Saturday Links


News of the Week:

Ten reasons Bill Moyers Should be President: Seriously. Scott Beckman explains why he’s the right choice for the Democrats in 2008.
US Comptroller Dares to Say What Greenspan Didn’t: US comptroller David Walker is now speaking out publicly warning that the US federal debt is a trainwreck, a “category 6 hurricane” that will destroy the US economy unless it is quickly remedied.
Cendant Dares Do What Other Conglomerates Don’t: The market continues to foolishly overvalue acquisitions and reward companies that make them, though consistently the vast majority of such combinations destroy value (the combined entity is ultimately shown to be worth less than the separate entities that create it). Cendant, realizing the value of agility in autonomy, announced it was splitting into four separate independent companies built around real estate (Century 21 & Caldwell banker), travel distribution (Orbitz), hospitality (Ramada, Super8, Days’ Inn) and vehicle rental (Avis & Budget) respectively. The market punished the company’s share value on the news. Some day they will learn. Or maybe not.
Update on the US as Fascist State Tally: Last month’s Harpers’ has an article by editor Lewis Lapham citing Eco’s definition of a fascist state and showing how quickly in the last five years the US has come to fit that definition. An acerbic, well-researched, articulate, and very troubling assessment.
Peggy Noonan Says US Elite is Resigned to Coming Catastrophe: In a truly bizarre column in the WSJ, Noonan cites instinct and anecdote to suggest that elites of all political and economic stripes know in their hearts that America is “off the tracks and off the rails”, out of control and headed for disaster, and that there are no political or economic answers in sight. Thanks to Dale Asberry for the link.

Great Creativity Sites:

Collaboration: A new wiki MetaCollab, uses collaboration to write about collaboration. A fascinating experiment.
Group Creativity: An exhaustive list of idea generation methods from Martin Leith. Thanks to Jon Husband for the link.

Useful Technical Stuff:

Tagging your blog articles: I’m not a big fan of tagging, which seems to me a terribly hit-and-miss way of getting your articles read by people who are interested in the subjects you write about, but it is so popular now that it’s a mistake not to participate. Most blog software picks up your category name as a tag, but that’s pretty rudimentary. A better solution is to embed the tag(s) right into the body of each blog article using this syntax:
     <a href=”” rel=”tag”>tagname</a>
replacing tagname with the tag (word or phrase*) you want identified with the article. Then add this address to the notification (‘ping’) addresses for the article:
so that technorati is notified to add the article to those tagged with that tag in its indices (some blog tools allow you to automate the ping with every post). *Note that tags have to be concatenated, so, for example, the tag you might enter for an article on PETA would be animalrights as a single ‘word’. Don’t worry, it will eventually get easier.

Subscribing to Blogs by E-mail: I like RMail because it lets people who want to read my blog every day but are intimidated by RSS subscribe to it by e-mail. Like most subscription services, however, sometimes your subscription can be interrupted by changes to your e-mail settings and even by security software. If you’d like to receive How to Save the World by e-mail, or if you were already doing so but have been unsubscribed, please enter your e-mail address in the RMail box in the right sidebar. And let me know of any problems you have with the service.

Using Mind Mapping Software: Innovation guru Chuck Frey has a new downloadable book out explaining how to use mind mapping software effectively. I still use FreeMind (the Open Source) mind mapping tool, and find it works just fine. We now use it to document all our meetings and brainstorming sessions. Chuck’s book outlines 16 other applications of such software, and compares the free and commercial tools.

Image from Bitter Fruit, photos by Paul Fusco of some of the American families grieving the loss of loved ones in the war on Iraq. Thanks to Slawek Rogulski for the link.

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3 Responses to Saturday Links

  1. Firas says:

    Quick Note: the multi-word representation as a tag need not be concatenated, you just need to seperate them with an escaped space character (%20). So, for example, imagine that eventually technorati’s engine will realize that ‘animalrights’ is closely-enough related to ‘animal%20rights’ to them in the same page.

  2. Firas says:

    * to show them on the same page

  3. Mike says:

    Firas, it may be better to have Technorati *suggest* that those seeking animalrights might also look under animal%20rights

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