Author Archives: donturn

About donturn

Don Turnbull, Ph.D. is a consultant specializing in software research and development focusing on search systems, information analytics, user experience design, semantic and knowledge management technologies as well as intellectual property analysis.

Indie Fever – a report on Macintosh independent developers

This report, titled: Indie Fever The genesis, culture and economy of a community of independent software developers on the Macintosh OS X platform by Michiel van Meeteren looks pretty interesting.

‘Indie Fever’ is the first result of a multi-year human geography research program to investigate the social and economical world of so-called ‘Indie’ developers on the Macintosh platform. ‘Indie’ is the self-chosen nickname of software developers that serve worldwide markets from the Internet, hold their artistic values in high esteem and celebrate their ability to make high quality software as small companies. Indies form a major part of the pool of developers of third party software for the iPhone that is currently available in Apple’s App Store.

It is a Bachelor’s thesis (108 pp) and covers a lot of ground, some obvious to Mac users or Mac decvlopers, but worth looking through.

Election Day via the Web

These are the Web sites that I’ll be obsessing about today:

ReadWriteWeb also has a great list of sites:
Your Election Day Web Toolkit – ReadWriteWeb

Science 2.0: Globalized Innovation in Electronics talk at UTexas

Next Tuesday, October 21, 2008 @ 5:30 pm -7:30 pm at the University of Texas LBJ Library Brown Room, 10th Floor there looks to be an interesting talk:

Strauss Center :: Science 2.0: Globalized Innovation in Electronics by Dan Hutcheson, CEO, VLSI Research

Dan Hutcheson, of VLSI Research, Inc., is a recognized authority and well-known visionary for the semiconductor industry. He advises companies in strategic and tactical marketing, business management and manufacturing trends, productivity and strategy. Mr. Hutcheson developed the industry’s first cost-of-ownership model and the first factory cost-optimization model in the 1980s.

This presentation is part of the Strauss Center’s Technology, Innovation and Global Security Speaker Series, which brings world-renowned experts to campus to discuss how to sustain innovation and better utilize modern technology to benefit an increasingly global economic and social system.

Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search: an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level

I will be giving a research talk (added recently, thus not on the conference Web page yet) titled: Advertising & Awareness with Sponsored Search:  an exploratory study examining the effectiveness of Google AdWords at the local and global level on October 28 at the American Society of Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08) in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the abstract for the talk:

This talk reviews an exploratory study of sponsored search advertising for a major US university’s academic department. The ad campaign used Google’s AdWord service with the goal of increasing awareness – not eCommerce – as part of the search process.  A behavioral model of information seeking is suggested that could be applied for selecting appropriate types of online advertising for awareness and other advertising goals. Insights into the study methodology will also be discussed including the use of increased integration with server logs, targeted site query terms and alternative awareness strategies. 

The talk is part of the panel AM08 2008 – The Google Online Marketing Challenge: A Multi-disciplinary Global Teaching and Learning Initiative Using Sponsored Search with Bernard Jansen, Mark A. Rosso, Dan Russell, Brian Detlor and Don Turnbull.

This is a summary of the panel:

Sponsored search is an innovative information searching paradigm. This panel will discuss a vehicle to explore this unique medium as an educational opportunity for students and professors. From February to May 2008, Google will run its first ever student competition in sponsored search, The Google Online Marketing Challenge Similar to other Google initiatives, the extent seems huge. Based on pre-registrations, more than two hundred professors and nearly nine thousand students from approximately 50 countries will compete. This may be the largest, worldwide educational course ever done. It is certainly on a large scale.

The Google Online Marketing Challenge is a real-life, problem-based, and multidisciplinary educational endeavor of the kind that many educators say is needed to relate teaching to outside the classroom. However, such endeavors are not without risks. The session should appeal to professors that competed in the 2008 Challenge, any professors considering the 2009 Challenge, as well as other educators who might consider the inclusion of Google AdWords as a pedagogical tool in their curricula. The panel will also be of great interest to those information professionals and educators as a possible model for use in other domains besides sponsored search.

Marshmallow Veeps!

Marshmallow Veeps!

Originally uploaded by donturn

This idea suddenly occurred to me the other day. Instead of building marshmallow “people” from scratch, these halloween marshmallow peeps seemed to be a perfect fit.

I used blue food coloring to make a “blue collar” on the very white (Delaware?) ghost for Joe Binden.

The jack-o-lanterns with a little dark food coloring for square eyeglasses seemed a natural fit for Palin with the rumors of her tanning bed, and perhaps a little empty-headed.

Knowledge Management Systems

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Knowledge Management Systems

This course surveys Knowledge Management systems that enable the access and coordination of knowledge assets. Technologies reviewed will include intranets, groupware, weblogs, instant messaging, content management systems and email in both individual and organizational contexts. Students will use these KM technologies, review case studies, research methods of knowledge organization and analyze and design KM processes and systems.

The course is chock full of fun topics including:

Of course, we have a class blog too: Knowledge Management Systems @UTexas

Semantic Web Technologies

This Fall 2008 semester at the University of Texas, I’m teaching a course on: Semantic Web Technologies

This course approaches understanding Semantic Web technologies from three perspectives:

  • Top-down, theoretical approaches to organizing semantic information including ontologies, taxonomies, knowledge representation and software agents.
  • Bottom-up approaches, sometimes called “emergent semantics” or “the lower case ‘S’ semantic web”, for understanding and creating networked information including XML-based solutions including RDF, XPath and RSS. Also included are smaller, informal systems for organizing Web information including tagging (social bookmarking), microformats and other specific markup and distribution systems.
  • Application approaches focusing on Web Services or “Web 2.0” functionality including distributed (client and server) application design, syndication, Application Programming Interfaces, remote databases and “mash-ups”.

Of course, we have a class blog too: Semantic Web Technologies Blog.

Crayon Physics Deluxe

Maybe the only bit of design work I’ve seen that uses a Tablet PC for something innovative:

Crayon Physics Deluxe
Crayon Physics Deluxe is a sequel to the popular freeware game Crayon Physics. Or you can think of it as the game I would have created if I would have had more than 7 days to do it. Way more than 7 days. More like 7 months or 17 months.

Anyway Crayon Physics Deluxe is a 2D physics puzzle game, in which you get to experience what it would be like if your drawings would be magically transformed into real physical objects. Solve puzzles with your artistic vision and creative use of physics.

Watch the video: