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Facebooksider som RSS

Facebooksider som RSS

RSS er super-praktiskt. Enten om du bruker laptop, tablet eller mobil så er aggregerte kilder gull verdt. Hvor digg er det ikke å kunne samle alt du ønsker å lese i en leser (f.eks Google Reader) eller til og med automatisk oppdatere nettbrettet ditt med de nyeste sakene fra dine favorittkilder?

Her er en liten oppskrift på hvordan du kan gjøre dette på facebook sider du følger. Det er ikke alltid at social feed plukker opp disse, og dessuten er det fint å kunne lagre oppdateringer for ettertiden.

Det første du trenger er denne URL strengen:

https://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=atom10&id=241453889260137

Denne ganske ordinære URL strengen som parses som to argumenter av webserveren [:format =>  “atom”, :id => “241453889260137”] (ruby hash syntax), et voila, du får en atom formatert RSS side tilbake. Det du gjør her er å bytte ut id fra URLen ovenfor med iden fra siden du ønsker å følge.

Men hva om det ikke er noe ID i side URLen på Facebook? Som f.eks i bildet under (tatt fra siden til Løvholm Digitale Medier – mitt forholdsvis nye enkeltmannsforetak).

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 11.50.14 PM

Her blir det litt mer komplisert.Dersom du forsøker å laste inn atom RSS-feeden fra dette navnet vil du kun få en side med en feilmelding.

Vår vei til målet går igjennom fantastiske Open Graph, teknologien Facebook bruker for å organisere sine tjenester og sin verden, og dens API.

http://graph.facebook.com/lovdigmed

Her kan du bruke navnet som oppslag og få tilbake en JSON-formatert tekststreng med det du trenger å vite

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 11.56.36 PM

Nå trenger du kun å gå tilbake til den første URLen vi hadde, og benytte IDen til siden (merk: ikke cover_id) for å få tilgang til RSS-feeden.

Nå kan du lese Facebook sideoppdateringer i din yndlingsleser sammen med alt annet interessant du abonnerer på

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 12.00.10 AM

Datalagringsdirektivet

Datalagringsdirektivet

Stortinget vedtok i går, med knapt flertall, å innføre datalagringsdirektivet. Direktivet som har oppstått som et resultat av frykten for terrorisme i Europa, og som er  omstridt i flere europeiske land, vil pålegge leverandører av telefoni- og data tjenester å loggføre trafikkdata i et fastsatt tidsrom. Data som skal loggføres er metadata fra telefonsamtaler og internettoppkoblinger. Hensikten skal være å gjøre det lettere for politiet å kunne benytte datatrafikk til etterforskning som  bevismateriale i en eventuell rettssak. Kritikerne på sin side hevder at datainnsamlingen vil føre til mer overvåkning, og at dataene innsamlet kan brukes i andre sammenhenger.
Debatten rundt datalagringsdirektivet reiser også mange interessante spørsmål. Noen har påpekt at et sentralisert dataregister med alle innbyggernes kommunikasjonsdata vil før eller siden bli utsatt for datainnbrudd, andre har stilt mer generelle og prinsipielle spørsmål som hvor grensen for rettsstaten burde gå, deriblant hva slags informasjon myndighetene burde kunne tillate seg å automatisk innhente og lagre om sine innbyggere. For noen har spørsmålene vært kritisk rettet mot myndighetene og politiapparatet som undertrykkere, mens andre igjen har stilt spørsmål om et slikt direktiv begrenser de ideelle liberale rettighetene en borger burde ha. Sagt med andre ord, spørsmålet om hvorvidt datalagringsdirektivet burde innføres har samlet både venstre og høyresiden i norsk politikk.

