November 28, 2005

It's Amaznig Waht You Can Raed

So you think spelling is important? (I do, particularly as a writer.) This has been floating around the Web for a while. However, when I recently received this forwarded e-mail from a friend, I still found it amazing in terms of how we process words. It's self-explanatory:

Cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
For more information, check out this page. Between this and IM/text messaging "shortcuts", the English language may never be the same. ;^)

Topic(s):   Other Musings
Posted by Jeff Beard   |   Permalink  |  Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

Reflections on BlawgThink

Last weekend, I had the genuine pleasure of presenting with Dennis Kennedy at BlawgThink in Chicago. We covered more advanced topics such as tagging, ping services, Flickr, tag clouds, OPML, plugins, blog editors, and more in the Blogging 2.0 track. Dennis was intriguing as always, and it was a nice reunion for us as speakers (we first presented together at the '98 ABA TECHSHOW and quickly became good friends). We had fun brainstorming for the session, and ended up learning some cool new things from each other.

It was also interesting catching up with and meeting other blawgers. It's always great seeing Dennis and Matt who organized the event, along with Ernie, Tom, Rick, Sabrina, Carolyn, Jack, Kevin, and other thought leaders. If nothing else, blogging has led us into a group of highly creative and forward-thinking legal professionals, who also happen to be down-to-earth good people. Through blogging, I think we challenge each other to stay current, examine issues from different angles, try new ideas and technologies, and develop new approaches. I know it keeps me sharper than I would be on my own.

And that's probably one of the reasons why blogging has become such the phenomenon it has. It's as much about the social and professional connection as it is the new and unconventional ways of manipulating how we find, publish, and take in information. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but it's been a very worthwhile and rewarding experience for me.

BlawgThink definitely brought this home for me. While the first day had more structured sessions, the second day's use of OpenSpace encouraged much more innovative discussions. Because it involved interactive group discussions, we had a chance to "blog in person", as it were, contributing ideas in real-time. The fun part was not hearing that people were leaving with good ideas, but that we were trying to figure out how were going to find the time to try them all. Thanks again to Dennis and Matt for inviting me.

Topic(s):   Blogging Tips
Posted by Jeff Beard   |   Permalink  |  Comments (0)

November 10, 2005

Web 2.0: What's All the Buzz About?

When I first heard the phrase, "Web 2.0", the first thing that entered my mind was, "Wow, how are they going to upgrade the Internet?" ;^) All kidding aside, it's already happening. I see it as mostly an evolutionary (as opposed to revolutionary) progression.

You can already see it in how search engines and various online resources have expanded, morphed, and matured. What really brought it alive for me was Tim O'Reilly's recent article, "What is Web 2.0". I'm a visual person, and his article presents a table of excellent examples:

Web 1.0   Web 2.0
DoubleClick --> Google AdSense
Ofoto --> Flickr
Akamai --> BitTorrent
mp3.com --> Napster
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
personal websites --> blogging
evite --> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation --> search engine optimization
page views --> cost per click
screen scraping --> web services
publishing --> participation
content management systems --> wikis
directories (taxonomy) --> tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness --> syndication

Think about these for a moment, and think where your interaction and use of the Web has changed over the past five years. From this, it's easier to make sense of the visual Web 2.0 Meme Map, which expands on these examples.

For me, Web 2.0's context has crystallized into concepts such as:

  • Blogs as participation and networking, not publishing (although blogging is still a form of publishing in the strictest sense)

  • Consumer focus through syndication -- not keeping them captive via "stickiness" tricks and strategies

  • Harnessing the power of collective intelligence, and radical trust as the foundation of collaboration (think wikis)

  • The return of "Have it your way" for customer self-service and self-manipulation of data in a more convenient and meaningful way

  • Tagging, not taxonomy (although I think this can be somewhat difficult to grasp at first)
Once I got my head around these driving concepts, then the various technologies and services started to make a lot more sense.

It's not a short article, but it does a pretty good job of putting a face, via examples, of what Web 2.0 is, and perhaps just as importantly, what it isn't.

Topic(s):   Web Wizardry
Posted by Jeff Beard   |   Permalink  |  Comments (1)