The Keynote Equivalent?

Martin Weller, The Ed Techie, Jul 21, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Martin Weller looks at measures of scientific impact in an online world, and after noting "The commonly used citation Impact Factor is not positioned at the core of this construct, but at its periphery" he wonders whether "we could follow Eric Schnell's line of creating equivalents for existing, and well understood, criteria," for example, keynotes. When someone talks of online equivalents of anything I exercise caution, because the worlds are not equivalent, and striving for sameness will mean uniquely online affordances are lost.

Tony Hirst follows up and, looking at connector metrics, wonders about the mantra of "the more followers the better" (I'm reminded of the way Beth Kanter looks at network influence) and finds it's not so simple. No indeed. Because influence isn't a unary phenomenon, with one variable (the person). Time and place (and placement) matter, as well as the content and the quality of the idea, the voice and manner in which it is expressed, and the attention span and distractedness of the audience. In the right environment, you can be a sheep and be famous (right Dolly?) while in the wrong environment you can die an obscure genius.
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