A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘social networking

[META] What blogs do you read?

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What sites do you visit regularly? What are you into?

Let me know in the comments.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 16, 2016 at 11:58 pm

[WRITING] “The lost infrastructure of social media”

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Some time ago, Bruce Sterling linked to Anil Dash’s essay (published at Medium) describing the many features of the early blogosphere that were lost in subsequent generations, but could plausibly be brought back.

Search

As extraordinary as it seems now, there was a point when one could search most of the blogs in the world and get a reasonably complete and up-to-date set of results in return. Technorati was a pioneering service here, and started by actually attempting to crawl all of the blogs on the Internet each time they updated; later this architecture evolved to require a “ping” (see Updates, below) each time a site updated. On the current internet, we can see relatively complete search results for hashtags or terms within Twitter or some other closed networks, but the closure of Google Blog Search in 2011 marked the end of “blog search” as a discrete product separate from general web search or news search. It’s easy to imagine that modern search software and vastly cheaper hardware make it possible to recreate a search engine for frequently-updated sites like news sites and blogs, with domain-specific features that general tools like Google News don’t offer.

Comments

In the early days of blogging, not every publishing tool supported comments natively; as a result, third-party commenting services popped up to meet the need. As the major tools incorporated their own commenting features, comment services came to be used primarily by big publishers using unwieldy content management systems that didn’t natively support commenting features. In the earlier era, comment systems were built without anticipating the ways that online communities would grow, and these serious design flaws enabled the widespread abuse that we see online today. Newer tools seem to be trying to put the genie back in the bottle, but large publishers are increasingly shutting down comments entirely rather than investing in building a healthy community.

Responses

One category of interaction between sites that’s nearly disappeared is the idea of structured responses between different authors or even different sites. Though Medium supports a limited version of this feature today, early tools like Trackback and Pingback made it possible for almost any site to let another site know that their story or article had inspired a response. Typically, those responses were shown under an article, similar to comments, but once Google introduced its advertising platforms like AdSense, links between sites suddenly had monetary value and spam links soon followed. A modern reinvention of Trackback-style features could connect conversations on different websites in the same way that @ replies work on Twitter.

I would also mention, as Dash did, Friends pages like those of Livejournal.

Thoughts?

Written by Randy McDonald

August 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm

[PHOTO] On how Graffiti Alley in Toronto has the world’s longest Instagram photo

blogTO has let me know that Toronto’s Graffiti Alley has led to a world record: It is the source of the world’s longest Instagram photo.

Toronto’s Graffiti Alley is one of the most Instagrammed spots in the city – it really does make a great background for broody, pseudo-gritty fashion shoots. But now this downtown laneway is a star in its own right thanks to a new project by Heritage Toronto and Havas Worldwide Canada, an advertising firm.

Called Instatour, this Instagram-based projects stitches together 1,300 separate posts to create the longest continuous Instagram photo in the world. The result is quite stunning, but make sure you check out graffitialley.to on mobile. Simply turn your phone sideways and scroll away.

Local photographer Justin Poulsen documented Graffiti Alley for three weeks earlier this year. His work gives viewers a glimpse at this iconic Toronto spot at a specific moment in time.

“Heritage Toronto is thrilled to be involved in this innovative project commemorating a key site in our city’s intangible cultural heritage,” says Heritage Toronto executive director Francisco Alvarez in a news release.

“It’s a reminder that even our recent past can be fleeting, and how important it is to celebrate moments of creation like Graffiti Alley that create a distinctive sense of place and pride in Toronto.”

The Instagram account, graffitialley.to, is worth checking out. For people not on mobile, the below video provides a taste.

Graffiti Alley Instatour from Havas Worldwide Canada on Vimeo.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 26, 2016 at 12:45 pm

