Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for January, 2005

Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog: Weekend Reading: Rule-Set Reset

Posted by shannonclark on January 28, 2005

Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog: Weekend Reading: Rule-Set Reset

Thomas P.M. Barnett is one of the most important thinkers and now consultants worldwide on setting a new framework and way of thinking about the world. He, along with others, has just launched a monthly electronic newsletter to supplement his extensive and impressive blog, other writings, bestselling book and later this year a follow-up book. I first became aware of Dr. Barnett with his first article for Esquire article.

I hope, though it may be difficult, to get Dr. Barnett as a participant at MeshForum – his thinkings are very much influenced via looking at the world as a network, and he explictedly looks at the impact of “connectedness” vs. “disconectedness” and maps his Core to connected countries, and his Gap to disconnected ones.

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Live from Iraq?.Its the elections in High Definition on HDNet – Blog Maverick –

Posted by shannonclark on January 28, 2005

Live from Iraq?.Its the elections in High Definition on HDNet – Blog Maverick –

Mark Cuban’s HDNet is experimenting with HD news feeds this weekend and is covering the Iraqi election.

I’ve left him a long comment with some suggestions about how he might expand on this experiment – by making the feed available online and/or via HD DVD’s – and then encouraging (and supporting) people to edit it – in a variety of manners. I hope he at least responds to my suggestion – we’ll see what happens next.

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Singing in the rain – remixed

Posted by shannonclark on January 28, 2005

This type of thing has beenlong predicted in Science Fiction but to see it for real… very very cool.

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Posted by shannonclark on January 28, 2005

My longish comment on Zackexley’s new blog, which he opened with a very long letter to the new DNC chair has just be posted (he moderates his comments). My point is that the infrastructure stuff is all well and good, but without first a discussion about ideas – and a much simplier, easier to use one at that, all the technology in the world won’t help the Democrats. (I’m an independent).

In looking at the other comments – I see my point supported – a lot of talk about “our values” and “mobilizing people” etc – but no very clear cut explanations as to what those values are. Just an assumption that they are well known – and in opposition to the enemy – Republicans. (leaving independants such as myself out of the discussion mostly).

I look forward to following the ongoing discussion and Zak’s future posts – this recent one was noted as the first of 4.

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Getting things done (my version)

Posted by shannonclark on January 27, 2005

Many of my friends swear by David Allen and indeed, one of these days I’ll buy his book (and perhaps other products) and see the source for why they rave, but in the meantime, here’s a report on what I’ve done this week as my own personal version of “getting things done”.

To start, some raw numbers to get a handle of the scale I’ve been dealing with for the past few days.

  • Over 2.6 gigs of email (starting point was one file at 1.45 gb and one archive at about 1gb)
  • Over 8500 unread messages, just in the primary mail file and about 6000+ in the archives
  • Over 140 separate mail folders in the primary, starting with about 20 in the archive
  • just over 1300 messages in my inbox alone
  • 40+ rules applied to my mail folder
  • Nearly 900 messages flagged “Follow up”

Result (at the moment, still working on even further improvements and organization)

  • Three mail files down to 2.3gb. Primary – at 650mb, Archive – at 1.279gb, and Archive – sent mail – at 415mb (a few 100mb of mail deleted)
  • Primary mail folders – 71 folders under my inbox, 85 in the archives, 4 (2001-2004) in the sent mail archive
  • Unread mail in Primary down to 2475, in archives up to 8322 but still around 4000+ messages have been read and processed in the past few days.
  • nearly 15 new rules applied and older poorly implemented rules (which had been causing duplication of many messages sent to multiple mailing lists – via sending a copy of the message to each mailing list’s folder) fixed
  • New saved searches (running Outlook 2003) created to manage MeshForum related correspondences that might be misfiled, as well as to better manage the files in the archive, modified important searches such as “Follow up” and “For your information” to display total messages, not unread messages.
  • Down to 304 messages flagged “follow up” – and this number keeps dropping as I do, in fact, follow up -have resolved literally hundreds of such emails in the past few days, some because the urgency has passed (past trip related emails etc), others by taking specific action(s).
  • Inbox down to 260 messages 30 messages – all less than 45 days old [updated 1/28 – down to 30 messages]

Some context here is important. I receive about 400 or more emails a day. Many (about 200-250 some days) are junk/spam and are correctly caught as such by Outlook. Of the rest, a portion are spams that go uncaught, but the majority are of interest to me.

