Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Self Publishing and Web Services

You don't have to be into programming to realize the value of a web service. Blogging is proof that web services are a useful tool, bringing technology and the masses closer together.

Self publishing reflects similar structures of developing and maintaining ideas and information exchange. Much of the media still questions why certain types of news is still not a commodity the masses are willing to pay for. I wasn't sure if they were joking or not. Some news is timely, relevant, and important to consider. I think belaboring the act of providing this news misses the mark. Not every single thing a person does is suppose to make them a millionaire. Save for the reward of riches from distancing oneself from ignorance, thusly, securing their own future.

Part of what makes news or information valuable is really the data mining aspects. News in its raw form must still be honed and analyzed in order to reveal its true value. Self-publishing "blogging" is becoming a popular medium for enabling individuals to express and exchange ideas in order to locate the value of the original information.

While many of these terms have a popular meaning in programming, essentially it still serves the same purpose to civilians living outside the structure of technology architecture but safely within the walls of direct applications and implementation. It is common to get thrown off by the surrealistic sound of technology jargon, however, after that it is still important to realize that it's not really a foreign language. Much like lyrics to a song, that may sound different based on the style of music used to present it. Makes sense right?

Blogging clearly is a web service that touched a very human need for expression, much in the way that email touched the need for communication. Too, bad for us all that this came in after all the other bogus sales centric services gave the internet a bad reputation.
Who suffers the most for this inappropriate activity? Truthfully everyone has.

Data mining is an important term because it relates directly as well as metaphorically to the complexities of the information age. We have unlimited access to information now that was the point. Just like the miners for gold the land must be marked off and slowly sifted through in order to obtain the valueable resources. Nearly impossible to simply intuit and forget it. Now that we have all this information, it must be sorted sifted, distributed, anaylzed, tested, redistributed, and so on until its potential can be fully appreciated and put to correct use.

This process may take place on many levels. Primarily, data mining is thought of as a marketing term, however, on another level, we arrive at social norms, political analysis, artistic expressions, mathematical problem solving / philosophical theory, and scientific fact collecting for intelligence advancements.

In this instance, it becomes increasingly more important that data be not only collected, but mined, organized, filtered, and refined before it becomes valueable content to publish for other viewers. Even this is just a step one.

Microsoft is releasing Office 11 for beta testing. There is a tremendous amount of speculation as to what this will mean exactly. I spoke with one programmer who felt that this tool would have little to no impact on the independent developer or the administrative/consumer.

I don't believe that, I do believe that no one is expecting over night or over the counter salvation. At this point, I think everyone knows as good as its sounds its not going to happen. I think it will provide the opportunity to seal the crack or bridge the gap between the world of the IT programmer and the world of the IT applications consumer. Familizing both sides with language similarities and allowing for the tool users to become more well versed in basic applications, code, and uses.

I realistically can't see this going any other way. Perhaps if no one was blogging it would be possible, but with all these new web service technologies and simple code placement being put into the hands of anyone with a pc and dsl, new doors are opening the minds of those who have been kept out. In addition, to allowing programmers to witness the social effects that technology may have on the general public.

It's not so much about this new tool but about what the tool represents. As far as I can see. Without competition, I don't expect much resistance. You may not see everyone waiting outside for the stores to open, but the anticipation will be there just the same. The article, " Office 11 Needs XML" found in eWeek Magazine touches on many of the points I was attempting to make earlier, if only with the gloves still on.


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