So my tag thoughts lead me to fantasise tagging reality in some way. Could I use a GPS camphone to tag my environment? Find a nice restaurant, photograph and tag it there-and-then and it snaps into place on a useful, marked-up map of the City, complete with tags to aid retrieval. Other users could, of course, share my tags and places themselves could trigger a forest of tags as I pass (all on my heads-up display, I suppose).
Month: February 2005
Lots of good stuff over at Matt’s place lately: the wonders of Amazon’s new visual yellow pages, the Wikification of everything (and a very thought-provoking application of del.icio.us tags to BBC content) and links to some amazing Flickr art.
Once you’ve played with tags at Flickr and del.icio.us for a while you’ll find you expect everything to work that way. Tags are very persuasive. Two really obvious applications for tags: Apple’s iTunes and iPhoto. Adding keywords to iPhoto pictures is such a weird pain-in-the-neck, multi-step operation (compared with, say, adding tags to your Flickr pics – how can it possibly be easier to manipulate meta-data in a web-based application than in a desktop app?) and you can’t tag iTunes tracks at all. Tagged tracks would really add a lot of value to the creation of Smart Playlists, for instance, especially if adding tags was really easy.
What’s going on?
My friend Richard called from Australia. Richard is a futurologist (no, really, he is). He publishes the very groovy What’s Next, which watches trends, and has a column in Fast Company Magazine. Anyway, presumably because he’s a trend watcher, he asked me: “so what’s going on in Britain then?” and I was basically stumped. “Er. Michael Howard Hypnotist Shylock thing. Gordon Brown. No. John Reid. Oh I know… er… no. I forgot.” So I’ve been thinking about it since then. What is going on in Britain? If you were asked by a foreigner what was going on here right now, what would you say?
When voting really matters
The courage and optimism of the Iraqi people who voted on Sunday is obvious. We (all of us – pro- or anti-war) need to set aside our cynicism for a minute and acknowledge the significance of this vote. If it had turned out to be a phony exercise or just PR for the coalition it would have been different. It turns out that over 60% of the eligible population went out to vote. Do I need to remind you that that’s a better turnout than most Western Nations see for general elections (and usually in the absence of any threat of beheading)?
Is that huge vote of confidence in the democratic process more than a two-fingers to the ‘insurgents’ and other nihilists who opposed the election all together? Yes. It’s very hard to avoid the conclusion that this big, enthusiastic vote does more than refuse the insurgents their easy victory. Despite the complicated and uncomfortable circumstances – and the indecipherable proportional voting system – Iraqis have taken to the democratic process like the sophisticated political animals they obviously are.
Their enthusiasm for this election inevitably sends an uncomfortable message not only to the bombers and beheaders but also to the anti-war contingent (the Pilgers and Fisks and Galloways, the Daily Mirror, The Independent etc. etc.) and also to the ambivalent, the waverers, the worriers and the uncommitted (me, for instance). It seems there’s a reasonable chance – against all the odds – that democracy has taken root in Iraq.
Spend your money here
Mind blowing sale at Christies: ‘The Origins of Cyberspace: A Library on the History of Computing, Networking & Telecommunications’. Over 200 important documents from the history of computing, mathematics and calculation – some over 400 years old and valued at up to $70,000.
Best spam this week
From: "Richard" (email@example.com) Date: 28 January 2005 05:13:30 GMT To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: tent Reply-To: email@example.com
To Whom It May Concern,
We have learned from the Internet that you are interested in tents...
Think I need a new lawyer
So Mark Lloyd, an otherwise respectable lawyer (and a bit of an expert on tech and Internet lawyering in general) calls me yesterday and asks how my blogging business is going. I tell him it’s pretty cool but it’s still early days and then I tell him, by way of industry background, that Sony just took a stake in Gawker’s Lifehacker. Mark’s reaction is, frankly, sniffy – as if to say: “is that the best you can do? I digested that particular nugget six hours ago. In fact anyone with a half-respectable RSS reader finished gossiping about that one before their second skinny latte this morning, you sad old git”. I think this semantic web thing has a lot to answer for…