Web applications are all the rage. Web applications that function within the context of social networking sites doubly so. I think it is safe to say that pretty much anyone looking to garner a large audience on the web, for financial or any other reasons, has to be considering how they can reach people on sites like Facebook, or all those users out there accessing the web via their iPhones. Sun Microsystems has entered this arena by providing a set of web based development tools and a platform on which to host the resulting products that is now in beta and named Zembly. And while Zembly has not been open to the public for all that long, two of Zemblys architects with the help of two writers have published a new cookbook for the aspiring Zembly developer, Assemble the Social Web with Zembly.
I vividly remember the first time I was able to dial up a bbs with my Commodore Vic-20. It was Star Trek themed and I was excited to see that the Sysop was online. We typed a few lines of text back and forth while I hollered to everyone in the house that I was talking to someone through the computer. Things have come a long way since then and I’ve put in quite a few hours experiencing one of the more exciting sides of the internet, participating in community. Of course it hasn’t all been great. Communities on-line are just like any other in that there are differences of opinion and issues that arise. Some are handled well, some are not. Social interaction can be very complicated and learning how to manage a social site can be a process that involves a lot of painful lessons. Fortunately not all of our learning has to come through direct experience. Sometimes we have the opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Patrick O’Keefes book Managing Online Forums is that guide to the budding leader of the webs next great community.
Tor has launched their new social, sci-fi, fantasy and much more, blogging, new fiction, super duper site. Right now there are 2 short stories up and available to read/download. They are “After The Coup” by John Scalzi, and “Down On The Farm” by Charles Stross. Both in worlds developed by the authors in full novels. Scalzi’s story is in the Old Man’s War universe and is a great read. Stross’s story is from his “Laundry” stories, which I don’t know but I liked this story. Nice mix of magic, math and computing.
On top of all that, for a limited time every ebook and piece of art they made available during their promotional period leading up to the launch of the site are all available right here. Every book is available in multiple drm free formats. I’ve read 3 so far and loved all 3. I’m working on my fourth now. There are over 20 total and so I’ll have lots of fun stuff to read for some time.
If they stick with what it says in the post – all this will no longer be available 7 days from now. They will shut it all down after the 27th. The artwork is also amazing and available in a wide number of sizes. This is when the Down Them All plugin for firefox really comes in handy. Right-Click, Save As just wont cut it for this much awesome stuff.