Showing posts with label internet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label internet. Show all posts

Monday, July 18, 2011

Twitter: From 0 to 200 Million Tweets a Day in 5 Years [Infographic]

Love Infographics? Here is a new one we think you should check out: created by, a start-up company specializing in machine generated data visualizations, the neat infographic below plots out "key milestones" on Twitter's path to 200 million tweets a day. Cheers, Twitter!

Following Twitter by

Source: Following Twitter by

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This My Heart: How to Blend Native American and Zen Buddhist Wisdom with Modern Painting and Video-Art

It blends Native American and Zen Buddhist wisdom with modern painting and video-art in a most fantastic mix. It illustrates a thrilling song - written and performed by Joy Harjo - with the modern paintings of an intriguing artist Tim Williams. Since today, This My Heart of Harjo's latest album Winding Through the Milky Way is also a video-art by founder of independent music community Project Bluebird as well as a song writer and singer Nancy Pontius. We really think you should check this one out:

Joy Harjo, shown in the above photo montage, is a Tulsa-born American poet, musician, and author of Native American ancestry. She has edited literary journals, written poems, authored screenplays and performed tenor saxophone with the band Poetic Justice and has recently been named by the United States Artists Rasmuson Fellows to receive a (nice!) $50K grant in recognition of her cultural contributions. Winding Through the Milky Way is, in Harjo's words "a little road music to accompany us as we make the timeless journey between Earth and Skyis" and available for listening here. Check on this recent video Interview with Harjo about Winding Through the Milky Way.

Tim Williams is an American artist and bookseller from Missouri, USA. Also known as 'shitao' on social media platforms Stumbleupon and Flickr, and similar to Pontius and Harjo, Williams has made the Internet his gallery and uses it to extensively share his paintings and river photography with all of us. We just love it when an artist does that. The original Shitao, in case you wonder, was an (important) late 17th century Chinese painter. Shown above: Self-portrait 2006 by Shitao (the living one).

For more about Joy Harjo see her official website here and MySpace here. For more amazing art by Tim Williams including paintings, photographs and what he refers to as "digital constructions" see shitao on Flickr and StumbleUpon. For more about Project Bluebird and Nancy Pontius see MyIndiRadio and ProjectBluebird on YouTube.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get Your Own Copy: Top 10 Online Video Conversion Services

Most online video platforms such as Youtube, MySpace and Metacafe use Flash video streaming (.flv) rather than simple links to files we can download. There are various reasons for that with the main one being the common business model most of those services relay on: advertising. In other words - we get to watch the content for free but we need to do that online and on the site. While this may be serving well the interests of the service provider it might not always be how we want things to go: some of us want to archive our own copies of the videos we love. Others may want to transfer a certain movie from one website to another. Well, this is the time to let you know that you don't have to be "on Youtube" to watch a Youtube movie. Instead, you can download the video stream to your computer, keep it there as a "normal" video file and watch it whenever you like. Nothing is illegal or fishy about it, it is simply another way of consuming the data. Just like you do when you save an html page to your computer and read it later.

So, for your convenience, CultCase has selected some of the best online video conversion services available today. They are all free of charge and do not even require registration. We tested all of them by converting and downloading the same 1:42 min Youtube video seen above of an (awesome) cover version for the Beatles' Hey Jude. There were no significant differences between the services in terms of both time-to-deliver and video quality. All of the files looked reasonable considering the quality of the source and took approximately 1-2 minutes to delivery. If you try any of them with your favorite videos please do let us know how it went.

1. Zamzar


Zamzar is a free online file conversion dedicated to transforming songs, videos, images and documents into different formats. With this service the focus is on high-quality file conversion for as many file formats as possible. The basic free service lets you converting files up to 100MB each. In case you are an online video conversion freak and "want more Zamzar" you can signup for basic, pro or business account and get to convert larger files (up to 1Giga!), a personal inbox for online file storage and faster file conversions (pricing and signup here). Nice and clean interface design. Fun to use.

2. Mux


With a somewhat over-texted design but still simple and easy to use interface Mux is a new beta service allowing you to convert media files from major player websites such as youtube, dailymotion and google and download to your computer. Here you can also share it privately with friends & family or send it to your mobile phone.

3. Vixy


This online flv converter lets you convert Flash video files and download them in avi, mov mp4, pm3 or 3gp container formats encoded with mpeg4 codecs. The site claims to be doing that faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. The service is based on an OpenSource engine named FLV to MPEG4 Conveter. In case you are a serious geek and knows your way around you can even download the project source code via their svn subversion.

