Category Archives: social

I’m on Yahoo 360 is yet another social networking service, this
time from Yahoo. I’d rather not spam everyone I know (we’re all on far
too many social networks as it were), so… anyone who wants to link
up can just invite me or e-mail me or use the ever-so-handy comment
form below. =)

猫は小鳥に忍び寄った。 The cat crept toward the bird.

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On mailing lists

I find it a bit strange that people here like broadcasting their
messages by putting everyone in To: or Cc:. I _know_ they’ve heard of
mailing lists. Everyone knows about mailing lists. Heck, even my
parents have a mailing list for their advertising photography company.

By mailing list, I mean a managed mailing list through something like
Yahoo Groups or Google Groups instead of an ad-hoc list of e-mail
addresses. Have you considered them before? I’m sure you’ve been on a
few, as they’re a very popular and effective tool. Just in case, let
me cover the basics.

Mailing lists

  • increase the community feel of a group because it’s easier to
    network and chat outside meetings
  • distribute speaking tips and other resources easily
  • allow people to organize their mail into folders without having to
    create rules for each person who posts or manually move new messages
  • allow people to change their e-mail addresses or disable delivery
  • make communication a whole lot easier: remember one address instead
    of fifty!

Many people don’t fully take advantage of mailing lists because of
sour experiences in open lists without a good community feel. They
might not know, for example, that you can restrict membership and even
access to message archives. In addition, they may also have been
turned off by low signal-to-noise ratio mailing lists flooded with
jokes and one-liners. Each community varies in its tolerance of things
like that, and social conventions are generally followed when
established. Netiquette is easier to enforce in mailing lists because
the clearly-defined space of a mailing list makes it easier to set
social policies.

A good mailing list is an awesome community-builder. My project went
from scattered users to a thriving, enthusiastic community spread
around the world because we set up a mailing list where people could
share their ideas and code. It’s so easy to set up a mailing list on
Google Groups or
Yahoo Groups that seeing the old style of
distributing messages makes me wonder if people have particular
reasons _not_ to use mailing lists…

E-Mail to Ari Caylakyan

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Squidoo now on public beta

Squidoo opened its doors to the public today. Open beta. Try it out if you’re into Web 2.0 stuff.

I’m personally a little underwhelmed, although I can see how something
like this might be useful for all the niche site probloggers who don’t
have their own server/space or who want to take advantage of extra
visibility through squidoo, although I’m not sure how much better that
would be compared to, say, making a new website that’s indexed by

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I’ve figured out why I’m here! =)

I love application essays. They make me think about what I’m doing
with my life. Sure, I could probably just make something up or use my
StatementOfPurpose from last time, but I actually like having to stop
and think.

And I’ve figured out a little bit more about how my project with Mark
Chignell fits into the grand scheme of things!

You see, I’d like to make it easy for people to collect and share
Internet resources that they’ve found useful. For example, consultants
in large software companies should be able to find out which documents
other consultants in their group found useful. They should be able to
find experts on a given topic, and they should be able to explore
other people’s interests too.

Although several web-based services allow social search and discovery,
they haven’t yet been widely adopted. My thesis will give me time to
think about what we can to do make these systems easier to use. My
human-computer interaction coursework will teach me how to measure the
effects of the changes we make to the interface. My background in
programming and computer science will allow me to quickly prototype
new interface designs.

And the grand scheme of things?

I think it would be fantastic if teachers could have that kind of
network. Imagine if I could filter my search for programming exercise
ideas according to what other introductory computer science teachers
found useful, or if I could explore what other people found useful.

Imagine if teachers could choose a set of useful webpages and make it
easy for students to prioritize those pages when searching. Imagine if
students could contribute their own hyperlinks. I think that would be
really cool.

But the interface needs to be much simpler, and it needs to be robust
and accessible. We can’t rely on constant high-speed Internet
connections. Consultants use laptops and teachers in the provinces
might connect only once in a while. Both sets of people are Really
Busy and don’t have the time or patience to muck about with
complicated interfaces. It needs to be simple and distributed, and it
needs to pack a lot of value.


That sounds like a great challenge. That’s what I want to do, and I
can see how it might be useful. If only because I would _love_ to know
what other teachers bookmark, and I want to have a quick and easy way
to tell people about interesting websites without flooding their

Mmkay. I’ll formalize this after I wake up, but I think I’m onto
something here.

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Social bookmarking in the Philippines

Check out , a Philippine social news site along the
lines of . Stories are bookmarked and voted on by users, and
popular stories are displayed on the front page. It’s a new site and
doesn’t quite display properly on Mozilla Firefox, but hey, it’s nice
to see other Filipinos into social bookmarking… =)

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