Samtidig er det også et annet spørsmål som burde stilles, et spørsmål som er kanskje viktigere i dag enn noen gang. Et spørsmål som stikker dypere i vårt informasjonsteknologiske samfunn. Er teknologi nøytralt, og hvordan behandler vi spørsmål rundt teknologi. Hvorfor er dette spørsmålet viktig? Jo, fordi det er ikke bare politikerne som bestemmer hvorvidt datalagringsdirektivet skal innføres, også mulighetene for å innføre et slikt register har en nøkkelrolle. Det ville vært galskap å innføre et lignende direktiv for hundre år siden, ingen var tilknyttet Internett dengang og svært få brukte telefon. Dette spørsmålet gjelder ikke bare datalagringsdirektivet, men også flere områder. I dag har vi teknologisk sett mulighet til å overvåke veldig mange innbyggere på veldig mange måter, men burde vi gjøre det? Og hvor går grensen?

Hvis du ikke har sett den tyske filmen De andres liv (av: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) burde du se denne filmen snarest. Filmen omhandler, blant annet, overvåkning i DDR. Da myndighetene finner ut at kunstneren Georg Dreyman er regimekritisksettes Gerd Wiesler fra overvåkningsorganisasjonen Stasi på saken. Riktignok det er selvfølgelig ingen klar sammenligning mellom forrige årtusens DDR og vårt staten Norge (eller er det?). Denne filmen viser er et overvåkningssamfunn ganske annerledes enn det som er gjort mulig i dag. For å kunne overvåke en leilighet på 70 tallet måtte det mange mennesker til, leiligheter måtte leies nært overvåkningsobjektet, en måtte bryte seg inn i vedkommendes leilighet for å plante mikrofoner og man måtte ha et team bestående av to menn i grå-fargete frakker sittende med speilreflekskamera i en bil utenfor. Helst med hatt. Ja, det var mer tungvint før i tiden. Per i dag trenger man bare å få oversendt trafikkdata fra leverandørene, men dette er langt fra den eneste måten å innhente persondata.

Er du på Facebook? Har du sagt akseptert og lagt til tredjeparts applikasjoner? Da har du kanskje også lagt merke til at mange av disse små programmene spør om tilgang til mer enn det som burde være nødvendig. Hvorfor skal en applikasjon som lar deg se et bilde ha lese og skrivetilgang til veggen din, personinformasjon og tillatelse til å se alle bildene dine? Hvorfor kreves det i første rekke en installasjon for å la deg se et bilde? I dag trenger ikke innsamling av data å vedtaes av Stortinget, du vedtar det selv hver dag, flere ganger. Nå er det riktignok slik at data innhentet fra slike applikasjoner sjeldent samkjøres mellom store databaser organisert. Eller er det?  Det er her noe av kritikken mot datalagringsdirektivet gjør seg gjeldene. Selv om det finnes bortimot uendelig mye data om brukere online, er det sammenstillingen av disse som gjør det farlig, og særlig hvis man kan sammenstille data som kan innsamles via IP-protokollen med data utilgjengelig for nettet.

Det er kanskje flåsete å trekke inn Amazons løsning for å anbefale bøker her, men i en ekstrem situasjon kunne det være morsomt å forestille seg anbefalte kommunale tjenester basert på hvor du har befunnet deg i løp av siste 30 telefonsamtalene. “Ønsker du å bytte til barnehage på Sinsen? ” i emnefeltet kunne vært et resultat av en middels avansert SQL spørring som sammenlignet hvor du pleier å være rundt klokken 9 mandag til fredag og personregisteret. Jeg tror nok, heldigvis, at dette aldri vil skje. Streng lovgivning og god oppfølging fra datatilsynet vil nok kunne hindre slike løsninger.

Så hvorfor burde vi våkne? I boken 1984 (ja, jeg vet denne er trukket fram bortimot et uendelig antall ganger tidligere) er det små skjermer som innhenter informasjon om borgerne. Det er det også i dag, og mange legger igjen data frivillig og uten å tenkte godt igjennom hvilke konsekvenser dette har. Jeg gjør ikke noe galt jeg, kan det hende du tenker, men om tjue år er kanskje ikke den kokosnøttdrinken, crocksa og den hvite dressen noe du ønsker å dele.