4. VideoCodeZone


Convert Flash video files from Youtube, MySpace, Google Videos, IFilm, Break, Dailymotion and Metacafe to popular formats and download them to your computer. Copy and paste the URL of the video, select the output format and click Convert/Download. To convert local Flash video files select the file and click Convert/Download.

5. MediaConverter


Multi-file type converter and splitter supporting video, sound, ringtones, images and documents: not just of popular audio / video files such as mp3, wmv, 3gp, flv, swf, mov, avi, mpg, mp4, divx, ipod, psp and ogg but also picture formats like jpg, psd, doc, pdf, rtf, txt, odg and even abandoned formats as WordPerfect (...?). Check File mode, click Browse, choose the file and hope for auto-detection to work. If auto-detection fails, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file from the Internet check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format and go.

6. ConvertDirect


Online flv converter for Flash video files such as those used by Youtube. Supported output formats include avi, 3gp, mp3, mp4, wmv, mpeg, mov and psp. You can watch your vids on PC, iPod, Zune, PSP and various mobile phones.

7. MovAVI


Other than requiring no software to install (that's true about everyone on this list) the guys from MovAVI are also proud of the fact there are no ads on their site to interrupt you while you are enjoying their free service. Add up to 5 files limited to 10 min each and 100 Mb total size. Enter your email address and MovAVI will notify you when your files are ready. There is also a cool feature allowing you to merge your files videos into one large movie.

8. Flvix


Youtube Google Video dedicated online flv converter. Flvix comes from the folks who do Pingoblog, a cool ping service for bloggers. Very simple yet efficient interface. Converts Youtube and Google videos and serves them for download in avi, mov, mp4, 3gp and mp3 formats for PC, Mobile phones, iPod and PSP.

9. All2Convert


Online video converter. Copy video link, paste it in the URL video box, choose video format and press Convert. Wait for your converted video link to show up and download. Supports 3gp mobile phone format as well as iPhone and Zune videos, iPod, PSP and popular PC formats as dvd, mov, mp4, vob, rm and wmv.

10. ConvertTube


Youtube dedicated online flv converter. Allows you to convert Flash video files as used by YouTube to popular PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone and mobile phone formats such as wmv, mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp. Same as Vixy, this service also claims to be doing its job faster and less lossy than a typical video transcoder.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Playing On The Move: 6 Top Mobile Game Destinations

Playing On The Move: 6 Top Mobile Game Destinations

It seems most of us are not very interested with PC-like action games on our mobile phones. Yet, quite many of us love the idea of using them for casual games. According to a recent report by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services, consumers perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices with puzzle and card games at the top of the list. Amazingly, less than 10 percent of on-the-go Internet gamers say they are interested with core or console-centric games for their mobile phone but 55 percent of them "want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones". Following are 6 prominent mobile game destinations found on the web.

Gameloft is an international publisher and developer of video games for mobile phones established in 1999. The company owns and operates titles such as Block Breaker Deluxe, Asphalt: Urban GT and New York Nights and creates games for mobile handsets equipped with Java, Brew or Symbian technology. Gameloft means business. Their partnership agreements include brands such as Ubisoft Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Dreamworks Animations SKG, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Sony Pictures, Touchtone Television, Warner Bros., and more.

Glu is a global publisher of mobile games founded in 2001 and based in San Mateo, California. Game portfolio includes original titles Super K.O. Boxing!, Stranded and Brain Genius and titles based on major brands from partners including Atari, Hasbro, Warner Bros., Microsoft, SEGA, Sony and more.

Sendmemobile is a leading provider of direct to consumer mobile entertainment and wireless content. The site offers the broadest selection of mobile subscription services currently available online in the US. Content includes interactive mobile trivia, ringtones and wallpaper, mobile sweepstakes.

With GameJump all games are free. You never get charged a dime as everything is paid for by advertisements shown before and after the games. There is no sign up for a subscription or a token system or a premium SMS service. GameJump also have no phone company relationships, so they don't get any money from them either.

PeerBox Mobile is a classic web2.0 venture, integrating social networking, user generated content and file sharing, only they do it for your mobile phone. People with PeerBox can watch and share videos and music files directly from their mobile phone. With user base in 178 countries, PeerBox is a mainstream social environment for mobile users.

