Thursday, January 22, 2009

Twitter: searching for its future?

Twitter is just about to make the biggest shift in its short history by integrating its search functions into the home pages of users.

Until now if users wanted to search the outpouring of updates or "tweets", say for updates about a stock price or football team or a hotel, they had to go to a separate website – – or use one of the many independent search applications that have sprung up on the web.

From the Times.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Here we go: opening up the White House blog

Transparency - President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President's executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

Participation - President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.

From Macon Phillips, the Director of New Media for the White House and one of the people who will be contributing to the blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day Off: here's why

We must obey the great law of change.
It is the most powerful law of nature.
Edmund Burke

Monday, January 19, 2009

After newspapers, conferences...

The economic crisis has forced the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) to postpone their annual conference.

The 62nd World Newspaper Congress and 16th World Editors Forum in Hyderbad, India will no longer take place as intended on March 22-25, it was announced today.


Air Man on the wonders of Google Books

One thrilling thing about these Google Book resources is that you can now link directly to an individual page of a book that has potentially been out of print for centuries. We need to think a bit more about how to standardize these links, given multiple editions and multiple library sites that might have digital copies. But what you can see happening, slowly but surely, is the Memex and Xanadu and the Information Superhighway - all those inspiring dreams of information utopia - finally crossing crossing over into the vast universe of books. Slowly, over time, a page typeset in 1771 might start to get a whole new life, thanks to the growing authority we grant it through that elemental gesture of making a link.

Steven Johnson in Boing Boing.

The poetry of the newsroom

Found this via a nice Huff-po piece on poetry and journalism.


Born in a safe family
But a dangerous area, Iraq,
I heard guns at a young age, so young
They made a decision to raise us safe
So packed our things
And went far away.

Now, in the city of rain,
I try to forget my past,
But memories never fade.

This is my life,
It happened for a reason,
I happened for a reason.

From American Life in Poetry

Jane Dwyre Garton quotes from a Columbia University symposium:
"Increasingly, poets are writing documentary poems that 'report' on an event. Many journalists also turn to poetic prose in order to convey a perspective that cannot otherwise be presented."

An answer to Zittrain's fears?

...Zittrain makes the iPhone a poster child for the flashy but non-generative devices he fears will come to dominate the market. And it's easy to see the iPhone's advantages. Apple's widely-respected industrial design department created a beautiful product. Its software engineers created a truly revolutionary user interface. Apple and AT&T both have networks of retail stores with which to promote the iPhone, and Apple is spending millions of dollars airing television ads. On first glance, it looks like open technologies are on the ropes in the mobile marketplace.

But open technologies have a kind of secret weapon: the flexibility and power that comes from decentralization. The success of the iPhone is entirely dependent on Apple making good technical and business decisions, and building on top of proprietary platforms requires navigating complex licensing issues. In contrast, absolutely anyone can use and build on top of an open platform without asking anyone else for permission, and without worrying about legal problems down the line. That means that at any one time, you have a lot of different people trying a lot of different things on that open platform. In the long run, the creativity of millions of people will usually exceed that of a few hundred engineers at a single firm. As Mike says, opens systems adapt, change and grow at a much faster rate than closed ones.

From Freedom to Tinker, the blog of Princeton's Information Technology Policy unit, a research center devoted to the intersection of digital technologies and public life.

Found on Tumblr

Found Object on my Tumblr dashboard this morning.

From This Isn't Happiness.

It must be from somewhere else: but who knows?