July 16, 2008
When I began to become enraptured with Web 2.0 I wanted to find ways to use intelligent, emerging instruments from the semantic web to continually improve findability and search optimization of resources I had gathered over many years, even if my own PC broke down and all my back up systems failed, and my own memory became faulty, or . . . I had hoped that blogging would help me remember where I put things that might someday be useful again.
The catalyst for “Folksonomy: optimizing soul searching” was a question regarding how absent categories impose their presence through their very absence. Faced with closed field category/subcategory options offered by Digg for example, under which I had to place my article, etc I struggled between philosophy or society, finance or economics, environment or politics.
I have also found it enlightening to find under which categories my own Creative Commons blogs, articles, posts and images might appear.
As my own sites grow organically, my categories and parent categories constantly need to be reformulated; new tags added and others deleted or merged. The goal is efficiency and elegance in the ungainly word of “findability” or search engine optimization, potent instruments in the semantic web.
At times I am frustrated by the absence of categories that exclude entire populations and conversations. Recently I came across a site hosted by the Washington Post. In their About page they describe how they use the limitless space of the online world to host a blog entitled “On Faith” which invites “intelligent, informed, eclectic, respectful,fruitful, intriguing and constructive conversation-among specialists and generalists about the things that matter most, religion, the most ancient of forces, the most pervasive yet “least understood topic in global life.”
I read comments and the post from David Grant, a junior at Virginia Tech who commenting on his visit to the Baha’i gardens in Haifa,Israel-Palestine (which has recently been named as an International Heritage Site) remarking on the broad reach of the Baha’i religion. “Where else on Earth could you find a family from the Bible Belt, a pair of South Africans currently working in Japan, and a crew of Peruvians all heading to say their prayers at the same spot?”
I wanted to search “On Faith” for more strings on the Baha’i but realized that Baha’i World Faith was not offered in their pop-up menu of “List Posts by Topics” which did include: Anglican, Atheist/Agnostic, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Earth-based Spirituality, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Evangelical, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Mainline Protestant, Mormon, Muslim, Native American religion, Protestant, Quaker, Sikh, Taoist, Wiccan.
As of February 2008 there were 5,000,000 Baha’is in the world and 159,692 Baha’is in the United States. I couldn’t find a figure for either Taoist or Wiccans but one site at least claimed that in 2001 there were c. 34,000 Wiccans in the US.
Baha’is promote tolerance and moderation and are anxiously concerned with the social issues of the time in which they live. Baha’is around the globe contribute to civil society at locally, regionally, nationally levels on issues and programs related to World Religion Day, interfaith relations, religious freedom, Race Unity Day, race unity, elimination of prejudice, advancement of women (CEDAW), human rights, among others. Baha’is have offices at United Nations as NGO are are prominent in international forums as invited participants acknowledged for civil moderate behaviour in the most volatile situations. Recently the U.S. Bahá’í U.N. representative Jeffery Huffines received a Friendship Award for his work “promoting cultural understanding throughout the world and at the UN Headquarters” and for serving as a “positive, guiding force” to all. It is surprising that Baha’is seem to be largely absent from this forum.
The categories offered under “List Posts by Topics” are confusing since some are parent categories for the others. The Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants and Evangelical are all followers of Christ and are all therefore Christians. Which discussions take place solely under the name of Anglican, Mainline Protestants and Episcopal? In terms of the semantic web it would be far more useful to provide a theme-based “List of Topics” that is inclusive of all the groups and religions mentioned. Tags could be used to facilitate searches for a Quaker, Sikh or Baha’i or Catholic perspective, for example. I would recommend that the blog architects revisit and update their taxonomy using principles of folksonomy: what users do with words.
Years of working with research materials leads to a way of thinking with categories, subcategories; key words (tags); abstracts, descriptions, key concepts, timelines, references in .eml or similar formats. The semantic web revs up that process with powerful tools. So my blogs are always a work in progress, process works.
My own personal blogs are experimental and while I am very conscientious about what is here, I can claim no professional authority in any one field.
At this time in my life I feel as if I live outside linear time. Blog stats soar up suddenly for no apparent reason on a blog posted weeks or month ago. So I tidy it up a little. Then the graph drops sharply again with no apparent reason. I don’t need to try to control it.
Outside linear time, I could just pick up threads begun months ago on Milton Friedman, the social history of Inuit, media objectivity or what we do in the name of such concepts as “memory work” or “everyday life.” Through creative commons I could share all my teaching, learning and research resources without having to shorten them, tidy them up or make them ready for someone else’s deadline. Take what you need and leave the rest. I would still work as hard as I could to maintain my own standards particularly in investigating , acknowledging and referencing sources of information, images, etc.
