Since a couple of weeks, I'm posting more and more on Twitter than on this blog, as many people out there in the Blogosphere.
Reading Guy Kawasaki' s advices on how to pick up followers on Twitter, I realized that I do share links for the rest of the Twitterers, but also for myself, using the service as a fast & easy substitute to Delicious.
Actually, each time I find an article interesting for the business in my Feedly pages, I click on the 'Tweet' button below the headline. Boom, the link goes on Twitter. Sometimes, I add a short comment or note after the linked URL, and that's it. Fast and simple sharing.
However, I continue to use Delicious as my main depository for bookmarks, as the tagging feature makes it easy to retrieve information.
You can find my Delicious page here, and follow me on Twitter here.
Paul Boutin of Wired gives a pretty accurate look on the Blogosphere 2008. To make it short, amateurs' s weblogs are thing of the past, being replaced by Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook.
I'm 100% on the same page. Blogging requires so much time that either you do it the Seth Godin' short-form, either you keep your blog for the long-form *in-depth* articles.
Since a couple of months now, I'm part of the trend : moving to micro-blogging, thanks to Twitter, keeping FiberGeneration for the "long" stuff.
Actually, I do have plenty of material to publish here, with my different jobs within the Telecoms/Fiber/FTTH world : the many projects open on the Pau Broadband Country, the training & education with eXperide, etc. Unfortunately, Code of Conducts and Confidentiality agreements there hinder me to write about what makes most of my days since a year now. Finding ways to eventually post a couple of news here and there is fun, yet time-consuming : how to avoid legal issues when I want to publish a photo of a field-trial or a short note on a check-point meeting.
Plus, as many of us, I spend lot of time commenting and contributing to discussions on others' s blogs. That's the good-old-Usenet made modern.
Now, the funny part. Almost two years ago, I wrote a post titled "The Asymptotic Twitter Curve", which I started with those words : "Monday is going to be my ' blogging day '." The subject : a newly launched Web 2.0 service so-called Twitter. The post ended with this (really interesting ;-) question : "Today, I wonder if the Web 2.0 thing as a whole is not turning out to
be a new Bubble : who cares about what I am doing right now, but myself
or my wife ?..." I was then far away of thinking that one day, I would rather tweet than blog. To my defense, I was also far away of thinking that one day, I would have a tiny Internet device in my pocket, 24/7. The iPhone and its myriad of Twitter's clients
: the perfect fit for (micro)bloggers.
By the way : you can tweet me @mduchesn .
In her recent post on how to improve your customers' s experience during those harsh times such as the ones we're entering, Patty Seybold explains the different ways to use Web 2.0 tools to keep in touch and even reinforce the relationships with them.
Here's what Patty writes :
If you are forced to throttle back and/or delay customer-critical IT projects right now, consider some much lower-cost actions you could take. Each of these can be done by a relatively non-technical person and set up in a matter of minutes!
1. Adopt Web 2.0 “pay as you go” cloud-hosted applets rather than large monolithic internal ERP applications.
2. Develop interactive gadgets and widgets to deliver up-to-date interactive functionality and information via your Web site(s) and portals.
3. Use SMS, twitter, and instant messaging to communicate with customers.
4. Use Wikis and shared collaborative spaces to coordinate across organizational boundaries.
5. Encourage customers to take polls, contribute content, photos, videos, tags, and reviews to make your company's Web site more compelling and to help customers make buying decisions easily. (Hint: you can use third-party widgets to do many of these things.)
Keep in mind what Peter Drucker said : this is the customer who defines your business. He wrote that in the early 70's. Now that we have Web 2.0 apps & tools at our service, it would be a great mistake not to leverage on it.
Read the full article here.
Since quite a while, I'm moving my "online sharing" activities to more comments on others' s blogs and more twitts than ever before. Hence the relative silence here on FiberGeneration.
Actually, I'm investigating several ways to post those comments and twitts on this blog, should they be relevant with FiberGeneration' s *editorial line*. An interesting yet difficult job ;-)
In the meantime, Andrew keeps posting his short notes as often as his own job allows it. Also, my friends Georges and Handy should publish their first posts within the next couple of weeks (I know, I said that 2 months ago about Georges ;-)
Keep going, Namaste, and Peace Out (I think we all need it at the moment...).
