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Ma.gnolia rolls out APML support

Added on by Chris Saad.
Ma.gnolia, the web's favorite pure social bookmarking site has launched their APML support today.

They have used Engagd as their APML provider. Engagd made it possible for Ma.gnolia to integrate APML support with a couple of simple API calls. The rest of the text analytics and APML generation is done by our servers.

This is a great day for the cause of DataPortability and the growing ecosystem of tools that respect user rights by allowing us all to export useful attention data from various silos. They join Cluztr, Newsgator and others who have already announced or integrated APML support.

It was a pleasure working with Larry and Todd the Ma.gnolia founders, and I'd also like to thank Chris Messina (fellow DataPortability workgroup member) for the introduction!

For those unfamiliar with APML, here is a blurb from the official APML site.
"APML allows users to share their own personal Attention Profile in much the same way that OPML allows the exchange of reading lists between News Readers. The idea is to compress all forms of Attention Data into a portable file format containing a description of ranked user interests. "
You can learn more about their implementation on their blog.

Facebook launches ClosedSocial

Added on by Chris Saad.
So... instead of out-opening Google's OpenSocial (often referred to as OpenWidgets), Facebook has instead launched a campaign to further distribute their proprietary app platform into other networks. Is this ClosedSocial? Or maybe ClosedWidgets?

Come on guys. This is getting pretty silly.

Chris Messina, a fellow member of the DataPortability workgroup, has the right idea. Blogs are the ultimate social network.
  • There are plenty of tools, but the result is the same - they are tool agnostic
  • They have a friends list (blogroll and registered members)
  • They host and drive conversation (comments)
  • They have all manner of 'apps' built for the sidebar
  • They use the web as their platform
  • They are totally customizable
  • They are totally distributed
  • The activity is aggregated via Techmeme, Technorati and others
  • The list goes on...
Are blogs back? Let's hope so.

Data Portability, User Rights and Best Practices

Added on by Chris Saad.
Following on from yesterday's post about the User Bill of Rights...

All the issues are converging. The commentators are pushing for their rights. The innovators are building the pieces (Microformats, APML, OpenID etc). All that's left is for the aggitators to force the issue.

Chris Messina is my hero. Read his latest post about the bill of rights and the issue of user ownership and control of their user data.

He writes:

In any case, if we’re to make progress on this topic, we also have to understand a) why this kind of portability hasn’t been embraced heretofore and b) how it has been hindered.


I alluded to this earlier, but according to danah boyd, there’s a lot of people who seem really to not mind leaving their profiles (and “internet friends”) behind when they jump sites or — heck — forget their passwords and have to start all over. Is the problem as bad as we, the prolific social networkers with “inhibited manifest destinies”, seem to think it is? Or is this just a problem with the early adopters who have thousands of friends that they seem to think to want to cart around everywhere while they increasingly find themselves with ever-diminishing amounts of time to even “play” social network anymore?

Ah, humbug.

Announcing second intake of participants for the APML Workgroup

Added on by Chris Saad.

Today we are announcing a second intake of participants in the APML Workgroup. APML stands for Attention Profiling Markup Language.

From the website:

APML will allow users to export and use their own personal Attention Profile in much the same way that OPML allows them to export their reading lists from Feed Readers. The idea is to boil down all forms of Attention Data - including Browser History, OPML, Attention.XML, Email etc - to a portable file format containing a description of ranked user interests.

The new participants are:

They join the existing group:

The APML Workgroup is tasked with converting the current specification into an agreed standard.

It has already started its work with a revised spec. More information can be found on the APML website at

We invite all the players in or around the Attention Economy to join us in refining, implementing and evangelizing APML. To join the Workgroup please contact us with your qualifications.
Members of the general public are invited to join the mailing list (via the website) forums or blog to provide feedback.

More about APML
In a world where our online footprints (Attention Data) are measured, dissected, analyzed and used to better target us with content and advertising, APML represents a way for users to take back control of their own Attention Profile.

In order for the study of 'Attention' to evolve into the Attention Economy we must have a way to export, own, trade and assign value to our own Attention Profiles. APML promises to become an important part of the solution and we believe this announcement is a significant milestone in it's development.

Attention Profiles will become our digital fingerprints and will eventually have implications for all aspects of our lives including Media, Business and Lifestyle.

Stay tuned...

My Media Consumption Diet

Added on by Chris Saad.
Jeremiah has started this meme - I follow in his footsteps!

Here is my Media Consumption Diet (most used at top, least used at bottom).

Web: I get most of my web content via RSS. I read my favorite authors and track my information junkie world via FeedDemon because I am one of those people who has to read every single item.

