. Normal diffusion patterns are sort of bell curves that track mass media attention and other factors including effort on the supply side. With social network systems, there seem to be regional explosions of users. Orkut now has more Brazilians than Americans and I have yet to hear a good explanation of why. There are very uneven proportion of bloggers in different regions. The last I looked, Poland and Iran seem to have an unnaturally high number of blogs....

Xeni's SNS article on MSNBC »

Xeni interviewed a bunch of us for an article on social networking services and it's now online on MSNBC. The focus is whether these services are useful for business networking....

Real time collaborative note taking »

Stephanie writes about her collaborative note taking effort using SubEthaEdit and a wiki. We always talk about doing this, but I think this is the first successful case I've seen. Very cool....

flickr integrates Creative Commons »

flickr, a photo management/social network/community/chat service just integrated Creative Commons so you can choose a license for a photo when you upload this. This is awesome. flickr integrates photos into your chat so that you can plop photos into a chat room from your shoe-box and copy photos into your shoe-box from a conversation. People can comment on the photos, etc. It's probably the best integration of photos in conversation that I've ever seen and now with Creative Commons, it should make feel safer and more fluid. Nice job Stewart!...

ISC Pre-conference session with Martin »

I'm here in Switzerland at the University of St. Gallen ISC-Symposium again. I spoke at a leadership session last year about Emergent Democracy, but felt I didn't get the most out of the conference because I didn't get a chance to get to know the students who were attending, which is why I came. The 200 or so students attending this conference are chosen from hundreds of paper submissions from all over the world and they are an diverse and interesting group. In the addition to the students, there are a lot of government and business big-shots, but I get...

Dodgeballed awake »

I woke up at 7:30AM when my phone beeped with an incoming SMS. It was a message telling me that Min had just checked in. I forgot to turn off dodgeball and the SMS was telling me where Min was in SF and that she had checked in. Now I know why they call it "dodgeball". ;-p For those who haven't tried it yet, dodgeball is a cool new service that is a location based SNS that lets you "check in" and it sends a SMS to your friends to tell them where you are. But it's not very useful...

Dogs online »

Emily @ Smart MobsDog Blog Red Ferret's dog blog. (Thanks Anil). Peter Steiner's original "dog on the Internet" cartoon can be viewed in the Cartoonbank of the New Yorker. My puppies are more into moblogging, and of course Bo and Pookie have recently joined Dogster....

New LinkedIn feature to prevent SNAM »

I've been getting a lot of SNAM (Social Network Spam) so I'm happy to hear that LinkedIn has a new flag that you can set that prevents you from receiving invitation from people who are not in your address book. It's a bit snobbly, but it prevents you from having to turn down invitation requests from people you don't know. On LinkedIn, I generally don't accept invitations from people I don't know because the purpose of the network is to refer people to each other and you can't really write a reference for someone you don't know. Although this probably...

Orkut datamining »

Somewhat scary, but pretty interesting Orkut datamining. An Orkut density map and a Orkut Personal Network GeoMapper. Here's a map of my network. It doesn't seem to map my complete network. It's also too bad it's not global yet. Via Sanford...

Sean Parker kicked out of Plaxo »

Although I had some problems with the Plaxo model, I hate hearing stories like this. Sean Parker, the founder and visionary behind Plaxo was kicked out rather rudely by the VCs. I don't know the details, but it sounds bad.San Jose MercuryThe company sent out an anonymous, terse statement that Parker is ``no longer with Plaxo,'' but called him a ``visionary, creative entrepreneur'' and ended with: ``We thank him for his hard work and wish him well.'' In reality, though, a source said Parker has been locked out, and everyone at the company has been instructed not to talk with...

Social Software needs to show the seams »

Although I think the "socially awkward" and the "what's the point" problem of some social networking sites is a problem, I think the "suck up your email addresses from outlook" and the one click "spam all of my friends" features are the most troublesome. Stowe Boyd talks about his accidental "spam my friends with one click" episode with Zero Degrees. Actually, what I find scarier is the way Spoke takes all of your email address from your headers and makes a network out of them. Even if you don't "join" Spoke, if someone who you exchange email with joins, you're...

Cosplay community site "Cure" »

The Japanese "sort of equivalent" of SuicideGirls is Cure, a cosplay sight. The biggest difference is that the sexy pictures are not allowed. It's quite an amazing community. There are 5000 layers (comes from Cosplayers) and 30,000 cameko (comes from camera kozo or "Camera Boys"). The layers can be sorted by ranking or by the characters they play. The cameko are otaku who spend their lives taking pictures of the layers and giving beautiful prints of their photos to the layers and sharing them online. The site lets you send these photos to or view them on your mobile phones....

Opting out of Plaxo »

Apologies to friends who use Plaxo, but I'm opting out of Plaxo since it has become a source of spam for me and I feel like I'm doing all the work. Anyone who wants to find my contact info can just Google me or find it on my wiki page. via Dan Gillmor...

Ze Frank on Friendster »

Ze Frank, who was on my panel yesterday has a hilarious movie. MUST See. Makes fun of Friendster, Orkut and Wallop. And Ze is a VERY funny guy. Check out his web page....