[NEWS] Some Wednesday links

  • Bloomberg talks about Poland’s problems with economic growth, notes that McMansions are poor investments, considers what to do about the Olympics post-Rio, looks at new Japanese tax incentives for working women, looks at a French war museum that put its stock up for sale, examines the power of the New Zealand dairy, looks at the Yasukuni controversies, and notes Huawei’s progress in China.
  • Bloomberg View is hopeful for Brazil, argues demographics are dooming Abenomics, suggests ways for the US to pit Russia versus Iran, looks at Chinese fisheries and the survival of the ocean, notes that high American population growth makes the post-2008 economic recovery relatively less notable, looks at Emperor Akihito’s opposition to Japanese remilitarization, and argues that Europe’s soft response to terrorism is not a weakness.
  • CBC notes that Russian doping whistleblowers fear for their lives, looks at how New Brunswick farmers are adapting to climate change, and looks at how Neanderthals’ lack of facility with tools may have doomed them.
  • The Globe and Mail argues Ontario should imitate Michigan instead of Québec, notes the new Anne of Green Gables series on Netflix, and predicts good things for Tim Horton’s in the Philippines.
  • The Guardian notes that Canada’s impending deal with the European Union is not any model for the United Kingdom.
  • The Inter Press Service looks at child executions in Iran.
  • MacLean’s notes that Great Lakes mayors have joined to challenge a diversion of water from their shared basin.
  • National Geographic looks at the elephant ivory trade, considers the abstract intelligence of birds, considers the Mayan calendar’s complexities, and looks at how the young generation treats Pluto’s dwarf planet status.
  • The National Post notes that VIA Rail is interested in offering a low-cost bus route along the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia.
  • Open Democracy notes that the last Russian prisoner in Guantanamo does not want to go home, and wonders why the West ignores the Rwandan dictatorship.
  • TVO considers how rural communities can attract immigrants.
  • Universe Today suggests sending our digital selves to the stars, looks at how cirrus clouds kept early Mars warm and wet, and notes the discovery of an early-forming direct-collapse black hole.
  • Variance Explained looks at how Donald Trump’s tweets clearly show two authors at work.
  • The Washignton Post considers what happens when a gay bar becomes a bar with more general appeal.
  • Wired notes that the World Wide Web still is far from achieving its founders’ dreams, looks at how news apps are dying off, and reports on the Univision purchase of Gawker.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO describes how Parkdale’s Harry’s diner is going to be revamped.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly describes the joys of making friends through the blogosphere.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at Kuiper Belt object Niku and its strange orbit.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the controversy over Google’s map of Palestine.
  • Marginal Revolution notes how Faroese women leave their home islands at a disproportionately high rate.
  • Peter Rukavina describes time spent with his son kayaking Charlottetown harbour.
  • Strange Maps depicts the shift of the global economic centre of the world.
  • Window on Eurasia describes the decay of provincial Karelia.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • ABC reports on the Sudanese-Australian basketball players who are transforming the game in Australia.
  • Bloomberg reports on the potentially transformative scope of China’s New Silk Road project.
  • Bloomberg View likes the new Star Trek movie’s shift beyond speciesism.
  • CBC reports on the strength of pro-Trump support among non-voting Amish in Pennsylvania, and looks at a VIA Rail proposal to set up a commuter run in Halifax.
  • Gizmodo reports on Florida’s disastrous coastal algal infestations.
  • The Globe and Mail notes a proposal for Ontario-Michigan cooperation and recounts the story of the construction of the Rideau Canal.
  • The Guardian reports on Catalonia’s swift progress towards a declaration of independence.
  • MacLean’s describes Manitoba’s falling crime rate.
  • Open Democracy wonders about Italy’s Five Star Movement and looks at the newest African-American hashtag movements.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Bloomberg notes the closure of Poland’s frontier with Kaliningrad, looks at how Google is beating out Facebook in helping India get connected to the Internet, notes British arms makers’ efforts to diversify beyond Europe and examines the United Kingdom’s difficult negotiations to get out of the European Union, looks at the problems of investing in Argentina, looks at the complications of Germany’s clean energy policy, observes that the Israeli government gave the schools of ultra-Orthodox Jews the right not to teach math and English, examines the consequences of terrorism on French politics, and examines at length the plight of South Asian migrant workers in the Gulf dependent on their employers.
  • Bloomberg View notes Donald Trump’s bromance with Putin’s Russia, examines Melania Trump’s potential immigrant problems, and is critical of Thailand’s new anti-democratic constitution.
  • CBC looks at how some video stores in Canada are hanging on.
  • The Inter Press Service notes that the Olympic Games marks the end of a decade of megaprojects in Brazil.
  • MacLean’s approves of the eighth and final book in the Harry Potter series.
  • The National Post reports on a Ukrainian proposal to transform Chernobyl into a solar farm, and examines an abandoned plan to use nuclear weapons to unleash Alberta’s oil sands.
  • Open Democracy looks at the relationship between wealth and femicide in India, fears a possible coup in Ukraine, looks at the new relationship between China and Africa, examines the outsized importance of Corbyn to Britain’s Labour Party, and looks how Armenia’s defeat of Azerbaijan has given its veterans outsized power.
  • Universe Today notes proposals for colonizing Mercury, looks at strong support in Hawaii for a new telescope, and examines the progenitor star of SN 1987A.
  • Wired emphasizes the importance of nuclear weapons and deterrence for Donald Trump, and looks at how many cities around the world have transformed their rivers.