Monthly Archives: March 2007

dotMobi Mobile Web Developers Guide

The Mobile Web is the future. Good reliable resources are just starting to trickle in. Blue Flavor’s Brian Fling and the dotMobi crew have set the bar high with their dotMobi Mobile Web Developers Guide. Check it out. It is a great resource.

Do you use the Mobile Web? Do you develop for the Mobile Web? Any Mobile Web resources that you’d recommend?

The Online Social Interactions Stack

In our day to day lives, we have many different types of social interactions. There is the quick innocent flirting, the short broadcast messages, the free flowing conversation, the ramble, and the structured prepared thought. Just like real life, there are different types of online social interactions.

In the beginning, there was blogging. People used blogging for everything. People blogged short quick thoughts, the blogged long drawn out diaries of their day, they blogged Bob Dylan lyrics, they blogged structured opinions, and they blogged photos of their cats.

Recently, we have seen different types of online services that allow for different types of online social interaction. Every Web early adopter crowd can’t stop talking about Twitter. Merlin Mann is in love with Tumblr. Who doesn’t use either WordPress, Typepad, or Moveable Type?

In a recent episode of This Week in Tech, Leo Laporte talked about how blogging, Tumblr, and Twitter were all important to him because they served a different need that he had. Leo is absolutely right.

I propose the Online Social Interactions Stack:

Level 0: Quick Personality & Life Updates
These are quick updates of what is going on in your life or the life of your organization, either aimed at the whole world or a specific group of people. These communications should be under 140 characters. Twitter is the best example of a tool for this type of communication.

Level 1: Free form expression
These are your unstructured thoughts. This is for when you have something you want to express to the world but you don’t know exactly how to do it. You’re not exactly sure what you’re message is. You just want to get it out there. Tumblr is the best example of a tool for this type of communication.

Level 2: Prepared and well formed thoughts.
These are the types of thoughts that you have taken the time to structure and plan. There is a beginning and an end. You know what you’re trying to say. There is message you’re trying to get across to your readers. WordPress or Typepad are the best examples of a tool for this type of communication.

What do you think of the Online Social Interactions Stack? Am I missing anything?

AOL Launches Ficlets – a platform for collaborative story writing

Today, AOL launched Ficlets. The Web application is a platform for users to write short stories. The stories have to be greater than 64 characters but less than 1024 characters. You don’t use Ficlets to write your book. You use ficlets to because you get to collaborate with the world.

Users are encouraged to read other people’s short stories and then build on top of them by either writing a prequel or a sequel. If you find another short story that you like, you can take it in your own direction. Its kind of like the campfire stories that you told to each other growing up and everyone got to tell one part of the story. When you were finished, there was this amazing creative work before you.

It gives you the ability to log into the system using OpenID. I had never used OpenID before. It was surprisingly convenient. I used this blog’s URL as my identifier.

Within Ficlets, you can identify other writers who you want to follow, to be your editor, or to inspire you as a muse.

You can browse through Flickr photos and use them for inspiration.

The best is that all content that is created in Ficlets is under a Creative Commons license.

Feel free to check out my profile and some of the short stories that I have put together.

Ficlets is something that Jason and Cindy have been hinting at (usually calling it ProjectX) for the last couple of months. I’m glad to finally see it launched. I really love the site and I can’t wait to use it more.

What are Digg.com’s Real Numbers?

Digg.com Founder Kevin Rose announced on the company blog that they had just reached their one millionth registered user.

While the one millionth registered user is something to celebrate, it shouldn’t be made to look like Digg.com has one million active users. Registered users doesn’t mean active users. It is irresponsible for Kevin Rose and Digg.com to kinda sorta blur the lines between the two. Digg should release the number of active unique users they have.

I have had a Digg account for a while but I don’t use it that often. The convenience and novelty of Digg.com wore off a long time ago because it was an inefficient way to find the day’s top stories. I would guess that Digg suffers from the ‘try me virus.’ People use it for a few months then leave.

Didn’t all of the Silicon Valley companies learn from all the flack that Linden Labs’ Second Life got for not clarifying that in-world residents doesn’t mean active or unique accounts.

Where is the Clary Shirky investigative journalism when we need it?

Printing a TypePad Blog Entry Sucks

Now more then ever I have been reading lots and lots of content that I find on the Web. Usually if the document is under two pages I will quickly skim the document. If it is over two pages, I will print it out. I find it much easier to thoughtfully read longer text if I can hold the piece of paper in my hand and write on the page.

Screenshot of TypePad

I have noticed a disturbing trend. Any blog entry that uses TypePad to power the blog gets butchered when you try to print it. It will typically print the first page of the post and then cut off the rest till the comments. It is just a painful user experience. It usually ends with me swearing at the printer.

For example, I wanted to print off the following blog posts so that I could read them later.

After printing them out a few times from the browser with no success, I was forced to copy and paste these blog entries to a Word document before I could print them out in their entirety.

Any of you out there share in my frustration?

In the comments, share your experiences. Post this on your blog. Join me in my plea. Lets get a message to the gang at SixApart that we love TypePad but we want to be able to print stuff too.

Vote for Wash DC for Next Future of Web Apps. Conference

Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

Ryan Carson of Carson Systems has posted a poll for where the next Future of Web Apps. conference should be. Show Washington DC some love and vote for it as the next conference location. It’d be great to bring some Web conferences over to the East coast of the USA.

(Photo by chadh)