The irony of Orkut and Wallop's platforms »

Isn't it funny/interesting that Wallop, Microsoft's social networking project is built using flash, xml and sql while Orkut, Google's social network project is built using .Net and C#? Microsoft avoids being locked into the Microsoft platform while Orkut is completely locked in. hmmm... What does this mean?...

Full-Time Intimate Community »

I've been talking a lot about the Full-Time Intimate Community lately. I comes from work that Misa Matsuda is doing at her lab and I heard about this from my sister who is doing a lot of work in this area. It's a study about the mobile phone email communications of people in Japan and how people seem to keep in close contact with four or five people using a constant stream of messages. The point is that the content of the messages aren't as important as the fact that the people in this "Full-Time Intimate Community" are aware of...

Toothing »

Why I wish Japanese phones had bluetooth....

Using Orkut to see who's online »

Orkut's "my friends" window seems to put the most recently active users on top. In other words, the people in your friends window are probably recently online. I have begun to use this method to find active people on IM, email or IRC....

Mobile gaming and group forming panels today »

I'm on two panels today. I am moderating this panel:Mobile Gaming and Entertainment Monday, March 15 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm 16A Mobile applications that succeed as commercial products require careful planning and evolution to work with cellular networks and operating systems. What are the steps leading to successful commercialization? Joichi Ito , CEO - Neoteny Art Min - Metrowerks Mario Champion , Chief Creative Officer - team smartypants inc Dave couldn't make it to SXSW so I'm taking Dave's place on this panel: Ridiculously Easy Group Forming Monday, March 15 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm 17B Ridiculously easy group...

Orkutworld »

Orkutworld (1.34MB mp3). Hilarious. (via danah via Cory via FilePile via Kevin via Mighty Mighty Spatchtones)...

I'm in Orkut jail »

I was making fun of Marc Canter because he kept on ending up in Orkut jail, but I got this message today when I tried to invite a friend into Orkut.OrkutTo keep orkut.com a trusted community, we have implemented an automated system that tries to identify members who may be abusing it. While your account is being reviewed, you will still be able to login, but the system will prevent you from performing any actions such as inviting friends or posting messages. If your account has been flagged by mistake, we're very sorry. Certain actions can trigger our alarm by...

Loic in Germany »

Loic's going to Germany and is trying to hook up with bloggers there. brought to you by #joiito meetupster...

Echoing some echo chamber thoughts »

At risk of being labeled an echochamberist, I'm going to agree that danah has a good point in her post about echo chambers. (See David Weinberger's article for more background.) I think it is natural to communicate most with people whom you share context and I believe that if you separate strong ties and weak ties a la Granovetter's Strength of Weak Ties, there is definitely a lot of "strong tie" hang-out-with-your-friends action that goes on on blogs. I think that's natural. Most blogs are conversations between a small group of friends. It's clear that it's fun and easy to...

Charging for vanity »

I was excited when I got my entry in the Internet Movie Database. I was thinking about how vain it was to be excited by this. It felt like being in some sort of elite Orkut. Just like Orkut, there was a "click here to add photo". *click* $35 - Submit a Person's Headshot or a Film's Poster Replace the "no headshot" or "no poster" icon on their main page with a headshot/poster or change the current headshot/poster to a new one. $10 - Submit a Gallery Photo for a Film or Person Add an image to your film's...

Social chaff »

I was talking to Peter yesterday about the risk of accidentally getting on weird lists or being profiled as a threat. Hanging out with, or communicating with the wrong people online or on the phone could land you on a list that might get you hassled at the airport or worse. They apparently used social network theory to find the person who would know where Saddam was. Similarly, I could see people using all sorts of social network theory to figure out who to wiretap or hassle. The thought was that if you hang out with enough people, you might...

Orkut in action »

I finally met someone who went on dates with three people she met on Orkut. So far so good she reports.Orkut is supplying me with a life so, via orkut, I got comped into Etech, I got a meeting with VCs, 3 dates had, three arranged, and lots of people have walked up to me and said, "oh! hi!"...

Tribe to support FOAF and RSS »

I just heard from Paul Martino, the CTO and Founder of Tribe.net, that they were working on FOAF and RSS support for Tribe. Cool. There are going to be a lot of issues such as privacy, but I think that having companies like Tribe seriously working on FOAF will bring these issues front and center and make some of these theoretical discussions very concrete and productive....

Thursday, April 1 - Keynote speech at MILIA in Cannes »

I'll be giving a plenary keynote at MILIA in Cannes, France on Thursday, April 1 at 9:30 AM. The title of the talk will be "Mobile Lifestyles" but, I'll build on the presentation at I gave at the Sony Open Forum and add some stuff about mobility. I'll be in Canne from March 31-April 3. If you're going to MILIA this year, let me know. Wiki page of talking notes. Please make suggestions here....

Our ETech panel »

I will be moderating a panel at ETech at 2:45pm on Feb 10 called "Untethering the Social Network or What Happens to Social Networks in the Untethered Wilds?" The panelists are danah, Scott, Mimi and Howard. It should be one of the less geeky panels at this geek-a-thon. And yes... Mimi is my sister and Scott is my brother-in-law. This is what happens when you talk about work at home too much. This is the first time my sister and I will be on a panel together....

