Joho the Blog



[2b2k] MOOCs as networks
David Weinberger Joho the Blog 2012/11/19

Yeah. MOOCs as networks. What an idea! "How do you make that enormous digital classroom smarter than the individuals in it? 2B2K’s answer (such as it is) is that you make a room smart by enabling its inhabitants to create a knowledge network." Maybe David Weinberger saw my presentation. Or maybe not.

Today: Total:179 [Comment] [Direct Link]
A Canadian hero, is giving at talk at Mesh.
David Weinberger Joho the Blog 2012/05/25

Michael Geist talks about internet legislation and the culture of resistance that has formed in response to it. "For months people have been trying to figure out the “SOPA Story.” How did the number one legislative effort from the number one lobby go down in flames?" To me, one of the most interesting results is that people are forming their own media consortia. I'm thinking that the day publishers turned on their audience was the day they lost that audience. "At the Media Consortium, a national network of independent media outlets, we realized that we could aggregate independent media content into media tools that could be embedded on individual member sites.... Instead of being pushed toward one central site à la Huffington Post, this model allows audiences to go to their favorite independent media outlet, where they can find national content created by the independent media sector." See also, How Journalism Education Can, and Should, Blow Up the System, from Eric Newton.

Today: Total:120 [Comment] [Direct Link]
Peter Suber on the 4-star openness rating
David Weinberger Joho the Blog 2011/06/08

I sometimes feel like I'm the only person in the world who defines 'open access' as non-commercial access. I honestly don't get how people think charging for a resource somehow makes it 'more free', and I'm pretty sure there's a sizeable foundation-type lobby making sure that the 'open-as-commercial' perspective holds sway. Well, I haven't drunk the commercialism Kool-Aid, and consequently, I reject the proposal coming forth from the so-called 'LOD-LAM Summit' to create a 4-star definition of openness. If you can block access to something and demand payment for it, it's not open. It is certainly not 'more open' than the non-commercial form of openness that most people actually want to use. Give the types of licensing names, not rankings. Anyhow, for the rest of the world who disagrees with me, here's the draft version of the four-star system, above is a video of MacKenzie Smith of MIT and Creative Commons discussing the system, and the LOD-LAM Blog. Today: Total:140 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Good Will Shunting: Google's distressing turn on Net neutrality
David Weinberger Joho the Blog 2010/08/06

Two trends I expect are related: slowing U.S. internet speeds, and a push to end net neutrality. David Weinberger reports on both. In the first, he notes, Akamai's latest state of the Internet report says that the U.S. is continuing to fall behind. In the other, he suggests that Google is hedging on net neutrality. Sebastian Anthony says it bluntly. "There's so much pressure from content providers and ISPs that it seems like we (or at least the USA) are about to pay a lot more for high-quality Internet access. The New York Times provides an excellent analogy: it will be like paying for premium cable or satellite TV channels. For just $9.99 per month you can have faster YouTube access! For $19.99 you can get YouTube, Vimeo and CollegeHumor!" Today: Total:149 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Volcano 1, Internet 0.01
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

The internet failed the volcano crisis, reports Weinberger, but my own experience was much better. It's true, Weinberger couldn't rebook online. Not that rebooking would have helped anyways. In my case, because I was tracking my flight online, I knew before everyone else that it had been cancelled, and so was first in line at the airport to book a flight back home. Once home, I've kept up with the crisis online, and have worked with the conference organizers to provide an online alternative to my in-person keynote scheduled to take place in Finland. So, yeah, pretty much anything works better than airline online booking. What else is new? But as for the rest of it, the internet is performing magnificently. Today: Total:141 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Is the iPhone generative?
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

David Weinberger links to a Steven Johnson column in the NY Times suggesting open platforms are not needed for innovation. "When Dan Gillmor challenged this in a tweet," he adds, "Steve responded with a terrific blog post, further considering the point." For a platform to support a lot of development it needs to be "generative", that is, frequently re-invented in a way that puts amateurs and professionals on roughly the same footing. And only open platforms are generative. But Johnson's suggestion is that Apple's platform is "generative", which is why we see 150,000 apps, which means a platform need not be open to be generative. I really don't think we should take that app count too seriously. Apple has created a platform on which pretty much every web site is its own app (talk about not trusting open platforms!) and in which, therefore, apps are simply recreations of existing websites, and while this represents multiplicity, it hardly represents generativity 9or whatever it would be called). Today: Total:129 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Shirky's myth of complexity
David Weinberger Joho The blog

David Weinberger points to Clay Shirky's popularization of Joseph Tainter's Collapse of Complex Societies. The idea is that societies increase wealth-production by increasing complexity. They solve problems, for example, by adding new rules, not dropping old rules. But at a certain point, complexity becomes a burden. But at that point, even though adding complexity only makes matters worse, there is no mechanism that allows the system to become less complex, because each part is inextricably connected with the rest. "The whole edifice becomes a huge, interlocking system not readily amenable to change."

