Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Project Pic365 - day6

Social media for critters.

Posted by ShoZu

Social not cool anymore?

I believe that the aspect of including social media and social elements in your school, work, or play is important and that it is still all the "buzz." But, is using the words "social" or "social network" out? Facebook has a made a few minor changes, notably, they have removed the social network definition in their description. Maybe it's just a given or maybe it's just out. It reminds me of the days when everyone went through the whole... "we're a .com business." Suddenly in the '90s, it was cool to put .com behind everything and anything (john.com). So it seems that in today's fast pace to "social," everyone seems to want to jump on board with social networks or include a social media element to their work. Rightfully so, I think if you are not, you are definitely not taking full advantage of the power of "people" and the connectedness that can come about. But just as folks are embracing social communities and Facebook hits more than 100 million users, there's talk that social and friending could be short lived with the advent of the "intelligent web." There's even talk about Web 3.0. What's next..? Regulations?

For now, I'm going to enjoy the new Facebook mobile app update for the iPhone. It has way more features than the original app. Check it out.

... you’ll be happy to know that Facebook’s iPhone application has reached version 2.0; you can get it through the iPhone app store. New version brings all the ‘new’ overviews of what’s happening on Facebook: News Feed, Live Feed, Events, Notifications and so on. Furthermore, those tabs from Facebook’s new design are also visible in the iPhone version. Finally, you can post (and tag) photos from your iPhone. And, the coolest feat yet: you reload the page by shaking your iPhone!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Project Pic365 - day5

Posted by ShoZu

The Intelligent Web

Web Strategist, Jeremiah Owyang writes:
The Intelligent Web: Software that is able to collect and make sense of all the data in the system and is able to deliver meaningful content back to people in context –often without us saying or gesturing that we need it.
In his recent post, Jeremiah speaks about "friending" others in such social communities like Facebook, Plaxo and others and the notion that these mind numbing aspects of our social relm could be obsolete with the advent of the "Intelligent Web."
"Intelligent websites (and their data) will be able to determine who our friends are from our behaviors, context, and preferences, without us verbally (or physically) having to indicate so.

...Like a baby, we’re teaching the ’system’ our language, how to walk, how to coexist in our real flesh and blood world, the ’system’ is just starting to show intelligence. One primary example of this is the use of hashtags in Twitter. We use the # sign to tag content so it’s easily to organize and find. That one # character isn’t native to our tongue (unless when you recite your grocery list and say “hashtag”) it’s another example of us speaking machine language in order to teach the system."
Today we mindlessly "add colleagues/friends," however, similar to the (#) hashtags concept, Intelligent systems will be able to identify through our actions connect users with like colleagues.

Jeremiah Owyang writes: If you can’t see where this is headed, I’ll tell you: all of what we’re doing from our clicks, queries, wall posts and tweets is teaching the ’system’. In the long run we’re creating a massive global computer, an artificial intelligence, and someday, a thinking being.

Therefore, when the 'system' is more mature, we won’t have to explicitly state who we’re friends with anyone –it’ll have learned and already know.

An interesting post to also read is: What's after the social web.

All this brings me full circle to a post I shared earlier about the next 5,000 days and "The One Machine" by Kevin Kelly.

Image by Kevin Kelly.
The next stage in human technological evolution is a single thinking/web/computer that is planetary in dimensions. This planetary computer will be the largest, most complex and most dependable machine we have ever built. It will also be the platform that most business and culture will run on. The web is the initial OS of this new global machine, and all the many gadgets we possess are the windows into its core. Future gizmos will be future gateways into the same One Machine.
Keep your eyes open and your behavior behaving. The one machine is watching you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Project Pic365 - day3

Posted by ShoZu

Texas Restaurant - great taste / less filling

Friday, September 26, 2008

Project Pic365 - day2

Ludwig smoke-free apple drum set.

Posted by ShoZu

Village of 100 people

With the recent hurricane in South Texas, my sister has been with out electricity now going on two weeks and it looks like it could go for another. Life is a challenge for her at home with the need for basic essentials like ice, laundry, batteries, etc. Things are not normal there, but they make the most of their situation.

So what about the rest of the world. Some basic necessities we take for granted are not even accessible for so many in other parts of the world. So what does the rest of the world look like?

Well, if the world were a village of 100 people the data would be very striking. Toby Ng neatly captures and summarizes the world that we live in. Using information graphics to re-tell the story and information in the simplest and most accessible way.

