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Making an Index of the 300 Top Geoblogs – Who Have We Missed?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

If I had my choice in the matter, I would just sit around and read blogs about geotechnology all day.  It’s one of my very favorite topics.  I don’t get to do that, but I do track the sector for coverage of unusually interesting news to cover on the general interest site I co-edit, ReadWriteWeb.

To that end, using a somewhat complex process I came up with some time ago, and with the help of former RWW research intern and geo-nerd Justin Houk, we put together the following collection of nearly 300 blogs covering geotechnology.  Then we ran these puppies through Postrank to track the most-talked-about posts from across the geotechnology blogosphere.  We track those, along with the most-talked-about posts from across a number of other niche topics, to find cool news for nerds.

One of the features that Postrank offers is ranking the blogs in any collection by the amount of reader and social media engagement their posts receive. (Comments, inbound links, Tweets, delicious saves, etc.)  That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  I thought it could be a cool way to help discover up and coming blogs that readers might not know about and more.  I also liked the way that Postrank showed how rankings changed week over week.

So I thought I’d blog about it!  Forgive me if this seems presumptuous (I can’t claim to be an expert in this field) – but it’s the robots doing the ranking!  What I ask of you, site visitor is this:  who am I missing?  Speak up, now or whenever, and I’ll add your georelated blog to the index.

I plan to make a weekly posting on ReadWriteWeb about the top geo blogs, the top movers (up and down, with a caveat or two) and probably some selected articles that were big hits.  I’m planning on doing the same thing with the top several hundred blogs in other topics we love at ReadWriteWeb: Internet of Things, Big and Structured Data, maybe education technology, we’ll see.

I’ve been wanting to figure out a good way to do this for awhile, but tonight I learned how to pull data from Postrank using Needlebase (which I love). Want to see quickly if your blog is included in the following list of 300? Control-F should help you search this page for your blog’s name. Let me know in comments if it needs to be added.

For now, let’s start with geotech. This is a fun list, but let me know who ought to be on it and isn’t.

Post of the Day: Location Privacy and Why It’s Legally Different

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Kevin Pomfret, Executive Director of the Centre for Spatial Law and Policy, wrote a very good overview post last week about privacy law concerns with regard to location technology.  The overview is written from a clearly pro-technology perspective, but in a legalistic tone.  Pomfret cautions lawmakers not to create overly broad privacy laws covering location technology, at the cost of innovation.  Check it out:

Location data is just now being used to provide a growing number of critical governmental, societal and business services. The number and value of these services are increasing daily. Attempting to regulate the collection of location data without a full understanding of the technology and its vast potential could have a number of unintended consequences, including limiting the development of a number of critical governmental services. Such opportunity costs should be fully understood and explored before regulating location from a privacy standpoint. In addition, any such legislation should be narrowly tailored so as not to inhibit further growth of this important technology.

via Spatial Law and Policy: Location Privacy – Why It Is Different!.

I think the whole post is quite well articulated, and I agree with the sentiment.  What do you think?

More Beautiful Location Data Made More Beautiful

Filed under: News — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Some geo data related links I found interesting tonight in a Friday night reading a geo Twitter list in Flipboard.    

NAVTEQ Network for Developers: Check out some of these cool NAVTEQ products

These look very cool – real-time traffic, 3d maps, street sign visualizations and more – available for developers to enrich other location services.  I don’t know what the price point is, how much fun the data is to work with, etc. but I love the idea.

Google Geo Developers Blog: Five Great Fusion Tables + Maps Examples

Google added the ability to include geodata in its Fusion Tables product this week – now this post highlights 5 good examples of maps that you can thus create.  I love me some map publishing – I got to meet the fabulous Pete Warden of Open Heat Map yesterday and was happy to congratulate him on his tool’s coverage in the Columbia Journalism Review.


Google Map Edits Viewed Live…Eventually

The link above is to a new site called Google Map Maker Pulse, where (in theory) you can view live Google Map Maker edits with made to all around the world.  That’s one of the ways Google Maps gets improved over time.  Unfortunately it’s a big 404 right now.