Orkut - Reverend AKMA likes it »

The "hot" Reverend AKMA says about Orkut, "That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it."...

danah's rant on Orkut »

danah has finally posted her long awaited rant on Orkut. Orkut, in case you don't know, is the social networking site developed by a guy at Google. Orkut also means "orgasm" in Finnish. I've been through so many of these now that I'm playing around. When it's running, it's fast so I'm adding everyone I recognize, (I guess danah would call this "misbehaving") and trying to beat Marc Canter in my local game of "king of the mountain." Lucky for me, he's been thrown in jail. Orkut's kind of like... people surfing. As danah says, I do not yet know...

Social Computing Symposium at Microsoft March 29-30 »

I've been invited to be say something at the Social Computing Symposium at Microsoft. I'm looking forward to hanging out with some of my favorite people. (Maybe the first opportunity for me to speak at the same conference as my sister too...) I'm REALLY interested in what Microsoft is thinking about this space, and it appears that they are doing a lot of thinking....

Cards for 500 of my closest friends... »

Hugh aka gapingvoid, one of my favorite online cartoonists, let me pick a cartoon and sent me 500 business cards with my contact info on once side, and this image on the other. After getting a stack of 500 cards that say, "You are the most important person in my Life" I realized the irony and realized that maybe I chose the wrong phrase. ;-p I do think his idea of cartoons on business cards is a cool idea. So what I need is a bunch of different cards ranging from "You are the most important person in my...

Are blogs just? »

Lou Marinoff described one definition of Justice as "doing the right thing at the right time." He continued by explaining that it means you have to define "right thing". There are at least eleven ways of being right. deontology - rules tell us what is right and wrong teleology - The end justifies (or sanctifies) the means virtue ethics - goodness comes from virtues, which are like habits humanistic existentialism - what we choose to do determines what we value nihilistic existentialism - "God is dead." And we killed him. So all moral bets are off analytic ethics - "Goodness"...

You remind me of those people who said they'd never get cell phones »

I remember when everyone shouted into their cell phones and thought that their batteries drained faster when they made long distance phones. I remember when people (who now have cell phones) swore to me that they'd never have a cell phone. I remember when cell phones looked more like military radios. I think it's fine to gripe about technology, but I would warn those people who swear they'll never use a technology. Technology evolves and so do social norms. We've been having a dialog recently about the relationship between social norms and technology. I think this is part of the...

Speech tomorrow at Rakuten »

I'm giving a speech about the future of the Internet tomorrow afternoon from 2:30pm-3:30pm JST. The speech will be at the Rakuten New Year party. (Rakuten acquired Infoseek Japan and I am now on the Portal Group advisory committee.) I'll try to stream it, but it will be in Japanese. My slides are in English and I've put my outline on my wiki. Please feel free to add comments or links to examples on the wiki. The outline just lists the topics I will cover, but not what I'm going to say. ;-) I'll be giving live demos of #joiito...

We are not technological determinists »

First of all, I'm glad I'm not an academic. I wouldn't have known what a technological determinist was or how insulted one could be being called such unless danah had explained this to me awhile ago. But... now that I am sensitized, I would have to respond to Lago's claim that we are assuming technological determinism by saying that we clearly are not. Many under-estimate the impact that technical decisions have on society. Lessig's book "Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace" drives this point home. On the other hand, many technologists underestimate the impact that social norms have on technology....

Which comes first, technology or social norms? »

A few days ago, I quoted Wendy Seltzer in a entry about building norms together with the technologies.Wendy SeltzerI wondered at first if privacy tensions would ease as more people became more technically sophisticated, but I'm inclined to think that gaps in understanding will just move with the tech, and social norms will follow still further behind.danah responds with an interesting point.danah boydI think it is quite dangerous to believe that social norms are "falling behind." Social norms aren't behind; they're baffled at the direction in which things are going. They're pushing for a different direction and they aren't being...

Building norms together with the technologies »

danah has a good rant in response to Cory's thoughts on technologists that create technologies which cause awkward social situations.danah boydSo, in fleshing out Cory's call to technologists, i'd ask all technologists to consider not only what problems a technology solves, but what new ones could emerge. Start thinking like a writer or an abuser of technology. Imagine how people could misuse a technology to hurt others. Consider who gains and loses power from such technology. It's a fascinating exercise and far more fulfilling than just thinking about who benefits from something. And besides, then you won't always be thinking...

"I'm talking ABOUT you, not TO you"... »

How many people who blog know that many blogs automatically send trackbacks or send pings to pingers sites like weblogs.com? How many bloggers know that these pings trigger services like Technorati to include their posts in an index and that any mention of my blog in their private diary cause a link to their diary to show up in my sidebar within minutes? One of the things that some of us forget is that it's not all about attention. Most people want a little more attention than they get, but they usually want it from the right people and only...

The Dean for Iowa Game »

The Dean for Iowa Game just went online. It's cute and fun and captures the spirit of being a supporter. I'm glad to have played my own little part in making this happen. The game was developed by Ian Bogost and his team at Persuasive Games. Ian contacted me through LinkedIn. LinkedIn routed his request for contact via a mutual friend, Ian McCarthy who vouched for Ian Bogost. I took that request and forwarded it to Britt Blaser who is working with the Dean campaign. Britt is "Mr. Execution" and before I knew it, The Dean for Iowa Game happened....