Click to view complete images.

Prayers going out to the hurricane victims and others in need.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project Pic365 - day1

Posted by ShoZu

I read a blog the other day about a guy who had taken a single picture each and every day of the year. As he moved through the year, his images were more inspiring and "better" in his words. (I wish I could find that blog!) So I thought, let's see where this takes me. So don't expect anything fancy or thought provoking, just a daily image capture from my iPhone uploaded to this blog spot.

This image is a "fairy villiage" my kids created out of bark and sticks from the tree above... Love their imagination.

Project 10100

Google has launched Project 10100, described as “a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.

The project works as follows: you send Google your idea by October 20th; it’s done by simply filling out a submission form, add a 30-second video if you like. Public voting on ideas begins on January 27th, 20 semi finalists will be chosen, and an advisory board will then select up to five final ideas. Google will commit 10 million dollars to make these ideas work.


Animoto (the end of slideshows) provides a free Web 2.0 video service for educators. Videos can be made from images and music can be added as a sound track. Student videos can be as short as 30 seconds or longer. Students can make videos of their class projects and embed them in a class Wiki, blog, or in a multimedia presentation. The flexibility and ease of this service adds a new dimension for teachers and their students. Animoto is a great resource for anyone who wants to create vibrant animated videos with ppt. pics, and passion. Now educators can have free access for projects with students... I've signed up and will see how far I can go.

History Lessons
Doug Belshaw
School:Ridgewood School
Description:Doug uses Animoto to introduce topics he'll be presenting to his history classes.
Testimonial:"Animoto brings my history lessons to life!"
- Doug Belshaw

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are we there yet?

On many long road trips, my kids are always asking me, "Are we there yet?" And so it seems fitting that this is something our kids are asking us as educators, "Are we there yet?" There are so many tools and resources available for students, teachers, parents and communities to connect far beyond their classroom walls, yet I wonder, when will we get there. As I read all the blog posts through my Google Reader or find great videos like the one below, I wonder, how many teachers are doing this. Is it truly the small 2% that represented the blogosphere group this past June or are there many more out there. I read a post from David Warlick titled Being Measured — The State of the Blogosphere where he writes:
44% of bloggers are parents. Perhaps you might ask, during you next PTA meeting, how many in the audience have a blog. The answer might be important…
So if this is the case, my guess is that these parents have children and that they engage with technologies that teachers and students can benefit from. As I watched this video, I realized (having created an account on Facebook, Flickr, and so on and so on and I teaching my children at home about these great technology tools) that not everyone does this or has the time. I do this because even though I work for a social community, WeAreTeachers, I am still an educator and the primary teacher for my children. I realized that my son's school does not embrace all of these new technologies whether it's because of security reasons or professional development. However, not to belabor the topic, I know this is something that seems to be the topic of many ed tech conversations... "What is it going to take to get districts to embrace Web2.0 tools (all the usual suspects) and how will we move teachers to embrace and integrate into their curriculum and still teach the standards...
I believe "we are there" and the students are ready and willing.

☛ Twitterkeys ☚

This is a post that a good friend shared and thought I would pass along.
Twitterkeys—enhance your Twitter conversations:

Written on September 16, 2008 – 10:27 pm
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten,

As you might know Twitter accepts more than just basic text. The service is UTF8 compatible which means that instead of tweeting “I love you” you could just as well use “I ♥ you”. Or how about this:

“I’m going to ✈ to ☭ in the morning after I make a ☎ to make sure my ♂ is ✔ with it. ✌ for now and don’t forget to ✍ and lets have ♨ soon!”

But how do you remember all these characters?


TwitterKeys is a small tool by (@bomega & @sandervdv) developed here at The Next Web Blog which provides you with a floating window with all these funny symbols you can use in Twitter. These are the symbols we currently provide:

Drag this link to your browser
bookmarks toolbar: TwitterKeys

Now go and share this with your friends on Twitter…

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Information Overload: Clay Shirky

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Clay Shirky (shirky.com) It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure.

Yes We Can

I really love this image that I saw from a presentation @ Web 2.0 Expo NY by Jason Fried (37signals), High Order Bit. You can view his presentation here.

I believe this is the Homer's car that he designed when he wanted everything in a car. Jason speaks to this as an example of software development and what happens when you say yes to too many features; too many customers—you end up looking like this. As developers, you have to have discipline and avoid being everything to everyone.

