home | bio | publications | vitae | classes | weblog | contact me


growth of web based neighborhood sites
I-neighbors.org is still larger than any other U.S. / Canadian neighborhood based web service that I know of, but the number of sites similar to i-neighbors.org continues to grow. Backfence.com is focused on the Washington D.C. area, they currently support only three neighborhoods but intend to expand across the U.S. Their website mentions that they recently received 3 million dollars in start-up funds. Nice website, surprisingly consistent with the features offered at i-neighbors.org, although it appears to focus on a bulletin board type system rather than email lists. eBlock is a similar for-profit initiative. While not yet available for wide spread public use, they are currently running trials on a few “blocks.” Blocks are their unit of organizing, limiting each neighborhood group in size to rather small predefined geographic areas. They are still looking for funding before they expand. I’m still not convinced that there is a for-profit model for this type of site, but I am really interested to see how these sites progress. I am also surprisingly conflicted, i-neighbors.org is a non-profit research project designed both to build neighborhood interactions and to encourage the development of other local social capital Internet initiatives, but I feel a surprising need to compete. If the site is to continue to grow I think it needs to evolve. It will become increasingly difficult to remain competitive with other sites based on my shoe string academic funding, especially when other sites can attract venture capital, but stay tuned for i-neighbors.org v.2.0 some time early next year.
Fri Oct 21, 2005 @ 7:43:49 am


mental maps
Interesting Wired article that points to a couple of online mental mapping projects. Mental mapping is yet another technique that originated with Stanley Milgram. In these examples, users are asked to report on how they perceive the boundaries of U.S. urban areas, and a slight variation that addresses the "pop vs soda" debate. Pop vs Soda is particularly interesting to me. As a Canadian, the carbonated beverages referred to as Coke or Pepsi can only be called a “pop,” but when living in Boston I routinely received puzzled looks unless I clarified that I wanted a “soda”. Of course, I later learned that any true Bostonian refers to a soda as a "tonic"!
Thu Oct 20, 2005 @ 9:22:56 am


location-aware mobiles and traffic congestion
The Missouri Department of Transportation is moving forward with a controversial plan to use cell phone data to monitor traffic congestion. Read article. It is unclear from the article if individual subscribers can opt in or out of the program - but it appears not. I expected the adoption of position-aware phones for this purpose, but had always assumed that it would be a private sector initiative with mobile subscribers reimbursed for their data (i.e. free toll road access). I am a little more surprised that a government agency would risk the ‘big brother’ label and overtly use the technology in this way (I expected a bigger backlash). At least location-aware cell phone data has not yet made its way into the hands of car insurance agencies or my local pizza delivery store, as in this video from the ACLU.
Mon Oct 17, 2005 @ 8:53:29 am

search blog:


0.92, 1.00, 2.00


March 2017
September 2016
January 2016
August 2015
July 2014
October 2013
February 2013
November 2011
June 2011
February 2011
October 2010
February 2010
November 2009
April 2009
January 2009
November 2008
September 2008
June 2008
April 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
July 2007
April 2007
March 2007
January 2007
December 2006
October 2006
September 2006
July 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
August 2005
June 2005
May 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003

[powered by b2.]

home | bio | publications | vitae | classes | weblog | contact me