There are shades of Kuhnian paradigm shifts here. For people enmeshed in the complex system, it becomes simply impossible to envision the less complex alternative. For example, "we will have to stop making content in the costly and complex way we have grown accustomed to making it. And we don't know how to do that." And we see this in education, as well. There is a system for producing and delivering educational content, and it seems impossible for those enmeshed in this system to see that it could be done in any other way.

P.S. How this becomes Shirky's myth is interesting (cf. the discussions about credit we've been having off and on - notice Shirky won't take credit but Weinberger gives it to him, and vice versa, that's how it works)). Today: Total:170 [Comment] [Direct Link]

My talk at the Canadian Marketing Association: Markets are networks
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

It's interesting to watch David Weinberger re-examine and reconsider his original Clutrain thoughts. This is a case in point: not long ago he would have said (and did say) "markets are conversations" and leave us a bit in the lurch understanding what that meant. Now he says "markets are networks" - an improvement, and he expands on it in this post. But it brings new questions: how do you deal with non-alignment of interests? What does "authenticity" really mean? What about scale (because, contra Weinberger, most networks (including the internets) are not scale-free). And we have to return again to the conversation - but not as a euphemism, but in a serious and informative way, the way I tried to do yesterday. Today: Total:100 [Comment] [Direct Link]

First comprehensive global study of broadband says USA is kept behind by closed access policies
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

"I want, and there is no reason we cannot have, at least 100mbs full symmetrical bandwidth. It is a global competitive imperative. Telcos, Cablecos, I do not want your lousy bowl of 1.5mbps gruel." Yeah, sounds reasonable, but look who you're asking: Bell, Telus and Rogers. (I got a phone call from Bell last week trying to sell me 350kbs ADSL - I laughed at them and told them to come back when they're running fibre.) Today: Total:143 [Comment] [Direct Link]

How Important Is WolframAlpha?
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

I remember when Google launched. It was very quiet. They had a hand-drawn logo. It was small, simple, and it really worked. In other words, the Google launch was exactly the opposite of what we are seeing from Wolfram Alpha. Based on the prelaunch alone (because I still haven't seen any actual working technology) I don't hold out high hopes. Dave Weinberger says, "Curation is a source of its strength. It increases the reliability of the information, it enables the computations, and it lets the results pages present interesting and relevant information far beyond the simple factual answer." Well maybe. But from where I sit, curation is its fatal weakness, the thing that means it can't adapt quickly to the environment and will always entail a high overhead. Today: Total:131 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Berkman MediaCloud Tracks Feeds 'N' Memes
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

The Berkman Media Center has invented Edu_RSS, complete with topics. they call it MediaCloud. "Media Cloud automatically builds an archive of news stories and blog posts from the web, applies language processing, and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data." Some neat visualizations of the aggregated data, but the rest has been, you know, done. Today: Total:116 [Comment] [Direct Link]

David Wwinberger Joho the Blog

David Weinberger points to Scitable, 'a collaborative learning space for science undergraduates.' It's got articles, online class tools, teacher collaborative tools, student collaborative tools, discussion areas, consultable experts... I haven't yet gone through it all." Most access is free range, but if you dig deeper - into the "learning paths," for example, Scitable will require you (for no good reason) to register. Still. This is an impressive website, and almost instantly one of the best genetics destinations on the internet. Today: Total:165 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Internet Safer for Kids Than We'Ve Been Led to Believe
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

In the light of this post on the more unsavory uses of Flickr (there is a long comment thread) it is worth taking note of this study, highlighted by David Weinberger, that shows that the internet just isn't the danger to children it is often portrayed to be. Weinberger comments, "This is an important report because it is relentlessly based on data-driven research. The task force believes it has considered every piece of peer-reviewed research published and more. Its conclusions come in response to all the known data." If you want to be worried about something, be worried about child-to-child bullying (and the sort of things in our society that would lead a child to thing that this sort of behaviour is appropriate). Today: Total:130 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Internet Not the Child-Devouring Swamp Many Adults Fear
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