I think this is so true and a challenge for lots of companies to manage. Think of yourself as a curator—decide what comes in and what comes out. A curators job is to say NO. Think about your product as a museum and your features as art. Not all the art in the world goes in the museaum, just those that have relevance. This is a great presentation on developing your product.
Make it a collection, not a warehouse.
At WeAreTeachers, we deal with this issue all the time. Often, we go to developers and ask them to do what Flickr is doing with images, tagging, etc. or to add a blog feature similar to what X is doing and the list goes on. What I want to hear from our developer is "Yes We Can!" What happens then is that we deal with what a few people want and other times we do what everyone else wants or is doing. I often fall into the trap of feels like wanting to be everything to everyone. This image/presentation is a good reminder to balance between what you want, what customers want and what is right.

This notion, I believe, also applies to my personal life. I seem to always want to say yes to everything and to everyone. There are lots of things out there, and not all good, the balance is to be a curator and determine what art goes in the museum.

Building Personal Brand

Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library), Building Personal Brand Within the Social Media Landscape

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo - Remote Access

For all the obvious and not so obvious reasons, I could not attend the Web 2.0 Expo in NY, although if there were one event I could take time to go to, it would be this one.

This event is so well organized and offers a wealth of online resources to bring you up to speed remotely.

Here are a few Web 2.0 Expo resources:

1. Twitter summize page

1. Backchannels via Twitter by track
Strategy & Business Models: #w2e_strat
Media & Marketing: #w2e_mktg
Design & UX: #w2e_ux
Development: #w2e_dev
Performance & Scaling: #w2e_perf
Web 2.0 at Work: #w2e_ent
Finance: #w2e_fin
Web2Open: #w2e_w2o
Sponsored Sessions: #w2e_s
Keynotes: #w2e_key

3. Presentation files by topic / sessions

4. Web 2.0 Expo Social Network site

5. Web 2.0 Expo RSS Feed

Web 2.0 Expo - State of the Web

Breaking news from the Web 2.0 Expo: What’s new? Nothing really! Social media continues to mature, and that means the market for social media services will become more crowded and shift.

We’re not seeing any new game changing evolution in social media this year. What’s new is the new Facebook, the more stabilized Twitter, and the solidification of top bloggers as influencers.

The biggest change this year is the increasingly competitive nature of social media. Consider Twitter’s pitched battle with microblog networks like FriendFeed, and increased video competition for YouTube. Or the attempts of the many to unseat top influentials. But in my mind this represents a maturation of the market. Nothing is really new.

And social media is maturing on the corporate side, too. Most companies are not doing social media well, but their toes are in the water. Now the latest studies show that enterprises are willing to let employees use social media at work 70% of the time. Fear fades as adoption increases.

This reaffirms that the landscape of social media is increasingly becoming more accepted and organizations are seeing that this is not a fad or fly by night. If you business hasn't jumped on board, you could get left behind. The key will be to get the masses to jump on board and identify how to acquire members. There's no place like Facebook. There's no place like Facebook... Our approach at WeAreTeachers has been to develop our app, I Am Teacher and engage where they currently hang out. Traditional marketing says to bring members to you; Social media says let's do a meet-up... if you can't beat them, join them.

CR2.0 PA - Live Ustream Feed

Classroom 2.0 is hosting an onsite and LIVE Ustream video feed to this event. If you have not participated in an online stream, this is a great opportunity to participate in a synchronous online Web 2.0 event.
September 19 & 20 @ 8:30 EST

For program agenda or to view live feed, visit:

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm too social for my Web

How much is too social?
I often wonder how all these folks online are able to manage their time blogging, Twittering, Digging, Facebooking, Flickring and YouTubing and still manage their work and family responsibilities? Irregardless to ones profession, social media is a big part of where online learners, consumers, educators, businesses, teens, musicians, etc. are going.

The question today isn't whether we, a company, school or entity, should consider adopting social media practices, but rather how do we get started and what do we do?

So here are some starting steps for newbies:

Step 1. Create an avatar.
Step 2. Post a video on YouTube.
Step 3. Create a Twitter account.
Step 4. Send a Tweet and repeat after me: "I don't get this, what's the point?"
Step 5. Join Flickr, Slideshare, Digg, del.icio.us, stumble and whatever else everyone is doing.
Step 6. Create a blog and write about your interests or about something only you will read.
Step 7. Join Facebook, Bebo, Myspace or one of the millions of social communities.
Step 8. Invite your so called "friends" to join your community.
Step 9. If so inclined, create your own social community on Ning.
Step 10. Get whatever work you need to get done before 5pm.

