September 22, 2006
One Web Day! It's here!
Okay, that's a lot of explanation points, but the internet has made my life so different than it was before. And so much better.
First wave was email and research, in 1992, when I needed Supreme Court case law from the Cornell Law School website, or a news article from Dialog, or bulletin boards. Oh freedom from the law library for every little task!
Second wave was IM, more email with many more people and the web. Instant. Communication. Conversation. And all that primitively laid out info on the web. That was never so easy to get before.
Third wave was blogging (which has totally changed my life the most of all these waves) and lead me to research the live web, search algorithms based upon human behavior in many different types of circumstances and make my company. And introduced me to a whole huge circle of friends and colleagues.
Right now I'm staying with a friend in Amsterdam who I first new on the web. She's amazing. And her husband. Both of whom sustain themselves very nicely through their online blogs, which are entire businesses where the storefront, or office space, as it were, resides on these blogs. Partly our friendship bloomed out of respect for each other's work, visible online. And partly because our work on the web led us to meet in person and gave us a rich foundation to start our first conversation. About fashion. And online advertising and how we each hate marketing, are geeks, but wish the right shoe ads could show up in the right places, without violating our privacy.
Well.. it's One Web Day.
Tell your story on your blog, on the One Web Day wiki, or anywhere you like. But let people know how much richer your life is because you can communicate over the collapsed barriers of time and space the internet allows.
I'm going to be in London filming a proclamation from the Lord Mayor on One Web Day.
Throw up your own video at Blip.tv, tag it "onewebday" and it will end up in Dabble here: One Web Day video page.
Or throw your video up at whatever video hosting company you choose, tag it onewebday, and we'll do our best to get it posted to the One Web Day video page right away.
See you later today in London!
September 21, 2006
One Web Day Announcement
I'm on the Board of One Web Day -- celebrating the internet once a year.
Here is the official announcement:
OneWebDay, "Earth Day for the Web," First Global Holiday to Celebrate How the Web Has Changed Our Lives Taking Place Sept. 22, 2006
Craig Newmark, Craigslist and Scott Heiferman, Meetup, to Kick Off Activities
New York, NY--Sept. 20, 2006—OneWebDay, an "Earth Day for the Web" www.onewebday.org, the first global holiday to celebrate the web and how it has changed our lives, is planned for September 22, 2006 (and every September 22 thereafter). As with Earth Day--an inspiration and model for OneWebDay--individuals, organizations and communities are celebrating in a variety of ways.
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist, said: "OneWebDay reminds us that the net really is a democratizing medium, that everyone gets a chance to participate. If you want, you can stick your neck out and speak truth to power." Scott Heiferman, co-founder of Meetup and Fotolog, added: "The internet is under-hyped. It’ll only continue to re-shape lives across the globe. Surely it deserves a day. OneWebDay is a day for more people to think about how the internet can help solve problems for people around the world."
OneWebDay is creating an historic, grassroots event to mark the launch of OneWebDay. CNET Networks' Webshots (www.webshots.com), a global photo-sharing community, is working with OneWebDay to enable the largest global, online photo collaboration. Web users are invited to post a digital photo on webshots.com and label it “onewebday.” OneWebDay will then create a visualization of the web made up of these photos posted by millions of users around the world. This will show the power of online collaboration.
"The internet has become such a ubiquitous force in our lives that it's easy to forget how it has changed the world," said Susan Crawford, associate professor at the Cardozo School of Law, the architect of OneWebDay. "When people around the globe can 'see' the web, we'll think about how the web helps humans to work together and how much it means to us," Crawford added.
Events are happening across America and around the world: So far, we have events happening in Austin, TX; Belgrade, Serbia; Boston, MA; All over Canada: Chambolle-Musigny, Burgundy, France; Champaign-Urbana, IL; Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA; Chicago, IL; London and other places in the UK; Los Angeles; Milano, Italy; Naples, Italy; New York, NY; Phillipines; San Francisco, CA; Second Life; Slovakia; Sofia, Bulgaria; Tokyo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; Vienna, Austria; Westport, CT updates at: http://www.onewebday.org/wiki/index.php/In-person_Events
In addition to the webshots.com giant collage, online activities in conjunction with OneWebDay include:
* Tell us the wackiest way you've used craigslist and if your story is selected, you will win a prize and get to share your tale on OneWebDay. Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Join others celebrating around the world by making a OneWebDay video, post it to blip.tv, and Dabble.com will make it available for the world to see.
* Encourage your friends to take one web-related action that helps someone else: Teach someone how to edit a wiki, start a blog, or post a photo online.
Newmark of craigslist fame, Heiferman of Meetup. NYC Council Member Gale Brewer, and Drew Schutte, publishing director, WIRED, will speak at an event in New York.
