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May 9th, 2009:

One! One Week Timeline! AH! AH! AH! AHHH!

Why excitement about counting all the way up to one?  Well, because it’s actually counting down.  I used to have a TWO! TWO Week timeline.  But the quantity of data got to be just a little too much, so I had to trade amount of data displayed for performance.

There are two reasons for that.  Overall, it’s just the sheer number of bloggers we have now.  The number of posts in a two week period was getting pretty huge.  There’s also a lot more syndicated content that Jim Groom is bringing into the UMWBlogs system, which of course increases the amount of data exponentially.

It’s a little bit of an interesting question.  Now, within the UMWBlogs database, there is a lot of info that might or might not have a direct connection to work going on at UMW (at least no connection beyond the fact that Jim brought it in as a demo of aggregation).  It might raise a signal-to-noise ratio question, and maybe force thinking about what we want to count as signal, and what to count as noise (and then how to use some of the tools I’m working on here to sort it out).

For example, I’ve been keeping a running tally of how many blogs, blog posts, tags, images, and links are in UMWBlogs (it’s in the sidebar to the right).  That is slowly creeping away from being useful data for understanding blogging at UMW, since — at least until I find ways to sort it out — that data includes a lot of the content from outside UMW.

This is the classic working relationship between me  and Jim, which might also count as our mutual job security.  He’s great at finding new ways to pushing more content out and around, which messes up my efforts to organize it, which leads to new ways to slice and dice the data, which should lead to new ways to prompt content creation!

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