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Books & Articles I wrote.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Taghop - Open Project Collaboration

By the great power of JotSpot, I have now created a Wiki for taghop and taghop.ORG. You can now go to http://stevenr2.jot.com and submit your ideas and opinions on the site as well as participate in a collaborative Requirements Specification for each idea.

This is a new concept for me. I previously kept my cards close to my chest, but as taghop depends on the community and its collaboration i'd like to give this a go and see where it leads us.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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SocialText and JotSpot

During some research was interesting to note that SocialText and JotSpot and considered to be fairly major competitors. SocialText was founded by Ross Mayfield and JotSpot was co-founded by Joe Kraus formerly founder of Excite.

Oddly enough one of the investors of JotSpot is Mayfield Funds. I've never heard of any other Mayfield so found it all very odd. But after looking into it, there is indeed no relation - one of the companies investing in JotSpot does indeed have the same name as the founder of the competitor!

Nevertheless, check out both. It's an area i was in at the end of last year. I just happen to think there are some other things that have to be dealt with first, hence taghop.

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Pictures on Google Earth

I like Google earth. When i first saw it the first this that occurred to me was pretty much that i had a floating sensation. Once again I was surprised at what I was looking at and it was impressive.

The second thing was that they should talk with Flickr. A while back I had been thinking about the next thing on from Flickr. You take pictures of places when you are travelling and associate them with a place on Google Earth. Then you can get a truly live version of Google earth.

People can ask for pictures of places they are going (or would want to go) and they can get a far quicker uptake than they ever will by doing it all themselves.

Will be interesting to see where this one goes.

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Google Cache saves Cash

A trick i have used for a long time now is to use the Google cache feature to access things that are either archived or taken offline. Even though they disabled the Google download of http://earth.google.com i was able to find the proposed download Url, paste it into Google search and get to their disabled search via their own search engine.

Today however, i wanted to read an article about Jim Clark - the same who founded Netscape. My only frustration was that the Baltimore Sun archives its articles after two weeks and you need to register and often pay for the article text.

Along comes Google cache which takes either the Url or name of the article you are after and returns you a cache link which gives you the article you are after. I even pointed to this in taghop.

You do have to wonder however if a smaller start-up would get away with this. I remember a few years back a lot of issues around caching on proxy servers. I wonder how many of these companies know Google does this? Most people i speak with don't know you can do this.

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WebMail 2.0 - Session Timeouts

There are a number of features I think were missed from Internet 1.0 - often just to get the product to market the cool things were done quickly, but the core basic things got missed on the way.

One that has always frustrated me has been session timeouts in webmail. In fact this even caused me to almost crack my head open about 30 minutes ago when i threw my head back in frustration when I lost my entire email and I hit my head off a temporary "house" we have erected for our 2 year old to play in (long story unless you've got kids)!!

I spent around 15 minutes thinking and typing an email only to click submit and to be told the session has timed out, with no way of getting the text i had typed. So i had to spend another 15 minutes thinking again and trying to remember what i had said. This is around the same amount of time it takes to write a reasonable blog, yet i have never lost even my largest of posts!

So the first feature for WebMail 2.0 has to be some way of storing an authentication token with the client that can be posted back and even if the session times out, you still get a draft stored you can get to and so don't lose the entire message!

Simple fix - unlike my head.

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