VoIP enables ambient virtual co-presence »

Barlow and I did an audio IChat AV session yesterday. Barlow has some interesting thoughts about this on his blog. When I was in Helsinki, Matt Jones also talked about how he kept Skype on all the time in the background with his partner who was in another country and felt her presence through the ambient sounds. Another person told me about how he listened to his daughter's piano practice on Skype. My sister calls it "ambient virtual co-presence" in her paper (pdf) about Japanese mobile culture. She talks about this in the context of texting and talking on the...

Blogger's block, collapsing facets and the number 150 »

I've had blogger's block lately. As more people read my blog, I realize that I am writing for larger and larger audience. Just about every time I post something, I get thoughtful comments and email from a variety of perspectives. I realize that post early/post often is probably the best policy for blogging, but the rigor in which entries are discussed and the increasing percentage of people who I meet who have read my blog cause me to try to blog about things which are interesting yet not likely to cause me to spend a lot of time defending myself. The fact is, I'm becoming more and more conservative about what I blog.danah boyd often talks about the collapsing of the facets of our identity. (As I continue to collapse her context by linking to her constantly.) She quotes an article about "Mom Finds Out About Blog". This relates to Erving Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" where he talks about how we perform differently to different audiences presenting different facets of our identity. The problem with many blogs is that the audience includes so many different communities of people that it collapses the facets of one's identity and requires you to choose a rather shallow facet which becomes your public identity. For instance, I know that people in the US State Department, friends from my Chicago DJ days, my employees, my family, thoughtful conservatives from Texas, cypherpunk friends, foreign intelligence officers, Japanese business associates and close friends all read my blog occasionally. In real life, I present a very different facet of my identity to these different communities, but on my blog I have to imagine how all of them will react as a craft these entries. None of them get the depth that I am able to present when I am performing for them directly. So, although I am exposing many personal thoughts such as my decision to quit drinking, the depth of my identity is becoming shallow because the context is collapsed. Most of the truly thoughtful comments I have received about my drinking have been in email and IM and I am sure my blog will not help me discover my inner goofball.Halley writes about intimacy. What does it mean? I think intimacy relates to the Robin Dunbar's magic number 150. At this moment there are 87 people hanging out on #joiito and 216 people in my instant messenger buddy list (some are the same people). On the other hand, I have 490 connections in LinkedIn, have 510 phone numbers in my cell phone and get about 1000 new years cards. On my blog, I get about 13,000 unique sessions (30,000 page views) per day. Today, I attended a fund-raising meeting for a non-profit, and a political campaigner said that generally, one was expected to have to shake 50,000 hands to get elected.Ross Mayfield broke the networks down into political, social and creative at 1000's, 150 and 12, but my feeling is that the political layer is 10's of thousands and next layer is business at 500 and social at 150 and creative at 12. This is not scientific, but just my personal observation. If this is true, this blog is approaching the political layer which explains why I feel that I get more business done on LinkedIn, but I feel much more candid and happy on IRC and Chat and why I still really love dinner conversations most of all. I think that if you can manage the audience size and composition on your blog, you can tune it to any of these layers. Mena often talks about how blogs are more about normal people blogging with their friends than about pundits competing against the media. I would agree and think this may be more rewarding at an emotional level than taking your blog to the political level. What you have to be careful of is that you never know when you might suddenly become popular or when your mom might drop into your blog and your context will collapse around you. Managing your audience and the facets of your identity is a very difficult thing and navigating this has and always will be one of our biggest challenges both in the real world and online.Blogging about not being able to blog...

New Digital Communities category for Ars Electronica »

Ars Electronica, which is always on the cutting edge of expression using new technologies and has created a new category called "Digital Communities". I will be on the jury with Howard Rheingold, Jane Metcalfe and several other people I'm looking forward to meeting.Among the projects, phenomena and fields of activity subsumed under the heading Digital Communities are:social softwareeDemocracy, eGovernment, eGovernanceemergent democracycollective weblogs, social networking systemsfiltering and reputation systemssocial self-support groupslearning and knowledge communitiescomputer supported collaborative processesgaming communitiesdigital neighborhoods, community networksfree net initiatives, wireless LAN projectsdigital cities, urban development projectscitizen involvement initiatives, citizen conferencestelecentersPrizesTotal: 40,000 Euro2 Golden Nicas10,000 Euro each4 Awards of Distinction5,000 Euro eachUp to 14 Honorary MentionsPlease see the web page for more details, but I look forward to seeing your submissions.

danah in the NYT »

I've recently been communicating with danah quite a bit about her identity related work. She's got a very unique research style which I identify with. I like to immerse myself in what I'm trying to learn and use myself as the test subject. It must be harder to do this as an academic, but danah seems to be able to do it. She immerses herself, but leave enough room to be objective. Good article about her and her work in the New York Times.