Jeg mener ikke at Facebook, Gowalla, Foursquare eller lignende tjenester forsvarer innføringen av datalagringsdirektivet. Det er bare i aritmetikken to minus blir pluss. Når det er sagt ønsker jeg at du stiller deg et fundamentalt spørsmål, mens du fortsatt har muligheten. Ønsker du at noe skal gjennomføres bare fordi det er mulig? Ønsker du et teknologisk anarki, eller ønsker du å styre utviklingen? Det er lett å bli perpleks i møtet med ny teknologi, det kan virke som en helt ny verden, men hva du foretar deg, installerer eller deler digitalt blir digitalt, og i dagens paradigme av digital reproduksjon burde du passe ekstra nøye på. Det er ikke bare nettleverandøren din eller Stortinget som legger igjen spor etter deg, du er også selv ansvarlig.

In English: The Norwegian Parliament did yesterday vote over whether to implement the European Union Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC). The directive have caused a great debate in Norway. In this article, in Norwegian, I write briefly about the directive, the discussion and some results.

Bildet over er lisensiert under en Creative Commons lisens av Carrie Sloan. Mer informasjon kan du finne her.  Bildet viser et fengsel der utformingen er inspirert av Jeremy Benthams panopticon.

 

2011 – What will happen?

2011 – What will happen?

Soon 2010 will be history, and a new year will begin. 2010 was a long year in which many interesting things happened (as every year). I will now look into my light ball, able to foresee the future, and come with some anticipations about what the new year will bring. As always is it impossible to judge the future, and how things are to become, so this is just some thoughts of what will happen, as a little new years tradition and for the enjoyment it is to read this predictions at this time next year.

2011 will be an interesting year, as every year, but it will not change the world dramatically. It will be a year in which politicians will have to defend their actions during the economic crises, and more countries will have economic problems. This will cause problems in Europe, and the Americas, but Asian countries, mainly China, will to a greater extent succeed due to the entangled economy connecting government to production. This will cause some critic due to the human right conditions in China, and arguments from the west will involve the freedom of the individual, while the arguments from China and a growing share of countries in Asia, America and Africa will focus on the ability to fulfil more primordial needs of Maslow’s  pyramid. This will not result in a crisis, but a general belief that the power centres of the world is moved from the US to other parts of the world.

This will also be continued by embarrassing leaks from the cables which we saw in 2010.  None of this will be fatal in world politics, but diplomatic personnel from the 90’s superpower will lose credibility and more questions will arise about the power in Washington. Especially the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries will try to establish themselves as more prominent players on the international arena, and this will be on the cost of the United States and the most loyal counties in Western Europe. There will be asked more questions about the politics within the European Union, and as more countries get into economic trouble, the focus will shift towards east, and this will improve the means of communication to Russia, but many will be sceptical and question the legitimacy of the rulers in Moscow.

In technology the trend of applications and devices will continue, and Apple will lead this process, at least in the mass medium, however will the early adapters look to other platforms which will emerge. The focus on mobile technology will be around, but will be replaced by a discussion on the nature of Television, which will be brought up as Video on Demand, Google TV and other technologies converging TV with the Internet will be introduced. This will cause another intellectual property debate, as many visual content providers will try to lock their customers into a network decoder relationship and focussing on propitiatory solutions instead of the open sharing. Downloading will still be important, but as more services are provided from the cloud instead through a physical media the control among the broad numbers of consumers will pay for services through subscription services which will be more popular to bundle with electronics sold in stores.

Among the regular consumers will this be the year their old phones are replaced by smart phones, and the vast numbers of users will be attracted this year. More affordable prices will be one of the most important reasons for this, as well as more useful services will be provided through mobile applications. Employers will also develop their internal systems onto portable applications, and this will trigger a debate on security. Security and privacy issues continue to be important and  a major discussion between these two will find place.

