2005/06/26

Microsoft Embraces RSS

Quick post:  That Microsoft was going to be doing something seriousabout syndication was a foregone conclusion.  That they'reextending RSS 2.0 to support ordered lists (?) isn't the big news,IMHO.  That they're integrating per-user subscription support intotheir forthcoming platform is more significant.  They Get It;syndication is a platform, they have a team dedicated to RSS, and thething that's really important to control is personal subscription data.

(The big question is, how long will we be waiting for Longhorn?)

2005/06/22

Supernova: Guten Tag

Kevin Marks gave an introduction to tagging and even better, put it up online.  So now I can point people there instead of stumbling through explanations myself.  Cool.

On a side note, I've been behind on blogging and missed congratulatingTechnorati on their cool new look & features.  I managed toshow their new consolidated tag searchto an executive yesterday -- searching for tags popped up not onlyposts, but photos from buzznet and flickr.  It was a great way topoint out the utility of interoperability.

Kevin made a good point about cognitive load.  The cost ofapplying a tag needs to be near-zero.  The iPhoto keywords featureis a great anti-example.

The ecosystem is jumping all over tags.  LiveJournal added supportfor tags last week.  The Mac "ecto" tool now has tag support aswell.  Oh yes -- upcoming.org does hCalendar; evdb does hCalendarand hCard. Note to self: Check all these out soon.

I do think people are waving their hands a bit around authorization andauthentication, especially when Tanenbaum talks about an ecosystem ofservices.  Do I just give all these services all of my usernamesand passwords?  How do I know I can trust some of these littlefly-by-night web services with my private information?  Also,Marty, please, please don't curse this by invoking AI.  

In the future, I'll Google "concerts in the next week" and get not justwebsites but a consolidated, sortable list of events from all sources.

Best comment of the session (rough quote) from John Seely Brown: "You're doing pragmatics as well as semantics and that's why you'llwin."

2005/06/21

Supernova: Microformats

An excellent workshop primarily because it was a demonstration ofpragmatic solutions.  I've been just slightly involved with someof the microformat work and I've been looking for resources to helpbuild mindshare at AOL.  The microformats.org web site announced here is exactly what I need.  And now I see that Tantek has put his excellent introduction up there.  Go look!

What I like about microformats:  Start simple and focused. Evolve rapidly.  Borrow like crazy. Keep things humanreadable.  Decentralize completely.  Get real worldexperience.  Microformats like tags, hCalendar, and hReview are simple enough (and built oninfrastructure that's solid enough) to let the community buildinteroperable services.

Best part for users:  Microformats are based on XHTML.  Whichmeans they're human readable HTML as far as users are concerned. No weird XML gobbledygook, no strange attachments, no extra files tocart around.

Specifics:  hCalendar is great because it's just vCalendar mappedto XHTML.  There was a great demo of a service which turns anhCalendar link into an vCalendar data stream automatically; I'm nowsubscribed to Tantek's calendarthrough this service. hReview is based on what people are publishing onthe web today, just adding some markup so machines can see thesemantics.

Tools are starting to pop up.  There's a Greasemonkey script fordoing hCalendar in any text box.  Movable Type is adding supportfor writing hReviews.  Next step will beservices like Technorati and Google paying attention to the semantics.

Next topic was tags, the uber-microformat (or nanoformat).  It'llhave to wait for the next post, though.  Need to get some sleep.

Going Supernova

I took the train up to San Francisco to the Supernova conference, whichlet me experiment with using my cell phone as a Bluetooth modem. Given that I was sitting on a rapidly moving train, I expected this tobe a dancing bear, but it actually worked pretty well for around 40minutes -- until the train went into a set of tunnels near the end ofthe trip.  Speed wasn't great but was adequate for email. Major problem was actually vibration.

I went to Monday's Connected Work workshop mainly in hopes of gettingsome insights into collaboration trends.  Not too many surprises-- blogs and wikis  everywhere, of course.  Some good pointsabout the need to not lock down things too tightly (heresy totraditional IT departments) because your breakthrough ideas usuallycome from cross-fertilization.  Quote: "98% of everything shouldbe visible to everyone in the company."  Hear, hear.

2005/06/09

How Not to Get Hired

Just a tip from a hiring manager here.  If your resume starts out with the heading "SUMMMARY", I'm highly likely to toss it in the trash.  Not because I want to hire people who can use spell checkers, but because to me it indicates that you either can't or won't be bothered with details.  Or that you consider how you present information unimportant.

If you're in the top 1% of coders, maybe you can get away with this.  Otherwise, please run a spell checker on your resume before sending it in.

(I'm a really nice guy so I finished reading the resume; the rest was just as bad, though.)