The beauty of Dipity is that you can display any type of content in a chronological order (Timeline view), on a carousel (Flipbook view), or on a map (Map view, surprisingly ;-). For teachers and instructors of all kind, what a nice tool to keep your audience up and running.
As any true Web 2.0 app, Dipity is UGC : User Generated Content. In this case, it means that teachers and instructors can call for help to create a better content - think Wikipedia.
Well, Dear FiberGeneration Readers, I'm therefore calling on you ! I'll continue to edit the current timeline, for instance adding the missing locations, photos, URLs, etc. What I'm asking you is to add relevant content. For instance, as you can see the timeline ends in 1996. As some of you may have notice, quite a few interesting events occured between then and now in the Optical Communications arena. Those are typically the things you can contribute to, shall you have the relevant experience, knowledge, or insight ;-) Major milestones, breakthrough technologies, interesting field trials : please feel free to add !
Just drop me a line at : marc[dot]duchesne[at]mac[dot]com, and i'll set you as editor for this History of Fiber Optics. Thank you.
post-scriptum : for those of you who are not familiar with Fiber Optics, Jeff is publishing the "Understanding Fiber Optics" series since almost two decades now. The fifth edition was released in 2005. It's available here at Amazon.com. Enjoy the ride !
A New Yorker artist and scientist, Harris is leading an outstanding project : "We Feel Fine".
It's all about people' s feelings. Amazingly captivating. Just this little warning : it's so captivating that you may end up spending the whole day exploring the Web through Harris and his team' s eyes. Quite a nice way to forget the rude reality of the daily life at the office ;-)
Dear FiberGeneration Readers : this blog seems to be facing a couple of issues with the commenting and sharing features since several days. Please be sure that I'm working on it. I'll call on the kind & efficient TypePad support team to help me fix those annoying bugs.
Until then, you may leave your comments on my FriendFeed page here (which is still under some tweaking)
Since last week and the latest Firefox 3 update (3.0.1), I can't get Feedly running any longer. That's a real pitty for me, as I consider Feedly as the best RSS feed reader so far - for once, you can design your own online newspaper at a fingersnap.
Unfortunately, the automatic FX update stopped the service. No chance to re-install the add-on : "The feedly 1.0b3 could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox 3.0.1."
So after several attempts, I decided to call on Feedly' support. I discovered the Get Satisfaction service : technical support the Web 2.0 way. Absolutely stunning, for it is the one place you as an end-user can go and call for help on most of your favorite tools and apps. The list of companies currently being supported by Get Satisfaction is definitely impressive, from the smallest newest startup (say... Feedly for instance) to the biggest largest company (say Apple). Twitter seems to be the number one in terms of questions and support team.
Among a few other Web 2.0 apps, Get Satisfaction is typically the sort of tool which every single Enterprise 1.0 should adopt and integrate immediately. It's a fantastic way to keep in touch with your end-users, by proving them how much you care about their satisfaction.
Actually, this type of service is based on an old concept made modern. In this case, it's Usenet and its numerous FAQs and discussion boards at the Web 2.0 sauce. Nothing new ("the people-powered customer service for absolutely everything") but all new (the ease of use and the flexibility).
As soon as I get my own startup up and running, Get Satisfaction will be part of the toolkit.
ps : my own dashboard is here.
Second Life is dead. Google just launched its own "virtual world" platform : Lively. The difference with SL ? Lively is entirely Web-based. You don't need to install and run a standalone piece of software, as opposed to Second Life (how many of us have been rapidly fed up launching SL ?...). To play with Lively, you just stay with your favorite browser, aka Firefox 3 (it runs with IE too).
Lively is truly the signal most of us were waiting for to go investigate the potential of Virtual Worlds for business. And it's made by Google.
For a complete review on Lively here by Techcrunch.
Download Lively here. That's the only thing that sucks, by the way : there's no Mac version for the time being, although Mac users are among the most efficient beta testers because we easily become early adopters...
For those of you who a) use Firefox 3, and b) a RSS feed aggregator & reader, Feedly is the add-on you need.