Identity and cultural context »

I had an iChat with my sister Mimi last night. (Luna and Eamon are my niece and and nephew 3 and 5)iChat with MimiMimi: It's so funny... watching Luna and Eamon. they are sure that they are going to get married. They were both so crushed when we broke it to them that it is not the way it works, though now Luna's latest is that she is going to marry her best friend haleyJoi: heheMimi: kids are so great because they don't buy the societal expectations yet;-) I thought this was great. I've been thinking a lot about identity after danah boyd helped connect my notions of identity on the level of privacy and security and identity on the level of my personal identity as a Japanese/American chanponite. I promise to post my notes from this weekend which will put a sharper point on this from a Japanese identity perspective, but what is amazing as you start to deconstruct the notions of identity is how contextual, cultural and artificial it is. I think that approaching the issue of identity from a technical perspective or a "productivity tool" perspective is the wrong approach and that we have to listen to the sociologist and anthropologists in this space A LOT MORE before we get too far down the road.Lucky for me I've got a sister in this space too. ;-)

Where am I? »

I was just looking at my United Airlines mileage online and realized that I'll hit the 100,000 mile mark with United on this next trip I'm making. Looking at my travel patterns, it seems to be tracking my network that has expanded over the last few years through people I've met online. My body is like a packet that's chasing around the bits.I've also started getting invitations just about every day to parties all over the world. "Just in case you're in the neighborhood." This is really weird. The funny thing is, sometimes I am in the neighborhood. I wake up each morning often not sure what city I'm in or in a mild panic because the city I was in in my dream is not the city I'm in right now.I know many people who travel more than I do, but I'd been pretty grounded for the last few years so this year has been a fresh experience for me. Connectivity like my Danger Sidekick, wifi in airports, IRC, my blog, wiki and all of the other social software stuff has made travel a much more enjoyable experience. I feel like I have friends in every region, I'm rarely lonely, and with IM and IRC, there are always a bunch of friends to hang out with while I wait in airports or take cabs around town. The fingerprinting and possible harassment at the US border is the sand in the vaseline. (And I don't remember where I got that metaphor, but I like it. Someone used it in reference to copy protection I think.)

Maher Arar, a Canadian, arrested and deported by the US government to be tortured in Syria »

Maher Arar, a dual Canadian-Syrian citizen was arrested at a stopover in JFK in New York and deported to Syria by the US government. It seems to be unclear how they decided he was a "suspected terrorist" but it took close to a year in a prison in Syria and a lot of torture for them to decide that he was OK to be sent back to Canada. Obviously, it's probably easier for a Syrian national to get on a "list" than a Japanese, but this really scary. They say he had had a relationship with another suspected terrorist who is also being imprisoned and tortured now in Syria. He says he barely knew the guy.So what does this mean for us? If we meet someone, we should not "become friendly" with them until we are certain that they are not a suspected terrorist. What does this mean? We need to make sure they don't hang out with other suspected terrorists. So if you believe in six degrees, it's likely at some point you will be a suspected terrorist.How do they know if you hang out with someone? Friendster? LinkedIn? Your email? We need to be VERY careful about the privacy of not just the content of our communication, but the privacy of who we are in touch with, often called sigint, or signal intelligence.Seriously though, this will cause a chilling effect on meeting, calling, emailing or otherwise "being in touch with" anyone who you don't know very well that could land you on the "suspected terrorist" list.For articles about the Maher Arar case, just do a google news search. The article where he finally talks to the media directly is here.

Fast Company article by Seth Godin on "the posse" »

Seth Godin did an article for Fast Company about how I use my blog and IRC and am adapting my work-style to the social software. His perspective is interesting. I hadn't thought of it as a "virtual organization". I'm also glad he got this part right:Seth GodinIt's important, though, to not think of this as Joi's powerful new network or Joi's group. "Joi Ito is no longer a name, it's a place," he says. He coordinates a collective, one in which he's a member, not the chief.Thanks Seth!

Following crowds »

Spent part of the day at Disney Sea with Mizuka for her birthday. There were lots of lines and lots of crowds. When we encountered crowds I realized that my behavior was a bit different than most of the people, but obviously not unique. I would avoid crowds and try to go in the opposite direction of crowds. If I noticed I was near the front of a crowd or ahead of a crowd, I would accelerate and try to stay ahead. Otherwise I would change course or go the other direction. If there were lines, I would choose the shortest one.I saw some people doing exactly the opposite. Even though there were ticket windows open, they would go to where people were lined up. If there was a crowd, it often attracted more people. Even if people were ahead of the pack, they walked slowly and were engulfed by the crowd.I think investing and business development is a bit like a theme park where new rides are opening and various things changing, with the crowds rushing from one area to another. I think you should focus on trying to find cool things to do in less crowded spaces. Don't be worried because there's no one there yet. You should try to stay ahead of the crowd if the crowd is headed in the same direction. If you see the crowd coming your way, get your business done quickly.The social software space is starting to feel a bit crowded. ;-) I think we're still near the head of the crowd, but pretty soon it's going to feel like a crowded Disneyland ride I think... This doesn't mean I'm going to start running in the opposite direction, but there are lots of things we need to do before the follow-the-pack'ers all arrive.

