Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Worldwide Net Usage

EMarketer ran an interesting article today with the number of Internet users and adoption rate of the top Net-using countries.

Canada has lost it's top position in adoption. We're now behind South Korea, Japan and the U.S.

Still it's interesting to see how when countries like China come more on board how big that will really be.

The study also show various expected growth rates and other interesting usage predictions.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Can a million penguins typing away create the great novel?

Penguin books and De Montfort University started a project to create a novel through a wiki.

The project, A Million Penguins, believed to be the first attempt of a wiki-created novel, started last week and quickly got about a hundred edits an hour from around the world.

The first few paragraphs seemed disjointed but did contain the memorable sentence:
“He fumbled in his pocket for his cell phone but accidentally fumbled his own genitalia - it felt good so he continued for a while.”

With such a promising start I continued on, but it lost me after the first few sections in its meandering pointlessness and alcohol infatuation (even for me). The wisdom of crowds thus results in lots of descriptions of booze and drugs - surely the inevitable fart jokes will follow.

The editor’s blog is an interesting read. It chronicles the challenges of managing this Herculean project with vandalism, Chinese text thrown in, and subsequent divergent novels that have already emerged and discussions of how to maintain structure or allow it to be a fluid work with people working on the ending while the beginning is constantly being rewritten.

Cool experiment. Just hope our species can resist the lure of fart jokes.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Travels online and off

Just got back from a week in Mexico, hence the Webslinger hiatus.

Checking out the ever-useful TripAdvisor and the recently-discovered Debbie's Caribbean Reviews we found an area of Mexico that was safe from the ongoing attacks/murders of Canadian tourists there. We would never have been able to find a truly safe destination in Mexico and a resort that fit our various needs, without being able to research online. Online comments and forums also convinced us to stay clear of Dominican Republic, which we almost went to. So in the end, we had a pretty good trip thanks the Internet.

But once there, a week without Internet access was hard for me, but I managed. The ever-present blender drinks certainly helped.

Along the theme of travel, here are a couple related sites:

A website I discovered shortly before leaving, is 43places.com Users can enter the 43 places they most want to go and indicate there progress. Here's my list (just got 2 down). You can share tips and reviews on the location and share with others who share your destinations. This combines the right amount of personalization, user generated content and community. Okay I already had a list so this site just takes that to the extreme!

Colleague and MediaGleaner blogger, Liz is off to Europe for her own Long Way Round motorcycle adventure. She started a blog about her trip. Her many problems and great struggles in Brugge make for good reading. Not that I wish more problems on her, but a smooth trip wouldn't have been nearly as compelling. Check out Moto-Mojo (but start at the earliest entry).

Down the road
Found another site that seems promising, Virtual Tourist. I'll be checking it out more as we plan our summer trip to St. Pierre & Miquelon, Newfoundland & Labrador. Plus Yahoo Travel seems to be expanding lately. Just filled out an online survey for their site that seems that they offer way more cool stuff than I ever could find. (I did write a whole bunch of destination reviews for them so I hope it comes to something!)