lördag, mars 19, 2005

[surf] The Commonly Confused, the Real Love, the Surplus, & the FOAF-a-Matic Too

The surfing continues. That commonly-confused-words test I referenced in the last post is the all-time #1 most popular test on that "okcupid" website; over a thousand surfers have taken it yesterday. Well, looks like self-improvement is a most beloved pursuit -- well, good.

Take note, naysayers and mushyminds. Looking down the "ok" list of most-taken test (calling it the "cupid" list would sound silly, as well as inaccurate), I see a Google Speed Test: ooh, intriguing. Information and search engine watching are top interests for me presently, and a google test certainly gets my attention. Maybe I ought to start a sideblog on Google; that Google Speed Test would be posted there, plus all the weekly news alerts I requested in that area.

(Another coinage, 3/19/5. "Mushyminds" as one word. Cute. "Sideblog" as like a sidebar to my regular blog. A capillary to the main stream of this sallied consciousness. "A Sideblog on Google" from August Arrived: wouldn't you be intrigued? Even ye naysayers with mushyminds? *heehee* Anyway.)

But my mind is wandering already. Ought I download a personal picture to go with my test result, so other test-takers could see a kindred --um-- Google connoisseur, if there's such a thing. (Need the um to qualify my late-night silliness.) Compare silly mugs. Or not: anonymity has its advantages, why not stay discreet for now, rather than leap into unknown waters? Don't be stupid, Cupid. And I'm still a fillie, a fillie-pid. Okay, fillie-pid, let's go detached here. The Managing Editor (oh, remember that last gig? we need security to do our best) in me gives this sage advice: Play with pictorial, play with expectationb...

Now Mind is off on more tracks anew, about archetypes and stereotypes and reflexive "blinks," about age & gender, race & faith, knee-jerk portrayals in the media, in the movies and television; and about how I myself size up other people and their websites based on my reflexive "blinks," initial impressions that shape eventual verdict more than they oughta.

"Blink," by Malcolm Gladwell, is marinating the archetypes in my subconscious, now showing a tip or two as I blog an itinerant post.

That's really how you tease up the subconscious, by not actively searching your way there (you can't), but by floating off on silly pictures and sallied sideblogs and even on Google connoisseurs. I don't really know what I'm about to type next, and that's fine; I find such interesting sidestreets this way, it's all worthwhile in the end.

It's a way to expend my surplus energy while I'm on the net, and right now it's better to be by myself on a blog than get caught up in the snark of so many 'net forums I've checked out lately, in the childish putdowns and dismissals that seem common currency but yet diminish the mind and soul. If not immediately, then ultimately, eventually. I could almost say inevitably, but not quite.

My subconscious is reaching for something here, and as I type without purpose I think it knows something about love: that real love is derived from surplus energy, and it is derived from strength. False love, or bad love, on the other end, is derived from a sense of surfeit in energy; and it is derived from weakness. Real love proffers vitality; fake love sucks it away. And right now, blog-love proffers for me vitality; snark-love sucks it away. Avoid the snark, it diminishes the soul.

Went off the track again, sorry. Now back on: my latest discovery is this thing "FOAF-a-matic," found when I searched for a Similar Page to the Google Speed Test. (Right-click, get menu, scroll down to Similar Pages; the option appears with the Google toolbar. No toolbar, no Sim. Pgs., then. Wonder if this feature appears if I download toolbars for Yahoo or MSN? Would they conflict? And if they do, how resolve? Ayyy! Maybe that's why I resisted downloading the other two toolbars, nor yet others like the MyWay toolbar, even though they don't really take up much space. I just don't want any confusion here, potential hassles that these search providers don't know how to provide against.)

FOAF-a-matic is a simple Javascript application for creating your FOAF, which is short for "Friend-of-A-Friend." The function of FOAF is, I reckon, to facilitate social networking.

From its author, Leigh Dodds: "FOAF is a way to describe yourself -- your name, email address, and the people you're friends with -- using XML and RDF. This allows software to process these descriptions, perhaps as part of an automated search engine, to discover information about your and the communities of which you're a member. FOAF has the potential to drive many new interesting developments in online communities. Ben Hammersely's "Click to the Clique" article for the Guardian Unlimited website further explores these ideas.

The FOAF-a-Matic is being provided as a quick and easy way for you to create your own FOAF description. Simply work through the forms on this page and complete whichever details you'd like to add to your description. As a minimum you'll need to supply your name and email address, and similarly for any friends you might add. It's worth adding a few friends to your description (but feel free to add as many as you like) because then when FOAF harvesters index your FOAF description, they'll be able to tie you all together as a network of individuals.
Note: none of the information you enter in this page is used or stored in any way. The processing is entirely client-side, so your privacy is assured."

In addition to English, this form is available in eleven other languages: [Japanese] [French] [Spanish] [Danish] [Swedish] [Greek] [German] [Italian] [Korean] [Trad. Chinese] [Dutch]

More about FOAF in "XML Watch: Finding friends with XML and RDF" (from a developer at ibm.com), in the FOAF homepage, and at this FOAF vocabulary description. Also check FOAF Hackery.

I'm not sure how this would play out, and indeed the author himself is uncertain: "The 'discovery' aspect of FOAF (i.e. how FOAF compliant applications find your description) is still an area under discussion."

Here are three avenues for exploration he suggests. Please replace my [] with the angle-brackets <>, the latter I cannot produce in print here.

A.) Point the HTML Link tag to FOAF descriptions, the way bloggers point to their RSS feeds. Here's how it should look, but replace my [] with the angle-brackets <> : [link title="FOAF" href="foaf.rdf" type="application/rdf+xml" rel="meta"]

B.) Get referrals from a Friend. Have him point to it. A FOAF spider can then traverse all FOAF files. You can do this by making the following changes to your FOAF description:

1.) Alter the rdf:RDF element to add the RDF Schema namespace, as follows:
[rdf:rdf rdfs="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf-schema#" foaf="http://xmlns.com/foaf/0.1/" rdf=http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#]

2.) You can then add links to other FOAF descriptions by adding one rdfs:seeAlso element for each additional file, as follows:
[rdfs:seealso rdf:resource="http://www.example.com/friends.xrdf"] [rdfs:seeAlso rdf:resource="http://www.ldodds.com/webwho.xrdf"/]

If your friends already have a FOAF description, then include it in the 'seeAlso' field given in the form above. You can also Refer a Friend to the FOAF-a-matic.

C.) Visit the FOAFWiki, and edit the FOAFBulletinBoard page and add your name and a link to your FOAF description.

The author adds, "Applying the magic of HTML Tidy and XSLT means that applications such as Edd Dumbill's FOAFbot can process this index. Visit the FOAFBot home page for information about how to see it in action. " Note this work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Its author Dodds is now working on a FOAF-a-Matic Mark 2, a desktop application for creating and managing FOAF data, and maintains a mailing list. So if you've surfed beyond the commonly confused, yet enjoy a surplus of real love, you may wanna sign up for this FOAF thingamajig. And let me know how it turns out.


At 09:34, Blogger Steve Austin said...

Interesting blog. I have a xml format blog.

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