Apparently, it’s time for my semi-annual blog update!

I’ve been focusing a bit more on work-work this year, and dialing it back on some of the writing and speaking. Not entirely, just gathering up my thoughts so that I can continue working on things that are interesting and relevant.

Writing: I’ve continued to post Scatter/Gather, Razorfish’s Content Strategy blog. And I also published some articles elsewhere this year.

Speaking: This year I got more serious about scaling back on the public speaking. The My Presentations page has been updated with info and links to recordings (when available). Here’s also a list of just the new ones:

  • Metadata Workshop – Content Strategy Applied, London, UK, March 1-2, 2012 (on slideshare)
  • Content Strategy: Why Now? – Sisältöstrategiaseminaari 2012 (Content Strategy Seminar 2012), Helsinki, Finland, February 8, 2012 (on slideshare)
  • Coming soon – I’ll be co-presenting a workshop and giving a talk at Content Strategy Forum 2012, Cape Town, South Africa, October 24-26, 2012
  • Attending: Even though I’m doing less speaking, I still love the inspiration of going to conferences. I also went to Confab, and soon I’ll be going to dconstruct and XOXO.

Other: One other thing I’ve been up to – I’m serving as Producer on a documentary that Jason Scott is shooting about DEFCON. Here’s a teaser trailer. There’s some other clips, teasers, and test footage on Jason’s YouTube channel.

Still here!

Hi, hello, wait, don’t go!

I know, I’ve been woefully neglecting this blog. But here are a few places you can find me and my work:

Writing: I’ve written lots of posts on Scatter/Gather, a Razorfish blog about Content Strategy. Here are some of my recent favorites:

Speaking: I gave a bunch of talks, and I’ve updated the My Presentations page with info and links to recordings (when available). Funny, because it looks like I did a lot of talks in 2010, and just one in 2011. I actually did a lot of talks in 2011, but many of these were panels, or were places where I was invited to cover topics that I had previously discussed elsewhere. Since there was no recording of these talks and the material wasn’t THAT different than what I’ve already posted, I didn’t see a reason to list all of them on the Presentations page, but if you’re curious, here’s what they were:

Tweeting: Plus, you can always check out my latest thoughts (both profound and mundane) on Twitter – @rlovinger

I’m going to try to make my next visit a little sooner! 17 months is a bit too long.

FEED: The Razorfish Consumer Experience Report 2008

Yes, I’ve been neglecting this blog, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been productive. My employer (which has changed it’s name back to Razorfish) has published another book, which contains an article by me about semantic web and user-generated data. You can see the whole, beautifully designed document online. My article is on page 60. Congratulations to my colleagues who also contributed to the book.

Quoted in the New York Times

This doesn’t really have anything to do with central themes of this blog, but I was quoted in a Times article today, about the new walking and seating area that runs along 8 blocks of Broadway (including an area directly in front of my office): Front-Row Seats on Broadway, if You Dare.

My quote is actually the closing comment in the article. I’m not going to spoil it, though, you’ll have to read the article.

Digital Design Outlook

My company, Avenue A | Razorfish, has published a Digital Design Outlook book, and an accompanying blog. I contributed an article providing a user experience perspective on the Semantic Web. I’m excited about the potential for bridging the gap between really powerful semantic technologies and elegant and effective user experiences. I think this is one of the major digital design challenges of the next few years.

For more details, read my article, The Semantic Web We Weave, on the Digital Design Blog.

Re-naming the Semantic Web

One of the things I heard a lot of people buzzing about at the Semantic Technology Conference last week was whether or not the Semantic Web would be more accessible to people (as a concept) if it were called something else. Apparently people don’t like the word “semantic.” I sometimes forget that, and then I read something like this (admittedly fairly old) article about Tim Berners-Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The framing metaphor – Berners-Lee as Tolkien – is nonsensical. You could swap out any author who invented a culture with its own language and the metaphor would work just as well (or just as poorly). And, it’s ridiculous to imply that the significant factor of the WWW is that it’s based on an invented language; computer programming languages and markup languages have a long history that predates the WWW. In the end, this metaphor does nothing to illuminate the social, economic, and cultural impact of the Web. (It does have a handy subtext, though – apparently people who are interested in the underlying workings of the Web are nerds, just like people who are passionate about Lord of the Rings.)

With frequent references to “futuristc” and “magic” and “special codes,” the Chronicle article starts out by oversimplifying the concepts of Semantic Web and quickly shifts to steeping them in acronyms and dense technical jargon. If this really is the view of the Semantic Web that’s out there, then perhaps it does need a more consumer-friendly name.

Continue reading “Re-naming the Semantic Web”