Not exactly a mobile content portal but, same as peerbox, also an interesting destination for mobile gamers, playyoo is a growing mobile content community with a web2.0 approach. Here you can download and play but also create and share fun games for your mobile.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

iMedix: New Social Network to Help You Feel Better

Want to know more about your headaches or caffeine addiction? Searching for symptoms, diseases, treatments, or any other health related info? How about collaborating your efforts together with many other folks interested with the very same stuff?

iMedix is new social network helping people finding and sharing health related information. Members of the iMedix community use a spacial search engine that mixes results from the open Internet with user profiles, tags and recommendations and thus, assist each other by sharing their experiences and ranking medical content. According to iMedix their patent-pending search technology provides highly relevant results in response to health related queries. The engine "analyzes users’ feedback against millions of medical articles, pictures and videos in order to provide the best answers for health questions and concerns."

Concerned about your privacy? Uploaded content including text and images is of course accessible to other users and may appear in search results on iMedix. Yet, claiming for a 100% security and privacy procedures, iMedix enables you to upload your content and share it with other users without revealing your identity.

iMedix was co-founded in Israel by Amir Leitersdorf - and avid entrepreneur with strong Internet technology background who also co-founded and held the position of VP of Technology at Movota, which was sold to Bertelsmann Group in 2005. The iMedix start-up was just reported to raise $2M from private investors.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

OpenSocial Alliance is here. Social Internet has changed.

It was just the end of October this year when we learned about another open standard alliance led by Google a move that was described as a "FaceBook killer". OpenSocial provides a common set of Application Interface (API) tools for social applications across multiple websites. With standard JavaScript and HTML, developers can now create rich interactive web applications, accessing data from other social networks, update feeds and create new mashed-up content.

Aiming for every social driven and user generated content website out there to implement the new standards, the OpenSocial alliance seek to change the way people are interacting with each other on the internet by removing some of the boundaries set by a chaosed freedom and commercial interests. Websites already implementing the new OpenSocial tools include highly popular websites such as MySpace,, Friendster, hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle and Orkut. Members of the alliance also include Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, XING and many others. See them all here or check on the video below for interviews with some of OpenSocuial early industry adapters.

Google’s own social network, Orkut, is of course the one that Interests them most but a-la Google's style this is used mainly to give (a limited sandbox for OpenSocial development) rather than take (users from other websites by closing their cross platform communications capabilities). Furthermore, unlike Facebook which uses a proprietary language for their widgets, once you chose developing your new widget with OpenSocial you are totally free to use the best stuff Internet has to offer nowadays including Flash, html and javascript, or in other words - Ajax.

Even though latest figures show the impact on FaceBook's application market is yet minor, the OpenSocial alliance is just one of those things we can't understand how they did not exist until they did and it seems that Google just changed the rules of the game once again. Social Internet has changed. Adding the numbers and including the vast member pool of MySpace - FaceBook's mightiest competitor and an avid OpenSocial integrator - we get a "completely different picture of the combined OpenSocial sites compared to Facebook". A swift look at the above chart posted about a month an a half ago by Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise, tells the whole story in short: FaceBook - you took the closed course and got knocked out by the open one. Just like your Microsoft partner.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

IE7: "A little over a year". Lots of CSS bugs. Still no bug tracking.

IE7: A little over a year. Lots of CSS bugs. Still no bug tracking.

Well, yes, it has been a little over a year since "they" released IE7 on Windows XP and for Windows Vista, so IE7 Group Program Manager Mr. Tony Chor, who is also an avid blogger, thought "it would be worthwhile to talk about where we are after the year." Why? because of "the positive impact IE7 has made" for Microsoft users, because "as you know" Microsoft "focused a lot on improving security in IE7" making "IE 7 the safest Microsoft browser released to date" and because - yes - "IE7 had both fewer fixed and unfixed vulnerabilities in the first year than the other browsers" they compared with.

Also, says Mr. Chor, "according to internal Microsoft research based on data from Visual Sciences Corporation "over 300 million users are experiencing the web with IE7" making it "the second most popular browser after IE6." I'll save you the rest of the exciting new features and reasons specified by Chor. You can read them all here if you like. The point here is that many angry folks seem to have been waiting a long time for such an opportunity to express their real feelings towards IE7 as well as Microsoft's approach for how to handle their interaction with Internet developer community. I quoted up some of the best onces for you as there are just too many of them. Enjoy.

