Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

Currently Viewing Posts in web tools

How I stay informed: Reading social media with Facebook, Friendfeed, FeedDemon, Twitter

How is reading blogs different from reading e-mail and using search engines?

Most peers at my age — I’m a later era baby boomer, now called Generation Jones — are comfortable receiving e-mail and using search engines. This population hasn’t yet fully embraced social technologies such as blogs. This is changing slowly. Jeremiah Ohyang, in “How Baby Boomers Use Social Media“, describes that:

  • 71% of younger boomers (age 43 to 52) in 2008 were active with social technologies, as compared to 52% in 2007, and
  • 65% of older boomers (age 53 to 63) in 2008 were active with social technologies, as compared to 45% in 2007.

A further breakdown of the social technographic of boomers shows a bimodal (i.e. two-bump) distribution.

  • The largest bump of boomers (67% and 62%) is readers as “spectators” of blogs and forums — probably arriving at the web site via a bookmark or a search engine.
  • Of boomers reading blogs, fewer are “joiners” who maintain a profile on the web, or “collectors” who are receive updates as feeds.
  • Contributing content, boomers show a smaller bump as 35% and 34% as “critics” who leave comments on blogs and forums.
  • Less than half that number are “creators” who upload and publish primary content, which means bloggers under age 43 outnumber bloggers over age 43 in a ratio of 6-to-1.

What are boomers missing? They may not want to become authors (i.e. “creators” or “critics”). As “collectors”, however, they can become more productive readers. Moving into this segment requires (1) embracing the ethos of a blog reader, (2) adopting tools that streamline reading blogs, and (3) establishing a personal style for tracking content.

Boomers are comfortable with e-mail. E-mail is a person-centric way of receiving information. It’s easy to sort out the importance of content by the sender of the information. The widespread alternative on the Internet is content-centric search. Put some search terms into a browser, and locate information sources. It’s worth remembering, though, that the credibility, reliability and usefulness of web sources is better if you know and/or trust the author(s).

[Side note: I first encountered the idea of person-centric from a tweet by Luis Suarez, leading to an interview of Euan Semple by Joshua-Michele Ross, and then a 2007 interview of Euan Semple by David Weinberger. The person-centric approach is also evident in the Cattail project at IBM Research.]

Moving up to the level of a “collector” takes advantage of web feed technologies such as RSS or Atom. Web feeds enable a person-centric way of receiving information from web syndication, i.e. content made available through publishing on the Internet. A reader can subscribe to individuals from whom he or she wants to read more, and bypass the noise from unwanted search results and junk e-mail. Following the ideas of a trusted colleague is more productive than relying on an anonymous source found with a search engine.

The three behaviours of becoming a “collector” are described below.

(1) Blog readers socially engage with blog writers

Blogs are communications direct from a writer. Marshall McLuhan would probably describe blogs as a “hot medium” as compared to other “cooler” web content. In an April 2008 ACM CHI presentation and paper on “Exploring the Role of the Reader in the Activity of Blogging”, Eric Baumer, Mark Sueyoshi and Bill Tomlinson (all at U.C. Irvine) find that blog readers have characteristic common practices:

How is reading blogs different from reading e-mail and using search engines?

Most peers at my age — I’m a later era baby boomer, now called Generation Jones — are comfortable receiving e-mail and using search engines. This population hasn’t yet fully embraced social technologies such as blogs. This is changing slowly. Jeremiah Ohyang, in “How Baby Boomers Use Social Media“, describes that:

  • 71% of younger boomers (age 43 to 52) in 2008 were active with social technologies, as compared to 52% in 2007, and
  • 65% of older boomers (age 53 to 63) in 2008 were active with social technologies, as compared to 45% in 2007.

A further breakdown of the social technographic of boomers shows a bimodal (i.e. two-bump) distribution.

  • The largest bump of boomers (67% and 62%) is readers as “spectators” of blogs and forums — probably arriving at the web site via a bookmark or a search engine.
  • Of boomers reading blogs, fewer are “joiners” who maintain a profile on the web, or “collectors” who are receive updates as feeds.
  • Contributing content, boomers show a smaller bump as 35% and 34% as “critics” who leave comments on blogs and forums.
  • Less than half that number are “creators” who upload and publish primary content, which means bloggers under age 43 outnumber bloggers over age 43 in a ratio of 6-to-1.

