Skip to main content

Does social software have fangs? And, can it organize itself?

SuwCharman just wrapped up a talk at Google (Scary Monsters: DoesSocial Software Have Fangs?) around the adoption and use of socialsoftware such as wikis and blogs within businesses.  It was a good talkand the on-the-ground experience around corporate adoption wasparticularly valuable for me.

Suw reported that corporate users tend to impose their existingcorporate hierarchy on the flat namespace of their Wikis, which is finebut may not be exploiting the medium to its full potential.  And Wikisearch tends to be at best mediocre.  Has anyone looked at leveraginguser edit histories to infer page clusters?  I could imagine anautogenerated Wiki page which represented a suggested cluster, with away for people to edit the page and add meaningful titles andannotations to help with search, which could serve as an alternativeindex to at least part of a site.


Popular posts from this blog

The problem with creation date metadata in PDF documents

Last night Rachel Maddow talked about an apparently fake NSA document "leaked" to her organization.  There's a lot of info there, I suggest you listen to the whole thing:

There's a lot to unpack there but it looks like somebody tried to fool MSNBC into running with a fake accusation based on faked NSA documents, apparently based on cloning the document the Intercept published back on 6/5/2017, which to all appearances was itself a real NSA document in PDF form.

I think the main thrust of this story is chilling and really important to get straight -- some person or persons unknown is sending forged PDFs to news organization(s), apparently trying to get them to run stories based on forged documents.  And I completely agree with Maddow that she was right to send up a "signal flare" to all the news organizations to look out for forgeries.  Really, really, really import…

Personal Web Discovery (aka Webfinger)

There's a particular discovery problem for open and distributed protocols such as OpenID, OAuth, Portable Contacts, Activity Streams, and OpenSocial.  It seems like a trivial problem, but it's one of the stumbling blocks that slows mass adoption.  We need to fix it.  So first, I'm going to name it:

The Personal Web Discovery Problem:  Given a person, how do I find out what services that person uses?
This does sound trivial, doesn't it?  And it is easy as long as you're service-centric; if you're building on top of social network X, there is no discovery problem, or at least only a trivial one that can be solved with proprietary APIs.  But what if you want to build on top of X,Y, and Z?  Well, you write code to make the user log in to each one so you can call those proprietary APIs... which means the user has to tell you their identity (and probably password) on each one... and the user has already clicked the Back button because this is complicated and annoying.

The hill outside Google HQ, about a 270 degree panorama.