Council Member Brewer said: "One of the key ideas behind OneWebDay is increasing public web access around the world. I'm proud to have been an active promoter of this effort in the City's parks and public spaces. More importantly, the Internet opens up the world to so many people, particularly our young people."
"WIRED has reported on and been inspired by the web from its infancy. We recognize its power to connect and influence. We are honored to be part of One Web Day to recognize the critical role the web plays in our lives," says Schutte of WIRED.
OneWebDay, Inc. has been formed and is seeking nonprofit status. It has an independent Board of Directions. The Board includes: A-list bloggers (Doc Searls, David Weinberger, David Isenberg, Mary Hodder), business executives (Don Telage, David Johnson, Rick Whitt), a NYC PR person (Renee Edelman, Edelman), a key researcher (Gregg Vesonder, AT&T), and a former state AG (Jim Tierney, Maine). Its president, Susan Crawford, is committed to working on this holiday for the next 10 years. OneWebDay is supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, Cardozo Law School, Union Square Ventures, Edelman, DFJGotham, CNET Networks’ Webshots, CIRA, and individuals.
September 17, 2006
TSA: Incompetent and Not Afraid to Cover It Up
Coming through security last Friday night in JFK for my very delayed flight (due to weather), I had the following experince:
I walked through the metal detectors, with all my things besides me, with my boarding pass and driver's license folded together.
The TSA agent standing there asked for my boarding pass, and I gave her the packet. I kept a close eye on my bags because once I sent my bags, coat and shoes through the security thing and my digital camera was taken. Don't know if it was by another passenger or by a security employee, but I'm not taking any chances. A woman asked, "who's bag is this" holding up my bag, and I tell them it's mine. She tells me to get the rest of my things because she's going to inspect my bag. I get for my laptop and shoes, in a separate bin, and follow that agent.
At this point, I don't get my boarding pass or license back from the other agent. Later I am told that the woman who gets the Boarding Passes and Driver's Licenses, as you pass through the metal detector, hands the one she has off, and then takes the next one from the person coming through next.
But, she didn't hand it to me. She likely gave it to someone else, probably the next person in line. I get out, after they inspect my bag for secret blow-up water (you know, our liquid diet hoax by the current administration to get them reelected). I realize I don't have my ID and Boarding Pass. I go back to the TSA desk the the security area exit (I'm a few feet away), and an Agent Derreck says they have nothing of mine, without checking (across the room from where the actual thing happened). I get him to walk over in the security line to check for sure. He does and comes back empty handed. I ask, "How will I get on the plane?" He takes me to Jet Blue special services, where they cut me another Boarding Pass. But I have no DL, so the JetBlue woman asks me for other ID, and it turns out that 2 credit cards, my gym ID with picture, and costco ID with picture, are enough to get me another boarding pass. She double checks my California address verbally with me which I repeat back to her as I stand next to Agent Derreck.
While she was printing, Agent Derreck starts to talk about how TSA over in the security area has an "... ironclad process for bringing people through the metal detector." Basically, they bring one person through, check ID and boarding pass again, and then once they give it back, motion the next person through the metal detector. This is how they regulate people coming through the metal detector. As he says this, a different TSA agent, a woman, walks up the JetBlue service desk and hands a New York State Driver's License to the JetBlue woman, and says, "This person didn't get their ID back." Agent Derreck grabs the license from the JetBlue woman's hand, and says to me, "This kind of looks like you." To which I say, "That woman has tons of blond hair, and mine is brown, plus I live in CA." He hands it back to the JetBlue woman. A couple of minutes later, another TSA agent, also a woman, walks up the the JetBlue service counter with a Driver's License from Kansas, and hands it in, saying again that someone didn't get their ID returned.
After getting my boarding pass reprinted, I say to Agent Derreck want to make a complaint about TSA. He calls Port Authority but only tells me he's called "someone" and they'll be there in a few minutes to take it.
Port Authority Officer M. Wapole (#1746) arrives, takes a report, gives me the report number, a phone number and the name of the officer and date and time. I ask for a copy of the report and he says I'm not allowed to have one. I am surprised. He says it's private property. I ask how I make the complaint against TSA and he says he's not TSA. So I go back to Agent Derreck of TSA.
Agent Derreck says he won't take a complaint. He says I can make one at www.tsa.gov (so much for people without computers). I ask for his name and the agent's name at the metal detector, and he covers his shirt. But I can see that it says "Agent Derreck" before his hand is fast enough to cover his name tag, in brass. He says, "I won't give you my name or hers." And walks off, with his hand over his right breast.
According to the hand written note from Port Authority, the Port Authority report was taken by Officer Walpole and the time was September 15, 2006 at 8:35pm. Case #17304.
So much for accountability. The police and the TSA just cover each other's incompetence.
Meanwhile, I'm stuck without a driver's license, but more importantly, I think TSA *GAVE* it to some other passenger. After several hours at JFK, I checked back with the JetBlue service center, and they had not been given my license.