As I am creating, writing, coding, snurling, twittering, blogging, and uploading to wikipedia, social bookmark accounts, my blogs or others’ etc I have absolutely no trust in anyone.
I post knowing that anything I have shared can be misinterpreted, misunderstood, misread. It can be rejected, ignored, criticized. It can be copied and pasted without my name attached. I license all my work under the Creative Commons License 3.0 SA-NC-BY but I know it cannot be enforced in most cases.
So why bother?
What I do is not based on my need to trust others in cyberspace. I do not feel as though I am an embodied link in an embodied network in linear time and space.
This is even more than that. If I use the semantic web effectively, a searcher who is not “now” from a geographic location that is not “here” can still find my arrows, my markers, hotwords and icons, index-mouse-clicks that might just help them a little in their search. Maybe I will be that searcher.
It is more important to me to work hard at providing information that is not misinformation, trying hard to be as close to the truth as is possible, to use the most powerful arguments from the most reliable texts available to me at any given time.
I am not an anthropologist nor a journalist; I am definitely not a churnalist. My responsibility to me and therefore to others in this network or not, is to post that which I believe to be useful in a way that allows others to follow a trail of truth claims should they choose.
Thirteen years ago Francis Fukuyama in Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995) questioned predictions that the Internet, the computer to computer communication network, unleashed from restrictions imposed by its creator, the Department of Defense, would herald a new organizational network constituted by small firms and individuals that would prove to be superior to large, hierarchical corporations and anarchical market relationships (Fukuyama 1995:195). Fukuyama argued that network efficiency depended on reciprocal moral judgment , “a high level of trust and the existence of shared norms and ethical behaviour between network members (Fukuyama 1995:195).” He contrasted the necessity of that network users share social responsibilities and obligations with hackers and other users who were “free spirits hostile to any form of authority . . . vulnerable to certain forms of normlessness and asocial behaviour.”
Fukuyama furthered argued that the Internet is a community of shared values using the concept similar to Shumpei Kumon’s notion of “consensus/inducement-based exchange.” He felt that Internet users in the 1970s and 1980s (mainly government and academic researchers) internalized unquestioned shared values. The Internet could be kept low-cost if users respected certain ethical standards.
In 1994 two lawyers broke the Internet’s code of ethics and bombarded news groups with advertisements for their services (Fukuyama 1995:196). The lawyers were not breaking any written laws and were not shamed into retreat. However, the sheer quantity of hate mail they receive, forced their server shut down.
Although the monitization of all things Internet is well underway, there is also exponential growth in cyberworld capital  which like cultural capital or academic capital can facilitate access to certain privileges. I am aware of ways in which users of social networking sites strategize to optimize search engine findability, to increase their hits, statistics, and cyberworld capital.
I am not certain if the success in accumulating cyberworld capital or monitizing all things Internet is made more efficient by trust?
1. Fukuyama compares network as community concept to the Japanese concept of keiretsu and its western reincarnation in American conglomerates like Gulf + West + ITT. keiretsu depends on a high level of trust.
2. Some measure cyberworld capital in terms such as “authority” as with Technorati. Others self-identify as A1bloggers.
Filed in Blogosphere, ethics, Philosophy, philosophy and society, Religion, semantic web, social cohesion, society, Technology. Mind and Consciousness, Web 2.0
Tags: authority, Baha'i, categories, cyberworld capital, findability, folksonomy, network, on faith, Religion, search engine optimization, semantic web, SEO, social virtues, tagging, taxonomy, Trust
April 29, 2008
This layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled "Digitage Web2.0 Plus." It is an update on Logo Digitage ( http://snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.
A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( http://snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.
Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter http://snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.
This entry is posted on speechless.
Folksonomy for Flickr
View ocean.flynn’s map
Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here)
This layered image 1440 x 900 at 300 dpi is one stage of the development of my next digitage entitled “Digitage Web2.0 Plus.” It is an update on Logo Digitage ( snurl.com/25nqe ) in my Flickr album that was the basis for slideshare.net .ppt called Deconstructing Digitage: Web 2.0 as Organic Rhizomic Synapses which has had 1859 views since first uploading 8 months ago.
A comment from slideshare.net cofounder Amit Ranjanon ( snurl.com/266mt ) on the .ppt about the low resolution along with the need for .ppt default sizes for to increase shareability, led me to revisit the original .psd file and the .jpg components.
