Archive for August, 2008

Flickr Places

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Flickr Places “is a method of exploring Flickr with geo-specific pages. The page shows the most interesting photos for a location (iconic photos they call them), the most recent and common tags for the photos and the most prolific photo groups. It creates a separate page for each geographic location with a unique human-readable URL. Places go down to the city level so San Francisco, Seattle, and London will each have their own page and unique URL. In time they will go deeper. Places will be accessible via the Flickr API.” More here and here.

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From this project, data useful for evaluation could come out !

Juniper Future Mobile Awards

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

This year’s Juniper Future Mobile Awards are given to:

  • ShoZu (UK-based) (upload Flickr albums, Facebook pages and personal blogs via picture messaging/MMS)
  • (social network for mobile users)
  • Jumptap (mobile search)
  • Celltick (it allows companies to buy space on your mobile phone’s idle screen).
  • Greystripe (advertising network for mobile games – it  compensates developers for every time their games are played, not just for when those games are initially sold).

The Comedy of the Trusted Commons

Saturday, August 16th, 2008

Last week, The Economist had an interesting piece (pdf) on the tragedy of the commons.

  • In 1968 Garrett Hardin, a professor of biology, published an article in the journal Science that explained “The Tragedy of the Commons”. He suggested that, from the point of view of efficiency, the commons should be replaced by systems of public or personal ownership. However, when economists began to look at how systems of commonly managed resources actually worked, they found to their surprise that they often worked quite well. Though there were failures, too, it seemed as if good management could stave off the tragedy. Before he died, Hardin admitted he should have called his article “The Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons”. In “Governing the Commons”, which was published in 1990, Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University described the rules needed to keep a commons going. She showed that there are almost always elaborate conventions over who can use resources and when.

It is all about en-powering people who use the common resource. Case in point from my  past (luckily!) research life: people who are willing to share their Internet connections face the problem (tragedy) of free-riders – individuals who exploit the bandwidth of others without providing an adequate return. To isolate free-riders, people run trust models on their computers (pdf). A trust model is a piece of software that keeps track of who shares her connection and who doesn’t. By managing the common, trust models turn the tragedy into “The Comedy of the Managed Commons” ;-)

Are Social Networking Sites Useful for Business?

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

“To get the most out of social networking sites, small companies should look past the hype, set concrete business goals, then start experimenting”. From this morning’s BW.

The uses vary by application or site:

  • (for both networking and human resources) LinkedIn can be helpful in connecting with people you want to meet for one reason or another.
  • (for gaining exposure to larger audiences) Twitter and Facebook can be helpful when you’re trying to notify a group of people about something you want to promote or about a happening of some kind