Category Archives: Open Source

An Experiment

Beginning now, I am going to post to Twitter (and through Twitter, to Facebook) from my long-underutilized blog here at As the “Social” (read: monetized) Media Network scene suffers more threats of enclosure, I’m knuckling down and building up my home webspace.

What this means for you (if you care): If you *really* want to have a conversation with me, try replying to one of my posts. Old-timey, I know. Tell yourself it’s an exercise in artisanal, or even ironic, online communication. I will still read Twitter and catch @’s that way, though.

But since I get more interaction from acquaintances on Facebook, the disruption there will be comparatively greater. I’d like to dial down to minimal time there, checking only for events, replies and other content directed toward me. If you want to catch me quickly, reply to the relevant post or email michael(at)

It’s an experiment. I might give up before the week is out. I may also finally dive into, or similarly Open Source network. Hell, maybe Diaspora!

Knowledge Management

From “Knowledge Management” on Wikipedia:

Knowledge may be accessed at three stages: before, during, or after KM-related activities. Different organizations have tried various knowledge capture incentives, including making content submission mandatory and incorporating rewards into performance measurement plans. Considerable controversy exists over whether incentives work or not in this field and no consensus has emerged.

One strategy to KM involves actively managing knowledge (push strategy). In such an instance, individuals strive to explicitly encode their knowledge into a shared knowledge repository, such as a database, as well as retrieving knowledge they need that other individuals have provided to the repository.[13] This is also commonly known as the Codification approach to KM.

Another strategy to KM involves individuals making knowledge requests of experts associated with a particular subject on an ad hoc basis (pull strategy). In such an instance, expert individual(s) can provide their insights to the particular person or people needing this (Snowden 2002). This is also commonly known as the Personalization approach to KM.

Other knowledge management strategies and instruments for companies include:

  • rewards (as a means of motivating for knowledge sharing)
  • storytelling (as a means of transferring tacit knowledge)
  • cross-project learning
  • after action reviews
  • knowledge mapping (a map of knowledge repositories within a company accessible by all)
  • communities of practice
  • expert directories (to enable knowledge seeker to reach to the experts)
  • best practice transfer
  • knowledge fairs
  • competence management (systematic evaluation and planning of competences of individual organization members)
  • proximity & architecture (the physical situation of employees can be either conducive or obstructive to knowledge sharing)
  • master-apprentice relationship
  • collaborative technologies (groupware, etc.)
  • knowledge repositories (databases, bookmarking engines, etc.)
  • measuring and reporting intellectual capital (a way of making explicit knowledge for companies)
  • knowledge brokers (some organizational members take on responsibility for a specific “field” and act as first reference on whom to talk about a specific subject)
  • social software (wikis, social bookmarking, blogs, etc.)
  • Inter-project knowledge transfer

On Regulating, or Even Nationalizing, Social Media Firms

Wil Wheaton on Google Potentially Linking “Up-Votes” on YouTube to GooglePlus:

“Oh, go fuck yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.”

Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you dickheads.

The worst part of this? For a producer like me, I’m going to lose a crapton of potential upvotes for Tabletop, because the core of my audience is tech-savvy and may not want to “upgrade” to yet another fucking social network they don’t want or need.


Those upvotes are incredibly important to us, because we need them to earn another season of our show.

I’m even more grateful now than I was yesterday that we own the IP for Tabletop, because we can produce it ourselves, or crowdfund with Kickstarter, or something like that, if Google keeps doing things like this that will negatively affect how users can interact with us on YouTube.”

Peter Frase via Jacobin:

“Even before Facebook, it always seemed to me that Google’s search engine, for example, was an immensely important and valuable social utility, and one that’s too important to be left in the hands of a single private sector company. So my suggestion, only a bit joking, would be that we ought to nationalize Google and Facebook.


The “stuff” that flows through Facebook’s network—the shares, connections, messages, etc.—is a sort of currency, less like the electricity that you get from the power company and more like the money that’s exchanged between bank customers. An electric company actually creates electricity, but Facebook doesn’t create its content any more than banks create money. (Yes, I know, banks kind of do create money, just bear with my simplification for a moment.) So the paradigm we need is not necessarily a single regulated or nationalized social network, but a tightly regulated social networking system that allows people to communicate across multiple social network institutions.


And to turn this back around again, the way retail banking is currently structured may not even work very well for banking, much less as a model for social networking. As Ashwin Parameswaran has argued, there’s a good case for replacing federally-insured private banks with a public bank to take retail deposits, something like the postal banking system. So maybe we’re back to nationalizing Facebook after all. I certainly wouldn’t be sorry to see Mark Zuckerberg expropriated.”

Image from CafePress

Create Printable Checklists With LibreOffice or OpenOffice

(Be advised: For this system to work you need Webdings, or another font that features a hollow square, on your system. Also, I created this on Ubuntu GNU/Linux so your mileage may vary on option placement within menus)

Checklists can have a big impact on your ability to get large numbers of people to do things more precisely and effectively. I wanted to make some printable checklists for Green Party tabling, event production, you name it.

I tried creating a bulleted list in LibreOffice but found that, absurdly, it was missing a “hollow square” bullet graphic. They have solid squares:

…which are not helpful. They even have “checkmarks”

which create, of course, the opposite of the psychological effect I want to achieve with this list. What about the provided “graphical bullets?”

Absolute garbage. So what do we do? I hunted around, and if you click on that “Options” tab you find a screen that allows the selection of a character as a bullet:

Click on that strange, sad little ellipsis box next to “Character” and a pop-box appears:

Select Webdings as your font, and scroll down until you find that lovely Hollow Square. Select it, then select “Ok”, and start making a template using a bulleted list:

Make note that I’ve adjusted the indent of the list. Your team will thank you. Ok, maybe they won’t, but take some pride in your work, dammit! Are you worried you’ll have to go through this song and dance every time you want to make a checklist? Put your fear in my mind-vise so that I may crush it, as we save your work as a template!

Ahh, but templates can be such a pain to find amid your myriad drafts of WALLANDER fan-fic, right? Then we’re going to Import your template file into LibreOffice’s gallery. First go to File -> New ->Templates and Documents. Now you have a new window:

In the pop-up shown above, click “Templates” and then “Organize.” That gives you another pop-window. Click the “My Templates” folder, then “Commands”, and select “Import Template.”

To access this template in the future, select File -> New ->Templates and Documents, then click the Templates icon…and there it is:

Happy checklist-making.