In a recent survey by TNS media intelligence/Cymfony, 70 plus companies were interviewed from four countries (US, Canada, UK & France) about the importance of social media to their business.

Not a surprise to me; about 80% of the businesses interviewed agreed that social media should have significant resources dedicated to the effort and that it is a revolutionary opportunity that must include a sense of urgency. Not one organization felt that it was a passing fad or should not be an integral part of their business. I believe this too be true regardless of your business; be it schooling children, selling widgets or running a non-profit organization. Preview the other great findings in this study.

So what does it mean to be social and how involved should one get in social media? I know that for me and what I do at WeAreTeachers, I can spend an entire day doing the 10 step process and getting to number ten late in the afternoon if I don't manage my time. But more importantly, individual or organizations often join a social community or application and never return or participate. Simply joining a community and not engaging is like buying a car and not putting gas in it; well, unless you have a hybrid, that's not a bad thing. You get the point.

Darren Rowse of Problogger, states the following:
  • Be an Active Participant
  • Have a Consistent Presence on Different Social Media Sites
  • Add Value to the Wider Community
  • Let Others Sell You
In other words, be engaged, extend your "brand," either your own or your organizations across various media outlets, be honest and bring something to the table. And, as I am doing here, let others pass the baton. Darren has a great weekly video post for engagement. I don't know him, don't work for him, but he practices these great principals and so I share with you.

Good luck with your social media endeavor. I need to get back to work!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Next 5,000 Days?

The last 5,000 days have brought together through computers, cell phones, servers, linking of pages, satellite images and Web 2.0.

So what does the next 5,000 days bring us?
Kevin Kelly shares the coming of the One Machine.

Today we see social networks connecting us more than ever. With Facebook, reaching more than 100 million users together and the notion of sharing data from these millions of users is overwhelming. Taking that a step further, the thought of having the data of millions of users being passed from thousands of 'Facebook' like communities with the data being pushed or 'linked' from one community to the next is unfathomable. If I create a profile in WeAreTeachers and then join a community on MySpace, I don't pass my data across communities; I have to create accounts in both, hence the notecard in my wallet with all my usernames and passwords. Currently, if I am in Ning, I am able to join other communities without having to create a new username and password, the data is simply linked from one community to the next WITHIN the Ning social network. However, the idea of doing that example across the numerous social sites just once is beyond me although it doesn't seem out of reach. This one machine, or Web 3.0, will bring all 'things' closer together.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home Sweet Work...

More and more people are working from home. Whether it's do to the economy, gas prices or the nature of your job, it is more prevalent. After teaching, I consulted and did work for education companies. I have worked out of my home for more than fifteen years. The typical setup may have included a fax, phone and internet connection.

Well, much has changed since I've started working from home. With the advent of many of the Web 2.0 tools, video capabilities and mobile technologies. Much of my day is spent video conferencing with developers, customers, marketing team members and operation folks. All of this happening via online communities, social networking, LinkedIn, Twitter, iChat, Vyew and the list goes on.

The challenge with the notion of working from home isn't that I get distracted with the kids, naps (though I do that once in a while) or duties around the house. The challenge for me is that I never turn it off. Even after dinner, I will take a peak at my emails, see who's online and continue to work into the evening.

A recent post by Abhijeet Mukherjee writes about managing your time at home or work...?
There is a complete change of lifestyle and the realization of the fact that you are essentially your own boss and that nobody is cracking the whip to keep you moving could unleash more troubles and negatively affect a lot of things in your life including your health. In fact discipline and proper organization of work is a challenge which I think most of the web workers (or home workers) struggle with on a daily basis and hence I have decided to mention a few points which could probably help them to get over those issues.
Decide and organize workspace
It's important to decide which portion of your house will be called your home office and then organize it. Even if a laptop is enough for you to work make sure that you have a desk for yourself, and if you live with your family try to keep it at a place which is separate from the hustles and bustles of your home. If that's not possible then rent a room near your house. And yes, please don't make your home office a mess.

Fix your work hours
The liberty to not wake up with the alarm at 6AM is really amazing, however, it could make you lazy and slack at work. So make sure you fix your work hours in a manner that you are able to complete your work and also get time for other things like family, sleep, food, watching TV and taking a walk. f it makes sense, work when you love to work, doesn't matter nights or days, but have fixed working hours even at home.

