e hënë, 26 korrik 2010

Mozilla "Crowdsource Crowdsourcing" Kicks Off

Today, volunteers from California to Sweden came together to discuss how to improve crowd sourcing, responding to a call from Mozilla Labs for volunteers to "Crowdsource Crowdsourcing."  We are practicing what we preach here.  Pretty much everybody had a say in our initial discussion. Pascal Finette of Mozilla Labs got us going by telling us we should split up into three groups.  From there, we took over.  We got into the groups we wanted, then each group chose its own way of communicating and decided how to proceed until all the groups reconvene in two weeks.  

For example, my group, which is trying to define best practices for crowdsourcing, decided to sign up for and participate in some crowdsourcing sites, and to report back on Thursday with initial findings.  A second group is analyzing past Mozilla Labs Design Challenges to figure out what went wrong and what went right.  The third is diving into crowdsourcing theory.  We plan to fuse our findings when we get back together.

We have a wide variety of interests and backgrounds here, with an entrepreneur, a biophysicist, an electrical engineer, a couple of psychology majors, and, of course, many designers and programmers.  I am a computer science major at Chico State who is all about usability. I blog at coleman.posterous.com.  Roei Yellin is an Israeli entrepreneur working on a crowdsourcing startup.  Matt Evans is Mozilla's QA DIrector.  Jan Dittrich is studying for a Media Arts & Design B.F.A. at the Bauhaus University in Weimar.  Abraham Taherivand has an Information Systems BS and an Information Management and Engineering MS.  He has done a ton of things in innovation, which you can learn more about at his website http://www.taherivand.net.  Jimmy Chion (www.myhippocamp.us/) has a bachelors's degree in Cognitive Science Stanford and is now near completing a Master's in Mechanical Engineering.  Chao Xu is majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics at Stony Brook University.  Piyush Kumar majored in Electrical Engineering and minored in Computer Science for his BS and is going to get an MS in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.  Ryan Bubinski is studying studying biophysics and computer science at Columbia.  Peter Organisciak is working on an MA in Digital Humanities at the University of Alberta and is going on to study Information Science at the University of Illinois.  His thesis is on the motivations of crowdsourcing participants.  Zach Williams is a Psychology major at Tarleton State University in Texas, with a passion for web design and user experience, which you can see at his beautiful website http://zachwill.com/.  Joao Menezes (joaom.tumblr.com) studies Graphics/Interaction Design at UNIVILLE University, Brazil.  He has participated in several Mozilla projects.  Ola Moller studies Social/Digital Media & Concept Development at Hyper Island in Stockholm.  He has led and participated in two creativity crowdsourcing projects in Sweden, which you can learn more about at his websitehttp://olamoller.se/.  Eugenia Ortiz (who goes by Euge) is another student.  She is big on User Experience.  Learn more about her athttp://www.eugeniaortiz.com.ar/.  Ajay Roopakalu is a computer science major and applied mathematics minor at Princeton University.  He blogs at http://jrupac.wordpress.com/.  

This is how you crowdsource crowdsourcing:  gather volunteers from every part of the world and many backgrounds, let them organize themselves, and watch the magic.

Posted via email from Coleman's posterous

e enjte, 28 maj 2009

The World is Speeding Up

The world is speeding up.  I say that because tech is speeding up, and tech drags the rest of the world into the future.  In the last few days, Google has announced the next web, basically.  They made the one we have one, except for Facebook.  Google Search is maybe the only web app that blew up a few years ago and continues to be a big deal today.  They make all the apps that are pulling people into web apps, like Google Docs.  Picasa Web Albums even is pretty big now.  There is enough going on in tech now to write views from 30,000 feet daily.  That's why I'm starting to do it now.