Socialtext Workplace v 1.0 »

Socialtext announced the released version 1.0 of their workspace package. It's groupware thingie for enterprise. I'm using it for a lot of my workgroups. It's basically a wiki with a blog-like feature that sort of looks nice and has login, which makes it not really a wiki, but not a blog... I guess it's a workplace. Anyway, as you know, I love this kind of alchemy.They also announced Kwikspace based on Kwiki as an open source project.Disclosure: I'm an investor in Socialtext

Meet on IRC at 1:30pm Eastern Time for session on community »

I will be facilitating a session today on community at Bloggercon at 1:30pm. I'll be on IRC so drop by if you're free. Some talking notes here.UPDATE: Thanks for everyone that dropped in. It was a lot of fun. Special thanks to Kevin Marks for the tech and other support. Picture on Bloggercon page.

The meta discussion about metadata »

Tim Oren rants about how metadata is NOT the next big thing. He quotes Cory's 2001 often cited Metacrap rant. Both good rants. But I disagree. I think that blogging tools allows the producer of the content to enter metadata about the micro-content much more easily than ever before. If you're writing about a book, you'll enter the ISBN number because you want to get the cover art and the affiliate link to Amazon. You'll insert the GIS info into a picture you take on your camera phone because it's just one button away. You'll create your FOAF file so you can search for friends of friends near you. I agree that the discussion about the name spaces and the semantics is messy, but I think it's silly to write off metadata as a pipe dream. Have been to All Consuming lately? How do you think that works? MusicBrainz and Creative Commons are also non-metacrap metadata projects.

Fortune's David Kirkpatrick on social-networking sites »

Fortune's David Kirkpatrick just posted his story on social-networking sites. My obsession with LinkedIn is cited in the story.

Oh! THAT Josh! »

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...

IBM's History Flow »

IBM has a very cool project called "History Flow" that visualizes the evolution of documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors. There are many interesting views. They are using wikis for this.Thanks for the link Clay!

#joiito RSS Roll with state info »

Brendyn has created a page that lists the online/offline status from jibot as titles and links to all of the recent blog entries of the regulars on #joiito from their RSS feeds. Very cool!Technical synopsis from Brendyn

Jobs and the strength of weak ties »

M. S. Granovetter .The strength of weak ties : A network theory revisited. In Sociological Theory (1), 1983. is an important paper for understanding social software. Unfortunately, it's an academic paper and therefore NOT ONLINE. (I'll rant about that later). In the paper, Granovetter describes strong ties and weak ties. Strong ties are your family, friends and other people you have strong bonds to. Weak ties are relationships that transcend local relationship boundaries both socially and geographically. He writes about the importance of weak ties in the flow of information and does a study of job hunting and shows that jobs are more often found through weak ties than through strong ties. This obviously overlaps with the whole 6 degrees thing. I do believe there are some "nodes" but think that it is much more complex than a simple power law with a few number of local maximums.After reading Shannon "Pet Rock Star" Campbell's piece on her quest for a job at a temp agency and the "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" page, I decided to look at all of "this stuff" from the perspective of jobs.I was recently at an advisory board meeting for a trade school. We had just done a survey of employers asking for what they their primary criteria for choosing new employees was and it was overwhelmingly about execution and character and very little about skills. Skills, they said, could be taught later. I believe that "character" in the context of a job is your self-esteem and your passion for what you are doing.What I would like to assert is that social software can help people with their self-esteem and can also help you find others who can find your assets and interests more valuable and place people in jobs where one can have "character". I wrote about this self-esteem thing earlier and in a trackback on that item, you can find a link to "Exhibit A". Boris writes first hand about the development of his self-esteem through blogs and IRC.Shannon is a really interesting "case" for me. She is witty, has great character, is a brilliant musician, is a poster-child for the Creative Commons (I first heard of her when Larry Lessig was raving on about her over lunch), and she's worried about her interview at a temp agency in South Carolina. Something's wrong here. I know several other people on my IRC channel who are looking for jobs where they are surrounded geographically by people who don't understand or are unable to "leverage" the assets of that individual.What I can see emerging is a way to amplify the strength of weak ties. (I knew this before, but it's becoming more crisp to me now.) IRC allows me to see the style and personality of many of the people online. Blogs help me see what their interests are and focus is. LinkedIn provides a professional context for referrals. I think that supporting the process of developing your assets and character and finding a job that best suits you will be one of the single most important benefits of social software. I know I've been ranting about Emergent Democracy and about level 2 and 3 in Maslow's hierarchy of Needs, but I just realized that social software may be most important in addressing level 1, finding the job that brings home the bacon. I know this is stupid of me and everyone is saying "doh" right now, but this, to me, is a big "ah ha".I recently hired two people who were IRC regulars. I felt very comfortable after "getting to know them" over the last few months on IRC. Of course face to face meetings and interviews were essential, but the time spent with them on IRC really added to my ability to judge their character. I realize now that I am actively recruiting from my network of weak ties on the Net and also using the Net to meet interesting people to connect with others who might be good collaborators for those interesting people. The Net has always been a big part of my arsenal of networking tools, but I think it's reaching a whole new level.

Xeni on NPR talking about Friendster, LinkIn and other social networking tools »

Xeni's on NPR today talking about Friendster, LinkedIn and other social networking tools.Here's the RealMedia stream.