I use rules to sort mailing list emails into folders specifically for that mailing list.

My primary view, most of the time, is the “Unread messages” search folder in Outlook 2003, which allows me to collapse all the unread messages from all folders in my inbox into one view, which I then sort so that the new messages are on the top of the screen. As I read a message, I file it or delete it – most of the time.

Besides my inbox which I try to keep for current pending matters as well as misc. items that don’t have a specific home yet (which either get deleted or filed after I am finished with them – ideally at least) I use the following folders heavily:

Clients/Potentials – where I put correspondence about possible deals, partners or projects. Once a project is started I make a subfolder of Clients for that client and then file all emails about that project into that folder

MeshForum – where I file all messages about MeshForum (and where any emails to shannon at meshforum go, as well as where all messages to meshforum related mailing lists)

Personal – where I file most personal emails from friends and items such as registrations

Vendors – catchall bin for emails from somewhat random companies. Companies I have a relationship with (such as IBM) get their own subfolder of vendors

Articles – catch all where I put articles that are worth retaining for future searches, but are not likely to be specifically actionable or frequently referenced

Useful Articles – where I store the much rarer articles I get which I know I will read in detail, follow the links, forward, and refer back to. Springwise and Trendwatching are two of the very few subscriptions I receive that go into this folder every month – though only after I have read the latest writing in detail

Overall, the process, while painful and very time consuming, has also been very valuable and useful. When I finish, likely this weekend, I’ll have caught up on 2004’s messages, have much less “pending” items, and have a much more smoothly running mailbox.

Any suggestions? Any similar tales of inbox management? Any alternative systems you practice?

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IBM Receives Patent for Using Regular Expressions to Extract Information from Documents

Posted by shannonclark on January 26, 2005

IBM Receives Patent for Using Regular Expressions to Extract Information from Documents

An example of a patent that should be, I think, overturned. I suspect I may, myself, have prior art to invalidate it. And that I have read and used numerous examples of prior art from published papers that should also invalidate it.

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Joi Ito’s Web: WEF meeting in Davos

Posted by shannonclark on January 26, 2005

Joi Ito’s Web: WEF meeting in Davos

I extended an invite to Joi Ito via a comment on his blog for him to attend MeshForum May 1-3, 2005 here in Chicago. Hopefully he’ll be able to make it. If you are interested in attending, follow the link. Email me for a special discount (or leave a comment).

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IETF Standard for URI

Posted by shannonclark on January 26, 2005

Published just this month was the IETF standard for URI.

This is very important. Very, very few “standards” make it all the way to IETF standard status. The URI standard is a crucial and compelling one for the Internet as a whole. Having worked in the past on an IETF standard (actually multiple draft standards around calendaring) I have an inkling of how difficult and time consuming the process towards full standard is. Not sure when I’ll have time to read the full document, but I am actually looking forward to doing so.

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McGee on Consulting

Posted by shannonclark on January 26, 2005

Jim McGee on Consulting is an article I need to read carefully and follow the links and read them carefully. After I put out a few fires, the rest of this month and next will be spent in sales mode – for MeshForum and for JigZaw as I do that, I’ll have to watch that I do indeed get my expertise used, and used well.

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Readings – January 15-21, 2005

Posted by shannonclark on January 24, 2005

Last week I read, but not at a very heavy pace. Here’s my notes from the week. Also note that I read the first quarter of Dispossessed, will probably finish it later this week.

Books and Magazines:
Sunday 1/16/2005 Finished Esquire February 2005 issue
Started New Yorker 1/17/2005 issue

Monday 1/17/2005
Finished New Yorker 1/17 issue
Started Wired Magazine, January 2005 issue

Tuesday 1/18/2005
Finished Wired Magazine, January 2005 issue. Lots of great articles and ideas sparked from this, including one about and assorted other great ideas.

Wednesday 1/19/2005
New Yorker – January 24 & 31, 2005. Just arrived today but had heard about some of the articles already, finished with about half of it.

Also received the newest issue of Granta 88: Mothers (am about 3 issues of Granta behind at the moment, have to decide if I will renew my subscription or not as this is my last issue)

Listened to many podcasts from IT Conversations – speeches by SAP’s futurist, by the author of The Medici Effect and many others – very useful and inspiring discussions.

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