on the threshold of confluence Steinn Eldjárn Sigurðarson CELSTEC 2009
Evolution (1/3) users SYSTEMS >
Evolution (1/3) few users fewer systems low interoperability not very connected at all limiting factors: basic connections
Evolution (2/3) users SYSTEMS >
Evolution (2/3) <ul><li>more users </li></ul><ul><li>more systems </li></ul><ul><li>data flowing a little bit better betwe...
Evolution (3/3) < SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS users users users users users users users users users users
Evolution (3/3) <ul><li>today. </li></ul><ul><li>a lot of users </li></ul><ul><li>a lot of systems  </li></ul><ul><li>prop...
That's a lot of data.. <ul><li>multiple e-mail addresses </li></ul><ul><li>multiple blogs </li></ul><ul><li>multiple socia...
So what changed? <ul><ul><ul><li>(since web 1.0) </li></ul></ul></ul>
What changed.. <ul><li>New limiting factors: user's time and  preference </li></ul><ul><li>Old limiting factors: systems a...
Systems compete for users Users migrate Hundreds of types of systems Thousands of instances
Is this some kind of problem? Does this mean anything? Is this some kind of problem? It sounds pretty great to have all th...
Yes it is a “problem” How do I access all my data? How do I make sure the people I work with see the data I want them to s...
How have we attempted to solve this problem? Mostly from a system perspective: Ontologies and standards (SCORM, LOM, IMS-*...
But what has been most effective? Good, old, underrated RSS!  (and HTTP) Why? Because it's SIMPLE!
What do the following things have in common? e-mail blogs forums instant messages status updates ...
(some) Shared characteristics created by intended for title and/or description time of creation/modification usually part ...
How are we trying to exploit this? Three dimensions: Target (person/group) Content size Item mean time
Dynamically typing feeds?
FeedBack (spec) <ul><li>Simple specification for push-based feed updates (& advertising). </li></ul><ul><li>Specifies: </l...
FeedBack (cont.) <ul><li>Implementations ready for </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress, Moodle, Scuttle </li></ul><ul><li>Interest...
Thanks.. <ul><li>Thanks to: </li></ul><ul><li>Fridolin Wild (Open University UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Zuzana Bizonova (Žilins...
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Threshold Of Confluence

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My presentation at the Media Ecologies Workshop 2009, at Salford University in Manchester. A short presentation where I attempt to explain briefly a practical approach to interoperability, based on gradual adoption of supplementary standards which do not assume or attempt to "predict the unpredictable", but rather acknowledge the internet software landscape as a complex system where the reasonable course of action is to "expect the unexpected".

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  • Instead of systems, or their physical limitations in connectivity, being the limiting factors, the user&apos;s time and requirements rule the roost. As opposed to systems being few, users using whatever they can have, now users have choice, and a system without users is inherently worthless ( Metcalfe&apos;s law ).
  • So the user&apos;s requirements are now shaping the world -- systems compete to prove their worth to users, and every year new systems come along, and users migrate. Remember Friendster? No? What about MySpace? Yes? ... Wikipedia lists over 170 different social networking sites, some more specialized than others, out of which I have participated in: Advogato, Facebook, Friendster, Gogoyoko, Hi5, Hyves, Last.fm, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ning, Orkut, Plaxo, Twitter, XING... fourteen different social networking sites/systems, just me.
  • How we have tried to solve this in the past... webservices, huge standards (LOM, SCORM, LMS-* .. in my field..) ... somehow this is still a problem, data doesn&apos;t flow between systems... or does it? ... another previously mentioned &amp;quot;solution&amp;quot; to this problem is to flood people&apos;s e-mail boxes with system notifications, this is a solution which unfortunately doesn&apos;t scale very well.
  • everybody supports RSS, even normal users are starting to understand and knowingly benefit from feeds. System developers like it because it&apos;s simple, but what makes it simple?
  • Threshold Of Confluence

    1. 1. on the threshold of confluence Steinn Eldjárn Sigurðarson CELSTEC 2009
    2. 2. Evolution (1/3) users SYSTEMS >
    3. 3. Evolution (1/3) few users fewer systems low interoperability not very connected at all limiting factors: basic connections
    4. 4. Evolution (2/3) users SYSTEMS >
    5. 5. Evolution (2/3) <ul><li>more users </li></ul><ul><li>more systems </li></ul><ul><li>data flowing a little bit better between systems: </li></ul><ul><li>search engines, e-mail, basic groupware </li></ul><ul><li>limiting factors: systems (software) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Evolution (3/3) < SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS SYSTEMS users users users users users users users users users users
    7. 7. Evolution (3/3) <ul><li>today. </li></ul><ul><li>a lot of users </li></ul><ul><li>a lot of systems </li></ul><ul><li>proportionally, every user engaging in several different systems </li></ul><ul><li>limiting factors: time, usefulness </li></ul>
    8. 8. That's a lot of data.. <ul><li>multiple e-mail addresses </li></ul><ul><li>multiple blogs </li></ul><ul><li>multiple social networks </li></ul><ul><li>wiki's </li></ul><ul><li>google docs </li></ul><ul><li>collaborative softwares </li></ul><ul><li>where do I spend my time? </li></ul>
    9. 9. So what changed? <ul><ul><ul><li>(since web 1.0) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    10. 10. What changed.. <ul><li>New limiting factors: user's time and preference </li></ul><ul><li>Old limiting factors: systems and their possibilities </li></ul><ul><li>As opposed to systems being few & users using whatever they can have, now users have choice, and a system without users is inherently worthless (Metcalfe's law). </li></ul>
    11. 11. Systems compete for users Users migrate Hundreds of types of systems Thousands of instances
    12. 12. Is this some kind of problem? Does this mean anything? Is this some kind of problem? It sounds pretty great to have all this choice actually...?
    13. 13. Yes it is a “problem” How do I access all my data? How do I make sure the people I work with see the data I want them to see? What happens when I want to move all my data somewhere else?
    14. 14. How have we attempted to solve this problem? Mostly from a system perspective: Ontologies and standards (SCORM, LOM, IMS-* in education) SOA and web-services (SOAP, XML-RPC, REST)
    15. 15. But what has been most effective? Good, old, underrated RSS! (and HTTP) Why? Because it's SIMPLE!
    16. 16. What do the following things have in common? e-mail blogs forums instant messages status updates ...
    17. 17. (some) Shared characteristics created by intended for title and/or description time of creation/modification usually part of a stream/feed/list
    18. 18. How are we trying to exploit this? Three dimensions: Target (person/group) Content size Item mean time
    19. 19. Dynamically typing feeds?
    20. 20. FeedBack (spec) <ul><li>Simple specification for push-based feed updates (& advertising). </li></ul><ul><li>Specifies: </li></ul><ul><li>feedback.offer(sub_uri, targ_uri) </li></ul><ul><li>feedback.request(sub_uri, token) </li></ul><ul><li>feedback.notify(data/uri, token) </li></ul>
    21. 21. FeedBack (cont.) <ul><li>Implementations ready for </li></ul><ul><li>WordPress, Moodle, Scuttle </li></ul><ul><li>Interested in writing one? We have some docs and a validator :-) </li></ul>
    22. 22. Thanks.. <ul><li>Thanks to: </li></ul><ul><li>Fridolin Wild (Open University UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Zuzana Bizonova (Žilinská univerzita) </li></ul><ul><li>(and others.. sorry) </li></ul>

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