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Google+ and diversity: A Work in Progress (part 1)

Google+ in rainbow colorsWith over ten million users in just two weeks, and plenty of rave reviews, Google’s latest foray into social networking is off to a great start.  Ever since it launched, I’ve spent most of my online time on Google+, and so far am very impressed from both the software engineering and business strategy perspectives. I think it’s on track to be a big success, so expect me to be talking about it a lot.

Unsurprisingly, I’ll start with diversity.

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Professional
social computing
Tales from the Net

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Once again Open for Questions: the pilot continues

Round two of change.gov’s Open for Questions is up.  Not a lot of details … last time, it was open for about three days, and there were brief answers to the top five questions, and a more detailed post and video on at least one topic (bailout transparency).

Dan McSwain, on the change.gov blog, describes one change:

In this round, you can still view all of the questions that have been submitted—or you can break down the questions by category for easier navigation. For instance, you can read the top-ranking question regarding Energy and the Environment and browse through other questions on the same topic by clicking on that issue.

Also it seems that there’s a subtle difference in how URLs are handled that makes it harder to send out a link to an individual question.  This change cuts down people’s ability to promote their ideas in email and blog posts, which fits in well with Open for Questions’ role of routing around different kinds of “gatekeepers”: making it harder to link to a question cuts down the influence of bloggers and organizations with large email lists.

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political
social computing

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Open for Questions at change.gov: What about privacy?

The Obama transition team’s Open for Questions pilot last week went extremely well for a first attempt.  Combined with all the other promising things Micah Sifry discusses in Kudos to the Change.gov New Media Team, it seems to me that the Obama administration is on track for some effective ways of leveraging cognitive diversity and “wisdom of the crowds” effects, cutting past the gatekeepers in the media, and getting Obama direct feedback from Americans.

At least for those Americans who are willing to give away their privacy as the price for interacting with their government.

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political
privacy
social sciences

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Microsoft/Yahoo! roundup

Note: this thread summarizes what others are thinking, and my reactions. My opinion on the potential acquisition is here — and along with many others’, on MiniMSFT.

Andy Borowitz has the biggest news: Obama to buy Yahoo! Other than that …

Microsoft has been fined a record €899 million ($1.4 billion) for defying the EU’s sanctions, which brings the total over the last few years to €1.68 billion ($2.5 billion). This is for past actions; Neelie Kroes, the Competition Commissioner, after noting that Microsoft was the first company that had ever defied the sanctions, then goes on to add that she hopes “that today’s decision closes a dark chapter in Microsoft’s record of non-compliance with the Commission’s March 2004 decision,” she added. Microsoft’s response is basically “we hope so too”, and affirming that as of October 2007 they believe they were in compliance.

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