Email experiments confirm six degrees, Milgram didn't »

Khalid on #joiito pointed me to the following article.New ScientistEmail experiment confirms six degrees of separation Despite enabling almost instantaneous global communication, email appears not to have made the world a more close-knit community.It's an interesting article about how an email six degrees experiment shows we are no closer than when Milgram did his famous experiment in 1967. (Milgram did an experiment which resulted in the assertion that we are only six hops away from anyone else in the world.) I referred to Milgram's famous experiment in my Emergent Democracy paper. When the paper was being reviewed by Shumpei Kumon, he referred me to Six Degrees by Duncan J. Watts and pointed out to me that Watts writes about Judith Kleinfeld who found that Milgram's experiment was flawed. I removed the reference in my paper. Milgram's six degrees experiment is so widely referenced that it has become almost an urban legend, but it DID NOT show that the world was connected by six degrees, it just got us thinking about it. I think the phenomenon is real and the "small-world problem" is a very interesting field, but people should stop quoting the Milgram study as fact. The email experiment referred to in the article is being conducted by Duncan Watts as well and he has a web page with more info.

Blogs and small green pieces of paper »

I've been thinking a lot about my addiction to social software, business models and what this is all about. Frank has a great quote from Douglas Adams about small, green pieces of paper which is a really good place to start.

Hecklebot arrives and appears in New York Times »

On July 4, I mentioned here that I thought it would be cool if we made a hecklebot and I started a wiki page about it. Many people from #joiito contributed. Then on July 12, David Beckemeyer aka twostop actually built one. I received it yesterday and got it running. The same day, the hecklebot project was mentioned in the New York Times.New York TimesIn the Lecture Hall, a Geek Chorus By LISA GUERNSEYJuly 24, 2003[...]Meanwhile, Mr. Ito is already creating a new riff on the concept. He said he was working with a group on designing a "hecklebot," a light-emitting diode screen that displays heckling messages that are typed during online chats at conferences. "I want to make something that I can put in a suitcase and take to conferences," he said. He describes it as a subversive device that will get people thinking about the significance of the back channel. From the chat room, he said, "you could send something like, 'Stop pontificating.' What's so great about all this is that it's like the good old days of TCP/IP and HTML when most projects are small enough that one person can hack together really useful tools and everything moves quickly without proposals, flowcharts and approvals. The idea to working demo time cycle is SO short right now. With weblogs, wikis and IRC, feedback, support and testing is extremely efficient.Ross blogged about the article first and Liz has some thoughtful comments about the article and the idea of the back channel.Dan also blogs about the article.

Thoughts on micro-content, metadata and trends »

My investors, my readers and a variety of other people keep trying to get me to explain what I'm interested and why I'm interested in it. Here's a first shot at this. Thanks to Steph, Kevin Marks and others on #joiito for a first pass edit. I've put it on the wiki as well so we can continue to work on this.

Ray Ozzie wants RSS email and character-by-character collaboration with real-time link creation. Me too! »

Ray OzzieI'm curious; perhaps someone out there knows... Has anyone yet attempted to create "RSS email", where the "feeds" served to a feedreader might be automatically synthesized from the emails themselves as things such as Person (from or to), Thread, Folder, etc?  (One could probably easily implement this as a straight layer on top of IMAP.)  Rather than just inserting RSS into an email client paradigm as in Newsgator, it might be amusing to invert the solution and explore the usability issues of rethinking email as being just another form of feed served up to a reader, with plug-ins for creating & replying, etc.  Hmm. Has anyone yet attempted to create what I guess I'd refer to as a "Hyki" - that is, a character-by-character real-time collaborative (Hydra-like, Groove Text Tool-like) editor with automatic creation of real-time linked sub-documents when CamelCase words are typed, etc.  ??I'm curious too. That would be great.Ray, if you find something or someone else knows. Let me know too!

netomat beta »

I met Kris and Maciej of netomat at Supernova and just got around to downloading and playing with the beta. It looks interesting. It's like an email/wiki/link sharing tool. It's written in Java and runs on Mac and Windows. It's pretty easy to use and is more "rich" than a wiki because it has things like drawing tools that let you annotate pages in a way similar to a white board. You create pages with your netomat client. You can publish it with editing enabled so anyone can modify it. It keeps a history of changes. You can email pages to people. You can include lots of things in pages including audio, images, links, etc.If anyone else is running the beta, send me netomat mail so that we can mess around. I am jito on netomat. My first netomat page is here.

Hecklejacking and heckleback »

Today they were webcasting the AO2003 conference. They had a chat that they put on the screen every once and awhile. Many of the regulars from the #joiito IRC channel dropped in to the chat to do our usual heckling. During the journalists panel that Tony was moderating, the hecklers got quite active. It was "the usual". Some people were a bit rough on Tony, but he was a good sport about it. He did say, "we should charge you guys" to the hecklers, but I was thinking that they should pay US. During a discussion about telecommuniting and the Internet enabling distributed workflow, I mentioned on the chat that I was in my underwear in Tokyo. Then someone, I think Ross, put JoiTV on the big screen. Then Tony started teasing me. Heckleback! So I thought I was hecklejacking the conferencing and then I got hecklebacked. We need start a lobby for hecklers rights. ;-PAnyway, it was good fun. Thanks Tony.

