Category Archives: Web20

Ello, we must be off.

I thought: I better share some thoughts on Ello before it is too late!

Here are two views on Ello. First one, negative: Aral Balkan — Ello, goodbye. Second one, affirmative: How To Ello In 5 Easy Steps.

My own view is that people are not going to adopt a new social network unless there are significant benefits to doing so. The last one that I have seen that was successful was Instagram. In the meantime there has been a number that have not taken off, from Google Wave and Google+, to and Yo. I suspect that Ello will join the latter group, rather than Instagram.

Does Twitter suck now? Here’s some opinions to compare with your own

I’ll let you decide. Here’s two points of view (not mine):

1) Yes, it does suck (The end of Big Twitter – Text Patterns – The New Atlantis)

2) No, it does not suck (Does Twitter Suck Now?)

My thoughts are mixed on this, as I’ve written earlier.  I’d like to say it is getting better, but I cannot.


A return to Twitter (not the service, but the community)

After the frustration with the Twitter service for changes like this, I thought I would give up Twitter. However, Twitter is the sum of a number of parts: there is the service that Twitter provides, from the backend servers to the APIs to the user interfaces and client software you use;  and then there are the people that contribute to Twitter. Among those contributors are people I really enjoy socializing with whom I cannot connect with any other way. To give up all of Twitter means tossing out the baby, the bathwater and even the tub itself. That’s dumb. (I do dumb things often, but typically correct most of them in time. :))

To get around that, I decided to use my limited software skills and the APIs that Twitter provides to write my own Twitter client, in a way. It is a hack, but it is a good hack (for me). I am able to control what I see this way. Not only do I not have promoted tweets, etc., in my feed, but I am able to get rid of things like RTs from everyone, rather than having to turn of RTs one at a time. I’m also able to save all the tweets in a spreadsheet or some other format, so I can look at them when I am less busy, or decide on other filters I want to apply, etc. Later on I can write more filters so if a trending topic gets to be too much, I can just delete it or save it to a different file for later.

Now my Twitter experience is gone from poor to great (for me).  I have thrown out the dirty bath water, but kept the tub and the baby. This makes more sense, obviously.

Last but not least, I appreciate all the people who expressed concern over my leaving Twitter. It was very kind of you, and why I want to stick around, if I can.


I am giving up on Twitter

I am going to take a sabbatical from twitter. It’s been a long time coming, but now it feels like it is due.

Twitter has always been a weak service filled with great people that made it great despite it’s weakness. That weakness has been there since the Fail Whale days, yet there was something unique about it that made me stick around.

In what appears to be its increasing effort to become less unique and more like Facebook, I am feeling less and less like sticking around. For whatever reason, last night Twitter decided I needed to read more tweets on Ferguson in the U.S.  (This is remarkable, since almost all of the tweets I was reading in my feed and on lists were regarding Ferguson). To accomplish this, it first gave me tweets that people I follow favorited. Then it started giving me tweets of a journalist that someone I know follows. It’s one thing to put sponsored tweets in my feed, but when twitter takes away control of my feed and just fills it with tweets it presumes I want to read, I am done with being a big user of this service.

I used to love Twitter as a service. I loved it and promoted it since the beginning. Recently, though, it has become a poor experience for me. As a service, I now consider it like I consider Facebook or LinkedIn: something I can use to stay in touch with people and share things, but not much more.

I expect I will still share good things with people and actively encourage people who take the time and effort to share good things with me. During this time, I will look at new tools and new platforms to be social and to make the world a better place. (Maybe I’ll write my own.) Perhaps right now someone is working on a new and better Twitter.

Thanks for the follows, favorites,  retweets and replies.

