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Archive for the ‘Data Junkie’ Category

If you’re a Twitter user, perhaps you’ve already heard of paper.li. If not, I recommend checking it out and creating your own custom “newspaper” based on links shared by your Twitter network. The tool suggests that while the traditional role of journalists as sole curators of news information might no longer be valid, the newspaper as a format can still be quite compelling (not to mention the business model of advertising-funded content aggregation).

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The following ws originally posted on Wikinomics.com on April 26, 2010.

I just came across the 2011 edition of an awesome info-graphic Death & Taxes, from 29-year-old graphic designer (and obvious data junkie) Jess Bachman. I think this is a great example of what Nick Vitalari wrote about a few months ago with respect to open data and citizen-led initiatives. Specifically, he said:

“Open data unleashes the creative potential of citizens and private enterprise to create new services, software applications, and insights that the government cannot do by itself. The shear numbers tell the story. Millions of citizens and hundreds of thousands of companies of all sizes uniting to independently create value and enhance the common good.”

This is exactly what you are seeing below. Bachman breaks down the 2011 Federal budget in a surprisingly simple graphic, showing total spend per category, percent change, and size relative to other spending priorities (click the image for the interactive chart).

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The following was originally posted on Wikinomics.com on February 15th, 2010 – click here for full comment history.

There is no such thing as privacy on the Internet anymore—anything you say or do lives on ad infinitum in Internet memory. In the intro of his Harvard paper, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger notes that “In March 2007, Google confirmed that since its inception it had stored every search query every user ever made and every search result ever clicked on. Google remembers forever.” As one of the most pervasive tools of our generation, Google and its associated applications have changed the way we think about data, privacy, digital identity, and memory.

A recent article by Nate Anderson in Ars Technica highlights professor Mayer-Schönberger book, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. The message: “Technology has now made ‘remembering’ the default approach to information, and in doing so, threatens to make ‘forgetfulness’ obsolete.” This is not only a profound change from 20 years ago, it can also be detrimental to our ability to think and analyze information. The article goes on to say: “Selective forgetfulness is a boon to humanity; it keeps us from drowning in our own recorded data. It allows us to sift and sort, then to think at a higher level of abstraction instead of wallowing in detail.”

But, this may all soon change.  Perhaps, computers can learn to forget too.

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The following was originally posted on Wikinomics.com on June 13, 2008 – click here to see full comment history.

Like the music industry and the publishing industry, the writing on the wall is bold, capitalized, and neon for yet another industry reluctant to change in the face of Web 2.0 forces far too powerful to ignore.

Officially, IT analyst firms are a $2.5 billion dollar business, of which about $1 billion belongs to the industry behemoth Gartner. As impressive as this number might seem, it represents only a fraction of the total IT analysis actually being traded. There is a social media undercurrent running just below the surface of the IT analysis industry—call it “IT Analysis 2.0” or “Open Source Analysis,”—where insightful content is not bought and sold, but rather offered up for free. Examples include enterprises like RedMonk, Freeform Dynamics, MWD, and Enterprise Irregulars, as well as community-driven sites such as IT Toolbox and Wikibon (IT analysis a la Wikipedia).

Like MySpace and YouTube in the entertainment industry, the social media undercurrent in the IT analysis industry is threatening to build up to tsunami proportions. Witness the most recent Institute of Industry Analyst Relations poll results below. While the top three analyst firms are predictable, open source analyst firms RedMonk and Freeform Dynamics are making significant gains. Notably, two of the top five individual analysts are from RedMonk.

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Source: Institute of Industry Analyst Relations

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The following was originally posted on Wikinomics.com on February 8, 2008

Every year around January/February, the President of the United States gives his State of the Union address. For the incumbent administration it serves as an opportunity to educate the rest of the world on what issues are going to be important in the coming year. Each year, the pundits are out in full force, raising much speculation on what the President’s focus will be and what policies will get the biggest props.

Last week George W. Bush gave his final State of the Union address. And while the patina of this year’s address was somewhat dulled by the hoopla surrounding the 2008 Primaries and Caucuses (which really is turning into CNN’s version of the Oscars sans Brangelina), for many viewers the landmark State of the Union event still brought much excitement and anticipation.

As such, I thought this might be a good time to look back and reflect on some of the key themes that marked President Bush’s eight years in office.

Big Up the Terror

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