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Goodbye Lee - I want more Seattle BBQs when you get back

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2005-12-09 08:49

Lee's pre Gnomedex BBQ was one of the highlights of the conferences I went to in 2005. For me, it brought together lots of cool people in Seattle as well as the technical creatives who happened to be in town and was magic (magic for informal networking (I loved the videos of me and others by Peter Grondal) and magic because it helped me to get to know Lee and his wife Sachi better).

Kind of what TechCrunch's Mike Arrington started doing shortly afterwards: an informal gathering of technical creatives. More like that please when you get back, Lee! The Seattle (and Vancouver) communities could use regular BBQs like this during our ever so brief non rainy season. Anybody got a nice place in Vancouver (preferably with a backyard plus a basement or somewhere decent to hang should it rain!) where we can do this? I'll organize if you provide the venue! I'd offer our place but we don't have a backyard!

From Common Craft - Social Design for the Web: What I Would Have Written in 2006 (A Goodbye For Now).:


Seattle - I would have continued to document the growth of Seattle as one of the global centers of Web innovation and growth.


HabitatJAM rocked - suggestions to keep the conversation going

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2005-12-03 23:20

Habitat Jam - Only Microsoft IE 6 is welcome

The HabitatJAM, which was a prelude to the World Urban Forum (which will be held in Vancouver in June 2006), rocked! Lots of great discussion, word class experts and the bringing together of people of the world into a fantastic set of discussion forums. Kudos to the organizers for getting the crucial part of this event right; rallying the community and getting them to participate!

The technology used by the HabitatJAM, however, could have been much improved. No RSS (so you couldn't subscribe to forums as they change), content is only visible if you are registered, really long complicated URLs, old school scrolling banners, warnings about only working with IE 6 (even though it seems to work fine in Firefox, etc. Basically, it would have been better if the HabitatJAM tech team had used what I like to call "Web 2.0" for want of a better term even though that term means nothing! Strange to me that Web 2.0 technology wasn't used since IBM is well aware of Web 2.0 technology like RSS and blogging (and I learned about the HabitatJAM from Tapping into the Wisdom of Communities on the blog of IBMer Irving Wladawsky-Berger).

BOTTOM LINE: the fantastic discussions are invisible to search engines which is not good in my opinion. More importantly, the discussion is and will not be not part of the blogosphere and the public web.

But it's not to late to fix it. One simple suggestion: have some discussion leaders (or get volunteers who know the tools AND the discussion areas) to blog, podcast, and videoblog synthesis and analysis about the best of the discussion forums.

Again, as I have said before in connection with helping the Vancouver established media, I'd love to help out for a free coffee and a free lunch :-) (I assume the technology providers (IBM Global Services?) for the HabitatJAM are based in Vancouver since the World Urban Forum will be here) and I can refer you to people who can help you implement a more modern web strategy.

RSS is the real convergence medium

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2005-11-26 16:58

RSS is the real convergence medium; it's already the transport for multi-media on the web. If you want your audio, video or whatever to get circulated and noticed, the best way to to do this is to put a link to it in an RSS feed with enclosures!

People and organizations who don't blog regularly or who have never blogged (like New Media BC and Anasi) are taking up podcasting and videoblogging. As I have written many times, audio and video blogging or podcasting or vlogging or whatever you want to call it will be bigger than text blogging! You don't need a blog when you have an RSS feed with enclosures do you?

Thanks to Dave Winer for inventing the enclosure tag, Adam Curry for solving the last mile problem (automating the transfer to the iPod) and to the bloggers who who popularized RSS. Oh and I guess I should thank Apple for making podcasting mainstream. I don't like Apple's proprietary in origin RSS extensions for iTunes and Apple's lack of community involvement around those extensions (just like I don't like similar actions from M*crosoft) but on the whole I think Apple's done more good than bad here since I doubt late adopters like Anasi or New Media BC would be podcasting and videoblogging without Apple pushing podcasting. (And of course there's nothing wrong with being a late adopter! Go New Media BC go! Go Anasi go!)

Writely allows you to create new docs from Word but not insert into docs

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2005-11-24 13:32

LATER: It was not the Writely folks, it was Christoph Janz of CalendarHub.

The Writely folks (thanks!) left a comment on my Writely doesn't read Word docs post. Yes you can create NEW Writely documents from Word documents but you can't insert Word documents into EXISTING Writely docs. I am sure that's an oversight that will soon be corrected! to introduce RSS, comments and clean URLs?!?

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2005-11-23 11:42

All I want for Christmas from is: full text RSS, comments and clean URLs i.e. Web 2.0 :-) !

From What's new at


Well, we couldn't leave "good enough" alone. So we're revamping our 10 metro newspaper sites and the National Post website, to make them even better for you! There will be a new look, designed to make getting around and finding what you need easier than ever.

The quality of our content will not change, but there will be more of it, including more news, more video, and more discussion groups. We're even adding new features!

Coming soon... a better user experience. Stay tuned for your local newspaper's new website!


How do I upload Word documents into Writely?

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2005-11-22 14:22

Sorry I tried but couldn't find a way to load Word documents from Writely! Is this my bad or has this feature not been turned on yet? Help!

From Writely Embraces the OpenDocument Movement.:


Writely users can upload documents into Writely from Microsoft Word and Sun Microsystems', as well as save the documents back into either of those formats


Writely rocks as long as you don't use nested lists

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2005-10-02 19:59

Just had a great time collaboratively editing over the internet a document using Writely. And it was great until we started using nested ordered lists. Of why oh why can't we have WYSIWYG editors in 2005 that can cope with nested lists properly without b*rking the HTML? Guess we really need a robust collaborative Web Outliner (I know Marc et al are working on it!) Please can I have it yesterday?

From Writely - The Web Word Processor FAQ's.:


Writely allows you to edit documents online with whomever you choose, and then publish and blog them online.

What exactly can I do with it? You can:

  • Upload Word documents, HTML or text (or create documents from scratch).
  • Use our simple WSIWYG editor to format your documents, spell-check them, etc.
  • Invite others to share your documents by e-mail address.
  • Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
  • View your documents' complete revision history and roll back to any version.
  • Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
  • Download documents to your desktop as Word, HTML or zip.
  • Post to your documents to your blog.



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