Tagged: Community

Uninspired

The drought of blog posts lately might reflect life in Cache Valley during the winter. The inversions in the valley trap the pollution so in addition to short days and long nights we have air so nasty you can taste it. Of course the local governments refuse to consider emissions testing. It's more important that the local teenagers can drive smoke spewing, 20 year old gas hog trucks and SUVs than for use to have breathable air.

I guess it doesn't matter much. I don't really go outside. There are some weeks I don't leave the house. I work at home now. Some days I don't think I actually need a physical body anymore. If I could turn my brain into logical bits I could just live inside the computer. I interact with everyone over IM, Twitter and the phone so no one would really know the difference.

Kind of sounds like a bad Japanese anime doesn't it?

I suppose the lack of hands would prevent me from playing board games to for that reason I'll maintain a physical p...

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Fences

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit around here all of a sudden all my neighbors want to put up fences. I'm not exactly sure what I did, but I must admit that it is a bit disappointing to see. For several years the houses and yards around us have been open. All the kids could freely roam and play with each other in each other's yards.

I think that is about to change. I could be wrong, but to me a fence says this is mine, that is yours, stay the hell out.

I think that businesses build fences. I noticed it today when I was at Albertson's (grocery store). They have a deal that requires you to buy 20 items from a certain list of participating items. I hit the 'fence' after I selected 20 items. I would have added more but wasn't sure if that meant I had to buy another 20 items to get the deal. Since I only wanted 3 or 4 more items not another 20 I stopped at 20. The business failed to communicate and in effect fenced me off from purchasing more items.

Websites h...

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Fences

Now that the weather has warmed up a bit around here all of a sudden all my neighbors want to put up fences. I'm not exactly sure what I did, but I must admit that it is a bit disappointing to see. For several years the houses and yards around us have been open. All the kids could freely roam and play with each other in each other's yards.

I think that is about to change. I could be wrong, but to me a fence says this is mine, that is yours, stay the hell out.

I think that businesses build fences. I noticed it today when I was at Albertson's (grocery store). They have a deal that requires you to buy 20 items from a certain list of participating items. I hit the 'fence' after I selected 20 items. I would have added more but wasn't sure if that meant I had to buy another 20 items to get the deal. Since I only wanted 3 or 4 more items not another 20 I stopped at 20. The business failed to communicate and in effect fenced me off from purchasing more items.

Websites h...

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Cache Valley

The Desert News is saying what we already know. Cache Valley is a great place to live. Of course the numbers don't tell the actual story. This is a great place to live because it has a small town feel, the biking is awesome and people are friendly. The schools are great and you feel safe. The biggest drawback to living in Cache Valley is the low wages. For many jobs the university tends to pay very poorly and economic development around here so far has meant adding a Home Depot and second Walmart. Hopefully we start to see the kind of economic development that is sustainable and that provides good, well paying jobs.

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Journal Writing Sucks, Blogging is Cool

The LDS cultural has encouraged personal history and journal writing since its inception. Ever since then the vast majority of the members have ignored this council and the overall level of guilt among the LDS faithful has continued to rise as each successive generation followed the example of the previous. Technology now provides some relief from the burden. Journal writing, a boring effort prompting statements like, "I really should write in my journal but I need to clean the drains," has been replaced by the uber hip practice of blogging, Facebook profiles and lifestreams. If Brigham had only spun journal writing a little differently the church could have been oh so cool. An early prophesy encouraging rich Myspace profile development could have shaken the very foundations of cool society. As our real lives become more and more intertwined with our virtual lives the amount of data being stored about our daily lives is beginning to fill millions of Gigabytes in the 'clou...

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Niche Communities

Over the past few months I have talked quite a bit with Joel about online communities and about what philosophically makes a community. I think it is a group of individuals who collectively are interesting in something and need tools to facilitate communication and production of some artifact(s). The way the community interacts to make this happen differs greatly and so thinking that one tool set will cover all needs is short sighted.

Now I go back to being a WordPress fan boy. I think one of the big reasons WordPress is so successful is that not only is it open source but it is open source that is easy to skin, hack and extend. It is a platform that provides some really great functionality, but the real power is that it empowers experienced and inexperienced hackers alike and gives them a powerful place to begin building something that fits their needs.

WordPress is hackable. Communities have specific needs. Build the basics that are required to fit those needs and then let each com...

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Connected Communities

When Digg was new I spent plenty of time following the latest news 'dugg' up by the community. Now I rarely go back. Somewhere along the line Digg became an online Frat house and I am no longer interested in the 10 ten latest shocking things or in hearing about Scientology or in seeing pictures of puppies (Marion pointed out to me that if you do some research and you will find how many pictures of puppies get thousands of Diggs. Top 10 hot chicks, interesting ways to use vulgarities and puppies, what a bizarre community).

