Update: Note to self, shut gob till know what talking about. The way I describe that the stream should work is exactly how it works – it just doesn’t do that on the first batch of stuff when you import your subscriptions. From then on, it’s working fine. Still would like an enclosure link and some localisation so that my posts don’t show up in Pacific Standard Time, but I think this time I’ll take a closer look at the preferences before shooting my mouth off!

Looking at CNETs new online aggregator Newsburst and I particularly like the fact that I could easily take my bloglines subscriptions over and try out Newsburst quickly and easily. I also like the stream function, but it’s not quite right yet. I sent them the following feedback:

“This is general feedback and an explanation of my requirements that I either don’t see or don’t see how to do straight off the bat.

Firstly, thank you – great product – kudos for allowing OPML import and export and this was very straightforward for me taking my subscriptions from bloglines. This shouldn’t be such a big deal, and one day it won’t be but right now it is so well done and thank you for that.

I very much like that you’ve combined the stream with feed categories, but it doesn’t quite work the way my brain expects. I guess I’d like more choices – sometimes I want to look at just one of my categories as a stream – sometimes I want to look at all my feeds as a stream. In either case, I don’t want to have the stream chunked by feed. I want (at least the option of) a real stream of latest items, simply sorted by posting time regardless of where they’ve come from.

I also want stories to disappear once I’ve read them – unless I mark them as keepers.

If these bits of functionality are there, but I’m just too dumb to see it, please point it out. I’ll be sticking with bloglines (which at least knows what I’ve read) for now, but I’d really like the stream stuff.

btw Dashboard doesn’t work for me at all. Today online, I might look at occasionally.”

Oh now I’ve just remembered something else that’s missing. I don’t see my enclosures linked to when I look at my RSS 2.0 feed – back to the feedback form….

Technorati tags:


Tagging and context

Jack brings another angle on tags/folksonomies

“tagging is personal. My set of tags for this blog only make sense within the context of my blog and my interests. Sure, I try to come up with tags that are sensible to the visitor, and I even create short descriptions of what I mean by “theory of constraints.” And in groups (where the social arises), my use of tags will certainly be informed by how others use them. But these same tags aren’t going to be exactly the same on someone else’s blog. The same goes for my Flickr tags, though I do try to use tags that will make sense to my family and friends who might visit.”

I think there are three important aspects to this point:

1. Context is very important to sense making – people reading the same tag will get a different picture depending on whether or not they already know Jack, his work, his blog, his other online activities, the industry he works in.

2. The social pressure to conform (or not) – this is, I think, what is so cool – by choosing your tags carefully, you can show your closeness or distance from another individual or group – one of the badges of membership of a community might be our common usage of some esoteric tag. Similarly I might deliberately set myself apart from a group by a subtle difference in my choice of tags to describe similar content.

3. Same to me is not necessarily the same to you. Which reminds me of what we were talking about over at Magdalena’s blog about the me now and the later me. What seems the same to me now will not necessarily be the same in a few weeks, months, years’ time. Context has a time dimension and although tagging is personal, personal changes over time.

Cool stuff.

Podwalk 004

Yesterday’s stroll from South Kensington to Knightsbridge includes my first interview with a busker, insults for all and bit of a wobbly bit in the middle where I take some meaningless photos and refer to William Hill’s as a book-keeper rather than a bookmaker. More notes later after I listen again.

Also I’ve hit my limit on sets on flickr so it’s not so straightforward to set up a show. Thought I’d get it all up there anyway (ok except you see them back to front, the first one is south ken tube station)and look at it again later. Maybe some kind soul(s) would like to sponsor me by upgrading me to “pro”

Later later later.

FUD about municipal wifi

Dave points to a bit of scaremongering about publically provided wifi and says:

Citiwide wifi systems will make new products possible. Imagine an iPod that had wifi built-in. While you’re walking around NYC it could check if any of your feeds have updated. This is one of those things you gotta know we’re going to be doing in a couple of years, if not less.

Yeah, but even more so I can imagine a wifi mobile phone that does VoIP for free and so can the sponsors of this sort of reporting (Verizon the bluetooth cripplers are mentioned). I’d expect more of this sort of stuff, the closer that the day comes that I can walk around London chatting to people all over the world for no cost to me (& therefore no revenue to a phone company) beyond the price of my phone and taxes I’ve already paid.

Public Service Networking

chatting about what's important to you

One of my top new projects this year is to establish a (large) network of people working in public services in the UK. The idea is that there are plenty of people in public service who essentially do a very similar job to one another – it just happens to be serving a particular geographic area/population or it’s about a particular service to the public or policy area.

The network will give these people an opportunity to come together, show off about what they’re doing, find out what others are doing and just generally chat with people who understand the issues they face (because…durrr… they face them too). I’m kind of thinking of an ecademy for public servants.

My intended part in this is to host and facilitate the online world of this network and the even more important offline, face to face meetings between these people.

What’s different I hope from the networking opportunities that people have is that I don’t want to be prescriptive by constraining which groups of people talk to each other. There are niche networks for people who are interested in, say, performance measurement in social services in local councils in London. But where is there that people at the Home Office can engage with people from Bristol Council and the Audit Commission at the same time let alone with the serendipitous possibility that someone from a PCT in East Anglia might have recently been working on just the thing that they’re interested in and is eager to show off her learning?

Of course if people want to have narrower, area or policy specific conversations there too then that’s fine.

At the moment I’m looking at community-building software for the online bit and talking to some of the cleverer people I know about what would be really useful and how it should be done.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, then please feel free to, either here in the comments or by e-mail to lloyd AT perfectpath etc.


A departure now from the podwalking. I will certainly keep them up – perhaps a weekly feature, but this really is my weblog and it should be at least as much about what I’m doing and thinking as about exploring new technologies.

So here are a couple of audioblogs from this week – I’m still walking in the street talking to myself (!) but I’m concentrating more on what I’m thinking than about what I can see and hear.

So here’s something from Monday and Tuesday No photos, but some shownotes of sorts for those who don’t know what I’m talking about when I mention:

David Weinberger and his after dinner speech
flickr my bookmarks at
The Dawn and Drew Show (Not Safe for Work or sensitive souls!)
Adam Curry and his Daily Source Code
Madge Weinstein (Definitely not safe for work)

Feedback strongly encouraged.