Wednesday, February 13, 2008

OpenID OpenSocial??

I have not gotten all the facts yet, but the following made its presence known to me when I tried to comment on a Blogger posting. OpenID??

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Broadcasting with Y! Live and

User generated content, and more specifically, user-generated live streaming content continues to evolve (and hog bandwidth, but that's another story).

I first came across a few months ago and now Yahoo! has started a service it calls Y! Live, still in beta.

Armed with a desktop PC or laptop, high-speed Internet connection, and a Webcam, one can broadcast live across the Web as though one's bedroom or basement were a TV studio. So the video and audio quality are not high-definition, but start-ups, like, and established companies, such as Yahoo!, are entering the live streaming, broadcasting arena, hoping to attract users and would-be Web show hosts.

In keeping with the Web 2.0 ideals of collaboration and community-building, these websites offer the opportunity for users to create and share their online content and build communities of viewers, who can participate and transform the production from a one-way street (I produce, You watch) to a two-way street (We produce, We watch).

Even if you do not consider yourself ready for Web Prime Time, visit these websites and think about what could they offer your projects, your professional field, your company, your institution.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Potomac Primary Fever

I have Potomac Primary Fever. Never heard of it? Let me explain the symptoms:
  • Strong urges to vote in U.S. primary;
  • Increase in viewing 24hr cable news networks;
  • Uncharacteristic shouting and pumping of fist when viewing candidate rallies and speeches;
  • Enhanced ability to remember campaign slogans;
  • Uncontrollable blurting out of "I'm John McCain and I approve this message; I'm Hillary Clinton and I approve this message; I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message"
The illness, thankfully, is non-life threatening but it does interfere with small talk at parties or conversations with other sufferers.

The treatment, it seems, is the opportunity and ability to vote. But, alas, as a foreign national living and working in the Washington, DC area, I am not allowed by law to vote. Therefore, I must suffer, and sit and watch the evening news broadcasts, follow the daily and sometimes hourly polls, and wait and wait until delegates of both parties, Democrat and Republican, figure out who they will send into the jungle and bloodsport known as the the Presidential Campaign.

If you are suffering with this fever, do what I do and check out The Washington Post's very comprehensive Campaign 2008 website, with RSS feeds for each candidate, among other Web 2.0 thingys!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Japan: Culture + Hyperculture

The Kennedy Center for the Perfoming Arts launched its newest event earlier this month called, Japan: Culture + Hyperculture. To say Japan is a laid back country would be an understatement, as evidenced by the country's love of all things technological.

No longer satisfied with boring old humans, the Japanese are attempting to create robots that look and act like humans.

To view video, tilt your head to the side. Sorry.

Friday, February 08, 2008

A Twitter Tragedy?

I have TwitBin, a Mozilla Firefox add-on that allows me to view and post 'tweets' to Twitter. It is very convenient, and tucks nicely inside my browser window.

This morning, however, I encountered this error message: "Unfortunately you've exceeded Twitter's maximum hourly requests.Please check back in a bit."


UPDATE: It looks like Twitter limits the number of times per hour one can make requests to the system. And, during moments of Twitter maintenance, no requests can be made. So it was not TwitBin's fault. Thanks Brian Breslin!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Departures and Starting New

The news is circulating around the office, so I feel it is now proper to share the news with readers of this blog. I notified my employer that I will not be renewing my contract with the institution. After much soul-searching and discussions with family and close friends, I have decided the time is right to take a long break from the archives profession. I will complete my contract and fulfill my contractual obligations, and will certainly miss the people I have been working with over the past 11 months, but will not pursue the archives field at this time.

There are several reasons behind this decision. But there is one central theme: A strong need to close this chapter, of life and of career, and to start another, completely different one, one that truly reflects my skills and knowledge and values.

My interest in and love of history and stories of the past remain as do my curiosity and involvement in web technology and content development and new media. But something new has materialized in an unfortunately still vague manner: A strong desire to learn, explore, chronicle, create, share, teach, and to help. I can honestly say that in my current contractual capacity I cannot achieve this level of authentic satisfaction without changing careers.

The DIGITAL Archive, thankfully, will continue to blog along with news and stories and tid-bits of interests, as it has done before when I moved on from my previous employers.

In the coming weeks, I hope to blog about my adventures in Washington, DC. A kind of retrospective look back at the past 12 months.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Do you Yahoo! / Microsoft?

When the news surfaced last week about Microsoft's massive $42 billion bid for Yahoo!, I was not completely taken by surprise. Call me psychic, but the night before the takeover bid was announced, I was thinking: "Whatever happened to that Microsoft/Yahoo! merger?"

I am serious. I did think that.

Well, overall, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Being both a long time Microsoft user and Yahoo! user (heck, I can recall sitting in the Concordia University's then rudimentary computer lab, plugging away at a Lynx browser, finding something called Yahoo!), I believe the 'joining of forces' would benefit both companies.

1. Yahoo! is a very popular website. Very popular. Its brand conjures up very little public negativity. But as of late, the company has floundered. It is innovative but lack s direction, spreading itself to thin in all areas (hence that infamous Peanut Butter memo to Yahoo! employees). Worse, it cannot seem to monetize on its massive traffic and content.

2. Enter Microsoft. The company is cunning and possess the killer instincts that could revitalize Yahoo's sense of direction. Moreover, Microsoft has admitted, mainly indirectly, that it has failed to capture the online world--search, advertising--like its rival Google. Acquiring Yahoo! would certainly position Microsoft in a better place than it is now.

Will this merger really challenge Google's dominance?

The other night I wanted to embed a Google Map on a website. I read about fancy APIs and other third-party services, but all I wanted was something simple and straightforward. I visited the Google Maps website and clicked a few links until I found an embed script, which I had not seen before. A new service, I thought. Wow!! It's as though Google read my mind, knew what I wanted.

Maybe Google is psychic. Maybe that is why Google is number one.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Retro Friday

Speaking of YouTube, ain't it sweet to find some gem of a music video from long ago?

For example, Halifax, Nova Scotia based band Sloan with "The other man."

Since You Asked...

A few people emailed me about my recent use of videos on The DIGITAL Archive. Well, actually, no one emailed me, but I think it is appropriate to talk a little more about the videos, or more specifically the video streaming services available online that I used.

Everyone knows about Youtube. I have a YouTube account and from time to time I upload a video or two.

However, I recently came across a new service called Viddler, which is like YouTube but without the clutter of copyright material. So far. Yes, for now, Viddler remains in a pure state: community-created content only.

But what really stands out for me in Viddler is the feature to comment on videos at specific frames along the video's timeline. One can post a text comment or video comment. A discreet overlay appears with either a text comment or video comment. Pretty neat. Plus, there is even an opportunity to monetize one's videos. Besides text and video comments, ads can appear as well. Like or hate it, ads on online content are hear to stay.

If interested, give Viddler a try.

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.