Archive for October, 2006

Fred Stutzman has two new essays up on his blog. One on Friendship In Youth Social Networking in which he looks at Harris and other poll data as well as surveys regarding cell phone call lists, IM buddy lists and SNS. In the other, he attacks various misreadings of SNS use. Is SNS use declining? Is SNS use aging rapidly so that 45 year olds on kids’ sites is now the norm? Nope, says Fred.

Both essays and their links are well worth your time.

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Slashdot and others are all excited about the Federal Trade Commission’s moral panic game, Buddy Builder [link to popup Flash on this page]. Nevermind the funky name, the OnGuardOnline hosted site, pits you against a panel of fake characters as you answer some obvious questions about what to reveal in an IM or email.

Then you get to Round Two where you are asked:

One of the risks of some social networking sites is that there’s no way to control who will be viewing your page — including criminals or identity thieves. True or False.

Social networking pages provide a safe way to share your information with the world, including your school, favorite music group or sports team, where you hang out and more. True or False

More insecurity-building quizzes here. You can learn to fear P2P, Wireless, Spyware, ID Theft and more.

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In 1967′s Privilege, Paul Jones abuse leads to a country-wide effort to keep youth out of politics and music (see clip). Patti Smith does the update below in 1979 and takes the song to an odd church.

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October 31 – Paul Jones speaks to news room at News and Observer (internal only sorry) about news as conversation and citizen involvement in political and investigative reporting.

November 9 – As part of the Office of Technology Development’s Carolina Innovations Seminars, Paul Jones be speaking on “Open Source Licensing: The Basics, The Benefits, The Buzz” on November 9 from 5:15 to 6:15 in 014 Sitterson Hall.

In the spirit of Openness, please dear readers and potential attendees, use the comments here to let me know any specific questions or areas that you’d like to see covered. I don’t want to talk endlessly on the differences between GPL 2 and 3, for example, unless someone cares, but then if someone does I want to be sure to be prepared and to do a good job.

Readings and postings here.

November 13Dan Gillmor, author of We the Media and director of the Center for Citizen Media will speak at 4 in the Pleasants Family Room of Wilson Library

December 8ibiblio at NCREN Community Day

January 20North Carolina Science Blogging Conference

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A few weeks back, Emily Gallimore of the Daily Tar Heel visited the Teen Spirit Show at WCOM. The article came out in today’s Tar Heel.

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Visiting Korean journalist Yeri Shin blogged about Craig’s visit on her Korean language blog. Yeri assures me that it’s all complimentary.

I haven’t Babblefished the article yet, but the Google Beta Korean to English translator takes this:

(오른쪽에 티셔츠 차림의 소탈한 인상의 아저씨가 바로 실버스틴입니다. 왼쪽은 제가 듣고 있는 블로그 관련 강의를 맡고 있는 폴 존스(Paul Jones) 교수예요. 이 날 사회자였죠.)

and gives this:

(The uncle of the increase which the t-shirt outfit is informal in right side is rightly the thread bus [thin]. The left side the blow which I am listening pawl Jones which keeps the relation strong will (Paul Jones) professor example bedspreads. This day master of ceremony [yess] [cyo].)

I can see why the Google tool is still Beta ;->

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John Murawski used the Health Sciences Library sponsored visit by Google’s Craig Silverstein as an occassion to interview Craig about Google and technology futures in today’s Business section.

A couple of suggestions:

NandO should be sure to print the occasion of a speaker’s visit to UNC in the credits. Health Sciences Library did a great job of getting the word out about Craig’s visit — over 600 people were at the talk — but they could and should get specific credit in articles about the visit.

John did a much longer and much deeper interview with Craig. I was standing there for part of it. The NandO site would have been the perfect place to publish the extended interview. Why not take advantage of that endless space to show off the less general questions that John asked (for example)?

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Inside the LPFM sausage factory, where about 10 middle schoolers are putting on the Teen Spirit show on 103.5 WCOM. Not only are the music choices amusing, but the process by which they are chosen by 13 year olds selforganizing their various music choices (and requests) is instructive. Not unlike Free Software projects ;-> Only a little dead air in honor of Halloween so far.

Later, I’ll be back in a different capacity on Melva’s Musings on Jazz as part of a tribute to DizzyGillespie with children’s book author/reviewer/reader Susie Wilde and composer TJ Anderson all of us coordinated by Melva Okun. 7 – 9 tonight.