I also (of course) run Touchstone so that I can get an ongoing view of my news while I work. Touchstone also, by virtue of it's "Automatically Find Information For Me" feature regularly finds information first before any of my trusted authors repeat it in the echo-chamber.

Any other web-browsing happens from recommended links from friends. I occasionally check Techmeme for 'what's popular right now'.

I subscribe to 176 Sources directly + The rest of the entire feed universe via Touchstone.

I also get a lot of mainstream news from Newsmap - I have it as an Active Desktop Component on my second minitor - it is amazing.

TV: I am as big a TV junkie as I am a Web/RSS Junkie. I watch too many shows every week (including Daily Show, Colbert Report, Lost, Battlestar Gallactica, Boston Legal and others). I get most of my shows online. The only TV I watch that comes from my cable or over the air is CNN (for real news and weather!!), Fox News for excitement and propaganda and BBC for a more international perspective. I avoid Australian news because it is rarely interesting or significant.

I watch my downloaded TV via Windows Media Center on a TV.

Movies: I used to watch a lot more movies than I do now. With all my TV consumption I have found that my attention span has been reduced to 41 minutes (the time it takes to watch a typical TV show without the ads). I find it mildy disturbing that I get so restless at the 41 minute mark. I often think to myself "A TV episode would be over by now and probably told a more compelling story".

That being said though, I have a long and growing list of landmark movies in my life that I try to convince everyone I meet to watch. I love movies. I get most of my movies from the theatre - some on DVD to play catchup or for what I call "DVD Movies" - movies not worth the cinema experience.

Update Here: Jeremiah asked me to clarify if my TV/Movies were watched 'On Demand' (or as some might call 'Time Shifted'). The answer is 99% yes. I rarely wait for the networks to tell me what to watch and when. In fact, living in Australia - if I did that, I'd never see anything because they would pick up the show 2 seasons late and cancel it after 5 episodes.

Communication: I access my email from either my PC, Tablet or Laptop. I am addicted to my email. I used to route my Gmail through Outlook, but my Outlook 2007 Beta expired and I have been too lazy to re-install it. The result has been amazing. Gmail + Online Office style apps have kept me going for a month now! When I am out I check my Gmail via my i-Mate JasJam Pda/Phone over Telstra Next-G.

I also sit on Skype and MSN/AIM all day (via Trillian). 99% of my communication is done via Skype chats or calls (even to land-lines from skype in and out).

Twitter is a bit of fun also. I started a MySpace account to see how it worked and now people keep adding me as friends. I don't like using it though (maybe that's understating it a little).

Music: I listen to my MP3s mainly. Sometimes when I remember I go to I love music but lately I have not put much emphasis on it.

Magazines: I used to read Time and a few others. But they are always 2 months behind on news. Like Jeremiah I think it's helpful to know when stuff has hit the mainstream but... latley I don't care.

Yes... I am an information addict.

What’s your Media Consumption Diet?
I tag Marjolein, John Tropea, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Chris Messina, Marty Wells and also my contacts at the Media 2.0 workgroup to share how they get their information. Or if you don’t have a blog, leave a comment to your media consumption diet.

The end of arrogance?

Added on by Chris Saad.
Tara, Chris and Ben from CitizenAgency are three of my favorite people in the bay area. During our visit they embodied the positive, insightful and supportive attitude we found there. From offering their office space to connecting us to their friends who could help, they were true champions of community spirit.

Tara recently posted her 2007 Predictions and as usual, they were less about Technology and more about community spirit.

Click through to read the list, but my personal favorite is this:

Those with little humility will have to eat it
What is with the lack of self-reflection in this world? I’m not only talking about the tech world. It happens everywhere. We are not gods, people. We are human. And we screw up. And we don’t know everything. Let’s stop trying to be the tough guy and protecting our sand castles and just work together towards a better world. We all have ego, but it’s knowing how to let it go that makes us great. (Oh…the prediction part of this is that, like Keith Teare’s fabulous De-Portalisation post, we’ll have our niche audiences and mutual respect communities forming while the braggarts/big dogs continue to fight one another to the death…Keith didn’t say it, but I see the parallel. I like living in the foothills).

I have long held a strong personal distaste of arrogance, ignorance and apathy. Listening to someone - especially someone who has passion - not only takes very little time, but could also help you succeed at your own endeavors.

Oh and of course there is the prediction that reinforces our own world view here at Touchstone...

This will be the year of connected desktop apps
Not that web apps won’t continue to be produced like mad…I mean…really…they are so simple to produce, aren’t they? But those beasts of apps (one reader once said, “Code in C++? F&#* that!”) on your desktop will start not only being ‘connected’ to the web, but interacting with it, too.