Monday, December 31, 2007

Some thoughts on a new year ....

First of all, let me thank all of you who have made the Long Island Idea Factory site a success beyond anything I'd imagined it could be. We're off to a good start but we have a lot more work to do if any of these ideas are to become a reality.

Secondly, we're entering into an important year as we pick a new President. We'll hear a lot of talk about leadership, legacy and change.

To me, leadership is about ideas and how to work collaboratively to implement those ideas. Leadership is not about "idol worship." Idol worship only makes the population lazy in that we expect our "leaders" to do most of the work for us and, surprise, surprise, we are almost always disappointed in the results.

One of the overriding hopes for our One Long Island series of projects is that we create an environment wherein our leaders play a part in the progress of Long Island, but are not expected to shoulder the whole load. That is an unfair and impracticable burden to place upon anyone in a "representative democracy" and leads to a cycle of disappointment and stagnation.

We all have an important part to play. The key is to play the part at the right time and "in tune." If we can achieve a different and more creative dynamic here on Long Island with all its organizational diversity, there is no reason why our ideas can not be exported to other regions. As we've stated previously, Long Island has some of the best talent on the planet. We just need the tools and mindset to achieve great things.

Legacy is an overused and sometimes embarrassing word. I mean, other than family and close friends, who really cares about an individual legacy? Even then, they look at who you are and how you conduct your life rather than what you've "accomplished."

You live in the moment, plan for the future, continually seek knowledge and do the best job you know how. Metaphorically speaking, to have a pigeon use your statue as a lavatory 100 years from now is sort of irrelevant to the process of making a better life for your fellow Long Islanders. Do good work and move on.

If what you've done has helped in some way, great. That's really all you should expect out of it. Concern about individual legacy often times leads to poor decision-making based upon personal expediency rather than the long term common good.

The dust bin of history is littered with those who thought they would be immortal.

Change comes from good ideas, good organization and collaboration. It is easy to work with someone when you agree with them. It is obviously more difficult to work together when you disagree.

I always make it a point to try to find a way to build bridges with whomever I meet. Believe me, sometimes it would be much easier not to try!

But in the interest of being honest with myself and putting my words into practice, it is essential to make the effort.

So, I hope everyone out there has a happy and healthy New Year. I look forward to continuing the progress we've started and more importantly I look forward to meeting new people with new ideas who want to work collaboratively for a better Long Island and a better America.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Long Island Meta-Advocacy Council: Part One

What if Long Island could speak with one voice on the important issues of the day and on the issues that will shape our future?

How powerful would that be?

More in Part Two.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Long Island Best Practices WIKI: Part One

As an outgrowth of the One Long Island project, We may envision a "Long Island Best Practices WIKI" which will allow collaboration between and amongst the different disciplines on Long Island.

Who has the best ideas (or partial ideas) in education? Government? Non-profits?

What works? What doesn't?

It may even allow us, over time, to create a realistic One Long Island "business plan."

We know there is a lot of good work going on out there but unfortunately it seems only the negative gets highlighted. There is a big difference between opinion and criticism, no matter how well informed, and creative thinking, hard work and collaboration.

Here is a national study from 1997 which might serve as one part of an overall structure.

New York State might want to look at this type of program as well.

More in Part Two.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another way to use Lydia/TextMap ...

We posted previously about how we believe the Lydia/TextMap project at Stony Brook would improve New York State's Project Sunlight.

Now imagine a way to access all Long Island Information (although it is really applicable to any size region) and to assess through sophisticated analysis the veracity and accuracy of the information?

For example, is what we're being told more likely or less likely to be accurate based upon all the relevant available data and additionally, based upon all the relationships and secondary and tertiary sources related to this data?

Holy cow Batman, I think we're on to something!

Again the trick is to get access to all the relevant data (government, libraries, newspapers, internet etc...) in a flexible yet secure manner that will allow us to do predetermined and ad hoc queries (and metaqueries).

More on this later.

Collaborative Spheres of Influence: Part One

We've previously posted about organizational autonomy on Long Island (and elsewhere) and the apparent affinity most people have for smaller groups over which they feel they have some influence.

One way to change this is through consolidation, mandated by law or otherwise.

As stated previously, another way to effectuate change is to create an environment where organizations may maintain their autonomy but have the tools to work collaboratively.

The above diagram shows the "organic" nature of the later, wherein the collaborative participants literally come together to "breathe in" or otherwise "absorb" the "nutrients" from other similar or preferably diverse organizations then return to their "spheres" energized with new ideas and methods for improving their performance. This is a continuous process necessary for the health of the entire "organism" (Long Island).

More in part Two.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

How to make the sun shine brighter ...

Project Sunlight is an interesting and potentially helpful new site started by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo designed to "promote your right to know and to monitor governmental decision-making."

One suggestion. The Attorney General may want to connect with the University of Stony Brook's LYDIA/TextMap program as a way to help the public "connect the dots" in a more robust manner.

