30 January 2008

Farm Foody: A Social Network Connecting Independent Farms to People

Over the last year, I have been working with Tom Davenport, and Matthew Davenport, of Hollin Farms, a small, independent but very internet-savvy family farm to start a social networking service Farm Foody (farmfoody.org), which uses the Internet to connect local farmers like you to their customers. I would like to summarize why we believe social networking is so important to the survival of the independent family farm, by posting a revised version of our flyer.

A social network is a group of people who become connected to each other through their activities and interests within an online community.

We believe a social network increases the economic leverage for the independent farm. A catalog of farms or an individual farm homepage does not change the economic leverage of a farm. A social network gives the small farm leverage in a big agriculture economy in two principle ways: by helping farmers manage their relationships with customers more efficiently and generating a more effective marketing presence through the social networking experience.

The independent farmer must create a close relationship with the customer, similar to the relationship an artisan baker or butcher has with their customers. This involves effort, which our website seeks to reduce to a manageable level and leverage for marketing effect. We hope by providing a means to relate directly with consumers as a “personal farmer” your farm can compete in a small farm economy becoming dominated by high end, specialty products.

We like to think of the social network as restoring the balance that once existed in small town America between the farmer and the customer.

A social network provides benefits to both farmer and consumer. When people are members of a social network, they automatically generate a marketing presence for you through normal activities they find beneficial. This presence is much larger than any standalone website, catalog or advertisement could provide, since it includes all of the people who are friends of your farm and their friends, and so on. These indirect effects are difficult to enumerate, just as the fertility of the soil is hard to explain, but the effects are there for all to see. We all recognize fertile soil when we see it by the vibrancy of the plants growing in it. The social network is like the soil a plant grows in.

People are encouraged by the social network to discover new farms by exploring the relationships between network members.

When people visit a social networking site, they will ordinarily explore the site through following relationships with “friends.” In a social network, anyone can be a friend of another member. In this manner, they often find other members to become friends with who they might never have found through searching. This process is similar to “word of mouth” in the real world, where people ask their friends where they bought their produce. This phenomena drives new customers to your farm without the farmer being required to do anything.

Think of how musical groups create elaborate websites to market their music, yet nearly all successful music groups today maintain a presence on a social networking website. They receive much more activity and feedback, much greater awareness among young people who buy their music, through the social network than the traditional website.

Unlike a catalog of farms, even with a locality search, the social network draws people in and keeps them there with an activity, it gives them a stake in the farm and in their own presence on the site, which benefits them and the farms they affiliate with. Your “profile” (presence) on the site becomes a place for customers to return to for the latest information on your farm. A customer's profile becomes a way to share their own interests (along with your farm) with others. When you post a bulletin (like a classified ad), it automatically flows out to friends of your farm. Non-farm members can even use the network to promote themselves.

Think of a chef joining the network, becoming a friend of several farms they purchase produce from promoting his own abilities through his network of friends and bulletins, leading new customers to your farm.

The social network involves people with the life of the farm. Interest in agriculture has never been greater. The farm is an exotic location for agricultural tourism. Organic food is an established product. Eating local has never been more attractive to the consumer. With books like Omnivore's Dilemma, and the recent anxiety and uncertainly about imported foods, people are more likely than ever to wonder where their food comes from. Farm Foody leverages this social change for you.

A site designed by farmers for farmers.

Our experience at Hollin Farms helped us to design an online service mindful of the needs of farmers. We understand the farmer does not have time to sit at the computer figuring out how to update their information. Our goal was to make using our site as simple and immediate as possible in order to reduce the time and effort you spend answering customer's questions, keeping your customers up to date on availability of produce, and the like. We believe the Internet can play a vital role in helping the independent farmer survive and prosper in the 21st century.


A website by Tom Davenport, Hollin Farms (hollinfarms.com) and Steve Knoblock (brandymorecastle.org)

29 January 2008

SpeakUp: A Transcript Markup Language

What is SpeakUp?

A simple text markup language for transcripts of moving pictures or video including a markup language for annotation.

Overview

When the Folkstreams project required a way for filmmakers and academic contributors to create and maintain transcripts for films archived and presented through the Folkstreams website, I decided a simple text markup language would be the best way to store and edit transcripts.

A transcript markup language defines a series of conventions for formatting text (like wiki text) that is translated into HTML for display. SpeakUp was designed to contain as much content as possible and preserve meaning for possible later conversion into XML or database form.

Speakup is implemented as a module extending the PEAR Text_Wiki library text translation module and is a requirement for use.

Although development and documentation of Speakup is not complete, it is in use on the Folkstreams website.

Speakup, including all markup, code and documentation is open source and released under a GPL license. I apologize for the brevity of this document, but the best way to learn SpeakUp is to download the package and experiment with it. Download.

Some Background

Some background on why transcripts are important. As the Folkstreams project was developed, project director Tom Davenport and developer Steve Knoblock, in a series of discussions, arrived at the conclusion that transcripts are essential to searching, finding and understanding films online. Two points emerged: that transcripts are a rich source of indexable text that help make media searchable and that more importantly, transcripts are a rich source of conversation and debate.

Frequently notes are more informative and interesting than the work they annotate. We discovered this was true for film transcripts (see Sadobabies for an example of a conversation going on in the notes about the nature of folklore). Although there are sophisticated means to capture the dialog of a moving picture and render it to text, these transcripts are inadequate. They lack annotation. They lack expressive quality of a transcript edited by a knowledgeable person. They are in a sense, a travesty, like an OCR'ed copy of Dickens left uncorrected.

A Trip Through The Minefield of Knowledge

I have frequently been the victim of an author who has a peculiar view on a subject, which turns out to be simply wrongheaded. Because there are so many books, many more than I could purchase, read and evaluate and because turning to book reviewers is frequently just as useless as getting the wrong view from the wrong authority, the value of books can be somewhat limited.

It is easy to assume that if a book is published on a subject that the author knows something about the subject, that they are well versed in he subject and

The problem is that authors have differing views on the same subject. They have different backgrounds and differ about what is important to them. Writers generally write what they know. This is a problem, for example, in music. Thirty years ago you could not find a book explaining harmonic theory behind blues harmony. Oh, there may have been a few academic or musicological works on the subject, but generally, if you wanted to learn blues harmony you had to listen to recordings or ask a blues musician.

This was because the cohort of music theory writers disdained or held blues music in contempt, did not listen to it and thought it base or childish. Blues, they thought, lacked the sophistication of Western classical music. It was all bump, bump, bump and grind. It musicologically wasn't worth the time of day to them.

Yet, blues music contains the most sophisticated polyrhythms outside of Polynesia and the most colorful expressions and sophisticated harmonies of any music, borrowing the Western harmony and mixing it with expressive melody moans and instrumental vocalizations and "harmony" bordering on chaos and dissonance. These writers could not see (or hear) this, because they didn't want to hear or see it. They were racists or elitists or just didn't like the music. My parents, who liked 50s rock and roll, never liked singers who "yelled" and where "you couldn't understand the words." So to them, at least some of the blues based music was inaccessible because of its affront to the senses.

I noticed that despite my love of various forms of hard edged music, that even after enjoying several hours of hard rocking music, that my ears would tire of the distortion. I loved cranking up the distortion when playing electric guitar, but have to admit that hours, maybe even minutes as I grew older, became grating on the ears compared to folk music, classical guitar or classical European music (my brother found he could not concentrate on his work while listening to classical music because the strong emotions it evoked were distracting).

However understandable the reluctance to write seriously about blues music was, it was incredibly damaging to the quality of description, transcription and writing of blues and blues based music in book or sheet music form for a long time. This did not deter people from learning blues by stumbling through poorly written books, slowing down records on tape recorders and asking friends how to play licks.

But it did make it terribly confusing and difficult to learn anything about blues from books. You might ask where is this all leading other than to the ran tings of a frustrated guitar player? It raises a profound question about information, whether the "Wiki" model of authorship, collective authority, is best or whether the traditional model of authorship as a single authority is best. With the wiki model wisdom becomes refined by becoming conventional. There is a tendency for collective authorship to become settled.

(A word about why this bothers me: One of the things I was taught (part of my miseducation -- a story for another time, but an important concept as an education, because everyone gets a miseducation as well as an education) when very young was that what separated us from both societies before the introduction of movable type and before literacy, was the capacity to record knowledge in book form, by which knowledge could be transmitted to future generations and distant persons with perfect accuracy. All that was necessary to learn something, was to find a book on it, and follow the instructions. This turns out to be impractical and bordering on the absurd. Although there are rivalries between "book learning" and "experience" nearly all crafts, professions, activities engaged in by people require more than "book learning" to achieve any results. Most professions, from computer programming to music, require "folk knowledge" such as "programmer lore" or ways of solving problems, common algorithms, etc. handed down from programmer to programmer by "word of mouth" and deemed to minor to put in books. Of course, this knowledge can be vital to success in the real world of programming.)