Educate your family about the change in lifestyle
This is very important for those who don't live alone. After you've decided your work hours, you should sit down with your family and discuss the forthcoming changes in your lifestyle. Also make them realize, especially to your kids, the importance of your work and why you should not be disturbed during your work hours. Your always being at home should not imply that you are always available.

Educate your friends too
Eventually, your friends and neighbors will come to know that you work from home, but what they won't understand easily is that you 'work ' from home. This could mean a friend dropping by when you are busy with something and asking you out for a coffee or beer. Don't let such a conflicting situation arise. Inform them about your work hours beforehand and frankly if the doorbell rings and you're not expecting a business colleague, ignore it.

Prioritize work
Prioritizing your work could save you valuable time and also make sure that you are not absorbed in unnecessary activities which don't make you money. So think and decide what you need to accomplish first and complete the tasks in order of their priority.

Manage distractions
I'm not talking about avoiding distractions; every distraction has its own significance. If you consider a computer game as a distraction then don't forget it lightens up your mood, reduces the stress and makes you laugh. The point is you need to manage things which could pull you away from your priority tasks.

If you read too many RSS feeds then learn to manage and avoid RSS overload. If you are tied up with emails all day long then learn to manage them like an expert. Just make sure that you give the maximum time to the work which is important and which makes you money.

Don't be stressed...enjoy life !
The idea behind getting disciplined and organized as someone working from home is to get more freedom and enjoy life. Yes, there would be an amount of stress especially during the initial few months but if you don't budge and keep going you will be able to beat that stress easily.

Facebook: Time is up.

We’ve known it for quite some time now: Facebook’s new design will soon be Facebook’s only design, although many users aren’t particularly happy about it. Some 30-40 million people have already made the switch. And, we know have an exact time frame, and the clock is ticking fast: by the end of this week, all users will be dragged, kicking and screaming, to the new design.

Status update: John is going to deal with it and move on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Check out the world's best slideshare presentation from the 2008 World's Best Presentation Contest. Great message and imagery. See top winners in each category.

Below of three of my favorite honorable mentions: (click to preview)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Can I get a status update?

It seems that in today's Web 2.0 society, we are open and willing to share just about anything. Sometimes, we even share the most meaningless information via our status updates, especially in the world of Twitter, Facebook and of course in this blog here as well.

So here are a few posts from my quick glance at my Twitter profile:
kellypuffs Happy Monday! Working in the office because the dog smells

tigertwo Think it might be time for lunch...pasta again for me :)

Just saw a shop that sells sausages in a bun - and shoes. Oh how i love this city!
Not that I don't care what you are having for lunch, but I'm not sure if this is the kind of information I need to know? Well, I am guilty of the same kind of posts. With our recent application on Facebook, I Am Teacher, I feel like I have this need to share with others my current status and obviously so many others feel the same way.

A few of my Facebook friends write:

David Armano seriously. You realize most of us really are addicted to the Internet right? Ugh.

Matt Di Giovanni is ready to take control.

Nick ONeill New blog post: Facebook Adds Profile Preview Feature http://tinyurl.com/66ulr7.

Malcolm St. Romain Jr. is gettin' ready for the week.

Holly Floyd Peterson is ready for the Cowboy game and CG! Also updated the blog: http://holpeterson.blogspot.com.
And the list goes on...

So what drives us to leave this mini-posts and why do we
care to share it with the rest of the world? For me, it gives me a chance to capture my thoughts and to share what I am doing with some of my closest friends and I guess part of me wants to know what's going on out there as well. I especially like to gain new insights and some new resources or links. Often times, I may not have time to read a full blog or I am curious about some new happening or topic of interest so I check out the status of my friends. These little status updates give a glimpse as to how folks react to breaking news, new applications or great finds. I really appreciate when folks post a status update and a link to something that is relevant or interesting. This typically peaks my interest, especially if the topic connects to something I am currently focused on.

Here's a timely "tweet" from Jeremiah Owyang, web strategist.

jowyang How do you use Twitter? For listening? talking? supporting? Here's how I use Twitter http://tinyurl.com/24lv65

Status updates and micro-blogs can be very meaningful and I often find myself somewhere between "I am having pancakes for breakfast" and "check out this link about this great topic." This is the world we live in and the ever changing interactions we embrace on the web. Don't expect to change anytime soon, In fact, I think more folks will begin to embrace.

