Oct 232015
 

My friend Warren Myers had an interesting blog post on voting mechanics on various websites, along with “like” mechanic various social networks use (like buttons, +1 buttons, tweet favorites, etc.). I’ve made my feelings on things such as “like” buttons known, so I’m not going to go into those here. Warren raises some good points about the issues with voting on a lot of sites, but there are some places where I think works well that I think are worth noting, along with why they seem to work well. It’s important to note these reasons if you want to make sure your voting mechanic improves your site.

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 Posted by at 7:15 AM
Aug 312015
 

Wil Wheaton’s RPG show, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, recently finished its first season, and it’s been a lot of fun, not to mention a very well-done story. Normally, you wouldn’t think that an RPG show would make for particularly good television (even if the “television” is airing on YouTube), but it’s a testament to the world-building, story, characters, and players that it worked as well as it did. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:30 PM
Jun 202015
 

If you’ve worked long enough, you’ve hit on something that involves multiple people. At that point, the common line is to “get all the stakeholders” together so everyone’s on the same page and actually working together. It’s a good philosophy, that works when you’re getting just the people involved in something together – and nobody else. The problem is that that’s rarely how these situations play out.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:32 PM
Aug 262014
 

For the first half of the summer, I took the online Functional Programming Principles in Scala course on Coursera. I should probably point out that I didn’t take the $50 official I’d heard good things about the language, mostly from Dick Wall on Java Posse podcasts, and it seemed like a good way to try functional programming again after a brief, rather unpleasant, introduction to Lisp in college. Overall, my main goals were to a) re-acquaint myself with functional programming and b) get a basic, can-start-on-some-code-now understanding of Scala.

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 Posted by at 11:19 PM
Aug 092014
 

A couple of months ago, Mayday.us launched a big crowdfunding push to raise a crapton of money to form their own Super PAC, meant to fund and support candidates who would run on campaign platforms of reducing the influence of Super PAC money in elections. The overall goal, reduce corruption in federal politics, is a great agenda, but a SuperPAC built around limiting how much money people can spend in elections isn’t actually solving problems with American democracy. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:04 AM
Jul 162014
 

After a lot of thinking a blogging aloud about what I think social networks are and what I think a social network (and social applications) should be, it’s time to revisit my original thoughts about a next-generation social network and see how well they stand up, as well as flesh out just what features a social network should support. After trying to get myself to separate the social network itself from the application people may be using to tap into their particular social networks, I wanted to re-visit how my original app idea and see what features should be moved to the actual network itself.

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 Posted by at 4:28 PM
Jul 012014
 

I wasn’t very happy with where my last post ended. It all boiled down to “I wish Facebook was open source” or “I wish App.net had worked out better”. Part of that was that I spent the whole post operating on the assumption that underneath any application  using this social network would be, well, 1 central model that everything would use. I think that assumption may be flawed. What if there wasn’t a central model behind all of these applications, but rather just a single protocol creating multiple models of people we connect to and how.

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 Posted by at 10:14 PM