To all the journalists that think Internet censorship in Turkey is a new thing

I found this in less than a minute: Censorship of YouTube – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here is the extract for Turkey:

Turkish courts have ordered blocks on access to the YouTube website. This first occurred when Türk Telekom blocked the site in compliance with decision 2007/384 issued by the Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace (Sulh Ceza Mahkeme) on 6 March 2007. The court decision was based on videos insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in an escalation of what the Turkish media referred to as a “virtual war” of insults between Greek, Armenian and Turkish YouTube members. YouTube was sued for “insulting Turkishness” and access to the site was suspended pending the removal of the video. YouTube lawyers sent proof of the video’s removal to the Istanbul public prosecutor and access was restored on 9 March 2007. However, other videos similarly deemed insulting were repeatedly posted, and several staggered bans followed, issued by different courts:

  • the Sivas 2nd Criminal Court of Peace on 18 September 2007 and again (by decision 2008/11) on 16 January 2008; the Ankara 12th Criminal Court of Peace on 17 January 2008 (decision 2008/55);[72]
  • the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 12 March 2008 (decision 2008/251);
  • the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 24 April 2008 (decision 2008/468). the Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace on 30 April 2008 (decision 2008/599);
  • again, the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 5 May 2008 (decision 2008/402);
  • again, the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 6 June 2008 (decision 2008/624).
  • again, based on “administrative measures” without court order following corruption scandal, relating several govermental officials including Prime Minister Erdogan on March 27th, 2014 The block in accordance with court decision 2008/468 of the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace issued on 24 April 2008, which cited that YouTube had not acquired a certificate of authorisation in Turkey, was not implemented by Türk Telekom until 5 May 2008.

Although YouTube was officially banned in Turkey, the website was still accessible by modifying connection parameters to use alternative DNS servers, and it was the eighth most popular website in Turkey according to Alexa records. Responding to criticisms of the courts’ bans, in November 2008 the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated “I do access the site. Go ahead and do the same.”

In June 2010, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gül used his Twitter account to express disapproval of the country’s blocking of YouTube, which also affected access from Turkey to many Google services. Gül said he had instructed officials to find legal ways of allowing access.[75] Turkey lifted the ban on 30 October 2010.

In November 2010, a video of the Turkish politician Deniz Baykal caused the site to be blocked again briefly, and the site was threatened with a new shutdown if it did not remove the video.

In March 27, 2014, Turkey banned YouTube again. This time, they did so mere hours after a video was posted there claiming to depict Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general discussing scenarios that could lead to their country’s military attacking jihadist militants in Syria.

It’s not a new thing: stop writing about it like it is new.

Autogenerated blog? And for what purpose? Ad revenue?

I noticed this blog was driving traffic to my blog, Just Being Rich. When I read the entries, it appears like they are automatically generated (based on the syntax is wrong). It appears that someone is autogenerating a blog on various topics, likely for the purpose of generating Google AdSense revenue.

Interesting idea. It’s not the type of blog I would read, but I could see this becoming part of a trend.

White Whine – a very creative and funny use of tumblr! and tumble logs can be used for all sorts of things, even for humour, as the very funny White Whine illustrates.

(I think it is more accurately “educated, middleclass whine”, but that’s not as funny! 🙂 )

Thanks to my friend Leta for the tip.

From the Fake Steve Jobs blog to the Fake Hillary twitter

An interesting development of parody / satire. See: Twitter / fakehillary

flickr steps up the plate for the Library of Congress

[William J. Bradley, Toronto (baseball)] (LOC)

The Library of Congress has added 3,000 copyright-free, public domain photos to Flickr. The catch? It’s up to us to tag them all.

To me, this is a significant step in the growth of such Web 2.0 services. Imagine if more and more librarians put their archives on the Web in such a fashion.

Thanks to lifehacker for the tip!

(Photo: Bain News Service,

[William J. Bradley,
Toronto (baseball)]


Touchgraph maps your social network

Touchgraph can do a very interesting visual representation of your social network ala Facebook. For example:

To try this yourself, go their web site TouchGraph | Products: Facebook Browser

Commoncraft explains Web 2.0 very well

The good folks @ do a great job of presenting information on Web 2.0. They have presentations on RSS, wikis, blogs, social networking, and other topics. If you want a nice example of how to explain this information, go to their site:

Common Craft – In Plain English

P.S. Here is a YouTube version of one of their presentations.

