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Jon Udell

Strategies for Internet citizens

Last Build Date: Fri, 16 Feb 2018 16:45:39 +0000


How to improve Wikipedia citations with Hypothesis direct linksjonudell

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 17:08:18 +0000

Wikipedia aims to be verifiable. Every statement of fact should be supported by a reliable source that the reader can check. Citations in Wikipedia typically refer to online documents accessible at URLs. But with the advent of standard web annotation we can do better. We can add citations to Wikipedia that refer precisely to statementsContinue reading "How to improve Wikipedia citations with Hypothesis direct links"

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Annotating Web Audiojonudell

Sat, 06 Jan 2018 20:27:58 +0000

On a recent walk I listened to Unmasking Misogyny on Radio Open Source. One of the guests, Danielle McGuire, told the story of Rosa Parks’ activism in a way I hadn’t heard before. I wanted to capture that segment of the show, save a link to it, and bookmark the link for future reference. IfContinue reading "Annotating Web Audio"

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Syndicating annotationsjonudell

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 04:36:06 +0000

Steel Wagstaff asks: Immediate issue: we’ve got books on our dev server w/ annotations & want to move them intact to our production instance. The broader use case: I publish an open Pressbook & users make public comments on it. Someone else wants to clone the book including comments. How? There are currently three URL-independentContinue reading "Syndicating annotations"

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Really, AT&T?jonudell

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:33:29 +0000

We woke up this morning in Santa Rosa to smoke and sirens. Last night’s winds fanned a bunch of wildfires in the North Bay, and parts of our town are destroyed. We’re a few miles south of the evacuation zone, things might shift around, but at the moment we’re staying put. Information was hard toContinue reading "Really, AT&T?"

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Welcome to the Sapiezoicjonudell

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 03:52:27 +0000

The latest Long Now podcast, by David Grinspoon, takes a very long view indeed. As we transition from the Holocene to the Anthropocene, he thinks, we’re not just entering a new geological epoch, as shown here: That alone would be a big deal. But epochs are just geologic eyeblinks a few million years in duration.Continue reading "Welcome to the Sapiezoic"

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Fact-checking Naomi Klein’s “No Is Not Enough”jonudell

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 00:10:48 +0000

So my conclusion is that Klein, who says she wrote this book quickly, to respond to the current moment, with less attention to endnotes than usual, is generally reliable on facts. The way in which I reached that conclusion is a pretty good example of the strategies outlined in Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers, and a reminder that those methods aren't just for students. All of us -- me, you, Naomi Klein, everyone -- need to build those muscles and exercise them regularly.

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Thoughts on Audrey Watters’ “Thoughts on Annotation”jonudell

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:39:53 +0000

Back in April, Audrey Watters’ decided to block annotation on her website. I understand why. When we project our identities online, our personal sites become extensions of our homes. To some online writers, annotation overlays can feel like graffiti. How can we respect their wishes while enabling conversations about their writing, particularly conversations that areContinue reading "Thoughts on Audrey Watters’ “Thoughts on Annotation”"

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Dumb servers for personal cloudsjonudell

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:30:18 +0000

I’m delighted to hear that my daughter and her best friend will be collaborating on a blog. And of course I’m tickled that she asked my advice on where to run it. I noted that Ghost is the new kid on the block, and is much simpler than what WordPress has become. But they wantContinue reading "Dumb servers for personal clouds"

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Celebrating Infrastructurejonudell

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:36:25 +0000

When cycling in forested New England countryside I sometimes wondered about the man-made forest built along the roadside — telephone poles, power lines, transformers — and thought someone should write a book about the industrial landscape. It turns out that someone did. Brian Hayes spent many years traveling around America, researching and photographing the infrastructureContinue reading "Celebrating Infrastructure"

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Weaving the annotated webjonudell

Fri, 05 May 2017 14:53:04 +0000

In 1997, at the first Perl Conference, which became OSCON the following year, my friend Andrew Schulman and I both gave talks on how the web was becoming a platform not only for publishing, but also for networked software. Here’s the slide I remember from Andrew’s talk: The only thing on it was aContinue reading "Weaving the annotated web"

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Do Repeat Yourself, With Variationsjonudell

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 20:06:09 +0000

Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) is a touchstone principle of software development. It’s often understood to inveigh against duplication of code. Copying a half-dozen lines from one program to another is a bad idea, DRY says, because if you change your mind about how that code works, you’ll have to revise it in several places. BetterContinue reading "Do Repeat Yourself, With Variations"

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Dwelling in the zone of evidencejonudell

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 23:38:17 +0000

I’ve written plenty about the software layer that adapts the Hypothesis annotator to the needs of someone who gathers, organizes, analyzes, and then writes about evidence found online. Students in courses based on Mike Caulfield’s Digital Polarization template will, I hope, find that this software streamlines the grunt work required to find and cite theContinue reading "Dwelling in the zone of evidence"

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How shared vocabularies tie the annotated web togetherjonudell

Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:35:10 +0000

I’m fired up about the work I want to share at Domains 2017 this summer. The tagline for the conference is Indie Tech and Other Curiosities, and I plan to be one of the curiosities! I’ve long been a cheerleader for the Domain of One’s Own movement. In Reclaiming Innovation, Jim Groom wrote about theContinue reading "How shared vocabularies tie the annotated web together"

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How annotation layers define “segments of interest” for new kinds of applicationsjonudell

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 18:38:05 +0000

Here are some analogies we use when talking about software: Construction: Programs are houses built on foundations called platforms. Ecology: Programs are organisms that depend on ecosystem services provided by platforms. Community: Programs work together in accordance with rules defined by platforms. Architecture: Programs are planned, designed, and built according to architectural plans. Economics: ProgramsContinue reading "How annotation layers define “segments of interest” for new kinds of applications"

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Componentware Revisitedjonudell

Sun, 08 Jan 2017 22:41:00 +0000

I’m not a scholar, nor do I play one on TV, but when I search Google Scholar I find that I’m cited there a few times, most notably for a 1994 BYTE cover story, Componentware. The details there are at best of historical interest but the topic remains evergreen: How do we package software inContinue reading "Componentware Revisited"

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