Taghowto

How to see through the cloud, translated

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Over on the Mozilla Webmaker site, James Bridle wrote a brilliant piece that explains in very simple terms how to get a better understanding of the web at the most basic level – where the cables and buildings are located, and where our data travels: How to see through the cloud. It’s fantastic!

And since the whole point of the Webmaker project is to allow for quick and easy remixing – and the learning process associated with it – I took the liberty to translate it to German.

We talk about the cloud all the time, the seemingly ephemeral, almost magical place where our data lives and thrives. But only when the system fails and something doesn’t work do we notice that there’s a brick-and-mortar infrastructure that everything runs on. Cables, servers, concrete buildings. Heck, even my mom asked me about the cloud a few weeks ago, and what it looks like.

Well, thanks to James everyone can now just poke around the web and get a better understanding on where the cloud really lives, and how our data travels down the cables hopping from data center to data center.

You can find my translation over on the Webmaker site: Die Cloud durchschauen.

As a side note, if you want to learn in a playful, really not threatening way about how the web works, please go check out Mozilla Webmaker. It’s a fantastic resource and very, very simple to get into.

Presentation: How To Do Social Media Right In 2009

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There are many, many, many presentation on how to get Social Media right. (Trust me, I’ve seen a lot, and given a few myself, and let me tell you: it’s not pretty.)

This one, however, nails it. It’s on the point, it provides case studies, and it’s honest. (“There are no best practices!”). Brands, agencies, consultants: I’m sure you have five minutes to take a look.

How To Do Social Media Right In 2009 by Marta Strickland (Marta on Slideshare):

(via Kathrin Stieler)

Writing email that gets answered

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Chris Brogan summarizes how to write email so that it’s easy to process further:

Key points:

  • One Decision Per Email (so it’s easy to process)
  • Don’t Ever Say “Quick Question.” (Because it’s usually not. If it is, there’s no need to announce it.)
  • Your Signature File (it should contain your contact details, but be brief and concise)
  • Following Up (is important, but keep it brief)

Thanks, thanks, and thanks! Read the rest at Chris’ blog.

Yahoo releases Reputation Design Patterns (Yay!)

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Yahoo’s Design Pattern Library is a pretty awesome collection of design patterns – proven solutions for common or well-known problems. The idea is to provide answers to questions people (here: developers) encounter over and over again. Why reinvent the wheel?

Now there’s a whole set of design patterns for a reputation system, as well as some solid basics on online reputation and how it works. (You can find some thoughts about online reputation browsing this blog’s Identity 2.0 category.)

Yahoo Design Patterns for a Reputation System (Image: Screenshot of the collection Yahoo! Reputation Solution Patterns)

Reputation systems are important for online communities of all sizes: In a really small community, reputation might be implicit, but as the community grows, reputation needs to be managed in some way or another. Says the Online Journalism Blog:

In my experience, reputation systems are pretty important in encouraging users to keep coming back to your online community – you could argue, for instance, that the number of friends in Facebook or followers in Twitter is one simple example. Plurk more explicitly uses ‘karma’, as does (in a much better way) Slashdot

Yahoo says, this set of reputation-related design patterns is just one of “several collections of social-design related patterns that we’re working on. (…) They don’t tell you how to lay out a page or where to put an interactive widget. Instead, they address how to design a reputation system for your social software.”

This is excellent news: With something as tricky (and important) as your online reputation, you want some professional advice!

(via Online Journalism Blog, thanks Puja!)

How to build your own mesh network?

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As you may know, I’ve been obsessing about the One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) for awhile, for both its aims and potential. Here’s another project that ties right in, a simple guide on how to build your own mesh network. (The OLPC laptops support meshing out of the box, but if there’s no network to connect to…)

Wireless Africa has a guide for building your own DIY Mesh Guide. It’s particularly aimed at rural areas, and it features real step-by-step explanations (including a planning sheet) which should be useful even for non-tech folks.

DIY Mesh Network (image courtesy of http://wirelessafrica.meraka.org.za via Creative Commons) Image courtesy of Wireless Africa

Download the DIY Mesh Guide (PDF, 3.2MB). It’s released under Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA).

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