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Pirates and pirate images like skulls and crossbones are not only high fashion, but they have become a dominate Haloween costume and they have a large section in the Archie McPhee catalogue.

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Also danahboydmania. In the service of explaining how important understanding online social networks are to kids. Yes, there is the standard Moral Panic! material, but the profile/observations by danah and Fred are palpable. Oddly in the Arts and Weekend section.

“One of the things students do at college is they test out identities. Maybe that is one new thing we are seeing now – more rapid changes of identity. Online you get feedback and you can change at a moment’s notice” Fred Stutzman, University of North Carolina

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I wandered thru the rain, thanks to Don for his umbrella, to the Morehead Planetarium Building and voted early today. No lines. A couple of civic-minded neighbors. Plenty of time.

Early voting is convenient and easy. Do it yourself! Orange County Elections lists the voting places and times here.

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So goes point 9 in the official Google 10 Point Philosophy, but can you be serious without a haircut? That’s what I want to know.

Yeri Shin sends these action shots of Craig Silverstein and me from yesterday’s talk. [jpg] [jpg]

On a more interesting note, Philipp Lenssen of Google Blogoscoped posted an analysis of Google internal documents entitled “Big Goals and Directions – 2006” and “Objectives and Key Results – Q3 2006 Company OKRs”. Would have been nice to have read these before meeting Craig.

Apropos of or perhaps contrary to my previous post, one goal is “Google wants to be the best in search – no surprise here. To reach that goal, Google wants to have the world’s top AI research laboratory.”

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As Craig Silverstein was talking yesterday, I thought of Marvin Minsky the father and grand promoter of Artificial Intelligence at MIT. Not because Google uses very smart AI, but because they don’t do much of it at all.

Folks on the East Coast (overgeneralizing for effect) grabbed the Minsky challenge to create a machine intelligence that mimics and surpasses human intelligence. Afterall, machines can operate, doing certain functions, much more quickly and accurately than humans. Minsky-ites were also influenced by MIT linguists like Chomsky who pushed that concepts of deep structure that could be handled, if properly understood, by machines.

Salton‘s great work and insights at Cornell while not tied to AI seemed to promise that machine understanding of keyword might make for successful searches. But the real magic in SMART (Salton’s Magical Retriever of Text) was and is relevance feedback in which human evaluation of results, whether explicit or implicit, increased both the precision and recall of a search.

The more intelligently that the system could learn from the results noted as relevant, the better the subsequent result sets. Aggregating group results gave even better “Good” results and seemed magic (at the time) compared to simple keyword searches.

Larry Page’s insight in constructing PageRank was to see that goodness could also be indicated by the number of links related to a certain document. Again capturing the human intelligence embedded in the act of linking. Not just human intelligence but social intelligence. What we call knowledge capital or in a larger sense social capital.

Successful searches moved from less modeling of the brain, less artificial intelligence, and more and more social intelligence and what we now see in Web 2.0 as social networking. Not that computing and engineering didn’t matter, but that the machine component is most effective as a magnifier and enhancer and connector of the social intelligence supplied by humans.

Will AI ever be successful? Silverstein says “My guess is (it will be) about 300 years until computers are as good as, say, your local reference library in doing search.”

NOTE: I have not yet read John Battelle‘s The Search

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If Craig Silverstein had invented the method by which Google decides how to return results, would the top secret Google juice be called SilversteinRank instead of being named after Larry Page as it is as PageRank? I was assured by Craig that the secret (licensed from Stanford til 2011) would have lost the wonderful pun and definitely be called SilversteinRank.

Most of the questions asked and answered at today’s talk were meatier and more relevant than that one. Craig talked about Google Book Project, Google Scholar, Mobile futures, Google Health and Google Coop.

On the digitzation front, Craig noted that only 20% of the world’s printed material is in print. 5% is in the Public Domain and 75% is neither in print nor copyright free — these are the infamous orphan works that are not interesting enough to be kept available for profit but cannot be made available legally for free. 75% of our recorded knowledge made unavailable by bad policy.

Craig lived in Chapel Hill years back. About 30 years back as it turns out. For a few years when he was around 4 or 5 years old while his parents completed their medical training at Duke. While here, he had a run in with a Duke athlete. A basketball player came to visit Craig’s school (in Durham). He asked each child what their favorite college team might be. Craig answered the Tar Heels. He was marked for life.