Read the comprehensive presentation here on Mashable, so you'll get the whole picture.
I use Feedly since Day One (as well as Firefox 3, of course) : it's both simple and powerful, flexible and easy to set up and use. The page looks like an online magazine (which it is, at the end of the day), unlike Netvibes or GoogleReader. With its typical Web 2.0 attributes, such as The Wall where others can share with you recommendations and annotations.
Since Feedly is an add-on to your browser, you don't need to go to Netvibes or GoogleReader any longer : set Feedly as your homepage, that's all you need to do. Sure, you can do the same with your traditional RSS reader, but it's not "integrated" into your browser.
I'm convinced Feedly is another step forward to the true Enterprise 2.0, since it enables the user to aggregate multiple information and content onto a single page without the need to connect to an external website. A brief look at the Feedly's mash-up diagram tells me we've now everything in hands to create, implement, and truly use simple yet efficient & productive vertical *Web 2.0-based* applications...
A wonderful tool to analyze a text to find out the most frequent words in it.
See here the result on a 12-pages document I wrote back in 2002 at Agilent Technologies for the introduction of a new product : the Modular Network Tester. This document was aimed at presenting the new platform to the sales channels. Look at the corresponding cloud, and you'll get the message ;-)
Thanks to Bruno Giussiani for the heads up.
I've revamped the Fiber On Demand blog. Was a matter of a few clicks only, thanks to Yahoo!Pipes (see the features in the previous post). Aggregating content from different sources onto a single web page has never been so easy.
Just missing a 3D/whirling/magnifying carousel, which will be available in a next release I guess.
I've updated the FiberNews site.
After a few months out in the wild space of the blogosphere, it was time for a first revamp.
First modification : more news, coming from more online resources - adding RSS feeds with Yahoo!Pipes is just a matter a seconds.
Second modification, thanks to the new "Get a Badge" feature : replacement of the Google Map mashup by the Yahoo Map, directly from Pipes. Just outstanding. It's mashup for the rest of us.
You can visit FiberNews here.
Add the FiberNews as a badge on your own site, or get the RSS feed, JSON, PHP, KML and more - including getting the results by email or phone - here.
My public pipes are available here. Feel free to copy, paste, and use.
Google did it again. A true breakthrough online app, which is set to be the next revolution in the Internet mattress - ooops, sorry, matters. See here for more details.
"Plusmo's mobile widgets application is a cool way to read RSS feeds on your cell phone or PDA, but that's not the only reason it was named a finalist on the Webware 100 list.
In true Webware fashion, Plusmo's site offers hands-on excitement--the chance to publish and share widget mash-ups and create an iPhone widget from templates. Users can also make personal blogs available as a Plusmo widget, and can install a browser bookmarklet or Yahoo plug-in to snag feeds while they surf."
Earlier this week, I've tried to install Ubuntu on my laptop PC - just because I was getting tired of Windows (ever seen a slowing 2GHz CoreDuo ?). The IT guy gave me his so-called official off-the-shelf blahblahblah PartitionMagic CD, for me to partition the hard disk accordingly - I still need Windows for some software demos and apps.
Guess what : got the BSOD right after the reboot. Since then, impossible to repair the damages (don't ask, please), as I couldn't even access to the DOS.
So, yesterday evening I decided to do it the hard way, formatting the hard drive and installing Ubuntu 7.0. Pretty comfortable OS, by the way : I got WiFi up and running in less than 1 minute, and I don't have to re-enter the WEP key each time I wake the machine up.
Now, the really good thing of all this mess : I can get back all my mission-critical files, PDF docs, URLs, etc. Thanks to the lovely Zoho suite, Zoho Projects in particular.
I use Zoho everyday, as my mission planner and database. I put almost everything on it : draft presentations, spreadsheets, web links, PDF documents...
I can now restore my offline base, without fearing files losses.
Outcome : I'll use Zoho Show to create my next presentation.
post-scriptum : I'll install Opera for Ubuntu as soon as I can get rid of those typical Linux messages (missing this, missing that...). So I'll be able to sync my bookmarks and prefs, in the blink of an eye.