CSS and HTML for those new-to-the-topic

This page CSS from the Ground Up | Web Page Design for Designers © is a great tutorial on CSS for people like me: new-to-the-topic (I hate the terms “dummies” or “noobies”…ugh.)

If you are going to make web pages and blogs and wikis, now you can make them attractive and easy to read. 🙂

Problems with HassleMe

I blogged about this site before: HassleMe

It’s a great idea, but I think they need to make it more timely. Until then, based on my experience, I would recommend others ways to be reminded to do things.

How to run all your office functionality off the web

If you think, wouldn’t it be great to do all my work off the web, rather than having to do it from my personal computer, then you want to visit Office 2.0 Database – My Office 2.0 Setup and see how it could be done.

Zoho keeps getting better and better

Zoho is adding new capability all the time. Now with offline features and integration with Facebook. I highly recommend you check it out. See here: Zoho Online Office, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, CRM and more

Make cool buttons for your web site

The site has a nice way to make cool buttons for your web site. (Like this one!) So give it a try at Web 2.0 free buttons maker!

Politics, Sunlight, and Web 2.0

Sunlight Labs is

a Sunlight Foundation pilot project to prototype tech ideas to improve government transparency and political influence disclosure. We also provide technical support to Sunlight Foundation sponsored projects.

Politics is going to get more interesting. – a good mindmapping tool is a nice mindmapping tool that is web based. I like it’s export features, among other things. It makes nice jpegs like this:

(Actually, it makes even nicer drawings…I just crunched it down to make it fit. Try it! :))

The apotheosis of the Web and the denegration of TV

TV set

It is easy to justify wasting spending time with your computer (or blackberry) to access the Web compared to watching TV. With the Web, it feels like you are doing something useful: you are researching, or communicating with friends, or learning about new ideas and new technologies. Comparing this to the watching TV, it seems positively virtuous.

In fact, often times I believe people are simply wasting time on the Web. (Put your hand up if you have watched the Diet Coke/Mentos phenomenom or LOLCats). You may be like me: tired, or bored, or procrastinating, or just in the habit of sitting in front of computer. Likewise, you can be learning about things on TV, too. While there may be more opportunities to learn on the Web, there is a false dichotomy between the web and TV. YouTube has shown that, and Joost will push that concept even further. Indeed, television may have been the precursor to the web, just like telephone and telegraph were precursors to TV. It is all a continuuum, with crossovers of ideas between the various media.

Some thoughts on surfing around the Web when I knew I should be doing something better. Now go watch some TV and be a better person. 🙂

How to save a life…with Web 2.0

The New York Times has an article on J. N. Jayashree, who “did not want her husband to die the death of an Indian whistle-blower” and adopted a unique way of protecting him. How did she do it? By blogging.

“We’re creating a fortress around him — a fortress of people,” she said
in a telephone interview. “I wanted to inform the people that this is
happening, that my husband is a whistle-blower, so that it becomes the
responsibility of every citizen to protect him.”

For more, see the article: In India, Protecting a Whistle-Blower.

Twitter takes off

The has an article on the rise of Twitter. Well, they call it micro-blogging :(. Like anything in MSM, they get things wrong. But it is still interesting. See: enter the micro-bloggers

An armful of Web 2.0 Apps

Over on the Read/WriteWeb is a large collection of Web 2.0 apps that will come in handy for anyone going back to college or university. But really, these sites can be useful for anyone. There’s tools to replace MS Office, to do Mindmapping, research, etc. Go check it out at Web 2.0 Backpack: Web Apps for Students

The Matrix meets Twitter

This is very cool: twitter displayed in The Matrix format.


FlickVision is the new Life

There is a new interface to Flickrvision: flickrvision (beta)

It is a 3D map of the world that spins around and shows photos people are posting on Flickr. You really have to see it. I find it profound to see all these images, from the sublime to the goofy, being posted. I even saw one of a trail around my neighborhood.