So in the spirit of "Status Updates," and for the times you are at a loss for generating a post, here is a great random status generator as well as a few of my favorites:

Cleaver Facebook status updates:
* is planning a vacation and is leaning towards Pisa.
* says, Muscle Shoals has got the swampers.
* wants to expand the NFL season to 162 games.
* ’s NOT fat…that’s his money belt.
* is: a stereotype. I’m not wrong. I’m cuddly.
* is writing: Anachronistic Antidisestablishmentarianism: A Case Study.
* sees golf-ball sized hail! Grab your 9-iron and let’s go…
* is: thinking Pandora didn’t think outside the box.
* brakes for unicorns.
* is: the kid next door’s imaginary friend.
* wants an Orange Mocha Frappuccino!
* served in the military under General Apathy.
* is: trying to think of clever things to say after inhaling from a helium balloon.
* Facts: 1) Ninjas are mammals. 2) Ninjas fight ALL the time. 3) The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.
* found a shortcut for next week’s marathon.
* is: revoking your creative license.
* is: leveraging core competencies across the extraprise
* , it turns out, isn’t a Jedi
* ’s hobby is collecting dust
* puts the pro in proscrastinate
* hears a voice in his head saying, "hey, can I join in?"
* needs to learn how to type with more than two fingers
* is: hammering out a wicked comeback
* is: so fly he's growing wings
* needs help watering the plastic flower
* is: on a joyride to sanity looking for his marbles
* wishes you a Happy New Now!

Add these when you are at a loss of "status" or check out the full list at Ernie is.
For now, John is: looking forward to viewing your status update!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thanks to all the little people.

Today I received the most prestigious and meaningful award of the week. I have been acknowledged with the "You Kicked My Butt" award from my co-worker and friend Holly. Nothing like the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory. One day she and I and the WeAreTeachers team took on the challenge of being more "social" and enter the world of the blogosphere. With this challenge we made a concerted effort to engage in the blogging world and follow blogs of interest through our Google Reader. This has proven to be a more difficult task than I initially thought it would take. I'm sure that all of you bloggers out there, can relate. I'm just thankful that the three of you still follow my blog let alone try to come up with something meaningful to right about. I admire and appreciate all the bloggers out there that I follow. At some point, I will list those that I follow. For now, I want to thank the little people for this award and will continue to post as often and as meaningful as possible. For now, this is a "friendly" note and acceptance of her acknowledgement of my victorious lead in the blogging space.

And I quote:
John... would win a blogging emmy (if there was such a thing) for "the most blogs any one person could possibly post in a single week." Seriously, he's kicking my butt. And, yes, we've turned this into a competition.

Needless to say, we are a competitive bunch here at WeAreTeachers. So in all seriousness, I would like to award my colleague, Holly, an award of great significance as well... the "Take It!" Award because I'm winning now. In all seriousness, Holly and I are good friends and we are very competitive so we take it all in stride.

Take It. Take It. Take It.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All the buzz... Google Chrome

Google has introduced a new Web browser, called Chrome, which is directly targeted at going head-to-head in the browser market with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The move takes the Google-Microsoft rivalry to a whole new level.

But just how good is Chrome? (preview videos) How does it differ from IE and from less popular, but still important, browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari?

Walt Mossberg, Personal Technology Columnist for The Wall Street Journal and All Things Digital Web (walt.allthingsd.com) shares his insights and initial review of Google's new browser - Chrome.

My verdict: Chrome is a smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the Web faster, easier and less frustrating. But this first version — which is just a beta, or test, release — is rough around the edges and lacks some common browser features Google plans to add later. These omissions include a way to manage bookmarks, a command for emailing links and pages directly from the browser, and even a progress bar to show how much of a Web page has loaded.
As for me, the biggest weakness is the fact that there is no support for the Mac environment. For now, I'll stick with Firefox 3.0. Read the full review.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh... The places we go.

According to comScore, a Web data tracker, Americans spent 302 billion minutes online last month. That's 6,760 lifetimes at 85 years apiece.

So where do we spend all this time?
Checking e-mail is the most popular online activity for the 221 million North American adults online, according to Forrester. About 82% of those check e-mail at least once per week. Nearly half shop on the Web, while 42% read news online every week. Other Web pastimes include banking, which 55% of users said they did in the last three months; playing videogames (24% in the same period); buying airline tickets (23%); and locking in hotel rooms (20%).

