The Longest Now


“My new idea is… like a Star Wars Convention” – from my dearest friend
Saturday January 05th 2013, 11:26 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,Glory, glory, glory,metrics,popular demand

Now I want to hear more… but I’m bullish on it.



Inviting readers to mercilessly edit Wikipedia
Friday December 21st 2012, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,Not so popular,popular demand,wikipedia

Wikipedia reader are being asked to edit as part of a banner campaign — for the first time since perhaps 2003.
This is being done as part of the Thank You message we send out at the end of a campaign – something we can do quite early this year thanks to a successful fundraiser.

I’ve been pushing for something like this for a couple of years – I think it’s the most important thing we can do to refresh our communities of editors and change the sense readers have of what is and isn’t welcome. I want to see us do this on every project, all throughout the year (eventually combined with the new visual editor, of course; which is truly beautiful).

What do you think?

Here’s what the draft message looks like; suggestions for better wording or other variations are welcome.

Dear Wikipedia Readers: Thank You! Overwhelming support from Wikipedia users let us end our annual fund drive early. Your donations pay for the tools, infrastructure and programs that empower thousands of editors. We would like to introduce you to some of the dedicated volunteers who you empower when you donate. It is our hope that after you read or hear a few of their stories, you’ll want to join them in sharing your knowledge with the world by editing Wikipedia.

You can edit Wikipedia!

  • Create articles. After signing up, you’ll be able to help Wikipedia grow by starting new encyclopedia articles.
  • Add photos and video. Register an account and you can upload your freely licensed images
  • and other media.
  • Become a part of the Wikipedia community. Logging in means all your contributions are attributed to your username, helping you connect with other Wikipedia contributors.

Get started



The White House supports Open Source, sharing Drupal modules it designed
Wednesday December 05th 2012, 1:17 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,international,popular demand

On the power and community of open source, from the WH Blog.

This isn’t written to publish their Drupal code, which they’ve been doing for some time and will continue to do (though they do announce creation of their own space within the Drupal community), it’s primarily about how and when open source is awesome and why it is the way to go for many practices. A great message to send; a small step towards more open tools for society.



George Washington’s political farewell address: such timely advice!
Thursday November 08th 2012, 10:51 am
Filed under: %a la mod,meta,poetic justice,popular demand

The original, and updated to modern lingo.



Bigipedia 2.0 – Britain sends up the wisdom of crowds
Wednesday October 31st 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: citation needed,international,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia

“At last, the long-awaited release of Bigipedia 2.0 – the infallible, ever-present cyberfriend is back! Now with all errors and mistakes.”

Every episode of Bigipedia is worth listening to. From David Tyler and #Pozzitive, via the UK wikivine.



What works, what doesn’t: the greatest lectures online about the Internet
Tuesday October 16th 2012, 10:18 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,metrics,popular demand

By JR, for Michael.



Acrocats unite to face down a blue menace
Thursday September 20th 2012, 12:50 am
Filed under: popular demand

via sebastian.



XOXO Rocked! Honoring togetherness as it transforms the world
Monday September 17th 2012, 3:49 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,popular demand
This sounded amazing when the idea was floated months ago.  And by all accounts that sound catalyzed all who felt similarly to come make the sort of ambiently generative meeting that every physical gathering aspires to be.  A few recaps:


Amanda Palmer on the subtleties of pride for working artists
Sunday September 16th 2012, 9:51 pm
Filed under: gustatory,meta,poetic justice,popular demand

A great multi-sided discussion from the AFP blog, with at least three incompatible views worth considering (and unifying in one moral code, if you’re looking for a challenge).  

How should artists set expectations for how large popular shows and venues play out, when they each draw on dozens of performers, from pick-up –> auditioned one-night –> well-known drop-ins from past collabs –> long-term tour staff?



Dilettantism? No, it’s intellectual vulgarization. -Philippe Charlier
Sunday July 08th 2012, 11:23 am
Filed under: citation needed,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia

Dr. Philippe Charlier, forensic historical sleuth, tries to recreate the life and death of figures throughout history, from his office in Paris. He spends much of his time popularizing his findings. Some in his field criticize this hypervisibility.

Charlier replies: “I want to share everything I know with the greatest number of people. What I do is not dilettantisml; it’s intellectual vulgarization.

(HT to Elaine Sciolino & the Grey Lady)



Re: Sudo make me an Internet
Wednesday July 04th 2012, 12:36 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,poetic justice,popular demand,Rogue content editor,Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day!

A few good pieces on the Declaration of Internet Freedom:
* Christian Science Monitor: The Internet needs its own ‘declaration of independence’
* Forbes: Freshly-Minted Declaration of Internet Freedom Demands ‘Free and Open Internet’
* ABC News: For July 4, a Declaration of Internet Freedom
* And an excellent, long piece by The Verge: How the net’s minutemen plan to protect the future

And ACTA was just rejected by the EU Parliament:
* Controversial anti-piracy agreement rejected by EU

Kudos to everyone involved in that turnaround.



