Skip to content

Category Archives: Technology

Paste & Cite

I was recently asked by somebody to speculate about generalizable application features that might help researchers in their work. I responded to them directly, but thought it might be worth repeating part of my response here. Since the early 1990s I’ve wished that the OS (any OS) would support a “Paste & Cite” feature and, […]

I hate the number 255

I hated it in Pascal and I hate it now in This might even force me to stop using Of course, it isn’t the number that I really hate- its the programmers who, rather than think of the realistic use cases for a column called “notes”, just settle for the default “biggish computer […]

Brain Subscription And Trust Circles

Jon Udell and Ross Mayfield have are talking about the use of social software and trust-circles as tools to find relevant and authoritative content on the web. Sounds familiar. I’ve long thought trust circles (amongst other trust metrics) are key to addressing the “Internet Trust Anti-Pattern“. It may sound incredibly un-hip and reactionary, but to […]

The F-Word

Will implementing a good information architecture destroy your Alexa rating? Mike Davidson has done a brief analysis of MySpace which basically shows that “Page Views” could be the new “Line Count” in stupid metrics. I’ve often wondered if part of the attraction of MySpace is the air of “authenticity” conveyed by the hideously amateurish interface(s)? […]

Van Morrison, Crank and Google Scholar

In a Guardian article dated Saturday July 8 2006, Pico Iyer talks about how Google and other search engines have distorted the literary interview. He describes how interviewers prepare themselves by researching their subjects online and how search results tend to artificially highlight and emphasize interesting, but effectively trivial information about the interviewee. The author […]

Early Social Bookmarking

I was recently pondering the characteristics of so-called “cult fiction” and was trying to remember how it was that I learned about certain cult authors back before this thing called the Internet existed. How did I learn about Vonnegut, Pynchon, Roth? As I dredged through my memories I realized that I most probably ran across […]


I was relatively late in learning of the term “backchannel”. It describes a phenomena that I have been fumbling to explain to people as being *one* of several reasons for them to use instant messaging (IM) as a regular tool in the office. Whereas the term backchannel seems to be most often used to describe […]

Beginning, middle, end

In the early days of the web, buzzword coinage relied on prefixes. Add an “e” or an “i” to any word or phrase and you had yourself a brand new business to flog. i-widgets e-grommits A few years later- the infix became the basis for the buzz-worthy. The numeral “2” became de rigueur. b2c b2b […]

The Internet Trust Anti-Pattern

I am afraid that the Wikipedia is a classic case of what I’ve come to term “the internet trust anti-patttern”. It goes something like this: A communication/collaboration system is started by self-selecting core group of high-trust technologists (or specialists of some sort). Said system is touted as authority-less, non-hierarchical, etc. But this is not true […]

Jorge Luis Borges on Software Architecture

The following, from Jorge Luis Borges, reminds me of some software projects I’ve seen… “.. In that Empire, the Art of Cartography reached such Perfection that the map of one Province alone took up the whole of a City, and the map of the empire, the whole of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps […]