RE: [decentralization] Re: Opting-out by websites
>>OK, I am honestly confused at the outrage over the smart tags.As a Microsoft MVP (read: a guy who likes Microsoft) I really really really
want to support you guys on this one.
But I can't. You aren't another "little company." You own my entire
computing experience (practically, especially now since even my hobby is
Users and Web site designers see this as yet another way Microsoft can get
its tentacles into my life.
Yes, the idea of SmartTags is cool.
The fact is, that because Bill Gates controls them (and, despite your
protestations, he +does+ control them for most users and most Web sites)
they scare the bejeebers out of me.
About half of my hatred of this feature is the total lack of control that I
-- as a Web master -- have over them. This isn't a little dinky company that
no one pays attention to (like Third Voice). This is Microsoft. My mom will
download and use stuff from Microsoft. She won't download and use stuff from
a dinky little company like Third Voice.
I have the latest build of Windows XP here, and I know this feature is
changing with every build (I hope to report that in a future build it's
gone, but so far it's getting worse and worse with every build).
Today I learned from Dave's site that future versions of XP will have a
button that will let users turn them on. In other words, the early "spin" on
this feature was pure lies (go back and read the Wall Street Journal article
that announced this IE6.0 specific feature to the world).
I also tested the meta tag today on Dave's site. It doesn't work. Why?
Because the user can override it (and will, cause of course all users want
to see all meta tags). This really, really, really, really sucks.
What happens if someone like, say, Microsoft, decides to "SmartTag" the
words "technical conference" and let's say that Microsoft will only list its
"approved" conferences there. I didn't remember Microsoft paying me to
advertise on my site without permission (I work for Fawcette Technical
Publications as a conference planner, and we have an interest place in the
industry: we are both a Microsoft partner, and a Microsoft competitor since
Microsoft both sponsors our shows, and hosts its own conferences as well).
As a Web master, I have now lost control of the content on my page and this
GREATLY pisses me off.
You know Jonathan, I am honestly suprised that you are defending these
things. My Web site is my Web site and I really am offended at Microsoft at
trying to put tags on my site that take my users off of my site (and don't
even give me the control to turn off these tags).
>Since anyone can makeUm, I'm a pretty technical person, but I don't have the tools or the
>smarttags (and I have seen some non-MS versions already deployed; one
>for doctors, to allow a particular group of doctors to link directly
>to relevant medical applications on their intranet when particular
wherewithal to build a DLL. Most of the people who attend our Web Design and
Development conferences have no clue about how to do that. Most of them also
don't really know XML. And, finally, is Microsoft going to pay my costs (and
others costs) of software development and testing just to override a feature
that is intrustive? What the f*** is this all about?
>and since the user is the one who ultimately choosesBULLSHIT!!!
>which smart tags he or she will view, it seems like the ultimate
Have you looked at IE6? As a user I have no freaking clue where these
SmartTags are coming from. When I visit Scripting News and the word
"Microsoft" is underlined, I have no idea WHO built that SmartTag. My mom
would assume that that came from Dave, not from Microsoft "I'm on Dave's
site" she would say.
>The SDK for creating smart tags was available longYeah, for you it's not difficult to write a device driver and slash out 1000
>before the release of smart tags, and it is really not that difficult
>to create these things.
lines of XML code in a few hours. For me, I'm a mere mortal, not a
programmer. That stuff is IMPOSSIBLE for me to do.
Yet, I +can+ edit HTML. Why the hell is Microsoft taking away my control of
You are SO WRONG ON THIS ISSUE I can't even see straight typing to you
tonight. Microsoft's water must brainwash you all into thinking it's OK to
mess with everyone's lives and content in whatever way you guys want. This
issue IS THAT SERIOUS!!!
>It is quite possible, for example, for slashdot to create a smart tagYou mean I can go to Slashdot, download their tags and only Slashdot's tags
>for their fans to download, which will point to open source versions
>of any commercial software tool that happens to be mentioned in a
will work from then on, no matter what site I visited? So, when I go to
Microsoft's site, and the word "Microsoft" is SmartTagged by Slashdot, and
it offers to take me to the Microcrap site, Bill Gates will stand for that?
I do NOT believe you on this issue. That certainly is NOT how they behave by
default. And, since building new tags takes a programmer with experience
enough to build a DLL and some XML code, only a very few sites will do this.
>Not only is this sort of thing likely, it is exactly the sortThe problem is that Microsoft will control 100% of the tags out of the gate.
>of thing that smart tags are hoping will happen. Saying that one
>company will control smart tags is like saying that IBM would try to
>build a computer that only ran software produced by IBM.
The problem is that Microsoft +is+ a monopoly. The problem is that Microsoft
is messing with MY CONTENT ON MY SITE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!!!
Imagine if Microsoft told the world "you can put your own little ads under
each word in Fawcette's magazines." I'm sure those of you getting free ads
would really love that feature, but as an owner of content, I'd really be
>This is oneNo, those two failed because they are dinky little companies that built
>reason why third voice failed, and this is a reason that comet cursor
>has difficulties -- you get only what they give you.
annoying features that most people didn't care about and didn't download.
Who gives a crud about having weird looking cursors. I've had the ability to
change mine since at least 1995 (that feature is built into Windows for
those who have a little computing skill) but I hate weird cursors.
>If someoneFine. Don't ship ANY SmartTags implemented. Include the feature, but make a
>makes a smart tag that lots of people like, those people use IE.
>This could perhaps explain why the smart tag SDK has been available
>for so long. Smart Tag *is* a platform and *must* be a platform; it
>would be bizarre to think otherwise.
promise that Microsoft won't ship their own by default.
Maybe if Microsoft played nice, and explained these features, and gave OTHER
PEOPLE SOME INPUT AND OWNERSHIP then we'd be able to calmly discuss things.
The fact is Microsoft uses its monopoly power to get its way in this
industry and this feature looks like a gun aimed at my head and I don't like
it one bit.
>BTW, I have seen a few implementations of people making their ownWhy do insiders who see things Microsoft's way always get advance notice?
>smart tags. One was a hospital group that uses smart tags that
>automatically connect the doctor to relevant intranet apps when
>certain keywords are recognized.
Why doesn't the entire industry learn about a feature at the same time? Why
can't Microsoft come clean on this one?
>Also note that a smart tag is *not* a hyperlink, and does *not*Actually, on my computer it is MORE obtrusive than a hyperlink. It looks
>replace any hyperlinks that might exist. The so-called "smart tag"
>is not as obtrusive as a hyperlink, and must be deliberately "rolled
>open" by a user who is interested in seeing what sort of actions the
>smart tag engine has suspected are possible.
like a misspelled word in my build of Windows XP. That's another thing I
hate about them. Users will mistake these things as misspelled or "wrong"
words because they look similar to the "squiggly underline" in Word.
>Has anyone who isI have them turned on right now and they are pissing me off even more as I
>complaining about this actually used a smart tag?
use them (not only is the feature bad, but in the beta it's also broken at
>I wouldWell, Microsoft is hiding behind NDAs and non-released software. So, most
>hope that people have actually looked at the thing they are
people won't have had a chance to try them yet.
>Next, I hope people realize that smart tags are aimed at "actions"Well, the only word SmartTagged in my version of IE6 is "Microsoft" so that
>and not necessarily "hyperlinks". I could hover over a person's name
>for example, "roll open" the smart tag, and have it dial the person
>on the telephone. So you can also hyperlink. Big deal.
doesn't bode well for demonstrating the action part of SmartTags.
>Now, the really subversive part of smart tags is that they allowAnd you're defending this? Dude. Why don't you give me the ability to put
>someone like slashdot to attach actions to a page that was not
>necessarily created by them.
comments in your code before you turn it into your boss for code review?
That's the same thing you're allowing others to do to MY work!
>This is where I have perhapsI don't get where you're going...
>misunderstood the idea of "editthispage", which technically allows
>only approved "editors" to edit a page.
>But on the other hand, theNo. It modifies the RENDERING of my site. I can prove this. Turn on
>smart tag does not modify the site (please use a smart tag before
>arguing with this).
SmartTags in IE6. Go to Scripting.com. OK. See the SmartTags? Yes? OK, now,
turn off SmartTags. Now, open the HTML in your browser's cache. Still see
SmartTags? Yes! You have MODIFIED MY SITE (well, in this case Dave's site).
>And it seems that the decision of whether or notThis is where you are WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG.
>to have smart tags available should be up to the user, not the site
1) Microsoft is getting free advertising on my site and putting that
advertising on my site without asking me, nor getting my permission. I plan
on supporting a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft to collect damages
for the cost of that advertising.
2) My content is MINE. I did NOT give you the right to fuck with it! So,
don't! And, let ME control what goes on MY site.
>A smart tag is nothing more than a metadata plugin thatWrong. It's nothing more than a Microsoft ploy to:
>allows people to share metadata.
1) Change the content of my site.
2) Get free advertising on my site.
3) Get more traffic to visit their own sites.
>It is as if you have hired a personRight. Only it's worse. It's Bill Gates sitting with you as you browse the
>from slashdot to sit with you as you browse the web and whisper in
>your ear "psst, you can get that software for free over here"
>whenever you go to a page that has commercial software on it.
Web saying "come over and visit a Microsoft site cause we have cool stuff."
That's called advertising. I plan on sending Microsoft a bill for
advertising on my site without my permission.
>ItActually, it's facist to insist that Microsoft be allowed to place
>seems frankly quite facist to insist that your users not be permitted
>to browse your site with whatever little helpers they like.
advertising on my site without my permission. And, without explaining to the
users who is really fucking with the content on my site.
>It isNo. It's like kicking a competitor out of my store who keeps telling my
>like a store owner kicking your wife out of the store because she
>keeps telling you "those tools are too expensive".
customers "my store is better." I used to run a camera store and I +did+
kick competitors out of my stores. In fact, Fry's doesn't let anyone take
pictures inside of its stores just so that it's harder to do price shopping
and so that other stores can't get merchandising expertise back to
management as easily.
My store doors are my store doors and if I want to kick your wife out of my
store I should be allowed to do that (and, I HAVE kicked people out of my
store before who were jerks).
>If the userWrong. The store should be able to keep its competitors from stealing its
>doesn't like the little whispers they get about the pages they visit,
>they'll ask their smart tag to go sit in the car.
customers inside of its doors.
>Furthermore, smart tags are *exactly* about sharing metadata.No. SmartTags are about Microsoft stealing my customers and getting free
>Metadata is "data about data".
advertising on my site.
>For example, consumer reportsAnd, how would Consumer Reports feel about being forced to take advertising
>provides metadata that rates the stuff that advertising companies
from Microsoft, without having a choice in the matter? Huh? Where is
editorial integrity? Every word in Consumer Reports was written by consumer
reports and I don't want that to change.
>If all of consumer reports metadata could be vetoed by theYou are really messed up. Dude. You need to come out in the real world and
>companies they reported on, that would sort of defeat the purpose,
see what the other end of the Microsoft gun looks like.
Consumer reports metadata is decided on by consumer reports. What Microsoft
is doing is shipping a default set of metadata to the world that BY DEFAULT
takes people off of my site and onto a Microsoft site.
And I have no freaking choice in the matter.
>Metadata *must* be independent (in a "freedom" sense) of theConsumers want all sorts of crap. I also want a copy of Microsoft Office for
>data. Would I pay money to consumer reports for a smart tag that
>takes me to reviews of products mentioned on pages I am visiting?
free. Why can't I have that too? You know, there are Warez sites giving out
copies of Microsoft stuff as we speak. I bet you won't support my "warez"
metatags that point to where to download copies of Microsoft Office for
free, will you?
>Can you choose to *not* buy the consumer reports smart tagThe problem is, most consumers will stick with the default tags and won't
>if you think those guys are liars? You bet!! Like any metadata,
>users are free to choose whichever metadata sources they trust (or
>none at all). The *only* thing that smart tags do is make it
>possible to get that metadata.
even know where the info is coming from. Visit Dave's site with Metatags
turned on and you'll think that Dave gave you all that nice information.
When in fact, it's Microsoft getting free advertising.
>The web up to this point has allowed only exchange of data. TimI don't think Tim Berners-Lee had in mind that Microsoft would get free
>Berners-Lee's vision of the next phase of the web is about allowing
>people to share metadata.
advertising on the Internet.
>The web blew away the boundaries ofYeah, because you didn't need to know C++ and how to build a DLL.
>publishing by allowing anyone to be a publisher.
>Of course, onlyThat's wrong. There were GUI tools as early as 1996. I know, Microsoft named
>techies could be publishers up until the point that blogs made it
>much easier to publish.
me one of the top five users of FrontPage in 1996. I wasn't a techie and I
published LONG before blogs came along. I've only been publishing my blog
since December 2000 at http://scobleizer.manilasites.com
>The next stage of the web, as envisioned byIs this really true? If so, this vision of the Web sucks. I think I'll take
>lots of smart people at the W3C, is to allow anyone to publish
>metadata about anything else.
down my content and start taking up Apple farming or pottery. At least Bill
Gates will leave me alone for a while in those endeavors.
I will NOT willingly support a movement that lets other people change my
content and/or get free advertising on top of my content. Sorry. But that's
a HORRIBLE vision of what the Web should be.
>Smart tags are very much like the<sigh>
>first stages of the web in that anyone can publish metadata, so long
>as they learn the technical side, and they need to advertise in
>search engines, etc. to get people aware of their metadata.