Online more people will realise that Facebook poses a threat to their privacy, and a more mature audience will be more aware of what they put online. The popularity the service experienced when it first opened and got popular will dismay, and users between 20 and 35 years will spend less time, but new generation will still think it is fun and spend more. Other social websites will be launched, but not with such popularity. Twitter will be more popular among a more professional audience, and the private users will not embrace the short messages and stick to more extensive sites; Facebook. Integration will be triggered, and 2011 is also a year when APIs are shared, and JSON intercommunication is popular between services. Some topical sites for users will be launched by iconic brands to keep customers loyal and together, this will be a big pat of the political landscape where politicians will try to get more legitimacy through dialogues with their voters, and they will need this as the economic crises expands, and their earlier decisions are being questioned.

This is just some core ideas and questions I think will dominate the next year. I have  not made guesses regarding natural crises, terrorism, integration and snow weather, but they will as well be prevalent topics in the year to come Oh, and I’ll give you an easy to check guess: I guess the Eurovision will be won be an Eastern European Country.

The picture  is the intellectual property of Scott Rivera, it is licensed under creative commons, and found through Flickr

Converging Messages

Converging Messages

The social networking site Facebook is going to integrate a new mail system in their service. After a period with lot of speculation, the rumours were confirmed yesterday at a press conference and on the Facebook blog. The latter also publishing a video of some of the main features of this new mail system, and different ways in which these can be used. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was expressing that the new service is not going to be an email service, but a whole new way of communicate. The main feature is that communication should not be dependent on technology; instead the system will handle the sending of the messages in the most efficient way. This means that messages sent with email, SMS, Facebook messages or its instant messaging system are going to be handled in the same inbox, and that users can communicate from this inbox and Facebook will choose the method in which this is done. For example, if a user is online, the message will be distributed to them instantly using the IM function, if they are out fishing it will be distributed to them via the new iPod application or SMS.  The new inbox will be threaded, and organized according to person and not to subject. Zuckerberg said that he thought this is the future of communication. Here are some of my ideas of the new Facebook messaging system, in its development phase named Project Titan.

Abstraction

The system is based upon the simple idea of abstraction, hence the users are no longer going to be dependent on different channels of communication, and the message will be in the centre, not the technology. This is an old principle and in many ways it fosters good things: The graphical interface of communication with the computer instead of a shell. The shell instead of physical switches, and physical switches instead of cogwheels, slaves and abacuses. Abstraction makes it possible to focus on the important or central part of the task and leaving the more basic processes to underlying layers. In the case of the new Facebook messaging system the central and important part is the content, and the more basic process that we want to abstract ourselves from is the medium, either if it is email, SMS or instant messaging. On the other hand abstraction removes control from the user to the underlying layers, that is why many hardcore computer users still prefer to use shell in their daily workflow

Facebook and Google

The diffusion of the new messaging system is first provided to some users, this as a part of the beta testing, later I will presume that it will be diffused to all the users of Facebook. At this point the service has already got more users than most media platforms in the world.  Hence, the success criterion should not be whether or not many users are signed up for this service, but if they will use it and let it replace their current email address. Much of the speculation lies whether this will change the power relation between Facebook and Google, who are said to be competing at the high stage against each other. If Facebook convert many email users to their new service, these may leave Google’s service Gmail, and that could turn the tables between the big boys in the information league. Even if Project Titan is not capable of replacing Gmail, maybe it will replace Google Wave, which will be removed from Google’s repertoire of web services soon (Maybe Wave will be an integrated part of Gmail at one point?). The bottom line lies in having user’s loyalty and their data.

Google has become the big tool provider, mainly because of their search engine which is integrated in most of their projects. Their uniqueness is build around data, as well as search in and combination of these. They have a fast and reliable model for finding information. Facebook, on the other hand is centred on your social network in which your friends and acquaintances are important. This can be found in their rhetoric, instead of providing you with for example an inbox with a pdf reader or statistics of your mail habits, they provide you with a box of memories. Just like in the old days when a box under the bed represented memories of the past.

What do I think?

I think Facebook mail can be an easy way of communicating with friends that are already within the Facebook domain, but I am sceptical to the service orientation where mails that are not sent by approved friend from Facebook can be discarded by default. I do also wonder how this social platform mail will be integrated with other parts of one’s social life. When I have to send a mail to my bank, electricity supplier or library I want to do that as another person than personally me. I am curious to test the new facebook platform and see how they have constructed their ideas, but from what I have seen I will keep my Gmail account.

The picture used to illustrate this article is borrowed from Robert Schoble. The picture is found on Flickr and is shared under a Creative Common licence. Please refer to last link for information.

Your organisation and digital media

Your organisation and digital media

Many governmental and corporate offices choose to be present in social media, and to share and gather information here. Internet services such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube have enabled organisational bodies to participate on an arena where also individuals are contributing, commenting and sharing content. Are you working within an organisation being present in one of these arenas or other. Then I want to get in touch with you.

  • On which platforms are your organisation present, and how?
  • How is your organisation organised around these platforms?
  • Which department is responsible for your organisation’s presence on digital social arenas?
  • Are social media just used for external communication, or do co-workers also communicate internal within your organisation using these?
  • What is your organisations official view on social media?
  • Are employees using different social media as a tool in their regular working day?
  • Do your organisation use digital media to surveillance comments and opinions on your organisation online? Which tools are you using to do this?
  • How do your organisation share information online?
  • How do your organisation gather information online?
  • Is digital media a part of your organisation’s branding strategy?
  • What information do your organisation mainly share online?
  • What information do your organisation mainly gather online?

These are just some of the answers I want to know. If you want to contribute, please let me know by contact me through the contact form provided here, on my twitter page or just by sending me an email.

PS: This questions are just meant as examples, if you have any other comments to contribute with you are welcome to do so. I do also want any good stories about digital media.

Listomania

Listomania

“Think less but see it grow like a riot, like a riot, oh
I’m not easily offended
It’s not hard to let it go from a mess to the masses”

The article’s title being a slightly modified song title by Phoenix, and containing the chorus from the same song, this is not a tribute to the popular French band but rather an explanation on something I have seen as being a growing phenomena in mine, and others, Internet habits: the growing need to fill out lists and compete and compare with online connected friends. Internet services helping you to coordinate your cultural and geographical memory, but they could also be used to brag how culturally superior you are. How you choose to use them are your choice, but be advised, no matter how you use them: They are terrible time consuming.

The Spotify Syndrome
Highly contagious matter, spreads through the social media Facebook, and results in an endless amount of time spent listening to collaborated “indie” play-lists, party hits and seasonal variations consisting of the best and well-known classics and the worst and hidden katzenjammer from the last 5 decades. Now with the ability to send your friends songs as easy as a poke on Facebook sending them in sleepless nights of bongo drums trance and pan flute ballades.

The iCheckMovies Disorder
This disorder creates an addictiveness to watch the canonized films voted forward of fellow film lovers on the great service IMDB. Not just the famous top 500 list, but also sorted by decade, genre and how much they played in this service generates hours of work from the Great Train Robbery to Toy Story 3. In addition to the democratic elected movies, iCheckMovies also provides you with the award winning movies from the Academy, BAFTA, Cannes and other festivals and institutions. This is a time consuming activity, but from your hard and beneficial (for yourself and your own general education) you get rewarded with different prizes depending on how many percent of the films you have seen in each category.

The Foursquare Virus
Both Spotify (in its most advance version) and iCheckMovies are services which are constrained to happen in front of a computer screen on the top of a lap or a desk, the next virus on our time consuming list is mobile. This means that it is following you around, in your very own pocket. Do you have a cell phone with a API-oriented operative system – such as iOS or Android – and wireless or mobile network this service could follow you anywhere. And anywhere is also the point of this service since the goal – the point creating activity – is to check-in at different establishments. This gives you points, badges and ultimately first-life perks. The latter can be found in e.g. Pizza Hut and Starbucks that will give you free pizza and coffee if you manage to reach the rank of major, in other words if you are the most frequent customer checking-in during a 30-days timespan.

