New Project, New Blog

July 5, 2008

So while I need a new project (or a new blog for that matter) like a hole in the head, I have started one to cover an iPhone games project I am going to be working on.

I am pretty stoked about the game and will likely be writing a whole bunch over there.  There are social interaction designs throughout the game so even though it’s a game it may still be of interest to social interaction buffs.  

Come join me if your interested in watching the soup being made…  

The blog is at


Sunday Short Takes

June 22, 2008

1. I’m annoyed with the editors of the Globe and Mail’s Number Cruncher series.  They deliver their stories as blog posts but no one on the editorial team bothers to respond to their readers.  Maybe I am just the first person to ever ask a question so they are unsure what to do but come on after making me go through an annoying sign-up process you’d think someone could at least say “Can’t help ya mate”.  The real tragedy is it’s an excellent series.

2. I haven’t seen a lot of innovation in user interfaces for help desk applications, I wonder if creating a riff on the basic Getting Thing Done UIs I have seen would work and be helpful.

3. With all the unstructured data out there I wonder if a simple graphical tool designed to turn this data into actionable information would be helpful?  

What I am thinking is a visual environment with drag-and-drop parsing workflow creation where one could use predefined rules (or create their own rules) that parses a document extracting the information needed in a structured format 

So for instance you could create a “parser” for a series of emails that always have the essential same structure and get that data into a dB.

Hmm, maybe I need to think more about this, it may actually be quite useful…

4. Another interesting blog post today on /Message.  Stowe is right, at every turn and with every interaction we are exposing ourselves to loosely coupled, information rich data flows and we need to be able to mine these flows to extract actionable information otherwise we are stuck with static silos. Information is out there, we just need better means of extracting it from the crushing weight of all the data we see every day.  

5. Another OpenID mechanism.  From the site “Emailtoid is a simple mapping service that enables the use of email addresses as OpenID identifiers.”

Information is everywhere and we need tools that are transparent and can extract the concepts, terms and contextual meaning from this day-to-day data flow for our interpretation.

Today on Webware I came across this brilliant quote, “Social is a feature not a destination” by Joe Kraus while he was speaking at the Supernova Conference.

Wow if that does not sum up a whole bunch of things in a succinct way! It would make a good tag line as well… 🙂

One of the things that I think is missing from current social networking “tools” is the ability to establish transitory networks with people that you have or in many cases do not have relationships with.

What do I mean?  Well I feel much of how we currently Interact with others is in a very transitory fashion and in a way where people and tools need to come together and then go away. I am talking about a whole mishmash of interconnected services that just need to work together and then “disappear” rather than making me maintain a profile or site or …

To make this happen along with the exposing of existing methods of interaction we need a bunch of tools with Open ID possibly being one of them as I think it is a way to establish trusted sources something vital to the equation and possibly Twitter as one of the providers of a unified messaging substrate.

This is an area I am trying to make work and will be discussing much more…

Contact Mapping Schema

June 13, 2008

So after reading an informative post on Chris Messina’s blog I think I am going to put together an xml based mapping for the various contact APIs out there…  

I am currently working with a particular API but will likely have to support the others eventually (depending on what my users, etc. want) so I might as well create the facade now and code to a single api.  I could create some code but I think since everyone codes in different languages (yup believe it or not some of still use C) it would be simpler to create some XML schemas, etc. and leave the implementation details up to the end developer though I may create a sample in javascript.  

Since I’ve been looking at putting something out for the community for a while if this is deemed helpful I shall look at this as a possible contribution. 

Yes been linking to Chris a bit lately but I think identity is one of the core underpinnings to turning data into actionable information (an area I am working in) and Chris is all over identity stuff.  If you are interested in open methods of identification and authorization follow his blog.

Lots of discussion lately around the idea of managing your digital identity in a global social world.  There are various vendor specific and open source projects (Open ID and Chris Messina’s DiSo project) looking at this issue but I have an idea…  

With the proliferation of smart phones like the iPhone and Blackberry why can’t we use our phone as our identity server?  My unscientific poll tells me most people keep their mobile phone number for ever so you don’t have to worry about managing a transient server somewhere and since it is always with you, you own the server/data and it’s use.

Now for this to work it really presupposes an unlimited data plan and we’d have to think about security, maybe 2 one-way hashes of the phone number so it is not detectable.  Also battery life is of course a concern but most smart phones have a notification or push awake feature so that should not be an issue

All we’d have to do is install an ID server to the smart phone and Bob’s your uncle.

It would be fairly easy to build a proof of concept of this, I am sure there a holes so let’s discuss…