Posted via email from Coleman's posterous

e mërkurë, 27 maj 2009

Posterous | Re: markets are our only hope

Politics is Over
I just can't get interested in politics any more.  The only way I see to accomplish any thing good is privately.
Once everything is private, every person's life will be exciting.  When you are responsible for every bit of your life, each decision becomes more important, and also becomes a better decision.  There will be less anger towards others, since they will become irrelevant to your happiness.  The habit of self-correction will spread to every act.  Self-improvement will be rapid.  The very act of becoming more responsible will decreases problems with society and other public issues.
This page is a window into the future its text describes.  It is made up of parts made by many individual, independent actors.  Look at a mainstream news site.  The Washington Post, for example, has, on one typical page, Ads by Google, Search by Google, Comments by Pluck, Who's Blogging by Sphere, and "Get The Post's take on whatever you're reading -- anywhere on the Web." powered by Mywebpost.  Oh, and did I mention a model of the concepts in the article by evri and links to related articles by AggregateKnowledge?  Finally, and most ominously for papers there are jobs listings...by SimplyHired.  All the Post itself handles is links to the rest of their site, and irrelevant advertising by their internal ad group, which will soon die either thanks to replacement by AdSense, or its parent's replacement by Google News.  Oh, and Google News is just one of many competing news aggregators, the best of which, TechMeme just became a two-man team, after having become Tech Web, Page A1 by the work of one person.  Ayn Rand and Nietzsche's super person is here, and he is every one.  So no one's angry any more, because everyone's powerful and no one is holding any one back. 
All work now is creative.  For example, a webmaster used to be a handcoder of vanilla HTML.  Now he picks the best of the web's tools for use by a huge website.  That job has gotten better, and billions more callings have been created.  Creator of a Related-article finder, creator of a concept-understander program are but two.  What's yours?
The change is bottom-up and top-down, empowering the meritorious upstart and emptying the pockets of the unproductive corporate giant, leaving one huge meritocratic middle class.  One class means no class.
Care to join?

Posted via email from Coleman's posterous

markets are our only hope

Anything that doesn't work is just not private enough.  The tech sector is the most productive thing in the world.  It is the "biggest legal creator of wealth in the history of the world."  The government didn't have anything to do with it.  It has improved, and will improve, life, far more than anything ever has.  Here is one huge problem tech can fix: Mexico.  The only thing that will ever fix Mexico is increasing its GDP.  The only thing that can grow its GDP is private investors.  So far, they are the only good thing in mexico.  They are productive, peaceful.  They keep Mexicans in Mexico, because they provide jobs in Mexico.  The maquiladoras are what has vaulted Mexico's economy to where it is, and the continuing creation of business in Northern Mexico will make it a paradise.  Even the security is private, and it has to be.  The Obama Administration refuses to send the Army, so private contractors will have to do.  The web has democratized violence, but it hasn't spread killing power evenly.  The best weapons are still in America's hands.  American mercs will make the world peaceful and prosperous and there is nothing any one can do about it, although they will try their best.  One example of the democratization of violence is iRobot.  It is consumer/military technology company that makes the PackBot, which neutralizes IEDs in Iraq, and the Roomba, which neutralizes cat pee smells in your living room.  iRobot makes a hackable platform, a robot that you can make do anything.  What keeps mercs from using it and outclassing the Mexican narco-state and the Mexican sissy-state at once?   UAVs are easily replicable.  Not to mention, this stuff would be incredibly fun.  It's where all the money is, and all the adventure.  The world market stagnate until it floods the third world, making beggars consumers, and killers producers.  Another huge world problem is education.  Same story: privatize.  Quality goes up, access goes up, peace spreads, money spreads.  It is a well-documented fact that wherever money goes, violence flees.  This private world will allow every one to do exactly what they want, and be rewarded better than they ever have.  Specialization will rule the age.  The world will need one comment analyst, and one it will have.  When the whole world is annexed by the Web, each part of the Web will be faster and stronger, and it will have to become faster and stronger in the process.  As tech spreads and reinforces itself, violence will decamp.  Everyone will have a great life, so they will have no reason to fight.  In fact, they will have reason to cooperate like never before.  10 billion people will each have their own comparative advantage, and trade will make up 100% of economic activity.  People will be so incredibly interdependent that war will be unthinkable.  People will be able to stop worrying about things that hurt, and concentrate on making every one feel better.  As every person gets rich, leisure will quickly near perfection. 