"Sorry, I can't get past the all-too-frequent IE 7 crashing or hanging at seemingly random times to appreciate anything you just posted." (Internet Explorer has stopped working)

"...It would be sad for IE to fade away in its own delusions of grandeur and support its own misguided standards of how the web should be. Good luck and hope to hear about IE's future developments so I can properly hack my sites to work with its arcane developments." (Joshua)

"From the horrifically god-awful (IE6) to the merely depressingly buggy, nonstandard, and incomplete (IE7)... congratulations!" (Joseph E. Davis)

"... 1 year, still no bug tracking 1 year, still no updates on IE8 features 1 year, still no updates on IE8 bug fixes 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 release 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 Beta release(s) 1 year, still no ETA on IE8 Alpha release(s)" (Sam)

"...Every single day, web authors of all experience, from amateurs to experts/gurus, experience difficulties (from minor to major) with bugs of all kinds in IE 7. When is Microsoft going to finally fix all these proven and testcase-ed bugs?" (Gérard Talbot)

"IE Team called out for biased numbers" (Concerned User)

"I wonder when will you release IE without click to activate..." (n-blue)

"... Let's see... six years for IE7, so you guys are on track to have IE8 by what, 2012? Your problem is you think in terms of years. Your problem is that your company sees the web as a competing platform. Do us all a favor and stop making IE altogether." (Paul)

A few words about my own view. After spending four years with Conceptis development team putting up a totally dynamic yet 100% standard compatible application server there are simply no words to describe how horrible is the fact IE is a closed undocumented software ignoring the fact Internet is not owned by Microsoft:

We had a professional top-gun graphic designer added to our payroll to have the most spectacular GUI ever seen. At least a year was spent on coming up with the basic layout look and language. Aiming to support everyone's Internet experience we took a huge effort to have all of it implemented using 100% W3C standards. We came to a point where IE is supported on the site and design look almost as it should - there is not a single line of code in this project containing the bad behavior of mixing graphic design with code and all graphic instructions are done exclusively via CSS, just as they should be "by the book".

In short, we did our part. Yet, most of the time we spent on CSS development went to solving IE6 particular bugs. There were times when we were certain that eventually we'll bump into all of them, a frightening thought in light of the fact there are hundreds. Now with IE7 around it looks like things are not going to be very different. It looks like we will probably just have to add a bunch of IE7 dedicated hacks to our IE CSS override pool. As explained by a fellow named Gérard Talbot the IE development team still has to fix -

"at the very least 700 bugs, incorrect implementations (all testcase-ed, all demontrable, reproducible) happening in HTML 4, CSS 2.1, DOM 2 interfaces and then implement more or less 500 properties, attributes, methods specified in official W3C Technical Recommendations, W3C web standards (HTML 4, CSS 2.1, DOM 2 interfaces, DOM 2 Core, DOM 3 Core)."

How lovely...

There is one particular comment on this thread which I thought should be brought in full as it pretty much sums up my personal feelings towards the subject discussed. Here it is, exactly as posted on the official IE blog by owner of a web development company Adam Tichy on Thursday, December 06, 2007:

"I'm a web developer, not a literary scholar, therefore I cannot quite find proper words to describe my total disgust with IE. I honestly can't wait long enough for that horrible thing to just crawl into the depths of forgotten projects and die.

"Most of my customers provide consumer or business internet services and they rightfully insist that the web applications work properly in all major browsers. Since MS packages this crap together with the OS it is a small wonder that in whatever diminishing numbers, the IE is still out there in force. It makes my life a living hell! I have to either seriously compromise the design and functionality or essentially build several variants of the sites just to make it work for the ignorant IE6/7 crowd.

And I'm not so sure the smaller number of support calls is something to boast. Judging from the stats on my sites, more and more people access them via the "other" browser(s). If this trend continues (and hopefully it will) you will be receiving even less support calls in the future. 300 million my foot."

[Above illustrative image courtesy of Alex who bumped up a confirmed bug by Microsoft. Confirmed since medieval ages of IE 5.]

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bubble 2.0? Laugh until you cry.

"Need a good domain name, must be cheap, can't be lame
Something cool like Flickr, Meebo
Wikiyou, Mahalo, Bebo
Telephone without the T
Diggg but with a triple G
Make your elevator switch
Code it up and hit the switch."