Supernova and face to face IRC »

I just got back from Supernova in Washington DC. It was great. It was great hanging out with old friends, making new ones and meeting online friends for the first time. It really reminds me of the "good old days" of The Source. At the party, people had to tell each other their IRC nicknames to recognize each other."?""rojisan""oh! I'm mamamusings""oh! hi!"Or in the case of bloggers:"Halley. As in Halley's Comment""oh!"Now there are three tiers of relationships. Normal relationships, people you know through their blogs and people who you know from IRC. I felt a little bad about the people who are not "in" this network because I'm sure a lot of our chatter and giggles were meaningless to them, but IRC is pretty open and inclusive so I decided not to worry about it.Many of us were on IRC during the conference. I didn't get the hecklebot done, but there was a great deal of heckling going on on IRC. There is definitely a kind of attention drain in the room when everyone is on IRC. There is even more attention drain when the panelists are on IRC. ;-)I thought about this a bit and my conclusion is that in most cases, it is better to let people be on IRC (or some other chat room) during a conference. Several reasons. If people are bored, they will do something else anyway, like sleep, do email, pick their nose, whatever. At least IRC keeps everyone semi-focused on the time/place of the conference. As Kevin Marks says, the problem with conferences is that only one person (usually) can speak at one time. On IRC everyone can talk at the same time. This is inclusive and useful. People can post useful links, give feedback to the speaker without interrupting them and everyone can contribute. One of the most important reasons for going to a conference is networking and meeting new people. The best way that I've found for meeting new people is saying something smart. It's easy if you're a speaker, but usually you have to ask some intelligent questions so people want to talk to you. IRC is great because it give everyone an opportunity to say something smart during the conference. It also lets people get to know each other during the conference without having to escape into the lobby and miss the conference entirely.Kevin Werbach, the organizer was a good sport about all of this. He hung out on the IRC channel himself and let Liz put the IRC channel on the screen during the wrap up. It will be interesting to see how these social software tools get integrated into conferences by conference organizers themselves. There is something "naughty" about unauthorized back channels that make them fun, but better integration and more reliable connectivity would probably make them more useful. It's also easier to include everyone if it's run by the organizers. I can't remember who said this, but "in the future, the room will be the back channel for the IRC chat."I guess my next goal should be to get a hecklebot into Davos.

Invested in Socialtext »

Ross just announced an angel round raise for Socialtext which I participated in. Ross and his crew are working on wikis in the workplace and other social software solutions and represent the cutting edge on a variety fronts.

Attention Concentration and becoming a place »

Had an interesting chat with Alex Schroeder on the #wiki IRC channel. We were talking about whether my #joiito channel was increasing concentration of attention, etc. Alex has written some interesting stuff on his wiki about Attention Concentration.

Reid responds to comments on LinkedIn Wiki Page »

Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn has just gone through and responded to many of the points raised in the LinkedIn wiki page. If you had posted comments and were waiting for him to respond, please go check out his comments. He has interspersed his comments in dialog in wiki style. Thanks to the people who posted comments and thanks to Reid for all of the thoughtful responses. Now my wiki is much smarter. ;-)

Technobot gets smarter and the plot thickens »

I've just upgraded my Technobot. It is run every 10 minutes on my server and goes to technorati, gets my cosomos, and does the following:Makes my technorati sidebar for my blogIf there are new inbound links, it sends the link info to to the following places:My computer via emailMy cellphone via i-mode email (just normal email)To me via JabberTo the #joiito channel on freenodeThis is yet another step in the rather blasphemous experiment to connect all of the social software I can find together into one big blob. It's rather interesting watching people discover or rediscover new communication modes and the new meta-modes that the connections enable. For instance, I think that wikis and IRC seem to work well together since wikis are an easy way to log some of the interesting things in the rather transient conversations on IRC. Blogs are cool in IRC because it's a nice way to find out more about each other or to link to things one has said without quoting it in IRC.Now I'm beginning to have the too-many-windows-to-focus-on-syndrome. Maybe I need another screen. ;-)Thanks to rvr for helping me with the irc stuff...

LinkedIn Wiki »

I had a long talk yesterday with Reid Hoffman about LinkedIn giving him my feedback and thoughts about features and changes. Reid's very open to ideas and is working on improving LinkedIn. I suggested we take the discussion to a wiki so that we can keep track of things like feature requests and links to posts about LinkedIn. I've set up a wiki page on my wiki. Please take a look and add your feedback, links, or feature requests.

Example of usefulness of LinkedIn »

So here's an example of how Linkedin can be useful. Rebecca, the Tokyo bureau chief of CNN had emailed me asking for information on the moblog conference because she was interested in possibly covering it. I had been meaning to get around to introducing her to Adam. Then I received a Linkedin request from Adam asking to be introduced to Rebecca to see if she wanted to cover the conference. I clicked, typed something like "you guys should talk" and... done. It was a very easy way for me to add value and I ended up helping to friends without taking much of my time.I've been getting a steady flow of requests now and about half of them are just tests, but I really do think that Linkedin will help me manage requests for introduction. I get SO many of them via normal email and many fall through the cracks. Intros are such an easy way to help people and add value, but they are really a pain to keep track of. It's usually just a matter of searching through my email to find the email address of the person that needs to be contacted, but often I'm too busy to do that. Linkedin solves that problem. It also forces the introducee to write something focused, rather than, "I wonder if you might be able to introduce me to..."
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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