On the Trail of LifeClusters

On the Trail of LifeClusters

CIMG4201I went back to Darkroom today. I needed only to see the words continuing on the black screen to know that I missed this. I think I actually type faster that I write now. I cheat though and look at the keys as I am typing.

I just opened Darkroom up right in the middle of doing other things and decided I needed to write something. So this post is probably going to be very loose and disconnected but I don't really care right now. The words need to come out.

I do like writing posts. I do like writing in general. I see it as the icing on the cake. But I also know that I can write and write on this and other blogs but it will really do no good unless I do some of the hidden work.

And for those readers out there who are used to the post a day that I wrote for months, I am sorry that my frequency has slowed down. It's not slacking. It's on purpose. I need to get other things done.

The things that I am working on should free up a lot of time for more writing. But they don't just happen. I have to work on them.

This is one of the reason I spread out into a lot of social networks and am trying to be a dedicated Twitter user. Just to let all of you know that I did not disappear and that there will be posts.

Of course, it doesn't help that Twitter goes down a lot. From the levels of use Twitter gets, they will either fix it or someone will come along and build something that will take it's place. It's inevitable.

It's #1 at what it does and the only way I stay connected to the internet everywhere I go. I went looking for another possibility for a while but I think I will wait it out and see who is left standing.

I will be investigating feeds, lifestreams, and lifeclusters. I just had to check if lifecluster had been coined yet. Not in the way I have been using it, so I think I am safe. Street Art

A lifestream is great. I have a few going right now with a few services. I also have one I am building out of Gregarius. They take all activities from all your blogs and networks and stream them in chronological order.

When I started blogging, I wondered the same thing that I did when I investigated lifestreams. What value is the chronological order? Another question: Is a to-do list a future stream?

I have paged through blogs in chronological order to get an idea of the direction a blog is going, but when I need to actually learn something, I use the search function. The dates do not matter.

A lifestream is linear. It assumes that none of this data is connected in other ways. If I am researching a certain topic for a period of time, my lifestream will show this, but without paging through the past, there is no way to know if I had already been down this trail and found other information of interest.

And this dilemma has been stuck in my head for years. I started with a structured universal category system, similar to the Dewey decimal system. This I would back up with keyword concentration data to determine like content.

Then tags came along as I was working on this along with the Yahoo api for extracting tags. But that still is not very smart. Is soap a cleaning substance or a web technology?

Then I ran into the semantic web, which I thought was the answer. But then I noticed that it did not cover ideas and knowledge. The systems I found mainly identified objects: people, places, and things.

Now I am sort of turning back to a universal tagging structure after seeing technology like Faviki which uses Wikipedia topics as tags. I would seem that Wikipedia would grow to cover all knowledge, therefore the tag base will grow with time and bits and pieces of a lifestream can be grouped into lifeclusters via these.

Of course, not being one to follow only one trail at a time, the whole concept of knowledge organization has traveled back to the idea seed.

As you mindmap a post idea, niche site idea or any idea in general, what if each node were tagged and pulled in data from your lifestream. As you map the idea, the information you have researched in the past starts grouping around each node, so that by the point you're done with a mind map, all the data you need is there also.

This concept comes from the way I bookmark. I search, scan, evaluate quickly and then tag. I go after quantity, then I start mining specifics.

Red RoseAnd after a post is written, if all the research material were available to the reader, the idea would complete a full circuit and branch out into related ideas, just like ideas do in the mind. From the point of view of the mind, a lifestream is very one dimensional.

Well this is where I am at now. Again with the questions. And a post with no real answers. There is no straight lines in nature. Anything that exists on earth has a job ahead of it if it wants to go against what is natural. Streams join and separate and eventually flow into the oceans.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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