By Stephen Downes
November 11, 2004
Network Structure of Social Capital
I don't like the phrase 'social capital' - as though it were something that could be hoarded or spent. That said - "The social capital metaphor is that the people who do better are somehow better connected... Holding a certain position in the structure of these relations can be an asset in its own right." Being the one who has access to information first, for example. Being the key connector between two distinct groups of people, closing 'structural holes'. Acting as a knowledge broker. "The famous names, and the semi-famous ones as well who hold the stage less long, are those persons situated at just those points where the networks heat up the emotional energy to the highest pitch. Creativity is the friction of the attention space at the moments when the structural blocks are grinding against one another the hardest." PDF. Via Mathemagenic. By Ron Burt, May, 2000 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Future of Digital Media
Interview with Jeff Jarvis, who captures the essence of new media (though in a breathless way the rise and fall of various Next Big Things should have warned us against). Jarvis: "The people we used to call consumers, readers, or viewers (let's call them citizens now) will take more and more control of what we used to call media (I don't know what new name to give it, but now it's as much about conversation as it is about consumption)." This set of posts is the first in what is planned to be a two month series. By Ernest Miller, Corante, November 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Objects: Toys or The Real Thing?
Read-only wiki page set up by Alan Levine to supplement his talk in New Zealand. A keeper mostly because of the links to some "up and coming" learning object authoring tools: [APOLLO] (University of Calgary), [Pachyderm 2.0] (New Media Consortium), and [Connexions] (Rice University). Via James Farmer. By Alan Levine, KiwiWiki, November 8, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
James Farmer (who has found a new energy, it seems :) ) reports on this project by D'Arcy Norman at the University of Calgary. Norman has been experimenting with podcasts using WordPress. He explains the set-up using free software. Meanwhile, Roland Tanglao from British Columbia reports on the poscasting discussion at BloggerCom 2004. By James Farmer, Incorporated Subversion, November 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
From several sources comes this item describing the Weblogs@UPEI, a project to provide weblogs to all students at UPEI. The student newspaper, the Cadre, is involved: "The Cadre has partnered with the BEAT team to develop a much needed web presence for the long-standing student newspaper. The Cadre Online is powered by Weblogs@upei and fully integrated with every registered account." The BEAT team, meanwhile, is "a group of students and coordinators, who, inspired by the advances of the Internet, are exploring its potential for enhancing communication, collaboration, learning and creativity." Writes Mark Hemphill from UPEI: "We’ve tried to follow the model given by the Internet itself – provide a service that enables the most micro-atomic elements and let them organize themselves." That's exactly how to do it. James Farmer points to an undocumented feed about the project, and Howard Jarche comments that "This project was done by Will Pate and his team at http://www.goodbasic.com. We’re becoming quite enamoured with Drupal in Atlantic Canada :)" By Albert Delgado, EdBlogger Praxis, November 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
Updates Search Site
Microsoft has updated it's search site, available at Beta.search.msn.com. I like ZDNet's take: "Despite boasts from Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer that Microsoft will build a superior Web search technology from scratch, the company is still largely a philosophical threat to No. 1 Google and No. 2 Yahoo." By Stefanie Olsen, ZDNet, November 11, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]
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