Friday, February 12, 2010

A small inkling of a thought

Buzz. There's a LOT of it, isn't there?

Anyway, I had to turn it off. Too many distractions in the wrong place. I suspect I'm getting old.

There was a huge chat in the office about it: mostly revolving around engineering culture at google, and how a monoculture can become dangerous. You'll have read the same thoughts on a hundred other blogs already, I'm sure.

One upshot of the whole storm in a teacup is that I think I may stop automatically blurting all of my twitter updates to facebook. I've noticed my twitter frequency creeping up past one a day, and on twitter that's fine: on facebook, not so much. Besides, facebook has things like people I was at school with, and people whose children I babysat when I was 13, and their expectations are very different from mine in these spaces. So. If you want cormorant reports, you'll have to look elsewhere. I think that might be a tiny venn diagram, though.

Anyway, the point of this wittering. Yes.

I was just poking through google reader. I've been harmlessly sharing things there for a while - very unobtrusive, you really had to go and look for the stuff. So sorry if suddenly my random bookmarks are being thrust upon you. Didn't we learn the problem of push back with windows98? It's no better when the people doing the pushing are marginal aquaintaces, rather than corporate marketing departments, unfortunately.

The thing I noticed, though, was this. There I was, very quickly skim-looking a 'most popular on ffffound' feed, when I noticed that a ffffound post had 23 likes within google reader.

So, love has come strongly to Google. They're trying to out-digg digg, by making a digg that suffuses the whole web (sidewiki, reader, etc) at an object level. They can look at the ffffound pages for the activity there, and supplement that with their own love metrics, all cut with their demographic data. It's another way of understanding what's valuable on the web.

Just like links, back in google's original model.

Which makes me wonder: is the link as a measure of value on the web now dead?

In short, are we in danger of SEOing google to death, and is buzz their response to this?

Shrug. Maybe.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I should probably apply for this, you know.

I got forwarded a job advert earlier on today, that I had to read twice to understand. I thought I'd rewrite it, for fun. Really, I should just stick my CV on the end of this, and hit reply, but frankly life is to short.

If it sounds like your cup of tea, visit

> JISC ITT: Strategic Content Alliance: Digipedia from Prototype to Pilot Service
> The JISC, on behalf of the Strategic Content Alliance, invites tenders
> to develop the moderated web resource named 'Digipedia' from prototype
> to pilot service.

We need someone to run our trial website properly.

> The Strategic Content Alliance commissioned a prototype moderated wiki
> named 'Digipedia' in early 2009. The prototype aimed to link
> authoritative information resources on the management of the digital
> content life-cycle and produce a plain English narrative which can be
> text mined and provide an innovative browse mechanism to enable
> resource discovery for a broad audience. The primary audience for
> 'Digipedia' is policy makers and practitioners involved in the
> creation of digital content in the public and not-for-profit sectors.

We set up a wiki as a test last year, but haven't shown it to anyone yet.

We want it to be easy to read, and easy for anyone to use when they need to find out the best way of making things for people to look at on computers.

We think our wiki will mostly be used by civil servants and people that work for charites, who need to know the best way to put stuff on the internet.

As anyone can add to the site, we need to check it regularly to make sure no-one's been messing things up for everyone else.

> The aims of the work are to:
> Develop 'Digipedia' from prototype to pilot service, providing the
> user with an easy to use, authorative, up-to-date and insightful view
> on the management of the digital content lifecycle.

> Build up a sustainable community of organisations and individuals
> working towards developing 'good practice' in digital content
> provision at a policy and operational level.

As we didn't show anyone our small test website, we'd like you to you turn it in to a proper website for people to try out. We hope that a lot of people (and companies!) will use it, and like using it.

The website needs to be full of really useful information, stay up to date, and not be full of mistakes. If you make sure it is, we think that people will get involved with it by sharing ideas to make their working lives easier; both when they're coming up with ideas, and making things.

> Develop an effective communications and dissemination plan in order to
> raise awareness, seek contributors to and use of 'Digipedia' amongst
> key stakeholders at a policy and practitioner level.

Once you're happy that the website is working properly, we'd like you to tell people about it, so they know about it and come and use it.

> Develop a business plan for sustainability in consultation with JISC
> and other Strategic Content Alliance partners.

We'd like you to think of ways we can make money from the website, once it's working properly, too. You'll need prove that your suggestions will work to some skeptical people, too.

> Total funding of between £75,000-£85,000 (including VAT, travel and
> subsistence) is available for this work.

We'll pay you quite a lot of money for this, and also pay some of your tax, pay for your travel to work, and for your lunch.

> The deadline for proposals is 12 noon UK time on 5 February 2010.

Please get back to us tomorrow.

> A full version of the ITT can be found below.

I Think That I attached a file to this email - can you find it?