]> Gijs van Dam | Gijs's thoughts on the Social Web

Gijs van Dam


Spare me yet another Quora clone

While commenting on this Techcrunch article on yet another Quora clone nobody is waiting for, my comment turned out to be something of a blogpost, so why not suit the action to the word.

The problem I have with all those Quora type of services is that they are only useful for trivial bullshit questions I didn't want answered in the first place. Daft questions and even worse answers, you could probably have found within 10 seconds on Google, and you would have found better answers had you invested 45 seconds.

What would you save from a burning internet?

What would you snatch out of a burning house just before you ran out?

There was a time when whole tribes would have responded to that question that they would risk their lives to save the photo albums out off the conflagration. That was before digital photography, before all your photos were safe on Flickr. 

@bindermichi probably thought he had his affairs in good order with more than 4,000 photos on Flickr, until the Flickr service desk accidentally deleted his account in a way that made it impossible to undo the mistake. There is no cure for immeasurable stupidity. Eventually it ended with a fizzle, when some thumbscrews were tightened on a number of programmers from Flickr as to prevent even worse damage to the reputation of Yahoo!, Flickr's parent company.

There's no such thing as a paradigm shift

In the sixties the philosopher Thomas Kuhn came up with the idea that science doesn't progress gradually by a linear and continuous accumulation of bits of knowledge, but that regularly, scientific revolutions broke out that drastically threw over the dominant theories within a certain field of science. Kuhn coined the term "paradigm shifts" for these revolutions.

According to Kuhn these paradigm shifts took place when the dominant theory, or the central paradigm as he called it, was in crisis. A crisis consisted of a growing amount of observations that were irreconcilable with what the central paradigm dictated. Those anomalies made it necessary for a new central paradigm to be constructed that dealt with both the old observations and the anomalies.

First things first. How do you pronounce Gijs van Dam

If you're not Dutch, my name can be hard to pronounce, especially my first name. Let's explain first that weird i and j in my name. That's a digraph, a pair of letters used to write one distinct sound, and it's common in the Dutch language. The ij is often considered to be the 25th letter of the Dutch alphabet and in some fonts is represented by a separate character. So in a way my first name consists of three letters.

Gijs's brainfarts with regard to the Social Web

This is a new blog and as of today, the 14th of March 2011, I will confide my thoughts on the Social Web to the internets. Not because someone is waiting for it, but because I would like to share them with people and because I was not able to do so anywhere else. Besides that, my ideas are highly likely to evolve and my opinions are work in progress, so I hope that the discussions on this blog with those who apparently were waiting just a little bit on what I had to report will compel me to review my ideas.

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Latest Tweets

  • For a country obsessed with PC language I'm surprised that "Mechanical Turk" isn't replaced by "Mechanical Ottoman American" in the US.
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  • Insightful presentation on why and how Amazon came to control ecommerce in the US. http://mindb.us/5Xj
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  • I've placed the most awesome comment on the best social media satire website on the internet. Ever. http://mindb.us/5Xe
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  • I'm listening to my colleague on the phone explaining to a DTP designer why his stuff won't work on the web. Really funny.
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