Anyone who was part of the IT industry back in 1999 knows the word "bubble" can be quickly and easily translated into massive dismissal waves, lower salaries and dramatic changes of family budgets. Even though the 2000 dot com crisis had mainly positive impact on my life course I can still remember it very clearly as a no joke situation. Lets all hope web 2.0 is NOT bubble 2.0. Lets hope this hilariously funny takeoff on Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire will remain just a great music video joke by Richter Scales that managed to take the lead on the Guardian Viral Video Chart earlier today.

Solo, video, arrangement and lyrics by Matt Hempey, Mixed by Bill Hare, Recorded by Jason Hunter & Charlie Forkish. As they say, Web 2.0 just had it coming. Laugh until you cry.

Download Here Comes Another Bubble in MP3
Richter Scales
Dot com bubble (Wikipedia)
Second dot-com bubble (Wikipedia)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Access Denied: Twitter joins blocked site list in the United Arab Emirates

If you made a reactionary old fashioned stuck in the past bad guy angry you must have done some good. Thus, my congratulations go to Twitter this morning for joining the lauded halls of the sites banned for speaking too freely. As reported by, the United Arab Emirates has just decided that its residents shall corrupt their souls no more and avoid tweeting with each other as much as they probably have until now. Anyone attempting to access Twitter's website from the UAE gets the above message, translated as follows:

"We apologize, the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates. If you think this site should not be blocked, please visit the Feedback Form available on our website."

Other than newly added Twitter, mashable also mentions some other members of this respected list including MySpace, Facebook and of course devilish YouTube that got himself banned from Beijing, Thailand, Morocco, Australia, and others. Should we be surprised? Not necessarily. Apparently there are even some American folks struggling to block MySpace in schools and libraries. I wonder if that's due to their ability to spread ideas freely, having such a horrible interface or simply the number of female silicon body parts one must observe every time he opens his MySpace inbox.

For more information and a detailed list of other Internet destinations being "inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values" of additional bad guys check on Access Denied Map: Mapping Web 2.0 Censorship from, who also offer the following show your support badge.

Global Voices Advocacy: Access Denied Map

Monday, November 26, 2007

The end of advertising as we know it

According to a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study titled The end of advertising as we know it, and based on IBM global surveys of more than 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising experts, it seems the Advertising industry is about to be changed completely in the near future when: "spending on interactive, one-to-one advertising formats" will surpass traditional, one-to-many advertising channels and a "significant share of ad space will be sold through auctions and exchanges".

Furthermore: according to the study, Advertising will be viewed and acted on an "ad, and pay based on real impact" rather than "estimated impressions". Consumers will "self-select" their advertising and "share preferred ads with peers". User-generated advertising is also expected to gain more attention becoming "prevalent (and appealing) as agency-created spots."

Thanks to Greg Verdino for his useful lead.

Download complete IBM Institute for Business Value study (302KB)
Download executive summary (104KB)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amazon Kindle: read on the go with a wireless high-res e-paper display

Amazon made a big move today with the official release of Kindle - a new wireless portable reader that downloads books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a high-resolution electronic paper display. Claiming to look and read like real paper even in bright sunlight, this new gadget from the largest book shop on earth is available starting today for $399.

Even though you couldn't get any Kindle shipped during last weekend's Black Friday or otherwise get an overnight shipment of your piece. Yet, Amazon still managed to generate a powerful buzz utilizing some journalists who got to play with the Kindle before the holiday. published this nice list of opinions regarding the new gadget.

To me the most amazing aspect of this major move is how the folks from Amazon appear to be well tuned to the growing public interest in Internet blogs. Apparently, more than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics are constantly updated wirelessly on Kindle devices throughout the day. This is a very interesting feature in my opinion as it emphasizes what every print publisher knows by now - public attention is shifting as more people become familiar with digital life.

Amazon Kindle includes a 6" diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display and offers 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale.
More technical info about Kindle on this pres release

Thursday, November 22, 2007

vConvert: online video streams to local video files

Ever wanted to save a YouTube video on your computer or upload a file you saw on one online video platform to another? vConvert is an online service allows you to convert online video streams as those broadcasted on YouTube and similar to local video files on your computer using popular formats such as mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp used mostly by mobile phones.

The vConvert server converts FLV to the selected format faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. Just submit a url wait and download your clip.