Each layer is being revisited and updated as I learn more about Adobe Photoshop tools and more about each of the component metaphorical images embedded in the many layers. At the same time I am learning more about the organic growth of Web 2.0 Plus (also called Web 3.0, etc). Aggregators and microblogging technologies like twitter snurl.com/25t6 have enhanced and simplified connectivity while confusing virtual cartographic projects to visualize the blogosphere as it grows exponentially. I learn from others and also by playing with new technological tools. I remain a bricoleuse, better able to find things in the virtual thrift stores that might come in handy one day. I don’t like to learn by following anymore than the basic instructions and the need-to-know-how things for reasons of security or time-efficiency.
Flickr groups to which this image belongs: Art & Theory Nobs (Pool), Folksonomy (Pool); Digg It Flickr. Pool (Pool) [X]
Flickr folksonomy: folksonomy, flickr, digitage, creation, creativecommons, connectivity, blogging, adobephotoshop, 1440×900, microblogging, mindbrain, mind, neuralarchitectonics, neuroscience, portrait, powerpoint, powerpointbackground, presentation, raptureofthedeepinternet, reflexivity, rhizome, sharingpresentations, selfportrait, slides, slideshare, synapses, synapticgasp, tagclouds, tagging, taxonomy, technology, theoryinpictures, twitter, vastation, visualization, visualizations, web20, wordpresscom,
Filed in Blogosphere, collaborative, memory, microblogging, Mind Brain, neuroscience, semantic web, Technology. Mind and Consciousness, Visual Arts, visualizations, Web 2.0
Tags: 1440x900, blogging, connectivity, creation, creativecommons, digitage, flickr, folksonomy: folksonomy, microblogging, mind, mindbrain, neuralarchitectonics, neuroscience, portrait, powerpoint, powerpointbackground, presentation, raptureofthedeepinternet, reflexivity, rhizome, selfportrait, sharingpresentations, slides, slideshare, synapses, synapticgasp, tagclouds, tagging, taxonomy, technology, theoryinpictures, Twitter, vastation, visualization, visualizations, Web 2.0
December 29, 2007
As I learn more about the ever-expanding potential of Web 2.0 I am working on my own personal use of folksonomy as a creative, organic, rhizomic, dynamic and growing mind map, a virtual memory palace. I need tools with codes that are generous, robust and designed to be inclusive and accessible. WordPress’ powerful folksonomy tools is enhanced by its connectivity with the Google search engine. Users can review detailed statistics of page views in stats > manage files > WordPress. By examining how viewers stumbled upon your content you can refine and improve both findability and content utility.
For over a decade I had used EndNote not only as a bibliographic database but a database of key concepts, acryonyms, timelines, biographies which gradually emerged as part of a digital mindmap. With versions from c. 2005 onwards EndNote became more and more proprietorial, very expensive and full of technical problems that could be resolved by purchasing an even newer version or spending hours on one small but essential detailed process.
Unfortunately since I stopped entering new data into EndNote two years ago in my search for a Web 2.0 open source solution, I miss EndNote and I am slowly beginning to use it again. I will develop it in tandem with the myriad of Open Source software available.
In an attempt to make more efficient use of hyperlinks I have started using anchors available under the “bookmarking” capacity in in my Google Docs as links between citations and bibliographic entries at the end of the document.
[Anchors are HTML coded inserts that are useful in linking footnotes and bibliographic citations in hypertext documents. I am experimenting with anchors again in WordPress at the same time. This document was published as a Google doc and then automatically sent to this blog. The Google doc anchors do not work in WordPress which is understandable since anchors are document url related. So I changed the Google Docs anchor HTML coded links to be compatible with the specific WordPress post url, then added the #aname code and link. So the full url of the anchored text in this post entitled "Mapping Your Mind as a Memory Palace using Folksonomy" is <a href=" http://oceanflynn.wordpress.com/2007/12/29/mapping-your-mind-as-a-memory-palace-using-folksonomy#collectiveconscience"> collective conscience </a>
The text can be anchored by using the simple HTML code <a name ="collectiveconscience">collective conscience</a> in the specfic section of the post that you want to link. So far I have only corrected the one anchor.]
My Google docs are an odd combination of timelines of the social history, a who’s who, bibliography and webliography, tag clouds of documents I have mined related to a phenomenon that is a sister node on the rhizome of my mind map.
CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Mapping Your Mind as a Memory Palace using Folksonomy.” December 28, 2007. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddp3qxmz_456kbxxr6fw
Filed in Academic Disciplines, democracy, folksonomy, governance, Memory Work, religion and politics, Tag Clouds, teaching learning and research, Technology and Software, Web 2.0
Tags: anchors, anchors in Wordpress, Derrida, Jacques, elite studies, EndNote, ethnoclassification, findability, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Memory Palace, modernity, Open Source, rhizome, search engine optimization, social cohesion, social exclusion, Tag Clouds, tagging
December 10, 2007
Schmap is the latest of the web 2.0 technologies that heighten my connectivity on the Internet. One of my Creative Commons Flickr photos of Calgary’s Nose Hill Park was picked up by Schmap through Flickr’s powerful Search Engine Optimized tagging tools – folksonomy for Flickr photo folks. We were planning a trip to the 12 Days of Christmas at Calgary’ Heritage Park. As I use Schmap to prepare for our outing this weekend, I feel somewhat like a 2.0 volunteer in my newly-adopted city.
North Carolina-based Schmap has been operating since 2004 providing free digital travel guides for 200 destinations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada (with Calgary as one of its highlighted cities), Australia and New Zealand.
They also offer an innovative technology that lets bloggers insert schmapplets – a range of fully customizable map mashups and map widgets on their personal blogs. I have tried to add the widget to Speechless but it didn’t work. Probably just as well as I am concerned that my WordPress blog is slow to open on machines that don’t have my images and files in cache.
Filed in Blogosphere, collaborative, everyday life, folksonomy, geotagging, slow world, virtual
Tags: bricoleuse, Calgary, Creative Commons, ethnoclassification, everyday.life, findability, flickr, Green Calgary, Learning from users, New generation social marketing, schmap, search engine optimization, SEO, tagging, wordpress
November 14, 2007
I was never attracted to the paintings of E. H. Hughes while I worked as contract art educator at the National Gallery of Canada. It wasn’t until I lived near his home for almost two years, in the Cowichan River valley area that I began to understand that his work was a highly detailed documentation of plants, trees, geological formations, waterways and marine activity — not an attempt to express the impression of the landscape from a tourist’s point-of-view. The ubiquitous greys of the island from November through March explain the colour-challenged palettes in most of Hughes’ prints. The original paintings are rare since most of them have been sold to a unique collector in Germany. But framed expensive mass-produced prints from the original paintings (which the vast majority of people in the age of Robert Bateman — and more recently high quality giclee1 — mistake for original works of art) are prominent, particularly in the places like the family restaurant in Duncan called the Dog House.
In Canada plein art painting in cold weather is possible but uncomfortable. This small acrylic plein air sketch was painted in a couple of hours on the windy escarpment at Edelweis Point. The larger version will portray the mountains more accurately. I often find myself fantasizing about knocking on doors of stranger’s homes-with-a-view to ask for three hours of air space to paint in the off seasons. Following in the paths of plein air painters I had made up my own rules that I followed for decades. I would not paint from pictures. But I moved a lot since then. Each new Canadian region offers new visual opportunities and challenges for painting. Even the qualities of light itself, its clarity, luminosity, is different from region to region. I spent a lot of time studying the patterns of waves on the coast of Vancouver Island. Now I am confused, overwhelmed by the mountains. I want to hike their trails and see them from as many angles as is possible with easy 5-hour scrambles. These days I take digital photos on our day trips in and around Calgary to ecological reserves, public parks or even roadside in Cochrane, Canmore . . . Now I find myself painting with a laptop open beside me so that my finished painting becomes a visual tool for memory work, another way of living in and visualizing my everyday world. I also used to feel that selling mass-produced prints was dishonest and deluded an ill-informed public. Now I am just happy to have available images whatever their source or quality to compare and learn: Flickr, Google images, Virtual museums like the National Gallery of Canada’s, reproductions, etc. There aren’t any overpriced framed Giclees of specific mountain peaks from our local shopping mall galleries hanging over the sofa at home, but I will study and compare them as another way of seeing.
As I refine tags and folksonomy in the virtual world, I seek out more precise multidisciplinary taxonomies in ecosystems I inhabit. It informs the way I see, and the way that I take photographs and paint plein air. I tag my images through Google Earth, Picasa and Flickr. Adobe Photoshop provides tools that allow me to enhance or layer some images. Using www.bivouac.com, Peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and numerous other maps, images and texts I can hyperlink each mountain peak to its exact longtitude/latitude coordinates in Google Earth (and or Picasa and Flickr). In Google Earth I can link the altitude tool relative to space/ground with the height of the mountain. I can also link customized image icons and detailed information including the exact www.bivouac.com and/or Peaks of the Canadian Rockies urls. The process of social tagging or folksonomy fuels my interest in searching for the names that provide the most accurate historical, ecological, geographical information about mountain peaks, glacial erratics, medicinal plants, post-contact plants . . .
