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Day: April 21, 2009

Of Twits

I came across an interesting scene the other day on Larry King. Ashton Kutcher was basking in his success to be the first person to have 1,000,000 followers on Twitter, beating CNN by just minutes. My first thought was “Why Ashton Kutcher?” My second was “Why not?” As an aside, should we now call Ashton King Twit?

Anyway, it got me thinking about Twitter and how I communicate electronically. I have been a rabid user of text messaging for several years. It has become the primary mode of communication with my college age sons (except when we are in the room together), who have all but abandoned email, even IM. Phone based text messaging even allows my wife and I to constantly keep in touch while I travel without requiring both of us to be talking synchronously (another way of saying being tied up at the same time). Asynchronous communication in the form of emails, text messages, tweets, IM, etc. have freed people up from maintaining a real-time state with their conversation partners. Maybe asynchronous messaging has helped me stay married for so long. Also, messaging has become invaluable for work, allowing me to multitask and keep things moving with coworkers asynchronously.

Now I am using Twitter, ramping up, getting to know it better. One thing I really like about Twitter is that it is device and software independent unlike cell phone messaging which I must do from my phone. I can twitter from my computer, phone, or IPod Touch. If you haven’t added your phone to your Twitter account, do it now (more info at http://help.twitter.com/forums/10711/entries/14014).

By the way, I looked up Twitter and Twit on a couple online dictionaries. The noun Twit means “an insignificant person” or “an excited state”. The verb means to “taunt”. The verb Twitter means “to talk lightly and rapidly” just like a small bird twitters. I don’t think Mr. Kutcher is an insignificant person, or his accomplishment unworthy of attention, but he does tend to talk excitedly and to taunt (“You’ve been Punked!”). Why not Ashton Kutcher indeed! </>

W3C Publishes New Working Drafts for OWL 2 – Last Call

The W3C OWL Working Group has published new Working Drafts for OWL 2, a language for building Semantic Web ontologies. An ontology is a set of terms that a particular community finds useful for organizing data (e.g., for data about a book, useful terms include “title” and “author”). OWL 2 (a compatible extension of “OWL 1″ ) consists of 13 documents (7 technical, 4 instructional, and 2 group Notes). For descriptions and links to all the documents, see the ” OWL 2 Documentation Roadmap.” This is a “Last Call” for the technical materials and is an opportunity for the community to confirm that these documents satisfy requirements for an ontology language. This is a second Last Call for six of the documents, but because the changes since the first Last Call are limited in scope, the review period lasts only 21 days. For an introduction to OWL 2, see the four instructional documents: an “overview,” “primer,” “list of new features,” and “quick reference.” http://www.w3.org/2007/OWL, http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-owl2-new-features-20090421/