Unstructure Unlimited

May 11, 2010

loook viewer of the peekO touchpoint service

video web 3.0 doc

“Does the structured world makes sense?…kinda.

The problem with finding THE needle in a haystack is the difficulty of finding ONE needle in ONE haystack. What if you could first see if haystacks had needles, learned more about needles and haystacks and the affinity among them…then discovered what systems and human thought and “the crowd” produced to reveal the needle or the need to find it?

Leaving crowdsourcing, liking, friending, human-computer computation and co-processing aside for the moment, why isn’t discovery path finding a larger part of search? The answer may lie in the fact that most search algorithms are products of the exactness of ontologies that seek to produce a precise result. Whereas discovery is a fuzzy set of imprecise vagaries. Finding a needle in THIS haystack, a haystack that in the vast super set of hay is needle-less, decreases the odds of success and adds to the noise of the endeavor.

I know when I search, I want a precise result.  I am on task. Right now search is the only hammer in the toolbox. But are search ontologies the right approach to entertainment or counterterriorism or any number of other interactive knowledge service activities? I’m dubious. Algorithms based on ontologies were low hanging fruit in comparison to a longer, harder reach of semantic navigation and discovery, add to that the integration of human-computation models and one has either a cosmic hairball or something extraordinarily innovative and useful. DARPAhard to solve and beyond my gasp of the problem or the means to develop, but worth my effort to think about and perhaps begin to design.

“Does the world makes sense?…or do we make sense of the world?”

For 15-25 years we’ve known how to collect and aggregate profiles, develop rules and methodologies to predict consumer behavior using data-mining systems. Its not magic. Its spooky at times.. but a black science that has financed the web’s global expansion and worth the risk up to a point. We have evolved now to where unstructured information presented to individuals can be personalized, crowd sourced and fed back to the individual in a faceted computer-human-computer-social discovery dynamic that has much greater potential than the current search products available.

If there is magic on the web it is us. Our integration of a thought and memory service into our culture is amazing to me. Americans and the world have done this before with all of the tools that extend our ability. The web has become another human extension; the adaptation of creating a tool that resembles how we evolved pushing a lever instead of brute force lifting or extended our legs from walking to riding horses to driving cars.

Is it me or shouldn’t we be using services everyday to amplify our problem solving abilities? Luis Von Ahn had it right 5 or so years ago with his human computation approach to producing semantic data. His ESP game produces results with remarkable accuracy and efficiency. Now instead of playing his game I want to play mine so that you can play yours and collectively we can play ours.

Structured ontologies are collections of seemingly dated solved problems,  unsolved problems are by nature unstructured. So I fall into the camp that seeks to have access to a noisy environment and discovery tools based on human computation of unstructured information. Tagclouds r Us.

all your semantic belong to us

“Does the world makes sense?…or do we unstructure it and make sense of it one person/social group at a time?”

Using web 3.0 as the metaphor, the next stage I’m seeing us enter is a time of discovery service that solves problems and has a peek into what our intellect and innovative spirit might contribute to the world.

I never thought I’d see ‘metadata’ discussed in the UK Parliament, then I did when we adopted Government Metadata Standards a few years back. I never thought I’d see ‘RDF’ pass the lips of a head of state, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it this year. Will Steve Jobs stand up at WWDC’10 and talk about Apple’s embracing of/invention of ‘the Semantic Web?’

SIRI acquired by Apple~Paul Miller Clouds of Data


Loook Forward

January 26, 2010

Copyright belongs to JD Challenger

With all the confidence of a shaman, I know Steve Jobs is going to change the world tomorrow. The plates are shifting. There will be those that will slide into the sea and those that build in the mountains.

Apple is now more than a computer company that makes cool digital devices, for Apple it always has been about the experience. Others have said it, Apple is an experience company. iPod is proof of it… if the Macintosh wasn’t proof enough.

