Ideas for the online revolution.

Activism Network - Turkey

I'm working on getting Activism Network software to work for an activist in Turkey. So I'm struggling with

1) Importing the Geonames Table - with UTF-8
I had to re-import the geonames table (that has world cities, with longitudes/latitudes) so that I would preserve the UTF-8 fields. UTF-8 uses 1-3 characters to express each letter and can support almost all of the world's languages. I had a lot of trouble importing data. Finally got it to work using Navicat's import wizard when I split the data into two chunks (otherwise it was only importing 37,000 of the 53,000 rows). Turkey has 53,000 rows in the geonames table - so hopefully most of the small to large cities are in it. It's only 4mb - so the size isn't bad at all if you just need data for one country. By contrast, the entire geonames database is 400mb (with indexes).

Google "Update" - June 27

Google changed its search engine rankings significantly on June 27. It's probably not an actual algorithm change. According to several people on WebmasterWorld it is more likely that Google removed sites from its database entirely, quite possibly by accident.

You can tell if this happenned to your site, by noticing if your traffic fell by a huge amount on June 27 (I have a site where my Google traffic fell 98% -- eg it is 1/50th of what it was before), if when you search for exact rare terms (eg "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3 keyword4" - be sure to use quotations) that your site always appears last or almost last in the rankings, and if when you do a google search for your homepage doesn't show up as the first result.

Re-Forming the New Students for a Democratic Society Conference - Aug 4-8, 2006, Chicago - ATTEND!

Today Students for a Democratic Society reached 1000 members (note: not paid members, people who self-identify as members)! They also have over 120 people registered for their conference. They've held several regional gatherings, have active chapters (how many is hard to say as many of the chapters are recent start-ups), and a very active email list (perhaps more active than any other student activist email list that I'm on).

They don't have any paid organizers, nor much of a budget. So their current progress is impressive!

I strongly encourage any student (or campus activist) interested in national networking to

Open Source Social Networking Launch - PeopleAggregator and GoingOn

Two new open source social networks have just launched. They branched off from the same code-base and thus share a lot of the same functionality. PeopleAggregator (for information about the software) or try PeopleAggregator out is a bit more grassroots and GoingOn is more corporate.

The Mercury News has a story about them.

Future 5000 - Networking for Youth Activists

I've been having conversations with people who are organizing a website called the
Future 5000.

"Future 5000 is the largest online network of progressive youth organizations in the history of this country. This searchable online directory and networking site will help us better visualize and organize our movement, people, activities and resources. Using this tool, organizations will be able to:

• develop a leadership pipeline

• strategically build our movement

• ultimately redesign the U.S.A. and our relationship with the rest of the world"

The Next Generation MySpace/Friendster

I'm predicting that in the next five years, ten million young people will be using a online social network similar to Second Life. It's going to be the next MySpace/Friendster.

I think the time delay will be due to the fact that Second Life still takes a good deal of computer resources (at least I'm suspecting that if you don't have a decent video card it will be slow), so it will take a couple years for the computers to get up to speed, someone to hit on the perfect balance between features and ease of use (Second Life is probably too complex), and luck.

Check out Second Life. It's an online universe where you can design your character, meet people, do things, and it's absolutely huge. It's free too. There is a game economy that converts to the real-world economy - an actual exchange rate for game dollars to real dollars.

Advocacy Developers III Conference Announcement

AdvocacyDev III, Oakland, July 31 – August 2
The third convening of organizers, activists and
developers working with open source tools for
online advocacy and organizing will take place in
Oakland from July 31 to August 2. If you're
passionate about creating better tools for online
activists and organizers, please join us for
knowledge sharing and brainstorming!

Sessions will include:

* Show and tell on all the latest open source
eAdvocacy platforms and tools, including the
latest from CivicSpace/CiviCRM, Radical Designs
Activist Mobilization Platform (AMP), GoodStorm, and others,

Geocoding with Google Maps

Google Maps now has a Geocoding API for street addresses. Haven't tried it yet. I'm guessing it works off the Tiger database. Will be interesting to compare its accuracy with (an open-source geocoder). Though I'm not really into street-level geocoding (zip-level is adequate for my aims)

Find Out Your Website Demographics - Gender and Age

MSN has a new site where you can see who searches for different keywords as well as the

gender and age of people who visit your site

This site is "female-oriented" with a 65% number. I'm not sure if they mean that 65% of the visitors are female, or if there is a 65% chance that the majority of the visitors are women.

For age, we get twice the number of under age 18 users and some strange results in the other brackets (why are we getting a normal showing in the 50+ age group?).

Mapping Global Warming

Someone created a mashup that lets you see the

Impact of global warming using Google Maps.

You can see the land that will be covered by water, based on different predictions of sealevel rise.

He's using a 50 GB NASA data set for altitude data.

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