HellOnline

Icon

Eran's blog

Announcing Long-Tail Camp

Long Tail Camp

For the official announcement see Supr.c.ilio.us: The Blog; to participate, help or otherwise contribute check out the official Long-Tail Camp website.

Long-Tail Camp logo design by Factory Joe

Advertisements

Filed under: Events

Adventures at Tag Camp

It’s been a fun evening at tag camp. Finally got to see the Riya demo, pretty cool stuff. Got to talk to the cocoalicious guys, they’ve got a nice interface coming out for accessing your del.icio.us bookmarks. Sadly, it’s mac only. I managed to capture an instance of tag spam, that was very exciting as you can see in this photo from Laughing Squid. And of course, I met a bunch of cool people, among them Stowe Boyd of Corante and Barb Dybwad from the Weblogs Inc’s Social Software Weblog. Time to update those XFN links…

More pics of the event on flickr.

Filed under: Events, Tagging

Riya to Launch Alpha Tomorrow?

I hear rumors that Riya will be sending out those anticipated alpha invites tomorrow…

Update: Apparently those last rumores were wrong. The new rumors say monday…

Update: They’re here! They’re here! Pictures are uploading even as I type…

Filed under: Search, The Net

wink

Wink is a social search site that’s got an interesting take on search. You could say it’s a mash-up of a search-engine, a bookmark tagging service and a wiki.

The search page is divided into 3 areas. At first you’ll probably notice the “favorite resultsâ€? area. These results were recommended (i.e. tagged and rated) by wink users. Eventually this would become one of Wink’s strongest features. Currently, it just lacking in content.

Following the favorites are Google’s search results. You’re given the option to tag and/or rate links in both result sets. Tag a link and it’s saved as a tagged bookmark, accessible through your personal page. It would have been nice to use other search engines here but, frankly, who uses anything but Google anyway?

You’ll also notice the concept box, immediately under the search bar. This is an attempt at disambiguating search terms by providing the user with a list of articles from Wikipedia. It’s a pretty interesting idea as these concepts can be edited by wink users in the familiar WikiMedia interface, helping Wink keep up with the times and helping users narrow down their search even in areas they’re not deeply knowledgeable. The concepts also come with a related links (also wiki-fied) letting you surf through similar or connected concepts.

Occasionally, you’ll see a list of users show up between search results. These are users who created search sets that matched your search, more on search sets later. If you click on any of the user names here, you’ll get to their search page where you can see their favorite links, sets, etc.

Does that sound like a busy page? We’re barely even scratching the surface.

So you’ve tagged a few links, rated others, now what? Click on “My Pageâ€?and check your main Wink page where you can organize tags and manage your search sets. This page tries to cram as much information as possible into limited space while maintaining an “airyâ€? design. The result is that you only get to see about 3 of your links/sets at a time and you must page through your tags with about 20 tags per page. Navigating through your tags is made easier by dynamically filtering tags as you type.

This page also lets you see related users, similarly to the search results and search sets created by other users which you added to your list of favorites. Sometime in the future, you’ll also see your search history at the bottom of the page. Adding sets (or tags) from other users is a good way to stalk^H^H^H^H^H keep up with someone whom you consider a good source on that topic.

Clicking on a tag pulls up related links and search sets both from your collection and from Wink’s favorite links. As usual, you can tag just about anything in view, even tags. Clicking the edit button brings up the Search Set editor, here you can create (or edit) your search set. There is a strange duality, on Wink, between tags and sets, they appear to be two sides of the same coin. For now I’ll just treat tags as sets meaning you can add a link to a tag or you can tag a link with a set, achieving pretty much identical results. Confusing? There’s more! You can add sets to other sets. This means you can (relatively) easily organize your links in a hierarchy but still access them through tags. That’s kinda neat.

All in all, Wink has some interesting ideas but most are hidden behind a limited UI and unclear concepts. I don’t see any way to export my content from wink but they do make it very easy to import data from del.icio.us. Yeah, I know, they’re in beta… 🙂

Filed under: Search, Tagging, The Net

Web2 Or Not: More stats!

With over 20,000 votes counted and over 200 sites nominated for the coveted Most Web2.0 Site EVAR(tm) title, it’s time to publish more stats from Web2OrNot.com:

  1. flickr.com (7.4 after 550 votes)
  2. del.icio.us (7.0 after 600 votes)
  3. Technorati (6.4 after 400 votes)
  4. gmail (6.4 after 124 votes)
  5. 43things (6.3 after 270 votes)
  6. Map Builder (6.3 after 120 votes)
  7. 43places (6.1 after 130 votes)

Honorable mentions (over 5.5) go to: furl, last.fm, plazes, rollyo, Social Text, supr.c.ilio.us, TechCrunch, upcoming.org, Web 2.0 Central and wordpress.com.

Lamest attempt to spam our sacred voting booth: Whoever it was that posted rotten and suicide girls. As if those guys need any more traffic… Lame.

Many many sites NOT web2.0 at all including our very own, Web2OrNot.com, with a score of 3.5! Ouch!

Disclaimer: We make not guarantee as to the validity or usefulness of these numbers. If you base your VC’s investment policy on our stats, well, I sincerely hope you know what you’re doing!