Tomorrow Steve is going to produce the next big thing and I believe the next big thing is the salvation and rebirth of newspapers and magazines. With his announcement, publishers may focus on editorial production and advertising sales and push the hard technology into the background where it belongs. And although new frontpages and splashy two-page layouts for a digital touchscreen devices is new territory for publishers, this world of graphic design is more their culture than bit distribution and hardware specifications.

Happily, I can see my friends who write, photograph, edit and collaborate to produce media working to build a group of subscribers who recognize and appreciate their skills. It doesn’t seem too far a leap to imagine a new audience for their work packaged in a protected and attractive device with secret sauce and a touch of magic.

New touchscreen publishers will appear very quickly and their “born digital” instincts will carry media forward into new forms. Experiential publications and productions will emerge to engage audiences worldwide with multimedia as Steve envisioned 30 years ago.

The price is having Apple as partner, which as app store partners have found can be frustrating and difficult, infused with Apple morality and business rules and most astringent for some, a dominating gross revenue partner.  18%-30% is fair given what Apple provides in marketing, transaction fees and distribution but it’s still a heavy thumb on the scales. For a startup the logic is pretty easy to justify but for Time Inc. I’m sure there’s significant heartburn to choke down Apple’s vig.

Technology was easy, culture has been the impossibly difficult unmanageable component. Individuals and companies of people are the hard tech. With the introduction of the iPhone people began to understand the new language of touchscreen media. Soon we’ll see dialects of lean forward, lean back screen experiences; a more seamless melding of text, image, sound and video; paid subscription and precise audience measurement and metrics. And, this is a place for Loook, a discovery experience that will engage the next level of search.

Thanks in advance Steve. I’m glad you were born in America during my life. Have fun make money. You bastard! Rock the World.


Nova rocks !

In his article “Welcome to the Stream” Nova points out, rather than evolving into Web 3.0, the internet has entered the Stream Age. Concurrently, Larry Page, acknowledges “real-time search” is moving forward. Then there is Yahoo’s “The End of the 10 Blue Links.”  Guess what’s tipping?

We’re  loooking forward to navigatating the tsunami with our new friends.


April 6, 2009

Clearly news and content companies have suffered the blunt of the internet’s disintermediation however, the RIAA, the Guadian, the associated press and Rupert Murdock have it wrong.

UPDATEGoogle’s Schmidt To Newspaper Publishers: Don’t ‘Piss Off’ Consumers

Someone called the appearance of “Google* Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt as the closing keynote for the annual meeting of newspaper publishers “a twist of fate.”

Applications, software and data strategies are the path to re-mediate content into something the audience is willing to pay for. Not the media dark ages.

With all of the less qualified alternative sources of news available, the audience will simply choose available news and skilled bloggers but also rumor mongers and self proclaimed experts, marketeers and propagandists over returning to the force-fed approach being pursued by Murdoch et al.

re-Mediating content with experiential applications like iTunes, netflix, YouTube and others are illuminating the news and entertainment road ahead. These innovators created what the audience wants – re-mediated content as part of a new experience funded by different revenue models.

News and entertainment companies have never liked the problem and the solution is obviously difficult for their culture. Digital media strategies must change to embrace not pirated content but a different modality of media creation, distribution, discovery and consumption. The business is still mediated content. The print experience of news however  is no longer core to the Newspaper industry, the same as the record experience is no longer core to the Record industry. The mediums (sp) died. Accept the new paradigm and focus on rich media content workflow, permissioned behavioral targeting, affiliated content sharing and producing compelling journalism and entertainment, not distributing tightly controlled printed paper. Audiences and subscribers are addressable with content quality and a brilliant experience.

Music and news are fine thank you, its the printing and the record press thats dead.

LOOOK and discover

Famous Roys

February 24, 2009




Happy RoyDay…can’t wait to take a PeekO !

What is Web 3.0

February 12, 2009

What is Web 3.0 ?

  • Bullshit
  • Still in business
  • the next big thing
  • modular

Are we back to this again?