Additionally, and as we have previously stated, all Long Island/New York State technology should be designed to be "interconnected" via secure open standards. Perhaps Project Sunshine is already designed in this manner. They probably should add, among other improvements, XML and cross-platform alert capability as well at some point.

Our "One Long Island" project will certainly incorporate LYDIA/TextMap technology into our "universe of ideas and applications."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another energy idea ...

A friend of mine directed me to this site recently. Personal wind power (no jokes please).

One is apparently installed at the Stony Brook Southampton Campus. It would be interesting to see how effective it is.

How about we put these right down the spine of the LIE? On existing water towers and smoke stacks? On light poles? On all compatible public property? How effective would it be?

Add that to the SunEdison concept and other "complete solarization" ideas and the Plasma Converter projects we spoke about earlier and where does that get us?

What if all the garbage/solid waste companies and municipalities on Long Island got together and built one Plasma Converter in Nassau and one in Suffolk? How much energy would it create? How many landfills could be reclaimed? How much less gas would be used? What about (you fill in the question) ...

How about energy from the ocean ? How about an earth battery ?

How many cost effective megawatts can we really generate from alternative sources if we put our minds to it? When you give the public accurate data about the cost benefit analysis and impact on the environment, then they can make rational choices about aesthetics and other issues.

The point is, unless you ask "out of the box" questions, maybe even seemingly "crazy," creative questions and then do the analysis, you never really know what is possible.

What is known is that we will have to make major changes to the way we create and consume energy on Long Island if we are to have energy that is remotely affordable.

Alternative energy, another good candidate for our "One Long Island" metadata analysis concept.

"Dare to be Different."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A couple of quick points ...

First, we are assembling a good team of highly competent diverse folks for the implementation phase of the "One Long Island" series of projects. If you are interested in participating please contact me.

Second, I won't publish comments on this blog without knowing who is making the comment and having a way to respond to them. I invite criticism and alternative views, just not anonymous criticism and alternative views.

There are plenty of other sites for that and they do serve a purpose by letting folks vent and to opine without any repercussions. Its part of the "rich tapestry of life" as they say. These sites generally don't hurt and some good ideas sometimes rise through the fog, but if you're not willing to stand behind your convictions, in the end, what have you really accomplished?

"One Long Island" is all about collaboration. Collaboration is at the very least however, a two way street between folks trying to work through and solve difficult issues.

"One Long Island" is also, among other things, about building bridges between issues, individuals and organizations. It is not about one single issue. It is not about the promotion of one view or organization over another. There would be no point to the project if it was.

Are all the ideas here winners? Of course not. But I hope it helps in some way to encourage others to have the courage of their convictions and to publicly express your advocacy in a positive, collaborative way.

Long Island needs teamwork, not individual heroes. No one person or organization has all the answers. With the "One Long Island" project we are trying to assemble a "critical mass" of folks who wish to collaborate in a positive way on Long Island.

If we are successful things will change for the better, and will change for the better pretty quickly.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evolutionary Long Island: Part Three

What is "Evolutionary Long Island?"

I know, this should have been part one. Sorry. That's just how my brain works sometimes.

"Evolutionary Long Island" is the process that takes hold when the "One Long Island" concepts have become ingrained in the way we "do business" on Long Island.

It is the "self correcting and self adapting" process we've previously discussed that allows Long Island to anticipate change and prepare itself to "take advantage of" the opportunities that change presents. It removes bureaucratic lethargy, "personal agendas" and other non-productive "agents" by focusing on collaboration and results.

If "One Long Island" can help create a "Long Island Philosophy," it can also help put the processes into effect that will shape our region for the foreseeable future. The three elements (plus many others) are intertwined.

Think, collaborate, create, implement, repeat. The "One Long Island Creative Loop."

More in Part Four.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fluid versus Static Intelligence

"An individual's level of fluid intelligence can be determined based on the degree to which he or she is able to let go of previously held conceptions on encountering reliable information or experiences which show these conceptions to be mistaken or overly simplistic.

At the other end of the spectrum from fluid intelligence is static intelligence.

When those with a high degree of static intelligence encounter information which seriously questions the established paradigm, they attempt to discredit the new information using laws and principles previously agreed upon under the old paradigm. If they fail at this, the new information is then deemed not worthy of study and discarded. At worst, the new evidence is actively attacked as being irrational or unscientific, even though it may be easily verified."

Athens on Long Island?

I was watching a show on PBS the other evening on democracy in ancient Athens.

While it was by no means a perfect system, I found the idea of a broader, more inclusive voting system on issues to be interesting and thought that perhaps it could be incorporated into the "One Long Island" project in some way.

I will explore this concept further as time permits.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday comments ...

Thanks to all of you who have called and emailed since the NY Times ran the article on this blog. I'm pleased to say that the vast majority of the responses have been positive.

Some have criticized me for not being "more detailed" or more "opinionated" on specific issues that are of interest to the writers and to specific sections of Long Island generally.