Could be a bigger study, but the conclusions are in accord with my own intuitions. "A three-year research project... finds that the stereotypical idea of the Internet as a soul-devouring, anti-social wasteland for our kids is just plain wrong. If you suspected otherwise, now you know you were right." Here's the link to the study website. More from Joi Ito. Today: Total:128 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Photos as Tags
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

I have commented from time to time that we are entering a post-textual age, a period in which multiple forms of media can play the roles traditionally reserved for words and sentences, that people will speak in a vocabulary of these multimedia artifacts. Here's an example. "StyleFeeder lets you grab an image off a page and use it as a tag for remembering the page and for letting others quickly browse." Photos as tags. Why not? Today: Total:91 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Joho the Blog
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

I have commented from time to time that we are entering a post-textual age, a period in which multiple forms of media can play the roles traditionally reserved for words and sentences, that people will speak in a vocabulary of these multimedia artifacts. Here's an example. "StyleFeeder lets you grab an image off a page and use it as a tag for remembering the page and for letting others quickly browse." Photos as tags. Why not? Today: Total:81 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Open Namespaces for Tags
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

Yesterday David Weinberger suggested, "Shouldn't there be a non-vendor, open site that can serve as a namespace?" My response, in the first comment, was that "No, there shouldn't." The reason is that I don't think we should depend on a centralized aggregator, like Technorati, to organize tags. Quite a good discussion followed the initial exchange, and Weinberger was prompted to create a mock-up of what he wants. It is, of course, a clone of my own topic pages, something I've had on this site for, what, five years? Anyhow, decentralized tagging would be a good thing; let's hope the "Technorati Tag (tm)" becomes a thing of the past. Today: Total:115 [Comment] [Direct Link]

The Politics of Web 2.0
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

Jeff Jarvis writes of web 2.0, "This is a new architecture. It's a dynamic architecture." Susan Crawford adds, insightfully, "It's even more than that — it's political. These meta-informational thingies are letting us see our online environment in ways we can't possibly see the offline world. What's important isn't just that these thingies are dynamic (although that's clearly important) but also that they can be (1) visualized and (2) affected by the attention of individuals. When humans can see something and act on it, they are suddenly in charge of their own environment..."CRLFCRLF Today: Total:64 [Comment] [Direct Link]

New in BlogBridge
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

The functionality of Edu_RSS Topics has finally been reproduced in another tool (which, according to the law of the Blogerati (in this case David Weinberger), will now be credited with having 'invented' it). Today: Total:62 [Comment] [Direct Link]

[tti] Morning
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

In a sentence, here's what's wrong with predefined ontologies and taxonomies: "we use existing patterns to search the data, which can't turn up new patterns." In another, here's what's wrong with manual tagging: "his department generates 5 million new objects per month, too much for manual tagging." Now if you take these two points as given, as I do, then what follows? How would you approach metadata and design? Today: Total:64 [Comment] [Direct Link]

David Weinberger Joho the Blog

As described on Joho: "I'm trying out BlogExplosion, a free service designed to build traffic on your site. Click on a button on the site and it sends you to one of its member's sites. For every two sites you visit, it sends one member to your site. I'm doing it primarily as an experiment in structured random browsing." Today: Total:72 [Comment] [Direct Link]

What Not to Say
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

The best part of this short post is in the comments, and specifically the first one. "Bloggers are not journalists in the same way that the guy I had a conversation with at lunch isn't. But that doesn't mean you should avoid lunch conversations in favor of professional, fact-checked journalism." Today: Total:68 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Notes from Microsoft
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

David Weinberger is the latest in a series of speakers to travel to Redmond and tell Microsoft what it doesn't want to hear - that current approaches to DRM are a path to failure. "A pay-per-use system and allowing artists to control their works much past launching them into the world will kill culture." Today: Total:70 [Comment] [Direct Link]

When Blogs Get Really Popular
David Weinberger Joho the Blog

While I have been saying that the blog phenomenon, this article - and the majority view - suggests that it will become even greater. But if you look more closely at the article, what you see is that blogging's growth may be fuelled more by a redefinition of the term than by any actual increase. "The word "blog" will expand to cover any linkable posting (a place) where a person gets to speak her mind more than once. If it's more permanent than IM, it'll be a blog." Sure, whatever. I stand by my prediction. But the good prediction in this paper is this one: "The lines between email and blogs will blur." Watch for more developments here. Today: Total:50 [Comment] [Direct Link]

Silence is Untrademarked
Joho Joho the Blog

More IP folly... I guess there's some company out there that has trademarked the phrase "Silence is golden" - and people wonder why I call this sort of behaviour theft. Also worrying is the incredibly shrinking public domain. Today: Total:54 [Comment] [Direct Link]


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