The collaborative web page

The new web page is not only dynamic, it is also collaborative. It allows distributed people to synchronize real-time activity.

Here are some early examples:

  • Google documents in which multiple logged-in users can interact
  • EtherCalc, an open source collaborative online spreadsheet

TowTruck is a generic collaboration API.

facebook vs blogs

facebook spelled the death of the social blogs. which is a shame, because expressivity in facebook is limited to plain text, user linking, multimedia and a narrow set of primitive actions. whereas on blogs, it was their virtually unlimited flexibility and variation that ultimately resulted in a disconnected chaos that led to low social engagement at the pan-blog level. facebook lowered the bar to self-publishing, "dumbed it down" to great popular success, sacrificing the full blog expressivity to achieve that goal.

Humour on the Web

More than anywhere else, humour on the Web is constructed socially: an initial utterance is responded to, and so on in a chain that builds up the joke.

Witness Slashdot for some hilarious commenting activity where the initial article, the seed information, only serves to elicit the responses from the community. Responses are typically orthogonal to the original article and experienced commenters answer each other, building up the humorous threads of response.

The living text

A living text is one that attracts and becomes surrounded with living activity. Societies of humans annotate them, discuss them, even live by their ideas. The Qur'an, the Bible, etc. are living texts par excellence. Some would say they're too alive.

The web provides collaborative tools that can create the structure upon which a living text can thrive, thereby "leveling the field" for more numerous and diverse texts to come alive.

Content management systems can be specialized into collaborative, or social, book annotation systems.

arabic internet acronyms

Is there an Arabic equivalent to English Internet acronyms, such as the ones listed here?

Here are the ones I use:

  • AFAIK - as far as I know - على حد علمي او على قدر علمي - ع ح ع لو ع ق ع
  • IIRC - if i recall correctly - ان كانت ذاكرتي صحيحة او على ما اتذكر - ان ك ص او ع م ا
  • IMO - in my opinion - في رأيي - ف ر
  • WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get - anyone?

Please help out on a live site!

The netizen's duty as cybrarian

The netizen's civic duty is to contribute to the information stored on the Internet. Preferably with accurate, relevant, and generally high quality content.

In order to contribute information constructively, one needs to find the relevant online systems that will store this new information. That is, online systems that accept submissions from arbitrary users as part of its main data - the equivalent of "crowdsourced" systems.

Can we open source the whole economy? This book claims to show how!

Now that's a book I want to read:

Christian Siefkes.
From Exchange to Contributions: Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World.


People die. When netizens or their relatives die, it is natural to want to preserve their memory, just like we do in physical life. So far, I have mostly seen Facebook groups that are dedicated to the memory of the departed, usually created by a friend of theirs. This space allows for people who knew the deceased to stop by and leave a comment. But as the Internet gets older, and generations of netizens come and go, it will be necessary to build a better infrastructure for Web cemeteries.

Questions I'd like to ask music copyright holders

  1. If I own a physical copy of the album (BluRay, DVD, CD, tape, LP), does that entitle me to freely download or stream the same album?
  2. If I purchase or am entitled to a digital copy of the album, can I lend it to my friends? my wife? my daughter?
  3. Can I store my legal digital copy on a streaming server for me to enjoy anywhere I go?

Affirmative answers to these questions would open up new ways of distributing music content that no one seems to be contemplating today.

Openness versus privacy

Here are some questions I often wonder about concerning issues of online openness versus privacy:

  • As a netizen, do I have the right to retrieve my own information from any Web application where I deposited it?
  • Do I have the right to completely erase my own information from any Web application?
  • Can I receive proof that the totality of information referring to me is actually accessible to me?
  • Can I examine the physical tables of those Web applications to ensure that my information is not at risk?
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