Archive for the ‘Collective Intelligence’ Category

StormDriver Cookbook

November 10th, 2011 Posted by jan 5 Comments

Our series of StormDriver previews turned out to be quite popular, especially the first part that started off by giving our readers a first person perspective walk through the system. After all, nothing can showcase a piece of software better than some inspiring examples of things that can be done with its help. That’s why I wanted to give you some more interesting user scenarios.

You can call this a StormDriver Cookbook, prepared especially for our new users. StormDriver may feel daunting at first, so I created a couple of ready recipes that you can try out as soon as you get in. See how you like them, and then experiment to your heart’s content!

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Privacy, Releases, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized |

StormDriver Cookbook, Part Two

November 10th, 2011 Posted by Chris 2 Comments

There are several thousand potato dishes known worldwide.

Before you start to wonder why am I going into this culinary metaphor, just think about it:   something as simple as a lump of starch and protein can be used in so many ways! What about really complex items? What about truly versatile things, like StormDriver? This one silly potato trivia made me think, that my recent StormDriver Cookbook simply isn’t enough. That’s why I talked to some other guys in our team, in order to check how they would use our platform, and what they would recommend to our users.  Now, I’m coming back with some more real-life examples.

And because right now we’re having a series of planning brainstorms, it’s probably not the last cookbook you’ll see on our pages. So sit back, turn on your imagination, and check some more cool ways to use the StormDriver. I hope our ideas will inspire you to try it out personally.

Because StormDriver, just like potatoes, can be used in many, many ways.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Privacy, Security, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at Ping.it |

StormDriver Alpha: Third Preview

November 10th, 2011 Posted by Chris 100 Comments

All good things come to an end. So far, in two previous installments (found here and here), I’ve typed over 4000 words about how interesting StormDriver is. I don’t think I can do much more to convince you, until of course you are able to get your hands on the internal alpha version. But there are still some last things I want to iron out.

As you can see from our last two previews, the scope of this system is huge. So huge in fact, we had lost several programmers in the endless pages of code, never to be found again. Our devs are mostly a special kind of people, that can recite the phonebook they’ve seen five years ago. Or at least they wish they could.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Internet Trends, Releases, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at Ping.it |

Prismatic personality – a fresh concept for social networks?

October 21st, 2011 Posted by Chris 1 Comment

Publicity that followed the recent death of Steve Jobs proved who the true heroes of our age are. In last two decades, famous developers and IT inventors started to get the attention equal to pop stars and politicians. And all of those internet icons fall roughly in two categories. We have successful entrepreneurs and businessmen like Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page or Bill Gates. And then we have some shady figures, the swashbucklers and buccaneers of the digital age, people like Julian Assange or Kevin Mitnick.

One of the messiahs of this underground web is a quiet New York student, Chris Poole, also known as “moot”. In 2003, being just 15 years old, he programmed a simple website that with zero marketing and one-man development grew to 18 million unique monthly users in less than ten years. I’d give you a link, but you would click it immediately and then you’d go back to complain about inappropriate content you found there. Because Poole’s invention is an anonymous, uncensored, and (almost) unmoderated image board called 4chan.

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Posted in Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Privacy, Security, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized |

Waving flags and smoking robots

September 23rd, 2011 Posted by Chris 8 Comments

The fifth round of the StormDriver Caption Contest is now officially over, and that’s why it’s time to tell you what was the original intention behind our fifth picture. It was hitting some high notes with all the flag waving, sun rays, and heaps of broken robots.  But what did we want to tell you?

Well, many of you guessed correctly. A good portion of submissions described a triumph over robots. Robots with a looking glass symbol.

Today, most of us have two ways of finding interesting content. We have our tried and tested sites that we like to visit – they can be anything from HuffPost to Digg. And if we’re looking for something not found there, we simply use a search engine.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology |

The Elephant In The Room

July 25th, 2011 Posted by Chris 142 Comments

This picture says it all. It took two long years for Facebook to reach the same user base that Google+ gained in less than a month.

Right now, it’s really hard for anyone to ignore the hulking elephant in the room that Google+ has become over last weeks. Pushing forward like a runaway bulldozer, it’s going straight to the top of social networking charts, with 2 billion shared items and 4 billion updates every day. I guess quite a few start-up developers are frantically changing  their plans right now. StormDriver is, of course, not affected. Our system is very different from Facebook, it doesn’t even fit the social network definition, so what’s emerging as a problem for them, doesn’t bother us.