Holy cow ! Seems that the small-world Test & Measurement industry' s engine is whirling fast after my recent post on the Google search for "JDSU announcement EXFO" thing. I can't stop looking at the stats : lots of visitors come to Fibergeneration to read this previous post, and much more.
First, to all of you I'd like to say that I'm honored being read by you dear T&M fellows.
Second, I'd like to highlight the fact that I'm definitely not responsible for the supposedly rumored announcement between your companies *.
Last, I'd like to confirm that I'll be attending OFC this year. And I hope I won't be banned from your booths ;-)
It's all about having fun for a change, Folks. I know, I should stop reading FSJ Fake Steve Jobs.
* ed. note : in a next post, I'll explain why I personally don't believe in a M&A kind of deal between the two firms. It simply doesn't make sense from an industrial point of view : the respective product portfolios are quite similar. I mean, JDSU already does what EXFO do, so, where's the benefit, if not for simply wipping out a rival (which is a very small one from a market cap perspective, see my next post, to be published later today) from the industry landscape.
post-scriptum : this whole stuff reminds me the good old days of the Bubble, when I was working at Agilent Technologies. Some day in 2000 or so, I was flying to France from Italy, back from a business meeting somewhere. Two rows behind me in the aircraft, two guys in dark suit & tie typical businessman battledress were talking loud about one of our rivals : GN NetTest. I couldn't stop listening for the whole flight, as they were discussing potential investors and buyers and blahblahblah. I quickly realized those fools were analysts, probably working for some big consulting and/or banking firm. At the arrival in Paris, I even had the name of the future owner of NetTest (i.e. Axcel, a danish investment firm). Let me tell you something : when you work for Agilent Technologies, you know what confidential information means. In the Business of Conducts policy, there's a lot of Do's and Don't s. For instance, this one : never discuss about business in a plane.
Ah, this anecdote recalls another short one in my memory bank. A few years later, once again in an airliner somewhere in the european sky. The guy the next row on my right hand side was reading a powerpoint presentation on his laptop PC. Guess what : he was with our biggest rival, based in Germany too, and was reviewing a new product introduction presentation. I got the premiere, for free...
French video sharing site DailyMotion is bidding for the French Soccer Premier League TV broadcast rights (actually, the VOD online magazine part) for seasons 2008 to 2012. The startup competes against medias giants Canal+, TF1 and France Télévisions, TV channels M6, Eurosport, and Direct8, but also against telcos Orange and SFR.
No matter the final decision by the League, the fact that a WebTV platform is offering its services shows how things are moving fast. Industry shake-up, you said ?...
See here for more details (link in french).
Belgian startup Radionomy has been officialy launched yesterday night in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower (where the very first TV signal has been broadcasted some decades ago).
According to the Radionomy folks, the concept is pretty simple :
With Radionomy, everyone is finally going to be able to create their own radio station on the Internet!
By tapping into the contents of vast music libraries.
By integrating their own musical creations.
By adding their own audio content, sequences, reports and podcasts.
Radionomy will broadcast these radio stations around the world and take care of all costs, including royalties. Radionomy even shares its revenue with radio station creators, based on the size of their audience.
Pretty cool, huh ?
So, we're going to see - er., hear - tons of "Pirate" radio channels, just like in the good old days of Radio Caroline.
Will be interesting to watch the outcomes. How this concept will find users, and how those ones will use it.
What's quite funny to me is the fact that the WebRadio concept emerges AFTER the WebTV stuff, whilst the original technologies were on reverse order : Radio first, then Television.
Also funny to me, the fact that Radionomy launches whilst traditional radios start doing live TV webcasting of their shows and programs.
Conclusion : Convergence is coming fast. Within the next couple of years, we're going to have a brand new "Web" space, where everyone will be able to create, share, and use any kind of content that will be available one way or another on the Net. Exciting.
To subscribe to the Radionomy Beta Testers Waiting List, follow the link here.
Ed. note : thanks Jean-Michel for the heads up.
Remember Zattoo ? The beta is available since a couple of days only, and people start googling for "zattoo for iphone". See here.
Would I be part of the Product Marketing team at the startup, I would immediately digg a little bit further : someone searching something so specific is a potential user. Or a potential rival. Actually, it doesn't matter, because IMHO the equation is simple : search = opportunity.
