Thursday, August 21, 2008

Visualising Freetext Data

Faced with a mighty amount of freetext research data, I naturally wanted a short cut to understand what was there and then an interesting way of presenting it.

Then I remembered tag clouds - look down the right hand side of this blog for an example from Zoom Clouds. But my data was in Excel, not on a blog or website.

A spot of Googling and a dear colleague found Tag Crowd that makes a nice cloud from any data.

Here's a result from the question "What is the worst thing about France?"
It would have been a bit better if I'd filtered the results a little - you can do this easily in the Tag Crowd interface.

Happy Planner.

iPhone, iCal, Microsoft Outlook and the Sync Conundrum

A little bit different from my normal posts, but I've found a fix that's worth sharing.

So using iphone for multiple calendars...

[Note added later: the most effective method for this is to use MobileMe, but I'm way to cheap to pay for that. So using iphone for multiple calendars for free...]

I have a PC with the usual Microsoft stuff at work. And a Mac with iCal at home. Switching on the calendar element of the Microsoft Exchange stops exchange of data with ical and removes the iCal data. So how do I get both my calendars on my iphone?

This isn't perfect but it seems to work (NB I've not done steps 2 or 3 yet, that's a task for tonight!). The trick is to use an internet based calendar. I've gone for Google Calendar, but I've heard you can do similar things in Plaxo.

Step 1: Sync your Outlook with Google Calendar.
Nice easy instructions here.

Step 2: Take the feed from this Google Calendar and subscribe using iCal.
Instructions here. As noted above, I've not tried this yet, so fingers crossed for this (& particularly step 3!)

Step 3: Sync your iphone with your mac as normal
Fingers firmly crossed.

Not perfect especially as the Google Calendar to iCal sync is unilateral. But a good start nonetheless.

[Note added later: this all works just fine. Just a pity that iCal doesn't sync back to Google Calendar. You can buy this if you want to solve that problem]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Community and Antisocial Behaviour

The video in my previous post has got me thinking a bit on how the changing nature of community could be impacting on (antisocial) behaviour.

So here's another unsubstantiated hypothesis.

Community used to be defined by geography and the people contained within your personal catchment area. Now it's about who you're connected to via whatever means you have available. Geography is irrelevant.

As you're getting your sense of community and belonging from elsewhere, perhaps you care a bit less about your physical location and its populace. Because you're uber-connected to people and ideals that resonate strongly, you don't need the people and places whose only relevance to you is physical proximity.

Link this to a lack of emotional intelligence or mind-blindness, and you can explain quite a bit of what appears to be antisocial behaviour.

Anthropology of You Tube

Find an hour and watch this.

From the guy who bought you this piece of wonderfulness.