Archives for Weblogs

Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind

Draft 1.1 for Review (integrates some fixes from readers)
Nova Spivack (


This article presents some thoughts about the future of intelligence on Earth. In particular, I discuss the similarities between the Internet and the brain, and how I believe the emerging Semantic Web will make this similarity even greater.… Read More “Minding the Planet: From Semantic Web to Global Mind”

New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net



Many people have requested this graph and so I am posting my latest version of it. The Metaweb is the coming “intelligent Web” that is evolving from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web. The Metaweb is starting to emerge as we shift from a Web focused on information to a Web focused on relationships between things — what I call “The Relationship Web” or the “Relationship Revolution.”… Read More “New Version of My "Metaweb" Graph — The Future of the Net”

Latest Stats on the Blogosphere…

Dave reports that Technorati broke the “2 million weblogs tracked milestone” today. He states that there are about 12,000 new weblogs created per day now, and about 150,000 weblog updates per day and growing.

Ads Moving to Weblogs… Ad Space on My Site for Sale

Advertising moves to Weblogs. It had to happen eventually. Now that we’re on the subject, let me know if you want to advertise on this site.

Critical Comparison of Existing Social Network Sites

This is a very well thought-out critical review of the pros and cons of various social networking sites. Full of insights for those of us in the biz.

Nice Illustration of How News Travels Across the Metaweb

This is a really good article with a cool illustration of how news moves across the Metaweb. Definitely take a look at it.

As I predicted .. Lifelogs are coming…

I call it a Lifelog — Nokia calls it a “Lifeblog” (my terminology is better) — but it’s the same idea — a log of all the stuff you experience — your whole life, blogged and online. OK but the key is to make sure I can keep my lifeblog private — or at least parts of it private!… Read More “As I predicted .. Lifelogs are coming…”

Taming RSS

Tristan posted a nice article about better ways to manage RSS today (reproduced here with his exact wording, typos and all, since my policy is not to edit other people’s words)…

2004 is obviously the year of RSS, with article popping up left and right in mainstream publications.

Read More “Taming RSS”

An RSS Feed Tool I Would Like

It would be cool if there was a way to automatically make and serve an RSS feed from my daily IE history — this feed would be a running stream of every URL I look at every day. It would be generated by a little floating utility on my desktop.… Read More “An RSS Feed Tool I Would Like”

Blogging by the Numbers

Here are some good stats on the size of the blogosphere.

From Application-Centric to Data-Centric Computing: The Metaweb

One of the big changes that will be enabled by the coming Metaweb is the shift from application-centric computing to data-centric computing. As the Metaweb evolves, information will be imbued with increasingly sophisticated metadata. HTML provides metadata about formatting and links.… Read More “From Application-Centric to Data-Centric Computing: The Metaweb”

The Metaweb is Coming… See this Diagram…

This diagram (click to see larger version) illustrates why I believe technology evolution is moving towards what I call the Metaweb. The Metaweb is emerging from the convergence of the Web, Social Software and the Semantic Web.


Blogging Study Stats Released

The Internet and American Life Project found that between 2 and 7 percent of Americans have weblogs, and about 10 percent of them update their blogs regularly. 11 Percent of surfers reported visiting blogs. The study was a random telephone survey of 1,555 Internet users with a 3 percent margin of error.

The Pattern of Social Technology Evolution

Here is my strategic outlook on the evolution of online technologies: past, present and future. Please see the table below. Commentary follows the table…









The Net


Desktop Publishing


Phone, Fax, Email

Database Applications

BBS’s & On-line

Phone, Fax, Early EDI



The Web


Web Publishing & Web Sites


PIM’s, E-mail & IM,
Phone, Fax

Groupware, KM, and Intranets

Web Portals

Web Stores & Marketplaces



The Metaweb


Weblogs & RSS


(“Microcontent” and “Personal

E-Mail, Webmail, IM, VOIP, Video
Conferencing & Web Conferencing

Wikis, Decentralized
Collaboration & Semantic Webs

Social Networks & “Friendsware

XML Web Services & Web Services Exchanges




The Semantic Web

K-logs, Lifelogs & Personal



Microcontent becomes primary enterprise KM medium.

Read More “The Pattern of Social Technology Evolution”

Desktop Social Networking Apps Are not Defensible

Before you invest time, content, relationships or money in any desktop social software play, be forewarned, this idea is already “old hat” and there already several apps out there that combine social networking, chat, and community features. Note that here I am placing emphasis on “desktop” — my point is not to malign social networking in general, but rather to reveal the weaknesses of any business model that is focused around trying to make money from a desktop software tool for social networking.… Read More “Desktop Social Networking Apps Are not Defensible”

Semantic Web Officially Approved by W3C

Huge news for the Semantic Web — the W3C has officially approved the RDF and OWL specs.

