Jon Udell

Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and new media innovator. His 1999 book, Practical Internet Groupware, helped lay the foundation for what we now call social software. Udell was formerly a software developer at Lotus, BYTE Magazine's executive editor and Web maven, and an independent consultant.

From 2002 to 2006 he was InfoWorld's lead analyst, author of the weekly Strategic Developer column, and blogger-in-chief. During his InfoWorld tenure he also produced a series of screencasts and an audio show that continues as Interviews with Innovators on the Conversations Network. In 2007 Udell joined Microsoft as a writer, interviewer, speaker, and experimental software developer. Currently he is building and documenting a community information hub that's based on open standards and runs in the Azure cloud.

Peer-to-Peer Peer-to-Peer
by Nelson Minar , Marc Hedlund , Clay Shirky , Tim O'Reilly , Dan Bricklin , David Anderson , Jeremie Miller , Adam Langley , Gene Kan , Alan Brown , Marc Waldman , Lorrie Faith Cranor , Aviel Rubin , Roger Dingledine , Michael Freedman , David Molnar , Rael Dornfest , Dan Brickley , Theodore Hong , Richard Lethin , Jon Udell , Nimisha Asthagiri , Walter Tuvell , Brandon Wiley
February 2001
Print: $29.95

Practical Internet Groupware Practical Internet Groupware
by Jon Udell
October 1999
OUT OF PRINT

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Harvard vs MIT

December 19 2012

As I build out calendar hubs in various cities I’ve been keeping track of major institutions that do, or don’t, provide iCalendar feeds along with their web calendars. At one point I made a scorecard which shows that iCalendar support is unpredictably spotty across a range of cities and institutions.… read more

Computational thinking and life skills

November 13 2012

Surfing the Roku box last night I landed on the MIT Open CourseWare channel and sampled Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. In one lecture Prof. John Guttag offers this timely reminder: Focus on understanding why the program is doing what it’s doing, rather than why it’s not doing what… read more

Why I subscribe to the Ann Arbor Chronicle

October 30 2012

The Ann Arbor city council met, most recently, on October 15. Why didn’t the Ann Arbor Chronicle’s story on the meeting land until October 24? It took a while for Dave Askins to compile his typically epic 15000-word blog post. It’s an astonishingly detailed record of the meeting — more… read more

The personal cloud series

October 19 2012

In today’s column on wired.com I discuss ways to manage overlapping personal, team, and public calendars. It’s the 21st in the series, here’s the whole list: The future’s here, but unevenly distributed 2012-03-02 Kynetx pioneers the Live Web 2012-03-09 What’s in a name? In the cloud, a data service! 2012-03-16… read more

A great disturbance in the force

September 27 2012

If you’re a coach, parent, or student involved with high school sports, you may know of a site called HighSchoolSports.net. It’s a service used by many schools, including the ones in my town, to manage information about teams and schedules. For the elmcity project it’s been a stalwart provider of… read more

Thought leadership at the Ann Arbor District Library

September 13 2012

In Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto, which is taglined Essays from the bleeding edge of publishing and is co-edited by Brian O’Leary and Hugh McGuire, there’s a refreshingly forward-thinking chapter on public libraries by the Ann Arbor District Library’s Eli Neiburger. In The End of the Public Library (As We Knew… read more

“Carol, meet Mrs. D; Mrs. D, meet Carol” (An ode to 3-way calling)

September 10 2012

My latest wired.com column begins: Back in February my son lost control of his car and landed in the hospital. Fortunately he has recovered from his injuries. And fortunately we have health insurance. So everything’s OK. However, I’m still — six months later — trying to untangle the bureaucratic mess… read more

Visualizing structural change

July 28 2011

Think about the records that describe the status of your health, finances, insurance policies, vehicles, and computers. If the systems that manage these records could produce timestamped JSON snapshots when indicators change, it would be much easier to find out what changed, and when. read more

Why Facebook isn't the best home for your public events

June 09 2011

Organizations should strive to own and control their online identities (and associated data) to the extent they can. read more

Uniform APIs for the data web

April 20 2011

What if blogs had come of age in an era when a uniform kind of API was expected? We could then ask questions of blogs in the same way we could ask questions of event services. read more

How will the elmcity service scale? Like the web!

December 22 2010

A blog feed is just a special kind of web page. Anybody can create a blog and publish its feed at some URL. Why not calendars too? read more

The iCalendar chicken-and-egg conundrum

November 12 2010

If you're a school or a business or a band or a club whose website sports an Events tab that doesn't offer a companion iCalendar feed, I hope you'll ask your CMS vendor why not. read more

Heds, deks, and ledes

November 04 2010

Headlines matter. They're always visible to a scan or a search, while other information -- like decks and leads -- are active in far fewer contexts. read more

A lesson in civics, public data, and computational principles

October 26 2010

An efficient model of collective information management relies on principles like pub/sub, indirection and syndication. Translating these principles beyond computational thinkers is the tricky part. To pull it off we need to educate the kids we assume to be digital natives. read more

Developing intuitions about data

October 07 2010

Some kinds of computer files have different properties than others, and thus serve different purposes. Structured representation of data is one such property. If we are trying to put data onto the web, and if we want others to have the use of that data, and if we hope it… read more

The principle of indirection

September 30 2010

Networks of people and data are governed by principles as basic as the commutative law of addition and multiplication. Indirection is one of those principles. read more

Personal data stores and pub/sub networks

September 22 2010

Most people and organizations think of the calendar information they push as text for people to read. Few realize it's also data networks can syndicate. When that mindset changes, a river of data will be unleashed. read more

Twitter kills the password anti-pattern, but at what cost?

September 10 2010

It's good to see Twitter driving a stake into the heart of the password anti-pattern. But the Twitter ecosystem wouldn't exist if it hadn't been possible to sketch ideas, and to explore the unanticipated uses that can emerge from the soup of active ingredients that the web has become. read more

The laws of information chemistry

August 18 2010

Everybody learns that things in the physical world are structured in ways that govern how they can or cannot interact. The right shape will open the door, the wrong one won't. But unless you're on an IT track, you'll likely graduate from college without ever learning this corollary: The right… read more

The power of informal contracts

August 11 2010

In a world full of services like delicious, FriendFeed, and Twitter -- services that can route feeds of data based on user-defined vocabularies -- you don't have to be a programmer to create useful mashups. You just have to understand, and find ways to apply, something Jon Udell calls the… read more

Lessons learned building the elmcity service

August 03 2010

What happens when you mix open source goals, styles, and attitudes with Microsoft tools, languages, and frameworks? You get a cultural mashup. That's what the elmcity project is, and what this series will explore. read more

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Jon Udell