It reminded me of Life magazine, except it continual, and the photographs come from everyone.

I also had a thought watching this, imagine flying around the world, dropping down from time to time, and watching what everyone is doing. It is an approximation of omniscience. 🙂

The Buddha Project

If you have this Buddha on your mantle or your bookshelf that you think is special, why not share it with the rest of the world? Just snap a photo of it and hop on over to the buddha project.

As they say:

Images of Buddha can remind us to take a breath, to look around, to
feel calm and compassionate, to be here now. You can notice Buddha almost
anywhere — laundromats, store windows, barbershops, farmers’ markets,
souvenir stands, tucked away on someone’s night table.

It makes me hope this is success for alot of reasons.

Your very own progress indicator

LabPixies – My Progress Bar is fun! You can set your own progress bar settings for things, such as: 30 minutes until lunch, 60 minutes of meeting …fun, 90 minutes to finish this presentation, etc. You can post it all kinds of places, like your Google home page, myspace, and other places.

Those LabPixie people have lots of fun gadgets you can borrow.

If you like to write, try Helium

Not the gas, the web site! What is Helium about?

Whether you care about pop culture or politics, Helium is for you. Helium is the best place on the web to post your perspective and read what others have to say. When you write at Helium, you receive instant recognition from an audience of millions. No one will delete your articles or skew your opinions. Your contribution remains whole. Helium is a free market, where articles on the same topic compete for the top spot.

When you share, Helium shares back. You earn a share of the advertising money earned here at Helium. If you write well, and write often, you earn more recognition and reward. It is that simple. Unleash the writer inside of you. Be passionate. Be opinionated.

Join the quest to build the best user-created reference there is. Say your piece and find peace. Find quality insight and stop wasting time searching for it. Help build a place where knowledge rules.

Jonathan Coulton

It’s a small world. I came across the Code Monkey video at the Web 2.0 expo and posted it here on my blog which was read by my friend Leta who mentioned Jonathan’s web site,, which I pointed out to some people a few months ago based on an article I read in the!

So….check out his site. He’s got a great story, and lots of good music as well! Leta recommends: the acoustic version of ‘Baby Got Back’ is a treat

The Gadgets are coming!

Ok, I think there is alot of hype behind gadgets, widgets, etc. But there is also alot of potential power, as well. Technically your web site / page / blog / what have you ends up become much like a spreadsheet. Your blog+widgets = the next killer app. (There’s the hype thing again).

Anyway check out LabPixies and decide for yourself. For instance:

LabPixies – YouTube Top 10 – Coolest Gadgets on the Web!

Here’s the source:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=””&gt; </script>

Miss USA 2007 Falls during the evening gowns competition of Miss Universe 2007 or Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0

So you think you are having a bad day. Well at least this isn’t you…

This was one of the most popular photos on Yahoo! Miss Universe on Yahoo! News Photos

With the Web 1.0, if you mess up, many knows about. With Web 2.0, they tell all their friends, meaning that many more people know about it. 🙂

reCaPTCHA is a fascinating Web 2.0 idea

What is reCAPTCHA?

To quote the WiReD blog:

The idea behind reCAPTCHA is that, as long as we’re all solving these CAPTCHA puzzles, why not throw in some minimal additional data? By adding a second image with an unsolved word from the Internet Archive book scanning project, ReCAPTCHA allows users to channel their CAPTCHA solving skills into real world benefits.

To me, this is an innovative idea of putting the world to work. I wonder how many more companies are employing this approach?

Web 2.0: the Machine is Us

I’ve seen this video many times, but it always makes an impression on me. See for yourself:

IBM developerWorks: Emerging Technologies You Need to Know blog presents Mike Wesch’s overview of Web 2.0


Flickrvision is a fascinating view of the world. Literally. You see a world map and photos that people are posting to flickr. You just have to see it.