Who Are You?

Back in March I mentioned a paper I’d just given at a conference, which then became a journal submission, then six months later became a revised accepted submission, and now is a preprint sitting right here: Who Are You? Weblogs and Academic Identity (a sequel to the one from two years ago). A shame I can’t include the image-heavy slideshow that went with it, but David Bowie’s agent wouldn’t be pleased.

Read More · 21 December 2005 ·

Tim Berners-Lee spoke on the Semantic Web at Edinburgh University last night. I last saw him in Toronto in 1999. That time, he was a tiny dot in the distance in a huge theatre at WWW8;* this time, I was down in the front row—because no-one else sat there—a few feet away. A geekish thrill, perhaps, but still exciting. This was a better talk; I liked his underground map showing how a web of RDF resources would join up related pieces of information. Got me wondering how all this might end up working with folksonomy. Maybe not so well: it’s one thing to build an RDF converter on top of a database of automatically generated scientific or weather data, another to ask Flickr users to tag every image with dozens of appropriate URIs. We need digital cameras with built-in GPS to tag photographs with latitude and longitude as easily as time and date.

Read More · 23 September 2005

The Five-Year Term

I normally mark the anniversary of the whole site rather than this one, but five years of blogging is some milestone. Look at that first day: eleven entries! Now I’m lucky to post that many in a fortnight. And look at those six-figure Blogger entry IDs. Now they’re up to eighteen, which puts mine in the first 0.0000000002% of all Blogger entries.

This is where I should say something thoughtful and reflective about blogging, or complain about journalists who don’t get it (so much for all the essays I’ve posted here), or redesign the entire site with a retro theme. But I’m metablogged out after writing a paper for a conference in February and polishing it up for the proceedings last month (hey, maybe it’ll turn up here before it’s hopelessly out-of-date). Instead, I thought I’d look at what I was linking to back then: specifically, the “Seven Other Blogs” in the sidebar.

Seven? Was there ever a time when I could restrict my daily reads to seven? Apparently there was. So, where are they now?

Read More · 17 May 2005 ·

Pack a’ Whackers

I suppose it was only a matter of time before a fan of the gentle sport of Googlewhacking would hit one of my pages, so I wasn’t surprised to get an email to that effect a couple of weeks ago. Apparently this whacker found that a word for an unpleasant form of killing, and another for a prehistoric fish found off the Comoros, occur together only on this page (I don’t know why I’m being so secretive, because the whack no longer works, but he found it so I won’t spoil the fun). But note the sequel:

Read More · 25 March 2005

So, I’ve got this mobile. (I know, at last. Jane gave me one for Christmas because her number one texting friend was about to move to Boston. My Mobile Tracking Device, she calls it.) And there I was, sitting in the passenger seat as I caught a lift back to Edinburgh with Fiona, admiring the snowy landscape of the Borders beneath the peach skies of mid-afternoon, composing a txt with the edge of my thumb.

“You text like an old person,” says Fiona.

Read More · 18 March 2005 ·

Net Culture in 2004