Category Archives: Blog Discussion

Irish eGovernment Directory

govieThis probably deserves some good comparative study (not just variety and access to government services but also quality of services available), but it is good to see an evolving comprehensive spot to access eGovernment services in Ireland. There’s comparable services out there with similar pointers, but this is a positive direction for officialdom here. The Gov.ie online services directory is simple and straightforward and soliciting user input to aggregate access to available services. I like the crowdsourced audit but wonder about the balance between coordinating access and a means to coordinate an effective delivery.

Digital Artefacts and a Life of Bits

An interesting paper from a conference at NUIG at the weekend has made the Irish Times. Latest precedent suggests that legally the rights to your life online are to be included in your will. The article reports that Damien McCallig speaking at the ‘Privacy from Birth to Death and Beyond’ symposium suggested that it inevitable that the rights to accounts on Twitter, Facebook and similar social media will soon be subject of legal estates much like the shoebox of physical memories that loved ones have come to treasure. However, our digital artefacts are beginning to pose a new conundrum to the courts as they are caught up in the T&C and locked behind passwords.

Apparently They Call it Showrooming

amazonSalesI love my Kindle. I know that RMS calls it a swindle and abhors the DRM that makes it what it is. For me what it is a lightweight, reading platform with a battery that I never worry about charging, text that adjusts to my failing eyesight and a library in my suit pocket. I love that I can sample materials from the amazon store before I buy and that my library can be deployed across a series of linked devices. The cloud tracks my progress and keeps me synced and the whims of my personal reading preferences are catered for. All that said I love browsing at Hodges and Figgis and Dubray. I find many of the books I want to read in piles and on shelves in the stores. I want the showroom to get their brokerage cut. This doesn’t happen today and I want to figure out how it can. Continue reading Apparently They Call it Showrooming

An Intriguing Autopsy

FriendsterIn advance of our discussions on Social Spaces, the The Physics arXiv Blog has conveniently released a study resulting from a larger study exploring why Friendster failed. Often tagged as one of the first social networks – and subsequently as one of the more prolific failures, Friendster offers a unique forensic petri dish. There are some very interesting conclusions (ease of entry and exit, effort involved in participating, active means to encourage connection and engagement), some seemingly basic, but which shed some useful light on the larger principles emerging around online social networks. This study reflects an emerging opportunity to get an in-depth look at recently functioning entities – much in the same way that the digital detritus of ENRON provided massive indictment of flagrant cowboy culture.

So you’ve heard about Postal Codes have you?

 

academyHouseAnPostThe Independent today headlined with an ‘investigative’ piece detailing how the revenue will be using ‘sophisticated mapping technology provided by GeoDirectory to quantify access to services and apply a multiplier to the property tx to be implemented later this year. In a nutshell (and details of the entire scheme remain publicly hazy – let’s talk about that tonight) they propose to triangulate access to services such as the Luas, the DART, shops, schools and other amenities to increase tax payable – assuming you use things closer to you. The first question I have to ask is : Is this is overly simplistic (fair, equitable, legal) way of determining taxable property value? Clearly it is deserving of deeper investigation itself…but there you go. What do you think?

Continue reading So you’ve heard about Postal Codes have you?

The Uneven Geography of the Web

FS Nairobi NovI was attracted to a short Guardian post this morning that asked the simple question – Who uses Twitter in Africa – and where are they based? Simple enough and a great little research question. The article references Mark Graham and the Oxford Internet Institute. The selection of eight quick maps gives a small glimpse at the power of being able to tap into the Twitter API and do some quick geospatial visualisation to answer some useful research questions. The static images are merely tantalising (and the Guardian’s coverage is superficial) however and I clicked through to see if there was more meat in the underlying research. Continue reading The Uneven Geography of the Web

Pondering PARC

PARCIn the 1960s, 70s and 80s, XEROX’s Palo Alto Research Center provided a nurturing research environment for some brilliant technical minds (check out their timeline). Financed by the steady stream of revenues from their photocopy and associate supply business. Despite a record of breakthrough research innovation and well executed business model, many have considered PARC to have been one of the best case studies for business failure to capitalise on innovation – they invested in the bright minds but seemingly were unable to find the magic means to commercialise itself.
Continue reading Pondering PARC

Mining Emotions

We feel fine has been mining the social web for emotions since 2005. Or so says their website. They have been coming up with some rather impressive models to do semantic mining … serious social implications from IS … no?

What are the implications of being able to gauge moods through a variety of social media and connect these with other social and demographic phenomenon is not radically new, these folks have a rather solid and proven way of accomplishing it. I will admit some challenges in using their java-based applet, the concept is there. I highly recommend checking out this straightforward discussion paper – We Feel Fine and Searching the Emotional Web.

What do you think? What are the implications of the automated mining of emotions? Do social media really give a clear indicator? How can this be used?

Seriously Social Computing

wefeelfineWe feel fine has been mining the social web for emotions since 2005. Or so says their website. They have been coming up with some rather impressive models to do semantic mining … if this isn’t applied social computing … what is it?

What are the implications of being able to gauge moods through a variety of social media and connect these with other social and demographic phenomenon is not radically new, these folks have a rather solid and proven way of accomplishing it. I will admit some challenges in using their java-based applet, the concept is there. I highly recommend checking out this straightforward discussion paper – We Feel Fine and Searching the Emotional Web.

What do you think? What are the implications of the automated mining of emotions? Do social media really give a clear indicator? How can this be used?

What Sort of Lightbulb is This?

Hardly wondered what sort of segue was necessary to link to Philips innovation, but wondered what thought might be around this bright idea;-)

hyperlocalFunded as part of the Knight New Challenge grant last year, the OpenBlock initiative is basically trying to exploit the hyperlocal news market through a crowdsourced and social media augmented application that functions as an open data portal.  It’s innovative in that it offers a tripartite approach appealing to consumer, reporters and sponsors, but does it result in more informed and engaged communities? There’s a very limited functional demo (alas just for Boston, MA) but it does give an idea of the SM augmented mashup combined with linked open data within an ecosystem that supports and cultivates community opinion and contribution. Continue reading What Sort of Lightbulb is This?