Collective authorship can create greater accuracy, given the weight conventional wisdom formed by this authorship is ordinarily correct, than from an author with a peculiar point of view. However, you are much less likely to encounter a disruptive point of view from a radical individual who takes on a false conventional wisdom. There seems to be no solution to this problem of authority in information, other than to say sometimes conventional wisdom is correct because it reflects the intelligence of mobs and sometimes a lone wolf is correct while the conventional wisdom mob rules with a pack of profitable, self-serving lies or delusions.

So will it be the Digg model where the mob tosses the good stuff up on the heap, the Wiki model where the mob through collective wisdom and weight of numbers creates a refined collective wisdom, the Google Knowl model of collectively peer-reviewed free form works with bylines, or will it be the social network that filters knowledge through a mob of friends and groups that works best?

28 January 2008

Image Stablization on non-Four Thirds Lenses

Thanks to the persistence of Olympus users asking for the feature, and the hard work of the Olympus engineers, the E-510 (as well as the E-3) now supports Image Stabilization for non-Four Thirds lenses, including legacy optics. I had to try it out on one of my favorite lenses, the Minolta MD 45mm f/2.0 mounted to my Olympus E-510 using JR's MD to 4/3 adapter.

Here are the results of my first test shot.

E510 Image Stabilization with Minolta 45mm Lens

As you can see, it works very well. Shot f/8 @ 1/13 second hand-held in dark room (under horrible compact fluorescent lighting...sorry for the terrible white balance). I just brought the out of camera JPEGs into Photoshop for a quick auto contrast and white balance.

To use IS on a such an ancient lens, you have to enter the focal length into a setting under the IS menu. To adjust the setting, hold down the exposure compensation button and turn the adjustment wheel until the correct focal length appears in the window. You're ready to shoot.

My testing shows the EXIF data does not recored the focal length entered into the setting. I wish they had provided it.

Social Networks as Walled Gardens

In an article, Facebook-Based Applications Can Now Run on Other Sites by Heather Havenstein, Computerworld, IDG, quoting Sean Aune, said

...Aune added that Facebook is looking to stem criticism for being like a
"walled garden in that things do go in but nothing comes out.
However, the social network is like a walled garden, which is part of its power to filter information through the social network instead of searching. This could balkanize the web, turn it inward, where people only see content posted by friends and their subscribed networks. But this is not too different from how people use email discussion groups, forums and other social media. The web could end up becoming a network of social networks and search engines might become either dinosaurs or searching the social networks instead of indexing random public web pages.

The social network empowers users to manage who can see their content instead of just loosing it on the web. This can reduce the power of serendipitous finds of information, which is one reason the web was so successful, but like the Creative Commons, it does empower users to control how their own content is used, by potentially allowing them to specify where their content is seen or distributed, whether kept private, shared with friends or with groups or other networks. We already see this model forming in Facebook, which allows users to say how and where their posts are distributed, to friends or selected groups.

I welcome the opening of the Facebook network and we hope to participate through our social networking site connecting independent farms to consumers, farmfoody.org.

24 January 2008

Social Networks Turn the World Upside Down

While developing Farmfoody.org over the last two years, we came up with a very similar idea independently. Most sites designed to help you connect with local organic farms require you to search for farms in your locality. We thought that people shouldn't have to search for stuff, it should come to them automatically. If you wanted some fresh locally grown tomatoes, instead of searching for for farms with tomatoes for sale in your area, you just check your own profile to see if any of the local farms you are friends with have tomatoes available. This might be through a map of local farms or through a farm you have become friends with that has put out a bulletin about their new tomato crop. We decided that a social network was the best way to direct and filter this information to the consumer and enable them to make unexpected connections with farms and foodies whose interests and connections mirror their own. People could explore the world of small independent farms and the people who love good food.

