Wosju: Connection with Context

Looking for the next social level, the means to actually pull value out of those hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people you likely are following across your various social networks? Check out the very cool new Wosju – an algorithm-based service that shows you the way to get from here to there in your networking. Wosju aggregates data from your various social networks and services, analyzes that data via its proprietary algorithms and spits out a “qualitative output of your network” in the form of a slick dashboard with catchy, simple visuals.  From their “about” page:

It combines and visualizes all of your traceable relations across different social graphs, calculates the strength behind each relation based on a specific context and provides you with valuable information about your relations and your network.

Like Klout, Wosju assigns a “score” to your connection with someone else in your network, offering insight on how you may be able to strengthen that connection. The page dashboard includes lots of data, also like Klout. What is nice that each piece of data on the page gives you some background on how that information is calculated. See all of your mutual connections, the strength of those connections, the frequency of interaction, and the types of interactions.

The Wosju Score indicates the overall strength of your relationship and primarily is based on mutual interaction across various networks, as viewed through the algorithms’ analysis of context, form and frequency. Pretty space-age. Also like Klout, the score is dynamic and presumably will move up and down as relationship points change over time.

The information is valuable because you can use your best nearby connections to leverage a better connection with a remote contact  – someone with whom you may wish to conduct business. The Score can also serve as a filter, giving you a means to prioritize connections or refocus connection efforts.  A bit overwhelming, but so is the process of keeping tabs on your contacts, connections, and relations in this turbo-charged social networking world. Wosju’s tables are far easier to grasp than scanning through your various feeds to pull this information yourself.

You can sign up for their beta at the link above. I have signed up and am waiting to check it out. This is an exciting sign, an indication that developers are moving away from the focus of numbers involved in connection and towards the evolving quality of connection. Will this serve as a substitute for real life? Nope. But having an extra layer with a super-simple means of checking on the health of a particular connection certainly can’t hurt.


Google Is Getting Real With Realtime

Google added a Realtime search option in the left-hand sidebar a while ago. Click on Realtime, and your search result will show updates on the topic in, well, realtime. It’s actually kind of nifty – new results scroll up automatically and you can adjust the timeframe of the updates using the graph in the right sidebar.

While the tool has always been cool, the results have been, well, kind of meh, given that the only source for the realtime data was Twitter.

But now, Google Realtime has gotten a lot cooler. It is now including updates from Quora and Gowalla, as well as Facebook and Google Buzz.  The more realtime services added to the Google mix, the better the overall result, in my book. Chances are, you will get a wider variety of content, assuming that not everyone tweets everything of interest on a given subject. Quora, for example, seems to attract a different type of user and a different calibre of answer.

As any good researcher will tell you, the more diverse the sources you tap for your search, the more global the overall result. Thanks Google, for making realtime a heck of a lot more relevant and useful for me.

Relieved, With A Side of Trepidation

This morning, as I read my morning RSS feeds, my eyes strayed to an entry that immediately brought on a wave of euphoria: Delicious has been purchased!

Delicious, the venerable social bookmarking website (since 2003 – practically a centenarian in Web years), has long been my favorite bookmark storage tool and the news last fall that Yahoo was going to “sunset” the service was not well met by me, and countless others. There was a mad scramble to export marks, locate alternative services, board up the doors and duct tape the windows and find a suitable tinfoil hat. But I still couldn’t bring myself to abandon Delicious. It works so effectively for me. Tagging and saving via my bookmarklets is like second nature.

And, guess who’s buying? None other than the founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Now, if they don’t know how to build and promote a web service, then who the heck does?

Then, the euphoria gives way to a nagging sense of doubt.

Why the trepidation, you ask?  Well, it won’t be a behind-the-scenes, no-blip-on-the-user-radar kind of change over. Hurley and Chen have indicated that they will be creating a new service from existing Delicious data, which you can opt into or, well, do what you would have done anyway if Yahoo just tanked it. The new service is to be called AVOS. There is my first problem. Delicious is a MUCH better name. What the heck does AVOS mean? And, Delicious has a great deal of name recognition that clearly Chen and Hurley are not overly concerned about. Which makes me wonder, what exactly is AVOS going to be about. I doubt it will be just about bookmarking.

Delicious says that that Chen and Hurley’s startup will “continue the service that users have come to know and love and by working with the community, make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s ‘tastiest’ content.”

O.k. We shall have to see. I hate to sound curmudgeonly, but I happen to really love Delicious the way it works right now. So, long and short. I am very happy that Delicious is not destined for the dustbin (yet). However, I am silently and fervently praying that they keep the site’s bones intact. Delicious works well right now. Why fix it if it’s not broken?

Signed, “Cautious in Canton.”

