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Robert Scoble on “Revolutionary” Apps that Fuse TV, Streaming and the iPad

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Scoble claims AirPlay will be on par with the advent of RSS.

Oddly enough, when I first got an iPad my first thought was to find a way to stream it through an LCD projection system at work through our network ( giving the IT department much cause for amusement). Now I am wondering if the AppleTV device and/or AirPlay will get this idea off the ground….

Comments from the technophile-geek portion of the readership are cordially invited.

Obscurely Related but Interesting Nonetheless

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Time to juxtapose.

Dr. John Nagl at Democracy Journal Intellectual Firepower New threats require new think tanks

….He proposes, instead, creating a Federally Funded Research and Development Corporation, or FFRDC, dedicated to thinking about the Islamic terror threat in the same way that RAND thought about the Soviet nuclear threat. Stevenson suggests the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a model. It is undeniably a good and long-overdue idea, with likely payoffs hugely exceeding the few hundred million dollars such an organization would cost the taxpayer every year. But beyond the basics, Stevenson is working from the wrong mould. RAND was so influential not least because it was the brains behind an enormously large and powerful set of muscles called the Strategic Air Command, where peace was a profession and war just a hobby; DARPA provides thinking that feeds the mammoth U.S. defense industry. Stevenson’s proposed think tank would need similar need bone and muscle. But unlike the Strategic Air Command or the Department of Defense, the muscle we need today would motivate soft power, rather than hard steel.

It is not for me, a scribbler in a think tank, to denigrate the idea of creating another one. In fact, an underreported cause of the recent turnaround in Iraq has been General David Petraeus’ creation of his own brain trust consisting of many of the military’s brightest strategic thinkers on the challenges of insurgency [See Rachel Kleinfeld, “Petraeus the Progressive,” on page 107 of this issue]. If Petraeus could do so much on his own, just with thinkers he knew personally, imagine what the nation could do with a call to service by a president who valued thinking hard about problems?

I’m certainly in favor of a foreign policy DARPA – glad the wonks are catching up to my early, amateurish, efforts at blogging – and I also agree that a “new kind of think tank” is in order too. Hopefully these ideas that originated in the blogosphere will gain currency and become a reality before 2016  or 2020. 🙂

Rialtas.Net -Government 2.0Stigmergic Collaboration

I have just finished reading Mark Elliot’s PHD dissertation entitled “Stigmergic Collaboration- A Theoretical Framework for Mass Collaboration” and I found it to be inspiring and profound.

This is one of the most scientific and rigorous examinations of mass collaboration and social networking technologies and their interactions that I have come across, and I highly recommend reading it. In fact reading this paper has reinforced my interest in 2.0 technologies and my view that they are just the beginning of a new mode of working and of communicating. In fact I am now totally fascinated by research in the area of stigmergy and emergence, thank you Mark.

One element covered by Elliot (and I hope he will correct me if I am misinterpreting him) is that the whole web 2.0 collaborative technology framework is an human emergent (stigmergic) structure, emerging spontaneously through the simple actions and interactions of many individuals self-organising and evolving more complex structures as the social and technological conditions necessary for these types of structure to emerge become more prevalent (just as termite mounds and ant hills arise out of the simple behaviour of individual insects). This is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the web and collaborative work (and of course collaborative art, and entertainment, and play…)

Dr. Mark Elliot’s blog is here, just FYI. Seems to be on hiatus.

Collaborative learning and organizational/collective learning are going to be the “next big thing” on the horizon, leaping off of the Web 2.0 tech community, epitomized by figures like Clay Shirky, Jason Calcanis, Scobleizer and Howard Rheingold ( who has a book on the works on this very subject or related to this subject). I’ve previously linked to “Minds on Fire” by John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler; if you have not read it, you should. They are on target.

The obscure tie in here is that Dr. Nagl had  issued a strong, even passionate, call to rebuild the military as “learning organizations” at the the end of his excellent book Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Becoming a “learning organization” (sometimes called a “Professional Learning Community” by educational wonks or a “Community of Practice” by techies and thought leader types) is dependent on organizational philosophy, not Web 2.0 technology but the tech is what gives social/collaborative/organizational learning the high octane of asynchronicity and the lowering of barriers to entry, distance and cost.

wikinomic , “medici effect“world is coming.

Depth, Breadth and Velocity

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed John Hagel’s post Stupidity and the Internet where he analyzed the implications of the book vs. snippet debate initiated by Nick Carr’s  Atlantic article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”. Hagel properly broadened the debate away from content format to encompass the social sphere:

But if the concern is about intelligence, thinking and the mind, then isn’t content just one small piece of the puzzle?  Nick and many of the digerati who line up against Nick have one thing in common – they are content junkies.  They consume content voraciously and care deeply about the form that content takes. 

In the heat of debate, they seemed to often lose sight of the fact that most people are not content junkies.  Most people use the Internet as a platform to connect with each other.  Sure, they are exchanging information with each other, but they are doing a lot more than that.  They are learning about each other. They are finding ways to build relationships that expand their understanding of the world and enhance their ability to succeed in their professions and personal lives.

I’m going to back the discussion up a half-step by pointing out that these online relationships are often, initially of a transactional nature. Information is being exchanged and the kind of information used as a “hook” to capture attention may be determinative to the trajectory the social relationship may take and the rate of information exchanged may determine if the social connection can be sustained. To simplify, we are discussing Depth, Breadth and Velocity of information:


Books, journal articles, blog posts and Twitter “tweets” ( 140 character microblogging) could have their relative informational and transactional qualities be represented on a simple graph. Books have the greatest potential depth but the least level of timely, qualitatively reciprocal, informational transaction for the author ( primarily gained from the relationship with the editor or a “sounding board” colleague). Peer review journals are next, with a narrow community of experts sanctioning the merit of the article or rejecting it for deficiencies that put the work below or outside the field’s recognized professional standards. Blog posts can potentially generate an enormous volume of feedback, though at the cost of a dramatically inferior “signal to noise ratio“. Microblogging services like Twitter have hyperkinetic transaction rates but unless used strategically ( for example, by Robert Scoble) or within an existing social network, they generate little other than useless noise.

Attention can be attracted by a clever “snippet” – particularly if the concept itself has ambiguity or nuance that would intrigue more people than if it were precisely defined – but the attention will not be held unless the author can sustain the flow of interesting material, something that requires depth of knowledge about a subject.  Even better is to have depth in a subject along with breadth, the ability to think horizontally across many domains to spot emergent patterns, construct powerful analogies and distill a meaningful synthesis. In turn, pulling a willing audience of useful collaborators into a relationship around such intellectual pursuits hinges on first gaining their attention with a comprehensible simplification of complex abstractions and exhibiting a willingness to interact on a reciprocal basis.

It’s not a case here of “Books vs. Google”. Depth, breadth and velocity of information are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

Saturday, March 24th, 2007


Relaying information from my friends in the tech world:

Both Critt Jarvis and Dave Davison are very high on Robert Scoble’s new “networked book” Naked Conversations. As I am out of my element here, I’ll refer you to their substantial investments in things Scoble:

Lunching with Scoble ” – Davison.

Skinny Dippin’ in Naked Conversations” – Jarvis.

As blogger will not let me put Critt’s summative Scoble grazr in a post for whatever reason, I may put it in the margin tonight to temporarily replace the old one where the feeds were axed the other day.

Also have to check out this Twitter thing and add it to LinkedIn, which I am already using as a contact and social networking tool.


WIKINOMICS-another “Networked” book example

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