Quora represents a bigger technology trend, which is the layering of an interest graph on top of people’s social graph

Social Q&A site Quora may be the current darling of Silicon Valley, but not a lot of people beyond the insular tech startup world actually use it yet. That will start to change in 2011, which I believe will be the year Quora has its Twitter moment and start to really take off. Quora represents a bigger technology trend, which is the layering of an interest graph on top of people’s social graph. On Quora, you can follow not only people, but topics and questions. It defines the world by your interests, not just the people you may know or admire. This is a powerful concept and is not limited to Quora (both Twitter and Facebook also want to own the interest graph), but Quora is designed from the ground up to expose and help you explore your interests. It is addictive, and as it reaches a critical mass of early users, this will be the year it emerges from its shell much like Twitter did in 2007.

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What are the innovations for publishers, marketers and developers to grow and engage their communities and drive website visitor time, engagement and traffic?

What are the innovations for publishers, marketers and developers to grow and engage their communities and drive website visitor time, engagement and traffic?
You are welcome to join this discussion on Quora

Some examples:

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What are the best solutions for dealing with information overload?

Beth discovered some wonderful discussion threads about one of her (and my) favorite topics:  Information Overload and Strategies for Coping.  As George Siemens points out the issue of information overload is not new.   His definition of the problem is that it gets in the way of sustained mindfulness in order to get something meaningful done.

What is the solution?  Is it human (habits and skills) or machine (technology/software) or a combination of both?


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ProductDB aims to be the World’s most comprehensive and open source of product data

ProductDB aims to be the World’s most comprehensive and open source of product data. Not only do we want to create a page for every product in the world, we want to connect the underlying structured data together into one huge interlinked dataset. All the data is published as Linked Data

ProductDB follows the principles of Linked Data which encourage interlinking of related datasets. ProductDB appears on the Linking Open Data cloud diagram which illustrates the connections of the Linked Data web.

The following diagram shows the Linked Datasets that ProductDB links to. These links are owl:sameAs declarations indicating that a product or resource in ProductDB can be considered the same as a resource in the target dataset. By following these links, a much more comprehesive description of the product can be obtained.


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URL shortening services give hackers a new entry point

With the explosion of social networking and microblogging services, URL-shortening sites have became more very popular, and many do not require users to register or complete a CAPTCHA graphical challenge-response test. Because domains like Bit.ly and TinyURL are “trusted,” their use allows spammers to evade the typical filters that would otherwise detect and quarantine the messages. What’s more, shortened URLs in tweets and other places are so common that many of us click on them without thinking. Even more sophisticated users who would otherwise recognize a dubious URL don’t think “malware” when seeing a shortened URL in a tweet or Facebook message. (It’s worth noting that some URL-shortening services, including TinyURL, have a preview feature that when enabled shows users where the link will take them.) The problem is becoming a greater concern for IT as more and more users bring their social networking tools and habits to work.

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Content Curation: What features and factors will determine the defacto content curation platform?

Join What features and factors will determine the defacto content curation platform? question. Add your comments, answers and votes.  

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Creator of WebSphere: WebSphere was the biggest technology mistake I ever made

@BBC: What’s the biggest technology mistake you ever made – either at work or in your own life? 

Dr Donald FergusonCreator of WebSphere: When I was at IBM, I started a product called Websphere [which helps companies to operate and integrate business applications across multiple computing platforms]. Because I had come from working on big mission-critical systems, I thought it needs to be scalable, reliable, have a single point of control … I tried to build something like a mainframe, a system that was capable of doing anything, that would be able to do what might be needed in five years. I call it the endgame fallacy. It was too complex for people to master. I overdesigned it. Because we were IBM, we survived it, but if we’d been a start-up, we’d have gone to the wall.

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Content Marketing

Blogging without an audience is merely a public journal. Bloggers are sharing their soul for a greater cause…your attention, your actions, and ultimately, the prospect of circulation. As such, writing is not enough to build desired audiences and desired outcomes. 55% of bloggers, including me, list their blog on Technorati in the attempts to attract a greater array of visitors. As such, a significant number of bloggers use Technorati tags to help boost their posts and blog when visitors search keywords.In general, Social Media Optimization (SMO) remains underestimated. While it’s an extension of SEO, it is none the less as important as SEO…it’s traditional search vs. social search.

It’s also worth noting that no blog is an island. Even with RSS, bloggers take to Twitter and Facebook to help create bridges between social and interest graphs to related content. And, we can’t overlook the act of commenting on other blogs in the hopes for reciprocal traffic.

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The Building Blocks of the Blogosphere

When it comes to technology, blogging is an interesting discussion to host. Traditional blogs require hosting on a “traditional” blogging platform. Accordingly, we see that an overwhelming slice of bloggers host their blog on WordPress, followed by Blogger. It’s safe to assume that next year, we’ll see the rise of a new form of blogging platforms, those dedicated to simplicity with an emphasis on mobility, curation, instant presentation, and community.

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The Web Data Revolution

Data revolution brought with it the risk of confusion, misinterpretation and inaccessibility. How do you know where to look? What is credible or up to date? Official documents are often published as uneditable pdf files for example – useless for analysis except in ways already done by the organisation itself.

@Simon Rogers:
The new world will be a place of answers and no questions, because the only questions left will be answered by computers, because only computers will know what to ask. 
Technical skills and design needed but can be built upon. Not all data is interesting. Need to have a nose for data to learn what will be good for a data driven story. Raw data is just numbers without the design to make it beautiful.

@David McCandless:
You need to see patterns and connections that matter in the data. You need to orientate your audience, take them on a journey. Data is abstract. You need to contextualize to understand what it means. Need to make it relevant. If you make it beautiful/interesting everyone will love it.  We’re saturated with data. Data is the new soil. Visualizations are the earthy blossoms!

@Richard Pope:
These are early days but we can see that journalism is changing.

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