Yep. Last night at the Boulder-Denver NewTech MeetUp the Web 3.0 issue came up again. The $100 first prize by popularity was awarded to…ta da… 2. Still in Business. After all the shock of the American economic smackdown, the wisdom of the crowd decided the answer was survival and oddly they did not completely dismiss the Web 3.0 concept. Brad judged it to be bullshit but acquiesced to the audience.

For the past 22 months I’ve been obsessed and haunted by our work on something that might be called Web 3.0. Last night at bdnt the question What is 3.0? prompted a fuzzy answer. This morning I awoke with an answer. Perhaps not the answer but an answer to.. What is Web 3.0?

My opinion is that…Web 3.0 is attractive data conversations shared by social machines.

Attractive. Open accessible perhaps popular rtf

Data is data. …the arched continuum of signal, data, pattern, information, media, knowledge, intelligence and experience representation

Conversations thematic, fuzzy or clustered dialogue in either a common language or interpreted by translation or normalization

Shared actively and exchanged within and or across…

Social …an interactive and dynamic network of

Machines, systems, applications, platforms, services and other automata that advocate communities or individuals

So….so what?…ah here’s a hint…I believe in “clusty the cloud”, the Santa Claus of the Web, every millisecond is Christmas and Clusty’s gonna give you a billion “gifts” a nanosecond.

As I see it, the media and social overload we experience on the web today is not just painful. Beyond discomfort, its a pending Dark Age of misplaced and lost intelligence. People want needles…sharp crisp signal; the Web has haystacks…massive echos of loud noises. This perversive tsunami of entropy, of noise and echos of noise is darkness…digital ignorance. Attractive data conversations shared by social machines may increase the S:N ratio and in the best case cancel significant noise and echo on the Web, then help stem the negative overload of traditional media content and social media sharing, and for our part; streamline navigation with highlighted content and define our experiential and business value.

The work that blueMUSTARD has accomplished so far has made extraordinary headway within this ADCS-SM framework. Whether we’re part of the next big thing, we are still in business and I think its ok to call us part of a Web 3.0 phase. Maybe our platform as a service innovations are something else and Web 3.0 is just bullshit.

Time will tell.


(BTW did you notice I didn’t use either of the “S” words in my Web 3.0 opinion above?…Guess correctly what both the “S” words are and I’ll add you to the Loook.tv first wave beta invitation list. PLEASE comment your guess below then sign up at Loook.tv)

If H&R Block and the Wall Street Journal open and maintain social communities and so does your company, your golfing buddies hosted by your favorite course, the local public radio station and the chocolatier that makes those great sea salt dark chocolate caramels…where do “swiss-knife” communities like Facebook fit in to the grand social experience? Isn’t Facebook, MySpace, hi5, LinkedIn just bigger communities that just increase your social noise level not manage it for you?

See this is where Facebook or any of the global branded social communities fade into noise for me. Tell me again why I want to go to Facebook when one of the most important segments of my life is what’s going on locally with the people I work with, food and wine and chocolate, and setting up a foursome?

FriendFeed seems to be pointed in the right direction but suffers from being a fire hose of noise just like Facebook but to a lesser degree and in different ways. I have more control at FriendFeed than Facebook but the social overwhelm is still …well…overwhelming. And, tabs and categories and folders and page after page of newsfeeds may be all the “valley” can creatively muster at the moment but I, for one, want a better experience and more freedom to discover what I want along with the power to navigate to it and connect to it. At the moment, I don’t see the valley, any of the big branded communities or the social clones breaking through to deliver focus to my attention and help solve the problem.

The “we’re just like (social brand) but we have (add feature here)” doesn’t seem to cut it…we need an experiential and paradigm shift and we seem locked into a stale cycle of self indulgent technological and functional web service and product “me-too-ism” that’s producing a circular error. I think our current culture of startup “cut & paste” solutions is a big problem. Thank god energy technology startups can’t get away with this kind of crap or we’d be driving 15 MPG chrome sedans into the next century.


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