More Online, Searchable, FREE Legal Research

The Free Law Reporter an electronic case reporter that freely publishes nearly every recent appellate and supreme court opinion, from state to federal US courts,  with emphasis on recent. Without getting into the nuts and bolts of the build, the FLR is looking to a free, unencumbered (by whom, I wonder?) law reporter fit for educational, research and practical purposes. It’s source feed pulls weekly so there is a potential lag time involved in securing results. Tapped sources include the appellate courts of the 50 states and the federal government. The service culls the slip opinions that are fed to it every week, and then organizes the opinions into “ebooks”, with each state and federal jurisdiction gathered into a volume. FLR is also working out its search function: basic keyword searching is now available and facet searching and “more like this” functionality is coming soon. Coverage starts January 1, 2011, so it is not much for archive searching. However, as it very cleverly formats the “ebooks” in the .epub format, they are viewable on virtually any desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and e-reader device, allowing interested parties to read the most current decisions in the relevant jurisdiction easily and efficiently. Right now, the feed  include everything that comes from a given court including “unpublished” opinions, orders, and motions, which screams out for some level of filtering, which FLR promises is coming soon. And the FLP is actively soliciting law professors and other legal professionals to assist in a project to tag and add headnotes to opinions!

Limitations notwithstanding, the FLP is precisely the type of research geared to modern practice that we should be clamoring for. Once clever developers learn how to harness the massive flow of legal information generated from our court and legislatures, make that information accessible and usable, then the old models of electronic research, with their hefty paywalls, invariably will have to change. It can’t happen soon enough for me.

Hat tip to Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites.

Bridg.Me – The Conference Calls You

If ever there was an example of a problem in search of a solution, conference calling would have to be at the top of the list. Setting up the call, originating the call, dialing in to the call, inputting your passcode into the call and, when you are invariably dropped, doing the last couple of steps all over again.

Well, someone has found a way to improve on this nasty process with a new application called Bridg.me. Using their web page interface, you can schedule the call, input the attendees’ phone numbers and set a time. If you enter the hashtag #bridg in the description and participants numbers in the 1+ the number format, your meeting will sync up with Google Calendar. Then wait. When conference time rolls around, Bridg.me calls you and the other participants, no dailing, inputting or holding required. During its trial period, it costs $.05 per minute per person, but soon there will be a free option for basic service and a paid option for unlimited time / participant service.

It does NOT get any simpler than that! Hat tip to Techcrunch.

Qwiki Now On iPad, Where It Should Be

I have written about Qwiki, the visual wiki, in the Studio before. Qwiki, the web tool, offers a multi-media search engine with Wiki-like editability. Results yield a montage of videos, photographs, maps, links to related topics and a narration and scrolling text of the “answer” to your query running throughout the video / slideshow.

Fast forward to today and Qwiki, the ultimate modern reference consumption tool, finds its way to the iPad, the ultimate modern reference consumption device. The iPad version looks much like the web version, but takes full advantage of the touch interface. There is a location element – Qwiki’s from nearby are highlighted on the homepage, along with the most popular Qwikis.

This is a truly winning combination of application and device – get an engaging visual information experience, on the go, tied to your location via a tactile interface. In other words, take your Qwiki with you to the coffee shop, the airport, the gym and the courtroom. The developers promise that iPhone and Android applications and an internet television version are in the works.

Bo.lt: More Page Sharing Fun

Interesting tool alert: Bo.lt is a link sharing application with more than one twist. When you paste a URL into the box on its site or via bookmarklet, a duplicate of the page is created on Bo.lt’s servers, letting you edit the page itself. Thus, someone clicking your link will see your manually redated and modified version of the page. You highlight the important content and let your reader cut right to the chase. Change text, edit or delete images or text, change links through its visual or HTML editor. Features allow you to share the page directly on Twitter or Facebook via the customizable URL. And, if you are collaborating with someone, they too can edit or make changes. All changes are tracked, so you can keep tabs on who has done what to the finished product. Realtime analytics reveal traffic on your links from Twitter, Facebook and Google. You can also see the activity of other users – check out the Community feed, complete with links to profiles. Additional, paid features are coming so keep tuned. In the meantime, watch this new service progress to the point where co-founders Matthew and Jamie Roche hope it to reach – a sharing destination, or the YouTube of linked pages.

Tech Litigation Dance Card (Infographic)

Finding it difficult to keep track of which tech company is suing the other? You are not alone. But now there’s an infographic for that! Looking much like a modern Go game (in fact and theory), this pic will help you follow along on the path to intellectual property righteousness (this chart only covers patent suits, a small subset of the many available options), and is limited to mobile development. Fun and games! Hat tip to Technologizer.

Cool Tool: Deep Citing Within a Web Page with CiteBite

If you perform research on the Web, or care to share the results of your research with someone else, you probably have found on occasion that your desired data may be lost in a sea of text within a web page. Sure you can “find” within the page to locate where your search terms are hidden. Or, if you want to be able to go directly to the point or direct someone else to the point at a later time, you could try CiteBite.

CiteBite offers the ability to link to a particular portion of a web page, which is particularly useful for long, text-heavy pages or articles. When you click on the CiteBite-d link, your page will open up at the precise point desired, with the particular text of interest highlighted.

CiteBite is a web-based tool that can be used from its web page linked above, or via Firefox extension or bookmarklet for other browsers. Pages are cached on CiteBite’s server so the chances of losing your cite are diminished.

Seems like a “must use” tool for any web-based research – check it out next time you are searching Google Scholar for case law and need to share the holding of a case with someone else. And don’t forget to thank me when they look at you like some kind of technological wunderkind.