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Sat, 12 Feb 2005
CodeCon 2005: Day 2

Here's my roundup of CodeCon for today.

The most interesting talks that I saw were on the UltraGleeper, and H20.

The UltraGleeper is recommendation engine for web pages. The key idea was to interpret links as recommendations (and yes, "nofollow" did come up.). Instead of asking a user to fill out a questionnaire about their preferences, or do a bunch of up front ratings, the UltraGleeper uses a person's weblog and del.icio.us bookmarks as the "seed" for web page content that the user likes. After this, the usual feedback style of rating kicks in -- something familiar to many recommendation engines. It's good to see work on this sort of thing going on. At some point I think that it would be cool to have recommendation engine style functionality available in Chandler, but that's something for the future.

H2O is a system that was built at Harvard Law School to create a good environment for university classes. The point that stuck out to me the most was the throttling system that they built in order to regulated both the rate/tempo and structure of electronic discussions. The goal of this was to level out the playing field for discussions so that early and/or loud voices didn't dominate, as they are prone to do. Having recently commented on a discussion of small group dynamics on "The Wisdom of Crowds", I was predisposed to see the value of this design choice in H2O.

I viewed the talk on Mappr as a good example of the usefulness of folksonomies (even though they weren't perfect). I think it's also an example of the success of web services (in the most general sense of the term).

Kevin Crowston is here observing as part of his ongoing research on FLOSS. Kevin and his team have become a fixture at ApacheCon, and it was good to see him. We had a very interesting discussion on our perceptions of CodeCon versus ApacheCon and the respective communities.

The small size of CodeCon makes it somewhat less about the presentations and more about the people. I'm grateful to some of the great introducers who have been helping me meet interesting people in the CodeCon community. It's such a helpful thing when people are thoughtful about doing this. I want to build a stronger habit of doing this when I'm able to.

[23:44] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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