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by Stephen Downes
March 31, 2010

Location Services: Missing the Mark?
Location services haven't yet captured my attention; while there is potential, it remains that. This post quickly surveys a number of location services such as FourSquare and Yelp. I think the deep insight here is to draw out what already exists and is successful: "Location-Based Services have existed for years, of course. And they are extremely useful. It's just that they rarely get any popular press. Developed by deeply unglamorous people like SAP, the real use cases are mostly B2B and corporate B2C." Like fleet vehicle tracking, parcel tracking, and the like. In the consumer space, we're still seeing teenage faddish type stuff. For now, at least. Ian Delaney, TwoPointTouch, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment] [Tweet]

Social Media Explained Visually
Cute video explaining social media. I like the way it explains how we create and use media artifacts - which used to be mass produced and distributed exclusively by publishers in competition with conversation - as a means to converse with each other. The video is by Say It Visually, and the posted in which it is embedded is from Lynn Wernham. Lynn Wernham, Learning », March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

When is Linked Data not Linked Data? - A summary of the debate
There is a presumption that if we just link data everything will be fine - bit this isn't straightforward. What counts as linked data? How useful does it have to be? Does it have to be Semantic Web data, or will any old linked data do? Is it too late for "linked data" to mean anything other than "use http URIs and the RDF model"? As Paul Miller says, "What are we after? More Linked Data, or more RDF? I sincerely hope it's the former." Does it have to be data is linked, or can we get away with just linking concepts? What about names? Can we use local names if we know we're staying in a local context? Related: Brian Kelly argues, "There's a danger, I feel, that of Linked Data being conflated with Open Data." Lorna M. Campbell, Lorna's JISC CETIC Blog, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Online Learning in Ontario
Tony Bates updates us on the Ontario Online Institute and online learning in Ontario generally. In particular, he refers to OntarioLearn, a consortium of 22 community coleges, as well as eLearning Ontario, which supports the K-12 sector. As for the Ontario Online Institute, "There is as I write absolutely no further information on this, except that there is money for it in the post-secondary education budget." Tony Bates, elearning & distance education resources, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Roundhouse Student-led Conference on Critical Theory and Education
Some good resources from Roundhouse Student-led Conference on Critical Theory and Education. Including this: "The Really Open University website has opened my eyes to how students are using the web for education-related activism. The Really Open Union site is a good example that brings together initiatives elsewhere. I agree with Leon's comment on the Roundhouse blog that The Really Open University is a good example of putting theory into action and should be supported."
Joss Winn, ../learninglab/joss, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Direct messaging in a social web architecture
Messaging is a persistent problem in work and learning environments, and is not solved by Wave. This means, as Ben Werdmuller suggests, that we need to keep working on the hard problem. I agree that there is a role for social networks to play in networking. If we had an open social graph, then messages could traverse the graph, reaching intended recipients (with the recipient confident that the sender is trusted through a network of trust). Basically, the way we convert social networking systems into a messaging system is a two-step process: "The first is to expand the connection protocol to include a message.... The second is to allow connections to be made programmatically through a custom application." But... it has to be an open social graph. Depending on the black box that is Facebook will not do for a messaging infrastructure. Ben Werdmuller, Weblog, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Claim: Video clip shows an elementary school stage production of Scarface.
Reports of an elementary school production of Scarface going around are a hoax. "Instead, it's the work of director Marc Klasfeld and Rockhard Films who did the videos for Lady Gaga's 'Pokerface' and Adam Lambert's 'For Your Entertainment.' It was produced in L.A. within the last few weeks and the audience members were a mix of cast family members, colleagues and friends. As for Lil' Tony and his co-stars, they were selected through a casting agent known for finding child actor look-alikes for adult stars." Unattributed, Snopes, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

Keeping a Closer Eye on Employees' Social Networking Will Give You More Than a Headache
How much longer will companies keep trying to control and monitor their knowledge workers?" This question is asked by Luis Suarez in light of a NY Times article describing , a system that allows employers to track the social network behaviour of their employees. "The software, called Social Sentry, will automatically monitor Facebook and Twitter accounts for $2 to $8 for each employee," reports the Times. Suarez asks the obvious question, "Do you think that monitoring employees' social networking activities out there is surely going to guarantee you that next wave of talented, amazingly interconnected, rather innovative knowledge workers?" Luis Suarez, E L S U A, March 31, 2010 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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