When faces become hyperlinks

The algorithms for facial recognition have improved a lot in recent years. Here is a company showing a working prototype of a mobile app that recognizes faces and attaches links to social network layers to them:

The prototype was shown last year — but there was a live demo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelone last week. Obviously the company that also created the polarrose.com service wants to turn this in to a real application.

The implications of this is shown in the video: when looked through the “eyes of the app” people virtually carry logos, brands, name tags and messages around.

Fans on Technorati? How could I have missed that…

I just noticed that there is a “fan”-feature on Technorati. It may be on for years but it never really drew my attention. I have four fans!

Beside of Marian Steinbach (whom I know, “Hello!”) I see three other people that I do not know:

  • Tom Roper who is a Information Resources Development Coordinator for the Brighton & Sussex Medical School in England.
  • Alwin Hawkins who seems to have added me years ago and seems to have kept me for my interest in Tinderbox (don’t know…).
  • Mark Blair who is a Website architect, Internet strategist and techno-sociologist.

Hello guys!

It’s odd how people get to appreciate things from authors that don’t know about it. I think this is fundamental that the Internet changes the relationship between authors and readers – more than it has already.

I’d love to see who are those 500+ people that have subscribed to this blog, but I fear I will never really know….

Flickr Map

Flickr has released a major new feature: mapping & geo-tagging photos. I just tried this feautre with some of my own photos.

Screenshot of Flickr Map

The application is working like charm. It is very well designed: it’s easy and fun to use. There have been over three million photos geographically tagged in the first few days since this feature was introduced.

The only disadvantage is that the mapping tool is build on top of Yahoo Maps which uses very low resolution map data for most of Europe. Many areas do not have any street level data.

Update: I just found that loc.alize.us and trippermap.com use Google Maps. They are not yet updated to use the new geodata of Flickr, but I am sure that will be available momentarily whenever Flickr posts their new API functions.

New Last.fm player

Last.fm has released a new player for Windows and MacOS X. The new player features scrobbling (notifying Last.fm servers of recent songs played by you) and streaming audio. It shows song and artist information about the current song played.

Screenshot of the latest Last.fm Player

This way you can learn things about the bands and artists you have in your iTunes library. It gives some background information which is normally hidden and discovered only by fans.

Yahoo 360 – born to die?

Shortly after the acquisition of Flickr by Yahoo! the latter company introduced a multi-feature invite-only blog/photo/whatever-sharing platform called “Yahoo 360“. The invitation-only concept worked well for Gmail – elitism marketing.

Dave Winer has a spot on analysis of Yahoo 360:

Everything about Yahoo 360 is for members only, and in the first few hours of its life in the blogosphere, most people couldn’t get in. Now, after it’s launched, there’s no way to see anything other than a ghost town. Maybe that’s all there is, maybe not. But for a service like this, the appearance of being a ghost town is just as bad as actually being one. […]
Moral of the story, big companies don’t have mojo, they can’t, and it’s not fair to make that the issue. They can, however, make the trains run on time, and at that Yahoo does quite well. But they should leave the innovation to small, nimble, motivated devteams with nothing to lose and no corporate hierarchy to please.

Social Software @ BBC

Martin Röll and Robert Basic point to an interview with Euan Semple, head of knowledge management solutions for the BBC (unfortunatly the link to the interview seems to be broken at the moment). Semple reports BBC is using bulletin boards, weblogs, wikis and some kind of social network tool.

The points raised by Martin and Robert deals with the loyality and motivation of employees to use these tools in effective and productive ways. Martin even points to a press release of Clearswift, a company that provides security solutions and content filtering applications, which suggests an eminent danger coming from weblogs in corporate context.

There is a danger that iloyal eployees start to send interna to the public. The german site dotcomtod.com is an example of a news site consisting to a large part of rumours from internal sources. Companies have good reason to consider options to stop this. But the BBC example shows that there may also be good reason to handle employees respectfully and trust in their loyality. The other side of this story: like the public relations offices of big companies in future will potentially need to by accompanied by an internal relations office, that deals with these issues and generates loyalty among unhappy employees (even though there is probably already an employment contract that demands this).

Follow up on Social Computing meeting

Kevin Shofield posts a follow-up of the social computing conference at Microsoft Research:

There were many good parts, but my favorite was a breakout group on the second afternoon specifically focused on discussing priorities for the research agenda. The top six areas we came up with:

The video recordings of the conference are said to be online somewhere next week.

Social Computing symposium at Microsoft Research

Microsoft Research is doing a 70-people invitation-only symposium about social computing on Monday and Tuesday.

Kevin Shofield is one of the organizers who runs an own weblog. He writes:

“We really wanted to have the symposium webcast live on the Internet, but because we’re holding it at a ‘non-traditional’ facility, we couldn’t make that work. We are still videotaping all of the sessions, and will post them on the Internet as soon a possible.
We will have wireless Internet access available, so I am sure it will be blogged live, and I would assume IRC’ed too.”


I just updated my Ryze page to include some friends – or at least people I met.

I think I would pay $9.90 for the Gold membership, but Ryze is far from showing my social network – 99% of the people I work and communicate with are not in the Ryze database. I think a alternative payment model depending on the size of the social network (like less than 15 friends for free, 15-60 $5, more than 60 $15) would bring in more customers to Ryze.

And BTW: They need an interface designer!

Defining social software

Tom Coates on defining social software (jumping off from Doug Englebart’s ideas of software as human augmentation):

Social software is a particular sub-class of software-prosthesis that concerns itself with the augmentation of human social and / or collaborative abilities through structured mediation.

His brief introduction sparked an interesting conversation in the comments section of that page.