Google searches before and after help refine our understanding of the places we have visited. Public librairies, local museums and even Tim Horton’s customers provide more suggestions. Sharing using one of our many social networks is easy. Flickr provides tools for describing and commenting on details of images, adding textual information as well as refined folksonomy, geotagging and comparing photos with special interest groups. Google docs archives the unpublished notes, annotated webliographies and bibliographies and keeps track of published blogs.
In the process I learn about contributions to Alberta’s history by individuals and communities descended from First Nations, Chinese, Italians, French, Irish, British, African-Americans . . .
Of course it is a visual form of memory work. If we only relied on the printed word for knowledge claims we would find ourselves with limited perspectives provided by experts in exclusive academic disciplines who claim that their magisteria is nonoverlapping.
This is changing so rapidly in a world of integrated management. Ecohydrology combines the fields of ecological processes and hydrology that informs integrated management of watersheds. Google Earth allows nonexperts to view climatic zones, mountain ranges, massifs, river valleys, individual mountains, hillslopes, stream channels, estuaries, gullies, barchannels, recharge areas, and in some cases meter-sized features. We can fly over and zoom in on the watershed of the Athabaskan Lake and River, Fort McMurray, Fort Chipewyan. We can read related reports online and track changes ourselves. This kind of information has never been easier to collect and share.
The most accurate scientific information from legitimate sources provides exact terminologies and taxonomies2 that not only clarify complex issues, they are also folksonomy-friendly.
1. Limited edition archival prints where the editions are limited to a hundred or less of an original work of art and hand autographed by the artist are priced accordingly and were considered to be art collectors items. Robert Bateman is well-known for his high-priced multiple edition prints of his popular wildlife paintings. These are often purchased for a hefty price by uninformed collectors who believe they have an original work of art. With progress in digital technologies, printing inks and processes, giclees from original oil paintings can be printed on canvas that appears to have a varnished finish and priced as much as a unique original painting. Giclees on high quality water colour paper do have an archival life of over a hundred years. Their production is costly so they are priced more than a mass-produced print. Giclee archival prints are a huge improvement over the prints of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr distributed to public schools in Canada in the Post World War II years. Most of these framed prints which unfortunately still hang in public places over fifty years later, have darkened and have lost all semblance to original colours.
I now fully embrace the giclee concept as a way of sharing visual information more widely. It is yet another take on Walter Banjamin’s mechanical reproduction.
2. I looked to wikipedia under geomorphology to find the equivalent of taxonomy for mountains that I have been using to identify wildflowers, medicinal plants. According to wikipedia, “Different geomorphological processes dominate at different spatial and temporal scales. To help categorize landscape scales some geomorphologists use the following taxonomy:
- 1st – Continent, ocean basin, climatic zone (~10,000,000 km²)
- 2nd – Shield, e.g. Baltic shield, or mountain range (~1,000,000 km²)
- 3rd – Isolated sea, Sahel (~100,000 km²)
- 4th – Massif, e.g. Massif Central or Group of related landforms, e.g., Weald (~10,000 km²)
- 5th – River valley, Cotswolds (~1,000 km²)
- 6th – Individual mountain or volcano, small valleys (~100 km²)
- 7th – Hillslopes, stream channels, estuary (~10 km²)
- 8th – gully, barchannel (~1 km²)
- 9th – Meter-sized features”
Creative Commons reference:
CC Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “How to paint mountains: Geomorphological taxonomy.” >> speechless. November 13.
NB: This article is supposed to be automatically re-published on speechless as changes are made in Google docs. I prefer to have both references available.
Filed in Art and Science, Artists, Blogosphere, collaborative, everyday life, folksonomy, memory, Memory Work, Power and everyday life, slow world, teaching learning and research, Technology. Mind and Consciousness, Visual Arts, Visual.Arts, Web 2.0
Tags: bricoleuse, Calgary, Cowichan Bay, Creative Commons, cyberworld nomad, ethnoclassification, ethnoclassification: faceted tagging, everyday.life, flickr, folksonomy:faceted tagging, Google, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, GoogleEarth, Green Calgary, images, Learning from users, noise vs. pattern, nonoverlapping magisteria, social bookmarking, tagging, taxonomy, taxonomy:faceted tagging, wikipedia
November 9, 2007
Speechless received over 30,000 visits just a year after the first upload. WordPress offers an amazing array of tools to trace users’ searching trends providing a productive interplay between author and reader.