By Stephen Downes
January 20, 2004

2004: The Turning Point
Ubiquity has published my article projecting trends for the coming year and beyond. It's funny. I spent weeks writing Resource Profiles and got almost no reaction, virtually none, while I spent about an hour writing this item to produce wide linkage and a publication. Go figure. By Stephen Downes, Ubiquity, January 20, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

e-Government Metadata Standard
For those of you working on government metadata schemas, especially government use of Dublin Core, the third draft of the U.K. e-Government Metadata Standard is now available in MS-Word .doc and Adobe PDF formats. By Various Authors, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Journal of Digital Content 2:1
A new issue, its second (the first was last October), of this journal is out. I don't have Acrobat Reader working at the moment, so I can't recommend the articles, but the titles look interesting, and if you have the Reader working you'll be the first on your block to have seen them. Anyhow, enjoy. By Various Authors, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning
Just launched, a new free refereed journal is now available in HTML and PDF format online. The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning picks up where the old USDLA Journal left off, reuniting most of the old editorial board, but publishing independently. The Editors introduce the new journal with the obligatory Volume One, Number One 'why we exist' editorial. By Various Authors, January, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Reed Elsevier Feels Resistance To Web Pricing
Some serious questions are being raised about the viability of publishing academic journals. "Media analysts are increasingly troubled by the threat that free online scientific research could pose to Reed's pricing power as ScienceDirect contracts come up for renewal. Reed's share price outperformed most media stocks in 2002 in large part on the strength of ScienceDirect; in 2003, Reed's share price fell more than 12%." By Charles Goldsmith, Wall Street Journal, reprinted in SPARC-OAForum, January 19, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

How to Save the World
I have linked to a few of author Dave Pollard's works before, but this morning was the first time I looked at his blog in detail. The result? A number of links to share with you (see below) and renewed thoughts on writing. You see, I am not writing enough. Perhaps it's my work, perhaps it's other distractions, but I find myself trying to pack life, the universe, and everything into these tiny essays in OLDaily. I need more space, I need more time. Anyhow. I am inspired by Pollard's blog. Not just the writing style and the point of view, both of which resonate with me. But also the use of multimedia, graphs, tables, charts, photos. I am thinking of branching out, adding more extended writing to my daily routine. By Dave Pollard, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Time Savers for Bloggers
It has been a constant with me, ever since I was writing on sheets of paper on an old Underhill typewriter (I have been writing for a long time). One page: fifteen minutes. 250 words. A thousand words in an hour. First draft - everything is first draft; I don't rewrite anything. I use almost all of Pollard's tips, everything, in fact, except proper typing. Still. A longer write would be an hour out of my day. What would go? Not this, though:

"Get away from reading and your computer and other media, take a walk, do things that stimulate your creativity and give you unique material to write about, talk to people to get different viewpoints and ideas, clear your mind, think about what's really important to you, what you really believe, what you think needs to be done and said, and then write about that. The time you spend in unencumbered thought will be saved many times over in the process of reading and writing: You'll know exactly what you want to say, your enthusiasm and creative energy will make your writing easier, faster and more entertaining and valuable to readers, and you'll find it much easier to say 'no' to wasting time reading and writing about things that are suddenly much less important." By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, December 29, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ten Thgings to Keep You Awake at Night
More Pollard: In Are You a Closet Canadian he documents drifting social and political trends. His thoughts on Integrity. Visions of the future state and how to get there. What keeps executives up and night, their solutions, and Dave's better solutions. By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogs and Blogging: The 10 Most Important Ideas of 2003
There are some good observations collected in this article - but there should be, it's a list of the best ideas related to blogging in 2003. At the very least, it will give you some jargon - the "power law", the "tipping point". Nice point about the abandonment of blogs: far from being the crisis depicted by the media, it represents simply " a large number of people deciding that writing really isn't that important to them." Also worth a read is Part Two of this list, highlighting politics and economics and offering a nice set of views very similar to my own. Take a look also at The Future of Business for some ideas on the evolution of business culture. By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, January 5, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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