The Future of Free Content – tomorrow in Melbourne

Short notice I know, but if you’re in Melbourne tomorrow night and have an interest in wikis then check out this Churchhill Club event featuring Angela Beesley. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and will be discussing the future of free content.

Also check out the Wikimedia Australia site that supports the proposed chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation in Australia.

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Map mashups are just the start – part 2

The other day I mentioned the importance of considering the the difference between visual (e.g. Google Maps) and non-visual mashups – particulary when thinking about the role for mashups inside the firewall. One of the problems with making that leap is that most Web 2.0 mashups have been focused around map mashups. However, MusicPortl is an excellent example of non-map mashup:

a place where you can get an overview of information about a music artist. To achieve this goal, it takes advantage of state-of-the-art XML webservice APIs that many websites offer today.

Hats off to Christoph Olszowka for putting MusicPortl together using the services of 8 different data sources.

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Email becoming less effective for the sender

A lot of the same old insights and advice have been floating around for a while about email and how people use (or misuse) it. I’ve even added my own take on the situation in the past (PDF). However, I was interested to read Darren Barefoot‘s observation about how wireless email is changing how people in business communicate with email. His theory is that the size of the device actually reduces their ability to respond quickly if an email requires a long and detailed reply:

When Blackberry users check their email, maybe they’re mostly in a receive-only mode. The Blackberry has, in theory, extended the time lag between reception and response.

Troy Angrignon‘s replies with his own thoughts, and this comment in particular I thought was interesting:

I don’t even READ much of my inbound email anymore (I can see the first line of it in Gmail, why open it?) Or I flag it and get around to cleaning those up WAY too late. I have had it with letting my email flows dictate how much time I spend at the computer so have pretty much just decided to read/act on only the top 10% of my mail

So, overall it appears that email is becoming less effective for the sender at least. Something to think about.

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Evolution of the GUI

To get a taste of the evolution of the GUI see the Room 101 blog, but I found there are real GUI fanatics out there, including:

  • GUI Gallery – “screen shots of various desktop computer Graphical User Interfaces and operating systems“; and
  • GUIdebook – “a website dedicated to preserving and showcasing Graphical User Interfaces, as well as various materials related to them“.

Both site have timelines but GUIdebook looks the most comprehensive and you can follow the evolution of the GUI from Douglas Engelbart to Windows Vista! Of course if you want to go back further, try this CGI Timeline that starts with the Chinese Abacus.

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