25 Jan 2010 09:43 am

A change of plan:  Originally, we were going to devote this day to a discussion of Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of the book — but when I learned that Laurel Ruma was going to be town and was kind enough to come speak to us, I decided to rearrange Days 2 and 3.

Today’s Agenda

  1. Overview of Gov 2.0 (Laurel Ruma)
  2. Post-talk reflections on Ruma talk
  3. Chapter 2 and Reading the book
  4. Assignments

Overview of Gov 2.0

An Overview of Gov 2.0
I’ll link to whatever slides she presents and makes available.

Post-talk reflections on Ruma talk

In this discussion time, we’ll work to relate what Laurel brings up to what we’ve learned so far last Wednesday and in the readings.

Chapter 2

Note: How to read Pro Web 2.0 Mashups

Let me makes some points about how I recommend reading Pro Web 2.0 Mashups in the context of this course:

  • I recommend purchasing a paper copy of the book, not only because it’ll pay for my Darjeeling tea habit but because I think it’s much easier to understand the materials if you combine reading it on paper with interacting with it through a web browser.   I’ve posted an XHTML version of the book online and will link often to it (though you should be aware that I’m gradually fixing up some technical glitches.)  There is also a set of PDFs of the book I’ve posted that might be useful to you.
  • Glance over the Table of Contents and read Overall Flow of the Book to get a sense of where the book (and the course) are heading.   An important difference between the course and the book is that MRI 2010 emphasizes open government — so we’ll have plenty of examples from that domain that aren’t in the book.
  • You can follow Mashup Guide as I post updates to the book.
  • I’m particularly proud of the Introduction to the book because I think it conveys why APIs and mashups are so vital and important:

    How many times have you seen a web site and said, “This would be exactly what I wanted—if only . . .” If only you could combine the statistics here with data from your company’s earnings projections. If only you could take the addresses for those restaurants and plot them on one map. How often have you entered the date of a concert into your calendar with a single click instead of retyping? How often do you wish that you could make all the different parts of your digital world—your e-mail, your word processor documents, your photos, your search results, your maps, your presentations—work together more seamlessly? After all, it’s all digital and malleable information—shouldn’t it all just fit together?

    In fact, below the surface, all the data, web sites, and applications you use could fit together. This book teaches you how to forge those latent connections—to make the Web your own—by remixing information to create your own mashups. A mashup, in the words of the Wikipedia, is a web site or web application “that seamlessly combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.” Learning how to draw content from the Web together into new integrated interfaces and applications, whether for yourself or for other others, is the central concern of this book.

  • Now that we’ve heard about Gov 2.0, take time to read about the Web 2.0 Movement (in the book), which will lead you to Tim O’Reilly’s much discussed “What is Web 2.0?
  • Last Wednesday, I introduced the concepts of mashups and API.  Note the outline in the class notes from Wednesday.  I walked through housingmaps.com and the LibraryLookup bookmarklet.  You’ll learn a lot more by reading and digesting the relevant section in the book: Housingmaps.com and LibraryLookup Bookmarklet.  Note Mashup Guide :: Updates to Chapter 1 to get the current link to LibraryLookup

Readings assumed: Chapter 2. Uncovering the Mashup Potential of Web Sites Let’s also review highlights from Day 1, for example, the group exercise that we started last Wednesday:

Get into groups of 2-3 and look through the entrants and winners of the Sunlight Foundation Apps for America and Apps for America 2. Look also at DataSF. Discuss what you think are good and useful and what is missing from what you saw. Brainstorm 3 apps that you think would be useful to be created.


Assignment from Day 1

If you’ve not already completed the assignment from Day 1 (which included emailing me with a description of what you hope to accomplish in this course, your technical background, and your Flickr/Twitter handles, please do so by Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010  at 5pm PST.)

The following exercises are ones I’d like you to start today.  We’ll work in class on them on Wednesday — and then they are due on Friday, Jan 29 at 11pm.


Read Chapter 3. Understanding Tagging and Folksonomies.

Flickr exercise

This is a reflections on tagging Flickr photos:

  1. Sign up for a Flickr account or use one that you already have. (Remember that this work is public — so if you don’t want to have this work associated with your own identity, create an account on Flickr to use in this class.)
  2. Join our course group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mixingandremixinginfo10/
  3. Add a photo the group with the appropriate tags and descriptions.  If you don’t have an image you own, you can upload public domain photos — e.g.. the Wikimedia Commons
  4. Tag your photo(s) and those of others and write a post, according to the exercise I’ve put into our Flickr group.

Wikipedia links

The exercise — to see how granular Wikipedia linking is: Make one substantive change in the Wikipedia, provide a link to show what you changed.

For example: from the history page of Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir (a J.S. Bach cantata), you can see that user RaymondYee created the page.  You can see how it’s changed since the current page (as of writing)

(FYI:  Take a look at Kennedy, Byrd the Latest Victims of Wikipedia Errors – Capitol Briefing to study how permanent links are being used to track changes in the Wikipedia — a topical example from 2009, but still relevant technically.)

GMap + Twitter

I want you to make something like  http://is.gd/7abeI — a Google My Map with at least two placemarkers, each containing a geotagged Flickr photo — then rendered with StreetView (if that is available).  Tell me a story with the map.  Compress the link with http://is.gd — and then tweet me the shortened link to http://twitter.com/rdhyee — and include the  the link to your tweet in your email. (e.g., http://twitter.com/rdhyee/status/8287057815)

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