He did, as Fred pointed out, wear a shirt of the appropriate blue shade for his talk here.

We had a great panel. Moderating for folks like these — Jose-marie Griffiths (Dean of SILS), Barbara Rimer (Dean of Public Health), Carol Jenkins (Health Sciences Library Director) and Fred Stutzman (claimid.com and Social Networking researcher exceptionalle) — was easy and fun. (err I was the moderator).

Great crowd of about 600+ people and good questions. Good evening.

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WRAL.com just ran an article on the Wilson Knowledge Trust Awards. Of local interest, two of the winners were William Blake expert Joe Viscomi and myself.

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NCREN logoWe’ll be torn on Friday December 8!

ibiblio.org is to be a big part of the North Carolina Research and Education Network Community Day from 8:30 – 3:30 at MCNC in the Research Triangle Park. There will be some great sessions there including K-12 Networking and Ad Hoc Video Conferencing.

But it’s happening at the same time as the UNC Social Networking Symposium. Yikes!

Both events require registration, so sign up before showing up.

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The Triangle Science Blogging Conference has become the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. One look at the registration list (so far) tells why; the Conference, already at 35 registrants, is drawing folks from all over the country. We’ve got months to go, but we’ve gotten great people initially. You can join in. Please do.

NC Science Blogging Conference

What: North Carolina Science Blogging Conference
When: January 20, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: UNC-Chapel Hill (building and room to be announced)
Preconference: So You Want to be a Blogger skills session on Thursday, January 18th from 2-4 p.m. at the UNC Health Science Library

Note: ibiblio.org is proud to be one of the sponsors for the North Carolina Bloggers Conference and I’m delighted to be one of the organizers helping out Anton Zuiker, Bora Zivkovic, and Brian Russell.

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Michael O'ConnellThanks to IBM developerWorks Editor-in-Chief Michael O’Connell for the nice words about our J-School seminar on Virtual Communities. Michael was in the very first version of the seminar. We’ve come a long ways as has the idea of online communities and social capital and social networking. I’m using some of the basic ideas for creating conversation for my recent talks — at Berry College, on Open Source for the Office of Technology and Development and for an internal talk with News and Observer reporters. I learned all I know from the folks in the seminars and in the communities (and from the the good researchers who wrote the texts we use in class).

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As part of the Office of Technology Development‘s Carolina Innovations Seminars, I’ll be speaking on “Open Source Licensing: The Basics, The Benefits, The Buzz” on November 9 from 5:15 to 6:15 in 014 Sitterson Hall.

In the spirit of Openness, please dear readers and potential attendees, use the comments here to let me know any specific questions or areas that you’d like to see covered. I don’t want to talk endlessly on the differences between GPL 2 and 3, for example, unless someone cares, but then if someone does I want to be sure to be prepared and to do a good job.

Some helpful source material (pun intended) can be found at these links:
Free Software Foundation
Open Source Initiative
GNU Project
GNU Philosophy including the 4 Software Freedoms
Software Freedom Law Center
Wikipedia on Free Software
Wikipedia on Open Source Software

For non-software, see Creative Commons, iCommons (international Creative Commons movement) , and the Science Commons Project.

This is another experiment in opening the conversation like the one I just did down at Berry College where using the wiki really worked well. This time a blog post instead.

So post below.

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Upcoming speakers of interest.

Craig Silverstein
CRAIG SILVERSTEIN
Google‘s Tech Director will be speaking on Thursday, October 26 from 4 – 5:30 at the Medical Biomolecular Research Building here at UNC-CH. Details here.

Dan Gillmor
DAN GILLMOR
Dan Gillmor is director of the Center for Citizen Media, a project affiliated with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
He is the author of We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People (2004; O’Reilly Media). Dan likes to say that he “spent almost 25 years in the newspaper business, and am proud of it.”
He’ll be visiting the UNC J-School and giving a public talk at 4 pm Monday November 13 in the Pleasants Family Room, Wilson Library, UNC-CH.

David Weinberger
DAVID WEINBERGER
The School of Information and Library Science’s 2006 Henderson Lecture will feature Dr. David Weinberger who will present, “Everything is Miscellaneous” at 2 p.m., Thursday, December 7, 2006 in the Murphey Hall Auditorium (room 116) on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A reception will follow.
You probably know David Weinberger as the author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and of the blog, Journal of Hyperlinked Organization (JOHO). He’ll be here for the UNC Symposium on Social Networking as well.

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