Scripting News for 11/24/2007

Do you have a Digg clone? 

Is it not one of the ones blessed by the critics and users?

If so, I have an idea that starts with a Digg clone, and I may have a business proposition for you if your product is right and you are willing to retool, slightly.

Send me a private email if you’re interested. Principals only.

Pictures from the community 

The Twittergram site makes it easy to flow pictures through your Flickr account to Twitter.

Now you can see the stream of pictures, visually, not as URLs.

It gives you a visual look at the community. Worth a look, maybe a bookmark?

It’s not currently available as an RSS 2.0 feed with enclosures, an obvious to-do list item. 🙂

The user experience has been a disaster 

The NY Times has a piece today where they say the mobile web is so close yet so far.

“The user experience has been a disaster,” says Tony Davis, managing partner of Brightspark, a Toronto venture capital firm that has invested in two mobile Web companies.

The NY Times has totally ignored the NY Times River, which makes the Times work on mobile devices with ease of use that they so often report is eluding them.

It’s like a fly perched on the end of your nose. You can feel it but it won’t come into focus. Please, Times people, I beg you — use it to read the Times while you’re riding on the subway or waiting at a red light, in line at D’Agostinos, Katz’s, Junior’s, Original Ray’s, The 2nd Ave Deli, Sammy’s or Zabar’s.

You’ll fall in love. I promise. (At least someone will. There must be some news junkies at the Times??)

PS: I don’t think the Times has a mechanism to cover itself as a technological innovator. As far as I know they never ran a story explaining what RSS is and the role the Times played in making it a standard. It’s vexing. It’s not as if the Times doesn’t report on itself, it does.

PPS: Thanks to the Times for the link love from the main Tech page today.

Digging into the latest Facebook privacy issue 

In response to yesterday’s piece about gaining control of our data, jmdelaney says that the newest Facebook issue is serious. I don’t doubt that it is, I just don’t fully understand the issue, and I bet a lot of other people don’t either.

To restate my point — there is some kind of disclosure we want them to do, and others we don’t. Let’s not say all disclosure is bad. I might not mind having a purchase of an electronic gadget be a public act (with conditions) where I would mind disclosure of medications. Clearly this should be up to the individual to decide. Until I understand how it works, I’d like the default to be opt-out, and I decide to opt-in on a case by case basis.

What conditions might apply? Well, if they’re going to disclose that I bought a Slingbox, there ought to be a way for me to attach to that reference a diary of my experiences with the product. The link shouldn’t be without risk to the vendor, it should carry information that’s useful to other potential purchasers.

To say that I bought a ticket on American Airlines to fly from New York to San Francisco via Dallas should allow me to add that I missed my connection because the first flight was delayed, and AA refused to cover my hotel expense. Otherwise, of what value is this to the user, and why shouldn’t we switch to another network that gives us the ability to communicate about products. Or do they give us that ability?

How little we know about what they’re doing. Please post links to screen shots. Help us figure it out. As far as I know Facebook hasn’t leaked any of my data (or have they?)

Scott Rafer has two excellent posts on this topic.

Ethan Zuckerman explains, with screen shots. “Pardon me while I switch all my embarrasing purchasing behavior over to another browser that doesn’t know anything about my social networking sites.”

Om Malik in Berkeley 

Subscription list interchange may be prior art 

I have to write a piece about how OPML came to be the defacto standard for interchange of subscription lists. I hadn’t thought about it this way until just now but it’s actually the model for what I want Netflix and Yahoo to do with movie rating data, and now it’s just been suggested that the model be used for interchange of social network data. I know the gurus of this probably won’t like it, but it actually a good use case. This could be the beginning of an interesting comment thread.

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