But what do we make of this elephant in the room?

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Internet Trends, Technology, Uncategorized, Working at Ping.it |

Breaking out of the box

July 12th, 2011 Posted by Chris 59 Comments

I must say we’ve enjoyed the second round of  StormDriver contest even more than you did. We had a lot of fun reading through all the captions that were popping out like eyeballs on Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. If we were to pick the winners, we’d have a really hard time choosing from all the great ideas.

What surprised us most, is that the submitted captions were so varied. We had everything from humor, and nice marketing slogans (crowdsourced copywriting might be the way of the future), to cynical attention-grabs. It was all very nice, but many of you were wondering what all of it had to do with StormDriver.

Now, that the second round is finished, we can  lift the veil and let you know why we asked our cartoonist to draw this particular picture. Pacman with a pick-axe? What were we thinking?

Well, in the very beginning, when we were still defining what StormDriver is supposed to be, we had a vision of a user browsing the web. Even though you can go everywhere, you’re in fact closed in a box, in your own Pacman arena – you stroll around munching content, websites, social updates. There’s only you and a page on your screen. You never know what’s beyond the light blue walls of your meadow.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Design and Layout, Games, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology, Working at Ping.it |

The rise of the Hive Mind

May 31st, 2011 Posted by Chris 0 Comments

Regardless of what you may think after seeing the title, this story is not about bugs or aliens. It’s about all of us. Or, to be more precise, about user recommendations, and the way they change the Internet.

Recommendations are a prime way of fighting the content overload. With 48 hours of new videos added to Youtube every minute, with sites and blogs publishing more content in an hour than you could read in your life time, with data mass of human civilization close to reaching one zettabyte, finding quality content has never been harder. It’s like walking into a record store, where CD’s are stacked up to the roof and all covers are blank. The search engines are reaching their limits, and we’re still far away from the true, artificial intelligences that could help us cope with this incredible data mess.

Fortunately, we have ourselves.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology, Uncategorized |

The web search is dead

May 23rd, 2011 Posted by StormDriver 4 Comments

Search is dead. And before you dismiss this claim as something only a crazy start-up would say, let me explain. It seems that two biggest search engines admit that the old, query-based search is going the way of a dodo. They have finally acknowledged, that combing through countless pages of raw data, of polluted and inaccurate results, in order to find anything valuable, is hardly a good user experience. That’s why the dinosaurs of the web turned to the new ways: Google with its “+1” button, and Bing – with Facebook’s “like” and increasing Facebook integration. Instead of working on algorithms that could automatically refine search, they turned to your social connections instead, to do the dirty work.

It’s not a fad, or a copycat stunt. Those are the biggest players of the online world, employing droves of analysts. They know which way the wind blows, and they don’t want it to blow in their face. They realize we’ve reached the breaking point of data congestion, where keyword search is unlikely to give you the best possible result. In fact, you can count yourself happy if you find anything of any use in first 10 results, as you can see in this great article. The results are broken by SEO tricks, positioning, content farms, rampant ads, promoted results, and finally – the explosion of data and proliferation of new, aggressive sites. Google and Microsoft know that. We know that as well, that’s exactly the thing we had in mind while drafting our last cartoon.

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Posted in About Ping.it, Collective Intelligence, Content Discovery, Internet Trends, Social Browsing, Technology |

Intelligent home – a future that never happened

May 17th, 2011 Posted by Chris 7 Comments

There are concepts that have been tried many times over the course of the last century, always failed, and yet innovators don’t give up on them. No, I’m not talking about flying cars or miraculous hair growth formulas. It’s the intelligent home that grabbed the spotlight this time around, thanks to the recent Goolge I/O conference, and the Android@Home initiative.

If you haven’t seen a video from the conference yet, here’s a quick recap. A Google spokesperson takes the stage. Behind his back, there’s a poster with a family of disturbingly happy green robots. There is a brief talk about remote control of home appliances and lights. Then, stage spotlights are starting to flash as someone plays a game on an Android tablet.

Are you impressed yet?

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Posted in Collective Intelligence, Internet Trends, Security, Technology, Uncategorized |