That's what most of the french businesses don't understand with the Web 2.0 : it helps you developping new products faster and better, for specific needs and/or applications and/or end-users.
The CES big circus has just started. If you can't make it to Las Vegas, you can still attend the show and get the whole flavor of it... on the Web.
See here, here, and here. Lesson : WebTV is the future. And the present, too, should you have a broadband access.
Ed. note : for a full coverage of CES'08, Robert Scoble has the list.
Post-Scriptum : I wonder if the folks at the Optical Society Of America are going to offer the live coverage of the forthcoming OFC-NFOEC exhibition in San Diego next month.
To those of you who still think you need to pay hundreds of bucks to a PR agency for ensuring your visibility on the Web, you may think again. See this : somebody somewhere was searching Google for "optical networks contracting"; outcome : Fibergeneration came number one in the list, with this post.
Lesson : Seth Godin is right. First thing to do this year : Google yourself.
Some folk in Turkey recently searched Google for the famous book "iCon Steve Jobs : The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business''I have no clue how (well, not true : I love playing with hidden keywords for SEO ;-), FiberGeneration appeared on the first page, fourth result. See here by yourself. Amazing, huh ? Çok tesekkur ederim, Buddy.
Okay, I'm an Applemaniac, but there are some (good) reasons for that. Take this one, for instance : the so-useful/time-saving Snap Shots app is not working on the PC I use at work. Why ? No idea.
Nope, I'm not blogging about the forthcoming shake-up the Menlo Park folks are preparing on the entire Telecoms industry.
I'm just amazed by this : someone somewhere on the Planet (well, that is : in Canada) recently searched for "best elevator pitch web 2.0". Guess what : this post went number 4 in the first page (the 1 to 10 results). The power of SEO is just awesome. See the search results here.
post-scriptum : to better understand Google's strategy to reshape the Telecommunications landscape and rule the World, see their fantastic yet sometimes odorant home networking system here. Warning : this offer will last until March 31, 2008, at midnight.
" Everyone's constantly on Twitter and Facebook and sending IMs and making videos of themselves talking while driving and having meetings and figuring out who's hot and who's not and who's raising money and who's flaming out and what's Google going to do next and has anyone know if MySpace is going to get on OpenSocial and some guy from Yelp just went to Digg or is it MetaCafe and I just heard Owen wrote something about Brian Lam and supposedly they're totally not talking now and Megan threw water at Ryan Block because Veronica didn't like something Valleywag wrote about her and did you see what Kara wrote about Arrington and then Arrington wrote something back and then Om weighed in and he said blah blah mwah mwah twitter twitter twitter ..."
An hilarious post from the marvelous yet fake Fake Steve Jobs about the so-stylish Robert Scoble (who, among other things, kept the whole Blogosphere up-to-date with his son' s birth a couple of months ago)
I've been playing a bit with Twitter' mashup apps during lunch break : Twittervision and Twittermap. Just amazingly simple tools for displaying any geotagged data on a map.
For those of you who ignore what Twitter is, read this recent post by Guy Kawasaki and follow its links.
post-scriptum : as I'm going to be busier (if running at 120% is possible ;-) over the next couple of months, I'll post more twitters here, thanks to Twitter's SMS feature. Watch the left side bar for updates...
My recent post on the supposed-to-be-real mymt2k.com engine has been spotted by a pretty strange website today : more than 30 hits from Xanga.com (no URL here, I don't want to link with them ;-).
To see what it is, you're forced to log in. I did it. I'm to delete my account right now.
Shall your own blog get listed on this Xanga stuff, stay away.
Note : I'm gonna call Fox Mulder as soon as I click on "Save".
On Lunch Over IP : Picnic07: Stefana Broadbent and why everything is moving into the background.
I read Bruno Giussiani's running notes just before watching Jerry Maguire again. Kind of interesting answer to the question at the end of Bruno' s post : " how important something is to you to makes you make that specific choice of focusing on it? "...
On TechITeasy : Sustainable, Information Technology?
