tecznotes

Michal Migurski's notebook, listening post, and soapbox. Subscribe to this blog. Check out the rest of my site as well.

Jun 18, 2009 6:55am

fever

Shaun Inman just launched Fever, a web-based feed reading tool that you buy and install on your own server.

A few interesting things:

  • Fever implements SnarkMarket's "compress into diamonds" idea: When I click that button, spin your little algorithmic wheels and turn my reader into a personalized Memeorandum. Show me the most linked-to items in the bunch, and show me which of my feeds are linking to them.
  • I always wanted to turn Reblog into something like Fever, but never did.
  • It's written in PHP, which makes me happy. All this blibber-blabber about web-based MVC development frameworks, and PHP is still the works-everywhere-including-shared-hosting common denominator. It's truly the Bourne shell of the internet.
  • The installation procedure, esp. the way it ties in with the main Fever website, seems to be a way for Shaun to watch his user base, verify that installations are paid-for, and smooth the process all in one shot. Is it also a way to push updates, and is the chmod -r a+rwX step a possible point of exploitation? Too early to tell. Watch the video on the site, the installation bit is at the end.
  • It's being marketed and sold like shrinkwrap software but you need an account on the website to install and license it.
  • The division of feeds into must-read and might-read is pretty reflective of how most people think about their feeds in my experience.
  • Drag-and-drop on the web is stupid.
  • The grouping of entries based on linking is, to me, more of a way to mass-delete things that everyone's gabbing about rather than a pointer to what's actually interesting. When I imagined doing this kind of cross-item-similarity for Reblog, I imagined it as a way to quickly identify pockets of groupthink or P.R. clusters and rapidly/easily eliminate them. Just think, I could have handily avoided last week's internet-wide Google Wave boner!
  • I'd totally install and use Fever if I didn't use Reblog for publishing as well as consuming - all of my snippets and most of my Delicious links are tagged and published directly from my feed reader. It'd be cool if Fever could do this, maybe as a plug-in.

Jun 18, 2009 4:54am

people clouds

Delicious has a related-tags feature that I've been greatly enjoying since Rabble told me I should probably tag my links. Normally, the list of related tags is designed to suss out content, but I've been using people-tags in addition to topic tags. If I get a link from someone, I tag it with via:username. If I post a link about someone I know, I tag it with re:username. Related tags gives an interesting view on some of the folks I follow most closely.

I've only been conscientiously tagging my links for a few months, but already I'm starting to get a clear picture of the kinds of material I get from my friends. I love the idea that a nice stick-and-rock diagram can be made to sum up the specific expertise of people I know, and the topics I look for from each of them.

First though, I want to talk about how everyone I know is doing awesome shit. A quick look at related tags for this one shows who they are and what they're doing: maps, design, code, stuff about cities and paper, and a little cluster of Brits near the top. That group of three re:'s happens to be the Really Interesting Group:

Looking just at links about Russell, you can see his co-conspirator Ben right at the top, a long with a short list of what they're thinking about: printing and newspapers and things that friends do on the internet:

Aaron is all about the papernet in real life, but the things I really follow from his postings are the Python code libraries for doing cloudy stuff with maps:

Zachary Johnson, whom I've never met, is all about maps and cartography:

My brother Zak, on the other hand, is a primary source of weird animated video:

Fred meanwhile is Mr. Baltimore architect, and as often as not I repost things he writes himself:

Finally, top Oakland blogger V Smoothe is all about local Oakland business:

Do you tag your links like this? Does it help you develop a sense for those in your circle who are go-to people for certain topics? Does it help you get through your daily reading to know what certain people are best at? Don't you wish that Delicious would let you check your own name for the hive-mind consensus about what you're good for?

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