The strange thing about comparing Myspace to Facebook is that they are almost opposite worlds. One is completely open with everything literally hanging out all over the place and the other is completely closed without much showing, like an iceberg. Facebook is a set of private networks without any need for the public to be involved or view their content. This could also be true for Myspace. There is really no need for Myspace profiles to be public any more than Facebook. Except that people and musical groups for example use their profiles as public faces, as advertisements and ways to communicate with the public beyond their circle of friends. There really is no way to search Facebook for user criteria other than as a person. One Myspace there is nearly unlimited criteria about the person and their interests to search. Our site, Farmfoody.org will have to seek some balance between these two.

When I go to Digg, I am presented with stories that have been voted to the top. "Voted on by who?" I ask. Every Tom, Dick and Harry? I find sites like Digg (or kuro5hin, Slashdot and other pioneers) filled with content moderated by voting systems unsatisfactory because I do not know or trust who voted on them. What I think would be a better solution is to receive content other people belonging to the same group think is important. This is the facebook model, which could be extended to all kinds of information. I would be much more likely to use a Digg-style site that showed me all the feeds or stories my friends found interesting than a general news site. Why not use the Google Reader model within this context?

Why not take it further? Why not build a site where people read RSS feeds and then share them within a social network instead of the public? Then I could see what my friends think is worthy of sharing. They could vote on the "interestingness" of items in their own feeds and profile and these could be automatically displayed in my profile. Any content they contribute could be monitored from my profile. Any number of layers and methods could be used to "mashup" the content appearing in my profile, either for public or private consumption (depending on the orientation or facing of the site). The social network is a way of utilizing the implied stamp of approval friends give to filter content. Instead of randomly searching about the web or looking at content voted on by idiots. I believe we will see more of social networks being used to filter content.

23 January 2008

Happy chickens

Happy chickens
in bucolic countryside
on carton of eggs.
-sek, Jan 2008

21 January 2008

Favorite Backup Software - SecondCopy

One of my favorite software applications is SecondCopy, from a local Fairfax, Virginia software developer. It is not only useful but perhaps one of the most well designed user interfaces to backup or mirroring software I have seen. Strike that. It is one of the most easy to use, easy to comprehend interfaces I have ever encountered in software. Moreover, it does one vital thing every application for backup and copy should do: clearly tell the user in plain language what it is going to do before it does it. SecondCopy, when creating a profile, tells you exactly what files will be affected and where the source and destination will be located in very clear and complete language.

Some of my favorite things about SecondCopy:

* Only copies what is new or has changed.
* Can generate a report of all files to be copied or deleted on source and destination disks before copying.
* Easy to use with clear explanations of what a copy operation will do. Creates a warning tailored to your choices, explaining and warning about exactly what it will do.
* Save profiles for each copy operation, can be scheduled.
* Only copies files, does not compress or "backup" files, so there is no danger of a backup you cannot restore.
* It can create multiple versions of files by saving files to an archive before deleting them.
* It can detect when a drive starts up.

It does a whole lot of other cool things. I've used it for several years, and it is reliable.

An interesting idea is to use a USB drive as temporary backup while working with important documents if you do not want to keep an external drive powered up. When I am coding and just do not want to start again, I sometimes keep the external HD on with SecondCopy backing up the source every fifteen minutes. I doubt a drive would fail that quickly without warning, but it's nice to be safe. Of course, if you have your backup and main drives running at the same time a power surge could take them both out, which makes a third drive a good idea. As far as I know, SecondCopy works with _any_ drive it can access.

www.secondcopy.com

It's for Windows only unfortunately. I'd love to have as good an interface on many Windows or Linux applications.

20 January 2008

Resizing the LightZone Preview Window

It can be frustrating for new LightZone users to figure out how to optimize the preview window when editing photographs. On each side of the preview window are panes for displaying navigation and the tool stack, which by default, does not leave much room for previewing the image. Most users want the image to fill the screen as much as possible while editing. After all, isn't that why we paid good money for those huge monitors?

On the left border of the Tools pane is a "grip" denoted by a dot pattern. Grab this with the mouse and drag it to resize the editing window. Generally, you will not be able to create much room this way, because the panel stops at the tool stack. You can only take space from the preview area.

To get the most out of your screen, the best approach is to close one or more of the panes. To close the Tools pane, click on the Tools tab. To restore click the tab again. Do the same with the Styles tab and the whole window is devoted to the preview window. The image will extend to the edges of a narrow border defined by the tabs.

