Archive for March, 2010

Inb 327 enhancing the user’s experience

Posted in Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 by connorfranzoni

This week I am writing about web 2.0 enhancing the user’s experience on the web. The first thing that came to mind while thinking about what I would post was along the lines of an application with lots of pretty animations and something interesting to the eye and use full in practise. Since I found a site that fits this description I will link it and briefly talk about it then go one with the actual blog.

The site is called liveplasma and is an online database and is self described as a way to broaden your cultural horizons giving you suggestions of music and films the user might like, as well as providing an incredibly innovative visual environment.

(link: http://www.liveplasma.com/)

However after re-thinking the concept this week I decided to; instead of pretty and “wiz-bang” sites that 2.0 seems to house the users experience almost always goes hand in hand with community. In my pursuit of such an application I found one that was so simple and genius I couldn’t help but use it. Simply called 43 things, it is a site where you can go and add a goal to the database and it will then become a tag, and the top 43 tags are displayed on the front page of the site. Without being a member of the site you can access any tag you like and read through the discussions on how this goal has been achieved by others and how long it took them. It gives a great opportunity for the community to discus any goal they wish to achieve from loosing weight to traveling over seas.

This is the real power of 2.90 web, the ability for the millions of people no matter where they are geographically to access information and to collaborate over the web. It is this sense of community and general want to communicate wth people that is enhancing the users experience in web 2.0.

INB347 Innovation In assembly

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2010 by connorfranzoni

This week we are talking about API’s and how people with no programming experience are creating their own applications for the Web 2.0. Ever wondered if you could create an application totally suited to you? Maybe splice a bit of Google maps and Facebook so you can see where your friends are located on the world map. Or maybe be able to update both your twitter and your Facebook at the same time. Well with the use of API’s you can create these mashups with almost no programming experience.

Windows released their very own site which allowed you to do almost do exactly this with an awesome visual gui. This program was called Popfly but unfortunately on August 24, 2009 service and all sites, references, and resources were taken down (for more information there is an article here: http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/17/microsoft-popfly-gets-squashed/).  This a shock to me and a bit of a nuisance as it was this program that I was going to talk about this week, alas i was forced to look for other sites that provided these programs and their APIs for programmers to use. In my search i came across a website which did not have the same visuals and ingenuity as popfly but still provides these web 2.0 API’s.

It is called programmable web (http://blog.programmableweb.com/2010/03/19/infrastructure-apis-new-site-in-a-box/) and provides (minus the strings and boxes of popfly) provides the essential APIs for many popular 2.0 sites and allow users to mash them up and create entirely new programs. These types of programs will completely change web2.0 and the future of the web because it allows everyone to be a programmer and the intellectual information to allow them to create what they want. Some of the more interesting ones i found included, a mash up of GoogleMaps, ebay and Amazon, to create Wii Seeker, A mashup to help consumers locate a Nintendo Wii, providing retail addresses, locations, shipment dates, and local ebay auctions. This is a prime example of an app not created to make money, but to benefit the specific user who made it. Hopefully the web3.0 is filled with amateur programmers making simple apps to help them in their own lives.

INB 347 Data is the next Intel Inside.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 by connorfranzoni

The key premise of this title is that a great way to great a popular and profitable website is to have users create the data that your website is popular form. In essence the site is a vessel for users to read rate and appreciate other users content rather than the traditional idea that an internet site will promote its own data, data driven websites are driven by the users themselves.  The most popular of site that does this is Wikipedia which hosts articles that allow the public to go in and edit information at will, and due to this get millions of hits a year. Although a popular site I have chosen to analyse a blogging site rather than a wiki because due to the nature of the websites content there is more of an argument to who owns the data being uploaded.

Once again I spent my time reading the terms and conditions of the site (the little box that has the word “agree” next to it) and found the following choice quote;

“If you operate a blog, comment on a blog, post material to the Website, post links on the Website, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of the Website (any such material, “Content”), You are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or computer software.”

This part of the terms and conditions then goes on to discuss the different content which may cause you to come under fire from the law or the website itself. Which included but was not limited to Spam, pornography, viruses and worms, misleading blog names and unlabeled computer code.

In essence the premise of this clause is to say that word press is in no way shape or form legally or otherwise responsible for the content that you as a user upload onto its site.  However it then goes onto say that;

“By submitting Content to Automattic [the good people who own WordPress.com] for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog.”

Which for the most part is expected by the user as this is a clause that many sites employ in order to save themselves from legal prosecution if they use your information for advertisement or in-fact any other venture they like (this is why I never started my “rags to riches” inventions blog).

So from what I have seen that in the case of many data driven web applications you as the user do own all content that you upload to the web. However you share almost dual ownership with the site itself but have to bare all responsibility for said material.

INB 347 Harnessing Collective Intelligence

Posted in Uncategorized on March 13, 2010 by connorfranzoni

Sorry this is late, technical difficulties.

To make a change from blogging about my life in all its grandeur, this blog will now be about (for the time being any way) Web 2.0 and this week’s topic was harnessing the Collective Intelligence.

From discussions among the group it was decided that in order to create a website that was popular and profitable the application had to have the ability to harness the collective intelligence of its user base, and by so doing ensure that these users trusted the website. Most websites are attempting to gain this trust by (to some extent at least) guranting the privacy of their users. For this blog I will attempt (succinctly I hope) to show how Facebook has potentially compromised the trust its users had in it, by altering their new privacy settings, and how this may make it harder for them to Harness the collective intelligence of it users.

Recently Facebook has made relatively drastic shifts to their privacy setting on each user’s profile that makes it easier for people who are not directly connected to you with friendship to assess your personal information. The primary change that Facebook made is to make all information pictures and groups automatically public to everyone. On their site they claim;

“Certain categories of information such as your name, profile photo, list of friends and pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region, and networks you belong to are considered publicly available to everyone, including Facebook-enhanced applications, and therefore do not have privacy settings.”

However  the privacy change reverted all of you current information you share on Facebook automatically available to everyone with an internet connection. Facebook provided a bare minimum tutorial on how to change the privacy settings back however, said tutorial only showed how the privacy settings changed and not necessarily a step by step tutorial on how to alter the change. I recently my own profiles privacy settings which i altered shortly after the change only to realize all of my pictures had been public since the change. In order to fix this you have to open completely separate page away from the other privacy information. Furthermore the motives can again be questioned that there is not an automatic “All Pictures” button to set all pictures to private at the same time. Instead you have to change each album individually.

This has caused Facebook to come under fire for its general lack effort to take care of the privacy of its user. As a rebuttal Facebook claimed that;

“We recommend that Everyone be able to see information that will make it easier for friends to find, identify and learn about you. This includes basic information like your About Me description, Family and Relationships, Work and Education Info and Website, as well as posts that you create, like photo albums and status updates.”

Although all this has come to light the sheer user base of Facebook is so great that people (including myself) have simply chosen to work around these obvious breeches, due to the fact that their is no alternative that has the same or equal power that Facebook has as a social network proving the power of harnessing the collective intelligence.

Next week I will talk about how Data is the next “Intel Inside”