What are boomers missing? They may not want to become authors (i.e. “creators” or “critics”). As “collectors”, however, they can become more productive readers. Moving into this segment requires (1) embracing the ethos of a blog reader, (2) adopting tools that streamline reading blogs, and (3) establishing a personal style for tracking content.

Boomers are comfortable with e-mail. E-mail is a person-centric way of receiving information. It’s easy to sort out the importance of content by the sender of the information. The widespread alternative on the Internet is content-centric search. Put some search terms into a browser, and locate information sources. It’s worth remembering, though, that the credibility, reliability and usefulness of web sources is better if you know and/or trust the author(s).

[Side note: I first encountered the idea of person-centric from a tweet by Luis Suarez, leading to an interview of Euan Semple by Joshua-Michele Ross, and then a 2007 interview of Euan Semple by David Weinberger. The person-centric approach is also evident in the Cattail project at IBM Research.]

Moving up to the level of a “collector” takes advantage of web feed technologies such as RSS or Atom. Web feeds enable a person-centric way of receiving information from web syndication, i.e. content made available through publishing on the Internet. A reader can subscribe to individuals from whom he or she wants to read more, and bypass the noise from unwanted search results and junk e-mail. Following the ideas of a trusted colleague is more productive than relying on an anonymous source found with a search engine.

The three behaviours of becoming a “collector” are described below.

(1) Blog readers socially engage with blog writers

Blogs are communications direct from a writer. Marshall McLuhan would probably describe blogs as a “hot medium” as compared to other “cooler” web content. In an April 2008 ACM CHI presentation and paper on “Exploring the Role of the Reader in the Activity of Blogging”, Eric Baumer, Mark Sueyoshi and Bill Tomlinson (all at U.C. Irvine) find that blog readers have characteristic common practices:

Squeeze your ex out of the picture

Photo retouching — with programs such as Photoshop, or the open source clone Gimpshop version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program — can be used to doctor images (sometimes obviously, and sometimes inobviously). I’m more of a programmer than a graphics artists, so I usually just do a quick cropping, resizing and sharpening of my JPEG photographs using Irfanview. This means that the proportions within the image remain the same.

Download Squad pointed out a “next gen image resizing method”, linking to a prior news item about a 4-1/2 minute Youtube video where Shai Avidan demonstrates “Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing”, for a recent SIGGRAPH conference. It’s fun to watch the video, because it alters images in a way similar to the way human beings do: it keeps the key content (e.g. people) in natural proportion, while removing out some of the uninteresting (or “dead space”) content (e.g. sky).

Photo retouching — with programs such as Photoshop, or the open source clone Gimpshop version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program — can be used to doctor images (sometimes obviously, and sometimes inobviously). I’m more of a programmer than a graphics artists, so I usually just do a quick cropping, resizing and sharpening of my JPEG photographs using Irfanview. This means that the proportions within the image remain the same.

Download Squad pointed out a “next gen image resizing method”, linking to a prior news item about a 4-1/2 minute Youtube video where Shai Avidan demonstrates “Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing”, for a recent SIGGRAPH conference. It’s fun to watch the video, because it alters images in a way similar to the way human beings do: it keeps the key content (e.g. people) in natural proportion, while removing out some of the uninteresting (or “dead space”) content (e.g. sky).

Deterring spam by suppressing return receipts in Lotus Notes client

The spam filters into IBM seem pretty good, so I don’t get nearly as much spam as on my private e-mail IDs. Today, I opened a message in my inbox that I thought might be spam. It generated a return receipt, and since I unfortunately wasn’t in “island” mode, a message got returned to the spammer that I had opened the note.

I’m relatively savvy on spam deterrence. I maintain multiple e-mail addresses as personas. (I learned this from my sons. These are ways of maintaining gradients of intimacy). Some e-mail addresses are redirection IDs, so at least I know where I’m getting spam generated from. Thus, I annoyed myself on contributing to increasing my own spam.