Use the navigation window to scroll around the picture. I prefer this to scroll bars (now that I am used to it).

15 January 2008

The Basics of Photography

This is one of the best explanations of how aperture, shutter speed and sensitivity (ISO) interact to create exposure.

http://www.pbase.com/wlhuber/the_basics

I highly recommend it. The metaphor of a see-saw makes the concept easy to grasp and memorable. The article and illustrations provide solid answers to common questions new photographers ask, such as is there a relation between ISO and shutter speed or aperture? The answer is yes, and the see-saw makes this relationship visible.

It is helpful to keep in mind that a combination of shutter and aperture (at a given sensitivity)
has equivalents resulting in the same light value. So that 1/125 sec. @ f/11 is the same exposure as 1/250 sec. @ f/8. Increase the shutter speed by one stop and you need to decrease the aperture number by one stop (the aperture opens wider to allow more light in to balance the reduced time the shutter is open). The calculation can be verified at Bob's exposure calculator. Select 14 for existing light, ISO 100 for sensitivity, then f/8 and f/11 on the aperture priority side or 1/25 and 1/250 on the shutter priority side to see the change.

12 January 2008

Digital Rights Management and Documentary Films

One of the significant issues that came up over the history of Folkstreams was the concern by small, independent filmmakers that people could download their films freely once they were "streamed" on our website.

We chose to answer that concern by only allowing high resolution, full length films to be streamed and not downloaded. At the time, it was fairly difficult to save video being streamed over one of the major streaming media systems, Real or Microsoft (which we never supported because of its closed, proprietary nature). Our mandate as a non-profit organization is the widest possible dissemination of our catalog of films and to archive and present content in as open a way as possible. This is why we still offer video only through the antiquated method of a standalone media player and not the fancy embedded Flash player popularized by YouTube.

In the beginning, we did not want to frighten off filmmakers from contributing films to our project. I hope that as filmmakers become aware that digital distribution of their films does not threaten them, they will be more open to allowing downloads. We had considered using DRM to enable downloads, but the cost and complexity was prohibitive. It is good to see DRM falling by the wayside. Both Sony and Apple have begun to shake off the yoke of this abomination to common sense, Western culture and civilization.

Sony Joins Other Labels on Amazon MP3 Store

Who Needs HD DVD or Blu-ray?

The reason consumer electronic makers are scrambling to end the format war between HD-DVD and Blu-ray is simply because watching movies delivered by spinning discs is a rapidly obsolescing technology. The days of the CD and DVD are coming to an end. The emergence of static memory devices that can store the large amounts of data required for audio, video and images spells the end of storage devices that require physically moving parts. The growth of video on demand over the network and in general networked storage means the only reason the HD format discs are hanging on to viability is that it remains expensive and difficult to send the HD quality video over a network or store it on static memory. The window is closing and unless the DVD makers get their act together their technology will be eclipsed and no one will need a "Blu-ray" player to play anything and those DVD can be used for coasters.

Archives may be one of the best customers for storage systems that spin discs to store large amounts of data inexpensively and permanently, but for consumers of media, the hard disk, the flash storage systems and network on demand storage systems will come to predominate more quickly than anyone thinks.

11 January 2008

Unfolding

Unfolding an
origami swan--
the grain of
paper on the hand.
-sek, Jan 2008

08 January 2008

Mokuhankan Print Arrived

My print from Mokuhankan.com arrived from Japan today. It is a lovely print of turtles swimming carved by David Bull and printed by one of the Mokuhankan printers. You can see it at Hokusai Turtles - Swimming Turtles (I do not want to link to the image). Dave is one of the few people left in the world making wood block prints in the Japanese tradition. You can learn more about him from his woodblock.com website, which is one of the earliest examples of a website showing an artist's works and how they were made (although Dave does not consider himself and artist, but a crafts person).

The carving of the water is graceful. I love the way the turtle on the surface, the water pattern and the gray shadow of the submerged turtle create layers. I thought it was more effective than the original carp print (from the lovely Hanga Treasure Chest series) the water design was borrowed from.

The visual idea was adapted from Hokusai Manga, the famous collection of books of 'sketches' and designs issued in the early 1800's, according to Dave.

You can explore the Mokuhankan catalog by clicking on the little advertisement I run to support Dave's project to give wood block print makers a place to sell their works.

