By Stephen Downes
August 18, 2003

Budding Buddy Business
This trend is already evident in the world of venture capital and it is likely to storm to the forefront in education as well: "Venture capitalists are opening up their wallets with caution to hot 'social networking' start-ups, or those companies that help you connect with friends to help get ahead in romance or work." What will people look for in education? Someone who will tecah them, of course. By Matt Marshall, San Jose Mercury News, August 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Online Learning a Virtual Revolution
"I have to have a piece of chalk in my hand to make any sense, the way Thomas Aquinas did 800 years ago. If I can't see the faces, I can't know anything about them." So says a philosophy professor at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland who, despite his learning, does not yet fathom the many dimensions of knowledge. Oh well. This (still) obligatory dismissive remark is only a minor annoyance in an otherwise competent overview of the rise of online learning today. Worth noting: "Enrollment in distance education courses nationally has more than doubled since 1997, to 3 million, according to the U.S. Department of Education." be sure to follow the links in this story: there's more - for example, the link to theUniversity of Maryland University College doesn't just take you to the institution's home page, but to a side-bar article. By Mike Bowler, baltimore Sun, August 18, 2003 8:19 p.m. [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Aggregators Attack Info Overload
I'm going to stop running these 'intro to RSS' stories soon (obviously not today) because OLDaily reader will have had more than their fill. This item (and a second, see below) looks at the potential of RSS as a means to handle information overload. It's not quite so straightforward as the articles depict - how does one pick which of 30,000 feeds to subscribe to, for example? Neither of these items mentions Userland, arguably the first and certainly the most important blogging software, a point founder Dave Winer complains about. Winer has a point - exactly the same point made by critics of the BlogCon conference (see below). What goes around... By Ryan Singel, Wired News, August 18, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Webloggers Deal Harvard Blog-Bores a Black Eye
Dave Winer's efforts to organize a conference called BloggerCon at Harvard's Berkman Law School are attracting the attention - and ire - of some bloggers. This article, in typical Register, pulls no punches as it calls into question the political affiliations of the speakers, the conference fee, and the organization. BloggerCon didn't win any friends earlier this week either when it billed itself as "the first international conference on blogging" - in complete ignorance, apparently, of the highly successful and influential (not to mention international) Blogtalk conference in Vienna a few months ago. By Andrew Orlowski, The Register, August 13, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New Wave of Newsreader Software Makes Sense of the Web
Article describing and linking to news reader software. These are programs designed to read RSS files and which hence help headers 'make sense' of the web. People are beginning to sense the wide potential of RSS, and hence, of the semantic web as a whole, and this article touches on that. By Dan Gillmor, San Jose Mercury News, August 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ten Tips from Jane Knight
Jay Cross highlights one of Britain's major voices in e-learning, Jane Knight, listing her top ten tips for implementing e-learning. The tips are by now old saws - tend to informal learning, use simpler solutions, and communication and collaboration are key. By Jay Cross, Internet Time, August 17, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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