By Stephen Downes
December 15, 2004

Extreme Blogging
Having spent several hours on a bus, I am not in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I'll give a talk on educational blogging at Mount Saint Vincent University tomorrow. Then it's off to Wolfville, where I'll talk on the same topic at Acadia University. So today's issue is a bit later than usual - but the quality of the items I'm linking to today can't be matched. We lead off with this item about the corporate market for wikis (don't ask me to explain the title). By Matt Rand, Forbes, December 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Role of RSS in Science Publishing: Syndication and Annotation on the Web
The authors, who work for Nature Publishing Group, have been working on RSS content aggregation for a while now. The same group released Urchine, an RSS aggregator, on SourceForge recently. This article accompanies the soft launch of Connotea, "a social bookmarking tool like a kind of scientific 'del.icio.us' or 'CiteULike'," according to their email. The authors put the case bluntly in their second paragraph. "The bastion of online publishing is under threat as never before. RSS is the very antithesis of the website." But instead of fighting online distribution (like publishers in some other industries) these authors are embracing it - and the community, for example through the release of the PRISM RSS module on RSS-DEV. "Our view is that providing RSS is a natural means of expanding web-based interfaces into NPG content. In essence, RSS allows us to dramatically increase the surface area of our website and to project that presence across the Web. Moreover, by disseminating DOI identifiers [n13] via RSS we have a much-expanded set of stable and persistent access points into our content. A second reason is the downstream potential for generating advertising revenue." I have expressed my views on the downside of commercialized RSS in the past. Let me now identify the upside - if it can increase naccess to resources currently hidden behind publishers' subscription walls, then everybody gains (even the publishers). By Tony Hammond, Timo Hannay, and Ben Lund, D-Lib Magazine, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online UK Library Network Goes Live With First Key Phase
From the article: "The first phase of the new People’s Network Service was launched to library professionals yesterday. The People’s Network Online Enquiry Service will deliver a real-time information service to the public by providing ‘live’ access to library and information professionals across the internet." Cool. Interesting. You can find the People's Network here. By Unattributed, PublicTechnology.net, December 15, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Metadata Development in China: Research and Practice
Absolutely fascinating overview of metadata development in China, including a recent history showing an explosion of interest beginning in 2002 and a number of metadata initiatives. China is basing its initial work on examples set in Europe, but with a centralized system is able to achieve standardization quickly. By Jia Liu, D-Lib Magazine, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Rocketinfo First Search Engine to Release News Search API
Canadian-based RocketInfo has been providing a news aggregation and syndication for some time now, targeting a base of resources that is larger than Edu_RSS or Google News but smaller than the major RSS aggregators. The result is a targeted collection of news-centric resources that can be used to generate high-quality content feeds. RocketInfo also markets RSS aggregators and clients. The company this week announced its news search API "designed for companies creating applications that require embedded search functionality and real-time access to current news and business information." By Press Release, RocketInfo, December 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The (Classroom) Blog: A Moment for Literacy, A Moment for Giving Pause
Nice paper outlining work in educational blogging with a good range of reports from other implementations of the same technology. Not surprisingly, the author observes that "blogging will make sense for some and not for others." Not surprising, maybe, but as he observes, "often, in our response to calls to embrace the future, as educators we forget what should otherwise be basic to our own meaning-making and instruction. As a medium/tool, the classroom blog can give students the opportunity to write for a public audience... However, this tool should not be treated as normative, prescriptive, or proscriptive; it is simply one more medium for literacy, one that does not guarantee success." By Austin Lingerfelt, essence renewed, December 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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