Posted via email from Coleman's posterous

e diel, 3 maj 2009

Comment system

Comments are a fast-growing part of web content. Often, the comments on an article are more interesting than the article itself. Crappy comments and spam crowd out good comments, though. Comment software often allows people to rate comments and mark spam, but this still leaves a lot of duplicates. Usually, there are about five points made in all the comments for a given article, even when there are 1,000 comments. We need CommentMeme. Actually, we need a new way to write on the internet.

You should be able to highlight any part of a comment and rank it up or down. higher ranked parts would become more prominent. This way, you would see the best comments first. This would still leave a lot of duplicate comments, though. You would need software to recognize that the comments are all about the same thing. Or you could let people merge comments that are the same. For example, you could drag one comment onto another to show they're part of the same meme. You could also hide lower-ranked comments. For example, if one comment said "Firefox is the best because it is open source," and another said "Firefox is the best because it is the most customizable," readers would recognize that they are both about the same thing. They could vote up whichever one was a better way of putting the idea. Then the higher-voted comment would become more visually prominent than the lower-ranked one. One way to do this would be to show each group of comments on a certain topic, like Firefox's extensibility, as a stack, like a plain 3d cube. All the topic-cubes would be laid out like a city. The largest cubes would be the ones with that the most people agreed on, as signified by the number of "likes" and duplicate comments on that same topic.

The other important fix is to make comment "liking" more granular, so you can like a paragraph, a sentence or even a phrase by highlighting it and

you would end up with a kind of automated, crowdsourced editorial. for example, the website buzzilions.com aggregates customer reviews and extracts phrases that are often used in reviews of a certain product. For example, the review for one monitor lists "sharp image" (said 11 times) "vivid colors" (also said 11 times.) In this way, you get an automatically-generated summary as well as more details in the customer reviews themselves, which are ranked from most helpful to least helpful. So right now, the best CE reviews are written by consumers and edited by software.

I got this idea from looking at whitehouse2.org, where policy suggestions, called priorities, are listed and ranked like articles and pictures are on digg. I said "Consolidating priorities could not only eliminate duplicates but could also be used to make each priority more complete and interesting. For example, there is "Invest in clean energy and create 5 million new green jobs and "Subsidize Green Energy like Solar and Wind" These are asking for the same thing, but in different ways. It's interesting that the first one is endorsed 3:1 and the second one is split. You should merge the two priorities and rank the descriptions, so there would be one priority called "Invest in clean energy and create 5 million new green jobs""

e hënë, 27 prill 2009

Pandora Plus

I want to tell Pandora that I like good classic rock songs, very good funk/classic r & b songs, and only the very best jazz or classical songs. Right now, it wants to play songs from only one genre. I play a customized classic rock station. It has evolved to suit my tastes pretty well, and has started to play some other types of songs I like, like 90's rock, which I guess is pretty close to classic rock. But it will never play some of the songs I like, like Baby Love The Supremes, Reach Out (I'll Be There), Crazy, Gnarls Barkley, Hey Ya by Outkast, Underdog by Spoon, Oops Upisde Your Head by the Gap Band. It should be able to tell that I like popular songs. For example, in classic rock, my favorite genre, my top 10 are the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bad Company--the 10 biggest classic rock bands. So when I make a funk station, why doesn't guess I would like the very most popular funk artists, like Rick James, the Gap Band, etc.? It could infer that the first station you create is your favorite, so you will like lots of songs on it. However, the next station you make will probably be your second favorite kind of music, so it should only play the very best, like an all-time top 40 of R and B. I don't think I care so much which instruments are played, but how well they are played and how well the whole package is produced, which I think you can infer from which songs are the most popular.

e enjte, 26 shkurt 2009

News Aggregators

News aggregators are the future of news delivery. The few we have now, like TechMeme and Google News, are much better than newspapers in every way. All they are missing is personalization, so that they are as customizable as feed readers, but with more comprehensive, de-duplicated coverage of the reader's favorite topics. Another thing aggregators are short on is feature stories. Almost everything is the day's news items, without many in-depth examinations of the topics at hand.