FluidDB » Blog Archive » Importing data into FluidDB with Flimp

The good people at FluidDB (a crazy awesome tool I wrote about here) have built a data importer for their collaborative, dynamic database service and the first data sets they imported are metadata for everything on Data.gov and Data.gov.uk.  They say the (meta)data is now more searchable, cross-referencable and editable now than ever before.  A whole lot of that is geo data.  And what’s not geo data is related to place – because everything is, right?  I should add locations to all my blog posts.  Reminds me of this excited post I wrote this week about Extractiv – a bulk semantic analysis service that you simply must read about if you’re a data-loving geek.

Bonus: My wife found this video tonight – of the winners so far of Google’s DemoSlam contest.

Location: Home in Portland, Oregon.

Well Socialized Analyst Merv Adrian Goes to Gartner

Filed under: Blogging — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Data analysis and business intelligence analyst Merv Adrian announced on his blog today that he’s going to giant analyst firm Gartner and his discussion of the decision is really interesting. He just spent the last two years independent, is very active in social media and will now join a much more traditional organization.  He’s on Twitter at @merv.

It was just two months ago that Michael Krigsman welcomed Adrian into the Enterprise Irregulars working group.  Other members of the group work in big firms as well.

Adrian credits boutique analyst firm RedMonk with inspiring many of his strategic beliefs about how analysts can participate in social media and offered a good critique of standard practices in response to a James Governor blog post discussing Gartner’s social media last Spring.

As for participation by the old guard, they have a way to go. Just today I heard of an analyst being called out for putting “too much good stuff” in his/her blog. The notion that it might be a way to draw eyeballs to the for-pay content is still beyond all of them. And with rare (though exemplary) exceptions, twitter is for broadcast, not for dialogue; even if they tolerate some limited interaction with those outside the paywall, it’s probably that they aren’t noticing it. They are most definitely not encouraging or motivating it.

That should give you a little taste of what Merv Adrian will try to bring to the biggest analyst firm in technology, and a firm that is widely considered behind the times when it comes to social media.  (Though neither Governor nor Adrian agree with that sentiment.) I haven’t listened to the Sage Circle podcast linked-to at the end of his announcement post yet, but I’m sure that will be good too.

Adrian describes himself as: Technology analyst and consultant, 30 years of industry experience, covering software mostly, hardware sometimes. Former Forrester SVP.

I don’t know Adrian, though I have been following him since putting up this post on ReadWriteWeb about how to follow hundreds of analysts on Twitter with a single click.  Anyone who gets props from James Governor, Carter Lusher and says the kinds of things it looks like Adrian does has got my interest piqued, though.  Good luck in the new gig Merv, and keep blogging.

via Going to Gartner « Merv Adrian’s IT Market Strategy.

This post is the beginning of an experiment wherein I put up quick bits about found links that are too long for Twitter but not quite the right fit to post on ReadWriteWeb.

Want 3 Minutes by Phone on ReadWriteWeb?

Filed under: Podcasts — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Do you want to record a three minute explanation of some important geeky topic, by phone, on ReadWriteWeb?

I’ve been doing experiments with audio using Cinch lately and I listened to a wonderful short-form Gov 2.0 event today while walking my dogs.

I want to try putting these two ideas together and record a 3 minute explanation of something important and interesting to post online. I like the idea of a tight time limit: it puts a premium on succinctness and density of information. Put that kind of opportunity in the hands of an articulate professional and they’ll create a high-value experience.

Let me know if you’re interested in contributing a segment and if I choose you and your topic, I’ll let you know and give you a call. We have a few million people stop by RWW each month & I think at least a handful of them will enjoy listening to something like this a lot. Shoot me an email at Marshall@readwriteweb.com to suggest a topic.