A detailed fact sheet by Jeremy Fain of Microsoft on Green IT. Among lots of other pretty serious stuff, this one : " Every second that passes sees 24 Kg of PCs produced, 1.8 tons of raw materials aimed at the Information Technology market, half a ton of CO2 generated by hardware heat, 108 Kg. of PC-related garbage."
On How To Change The World : Ten Questions with Chris Brogan.
The Social Media expert answers Guy Kawasaki' s famous ten questions (which are eleven, by the way) on Twitter. You've got to like the twittering app after that (don't miss the comments).
From tomorrow Thursday till Saturday, the 4 Screens European Festival is for European productions (reportages, reality-inspired fiction, documentaries and docu-dramas) that deal with contemporary society and real-life .
Interesting part : the Internet and Mobile competitions. The (Information) World is changing...
To attend the Festival
from without leaving home (or your desk ;-) : DailyMotion here.
During a recent business meeting, I had to explain what's a wiki to novices. I did it in 30 seconds. Here is a more detailled explanation, yet even more entertaining and efficient.
This mymt2k.com thing was too much of interest from a business intelligence perspective for me not to spend an hour or so today to find out what it could be. Turns out it's a... Wait a second, you'll get the answer at the end of this post.
Before that, let's start with the begining : Google. A quick search on "mymt2k" gives a 6-pages results, with FiberGeneration on the first one and lots of... porn-related stuff on the 5th and 6th pages.
On the first page too, a handful of other blogs also displayed on mymt2k. See for instance Euan Semple' s The Obvious, or Blucat and A Reality Of My Own. According to the respective posts, the thing started back in March this year...
Then, let's go on WhoIs to find out who could be behind the mysterious website. Mr Jason Lucas is the happy owner. Congrats, Man ! Such a hype for a domain registered in January, that's quite a success. However, I'm not the only one to think Mr Lucas is a cover...
So, let's dig into the mymt2k website itself. Start with the simple URL 'mymt2k.com' : a nice, white, blank page. Cool, zen, but useless. A quick look at the different URLs mentionned by above bloggers and commenters show that the main content is a dynamic one. See for instance here, and here : same tmp9 directory, yet displaying different content.
Then, how about looking at the 'mymt2k.com/tmp*/' directories themselves ? From 1 to 10 and above, quite interesting outcomes. For instance, in tmp4 there is a link to the old contest at Snap.com.
See the structure of the tmp9 one in the screenshot at the left. Hum... what's that 'mturk' stuff ? Does ring a bell ? Fine, let's go deeper onto the investigation.
Go to the tmp6 directory, and read the bold flashy statement :
" Note: Be patient and check pages carefully! We will invite good mturkers for our next tasks with a much higher payment! "
Okay, finally we got them ! So simple : 'mymt2k' stands for " My mTurk ", easy, right ?
Now, what's an mTurk ? For those of you who are not familiar with the Web 2.0 world, mTurk, or Mechanical Turk, is a new service offered by Amazon since a few months.
You may read the FAQ page on mturk.com here. Pretty exciting yet a bit complex for non-geeks people. In summary, the mTurk service puts Human Intelligence behind the computer (that's a nice one ;-).
Says Amazon :
What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?
In 1769, Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen astonished Europe by building a mechanical chess-playing automaton that defeated nearly every opponent it faced. A life-sized wooden mannequin, adorned with a fur-trimmed robe and a turban, Kempelen's "Turk" was seated behind a cabinet and toured Europe confounding such brilliant challengers as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. To persuade skeptical audiences, Kempelen would slide open the cabinet's doors to reveal the intricate set of gears, cogs and springs that powered his invention. He convinced them that he had built a machine that made decisions using artificial intelligence. What they did not know was the secret behind the Mechanical Turk: a human chess master cleverly concealed inside.
Today, we build complex software applications based on the things computers do well, such as storing and retrieving large amounts of information or rapidly performing calculations. However, humans still significantly outperform the most powerful computers at completing such simple tasks as identifying objects in photographs—something children can do even before they learn to speak.
When we think of interfaces between human beings and computers, we usually assume that the human being is the one requesting that a task be completed, and the computer is completing the task and providing the results. What if this process were reversed and a computer program could ask a human being to perform a task and return the results? What if it could coordinate many human beings to perform a task?