>But we are just theYou know, you're sounding a lot like the ugly monster railroads of the
>laborers dragging these rails and can only do so much.
1860s. Ripping off the farmers and the little people and doing whatever the
hell you want to us. Dude, you really need to get a grip on what you're
espousing here. YOUR MESSAGE HERE IS THE VOICE OF THE DEVIL.
>Finally, I suspect that the particular nationality (oh, IIt's about half the problem. I'd have the same problem if Netscape tried to
>mean "corporate affiliation") of the laborers who agreed to lay the
>railroad track is a large part of the objection people have.
do this. Or Oracle. Or IBM. Or our government. Monopolies should NOT be able
to get free advertising on my back!!
Heck, at least Doubleclick will pay me $6.50 per 1000 pageviews -- and I can
decide whether or not to sign up with them to do that. Here I have no choice
in the matter.
>They would probably avoid something controversial like politicalIn other words. They'd behave like a drug dealer. Here kiddie kiddie kiddie,
>party information (and people will get their "politics" smart tags
>from their political party office, NRA, or whatever anyway).
try this smack. Isn't that good? Want some more? Oh, now you've gotta "pay."
In this case, two years down the line, how can I be sure that Microsoft
doesn't all of a sudden SmartTag words like "Developer conference" and take
my customers that I worked hard to get to visit my site, back off to TechEd
or PDC? I don't remember signing up for a Microsoft affiliate program. Oh,
wait, I have a monopolist's gun aimed at my head telling me "you vil sign up
for our affiliate program and you vil like it!"
>TheyYes I do. They are getting free advertising on my site without my
>would have just about zero incentive to try developing every smart
>tag a person would want; why do all of that work when they are not a
>gomez.com or consumer reports anyway?? So far, do you still hate this
permissiona and they are making my content look ugly with squiggly little
lines. And they weren't nice about it and asked whether or not I wanted that
>If they were finally noticed by some other big company andNo. It's the fact that it's being forced down our throats and that we have
>purchased for wider distribution of the technology, would it then
>suddenly become immoral? This isn't meant to be argumentative, I am
>honestly curious. So I want to know which parts of this make people
>1. Is it the sharing of metadata that is alarming?
no control in the matter.
>2. Is it the fact that control over viewing the metadata lies solelyAbsolutely.
>in the hands of the users and cannot be taken away by someone who
>wishes to suppress users access to collateral information?
>3. Is it the fact that a particular company wrote this, and it wouldIt would not be acceptable behavior from ANYONE.
>be more acceptable from someone else?
Just my own opinions and not those of anyone else including my employer.
- Are Smart Tags merely more user control over their surfing experience?
I remember a similar complaint in the mid 1990s. Some creators of
content (in particular designers coming from print media) did not
want web surfers adjusting background or text colors or choosing
their own fonts and text sizes or resizing window shapes or changing
how links looked or behaved. The authors wanted control over how
every dot and tiddle looked. Why? First, because they knew better
than the user how to make aesthetic design decisions. Second, because
all those decisions created a collective effect and messing with a
few changed the whole experience of the publication.
One response was the creation and adoption of Adobe Acrobat. Absolute
control, reduced interaction, proprietary technology.
Another was the acknowledgement that sometimes users know better how
to consume information. e.g. weak eyesight, bigger text.
And the semantic web is the latest response: metadata and context are
a surfer's best friend in an infoglut world.
So I gotta ask:
If you haven't been worried when users:
- read your whois to find out who you really are vs. who you say you
- run your site through a translator to see it in piglatin or Italian
- transcode it for delivery on a 2 inch black and white reduced-
interaction screen (AvantGo),
- turn off your bloated pictures
- get flashing red lights if your site fails a morality-filter,
- see what other people think of your products while still surfing
your site, or
- play your site through a text-to-speech converter
Then what concerns do you have now about users exercising their
apparent "fair use" right to add another layer of cross references
and context to their experience of your site?
Users have been messing with your content for a while. What has
changed that you don't trust them?
---- pause. deep breath. ---
There is that thing about Microsoft. It owns my desktop. It owns my
view of the web. It owns most of the tools I use to compose my ideas.
A concentration of power.
The public architecture [I almost said open but you won't catch me
doing that in *this* forum] creates a marketplace for annotation and
augmentation services. So that users can choose what kinds of context
and commentary they want to add to their surfing experience.
Microsoft still has the first word. I'd just like to assure that
their customers have the last.
- phil wolff, http://dijest.com