Essay: What is an unconference? “If you swapped the people on stage with an equal number chosen at random from the audience, the new panelists would effectively be smarter, because they didn’t have the time to get nervous, to prepare PowerPoint slides, to make lists of things they must remember to say, or have overly grandiose ideas about how much recognition they are getting.”
Mark Evans, a reporter in Toronto, suggests that we actually put four random people from the former audience on stage. That’s not exactly an unconference, but it is an interesting idea.
I got locked out of Gmail again. Oy. Just checking email, sending some email. I’ll fill out the form again. Sigh.
AOL: “The Open AIM program enables companies, communities and developers to sell advertising and access, and to facilitate up to 250,000 log-ins per day or two million log-ins per month, without additional licensing requirements.”
Late last week I got an email from Ray Ozzie at Microsoft, and like the discussion we had about SSE late last year, this one promises to result in a new idea entering the web app space.
In about 15 minutes (at 8:45AM Pacific), Ray will start Tues morning Ray will give a talk at a conference in San Diego, at which time I will be free to discuss the idea here.
Wired: “I just hope when they’re done remodeling our living rooms, we’ll still be able to use our legally purchased content the way we want to.”
N.Y.T.i.m.e.s article about R.S.S.
It was a subtle change at Google, but a profound one. It happened some time ago, without any fanfare, and at first confused me, so I haven’t written about it until now. But it’s major. Here’s the deal.
On some subjects, where there is a DMOZ editor, the editor’s descriptions of each page, right or wrong, biased or not, are included with each entry. I’m not going to give examples, because if I do, people will focus on the examples, not the practice.
DMOZ has a bad rep for having editors with conflicts of interest. And it’s exclusive, unlike Wikipedia which at least has battles (never thought I’d say that) of people with conflicts, DMOZ doesn’t even have dissent among conflicted people, only one point of view exists, because there’s only one editor for each category.
Because Google accepts DMOZ as authoritative, it also accepts the conflicts of the editors as authoritative. Bzzzt, that’s a bug. The opportunities for payoffs and bribery are incredible, so incredible it must be happening. No one supervises the editors. That Google is willing to give them editorial control over what Google says is surprising, to say the least. It’s almost unforgiveable.
Basically Google has become an About.com, but with much more power, and without the scrutiny. They know they’re doing it, and so do people who are watching Google, like me. How do we have a discussion about this?