However, I like the idea behind Digg. It is the same idea that made Slashdot successful. (I am a Slashdot refugee as well). Get lots of people together and let the share what they think is interesting.

What is interesting and exciting to me as we look at building on open source community solution is the opportunity to let users break out of a community when the larger group moves in a direction that no longer interests a minority. Say community one is built on...

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Connected Communities

When Digg was new I spent plenty of time following the latest news 'dugg' up by the community. Now I rarely go back. Somewhere along the line Digg became an online Frat house and I am no longer interested in the 10 ten latest shocking things or in hearing about Scientology or in seeing pictures of puppies (Marion pointed out to me that if you do some research and you will find how many pictures of puppies get thousands of Diggs. Top 10 hot chicks, interesting ways to use vulgarities and puppies, what a bizarre community).

However, I like the idea behind Digg. It is the same idea that made Slashdot successful. (I am a Slashdot refugee as well). Get lots of people together and let the share what they think is interesting.

What is interesting and exciting to me as we look at building on open source community solution is the opportunity to let users break out of a community when the larger group moves in a direction that no longer interests a minority. Say community one is built on...

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Cache County Library System

Right now in Cache County each city has its own library system and citizens of one city are not allowed to checkout books from a library in another city unless they pay for a very expensive library card. This is unfortunate as it creates a barrier to information for those who really need it. By combining resources the libraries will be able to provide a greater number of resources to everyone in the county. There is an initiative to form a county wide library system. Sign the petition and provide access to all the materials for everyone.

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Utah WordPress Meetup

I spent this afternoon with some really cool and interesting individuals from around utah. Matt Mullenweg, the original developer of WordPress was in town and was willing to come and hang out, each lunch and chat for a couple of hours about anything. Matt is a very cool guy not only because he created the best blogging platform of all time, but also because he is just a plain nice guy.

It is to bad that Salt Lake is as far away as it is. These kinds of events are a great chance to meet other people with similar interests and to generate ideas. It is also important to break out of your own personal sphere every now and then so that you can see what the outside world looks like.

A couple of highlights:

  1. Matt said that he prefers a business model that works off the ubiquity of the software rather than a model that limits your ability when using the open source version so that it can charge for more functionality/license (think Mysql)
  2. Holding a Word Camp here in Utah wouldn't be diffic...

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A Modern Prophet

President Hinckley passed away sunday night. He was 97. It isn't possible to say enough good about a man whose example to all was unity, peace, and to "do a little better" and "stand a little taller". Whether you are LDS or not those values are universal and something anyone can live by. He will be missed greatly.

President Hinckley is really the first prophet to be around for the era of blogs and so is probably the first prophet to be mourned via the general internet, blog sphere and even on Facebook.

The beauty of the internet is that it connects us in ways never before possible. Everyday individuals are now able to express ideas, thoughts and grief along side the public outlets in a way that sends their message to large numbers of individuals.

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Indulgenc.es

My second Facebook application is up. I and Marion built something to help you and your friends enjoy the lighter side of life. Try out Indulgences.

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Have 51weeks feedback?

This morning at the Open Education 2007 conference David Wiley announced our new conference application 51weeks. I wrote the code so if you have any feedback or run into problems feel free to post comments here and we'll get right on it.

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Lunch Provided by the Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday in Logan and I am sure in towns all across the country there is a small market where locals can sell their wares. We are slow an Saturdays so we rarely make it before the market closes at noon. Today however, we finally made it (11:30). Smaller markets filled with locals are a far more interesting and entertaining shopping experience. Instead of walking down isles filled with produce that has been shipped from around the world you talk to the people who grew the stuff you are going to eat. They share recipes and ideas. They are proud of the fact that they grew it and you want it.

The food is healthy and since it didn't require large trucks to move it across several states it is environmentally friendly. The park where they hold the market is filled with bicycles. I have to love that. If there is one close to you I recommend the visit. It is a great community event. The people are friendly. I think if more places were made up of community spaces where people could int...

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Lunch Provided by the Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday in Logan and I am sure in towns all across the country there is a small market where locals can sell their wares. We are slow an Saturdays so we rarely make it before the market closes at noon. Today however, we finally made it (11:30). Smaller markets filled with locals are a far more interesting and entertaining shopping experience. Instead of walking down isles filled with produce that has been shipped from around the world you talk to the people who grew the stuff you are going to eat. They share recipes and ideas. They are proud of the fact that they grew it and you want it.

The food is healthy and since it didn't require large trucks to move it across several states it is environmentally friendly. The park where they hold the market is filled with bicycles. I have to love that. If there is one close to you I recommend the visit. It is a great community event. The people are friendly. I think if more places were made up of community spaces where people could int...

Continue Reading →