Fair enough, but that isn't the purpose of this site. I do feel we are very detailed on how to construct a process for arriving at good public policy for Long Island. We are probably up to over 200 or so pages of ideas (some more specific than others) to date on methods to construct a more productive system and "philosophy" for solving problems and addressing issues.

Quite frankly, my personal opinion on specific issues is irrelevant to the process or to bringing the "One Long Island" project to the implementation phase. What is important is creating an organizational structure that permits diverse entitles to work together for a common purpose.

We'll get back to work this week on "Phase II" of the One Long Island project.

Please keep the comments and suggestions coming. If there is any part of the project you are interested in becoming a part of (or the whole project generally), please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanks to the LI Biz Blog ...

liif.pngLI Biz Blog has been keeping an eye on the Long Island Idea Factory for a while, even listing it in its list of must-read blogs. Though, we have to admit, to call the ideas featured on the site dense would be an understatement.

LIIF, run by Louis G. Savinetti, is a eccentric application of scientific methods to civic responsibility, including meta-charts, wikis and plans for integrating technology into the attempt to fix the woes of Long Island.

And above all, the site wants collaboration, unity, on Long Island, evidenced by its “One Long Island” slogan.

But LI Biz Blog is not the only news organization to track the site. In fact, as of today you could say we’re one of the smaller news organizations to track the Long Island Idea Factory.

Today, The New York Times ran a feature article about Savinetti’s brain-child.

Check out the story. Here’s an excerpt:

Asked to sum up on his blog what it’s about, he wrote: “Simply stated, ‘One Long Island’ is a series of interrelated projects designed to foster productive collaboration on Long Island through the utilization of common technology, interdisciplinary education, public participation and a shared Long Island philosophy. In short it is a way to change the way we solve problems on Long Island in a sustainable manner.”

He figured he needed a reality check before he went too far. “I’m out there writing this stuff, and maybe I’m insane. You don’t know,” he said. So he sent it off to some serious people, who took it seriously.

John Murcott, a successful Long Island software entrepreneur, whose current project,, is a social networking site for the nonprofit world, and Yacov Shamash, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University, both said the site filled a void and reflected a logical intersection of technology and public policy.

Dr. Shamash, in fact, is meeting with Mr. Savinetti to forge a partnership with Stony Brook that would build a Long Island virtual think tank with more technological sophistication than Mr. Savinetti’s homemade one. “There are great ideas here, but the question is, what kind of controls are you going to put on, and what kind of structure and organization do you put up around it?” Dr. Shamash said.


Thanks to the New York Times ...

Our Towns

On the Web With Big Concepts for a Fragmented Long Island

Published: November 15, 2007


There’s the Long Island Plasma Converter Project, the Long Island Innovation Council and the Long Island 3.0 Open Code Library, which is not to be confused with the Long Island Internet Public Library or the Long Island Info Grid. There’s the Long Island Idea Bank, the Long Island School of Meta Interdisciplinary Studies, the One Long Island Virtual Constitution and {hellip}well, you get the idea. There’s a lot more.

Of course, to be technical, none of it actually exists outside the brain and Web site of Louis G. Savinetti, an unpretentious Long Island native with gray hair and glasses, and family roots in Sea Cliff, Locust Valley, Glen Head and Glen Cove, who is a former member of the Oyster Bay Town Council and now serves as the town’s human resources commissioner.

But sitting at Taby’s Burger House, with its antique map of the Long Island that was — “Large Estates Here,” “Good Swordfishing Here” — you quickly realize that there’s much to be learned about Mr. Savinetti, about Long Island, and about the political potential of the wired world in his somewhat quixotic Long Island Idea Factory Web site,

Mr. Savinetti, 52, came out of C. W. Post College thinking he wanted to teach and compose music, but soon ditched that and later got degrees in public administration and law. Along the way, he picked up the habit of scribbling down ideas in notebooks, which piled up in the basement of his house. About a year ago, he decided to do something with them online as an abstract intellectual exercise — “sort of the way other people do crossword puzzles” — and as something with public policy potential.

And so, in March the Long Island Idea Factory was introduced as a way to throw ideas out into the public sphere and to offer online avenues for people and institutions to share information, data and ideas about Long Island, a place sorely lacking in unifying structures. Its catchphrase is “One Long Island,” and it reads like half eccentric fantasy baseball for tech-savvy policy wonks and half serious virtual forum for tech-savvy policy wonks.

Asked to sum up on his blog what it’s about, he wrote: “Simply stated, ‘One Long Island’ is a series of interrelated projects designed to foster productive collaboration on Long Island through the utilization of common technology, interdisciplinary education, public participation and a shared Long Island philosophy. In short it is a way to change the way we solve problems on Long Island in a sustainable manner.”

He figured he needed a reality check before he went too far. “I’m out there writing this stuff, and maybe I’m insane. You don’t know,” he said. So he sent it off to some serious people, who took it seriously.

John Murcott, a successful Long Island software entrepreneur, whose current project,, is a social networking site for the nonprofit world, and Yacov Shamash, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University, both said the site filled a void and reflected a logical intersection of technology and public policy.

Dr. Shamash, in fact, is meeting with Mr. Savinetti to forge a partnership with Stony Brook that would build a Long Island virtual think tank with more technological sophistication than Mr. Savinetti’s homemade one. “There are great ideas here, but the question is, what kind of controls are you going to put on, and what kind of structure and organization do you put up around it?” Dr. Shamash said.

With its label clouds and meta-charts and other buzzy features, Mr. Savinetti’s site might not be for everyone. He’s quick to say the site doesn’t reinvent the wheel and instead uses many ideas from other sources. But he likes to think that in its own way it still gets at something intrinsic to Long Island, with its hundreds of towns, villages, special districts, school districts and very little that ties them all together.

“When I was growing up, Long Island was open space, a clean environment, small communities,” he said. “Now it has an identity issue. What do you think of when you see Long Island in the news? I don’t know. Joey Buttafuoco. The Hamptons. Now maybe illegal immigrants, the license issue.

“It doesn’t seem like Long Island is something or a series of somethings that add up to one thing. I guess that’s why no one ever used One Long Island before.”

And, whether or not the site creates a useful virtual Long Island, he figures maybe it will help him at home in the real one.

“I thought it would be nice for my son to see I wasn’t a complete idiot and that I had an idea every once in a while,” he said. “You know how kids are.”



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Garbage to Energy ...

Another interesting article on "plasma gasification" here.

A follow-up to this post.

Seems to help solve, at least in part, two of Long Island's biggest concerns.

Friday, November 9, 2007

More on the way ...

I'm in the process of setting up a number of meetings to begin the implementation of some of the "One Long Island" concepts. I'm also supplementing and refining a good portion of the material.

Additionally I'm reviewing my notebook(s) of ideas to see where the next "suite" of concepts fits into the overall "One Long Island" game plan.

Thanks to all of you who have offered advice and support.

I look forward to a productive remainder of 2007 and an even more productive 2008.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One Long Island - Virtual Constitution Wiki

I created this One Long Island Virtual Constitution Wiki and got the ball rolling. The Password is LIIF. Put your own user name and email in.

Please feel free to join in. Please keep it positive.

We'll see if this wiki software suits our purposes.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Something different ... update

OK, so I'm going through boxes of my old music and I think I found all the parts to my orchestral study "Locust Valley by Moonlight - Part One" and "Locust Valley by Moonlight - Part Two" ... give a listen when you have 30 minutes or so to spare.

Back to the work at hand ...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Random thoughts on a Tuesday ...

How about a Long Island Association of Special Districts similar to this, this, this, and this among others?

Clearly many folks across the nation like the smaller structure of local government, not just those of us on Long Island. Giving a "super structure" to the many various districts that allows them to remain autonomous but act collaboratively and more effectively may be what becomes the most efficient way of handling the current situation.

I was watching a local talk show this past Saturday when someone mentioned the Tom Friedman book, The World is Flat (which I read over this past summer). The host was talking about the value of being a "generalist" and how a traditional liberal arts education may now be in demand once again.

I agree up to a point. Yes it is good to be well rounded and well read. Yes we need folks who understand how to "synthesize" diverse elements and bring them together for a common purpose. But we need more.

We need people trained to think broadly with more than a liberal arts education. Students must be taught how to actually facilitate the synthesis. This is one of the foundational points of our proposed "Long Island School of Meta-Interdisciplinary Studies."

Yes, think broadly and creatively, but direct it towards, or at least reference real projects that have an impact in your sphere of interest.

How about a Long Island Service Oriented Architecture Project? Thanks to John Murcott of 411Karma for the tip.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Long Island Plasma Converter Project

How about a bunch of these on Long Island (and New York as well)?

Solves Long Island's garbage problem and helps with the electric rates as well.

May be a good candidate for the new  Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center in Stony Brook.

Long Island Innovation Council: Part One

What if every large municipality, and maybe consortia of smaller ones, create a "Department of Innovation" which then places a member on a "Long Island Council of Innovation" in concert with the major (and consortia of minor) non-profit, business and other relevant Long Island Organizations? Sort of a sub-division and natural extension of the Long Island Congress concept.

What if, before government and other funding organizations of all types support a project, the project must comply with the "One Long Island" constitution and guidelines?

I'm not a big fan of mandates and bureaucracy, but they do and will continue to exist (although hopefully in a limited context). Why not use them to help implement the "One Long Island" project which will in turn lessen the need for mandates and bureaucracy over time?

As we've stated previously, there is plenty of money already "in the system" to help restructure Long Island and set it up for a bright future.  

More in Part Two.

Now for something a little different ...

I was cleaning out the house a few months ago when I came across boxes and boxes of old tapes and sheet music I had, quite frankly, forgotten about.

This was the byproduct of a portion of my youth when I was determined to write the next great American Symphony, or Jazz Standard or Rock Classic or ... well suffice it to say there is tons of stuff all recorded or written the old fashioned way. A real chore.

I started to look around at what was available to the new composers and musicians out there and was pretty impressed. So I purchased some software (Acoustica) and am in the process of going through hours of old stuff and practicing a little to get my "chops" back so I can record or re-record half finished or never recorded projects.

Here is a "study" for a symphony that real life has prevented me from completing.

There's a Podcast Player in sidebar of the Long Island Idea Factory with some other demos (some complete, some not) of stuff I was working on 25 to 30 years ago or more. They just happened to be the first things my hands touched through the dust ... I'll post more as time permits. There's so much it could be a full time job.

Maybe when I retire ...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Thank you, but I can think for myself: Part Two

We previously spoke about how Web 2.0 (and 3.0) technologies are changing the very nature of our ability to gather information outside the "traditional" sources.

Another important change, and one that we've touched on previously as well, is the ability of organizations and individuals to be able to analyze data on their own as well.

Currently, since there is no uniformity to the manner in which data is available on Long Island (and New York and elsewhere), we are subject to various organizations and individuals using selective data and queries to come to conclusions that may or may not be accurate. Even if we give everyone the benefit of the doubt and say that the analyses are done with no "hidden" agenda or predetermined conclusions, it is often times difficult to believe or trust the results.

This problem is then magnified by the "lemmingization" of groups and individuals seeking to use the data, conclusions and static reports to promote their agenda or cause, thus multiplying the distribution of what might be inaccurate information and conclusions.

So how do we fix this problem?

In addition to all the "fixes" we've proposed previously on this site under the "One Long Island" series of projects, we must also have the ability to create our own "ad hoc" query module or "meta query" module for the "Long Island Metadata Portal" and related projects.

It is important that we have the ability to ask different questions than the "established" organizations and individuals mat ask, but it is also important that all questions query the data in a meta format so that we avoid the "temptation" to use only that data and ask those questions which are most advantageous to our position or organizational mandate.

This again is a type of "Long Island Scientific Methodology" we spoke about in previous posts.

So if we posit the theory that most individuals and organizations feel that they are powerless to create large scale change on their own and also, that they, at least in part, fear most change due to a lack of clear information or a misunderstanding or distrust of the available information, then we may conclude that we as a collective regional body allow an environment for stagnation to exist by not creating a new environment for the dynamic and clear exchange of information and ideas.

More in Part Three.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday random thoughts ...

Another way to look at the "One Long Island" project is as a creative enterprise or "ensemble."

Much as a great jazz orchestra or combo creates "individual freedom of expression" within a flexible "structure" of some type, we may look at our project in the same way.

We spoke in previous posts about how creating a dynamic Long Island also creates an "inter-organizational/individual rhythm" that helps to prevent "stagnation" of thought and action on Long Island.

We may have multiple organizations and individuals from different disciplines "playing in the same orchestra" at the same time or in sections or varied subgroups and at times soloing while the group supports their effort. The point is that organizations and individuals must sometimes sublimate their own desires for the success of the "composition."

One Long Island will have many composers and many opportunities for individual creativity in what can become the "Grand Long Island Composition."

This weekend listen to some Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, or any great jazz composer and musician and listen to how the parts work together. It's actually good practice for learning to understand any new approach whether musical, verbal or written. The idea's the thing.

As I stated previously, we need people from all disciplines to form a "complete picture" of a new and dynamic Long Island, and learning to think abstractly and about things that you would not normally come into contact with are major components in learning how to create a collaborative environment.

Oh and by the way if you normally do listen to Mingus, Monk etc, try listening to Hank Williams of George Jones or ...

... the point is listen or read or do something (positive) you wouldn't normally do.

Be creative. Think differently. Challenge yourself and those around you in a positive, productive manner. Remove barriers ... I'm starting to sound a little like a motivational speaker at a mandatory seminar ... I'll stop now. You get the idea.

Long Island needs many creative minds and mass collaborative action to be successful.

Monday we get back to some more specific recommendations and yes, sad to say for some of you, additional graphics.

I'm attempting as many different approaches as possible to convey the "One Long Island" series of concepts to as many different folks as I can. Some hit the mark, some do not.

Suggestions are always welcome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Long Island 3.0 Open Code Library, Build It - Connect: Part One

Part of the mission of "One Long Island" is to make it easy for all Long Islanders to develop and utilize tools that assist the process of a more dynamic and collaborative Long Island.

These tools may already be in existence or they may be developed as the need arises. The point is to make them available and easy to use thus unlocking the creativity of as many different Long Islanders as possible from as many disciplines as possible.

More in part two.

Long Island Internet Public Library: Part One

Based upon this idea and really just another way to conceptualize our Long Island Metadata Portal project.

Although the more I think about it, I suppose a good case could be made for the Long Island Internet Public Library being a sub-component of the Long Island Metadata Portal. Something similar here but I can't quite determine the scope of the project. Might be a useful building block in the overall "One Long Island" project however.

We'll explore that idea in later posts.

"One Long Island" : The Short Version

Someone asked me the other day to state what I was trying to accomplish with the "One Long Island" concept. You know, the old "give it to me five minutes or less" routine.

Simply stated "One Long Island" is a series of interrelated projects designed to foster productive collaboration on Long Island through the utilization of common technology, interdisciplinary education, public participation and a shared Long Island philosophy. In short it is a way to change the way we solve problems on Long Island in a sustainable manner.

There. That was less five minutes wasn't it?

Now back to our regularly scheduled program ....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Long Island "Info Grid": Part One

I was watching one of the local talk shows this past weekend and Kevin Law the new head of LIPA was on talking about the future of energy on Long Island.

He was saying that the best way of keeping costs down at present is through conservation but that it is difficult to get the message across to Long Islanders in a way that will promote real change.

It just reinforced my belief in the real need for a fundamental change in the way we communicate on Long Island. Time and time again we hear "if only Long Islanders knew" we could make great progress on ... (pick the subject).

So another way to look at the "One Long Island" series of projects is as a Long Island Information Grid wherein information is absorbed and transmitted to all those attached to the "grid." Sort of like this and sort of what we were talking about in 1993 but not exactly like either.

More in Part Two.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Long Island Dublin Core Metadata Initiative: Part One

"The Dublin Core Metadata Initiative is an open organization engaged in the development of interoperable online metadata standards that support a broad range of purposes and business models. DCMI's activities include work on architecture and modeling, discussions and collaborative work in DCMI Communities and DCMI Task Groups, annual conferences and workshops, standards liaison, and educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of metadata standards and practices ..."

We've referenced the "Dublin Core Metadata Initiative" in a number of our previous posts as one possible way to help "tie all the information" together on Long Island (Long Island Metadata Portal etc.).

It seems to be a good fit for our "One Long Island" project in that it has a track record of success and is based upon an open architecture.

The key to "bringing Long Island together" is not through mandates, but rather, as we've stated before, through collaboration and flexibility.

A sort of "make it available and easy to participate it and they will participate" approach.

It looks as though Dublin Core can help us achieve the type of large scale data coordination we are projecting in "One Long Island."

We'll follow up to verify.

Also, here's a nice site explaining Web 3.0 (LI 3.0).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Possible model for One Long Island's "Citizen Media Network"

"CITIZEN MEDIA is a collaborative research project which unites leading creative and technology experts from across Europe on research, development and validation of A/V systems to enable multiple non-professional users to co-create networked applications and experiences based on their own user-generated content. In this project new ways are investigated on how to exploit the huge amount of user-generated content in innovative ways to support people in their daily lives and how technology will enable social change to strongly involve users for co-creating networked applications. This work will introduce new concepts that may modify the role of stakeholders in the classical value chain for content delivery.To this end, applications, services, systems, infrastructure, technology and architectures are developed based on a user-centric approach. The goal is to enable any user at any location with any device to consume, author and publish his own content towards a networked A/V system.
Based on user-generated media recorded by different users at different times, an open and flexible architecture will be proposed that creates a novel networked application or experience each time a user uploads new content. The underlying infrastructure hides the complexity of content handling for the end user by supporting trans-coding of formats, customization and mixing of personal and private content. To facilitate co-creation by multiple non-professional users based on their own user-generated content, the A/V system has to be able to handle a massive amount of user-generated content in different formats in real time, annotate and store this content in huge databases, search, retrieve, process and render all these pieces of user-generated content to create a new experience. Combined with new technology for collaborative communication and easy and multimodal user interfaces, this will lead to appealing new applications. To build successful applications that assure strong user involvement to co-create the application by uploading their user-generated content, user-centric design methods are used. End-to-end service delivery, network and operational scalability are considered over converged broadcast and IP communication networks, over mobile and fixed access networks to heterogeneous terminals in and outside the home

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More helpful information ...

Developing a common language:

Having a common language to talk about the business can be very helpful in creating organizational alignment. “Some of the initiatives I’ve been involved with have taken three years to implement. What I’m seeing is impatience.They want to see the ROI right away and I understand that but they are not putting in the infrastructure for sustainment. So as soon as the project team walks away then the inspection goes away.” For one organization, this was achieved by putting a large number of employees through National Quality Institute training. This happened in parallel with a major change initiative led by a project team. “Now, three years later, we have health and safety consultants talking about the revenue implications of dealing with the client…. They are focused now and speaking the same language. It’s been a fairly effective combination of the formalized training through a structured program and having a pushy team …overcoming any obstacles. Because there was definitely strong resistance from certain quarters within the organization.”

"Robert Rhouda, of the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota, provides a specific, itemized definition of large-scale interventions for organizational change, in his paper, Background and Theory for Large Scale Organizational Change. According to Rhouda, "The major features of large-scale, real-time change management process include:
the theory-base uses less action research and discrepancy theory, and focuses on application of systems theory the data base source is no longer internal to the organization, but now involves both the organization and its environment (an open-systems approach)
the data base, which formerly had limited availability, is now widely shared throughout the organization time: what was formerly a slow "waterfall" process is now a fast, quick response which results in immediate action taking place learning moves from the individual or unit to the whole organization the responsibility and accountability moves from senior management to a mixture of senior management plus the whole system
the consultant role, formerly reserved for data collection and feedback, now also includes structures and facilities for data analysis and action planning the change process moves from incremental change to fundamental, organization-wide change"

Interesting reading ...

"At a recent Wharton roundtable discussion on leadership and innovation, Wharton management professor Michael Useem, event moderator, initiated discussion by posing a general question: How are leadership and innovation linked? "How exactly do we put those two together? How do we lead in a way that generates innovation?" he asked, describing the synergy as "a kind of high-octane fuel we ought to get as much of as we can."

Read the entire article here (

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thanks to the Long Island Press for the kind words ...

Citizen Journalists
Long Island Blogs Tackle Topics From Politics To Sports To Rude Behavior In The Hamptons...And Beyond
By Long Island Press Staff

"It's 2 a.m., and that pepperoni pizza isn't nearly as enjoyable as it was four hours ago. You click on your ungodly expensive cable/satellite TV system, and despite hundreds of channels, there is nothing to watch.
That mode of leisure exhausted, you boot up your computer, because billions of websites can't deny you enjoyment, can they? But even then, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, as you might scan hundreds of uninspired and/or un-updated pages that make you wish you had settled for the salad.
Fear not. The citizen journalist has your back. From our own acid-tongued Chick Dubinsky to LI master maven Lou Savinetti (, they bring thoughts and news the mainstream press never could."

Read the entire article here:

"One Long Island" Metachart 10.5.07

(Click on image for larger view)

Long Island Idea Bank: Part Two

Just as we proposed in the early 90s with a "Land Bank" for the Town of Oyster Bay (Oyster Bay 2000) as a means of protecting and preserving open space and redeveloping underutilized or improperly utilized parcels for the public good thus protecting and developing one of the Town's important "assets" we now look to the Long Island Idea Bank as a way of protecting and "developing" another important Long Island asset: our immense capacity for innovation and potential for productive collaboration. In short, our brainpower and ideas.

There is no doubt that Long Island possesses and has access to some of the finest minds on the planet. We have not, to date to any great extent, been able to marshall this ability for the collective good of all the residents on Long Island. An "idea bank" while not a new idea in itself. is a necessary component in the overall structure of the "One Long Island" project we are proposing in that there needs to be a central clearinghouse of ideas (in all stages of completion) for us to draw from and contribute to. We might also call it the Long Island Idea Library.

The Long Island Idea Bank concept, as all "One Long Island" projects must be viewed in concert with all the other components of our proposal. The idea is to collaborate and coordinate, not to continue to maintain separate disjointed static organizations or to create a new "super" or "meta" bureaucracy.

More in Part Three.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Meta Regionalism: Part One

How far can we extend the "One Long Island" and "Long Island 3.0" concepts?

Can we envision the concept of inter-collaborative regional "meta organizations" both here in New York and elsewhere?

First, obviously, we need to prove our theories here on Long Island. But clearly, if structured properly, if inclusive enough, if we are able to "filter out" negative and destructive elements and focus on continually innovating, collaborating and "building bridges," there is really no theoretical end point.

It is almost as if we are creating a non-governmental based and voluntary "Virtual Federalism" or a "Meta Federalism" of sorts. Diversity creates multiple options and opportunities, but there is a recognition of a common "collaborative" organizational requirement for the common good. Now if we can only debate the issues without the overt personal attacks, we may actually be able to compete in the world in the long term.

Large scale change of a type we are proposing is similar to listening to an Ornette Coleman composition. At first listen it sounds completely arbitrary and disorganized. But the more you listen the layers of complexity reveal themselves and the organization, logic and beauty become evident.

We must train ourselves to think critically, but more expansively.

More in part two.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Training Long Island "Change Agents": Part One

9 Tips for Change Agents

Turner's role at XBS is that of 'chief change agent.' Here are her nine lessons for would-be change agents.

From: Issue 05 October 1996 Page 124 By: Nicholas Morgan

The job title on Chris Turner's business card simply reads "Learning Person."

"It's like 'citizen of the world,'" she says. "Ultimately my hope is that people in all parts of XBS will see themselves as Learning Persons."

As nonhierarchical as her job title sounds, Turner's role at XBS is that of "chief change agent." Here are her nine lessons for would-be change agents.

1. Be open to data at the start. "Even if you think you know what you're doing, chances are you don't know what you could be doing. Open up your mind to as much new thinking as you can absorb. You may find different and better ideas than the ones your organization started with."

2. Network like crazy. "There is a network of people who are thinking about learning organizations. I've found you can get in touch with them easily. People say to me, `I can't believe you talked with so-and-so! How'd you do it?' The answer is, I called him."

3. Document your own learning. "People in the organization need to see documentation for their own comfort. The smartest thing I did was to create a matrix of ideas from leading thinkers. I documented two categories of thinking -- the elements of a learning organization, and the pitfalls to avoid."

4. Take senior management along. Turner's own education included benchmarking trips to Saturn, Texas Instruments, Motorola, General Electric, and other companies known for their innovative approaches to learning. "Some of the people in the senior group were very skeptical," Turner says. "It helped to take them on these benchmarking trips to show them other companies that were actually doing some of the same learning practices."

5. No fear! "You've got to be fearless and not worry about keeping your job."

6. Be a learning person yourself. "Change agents have to be in love with learning and constantly learning new things themselves. Then they find new ways to communicate those things to the organization as a whole."

7. Laugh when it hurts. "This can be very discouraging work. You need a good sense of humor. It also helps if you've got a mantra you can say to yourself when things aren't going too well."

8. Know the business before you try to change anything. "I don't think you can do this work if you're just a theorist. I've been a sales rep, I've been in a marketing job where I worked with the operations side. So when I go about the work of creating a change strategy, I already have an understanding of the people in our organization and what they do."

9. Finish what you start. "I made a list of change projects we'd started and never finished in the past. We called it 'the black hole.' I determined early on I didn't want to be part of a second-rate movie."

"Viral" Information Systems: Part Two

When we talk about "viral" information systems, there are a few things to keep in mind.

One, we are talking about the dissemination or distribution of accurate information within the context of our entire "One Long Island" project.

Two, we are talking about empowering folks who wish to participate in the collaborative and dynamic environment we are attempting to create here on Long Island and elsewhere.

Three, we are talking about "breaking down the silos" that separate good people and organizations from doing positive work in their communities and, further, we are talking about helping to create a methodology for communities to help one another without artificial boundaries.

We are not talking about a "free for all" or the distribution of non-productive information.

Once we collaborate, we all have a better appreciation of each other's circumstances and needs. What we are proposing allows a better flow of diverse ideas so that we may find the common ground needed to move forward.

Just as a "viral" system can increase the "dynamism" of the information we share, so too can this viral concept be used to create organizations and structures needed to address the faster rate of change we are likely to encounter now and into the future in a less stressful and more understandable manner.

More in Part Three.

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Viral" Information Systems: Part One

I think most folks have heard of "viral" marketing by now.

So what if we use some of those techniques to enhance information flow on Long Island (and elsewhere)? What is the best method to do so?

We've posted previously about the attributes of the flexibility and cost effectiveness and of an XML based system. We've also posted previously about how, with the advent of new Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies Long Islanders (and others) can create an environment whereby they are active participants in the information flow (New York State Alert System, Citizen Media Network and Citizen Alert Network etc.).

We've also seen recently the use of text messaging (SMS) to alert student of possible dangers on their campuses.

The above graphic (click on the graphic for a larger view) illustrates how an XML based system (in all its variants and bridge attributes) can be used to create a "viral" information system where information can be distributed to many from single or multiple points of origin.

More in part two.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good model for Long Island and New York...

Open Standards Commitment

The Liberty Alliance is committed to creating technical standards that solve global identity management needs and can be easily implemented by the widest possible audience. We believe that technical standards must be interoperable and open in order to be most useful and to promote further innovation. Interoperable and open standards are particularly important to digital identity technology and processes as they influence business conduct and social interactions online. This is important to our members as well as the larger deploying marketplace which we support.

Our statement describes critical elements to an open standard and the development process we feel it should follow.

Many of our members have issued similar open standards calls. The Danish government has detailed the importance of open standards in a published paper which stresses the importance of defining “an open standard by its properties in its purest form to remove uncertainty, while recognising that in practice owners will choose the degree of openness they expect to provide the greatest return.”

An article in eGovernment News explains that the position of the Danish government is consistent with other European approaches:

The Danish National IT and Telecom Agency’s “pragmatic approach” to the definition of open standards is similar to the approach adopted by the European Commission’s IDA Programme. Indeed, according to the European Interoperability Framework for pan-European eGovernment services released by IDA in January 2004, open standards and open source software are two of the general principles that should be considered for any e-government services to be set-up at a pan-European level. The framework says that, in this context, "open" should mean the standard fulfils the following requirements:

· The costs for the use of the standard are low.
· The standard has been published.
· The standard is adopted on the basis of an open decision-making procedure.
· The intellectual property rights to the standard are vested in a not-for-profit organisation, which operates a completely free access policy.
· There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard.

The use of open standards is widely regarded as a cornerstone for the development of interoperable e-government services at local, regional, national and pan-European level. Speaking at the World Standards Day on 14 October 2003, EU Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen stressed that "open standards are important to help create interoperable and affordable solutions for everybody. They also promote competition by setting up a technical playing field that is level to all market players. This means lower costs for enterprises and, ultimately, the consumer".

This approach and position has been endorsed by the New Zealand Government as well, after extensive research and reference of work by other organizations, resulting in similar statements on the definition of an open standard.

We welcome the industry in joining us in delivering open standards for the benefit of the marketplace, enterprises and end users.