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Showing posts from November, 2009

"Algorithmic Authority" (via Clay Shirky)

Clay Shirky recently wrote up some thoughts on algorithmic authority, well worth reading: http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/11/a-speculative-post-on-the-idea-of-algorithmic-authority/.  When you merge "publishers" and "readers" the People Formerly Known as the Audience are no longer a statistical mass of consumers, but are themselves producers of content with their own authority.  This long tail of content production makes the ability to do personalized rankings and authoritativeness far more important.  Back when there were three networks, you could rely on hearsay or statistical aggregation of authority to figure out which one had the 'best' news coverage.  With a million or a billion, you need something much more fine-grained and low-overhead.  Thus "algorithmic authority", though it also depends on user actions -- such as linking to and recommending someone else or their content.

Twitter's NewRetweet and Darwinian Selection

A couple of days ago, I tweeted "I like Twitter's new Like feature. Just not sure why they called it Retweet."  Which is a bit snarky; @ev and the crew deserve more than 140 characters, because they've clearly put a lot of time and thought into this feature and it solves a lot of real problems. People have critiqued some of the superficial problems; I'd like to focus on just one core issue, which @ev also touches on, namely the inability to add commentary.  Which turns this into (as one re-tweeter remarked) a streamlined "propagate" feature.  This does let a meme propagate at the speed of Twitter and yet be coalesced for display purposes, and that's exactly the right thing for some memes.  In some ways it's a very democratic, Darwinian process; the tweets that are most likely to be NewRetweeted will undoubtedly get propagated more efficiently.

But there's another piece to Darwinian selection:  It's not just reproduction of the fittest, b…

One XRD To Rule Them All

Discussing The Hammer Stack most of the day today.  Resolving several issues.  Will keep going until coffee runs out.  XRD will bind all services together and rule them all.  Notes here.

Addendum Nov 5:
One Protocol to rule them all, One Protocol to find them,
One Protocol to bring them all and in the DNS bind them
In the Land of Standards where the Shadows lie.