The GGG: For Plane Trips More than People

Semantic web believers including Tim Berners-Lee and Nova Spivack like to say that the social graph is part of their semantic world: the Giant Global Graph (GGG) as coined by Tim Berners-Lee. But the Giant Global Graph itself is like Dustin Hoffman’s autistic savant character Raymond Babbitt in the 1988 movie Rain Man. Raymond knew all about plane trips but couldn’t make sense of human relationships.
Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee uses the Social Graph meme to rebrand his semantic web efforts, writing in a blog post, “I called this graph the Semantic Web, but maybe it should have been Giant Global Graph!” Berners-Lee thinks there could be big payoff in adding a layer of meaning atop the documents of the World Wide Web:

So, if only we could express these relationships, such as my social graph, in a way that is above the level of documents, then we would get re-use. That’s just what the graph does for us. We have the technology — it is Semantic Web technology, starting with RDF OWL and SPARQL. Not magic bullets, but the tools which allow us to break free of the document layer. If a social network site uses a common format for expressing that I know Dan Brickley, then any other site or program (when access is allowed) can use that information to give me a better service. Un-manacled to specific documents.

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Marketing Tip from Tim Ferriss

Entrepreneur, author and Found|READ contributor, “Tim Ferriss”:http://4hourworkweek.com/, is a force of nature and an amateur marketing genius. With virtually no professional assistance, the first-time author has managed to get his novel self-help/
management book, “The 4-Hour Workweek”:http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/ onto _both_ The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. (Tim even hit #1 on WSJ list!)
This morning I read Tim’s latest post on “his own blog”:http://fourhourworkweek.com/blog/ explaining one method he has used to accomplish this. He has titled it “Media Feast and How to get on TV”:http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/07/19/media-feast-and-getting-on-tv-producers-seek-4hww-success-stories-plus-winner-of-the-endless-summer/, but I urge Found|READers to take it in, whether television is the outlet you covet, or not. Tim’s good advice applies to any medium, including blogs — which we all know is the very best way to get-the-word out about your startup these days!.
Tim’s offers three pieces of advice in this post, but the first two are more sarcastic than serious. The real intelligence is in *Tip #3: “Create and pitch a trend + segment instead of you and your product.”* Tim goes on to explain that this is exactly what he has done with “The 4-Hour Workweek” and it makes a lot of sense. *It boils down to trend-spotting and then identifying yourself/your startup with said trend.* I urge you to read the full text of Tim’s post.
Tim also recommends a book that, I agree, every one of us should pick up: Virgin founder Richard Branson’s “Losing My Virginity”:http://www.amazon.com/Losing-My-Virginity-Survived-Business/dp/0812932293/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-0498323-6621606?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184959202&sr=8-1 (You _could_ buy it on Amazon with “the $100 gift certificate Om is offering to the Found|READer who sends us the most outrageus funding tale!”:http://gigaom.com/2007/07/20/rfp-crazy-tales-of-fundraising-feats/.) I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Sir Richard a few times, and even reporters can learn a thing or two from the aviator-knight about *finding your inspiration, finding your stamina* and …most of all, *your marketing skill.* Read it. (And thanks, Tim, for mentioning of it.)
Which now makes me think that *Found|READ should start a reading list.* Let us know if you think this is a good idea, and please send on names of books that you’d suggest be included.
(Also see Tim’s earlier posts on *getting to profitability in 3 months or less* under the heading “Margin Manifesto I”: http://gigaom.com/2007/06/12/the-margin-manifesto-by-tim-ferriss/, and “Margin Manifesto II”:; and this video of him lecturing his alma mater, Princeton”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pu172VHCjM.)

Lost the right click on a Q1? Get it back

Autoright_clickWhat’s the first thing you usually do with a new device? I do what many others do: I start looking at all the cool settings to see what I can tweak! That’s what a new Q1P owner from the UK did as well, and is often the case, a setting got hosed:

"I’ve been messing around with my new toy, and I’m pretty sure tap and hold worked as right click earlier today, and now it has gone. No idea what I have done. The tablet settings in the control panel suggest it should be turned on."

If the Tablet PC settings are right, then what could be preventing the right click function on the Samsung Q1?

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Recent Office 2007 docs: the gadget

Recent_docs_widgetNeed a Vista gadget that shows your recent Office docs? Have no fear: the gadget is here! Eric Charran picked up on it (I found his post via The Hive) and it works very well provided you’re using Office 2007. If so, you don’t need to rely on Start, Recent Items, which doesn’t just limit itself to docs in the first place. A useful gadget to save some mouse clicks or pen taps if you’re a heavy-duty Office 2007 user.

I Want My MTV Desi, On Broadband Of Course

Reading, The New York Times’ this morning brought back some memories, of my early days in this country, and perhaps of the early days of the emerging South Asian identity. I Want My Hyphenated-Identity MTV, perhaps the worst headline ever, talks about the pending launch of MTV Desi, a new MTV sub-channel that will be targeting the second generation South Asians in this country. MTV Chi and MTV-K are up next, targeting Chinese Americans and Korean Americans. MTV Desi is going to be a potpourri of Bollywood, British Asian Pop and all sorts of other stuff.
It was back in 1993, when hanging out with then-struggling Dj Rekha, one of the promoters and key proponents of Bhangra/Tablatronica in the US I wondered about a website I wanted to start that aggregated all South Asian related events. We could not come-up with a name, but she pointed out at my habit of saying from “desh” which is like saying, my motherland. How about we call it Desi, sort of like homie! We could, but instead I ended up calling the site DesiParty.com. It still lives, and I have outgrown it I guess. I started another music website, DesiSound.com, which tracked the South Asian music business. On that site, I interviewed Nusrat Durrani, who is now leading the roll-out of these ethnic MTVs.
Looking back, I kinda feel good that the word desi has become such a commonly used phrase, sometime I think much abused. In my attempts to be self employed, I had teamed up with friends to start Masala Magazine back in 1995, but it was to early and eventually went boom. We tried to reinvent the magazine online, succeeded for a while but then the dot.com bust got the better of us. The demographics and the advertiser support was not there, and well given that South Asian community communicated mostly in English, the big corporate spenders thought that their ethnic marketing dollars were better targeted at Hispanic community, which is much larger.
This brings me back to MTV Desi!
Well, Viacom is going about launching these channels the wrong way. They are not paying attention to the demographics. In other words, the dollars to support this channel, which is likely to have minuscule viewership, will not be there. It will cost a lot of money to get the channel nationwide rollout, especially in South Asian hotspots like New York, Houston, New Jersey, San Francisco Bay Area, parts of Florida, Chicago and Seattle. These are cities where channels on cable networks are a scarce commodity. In other words, this is going to be one costly mistake for Viacom.
Instead, they should have focused on developing the same content, but show it over broadband networks. South Asian community in the US is very Internet savvy, and have the perfect base for launching a MTV Desi (Broadband.) Broadband is the platform of the future, and it would make sense to use it to rollout niche channels.