Category Archives: Aggregate

Turns out their are maps for these territories. Lots of them.

With the help of simple tools introduced by Internet companies recently, millions of people are trying their hand at cartography, drawing on digital maps and annotating them with text, images, sound and videos. In the process, they are reshaping the world of mapmaking and collectively creating a new kind of atlas that is likely to be both richer and messier than any other. They are also turning the Web into a medium where maps will play a more central role in how information is organized and found.

Read this article from the New York Times

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Connection/Isolation, Social Media, Technology, our Mirror, Tools, Usability, User generated content, Virtual Communities, web 2.0, When New Meets Old

Unfound, unused data is just clutter

Data is not information unless you can find it. But information can’t be applied to knowledge in the absence of the means by which to use it. Access must yield meaningful information in order to turn bits of code into valuable and actionable business information. I like to think about it this way: libraries house rich caches of data in the form of books, but finding the exact piece of information you seek requires some level of research and library science expertise. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the information you seek could somehow be collected and organized for you, in the format and context in which you want it? And wouldn’t it be even more helpful if it was assembled for you, not just from the local collection, but from libraries in Singapore, Milan, Minneapolis and Copenhagen? Some early examples of this new approach to information management illuminate its enormous possibilities

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Being buried in data isn’t a new problem, but the issue has grown exponentially in recent years, as more and more data pours through corporate networks and the Internet. IDG recently dubbed this phenomenon the “digital big bang,” and a quick look at data growth shows why. In digital terms, 161 exabytes (or 161 billion gigabytes) of information was created, captured and replicated in 2006. But by 2010, this number will explode to an estimated 988 exabytes. Much of this data will be created by you and me, individuals. IDC found that 70 percent of the data is created by end users and over the Web. In one day, YouTube streams more than 100 million videos, while 1 billion MP3 files are shared over the Internet daily. The increasing convenience and ubiquity of digital devices also add to the explosion.

Web 2.0 flips the information delivery model upside down–it’s now about global access, and information at your fingertips, aggregated from sources that you don’t even necessarily know about, or care where they exist. Based on a set of search criteria, information in all its rich forms–media, video, audio, images, documents, text–all will be assembled together in context and delivered to users and applications for real-time experience….As information is effectively harnessed, hidden insights will appear that were previously buried in mountains of unorganized data, and more and smarter discoveries will result.

Read this perspective from EMC’s Chief Development Officer Mark Lewis (via C|Net)

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Filed under Aggregate, Media Evolution, Productivity, Search, Tools, Ubiquity, User generated content, web 2.0, When New Meets Old

Digital Sharecropping: Lessig warns of user-generated content exploitation

In May, Lucasfilm announced plans to enable fans of the “Star Wars” series to “remix” “Star Wars” video clips with their own creative work. Using an innovative Internet platform called Eyespot, these (re)creators can select video clips or other content and then add images or upload new content, whether images, video or music. Eyespot is one of many new technologies inviting “users” to do more than use the creativity they are consuming. Likewise, Lucasfilm is one of many companies recognizing that the more “users” use their creativity, the thicker the bonds are between consumers and the work consumed.

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A dark force, however, has influenced Lucasfilm’s adoption of Eyespot’s technology. A careful reading of Lucasfilm’s terms of use show that in exchange for the right to remix Lucasfilm’s creativity, the remixer has to give up all rights to what he produces. In particular, the remixer grants to Lucasfilm the “exclusive right” to the remix — including any commercial rights — for free.

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Hybrids are an important future of Internet growth. Businesses will have to think carefully about which terms will excite the masses to work for them for free. Competition will help define these terms. But if one more lawyer protected from the market may be permitted a prediction, I suggest sharecropping will not survive long as a successful strategy for the remixer.

Commentary from Lawrence Lessig for the Washington Post

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Digital Commons, Electronic Storytelling, Fair Use, Same as it ever Was, Tools, User generated content, When New Meets Old

Why can’t social media be social?

Looking over the landscape of recent blog posts on open social networking, it’s clear that folks are interested in connecting together some of their disparate accounts on a wide range of social networks. The dream is that distributed social networks will mesh with individuals–each who are on multiple social networks–and that the whole thing kind of slides up next to the blogosphere and extends the notion of a free, open, distributed Long Tail environment….But we’ve got a long way to go before we can truly open up social networking. All sorts of social-networking APIs (application programming interface) will be implemented by different vendors–and we need a way to map these APIs together and create some sort of normalized world–where friends, profile pages, groups and messages all can line up and be compatible with each other….We need a way to find people and not have some vendor own that list of people’s names. There are a few “people search” plays out there right now, but none of them are offering up the source code to their platforms or promoting the notion of open people search. We even tried to do a PeoplesDNS once. So, it’s not like we haven’t been trying!

Read Open standards for social networking from C|Net

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Filed under Aggregate, Identity, Open Source, Social Media

MySpace: A user controlled bandwidth hog

Increasingly popular social-networking sites such as MySpace, YouTube and Facebook are accounting for such huge volumes of DNS queries and bandwidth consumption that carriers, universities and corporations are scrambling to keep pace. The trend is prompting some network operators to upgrade their DNS systems, while others are blocking the sites altogether. Moreover, the “MySpace Effect” is expected to hit many more nets soon, as these network-intensive interactive features migrate from specialty sites to mainstream e-commerce operations and intranets.

From PC World’s How MySpace Is Hurting Your Network

MySpace started life as a site for people interested in posting and exchanging personal information. But as it has grown, new services have been bolted on and, like Google, the company now offers online video and instant messaging. Google also has a news aggregation service which pulls in content from thousands of different sources. The MySpace service is different because after the content has been aggregated users will be encouraged to rate and rank news articles. Content will be published on several new channels, including sport, entertainment, health and parenting.

From the Financial Times’ MySpace cedes editorial control to users. Similar article from the LA Times (free registration req’d).

Find all MySpace entries from What’s New Media?

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Filed under A Culture of Participation, A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Net Neutrality, Networks, Social Media, Technology, our Mirror, User generated content, Virtual Communities, web 2.0

Will torrent networks be required to narc on their users?

Two weeks ago, a judge ruled that BitTorrent search engine Torrentspy was required to enable server logs and turn the information over to the MPAA as part of the discovery process (the MPAA is suing Torrentspy for contributing to copyright infringement). That ruling was based on the theory that the information in question is already stored in RAM and therefore already exists; Torrentspy would not actually need to log any new data, just record what was already passing through its servers. The legal implications of this argument are staggering, and two technology groups have just pointed them out to the court in a new amicus brief.

Read this item from Ars Technica with commentary from C|Net and Alternet.

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Filed under A democratic medium?, Aggregate, Digital Commons, Fair Use, Networks, P2P (Peer to Peer), Privacy, Regulation, Same as it ever Was, Technology, our Mirror, The Politics of New Media

Why we aggregate

Among other things, Paul English is the founder of Kayak.com, a site where you can book your airplane flights and hotels. It was a relatively late entrant into a market dominated by Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. But Kayak decided to do to those sites what they had done to the individual airline sites. Kayak aggregates the aggregators, adding new layers of information to the basics of flight times. It’s all part of the miscellanizing of business as information escapes and joins up with more information.

Listen to the interview at WIRED

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Filed under Aggregate, Business 2.0