I’ve had discussions with + Daniel Conover  over the relative merits of a tightly controlled…

I've had discussions with +Daniel Conover over the relative merits of a tightly controlled taxonomy vs. a non-controlled "folksonomy." My balance tended to be more heavily weighted to the latter than Dan's in general. I often favor a hybrid approach where systems accept any kind of tag but when needed a backend authority promotes some of those tags into a controlled taxonomy.

You know what has really changed my mind? Digitizing my CD collection. It is amazing what complete bullshit the data that comes in from CDDB is. I mean, sure it is usually accurate as to the titles of the songs and the name of the artist (but not 100% of the time.) In the other stuff thought, it is crap. Try getting the metadata for both discs of any two disc CD. There is no guarantee the artist name is even the same, much less the title of the disc. Capitalization, use of numbers, ampersands vs "and" and many stylistic bits vary wildly.

As much as I value user entered data, I do the manual editing of every single CD just to clean up the crap. Over and over I say "CDDB is a commercial entity. Can't Sony/Gracenote pay someone to clean this up this embarrassing mess?"

#blog #cddb

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When Pricing Doesn’t Make Sense I listened to + Aisha Tyler  ‘s interview with Saul Willi…

When Pricing Doesn't Make Sense

I listened to +Aisha Tyler 's interview with Saul Williams. I am not familiar with him and was interested in his music, so I  looked some up on Amazon. That's when I saw this gem:  his eponymous album is $9.99 in the MP3 store. That's not atypical, so no biggie. However, the physical CD is $7.99. That's also not the weirdest thing in the world to have the physical good a little cheaper than the digital. I see it in the Kindle store with regularity and while weird and annoying, isn't earth shattering.


Where it gets really weird is with the addition of Amazon's AutoRip feature. If I buy the above CD, I'll automatically get the MP3 versions. By paying the lower price, I get both products. It's cheaper for me to buy the physical CD, get the free Prime shipping and have it sent to me, have Amazon box it up and ship it to me where I throw it away or give it to Goodwill without opening it than it is to buy the MP3s. That's when life doesn't make sense. 

Amazon will automatically lower the prices of Kindle books if it detects them cheaper at a competing store. Why can't it do the same thing for itself? I don't want the physical CD so why force me to have you send it to me to get the better pricing? Amazon is definitely not making more money that way.


girl on guy 67: saul williams | girl on guy
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My G+ Metastasis System Described Short Version: I have cobbled together a rickety system to…

My G+ Metastasis System Described

Short Version: I have cobbled together a rickety system to originate content in G+ and have it appear in Twitter, Facebook and/or my blog – all controlled by hashtags.

Very Long Version:

I've grown weary of the fragrmentation of my social media existence. I've been looking for a way to have one single point of entry for my content. My original idea was to post everything to my blog in a special "microblog" category and have things push from there. The holdup is that G+ is not only hard to write to but apparently the SMS posting loophole has been closed:


I opted to start with the +Mike Elgan sharing system as described here:


I'm using a large chunk of that for my system, so Mike gets the bulk of the credit for this. The key point there is the steps that use Pluss Feed Proxy for G+: 


then piped through Feedburner. (I'm experimenting with not laundering through Feeburner and using the Pluss Atom feed directly.) Once that is done, an RSS feed (or Atom) exists of all your Google+ posts. Given that, there are a lot of things that can happen. Mike Elgan has ManageFlitter as the posting system, which I set up. I also have now set up basically the same thing using only IFTTT rules, all driven by hash tags.

If the post contains #twt, then tweet it:


If the post contains #fb, then post to Facebook:


If the post contains #blog, then post to my blog:


Future Work:

The thing I like least about this is the way the title in the Atom or RSS feed comes from the G+ post. I'd like to have it truncuate at the newline if the post begins with a short paragraph, rather than just run on until it runs out of characters. The Pluss Feed Proxy server code is open source. I'm considering getting my own copy, making that change and running my own instance. I think I'd rather submit a patch and have that go into the server that is already there.


As mentioned above, I'm trying this with and without Feedburner in the middle. Mike Elgan cites the cleanup of the feed as the reason to use it. It does also add a lot of latency and one more link in this chain. Since the whole thing is a brittle Rube Goldberg machine, every one of those you can eliminate is one fewer place for it to break. 

For now, I'm going to run with this a while and see how it works. This will be a sizable post on the blog by the time it pushes there, and too long for Facebook to get the whole thing. It will be an interesting experiment just to see the different levels of truncation and how everything handles it. 

I'm interested in any feedback people have. If you use this, or improve it, let me know your experience. I got it from Mike and made some twists, so let me know what twists you make, please.

Elgan: How I publish from Google+
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