[iDC] Will you delete your Feedburner account?

Burak Arikan arikan at media.mit.edu
Thu Jun 7 15:19:40 EDT 2007

Hi Alex,

I understand your point about the difference between data and  
information. I think the Boston Computer Exchange Price Report is a  
good example to understand the difference better and how this  
aggregation / filtering technique is now inherited and became  
ubiquitous. Considering today's complex flow of information I find it  
important to dig in how value and labor is evaluated. I think we  
should look at the context more particularly rather than generalizing  
what is data what is information. Are these data or information?

* A link in Delicious.

* A tag describing a picture in Flickr.

* A comment reacting to a YouTube video.

* A story in Digg.

* Some text describing how I am connected to my friends in Facebook  
(same college, same company, met in such club etc).

The problems of capital are deeply examined in the history, so I  
don't feel like talking about it at all. I can only say that I don't  
appreciate giant things.

"View Source" menu item was the key feature put into the browsers by  
the pioneers of the web (from Tim Berners-Lee's original browser to  
Marc Anderseen's Mosaic)[*]. This openness feature, affording to look  
inside, helped me learn HTML like many other kids in the world, which  
later changed my life.

Today I think what we need is something as simple as this: "View Data".


[*] Open Source Paradigm Shift, 2004, Tim O'Reilly. http:// 

On Jun 7, 2007, at 10:50 AM, Alex -Vipowernet wrote:

> Alex Writes:
> Of course those who aggregate data own it.
> Data is not "information" until it is aggregated into useful order.
> Data is just chaos until you must apply "neg-entropy" to find the  
> patterns and order in the data - THEN you have useful information!
> In the 1980's I created the Boston Computer Exchange.  We  
> aggregating data about people who owned computers they wanted to  
> sell and buyers who wanted them.  Once  a week we reported the  
> "BoCoEx Closing Prices Report" and this little report was picked up  
> by all the major computer magazines and appeared as a new item. A  
> lot of people had price information - we had aggregated it and made  
> it into a report - thus we added value. And later sold access to  
> that data to those who needed it...
> There is irony in your comment about small companies are being  
> bought up by BIG companies - nothing new in that - what is ironic  
> is that the BIG companies were themselves tiny upstarts just a few  
> years ago... Google did not start as a HUGE enterprise worth  
> billions - it started as two guys in a garage. Same for Feedburner...
> There is no point in trying to stop the process.  It will go on  
> whether you like it or not.
> The message is LOUD - find an area of data that is NOT being  
> addressed and create an enterprise that aggregates data and  
> processes it into useful information.  Any of us could have created  
> YouTube or SecondLife or FeedBurner... Those guys put in the sweat  
> equity to make it a success.
> Find an area that is NOT being addressed and start to work.
> Alex Randall
> Professor of Communication - Univ of the Virgin Islands
> Former Owner - Boston Computer Exchange
> Burak Wrote:
> You've probably following the recent news about the small scale
> social web 2.0 companies being acquired by giant corporations (e.g.,
> StumbleUpon acquired by Ebay, Feedburner acquired by Google).
> Feedburner tracks your blog's RSS feed statistics and shows the
> number of subscribers momentarily, daily, weekly, monthly, and
> yearly. Now all your data is changing hands, from Feedburner to  
> Google.
> I wonder how you feel about it?
> I think this is an important moment to pay attention to how inhumane
> the data ownership laws in USA: One who aggregates data owns it.

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