Trying out CoComment

· People Power

I’m intrigued by the service coComment is offering: giving you one place to track all of your blog comments and any followup conversations they may entail.
Right now, it’s invitation-only, though, so I can’t try it out. Anyone got an invite for me?
UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Looks like requesting a code is all you need to do now. I see in my little gmail notifier that they just sent me one. I’ll poke around the service and write a new entry when I have some observations to share.

Blogs (and wikis) help fulfill the read/write web

· People Power

Sometimes it’s useful to remember that Tim Berners-Lee’s first web browser has an editor built into it, as he reminds us in this BBC interview (Berners-Lee on the read/write web):

Towards a rewritable web
ML: I’m interested that at what sense you began to sense the possibilities. You weren’t thinking car rental, you weren’t thinking blogging, I assume.
TBL: Well in some ways. The idea was that anybody who used the web would have a space where they could write and so the first browser was an editor, it was a writer as well as a reader. Every person who used the web had the ability to write something. It was very easy to make a new web page and comment on what somebody else had written, which is very much what blogging is about.
For years I had been trying to address the fact that the web for most people wasn’t a creative space; there were other editors, but editing web pages became difficult and complicated for people. What happened with blogs and with wikis, these editable web spaces, was that they became much more simple.
When you write a blog, you don’t write complicated hypertext, you just write text, so I’m very, very happy to see that now it’s gone in the direction of becoming more of a creative medium.

Help me find my next job

· People Power

This post represents the first step in an experiment in publicly seeking work via the living web. I started by posting here at Radio Free Blogistan because this is still my best known brand and the blog site most closely associated with my name. (Who am I? I’m Christian Crumlish, a.k.a xian).

What kind of work am I looking for? While I am always interested in short-term contract work and consulting gigs, I am most interested right now in landing a full-time job. My internal clock tells me that Web 2.0 is taking off and I’d like to be part of something bigger than myself. Yes, over at Mediajunkie I help people plan web strategies and build websites and launch blogs and such, and I will continue doing that, but Mediajunkie consists of me and a loose network of colleagues whom I hire when I need help and whom I refer overflow work to. In a sense, I am the hub of that network and it is limited by my reach and my range.

The time has come, something tells me, to join a team where I am not the biggest cheese. I want to learn more from people smarter than me and better at business. I want to learn how to grow a startup or how to help an established business best take advantage of the living web.

What do I have to offer? First and foremost I am a writer. I’ve made a living writing professionally since 1992. Wrapped up in that are most of my other skills. I’m a world class communicator, equally comfortable speaking extemporaneously in front of a large audience (live or broadcast) and collaborating in small groups. I am also a communication troubleshooter. I detect when people are miscommunicating and I get things back on track. I have a knack for understanding both sides of a conversation and I’m good at putting myself in other people’s shoes.

Because of that mixture of skills and talent, my web-related expertise revolves around user experience: interfaces, information design, nomenclature, content strategy, blog strategy, syndication strategy, and so on.

If you’re interested in hiring me, drop me an email message or give me a call (415-672-5759). Even if you don’t have a position currently open, I might still be interested in talking to you about future opportunities to collaborate. As I said before, I’m also available for shorter term consulting contracts.

If you think you know of a good opportunity for me, especially in the social network system/software web application space, please let me know. I am specifically hoping that my extended network of friends, colleagues, readers, and other connections will help me extend my reach and find the best possible niche for me to flourish in over the next few years. I really think things are taking off in this space and I want to be in a position to put my analytical skills and my practical experience to use. I want to help. I want to contribute. I want to influence.

And I’m asking for help. It might be cooler to do this all on the Q.T.: act invincible and seem as though I can do everything all by myself without help, but that’s just not the way it works. I’ve learned over the years that I don’t always ask for help because I want to look stronger than I am, but I’m learning to be real about it and not worry so much about exposing my vulnerabilities to the jungle atmosphere of capitalism at its worst. Instead I’m putting my faith in the collaborative potential of an open economy.

If you think you can help me find my next job, please let me know. One way you can help even if you don’t know of a specific opening or opportunity suitable for me would be to link to this weblog entry, with linktext along the lines of “Christian Crumlish is looking for a job” or “help xian get hired” or the equivalent.

Thanks in advance.

P.S: Of course I’ll continue looking for projects and work using all the now-traditional automated web tools and the job search elements that are starting to appear in social network systems, such as LinkedIn. Here’s a little value-add to make this entry useful to people beyond just me:

Om Malik writes SimplyHired is LinkedIn

They might have been late to the party, but it seems SimplyHired, the job search site is wasting no time adding interesting features and services to its offerings. The latest being a hook-up with LinkedIn. The companies are likely to announce an official partnership later this week, but what I can tell you [is] that as part of the deal, a tiny icon under every listing will allow you to see who you know at the company. Smart, and frankly something HotJobs or Monster should have thought a long time ago. From what I gather, SimplyHired has about 3 million job listings. They have also rolled out a brand new set of features – ratings and apply now features. On their blog, the team members write, “RSS and better searches are just 2 of the things we are working on. We are just getting started, and even the new features will be refined and reworked over the next few weeks.”

(Be sure to click through to GigaOm to visit the links I left out of the quoted text above.)

P.P.S: Until I land my next job, I’ll be putting links to this article on all my weblogs. Apologies in advance to readers of my various sites for the redundancy!

Afghan blogger, read all about it

· People Power

Quoting from Buzzmachine:

Free speech spreads: The first Afghan blog. [via IraqTheModel and Tim Oren]

My name is Waheed. I am a 20 year old male from Afghanistan and I have been working with the US Army in Kabul, Afghanistan as an interpreter for the last 2 years….

During the Taliban we didn’t have internet system in Afghanistan but now there are about 25 net cafes in Kabul, and also some in Herat, Kandahar and Balkh provinces. People are really interested to use the internet but its too expensive for people to use it – only rich people can afford it.

Sounds like an opportunity for some wonderful foundation out there.

Waheed also reports that 4,000 women are taking vocational training and that the country has its first women’s fitness center.

Gillmor on Iraq the Model and the new Spirit of America-sponsored Arabic language weblog tool

· People Power

Quoting from An Honor:

I just had the honor of introducing some extraordinary people to a Silicon Valley audience. They were Jim Hake, CEO and founder of Spirit of America, which I wrote about last spring. His operation is bringing help from U.S. citizens to people who need it in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it’s worth your time to look at it.
The stars of the lunch program, however, were Omar and Mohammed Ali, two of three brothers who have been writing the Iraq the Model blog for over a year. It’s an on-the-ground look at conditions they’re seeing in a nation that’s seen so much horror.
They’re working on a citizen journalism project for coverage of the upcoming elections. I wish them well on that and hope I can help in some small way.
They have a leg up on this project because there’s a new Arabic-language blogging tool, funded by Spirit of America, which will host blogs — free of charge — for people in the Arabic-speaking Middle East. Nice work by all.