Articles tagged with: twitter
I’ve been interested for some time in capturing information and the context in which that information is created in the lab. The question of how to build an efficient and useable laboratory recording system is fundamentally one of how much information is necessary to record and how much of that can be recorded while bothering the researcher themselves as little as possible. The problem with sophisticated systems that can catch everything is that they break. The problem with simple systems is that they don’t provide enough structure to be useful. But a little structure with a simple framework, like twitter, might provide a route to getting a lot of useful information easy recorded for a lab record.
The rationale behind open approaches is the way it enables you to make unexpected connections and to find otherwise hidden shortcuts. People, data, code, and expertise can be more effectively connected when the information is out there and discoverable. Here I wanted to document a little collaboration that was sparked on twitter and carried through using an entirely open toolset.
If you’ve been around either myself or Deepak Singh you will almost certainly have heard the Jeff Jonas/Jon Udell soundbite: ‘Data finds data. Then people find people’. The naïve analysis of the success of consumer social networks and the weaknesses of science communication has lead to efforts that almost precisely invert the Jonas/Udell concept. In the case of most of these “Facebooks for Scientists” the idea is that people find people, and then they connect with data through those people. But what if we built social networks for data, where they could interact, find neighbours, and play games amongst themselves?
A number of things recently have lead me to reflect on the nature of interactions between social media, research organisations and the wider community. What the first decade of the social web has taught us is that organisations that effectively harness the goodwill of their staff or members using social media tools do well. This approach is antithetical to traditional command and control management structures. It implies a fluidity and a lack of direct control over people’s time. What it does do though is map very well onto a rather traditional view of how the academy is “managed”. Academics provide a limited resource, their time, and apply it to a large extent in a way determined by what they think is important. What might happen if an academic institution effectively harnessed social media as a management tool and what are the barriers to making that happen?
…is that someone needs to make money out of them. It was inevitable at some point that Friendfeed would take a route that lead it towards mass adoption and away from the needs of the (rather small) community of researchers that have found a niche that works well for them. I had thought it more likely that Friendfeed would gradually move away from the aspects that researchers found attractive rather than being absorbed wholesale by a bigger player but then I don’t know much about how Silicon Valley really works. …
There has been a lot written and said recently about the “real time” web most recently in an interview of Paul Buchheit on ReadWriteWeb. The premise is that if items and conversations are carried on in “real time” then they are more efficient and more engaging. The counter argument has been that they become more trivial. That by dropping the barrier to involvement to near zero, the internal editorial process that forces each user to think a little about what they are saying, is lost generating a stream of drivel. …
There has been lots of interest amongst some parts of the community about what has been happening on FriendFeed. A growing number of people are signed up and lots of interesting conversations are happening. However it was suggested that as these groups grow they become harder to manage and the perceived barriers to entry get higher. So this is an attempt to provide a brief intro to FriendFeed for the scientist who may be interested in using it; what it is, why it is useful, and some suggestions on how …
The Mars Phoenix landing has got a lot of coverage around the web, particularly from some misty eyed old blokes who remember watching landings via the Mosaic browser in an earlier, simpler age. The landing is cool, but one thing I thought was particularly clever was the use of Twitter by JPL to publicise the landing and what is happening on a minute to minute basis. Now my suspicion is that they haven’t actually installed Twhirl on the Phoenix Lander and that there is actually a person at JPL writing …