And the kicker. When I arrived back in CA, I realize that I still have a small tube of toothpaste in my laptop bag (I carry a tube plus a brush to work) and forgot about it. It went with me through two screenings by the TSA in Oakland and Seattle, and two more, Oakland and JFK.
Who are these people kidding. Security Theater it is.
September 08, 2006
Facebook: Socially Awkward Network (At Times)
So the Facebook bruhaha has been interesting.
One thing I think is fascinating is how many people, who aren't in Facebook, are willing to comment on the problem where Facebook (two days ago) turned on a feature to create feeds of everything you do, with time stamps.
Last night, I was talking to the founder of a big blog search company, and he was going on about how this was no big deal, and the Facebook change was all just the same as in Linked In, where when you change your profile, your contacts get notification. But Facebook's changes are much more than that. Every change you make everywhere is default set to "on" for sharing with a timestamp. And it encourages people who are not connected to you to see what you do, if you leave it turned on, because everyone who visits your profile can see your feed.
As of this morning, you can change your privacy setting. Facebook announced that they had coded up something over the past two days so that users could set up the exposure of different actions and the timestamps associated with them. But when I went to the privacy area, every setting was turned on for full sharing. By default. I had to turn things off to make things more private.
What that means is that other Facebook users you are connected to can see a lot of what you do, in a feed, with dates and times. At least that's what I thought at first. But then I realized everyone, whether we were connected or not, could see this kind of information about my activities. In other words, if you are looking for plausible deniability that you were busy, not there or otherwise engaged, and someone sees that you've done something like uploaded a photo or commented in a group, well, you are in deep s-t as you try to explain why you didn't do something else during that time. Or as one Facebook user (a recent UCLA grad) told me today after explaining that he had turned everything off, that for the two days his actions were turned on and available, his girlfriend was really mad because he'd posted on the walls of other friends who happened to be girls, and now she could see it. So he was very relieved to get the thing shut off.
Here is the default set of privacy choices:
In the discussion forums on Facebook, some want the exposure feature gone, some are satisfied with their new ability to turn everything off with the new granular privacy settings page, and some like all the new features and sharing everything, and have no problem with the default settings exposing everything in one place.
One person I discussed this with this morning at the office told me that yesterday she looked at an acquaintance's Facebook profile, where that friend had just changed her relationship status with her boyfriend from "open" to "in a relationship." My friend didn't know her well and felt this was really weird. She didn't want to know they had an open relationship. And I went to the page and I could see it all too, where each change was documented and timed. It's odd to me because I don't know this person making the relationship changes at all.
The problem is that default settings end up being left in the default state by something like 80% of users, on average. And then people get mad when those settings come back to bite them because they forget about them. Putting the default settings on "share" mode means that most people will be sharing, even with the publicity this week.
Many people don't want their every small move tracked by others... it's the definition of totalitarian. They start changing their behavior when they can't be anonymous or have plausible deniability and some incident makes it clear people are stalking. And this new feed feature removes my ability to deny, in social settings, that I was around, and therefore didn't do something someone wanted, etc. unless I make the change to turn off the exposure.
Also, with this exposure of user's activity combined with the defaults at opt-in, if people don't change them causing everything to be open and available, I might prevent others from seeing when I add people and they add me back, but others will see the interaction on the other party's timeline. The problem with this is that if I don't want others to see that I've added another person, or I've removed someone, but those actions are viewed by others elsewhere in the network, it's still very socially awkward for me to manage.
So I've unchecked almost everything, so that I'm not in the position of sharing the data myself about what I do, but I also have to remember that others can see interactions with me elsewhere and manage that.
I understand the desire in Facebook to react to the dustup by coding up the new privacy screen up above which is responsive to users' concerns. But I think I'm leaning more toward defaults for privacy that don't share everything, where the users have to opt-in to share the detrius of their lives, not opt-out as the non-default action. It probably would have been better if they'd talked with users before they made these changes, so that the feeds and privacy screens all came out at once, but it's rare that companies do this. I understand why, but I think we need to think harder about asking users to help with this, rather than ploping it in their laps after everything is all decided. Usability can help with this, even if Facebook or others need to keep this all a big secret. There are other options.
September 06, 2006
LAN Nails: If only it was wifi
The past few years I've been wanting a pedicure salon with wifi, because I can only justify the time if i can work done at the same time. That's because these places are only open during the work day.
So when I saw LAN Nails, I was psyched. But they aren't a local area network, they are long acrylic nails, some such other thing.
So, it turns out that there is also a nail salon below my office, and they pick up our open wifi network. Because I provide the wifi, I've gotten what I wanted elsewhere. It's not a bad solution. But a great combo would be wifi in every salon. After all, you just have to sit there while everything dries and you might as well get things done.