I was certain, WeAreTeachers would be on the top 20 most visited websites. Looks like we have much work to do. Check the most visited web sites or visit the Forbes blog to see the most trafficked sites then and now.The 20 Most Trafficked Web Sites: from Nielsen Online as of July 2008.

No. 20 Craigslist

Unique Visitors: 30,210,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:13:21
Rank in July 2005: No. 131

No. 19 Real Network

Unique Visitors: 32,034,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:34:01
Rank in July 2005: No. 9

No. 18 Glam Media

Unique Visitors: 32,573,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:14:15
Rank in July 2005: N/A

No. 17 CNN Digital Network

Unique Visitors: 32,977,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:37:32
Rank in July 2005: No. 13

No. 16 Facebook

Unique Visitors: 34,362,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:29:39
Rank in July 2005: No. 236

No. 15 Weather Channel

Unique Visitors: 35,949,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:35:16
Rank in July 2005: No. 10

No. 14 About.com

Unique Visitors: 38,477,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:04:58
Rank in July 2005: No. 14

No. 13 Ask Search Network

Unique Visitors: 40,182,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:19:19
Rank in July 2005: N/A

No. 12 Blogger

Unique Visitors: 40,825,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:11:56
Rank in July 2005: No. 35

No. 11 Amazon

Unique Visitors: 45,144,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:25:49
Rank in July 2005: No. 8

No. 10 Apple

Unique Visitors: 50,694,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:12:10
Rank in July 2005: No. 11

No. 9 Wikipedia

Unique Visitors: 51,786,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:20:49
Rank in July 2005: No. 57

No. 8 eBay

Unique Visitors: 56,111,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:49:30
Rank in July 2005: No. 6

No. 7 Fox Interactive Media

Unique Visitors: 70,103,000
Average Time Per Visit: 2:06:53
Rank in July 2005: N/A

No. 6 YouTube

Unique Visitors: 74,809,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:02:57
Rank in July 2005: N/A

No. 5 AOL Media Network

Unique Visitors: 91,776,000
Average Time Per Visit: 3:40:40
Rank in July 2005: No. 5

No. 4 Microsoft

Unique Visitors: 92,318,000
Average Time Per Visit: 0:38:01
Rank in July 2005: No. 2

No. 3 MSN/Windows

Unique Visitors: 99,512,000
Average Time Per Visit: 2:12:36
Rank in July 2005: No. 3

No. 2 Yahoo!

Unique Visitors: 116,178,000
Average Time Per Visit: 3:33:00
Rank in July 2005: No. 1

No. 1 Google

Unique Visitors: 123,161,000
Average Time Per Visit: 1:18:24
Rank in July 2005: No. 4

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Study of a Culture - The YouTube Culture

No this is not the "Charlie bit me" video. This is Mike Wesch's presentation to the Library of Congress entitled "An anthropological introduction to YouTube." Mike is the creator of the now famous video - Web 2.0 Explained. This presentation really speaks to how widespread YouTube is and the notion of video blogs (vlogs) as a culture for how as a people we connect to others.
Mike shares his study of this culture known as YouTube.

This is obviously the largest growing media form of our age and growing. And now, there are even more web resources that offer video uploading and distribution; sites such as Vimeo, OneTrue Media, and many others offers the ability to upload and share video. Most social networks like Ning, MySpace, Facebook, WeAreTeachers and others also offer the ability to upload and share videos within their own communities. But what's more amazing is not only the posting of the videos onto these various online communities, but the number of hits / views these videos get - we all have our favorites. And so how do these get widespread? Just as I am doing now - by embedding a YouTube video and commenting on it. Mike speaks to this concept and posts to Digg or Technorati and other web services contribute to this.

This is an amazing a video with the good, the bad, the ugly of YouTube, but it is real and it is a part of our culture And, while YouTube does have it's 'drama' and not all video/language is good, it is a community of all of us from all ages. As with all forms of media, this is something that has it's controversies and filtering; hence, the probable reason many schools block YouTube from it's students.

If you have a some time, sit and watch this and reflect. This has conjured up a lot of thought provoking ideas and questions for me that even as I blog here in my office by myself, just this post is part of that culture which goes out to so many (okay maybe 3 of you) but can go anywhere and can be interpreted differently by each one of you.

The take away for me is that we are all part of this 'One World' and that we all have a voice and that we all still want to connect even in this virtual society called YouTube.