Searching for the Moon

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

What I speak about…

Posted by shannonclark on February 22, 2007

Yesterday I recieved a note about the Supernova & TechCrunch collaboration for Supernova 2007. At lunch I was talking with my friend Sanford Dickert and our conversation turned to clustering.

Later as I walked around the streets of NYC, stretching, observing, shooting a few photos, and thinking I realized that there are a number of “talks” which I have been assembling over the past seven+ years. Informally and only occasionally have I presented these thoughts at various events, in long blog posts, as contributions to discussions on numerous email mailing lists (some public, most private) and in countless private conversations and email exchanges.

Here I am going to list the main topics on which I am available to speak, both as an exercise for myself and in the hope that in 2007 I will have more opportunities to speak on these topics. In addition to speaking in a formal manner, I also do (and even to a degree prefer) to facilitate discussions.

Topics:

1. Economics AS Networks. A topic I have in the past described as Flow Economics, and the subject of the book I would like to write (and am trying to sell now). My theory is that Economics can be represented as the study of the creation and destruction of links over time. From this simple basis all aspects of economic activity can be modeled and analyzed. In application this theory suggests ways for individuals, corporations and even government to better understand the world around them and the opportunities they have.

2. Automated Data extraction and clustering in 2000 I formed JigZaw Inc with the goal of building a Calendar that would update itself. To achieve that goal (which we did though never fully released – contact me if you would like to license the relevant IP) I spent multiple years researching methods of chunking and extracting data. Much of this research included techniques for clustering. My focus was on automated heuristics approaches.

3. Calendaring as we build Balanceware, the first product of JigZaw Inc, I joined the IETF Calendaring and Scheduling Working Group and was even briefly one of the editors of the iCalendar standard document. I have spent many years thinking about Calendaring (and to a lesser degree scheduling). My new venture, NELA.mobi, which stands for Never Eat Lunch Alone incorporates elements of my research into scheduling.

4. Networking when I formed MeshForum in 2004 it was with the goal of exploring all aspects of what Networks are. I have always been highly “networked”, having been the event chair for Ryze.com in Chicago for many years and before that I was active in many Chicago area tech groups. But my interest includes much more – Social Networks, Social Network Analysis, the Visualization of Networks, applications of Network Theory & Studies to many diverse disciplines, and my own applicaiton of Networks to Economics (see above).

5. Web 2.0 or Data-centric development. While definitions and debates rage about what is “Web 2.0” my view is that at the root Web 2.0 is the result of a new model and way of thinking about software. In place of earlier models, Web 2.0 applications are data-centric, with chunks of data as the core elements. These “chunks” are syndicated across the net, shared, remixed, reused and modified, visualized and interacted with in a wide array of ways. For users and developers this new model offers many advantages and requires a change in how we think about what is possible. (for example, this blog started on an entirely different domain and I migrated it to wordpress, in various posts I incorporate content from youtube, flickr and occasionally other sites, the tags I apply here create links and search capabilities in numerous other sites)

6. Being a Digital Beduin. A term I heard many years ago and which I think very accurately represents my work and personal lifestyle. I live in cafes, can almost literally work anywhere with a wifi connection and power (and when I finally break down and get my EVDO card even the wifi will be optional). More than the tech I use however, this is a lifestyle of being mobile yet deeply connected, of being flexible and adaptable, of getting out of the office (and the home) and seeing the world – all while remaining focused on clients and your business.

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