Es Werde Lichtstrom! Germany runs on solar for 2 full hours
Monday May 28th 2012, 8:09 pm
Filed under: Glory, glory, glory,international,metrics,popular demand

The German solar power grid is among the world’s densest and fastest-growing. They have doubled their capacity for each of the last 10 years, and currently average 25% of all their power from the sun.

This has so far led to a 10% drop in the average price of power on their electricity exchange, thanks to the institution of “merit order” power supply: in which the lowest marginal-cost power is used first at any given moment. However the tremendous growth and success of solar power means they will soon have to cope with an unusual problem for modern national energy grids: storing excess renewable power. (Spain and Portugal have faced similar surplusses thanks to their tremendous wind power grids.)

They recently hit a few milestones: they set the world record for national solar generation (22GW), meeting fully half of the national energy demand. And for two hours, around midday Saturday, their solar output exceeded the national energy demand for the first time, for two hours.

National power data (GW): wind, solar, total demand

I’d like to see more detailed data on all of this. The annual doubling of solar generation is fantastic and must involve extensive retooling of many subsidiary systems and capacity networks. How centralized/localized are those solar sources? Some data sources say national power production in Germany averages close to 70GW year-round, others claim a peak power draw of 50GW in the winter.

I’d also like to hear more about the limits of pumped energy storage and other uses of excess generated power. We could certainly generate an annual energy surplus for the planet if we tried to; but where’s that market in energy futures, and how much of an energy reservoir could we build up? What are other denser, more robust long-term ways to store power?



Ken Liu gets his due: The Paper Menagerie snags a Nebula!
Sunday May 20th 2012, 3:53 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,Glory, glory, glory,poetic justice,popular demand

Congratulations to my friend Ken Liu, phosphorescent fiction shaper whose story “The Paper Menagerie” won a Nebula Award for Best Short Story last night! Next stop: the Hugos (chosen by the Chicon 7 attendees :)).



G8 Crisis Snapshot
Sunday May 20th 2012, 3:40 am
Filed under: %a la mod,international,popular demand

Can you tell what these vaunted leaders were watching?
(Hint: You should be able to guess down to the second).



The Chaos: update
Saturday May 19th 2012, 9:34 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,meta,popular demand,Uncategorized

Spurred by a discussion of language learning and pronunciation, I revisited my favorite English-language poem this weekend: Gerard Nolst Trenité’s “Dearest Creature In Creation” (a.k.a. “English Pronunciation”, or “The Chaos”). I cleaned up my composite version, fitting in most of the remaining couplets that have appeared in one of the author’s revisions, marking where the various versions start to diverge, and adding pronunciation notes for a few more words.

If you haven’t read it recently, it’s worth a few minutes of your time. And if someone with a melodious voice feels like recording a reading of it, that would be a boon.
Update: Jacob Rus points me to this recording he made of a different version of the poem. Awesome! A British version would be grand too.

Finally, which rhymes with enough:
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough
Hiccough has the sound of ‘sup‘ …
My advice is: give it up!



Learning, freedom, and the Web
Wednesday May 02nd 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: meta,popular demand,Uncategorized,wikipedia

In late 2010, the Carnegie Foundation convened a few discussions leading up to the first Drumbeat Festival.  I took part in the last of those, and my detailed notes from the meeting are finally up on the Mozilla wiki.   Our discussions from the day have aged fairly well; covering critical issues about learning, the web, and the importance of being free to learn online.   We had a varied group of technologists, educators, hackers, and foundations trying to solve these issues.

Some of the projects mentioned there have already borne fruit, most notably Drumbeat itself; others are seed for good future efforts still waiting to be planted in fertile soil.  While I wish I had a universal projects platform/database where each seed could be broken out for improvement over time — until that exists, detailed notes are at least a world-archived first step.  Enjoy!



Malagasy, Yoruba, and Amharic wikipedias are growing rapidly
Sunday April 29th 2012, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,international,popular demand,wikipedia

A few updates from the African-language Wikipedias, courtesy of Ian Gilfillan’s blog. [HT to Don Osborn]

The last year has seen tremendous growth in Malagasy, Yoruba, Amharic. Malagasy is a popular language among linguists and historians, who make great Wikipedians; and both Yoruba and Amharic have extensive historical literary cultures.

Swahili and Afrikans projects are still quite solid, but their growth has slowed somewhat. And among the very small languages, Setswana grew from almost nothing to over 400 articles as well, thank to the Tswana Wikipedia challenge suppoted by Google. So if you have been looking for an afrophone wiki to get involved with, now is a great time to start.




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