Twitter is Cooling Off, but Noise is Heating Up [Best of June '08 #1]

Some of the interesting posts this week (June 2-8 2008):

  • The much hyped messaging/micro-publishing service Twitter is losing in interest among its users, partly due to the frequent and prolonged outages of the service. Dave Winer, for example, writes that Twitter is a ghost town:

    [...] the upward momentum is gone, the new idea every 24 hours that so inspired us is a distant memory. Now we're going the other way. When I log onto Twitter these days, it's empty, quiet, a ghost town.

    Though a recent announcement from Twitter infused Dave with some hope for the service.
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  • Marshall Kirkpatrick has an interesting article about noise in news, and why it might be a good idea not to filter the flow of information coming at you. For example, a study by Sanda Erdelez shows that "the more total information our minds are exposed to, the more particular items we'll be able to recall in the future." Marshall also refers to a post by Hutch Carpenter, who defines people as "signalists" or "discoverers" based on whether they "filter in" or "filter out" information with a certain content. For example, a signalist would read only content about Apple, whereas a discoverer would read all content except about Apple, for example.
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  • Marshall at ReadWriteWeb listened to my request last week for a comment policy, and wrote a post about how to comment without being spammy. In short: Be transparent about who you are, be super humble, and add value to the discussion. Then it's OK to provide a link to your own business.
    Regarding the question of comment ownership, Dave Winer weighs in, and suggests that "I own the collection of comments on my blog, and you own the comments you've placed on my blog and all others," which is in line with my opinion on the subject.
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  • Facebook released part of their platform code as open source this week, and hardly nobody notices. A reason could be the unusual choice of license, CPAL (Common Public Attribution License), which Mike Gunderloy at the OStatic blog gives a good description of. CPAL is based on the more familiar Mozilla Public License, with a couple of modifications. One being an attribution requirement, which acts as a "poison pill" according to Mike.
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  • Mike Gunderloy in another post reports on Wikia Search, which promises to be a truly open search engine, with not only the underlying software being open source, but also the search results themselves being open to editing. A paradise for black hat SEOs and spammers as it sounds, but hopefully that could be fought back with a strong community. After all, Wikipedia manages to be fairly spam free, despite the open editing features.
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  • Alex Iskold writes about Zemanta, a "lazy man's" semantic blogging tool that automatically suggests related content – images, articles, videos and links as you type. Fred Wilson currently tries Zemanta, and I decided to try the provided WordPress plugin too. I had some issues with the service updating too frequently, which hangs the UI temporarily and makes the experience frustrating. It would be really nice to be able to disable the automatic updating.
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