I found a solution on Rocky Oliver’s “Lotus Geek” blog. In the mid-1990s, I was working around Lotus Notes a lot, and got training to the level of a Notes 4 developer. (This was certainly a benefit of having some amount of corporate training!) I haven’t kept up my Notes coding skills, but the instructions to modify an Inbox template using Domino Designer took me less than 5 minutes to implement.

The spam filters into IBM seem pretty good, so I don’t get nearly as much spam as on my private e-mail IDs. Today, I opened a message in my inbox that I thought might be spam. It generated a return receipt, and since I unfortunately wasn’t in “island” mode, a message got returned to the spammer that I had opened the note.

I’m relatively savvy on spam deterrence. I maintain multiple e-mail addresses as personas. (I learned this from my sons. These are ways of maintaining gradients of intimacy). Some e-mail addresses are redirection IDs, so at least I know where I’m getting spam generated from. Thus, I annoyed myself on contributing to increasing my own spam.

I found a solution on Rocky Oliver’s “Lotus Geek” blog. In the mid-1990s, I was working around Lotus Notes a lot, and got training to the level of a Notes 4 developer. (This was certainly a benefit of having some amount of corporate training!) I haven’t kept up my Notes coding skills, but the instructions to modify an Inbox template using Domino Designer took me less than 5 minutes to implement.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • New status by daviding June 23, 2019
      Single Large or Several Small (SLOSS) sees a systems approach where individuals care for their property in a way that benefits all. > ... while emphasizing connectivity may help threatened species be more resilient, Dr. Fahrig says that it should not be taken as a reason to disregard small pockets of nature that are not […]
    • New status by daviding May 19, 2019
      Fit the people around an organization; or an organization around the people? Working backwards, say @MitroffCrisis + #HaroldLinstone, from current concrete choices to uncertain futures, surfaces strategic assumptions in a collective decision, better than starting with an abstract scorecard to rank candidates. The Unbounded Mind is an easier-reading follow-on to The Design of Inquiry Systems […]
    • New status by daviding April 28, 2019
      Our house is on the edge of a flood plain. We know this, because the end of our street in Toronto Riverside was at Lake Ontario, before landfill in the early 1900s. Not everyone knows about what's under the place where they live. "Poor flood-risk maps, or none at all, are keeping Canadian communities in […]
    • New status by daviding April 26, 2019
      An open education system encourages scholarship that embraces perspectives from around the world. The Scholar Rescue Fund is a hopeful initiative that, in a perfect world, wouldn't have to exist. "Canada playing major role as safe haven for at-risk academics from strife-torn countries" | Danielle Edwards | April 23, 2019 | Globe & Mail at […]
    • New status by daviding April 25, 2019
      Moving from coal to green energy for Dong (nee Danish Oil and Natural Gas) started in 2008, leading to an CEO change in 2012, to a 2017 divestment of fossil-fuel bases businesses. Perseverance can pay off, but patience goes through trials. "A tale of transformation: the Danish company that went from black to green energy" […]
  • RSS on IngBrief

  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on daviding.com

    • 2019/05 Moments May 2019
      Family time, empty nest, short trip to conference nearby, friends at home.
    • 2019/04 Moments April 2019
      End of a 23-day visit in Shanghai, readjusting to Eastern Time with the many lecture, meetup, friends and family distractions of Toronto.
    • 2019/03 Moments March 2019
      Month of intensive lectures and research meetings, in Toronto and then in Shanghai, with social breaks on local excursions to clear minds.
    • 2019/02 Moments February 2019
      Reduced exercise outside with a cold and snowy February, with excursions out of the house to warm places with family, friends and colleagues.
    • 2019/01 Moments January 2019
      January in Toronto has lots of intellectual offerings and artistic exhibitions to attract the curious out of warm homes, through cold and snow.
    • 2018/12 Moments December 2018
      Tried to have a normal month, with a busy social calendar of birthdays, a funeral plus Christmas season, while daily temperatures hovered just above freezing.
  • Meta

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal