i think this is a bit long-winded, but there are some interesting observations here: Folksonomy
- Flickr & Delicious are cool & fun to use (note: Flickr is down at the moment... corrupt db)
- community tagging over time defines an namespace of common (& new) words & interests
- community tagging can sometimes be imprecise, ambiguous, and least-common-denominator-oriented, but...
- bottom-up definition of metadata (by a community) tends to be simpler / more useful than topdown (by an author /academic)
as i've mentioned before, one thing i'd like to see in Delicious (& Flickr?) in addition to basic quantitative popularity ranking ("500 people thought this was cool") is qualitative popularity ranking ("only 10 people have marked this as cool so far, but 9 of them gave it a 5-star ranking!"). this gives you not only the mass popular stuff, but also enables quick identification and filtering of stuff that's "rising fast on the charts with a bullet".
Netflix does this quite well, btw... and recently launched Netflix Friends to do some basic favorites-sharing. Wish they would also enable a way for me to expose my Netflix favorites to anyone more broadly, perhaps in an RSS feed? Gotta think they would get more marketing out of opening that stuff up than keeping it closed.
Maybe i never noticed it before, but looks like Amazon has recently launched some ranking / recommendations stuff. HotorNot has had this for quite a while also.
I've been playing around with several testing / assessment sites & deep-matching... need to learn more about this stuff, get a better sense of who's doing it right.
Last night I had the pleasure of co-hosting a dinner presentation for ~50 forward-thinking friends in the Silicon Valley entrepreneur community to learn more about the microfinance revolution, and about the incredible global impact it's having on eradicating poverty in developing economies.
After a brief welcome & intro by yours truly, a presentation on microfinance was given by Unitus CEO Geoff Davis (ex-Grameen Foundation pioneer) and Chairman Mike Murray (ex-Microsoft VP). Briefly, Unitus is a "venture accelerator" that helps identify, fund, and grow promising microfinance institutions ("MFIs") around the world. They're a terrific organization, and they're helping MFIs in India, Africa, and Latin America do some amazing things.
It was a great opportunity to get a bunch of old friends together, and explain how this new industry can really make a significant & substantial difference in people's lives. At the same time, Unitus presents some attractive investment alternatives for those who'd like to see their donation dollars put to work in a more focused, market-measured way.
And finally, it was a fun opportunity for me to get passionately excited about something not so technology-related, and to help spread the word about what Unitus is doing... my pleasure :)
Dave "evangelizing microfinance" to famished attendees at Zibibbo in Palo Alto
Dave mugs with the wonderful folks from Unitus: Kate Cochran, Mike Murray, Keanan Jacobson, [DMc], Kylie Charlton, Geoff Davis, Johanna Posada
wild-eyed mad scientist speculations:
- Google is building a new privately-owned Internet v2 / testing a new proprietary IP protocol
- Google working on a "cyberspace" project that will revolutionize the way we communicate
- Google wants to bait Bill Gates into blowing more money on telecom assets
- Larry & Sergey think dark fiber sounds really, really, really *cool*...
(come on: you can make up an even better rumor here, can't you? go on, give it a shot.)
i had the pleasure on friday to meet with a very talented entrepreneur from China over coffee down in Palo Alto. Gang "Mark" Mai is the founder of eFriendsNet / YeeYoo.com, one of the most popular and successful chinese social networking sites.
we had a great conversation, and it was terrific to make friends with such an inspired, intelligent entrepreneur from the other side of the globe. it really is amazing these days how "small" the world has become, and how "large" the extent of our connectedness is. i hope i get to meet Mark again, perhaps next time on his side of the planet!