03 January 2008

An Easter Egg in Winter

I had my first experience today with the emerging new technology of labeling individual food items in order to make them traceable. I opened a carton of eggs from Giant supermarket, picked up an egg to make my breakfast (my favorite fried egg and leftover dressing concoction). I noticed some writing in gold ink on my egg. An Easter Egg! WooHoo! And then I thought, perhaps it is one of those crazy internet projects where people put writing on things directing you to a website to track it. Like a garden gnome, a book or paper money. No, it said "Best by" and a date. Aha, I recognized it was an example of the individual food item labeling I'd heard about and seen demonstrated on television.

I checked the egg carton hoping there would be some information about the code on the egg. Yes, the carton directed me to a a website where I could find out more information about my egg: giantfreshegg.com (or you can go to http://www.myfreshegg.com/ for other brands), which redirects to a site where I can enter the code and sell by date into a web form to identify and trace my egg. I entered the code. A page displaying information about my egg appeared: "Key Egg Dates;" the date my egg was processed, the sell by date; "Your Egg Information;" told me my egg came from Hillandale Farms, which I know to be a large industrial egg producer.

The numbers and letters printed on my egg are called a "Freshness and Traceability Code." This is an attempt by industrial agriculture to satisfy consumer demand for knowing where their food comes from, which is gaining popularity with greater concern for food quality, ethics and safety. It is one more way that large scale agriculture hopes to compete with small, independent and organic farms. The company behind this (laudable) technology is http://www.eggfusion.com/

I welcome measures increasing the traceability of food, especially in the industrial agriculture and processed foods realm, where for example, one bad leaf in a field of spinach gets mixed up in tens of thousands of bags, inoculating them with bad bugs and the industrial system spreading them out over the country. When people bought lettuce by the head, only one person might be sickened by a bad head, but chop the lettuce head up, bag it and distribute it to tens of thousands of people and you have a new problem created by the efficiency of industrial agriculture. Yes, it's convenient, but is it sustainable? We need to know where our food comes from whether from big factory farms or small organic ones, in order to make choices about the advantages and disadvantages of factory farms and factory foods.

Social File Sharing

I recently received an email from a well known supplier of enterprise level file sharing systems. In the enterprise, one solution is called "Wide Area File Services." There are other ad hoc solutions. I am not very familiar with the details of these systems, but understand some of the problems they are trying to solve. A corporation wants fast, simple access to files from any location (anywhere their employees are) while ensuring users access a single version of the file. The are also concerned about the cost of bandwidth (which ensuring a single file helps, since users normally waste resources copying and forwarding a file or video by email, since they are really not aware of the consequences and generally do not understand they can just forward a link).

Although these issues are important, I think this perspective misunderstands the most important need today. Corporations are always concerned about meeting requirements, being defensive, controlling their population of employees more than they are about doing something new or finding new and better ways to do something. They are blinded to solving the problems of how to do more things better by the need to clean up the messes their productivity and growth creates. This is why they are so often blindsided by innovation.

What we really need is social file sharing. What good is sharing a file, a digital photo, video or spreadsheet without knowing who it came from and what group it belongs to? It starts with a simple idea:

Every piece of information should be accompanied by the identity of persons or group to which it belongs wherever it goes.

I've given this issue some thought before, but the email reminded me of it. By "belongs" I mean to include both the individual or the group to which the file is associated with in a given social network. For example, we already see an example of social content sharing through sites like Facebook. Of course, YouTube is also a kind of platform for social sharing of content, but there the concept of "file" or a package of information anyone can take with them and carry it onto their PC or laptop or cell phone or save on a CD is missing. And no, YouTube is not good enough. What we need is a way to retain a media object's social connections as it is transferred from system to system. To do otherwise would imprison files on their respective platforms.

When I upload an image to flickr, any social connections formed around the image is contained within the flickr ecosystem. If I download the image and then share it with someone, the social connections are lost. If I share the original image with someone by email, it lacks the social connections the version on flickr acquired. Why can't all these versions of the image somehow carry social connections the same way EXIF data carries meta data about the production and authorship of the image?

Maybe someone is working on this right now, perhaps a modification of existing RSS standards to allow social network information along with an attachment, creating a kind of "podcast" that could bring social data along with the file. Maybe Google's open social network framework is looking at this. But whoever does it, it is important that it gets done.