Using Web 2.0 to Track a Political Crisis

My gut tells me that the latest round in the Georgian-Russian crisis is going to get ugly.

CNN’s “Russian Tanks Rolling into Georgian Breakaway” shows one thing: our old friend Vladimir Putin feels free to call the shots.

Twitter alerts can only get you so far, in following a crisis.  Check out these first attempts: this Twitter search or this one, or this Live News feed.  You can RSS any of these by the way.

I’m working on several Popfly-designed orchestrations of alerts and newsfeeds to keep me updated on the latest news from South Ossetia, incorporating crowd-sourced information as much as I can. 

Continue reading

Microsoft May Have a Killer Cloud App – Live Mesh

Microsoft Mesh LogoGot a technical briefing on Live Mesh today in Redmond, and I’m impressed – particularly by the demonstrated commitment to interoperability through adhering to web standards – and the very cool Live Desktop giving you remote access to all your files and folders from any device (work computer, home laptop, mobile phone) with  the new Microsoft Device Connectivity Service.

This is what will bring Cloud Computing down to earth.

Continue reading

Opening Doors to Interoperability

I had to write a freshman term paper on Immanuel Kant, and chose as a topic his role in sparking the German Enlightenment, from which I at least learned the word Aufklarung … which surprisingly doesn’t come up much in normal conversation, even when I’m in Germany. But I’ve been thinking about that movement and its ramifications quite a bit, because of the ongoing technology enlightenment driven by “open-source” approaches.

When I announced I was joining Microsoft, several of my friends in the open-source-software “movement” raised their eyebrows and ribbed me for joining the dark side… although the brighter ones also pointed out several important trends and markers through 2006 and 2007, changes in Microsoft behavior and approach which appeared to signal that the company was tacking in a much more open direction. Ray Ozzie’s joining of the company, and his announced projects, were taken as significant, along with several software launches (both in the Live world and elsewhere) with fundamentally open foundations.

Today the company is making public what Steve Ballmer and Ray Ozzie are calling “important changes to our technology and business practices that will enhance the interoperability of our products and expand the technical information we share with developers, partners, customers, and competitors.” All to the good, including more comprehensive information about the new “Interoperability by Design” approach.

Continue reading

Microsoft becomes Microsoft!

Everyone in the blogosphere will light up today on the topic, so not much needs to be said, but I’m glad that at last I can break out the exclamation mark and call my company: Microsoft!

Regarding the purchase of Yahoo!, Dennis Kneale, CNBC’s Business News Media and Technology Editor, had the most vivid word-picture early this morning on the air: “The one guy in America who can’t eat breakfast this morning without feeling sick to his stomach is the Google CEO, Eric Schmidt,” referring to Google’s previous attempts to snag Yahoo!.

I’ve been one of the 400 million users who have a Yahoo! account, for years, with lots of personalized interests and preferences willingly shared in exchange for great user experience like the pioneering MyYahoo portal, which I still like and use, though I also have a tricked-out iGoogle site (eight tabs worth) and now a pretty robust Live Search, Online Live Workspace, and Live Spaces environment.  Imagine the experience and gutsy experimentation that’s coming to Microsoft(!), joining up again with former Yahoo himself Gary Flake (now head of Microsoft’s Live Labs)… it’s pretty exciting.

Keeping score will have to be a longterm effort, of course – start here.

%d bloggers like this: