OLDaily
By Stephen Downes
August 11, 2003

All Over For Blogs?
Weblogs won't disappear because, of course, websites won't disappear. But the hype will ebb and I would say that the number of active blogs will be cut in half over the next six months to a year. Articles will start noticing the glut of abandoned blogs and the format will recede into the background. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, many more articles that read like this one does. And all of that is OK, that's how it should be. This will not be the end of anything significant. Remember: hype is not a normal state of affairs for anything, the decline of blogs has been predicted (by me, at least) for more than eight months, and XML (RSS) is still the future. By Bill Thompson, BBC News, August 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Perils of Cutbacks in Higher Education
I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but can you see the crisis coming? It is still far away from a break point, however, the combination of declining funding and rising tuition is creating a situation which, like that of an overflowing dam, will burst 'all of a sudden' on the higher educational community. One thing will be the proverbial last straw: the deregulation of credentialling. It's only a matter of time, now. By Louis Uchitelle, New York Times, Augist 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Gestalt and Typography
The concepts of proximity and similarity play major roles in my own theories of cognition and therefore of learning in general. This seven minute presentation is directed toward visual design but provides a nice introduction to these basic concepts. It also requires a Shockwave player. Via elearningpost. By Mike Cuenca, August, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Searching For the Personal Touch
This article is unfortunately vague, but the upshot is potentially important: companies have launched in 'stealth mode' that offer the potential for personalized search. Great in concept, this is hard to do well. "The problem is, there isn't a 'one size fits all' formula. By its nature, it's something that has to be tailored to each individual user. It's not like Google can build a personalization module, plug it in and flip a switch." Even so, despite the difficulties, some sort of personalized search is the wave of the future. By Stefanie Olsen, CNet News.com, August 11, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Judge Rejects Subpoenas in Music-Use Case
A set-back for the music industry as a Boston judge throws out their subpoenas demanding the names of students at Boston College and MIT they accuse of file sharing. By Bipasha Ray, Associated Press, August 8, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The E-book vs the Ordinary Book
The latest IFETS discussion paper is out and the criticism has already started, one writer commenting - accurately - that the article is nothing more than a series of unsubstantiated assertions. The mere fact of being digital gives the eBook properties not shared by the traditional book, but this in itself does not make it better, nor is the conclusion that "the e-book may prepare the learner to learn independently, without a teacher" supported by these observations. The major question - why the author thinks that digital learning would resemble a book - is left untouched. By Zygmunt Scheidlinger, IFETS, August 10, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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