One-Click Blog Community Intelligence Button

Filed under: RSS — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

I frequently discover new blogs and I want to learn more about them. One of my favorite ways to do that is to see which posts a blog’s own readers have been most interested in. The wonderful service PostRank will check out any blog’s feed and score the posts in it based on number of comments, shares on Twitter, in-bound links from other blogs, etc. and then let you view just the most popular posts from it.

That’s cool but I’ve had enough copying and pasting and typing in postrank.com/main. So I made this bookmarklet: PostRank It

(To tell the truth, the one I made was a step less simple, then I found this page that an even better version.)

Click and drag it up to your browser’s toolbar. Then visit a blog. Then click the magic button. Check it out and click on the drop-down button that says “All Posts” and pick something different. Yay! Then come back and tell me how much you love it. Clearly I’m not the first person to think of this – but I’m not going to let that stop me from making a small post about it.

Please Post Your Bloglines Memories Here

Filed under: RSS — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

November 1st was shut-down day for former market leading RSS reader Bloglines. Parent company Ask.com, which squandered this beautiful tool for syndicated content so cruelly, announced this weekend that it is extending the shut-down date for another two weeks, so people can learn how to click the Export OPML button in Bloglines and the Import OPML button in Google Reader.

I thought I’d share my story and thoughts about Bloglines here. If you’d like to do the same, I may make the most interesting ones into a post at ReadWriteWeb.

It’s tragic, really. RSS is a beautiful thing. It’s BEAUTIFUL! Bloglines was the way that millions of people first learned about RSS. They grabbed an URL, or clicked a subscribe link, and all of a sudden updates from their favorite sources were brought magically into one central place to scroll through. No remembering to check on pages that hadn’t been updated, no taking forever to navigate around the web – just subscribe and read a personalized river of news!

Today I read RSS through at least 7 different interfaces (I lose track sometimes) but for whatever tragic reason, only so many people have stuck with reading feeds. That’s not my problem, except I’d like to see a thriving feed ecosystem support new types of innovation. And I think it’s a big loss for the human experience: to subscribe to a long tail of personalized, self and niche published content, easily as can be, that’s an experience I believe everyone ought to be able to have in their lives.

I can’t remember the first time I used Bloglines. I remember the first time I used MyYahoo to read feeds, though. I was at my work study job at the Government Documents desk of the U of O Knight Library, and I heard a rumor somewhere online about this thing called RSS. I set up a MyYahoo page and felt almost overwhelmed with excitement thinking about all the possibilities. The ability to publish and subscribe to syndicated web content is all about potential. You pick a good source, and there’s more coming your way from it in the future.

After just a couple days I think, I looked around and tried out Newsgator Online (now dead as well). Then NetNewsWire on the desktop (still alive) and today I use a wide variety of services to get my news and do my job. I used Bloglines, and taught other people how to use Bloglines, intermittently. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was the favorite of more people than anything else – until Google Reader came along.

Google Reader is ok. It’s not that great. The fact that the only RSS reader in the world that many people know about anymore doesn’t let you subscribe to RSS feeds that are password protected, and no one much cares about that, is a sign that RSS never got the love it deserved.

I remember those first days of reading feeds though – they were incredibly exhilarating. The ability to zip down a stream of updates from my favorite sources, as fast as my eyes and brain could handle, until something caught my interest and I stopped to read, was incredible. It never ended! It was a never-ending flow personalized goodness. I certainly didn’t feel guilty for having unread items! I was thrilled and thankful for everything I did get to read! I’ve never understood that feeling of guilt over unread items, and I’m not a guy incapable of understanding feelings of guilt.

RSS has been my bread and butter for the last several years now. It pays my bills and it is a metaphor for life. I love it. And the fact that the very user-friendly Bloglines is dying, that it won’t bring that joy, personal growth, career opportunity and intellectual fulfillment to other people – that’s just tragic.

Those are my thoughts about the demise of Bloglines. What are yours? Please share them in comments below, maybe I’ll turn them into a ReadWriteWeb blog post.

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