Image courtesy No Turn Left

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Redmond, fasten your seat belts: Firefox 3 Beta 1 now available for download

The Microsoft IE7 folks at Redmond must be fastening their seat belts at these moments, getting ready for their largest challenge ever as the world's most superior Internet communication software has just been released as a public Beta. Firefox 3 Beta 1, AKLA 3.0b1 is now available for download with 3 operating systems and more than 20 languages already in supported list.

The rumors about Firefox 3 have been with us for a long time and a lot has been written about the third version. This Internet tool is not going to be just another crappy recycled version of the previous engine with additional bells and whistles and a few "new exciting features" stolen from others and implemented badly (have you seen the exciting new tabs on IE7? how exciting). Firefox 3 is developed as a completely new software, with much of its core re-designed from scratch. The Beta 1 is the ninth developer milestone and includes many new core functionality features and changes to the platform scheduled for Firefox 3 (see 3.0b1 release notes).

New Firefox 3 Beta 1 features:

  • Improved security features such as: Better presentation of website identity and security, malware protection, stricter SSL error pages, anti-virus integration in the download manager, and version checking for insecure plugins.
  • Improved ease of use through: better password management, easier add-on installation, new download manager with resumable downloading, full page zoom, animated tab strip, and better integration with Windows Vista and Mac OS X.
  • Richer personalization through: one-click bookmarking, smart search bookmark folders, direct typing in location bar searches your history and bookmarks for URLs and page titles, ability to register web applications as protocol handlers, and better customization of download actions for file types.
  • Improved platform features such as: new graphics and font rendering architecture, major changes to the HTML rendering engine to provide better CSS, float-, and table layout support, native web page form controls, colour profile management, and offline application support.
  • Performance improvements such as: better data reliability for user profiles, architectural improvements to speed up page rendering, over 300 memory leak fixes, and a new XPCOM cycle collector to reduce entire classes of leaks.

Important notes:

The Mozilla folks say they do not recommend that anyone other than developers and testers download the Firefox 3 Beta 1 milestone release as it is intended for testing purposes only. In addition, If you blog this new further (you should!) please do not link directly to the download site but to this Firefox 3 Beta 1 milestone announcement so that everyone will know what this milestone is, what they should expect, and who should be downloading to participate in testing at this stage of development.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friends who dugg this and Freeze Frame Urban Photography

I admit to have been neglecting my digging activity lately, mainly due to my daughter's new Varicella-Zoster feature. Yet, today when I checked on my shouts and followed this digg post from my friend suxmonkey (who also runs the WebUrbanist blog), I noticed something has changed and this new cool "friends who dugg this" ajax window was added when you point your mouse on the digg button.

I think this was only brought up in the last couple of days ago. As following the diggs from your friends is one of the best ways to use the internet nowadays so I also think this minor addition is doing very good to Digg's position as still the leading social bookmarking platform on the web. Even though being criticized for its user-moderation approach as well as various of other varying reasons, Digg is still a fantastic way to explore the web then just searching for stuff at Google.

By the way, if you have come this far on reading this, I also suggest you'd pay a visit to the Incredible Art in Motion: From Freeze Frame Urban Photography to Kinetic Sculpture post from my urban culture friend at WebUrbanist. As explained in the Digg thread and before you scream 'PHOTOSHOP' know that the above picture, just as the rest in the post, is of a real living street dancer, taken with a manual camera and was not "shopped" in any way.

Have a Digg account? Mine is here. be me friend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mediasnackers age: an unsnacked observation


"It’s time to acknowledge that in a truly multimedia environment of 2025, most Americans don’t need to understand more than a hundred or so words at a time, and certainly will never read anything approaching the length of an old-fashioned book. We need a frank reassessment of where long-form literacy itself lies in the spectrum of skills that a modern nation requires of its workers." (from What is the worth of words? By Michael Rogers Columnist Special to MSNBC Sept. 21, 2006)

I've been tagged by Neil Perkin on the MediaSnacking meme. According to Jeremiah Owyang, who started this meme, Mediasnackers are people who "consume small bits of information, data or entertainment when, where, and how they want." Thus, those who provide the media snack feed need to respect that and learn how to speck its language.

Triggered by the above (90 second, what else?) clip from MediaSnackers, Owyang Mediasnackers meme explores the ways modern bloggers cope with the new requirements. Owyang, a famed Web Strategist from San Francisco, argues that business people of actually any age are "also busy, get information from multiple sources, and need filters" and should therefore fit into this category. I couldn't agree more Mr. Owyang. Allow me to add that I think it's not only business people but also, to some extent, everyone on the Internet.