Amazon Mechanical Turk provides a web services API for computers to integrate "artificial artificial intelligence" directly into their processing by making requests of humans. Developers use the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service to submit tasks to the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site, approve completed tasks, and incorporate the answers into their software applications. To the application, the transaction looks very much like any remote procedure call: the application sends the request, and the service returns the results. Behind the scenes, a network of humans fuels this artificial artificial intelligence by coming to the web site, searching for and completing tasks, and receiving payment for their work.
What problem does Amazon Mechanical Turk solve?
For software developers, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service solves the problem of building applications that until now have not worked well because they lack human intelligence. Humans are much more effective than computers at solving some types of problems, like finding specific objects in pictures, evaluating beauty, or translating text. The Amazon Mechanical Turk web service gives developers a programmable interface to a network of humans to solve these kinds of problems and incorporate this human intelligence into their applications.
For businesses and entrepreneurs who want tasks completed, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service solves the problem of getting work done in a cost-effective manner by people who have the skill to do the work. The service provides access to a vast network of human intelligence with the efficiencies and cost-effectiveness of computers. Oftentimes, the cost of establishing a network of skilled people to do the work outweighs the value of completing it. By turning the fixed costs into variable costs that scale with business needs, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service eliminates this barrier and allows work to be completed that before was not economical.
For people who want to earn money in their spare time, the Amazon Mechanical Turk web site solves the problem of finding work that they can do wherever and whenever they want.
Interesting concept, huh ?
Now, let's go back to the HITs Human Intelligence Tasks main page. There is a "Web Page Classification" HIT here. Looks familiar, right ?
The remaining question is : does mymt2k.com belong to Amazon, or is it a kind of mashup by some research firm - or guy (this Jason Lucas is unknown on mTurk, and Steven Research is unknown on Google) ?...
" Jottit makes getting a website as easy as filling out a textbox.", claims the About page on this new app' website. Well, if Less Is More, Jottit' creators Simon Carstensen and Aaron Swartz got it at the perfection.
It took me approximatively 30 seconds to get a new wiki (in french), with its own address, up and runing. Amazingly easy.
More on Jottit by Rafe Needleman of C|Net' Webware here.
[updated 09.14.07 @ 8:22PM CET]
Please welcome the new member of the Fibergeneration family : FiberNews !
FiberNews is a GoogleMap mashup, displaying FTTH Fiber-To-The-Home related news per their respective location.
See the previous post here.
Created with Yahoo!Pipes and GoogleMaps, of course.
The process is very simple :
1. get news feeds from different online news websites,
2. filter them on specific items, extract the location out of the press release or information,
3. get the corresponding output file as a KML file,
4. open it with GoogleMaps,
5. get the HTML code,
6. embed it in a blog post.
Next steps : a) add more news feeds - for the time being, that's only Fiber Optics Online and The New York Times, b) add a Yahoo!Maps display, to compare with Google's, c) test new ways to show information, as on Babelcast for instance.
You can see, use, and copy the fibernews pipe here.
FiberNews webpage is here.
An interesting confrontation of two different perspectives on the very same subject this morning : on the left hand, french buddy Jeremy Fain, who raises his concerns about online privacy; on the right hand, american blogger Robert Scobble, who' s blooging and twittering whilst his wife is in labour delivering their new baby.
Being a user of the Internet since 15 years, I've been experiencing both good and bad moments after publishing private info here and there over the time. To be honest, way more good encounters than bad ones. For instance, without Usenet I would never have met my dear friend Andrew of Belarus. In the meantime, I know I will never post a photo of our kids online, nor twit about my wife being in labour ;-)
There are moments for keeping stuff private, there are moments to tell the World. It's all about your own ethics.
Here's my newest pipe, called 'FiberNews'.
The name says it all : this pipe gets the fiber optics industry-related news from different sources - to start with : Fiber Optics Online.com and The New York Times, filters the feeds on specific items - in this case : all the FTTH-related news, and display the results on a map according to the location cited in the PR.
Next step : embed the map onto a webpage, using GoogleMaps and the corresponding KML file - I did some tests already, w/o that much success (I do miss something yet with the Google tools ;-)