Why learn to program

In the post “Why learning to code makes my brain hurt”, Mamie Rheingold explains why it is essential for all of us to learn to code.  I agree.  However, it always makes my brain hurt too.

How a 1930's theory explains the economics of the internet: Ronald Coase discovered “transaction costs” in the 1930s and it looks like his insight explains the extraordinary success of firms that take advantage of the Internet in their business model.

Importance of Context in Metadata

Listen to this podcast on the importance of metadata in big data.   We need to be able to use metadata to find the valuable pieces of data within large datasets.  Users need to be confident of the data and the context that metadata adds provides users to understand the information.   Interpretation of big data requires an explicit understanding of metadata.

Importance of Context in Metadata

I am rereading Ambient Findability by Peter Morville for a course that I am facilitating at the Information and Knowledge Strategy Program at Columbia University.  I search around for addtional material on the book and Peter Morville and found this video of his talk to Google Tech Talks.   This is a great presentation and adds deeper insight into Peter's findability comments and the book.


Overcoming resistance to change

This is a great little video on the causes and solutions to resistance to change in organizations.   It is quite simple, but logical and makes a compelling point.
This post is slightly off topic for this blog, but I need help.  What is the best way for me to develop and embed a gallery in a Movable Type site.  My wife's site is http://www.bfelt.com.  We would like to present a gallery of my wife's work, rather than just slide shows. I want to present a more graphic site than we currently present with more dramatic pictures of the work.  Since it is in Movable Type I would like the best options for that platform.  What are your best recommendations?
Clay Shirky in his recent post "The Collapse of Complex Business Models", describes a well known business concept: substitution  Companies always face the threat of substitute products and this is what is happening in media.  Substitution, as Michael Porter describes in his book "Competitive Advantage: Creating and sustaining superior performance" is one of the "five competitive forces determining the profitability of an industry." A complex business model is unsustainable in an environment in which the economics have changed so completely.  We have created a new delivery infrastructure for media and traditional media companies need to asses how big a threat YouTube and other delivery channels are to their current business.

I suggest that those interested in this change in customer behavior, reread Michael Porter to become familiar with "relative value" of products, the "changing role of the user", the buyer's propensity to substitute" and the S-shaped substitution curve, for greater insight into how industry changes and how competitors succeed or fail when challenged.

This video provides an excellent and simple introduction to the Semantic Web and at the end provides links to additional sites for more information.  Since I am working in text analysis and exploring how to add metadata, taxonomy, and more descriptive data to content this is very helpful.  Manu Sporny is the co-chair of the RDFa working group at the World Wide Web Consortium. Interestingly, �RDFa helps bloggers and website authors make their web pages smarter by adding machine-readable information to a site. RDFa gives hints to web browsers, which give people more options when interacting with a web page. RDFa enables new interactions such as automatically adding people to address books, adding events to personal calendars, getting directions to a place described by RDFa, or searching online bookstores for a book marked up using RDFa.��

I finally figured out how to make this little application work and it is really cool.  Once you install the Synergy+ app on your main computer and install the same app on your other computers, you can share one mouse and keyboard between multiple machines! 

Interesting features include:

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

I am always inspired by the simplicity of Agile software development concepts.  From my perspective, the constant conversation with the customer makes this process work.  It was written in 2001 but is still relevant and it takes a lot of work to get good at it.