Update: Numbers slightly updated to remove “errnous” votes 🙂

Filed under: The Net

Supr.c.ilio.us Has a Blog

As part of the continuing efforts to get even more sticky eyeballs, we’ve launched Supr.c.ili.us: The Blog. This new creation will focus on on a snarky diet of tech news from around the blogosphere. Think of it as BOFH meets the Daily Show for a chat about Web2.0.

Filed under: The Net

A Couple of Interesting Web2.0 Posts

My friends Ryan and Assaf have posted some interesting post-web2con stuff.

Ryan has an interesting theory about Web2.0 and about the conference:

My theory is this: there’s really two things going on here, a movement and a reaction. First, the movement is a reassertion of control by geeks. Several years of a down-turned economy has given geeks plenty of time to reflect and turn their energies toward things they care about. So, Web 2.0 can be viewed as a geek rebellion- people are developing software and media for themselves and on their own terms.

Assaf is optimistic about the possible Web2.0 bubble, saying it’s not a bubble after all:

I’m not seeing insane business models in Web 2.0, at least not yet. Right now the focus is on companies that can start small and stay lean. But I’m not seeing defensible business models either. If you have a cool idea, then you’re one of ten other me-toos. If you solve an essential problem, then you’re standing on the tracks of the GYM bullet train. And this time the incumbents are fresh out of grad school, they don’t suffer the innovator dilemma. They’re either developing it, or in the process of buying you, or just bought your competitor.

If 1999 was a rebound from the dreaded mergers of the 80’s, and everyone wanted to do a rockstar IPO, then 2005 is a rebound from the dreaded VC-funded bankruptcies, and acquisitions are the exit strategy. A big IPO is the type of company you want to be acquired by. It’s a sobering reality with a different game plan.

And I say, go post your site on Web2 or Not, how else will you know?

Filed under: The Net

Tag Spam

One of the biggest disadvantages of using tags in your application is how easy it is to create spam tags. Since the Web became of commercial interest we’ve seen spam invade just about every space and technology, there is no reason to assume that tag-space is not next in line to suffer from an epidemic of spam.

There is definitely evidence of tag-spam, you can see it on ice-rocket, for exmaple (just search for tag:mesothelioma). Luckily, tag-spam is not nearly as wide-spread as search-engine spam in the dark ages of the Web or Email spam. Spamming tags, as a practice, has probably not yet reached main-stream spammers but that’s not the only parameter at work here. Most online tools today are aware of the spam problem and are taking steps to fight it and those that do, are doing pretty well.

Fortunately for the forces of Good, spamming is a numbers game (even more so with sites that sort information by date instead of relevancy). For spammers to successfully attract traffic to a site they must get high placement in the search results, the easiest way to get this done is by creating spam in large numbers. This type of behavior leads to patterns, patterns can be learned and employed by filters to detect spam or spam-suspect data. If businesses share this information in an open way, the effectiveness of those tools increases exponentially.

Another tool, which is just as strong and must be present in any decent tagging application, is the community. Without a community there is no data, with a community there’s not only data but also people who care about it and will perform some gardening on it. No need for any one user to cover your entire database but if you give your users tools and enough of them care about their own little niches, spam will disappear. We’ve seen this in Craig’s List and in Wikipedia, the community takes care of it’s own.

There will always be some part of the database that does not get properly gardening from the community; you can only expect so much from users volunteering their time. If this part is still important, you can hire people to tend to it but I have to ask, if your community doesn’t care about that data, do you?

As with every other form of spam, this is, and always will be, an arms race. As programmers find new way to detect spam and to empower the community to help, spammers find new ways to get around those tools. We need to decide, are tags worth fighting for? I think they are.

Filed under: Tagging

Tag Camp

Signed-up for Tag-Camp last nite. I don’t know if I’m gonna be there for the whole duration, I’ll probably just make it for the first night maybe even start some discussion about tag spam. I’ve been meaning to write about that for a while, ever since I came up against some tag-spam related FUD in a discussion a couple weeks ago. I feel that this is an important issue that is not getting nearly enough attention. We need to show that, one, this is not nearly as big a problem as some people seem to think and, two, it’s a problem that can be solved by leveraging existing tools and the community that is an integral part of any tag-based tool.

Filed under: Events, Tagging

Web2OrNot.com: Stats!

Here are some (very early) stats from Web2.0 or Not
Web2.0:

  1. flickr.com (7.4 with 250 votes)
  2. del.icio.us (6.95 with 315 votes)
  3. 43things (6.8 with 115 votes)
  4. Technorati (6.5 with 170 votes)
  5. 43places (6.2 with 50 votes)
  6. gmail (6.0 with 57 votes)
  7. upcoming.org (5.9 with 112)

NOT:

  1. Microsoft.com (1.9 with 26 votes)
  2. Math @ Purdue (2.7 with 50 votes)
  3. Alien Abductions inc (2.6 with 35 votes)
  4. Prleap (3.1 with 40 votes)
  5. Linux.pl (3.3 with 75 votes)

Note: We make not guarantee as to the validity or usefulness of these numbers. If you base your VC’s investment policy on our stats, well, I sincerely hope you know what you’re doing!

Updates: Newcomers to the Web2.0 list

  1. Web2.0 Central 7.6 with 40 votes
  2. Alias 7.5 with 80 votes
  3. Map Builder 6.9 with 50 votes
  4. map.search.ch 6.6 with with 50 votes

Check’em out, they got some cool stuff!

Filed under: The Net