Distributed Social Software

Ran across this paper on some ideas for distributed, peer-to-peer social software. It’s a very nice overview of some of the main ideas and benefits of a decentralized model for social networking, and also touches on Semantic Web topics. Interestingly the author has hit upon many of the major themes in Radar Networks’ platform — which implements the functionality that he proposes and more.… Read More “Distributed Social Software”

"Ego-Surfing" Alert: What is Wrong with Technorati?

Every time I use technorati I get different results on queries for my blog. Yesterday it said there were 512 inbound links. Today it says 90. Last week it said 88. The number of inbound blogs keeps going up and down too.… Read More “"Ego-Surfing" Alert: What is Wrong with Technorati?”

Warning: Graphic. Horrible News Coming out of North Korea…

I read today with disgust further testimonials of shocking atrocities from defectors from the Gulags in North Korea. If you aren’t aware of the situation, you should be. Perhaps more than any other nation today, North Korea is engaged in systematic, large-scale human rights abuses — in particular, as the above cited news report alleges — chemical weapons experiments on living prisoners, including experiments on entire families.… Read More “Warning: Graphic. Horrible News Coming out of North Korea…”

Calculating the Maximum Effective Size of a Social Network?

Dave Douglas has asked an interesting question about my article about Some Hypothetical Laws of Social Networks, which I am excerpting here because I think it is a worthwhile thread to follow-up on:

Monday, January 26, 2004

Just read Nova Spivack’s attempt at some Laws for Social Networking.

Read More “Calculating the Maximum Effective Size of a Social Network?”

Humor: How to Spam Me More Effectively

Dear Spammers, If you want to send me spam and have me actually look at it, please try to keep the following helpful hints in mind:

– Never send me a message with a blank subject line or only “Re:” or “(no subject),” “hi there” or “Free” + [anything] in the subject line.… Read More “Humor: How to Spam Me More Effectively”

Semantic Social Networks

Josh Kirschenbaum has some interesting ideas about a different way to constructing a social network.

Instead of a LinkedIn (or any other system) style of listing everyone I know, and everyone who knows who I know- it shows a list of other nodes that I am strongly connected to.

Read More “Semantic Social Networks”

USPTO Grants California Lawyer Patent to Entire WWW Naming Scheme

Do you know about United States Patent No. 6,671,714? You should. The patent, recently granted to one Frank Weyer of Beverly Hills, California, grants the patent holder full rights to:A method for assigning URL’s and e-mail addresses to members of a group comprising the steps of: assigning each member of said group a URL of the form “name.subdomain.domain”;

Read More “USPTO Grants California Lawyer Patent to Entire WWW Naming Scheme”

Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?

Hello all, I have been thinking about the general problems of social networks on the Internet. It occurs to me that these issues are closely related to digital physics. For more on digital physics see the work of Ed Fredkin, Stephen Wolfram, Norman Margolus, Tomasso Toffoli, and other pioneers of the field of cellular automata.… Read More “Graph Automata — What Can Social Networks Teach us About Underlying Physical Laws?”

Optimization of Social Network Architectures Using Tiling Rules

Here’s an interesting follow-up thought on my suggestion of some Hypothetical Laws of Social Networks.

What if in fact there is an entirely new way to design social networks, based on the mathematics of tilings? A tiling is a method of filling a space with geometric shapes.… Read More “Optimization of Social Network Architectures Using Tiling Rules”

More on Auto-Caching of URL's on Weblogs: Need for a New Service and API

I blogged about this earlier, but here are some new thoughts about how it should work.

I would like my Weblog provider to auto-cache every URL I link to from my blog. When I put a URL into the content of a posting, my Weblog engine should strip it out and replace it with an intermediary URL.… Read More “More on Auto-Caching of URL's on Weblogs: Need for a New Service and API”

The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"

Thanks to the recent mushrooming of social networking systems, I am starting to experience a new problem that I call “social overload.” Now that I am connected to the world via LinkedIn, Ryze, Plaxo, Orkut, and Typepad, as well 6 different IM systems, and several email accounts, I am finding that an increasing amount of my time is spent on “relationship maintenance” tasks like approving or declining relationship and referral requests.… Read More “The Emerging Problem of "Social Overload"”

More Info on Orkut

My friend Richard Soderberg has contacted me to provide more information about what Orkut actually is and who is behind it. According to Richard…

Orkut is the first name of a programmer at Google. Orkut, as part of the standard employee contract, must dedicate 20% of his at-work time to personal projects.

Read More “More Info on Orkut”

10 Reasons Why RSS Isn't Ready for Primetime…

Here’s an interesting thread on some shortcomings of RSS that’s making it’s way around the Metaweb at the moment. I would add a number of other weaknesses of RSS — chief among them is that RSS lacks formal semantics and is mainly suitable for describing very simple unstructured data such as Weblog postings.… Read More “10 Reasons Why RSS Isn't Ready for Primetime…”

Google Launches Social Networking Site

Google has quietly launched a social networking site called Orkut. Currently it appears to be semi-stealth. Here is a detailed article about what is known about it so far. Looks like Google really did want Friendster.