Movie buffs, for example, seem to prefer the short review format offered by hot movie review killer start-up Criticker as well as being semi-automatically matched with friends by computers. The bloggers themselves are very much of that type. Aren't we all enjoying the jumping from one interesting blogger page to another using the snacky presentation of our favorite blogging community platforms? Isn't being snacky and digested the basic point of successful StumbleUpon blogging? Everything from how to squeeze every cent of profit from your Pay-Per-Click marketing to how to defeat brain drain is being dressed with what I call the new "tips and lists" style.


Lastly, to answer Owyang's question about how I cope with the Mediasnackers age: As you can see I am not doing very well. My problem has always been enjoying the suffering of writing and having just a bit too much to say about everything. Took me years and graduating journalism school to even make me sentences shorter. I also think that in the bottom line, one just has to read. Unless we want to stay stupid as we go out from high-school there is just no way around it.


Oh yes, other than failing in making my posts shorter, I also respect my Mediasnackers readers with the best "kind of" relevant visuals or movie clips I can find such as the above one of Swatch from Neil Perkin @ Only Dead Fish - the nitty witty advertising and media blogger who tagged me for this subject in the first place. You can always find something interesting in Neil's joint. This was also the place that introduced me to some of my favorite marketing and advertising webspots. Some of what I do just has to be right as I make great new friends. Also my Technorati ranking and Google PR are generally trending up. for what it counts.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Jathia's Wager: Open Source Social Movie Making

The opening scene in the first draft of Jathia's Wager shows a group of people is led by an old man to the edge of a dark forest looking outside into a new world:

EXT. GRASS FIELD - DAY: A dark forest sits at the end of a perfectly maintained sea of grass. Small clusters of buildings shimmer in the distance. A huddled group of people slowly walk through the grass toward the edge of the forest. Their faces turn deadly serious as they get closer to the edge. An old man with flowing gray hair leads the pack. He stops abruptly and holds up a fist. OLD MAN: This is as far as we go.

Change this old man with a young passionate dude, the forest with our existing life and the new world with the Internet and you might figure out the same metalanguage metaphor I see here, as Jathia’s Wager will be no ordinary movie.

Defined as "an open source collaborative filmmaking project" this project invites Internet community to re-interpret, revise, produce, reuse distribute and redistribute a movie for free. Officially announced on July 16, 2007 by Solomon Rothman Films the short Sci-Fi is planned to be telling the story of a "young man living in an isolated community of humans, who must make a life changing decision about his future and his species."

Other than being a cool movie buff and an avid blogger, Solomon Rothman is an American filmmaker living at Los Angeles who has already used the new challenges of online video revolution and released a full movie online. Boy Who Never Slept tells the story of a stagnant insomniac writer who meets a beautiful teenage girl online and falls into an "unlikely love story wrapped in hard reality" and with some sex. As Youtube only allow a maximum of 10 minutes per clip Rothman distributed it in 20 pieces. Took me a while to dig it out but here is the first piece, you can get the rest by searching Solomon Rothman on YouTube:

According to Rothman his hopes are that the new project of Jathia’s Wager "will fully explore the concept of open, collaborative filmmaking and inspire people to create a true open-source filmmaking community." We sure hope so too. It is not yet clear how "fully" it will really be at the end as it seems to be quite a new concept with many edges still remain unsolved. Yet, I think Rothman already deserves my applause for helping us take the first steps into... mmm... how shall we call that? Open Sources Social Movie Making? OSSMM?

Jathia's Wager is not the first collaborative open source movie. A Swarm of Angels, by Steve O'Hear, was recently announced to be moving into its next phase, which "should see the community grow to 5,000 paying members" from just under a thousand in June this year. This interesting article on titled Can open source methodology make a movie? claims the folks behind The Digital Tipping Point (DTP) are betting it can.

Main Jathia’s Wager page
First Jathia's Wager draft
Official press release

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October's Triple Google Dance: eliminating Paid Link industry?

