Not exactly. Measuring popularity is useful, but the point of the metric I was describing is not just to measure quality, but to encourage contributions. Think of it as a high-score board for frassle: here are the people who did really well. There should be straightforward, but not trivial, ways to bump up this score. The prospect of getting a high score will encourage users to contribute in the ways favored by the metric.
28 May 2004
28 May 2004
by Martin Fowler Pramod Sadalage
28 May 2004
The personal reputation thing would just be a little gimmick. The whole point is to define a metric that correlates to positive contribution to the frassle community, not to offer stars and hearts like Orkut. I wasn't thinking the reputation would be determined directly by other frassle users, although it should somehow take into account interacting with other users. But maybe also page popularity, frequency of writing, and more. I guess perhaps the hard question is: what does it mean to contribute usefully on frassle? Is it just writing a lot? (That seems overly transparent.)
28 May 2004
I'm at the Thursday blog group meeting at Harvard's Berkman Center. I send my thanks to the generous providers of the LOBBY7 open wireless network.
There is an interesting blog comparison chart at: http://www.asymptomatic.net/blogbreakdown.htm
Dave wants there to be a chart like this, only more thorough. I should talk to Lisa about getting BlogTips off the ground. With the pagebuilder and my checklist module, it would be easy to host this on frassle. I'm reluctant to offer that suggestion right now, because I don't want to toot my own horn. But in any case, I want blogtips and the blog feature comparison to go somewhere soon. Maybe it can be a project for this long weekend.
Yahoo! Groups has RSS feeds! Check it out on the rss-users list. This is pretty cool. Is it the counter-effort to Google's groups with Atom feeds? How long will it take for the assinine RSS/Atom rivalry to realize its own banality? I will speculate no more.
I'm still at the meeting, and this post will be updated, but I am going to save it for now.
How about an attendance list? It's 7:43pm and Bob Stepno just walked in. Jack Hodgson is to his left, Vernica Downey (sp?) next, Sarah Horton, Ben Gross, Jessica Baumgart, Garrett Eastman, Bill Ives, Sun, me, and Dave Winer.
Apparently Katie Hafner has an article about how addictive blogs can be in the New York Times. We briefly continue poo-pooing it for being so lame. I hear telephones are addictive too. Bob Stepno has a satire.
Dave asks who has applied for DNC press credentials. Bob and Dave have, and Bill wants to apply. The deadline is tomorrow, according to Jessica. Bob suggests going there and talking to the DNC about the decision process. If the application review process is geared toward small newspapers, what will their process be for individuals?
Dave confirms that spammers can't harvest email addresses off the Harvard blogs. This is by design. My email address is in plaintext on every page of my blog. Do I enjoy spam? I should install some better spam filters.
During a lull, I asked about ideas for getting a blogging/KM system bootstrapped for my software development group at work. CRM tools might offer some ideas for me to get a weblog-style KM system running at work.
- ePeople is one, suggested by Ben.
- Bill Ives will point me at a case study about Reiter(?), something with an intuitive UI and a campaign to evangelize the system and get people committed to using it.
I guess there are no simple answers, but I'm hoping I can get something started, with not too much effort. I'm still kinda on the fence about whether to build my own thing or install something off the shelf. But really, I just need to get started with something that I can grow over time. I'm writing to Bill Ives for more information because the rest of the group didn't seem too interested.
Dave is showing off his Radio Upstreaming. Whole Wheat Radio? That's two different kinds of Radio, by the way.
Doh, lost wireless connection! Woot, got wireless connection! Thanks, "linksys"! Dinner at the Bombay Club.
28 May 2004
I was talking about two things.
- A reputation system for people who are members of the frassle community. This means weblog authors and commenters (who are really just thinly-veiled weblog authors). Since the point of the reputation system is to encourage positive behavior by people so they can get more stars next to their name or whatever, it must apply to people.
- A ratings system for posts and items on the web. This would be a way to quickly rate the quality of a post you read on frassle, or to save a rating along with a bookmark to any random thing you find on the web.
These systems don't have to be perfect, or even transparent, but they do have to be convincing and accurate. The reputation system I currently have no great ideas for. The ratings system, however, was one of the original motivations for frassle and I think I can do something pretty cool with that.
27 May 2004
Reputation systems, like ebay's seller ratings or amazon's Top 1000 Reviewers, are simple but effective ways to get people to contribute to an online community in a certain way. I'd like to have some reputation rankings for frassle. How should I construct these? How would I measure useful contribution to the frassle community?
A related system would be ratings for websites linked from frassle. This is a simple addition to frassle's note system but offers an easy way to drop useful data into frassle. I should sketch out a data model for this tonight.
27 May 2004
Jessica, thanks for the frassle ideas. I'm thinking about lots of them but I'm going to respond first to your remark that my todo list is my intellectual capital.
Firstly, Boston is my intellectual capital. Or maybe Arlington. Or maybe Williamstown. Or Cincinnati. OK, that horse was dead before I even started kicking.
Anyway, what I was going to say is that I've been leaning more and more to making frassle a Free Software project. Releasing it under the GNU GPL. I've been afraid of this so far because of the possible administrative burdens this would bring upon me. Frassle has been a highly unstable piece of software, with no obvious extension points, and I imagined it very difficult to build useful collaboration among developers. Plus, frassle wasn't really unique enough to hook users on its own. Because it didn't have some nifty gimmick to make people ask, in awe, how'd you do that?, I've usually had to count on my friends to become my users rather than vice-versa.
But now I think frassle is starting to stabilize, and I believe the page builder, which will show up in the next version, begins to solve many of these problems. One thing the page builder is good for is showing how the stuff you see in frassle right now—feed, categories, aggregators, inter-category relationships, 100% dynamic views—can be powerful foundations for dynamic websites. The page builder is all about making it super easy to build dynamic web pages. You create a page, you add blocks to it that show a certain set of things in a certain form, and frassle delivers it. I am even going to add the ability to incorporate a page block into any HTML page on the internet—a little "steal this content" button next to the XML icon.
Additionally, I've designed the page builder so that it's easy to add a new kind of block display. For instance, you might not be satisfied with the "list of titles" or "title and body" block styles that come with frassle. Perhaps you want to show a calendar, or maybe even a dynamically-rendered checklist, or a music playlist. It's now will soon be possible to add that kind of power to frassle in an easy, pluggable way. You don't have to learn much about frassle to do it, and I don't have to learn much about what you did to add it to stock frassle.
So maybe frassle would fly as Free software. Ideas, dear readers? If you could modify frassle yourself, what would you change? What could frassle maybe help you do?
26 May 2004
Yeah, one of the best things about being a grownup is that you can have lots of different flavors of ice cream in your freezer. In fact, given the right kind of containers (cubes), I believe our freezer could hold upwards of 31 flavors. Watch out Baskin Robbins!
26 May 2004
I just stood there, staring into the red plastic shopping basket with its mesh of holes showing the very clean linoleum and my navy blue sneakers down there below the two pints of ice cream. I could hear the fluorescent lights hum. I could feel my pulse on the crown of my head. It was 3AM in the supermarket and I was breathing air. I know this seems strange, but I never bought more than one pint of ice cream, ever, not even if I had the money; not even if there was a Buy One, Get One Free sale. Two pints of ice cream? Un-thinkable. Verboten. No. Fucking. Way.
I wanna be smart like Lisa. I wanna live with abandon like her friend Meg.
25 May 2004
This is Bob Doyle's site where has some potentially interesting videos from conferences, including OSCOM. His CMSReview site and related community of practice is also cool. When will video/audio from BloggerCon be up?