Thursday Apr 02, 2009

A second look at Second Brain

I have revisited secondbrain recently and decided I need to get to grips with its libraries and collections. I am not sure of the differences and whether I should be create broad large collections such as travel or software, or even something narrower but broad such as database, or use it for more project orientated collections such as specific journies or personal engineering tasks, a bit like what it takes to justify a new snipsnap page on my bliki. I quite like the fact they give me a domain name, and that I got their early enough to get "davelevy".

It now takes a much broader range of feeds, which was the criticism I made last time I reviewed it, and creates an aggregated tag cloud. This is neat, but I hadn't realised how many tags my picture collection generates. The tag cloud is dominated by the places tag and the geographic qualifiers. When you add the bookmarks created while planning the travel, it dominates the tag cloud, which I am not sure is what I want. (I wonder if they could or should permit us to weight the tags by feed.) Usability is also inhibited here because like most people, I don't tag a feed as belonging to itself, so my bookmarks aren't tagged as bookmarks. Also several of my feeds are not tagged at all. All-in-all, this is a feature I like, so I'd really like a tag cloud widget.

I was looking at second brain to see if I could make it my home page and consolidate the various sites I am using into one place, it could well be possible. I'd loose control of my look and feel, and I'd need to consider how to host original textual content but a blog might work for that if I have SB's collections and libraries. Perhaps I'll try and migrate one of my travel pages to SB and see what it looks like, and how useful I find it.

tags: ""

Monday Sep 01, 2008

wordle clouds

I was browsing sun blogs, when I was pointed at this blog, "Startups" which has an article on wordle. This produces word maps from feed URLs. You can see a view of mine below, it was taken earlier today.

wordle word map

Wordle is (cc) Attribution only, so I need to say the picture above is produced by wordle.net [site | faq ]. Its a Java App so sadly, I had to screenscrape the full size picture, and so generating one per article is too much of a fag, and hard to do ; they use the feed and so see many articles. Word mapping is becoming a powerful tool, but this needs to be licensed by the blog publisher to be included as part of the blog server functionality. I think we'd want clouds/article and clouds/blog. I thought I'd check out what happens if one uses a feed, so I also did one on planetsun.org. See below. It suggests to me that wordle has a fairly short view back in history.

wordle of planetsun.org

Of course both my blog and the sun bloggers site have hyperlinked tag clouds, which again diminished the use of wordle to us. I wonder if it teaches us anything for other applications such as our "CEC Messaging Platform".

tags: ""

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