Google Dance is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professional term referring to the period of time when Google indices are tuned. According to Wikipedia Google Dance often cause "both a fluctuation in index size as well a significant change in a web site's search result position." A week ago, on Wednesday morning October 24, the world was witnessing an electronic Tsunami of reports from around the web reported about famous websites and blogs having their Google PageRank value significantly decreased during the recent performance of the Google dancer., a Seattle-based SEO blog and a hub for search marketers worldwide, followed-up and put up this list with some prominent websites that got hit. A few examples would be (from PR6 to PR4), (from PR7 to PR5), (from PR7 to PR5), from (PR6 to PR4) and the famous blogger who now has to get up in the morning to a new PR4 blog, rather than the PR6 he was used to.

So what is going on?

According to the most reasonable explanation for the recent change, that seem to be going further than we use to, is that the losses are "primarily a result of Google's continuing public relations campaign against paid linking." Opening the doors for corporate capital to override "people's voice" which is how Google have always seen their PR algorithm, Paid Linking is everything but how Google want to see their multi-billion dollar machine ranking Internet pages. I stumbled up this explanation in a few more blogs. Some even suggest that, as opposed to how things are usually done with Google, this time there seem to be some kind of manual override and that some websites are simply "being punished".

It is not clear if Google indeed seeks to eliminate the entire Paid Link industry. Yet, I agree with Loren Baker of that "if Paid Linking houses use PageRank as a pricing metric, then eliminating or devaluing PageRank will devalue paid linking" so this is definitely an option here. Furthermore, Techcrunch reported yesterday that even though, normally Google update page rank once every three months, sometimes not that often", the recent PR "downgrade" of a broad range of blogs was in fact the third Google dance in October 2007. This never happened before and something is definitely going on with Google PageRank.

Above image is sourced from More about possible future scenarios for the Paid Link industry in this article by title The Future of Paid Linking and more about Google PageRank on this Wikipedia article. Oh yes, this recent PR "zetz" was actually pretty good for my blog as it was upgraded from PR2 to PR3. I guess one's loss can sometimes be someone else's cause for celebration. Is that a cruel world or what?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Welcome BlogCatalog. Still love you MyBlogLog.

The requirement of being reviewed and accepted rather than just going through the usual registration process we know from most Internet services is perhaps the most important difference between BlogCatalog and its sibling/rival community MyBlogLog (MBL), both probably the two leading social blog directories on the Internet.

Other differences, at least as I see it, also help to position BlogCatalog in a somewhat higher scale than MBL, allowing it to take this more "daring" attitude: A better looking GUI design and the unlimited number of communities you can join every day in BlogCatalog comparing to a maximum of 15 each day in MBL are just some of them.

So, I am happy to report my avid readers this message from BlogCatalog had just landed in my gmail box a few hours ago, informing me my blog Individual@Home "has been reviewed" and "approved"! what do you say about that? My blog has been reviewed and approved! I feel like its me who have been approved here, not just my blog... my whole personality, technical skills and general knowledge have been approved.

Following are my MBL and BlogCatalog badges, hoping they would work here:

MyBlogLog community

BlogCatalog community

P.S. Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding, don't get me wrong MBL folks: I LOVE MBL and plan to stay active as much as I was before. It's just that, as opposed to Woody Allen, I just love exclusive clubs once they accept me :)

My BlogCatalog community
My MyBlogLog community

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

FaceBook and Microsoft: is it final or is it Google?

Rumors about FaceBook negotiating a bitter acquisition bidding war with Microsoft and or Google have been around for quite some time. This morning another step was taken as the company confirmed it is planning "a significant advertising-related announcement" in two weeks, in perfect timing with the AdTech new-media marketing conference:

"Facebook has invited some of its closest advertisers to an event on November 6 in New York. As part of it, Facebook executives will discuss new approaches for advertising online. We are not sharing any further details."

Owen Thomas from the says we need not rely on any rumors as for the real confirmation all we need is a bit of digging into FaceBook: Apparently, Brandee Barker, the charmingly indiscreet head of Facebook PR, has added Adam Sohn - global sales and marketing PR at Microsoft - as his FaceBook friend. Just buddies? Fooling Google to take its bid up? we'll see soon.

Meantime New York Post reporter Peter Lauria said multiple sources had indicated a battle for the deal and that we may even see results within the next 24 to 48 hours. According to, value the social networking site FaceBook may sky high to more than $10 billion (£4.97 billion). Looking at the social media advertising business its no wonder at all: According to a recent research from eMarketer, for example, Social Networks ad spending is expected to reach $1.38 billion this Year, enormously growing to $3.63 billion in 2011. Here is a business you should look into.

Have a FaceBook account? mine is here.