Summary
The services above are time consuming, and can create an addiction. On the other hand will they provide you with hours of fun, a systematic approach to listen or see something and a diary of what you have done. The last two is interesting since they do not produce any value except that they reefer to other products, except of course if you are a major. All services make you able to see what you friends have been doing, even though many of the users are probably more interested in how they present themselves. Another interesting observation is that the meta-actions are becoming more important. The fact that many users, me included, spends hours on updating what we have done, what we have listened to, what we have watched, where we have been, who we know, where we have worked, how far we have jogged and more, takes up time that could  be used doing more of this. I know for my own sake that I could probably watch one or two full-feature movies each month instead of find movies I have watched and check the list, but there is little I can do about it. I am a listomanic. Are you?

Links

Foursquare, Spotify, iCheckMovies

Huawei Social – A social competition

Huawei Social – A social competition

Ever since Jules and I won the competition to name the new mobile phone model Huawei U8230 on Facebook, I thought I should write something about viral marketing. In this competition we worked hard to get as many votes as possible for my suggestion – Huawei Social.

The background for the competition was that the Chinese technology manufacturer Huawei wanted to enter the Norwegian cell phone market with their new touchscreen devices. As a part of this process, they asked the users of Facebook to suggest names for the U8230 model.  Within a certain date, two weeks ago last Sunday, users were asked to come up with name suggestions. On Monday the jury chose the top ten suggestions to go to a vote phase lasting from Monday to Friday. On that Friday the suggestion with the most votes got to be the name of the phone on the Norwegian market, and the user who would win the vote would, in addition to get a free phone, be the winner of a trip for two to Shanghai, travel and hotel included.

One day I entered the suggestions Huawei Future, Social, Millenium and Cellorama on Huawei’s Facebook page. The first suggestion was meant as a encouragement for a company which is going to enter a new market. In many ways China is the new technology superpower, at least when it comes to manifacturing new products. The Millenium reflected in many ways the same thought. As China, in 2001, joined the World Trade Organization the prices of clothes fell by around 20 percent, and the countries on the western hemisphere saw a new consumer and manifacturer market. Cellorama was just meant as a funny suggestion referring to the cell part in the word cellphone and the TV-show Futurama. With the last suggestion, Social, I thought about the use of new phones with, for example Facebook and Twitter, and also how we have always used our phones. With the iPhone-Android-touchscreen-openAPI-revolution phones created and fulfilled new ways of use. An example here is how I use my HTC Hero to connect to Facebook, Twitter and other social arenas. The name is also reflecting the means of the phone, and especially the cellphone: to contact others unrestrained by distance.

But enough about the names. How does this competition actually work? At the end of the competition on Friday my nominated suggestion, Huawei Social, won by 693 to 682 votes. Within two days Jules, all my friends and family who helped and I got in contact with almost 700 Facebook users who went into Huawei’s Norwegian Facebook page and left their votes. Being a company not known in the Norwegian market this kind of attention is a great advantage. Just by knowing the name, the scepticism about buying a product from a new company has been reduced drastically. The marketing money was also spent well getting consumers to get emotionally engaged in their product, at least I got emotionally engaged as the competition was exciting and, toward the end, very intense. I also know that many of my friends abroad spent much of their time helping me. David in Czech Republic skipped his lunch to help out, Sabina in Lithuania used a great deal of time her afternoon to recruit friends, and Magda from Poland got, in just half an hour, over 16 friends to vote and even more later that day. All over Norway, as well, friends and family put a lot of effort in in helping me. Everyone I asked were happy to help and did a great job by helping us win this competition. Now, all of those who helped also know about Huawei, and will be expecting a postcard.

This is a good example on a viral marketing campaign, because “size matters” and “the more the merrier”. But it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. What makes the biggest impression, an add in a section down right on a random page, in a random newspaper on a random date or a competition where friends contact each other, collecting votes and spreading the word – Woops, sorry for the religious connotations – to complete a goal. Viral is a term coined to things which spreads it self from user to user throughout the Internet. We got viral music videos such as those from O.K. GO, or viral fun clips including a monkey smelling his own fingers after they been in contact with his butt, and emotional social pornography such as leave Britney alone which also was spread through the horrible parody movie “Meet the Spartans”. We share in e-mail messages, on facebook walls, through Twitter tweeds and many other media.

