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Democratization of Information

Making software architecture choices analytically with CodeTrend

Posted in Democratization of Information, Geek, Software Engineering on September 3rd, 2013 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Modern software gets assembled from parts as much as it gets built from scratch.  It used to be you just picked your operating system and programming language and went to it.  Nowadays you need to pick your data store, your development tools, your framework and its plugins and all sorts of libraries independently.  These choices […]

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Democratizing HTTPS

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Electronic Security, Geek, Google on March 21st, 2011 by leodirac – Comments Off on Democratizing HTTPS

Dear Google, Please democratize SSL certificates.  The ability to serve HTTPS:// pages without scaring users is currently controlled by a handful of “trusted authorities” whose business is to make it difficult to secure web communications.  Google, you have the ability to disrupt this oligarchy and empower individuals to make the web safer. The web is […]

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Participatory Culture and the Democratization of Information

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Geek, Music, Social Computing, Television on December 27th, 2009 by leodirac – 1 Comment

An example of the trend towards information democracy is the democratization of culture. “Participatory Culture” is the modern trend of many individuals contributing to the mass of popular culture rather than culture being broadcast from a small elite of performers. By analogy, Hollywood’s hegemony over movies and television represented a communist politburo where a small group had the power and responsibility to control the cultural experiences of the masses. Today’s information technology is tearing down this monopoly that broadcasters held, and thus democratizing culture through three mechanisms: easier content creation, distribution, and a better editorial process. We’ll look at each…

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Rhapsody Profiles FTW!

Posted in Democratization of Information, Ego, Geek, Music, Social Computing on January 4th, 2009 by leodirac – 2 Comments

Excuse my newbie exuberance, but OMG finally launched profile pages!!! They’ve been up for a while now, which makes me think they’re for real this time. A couple of you might remember that this feature was live for something like a week in early 2007. But it was very slow and didn’t live long. Sniff. I worked hard to make this feature possible when I was working at Real. The fact that I couldn’t get it re-launched was a big motivator for me to move on to greener pastures. I saw making Rhapsody social as an important evolution of…

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Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

Posted in Democratization of Information, Facebook, Geek, Google, Microsoft, Tech Industry, User Experience on October 8th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Web UI Platforms through Javascript sandboxes

I see a trend of how we’re approaching Tim O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 ideal in a way that he didn’t really identify. But I think the trend is important, and growing, although still in its infancy. The trend is towards richer web APIs that enable people to build value on top of existing websites. I’ll give some history on how we got here, and talk about the current trend-leaders that I see: Facebook and Google Maps. I’ll also explain why I think Microsoft is in the best position to build the required enabling technology. Original Web 1.0 Universal access to massive…

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Solving RSS Infoglut through Social Filtering

Posted in Analysis, Democratization of Information, Facebook, Google, Infoglut, Social Computing, User Experience on September 12th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Solving RSS Infoglut through Social Filtering

This morning Scoble linked to a leaked video out of google describing some new features to be added to Google Reader. I don’t like re-reporting other-people’s news here, but I can’t leave this one sit because it strikes so close to home for me. The ideas they describe sound exactly like what I’ve been thinking the world needs out of a feed reader — features to manage infoglut using the social network. What I’ve been thinking about building in my copious spare time is a web-based feed-reader that assumes you over-subscribe to feeds. That is, it expects you to “subscribe”…

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Democratizing Product Development: Amazon, Google and Facebook

Posted in Amazon, Analysis, Business, Democratization of Information, Facebook, Google on August 23rd, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

A trend in modern successful websites is the democratization of information and decision making. The so-called wisdom of the crowds is at the heart of what makes a web 2.0 company successful. I’m going to compare how three companies have democratized the process of making product development decisions. Amazon makes extensive use of so-called A/B testing to try out new UI’s and optimize the user flow. This works very well for them because their end goal is very well defined: they want people to buy stuff. They are facing a very hard optimization problem, but their objective function is clear…

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Democratization of Information

Posted in Business, Democratization of Information, Google, Investing, Tech Industry, Transhumanism on October 11th, 2006 by leodirac – 1 Comment

Remember what internet search was like back in the pioneer days — say 1998 or 1999? There were lots of bad ones out there, but I’ll talk about three representative ones. There were lots of page-search engines along the lines of Alta Vista. They crawled the web and indexed the contents of each web page. They would try to figure out which web page best matched your search keywords based entirely on the contents of the pages themselves. This didn’t work very well since spammers could fill their pages with keywords they liked that didn’t necessarily add any value to…

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