All posts for “Technology in Plain English”

Technology in Plain English

Did you know that in a recent survey by Harris Interactive that only 16% of the online public know what a wiki is? For some, this will seem surprising. Others will say "what's a wiki?" I had coffee today with my friend Kevin Flaherty of Wet Paint, the Seattle-based wiki company. He told me that they were perplexed that "wiki" was deemed one the 10 most annoying words on the web, so they ask Harris Interactive to do the survey comparing "wiki" to the terms social network, blog and online... Continue Reading

The Verdict (and stats) on the RSS Video

Posted by: leelefever on May 27, 2007- 5:00pm

Categories: paperwork, rss, show, Technology in Plain English, video


The Verdict: Exceeded Expectations You're going to have to forgive me, I'm about to spew all sorts of facts and figures while at the same time stroking my ego. I fear that it will sound like bragging , but we were completely blown away by the success of the RSS in Plain English Video and I want to share. The video was posted on April 23rd, 2007. Today is May 28th and in just over a month the video has been... Viewed over 80,000 times across three hosts (, YouTube and DotSub)... Continue Reading

Are You Bilingual? Subtitle Translators Needed

Posted by: leelefever on April 28, 2007- 5:00pm

Categories: help, language, rss, Technology in Plain English, video


As we had hoped, the RSS in Plain English video has been a learning experience. One important lesson has been a better recognition of the needs of non-English speakers and the hearing impaired when it comes to video. We want the video to be useful for everyone. Thankfully, (sorry I can't remember who) Darran pointed me to the Rocketboom episode where they reveal how they are using a service called DotSub to add user-generated subtitles in multiple languages to their videos. How cool. So, I had... Continue Reading

RSS Video - FAQs, Credits and Observations

Posted by: leelefever on April 26, 2007- 5:00pm

Categories: buzz, paperwork, rss, Technology in Plain English, video


Wow. That was fun. It appears that the RSS in Plain English Video is still making it's way around the Web, but the major buzz has subsided and we're ready to move on here at Common Craft. Before we do, I wanted to address some of the things that came up recently. First, credit where credit is due. Sachi, my lovely wife and partner, came up with the idea for the paperwork format. She also did the video editing and figured out how to make it shorter. The credits in the video don't mention... Continue Reading

It Snowed Today

Posted by: leelefever on April 23, 2007- 5:00pm

Categories: buzz, memories, Technology in Plain English, thissite


When I was a kid, growing up in North Carolina, it would snow a few times a year and before each storm, I would get very, very excited. In hopes of preparing me for potential disappointment, my Mom would always remind me "Lee, you know, it might not snow."  We still joke about this cruel tactic. Fast-forward 25 years and I'm still looking forward to snow.  Last night, just as I posted the RSS in Plain English video , I turned to Sachi and said "I think there is a chance that this video could... Continue Reading

Trust and the Currencies of Community

Posted by: leelefever on April 7, 2007- 5:00pm

Categories: community, Social Design, Technology in Plain English


James Sherrett at WorkIndustries wrote a thoughtful email in response the my post on online community currency... My $0.02 is that to talk about communities and currencies is to mix metaphors. Currencies are more applicable to markets and networks than communities. Communities thrive on trust, which is a human element that I don't think we'll ever be able to replicate in a scalable system. I can see where James is coming from and, as I told him, I wish more people would question or... Continue Reading

Painting Chemists and the Web Renaissance

Posted by: leelefever on January 20, 2007- 4:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English


I'm always on the lookout for useful ways to describe what is happening on the web from a macro perspective. Just recently I found one courtesy of my friend and neighbor Josh Petersen of the Robot Coop. He was quoted in the book Wikinomics: He likens developments in the new Web to the early history of cinema "There was a period of time where cinema was a very technical art. You practically had to be an engineer just to run a camera." As the art form evolved, directors stepped up to become... Continue Reading

I Want to See Your Grocery List

Posted by: leelefever on June 19, 2005- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English


If I could see two things about you, I bet I could make a pretty accurate decision about how much we have in common overall. Consider a grocery list and a music collection. If I could see those two things about you and see that we are similar in those two ways, I’d bet we’d find a host of other consistencies. I would probably like your blog. Isn’t this what social networking is all about? When we form personal/professional networks, join groups, share lists and display them on our pages... Continue Reading

RSS and TiVo: How Similar

Posted by: leelefever on June 14, 2005- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English


Last night we had dinner with an interesting guy named John Rodsett who is a movie producer and a former professor of Sachi’s. Among other things, we talked about our mutual love of TiVo and I spent a little time talking about RSS. During the conversation it occurred to me how much TiVo and RSS (including RSS aggregators) are similar. Some notes: TiVo makes TV watching easier and more manageable RSS makes web reading easier and more manageable TiVo helps you focus on shows that interest you... Continue Reading

DeathMatch: Bad, Bad Leroy Blog vs. Mean Mr. Message Board

Posted by: leelefever on June 6, 2005- 5:00pm

Categories: Technology in Plain English


Here we are at the Web 2.0 Virtual Games and next up we have a fight to the death between the veteran collaboration tool, Mean Mr. Message Board and the upstart Bad Bad, Leroy Blog. This will be one for the record books folks… Before the action, let’s take a look at how these contenders got to this point… Mean Mr. Message Board has been around the block more than a few times. He traces his lineage to the very beginning of the virtual world, where he first enabled virtual collaboration... Continue Reading