To round up the post about social competitions on the internet, just as a little freebie to the ones out there actually reading articles through, here are some experiences we picked up during our recruitment work. Firstly you have to get rid of any limitations you have about being annoying during the competition. In our case we had to stay on Facebook Chat to reach out to as many as possible. In the beginning we had time to chat, but towards the end I have to admitt that many of the sentences were copied and pasted into the respective chat windows. Secondly you have to ask your contacts to ask. There is a great difference from you reaching out to a hundred friends and get them to vote and get them to vote and also ask three four friends. Multiplication is more effective than addition. Even how cynical it sounds. When that is said: our experiences were that friends really want to help. Many spent much time getting votes, especially when the results are clear. Since we got into the competition two days after the beginning we counted down the number of votes to the first position. When we started the last day our suggestion was between 150 and 200 votes behind the one leading we counted down, and within the last four hours we were around one hundred and when the last hour arrived we were leading. After we won the competition I got some comments saying that the constant progress worked as an important motivating factor. We also tried to implement this into the facebook group we created by frequently updating the about field with motivating comments and results. We also sent out two messages to all users with status attending, maybe attending and awaiting reply. We only got two complaints on this, but taken into consideration that this messages reached out to over 3000 people that is not a high prosentage. I wrote this two messages in both Norwegian and English, and made the language as clear as possible, and made a two-step prosedure to vote. One of the most important propositions to get across was that this was to great help, and also that it could be done in under a minutes. Both propositions were true and that is also an important notion doing things online – Don’t lie. Two days of tremendous amount of work, speaking with hundreds of friends and family members, collegues and old acquaintances paid off, and in the beginning of September Jules and I are going to Shanghai.

It was fun to participate in such a competition, and even more fun to win. To all of you helping us winning the competition: thank you once more!

Web 3.0 – Pictures in the Semantic Web

Web 3.0 – Pictures in the Semantic Web

Some years ago Web 2.0 was coined as a term for the new Internet. By definition it is not a technological improvement, it was a metaphor for the phenomenom of the web becoming social. Now some of the experiments around the new Web 3.0 are starting to get pretty impressive. Where the Web 2.0 described the Internet as social, the Web 3.0 describes it as semantic.

Firstly it needs to be said that Web 3.0 has nothing to do with the third version of the Internet. Even though the 3.0 could be mistaken for a whole new version, as we could be tempted to believe if we perceive it the same way we perceive a new version number in the computer programming terminology, it is just a metaphor. It is more linked to the usage and possibilities on the web rather than to the software. The web consists of all kinds of users and technology, so the Web 3.0 is the general trend, rather than the software and the physical hubs, switches and computers.

Web 3.0 introduces a new way of understanding data on the Internet. We as humans and users interpret the data in our own way, but a lot of the services we use, including search engines and hypertext references, are interpreted by computers before we are presented with the results. One example is how Google Search works. When you type in a text string for “horse”, for example, the search engine is limited by technology to search among pages where the word “horse” is found, or in images where the meta-text includes the text string “horse”. This gives us a limitation of possibilities to use the computer power to help us since not all pictures of a horse hold that information. Another problem is seen in presence of different languages: if you want a picture of a horse, you will be restricted to find this where the meta-text is “horse”, even though there is a good chance that a picture in which the meta-text is “Pferd” or “hest” represents the same animal.

Some improvements have been made. In Google’s Picasa 3 and Apples iPhoto the system can now recognize faces in pictures, and once you have named the faces it will automatically recognise these friends’ faces in your other albums. A new feature is the support between the photo gallery and other services such as Facebook, which means your photos are auto-tagged as you upload them.
When you also add geographical data, either by inserting the locations yourself into the software or the camera’s GPS doing it for you, the computer knows where the photo has been taken. By having the geographical data, digital technology can be used to match the pattern in the photo to a digital photo canvas such as street view.

Below you can see a great video explaining how this works. At a presentation held at TED, Blaise Aguera y Arcas from Microsoft explains the new features in Bing map.

http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/blaise_aguera.html