By Stephen Downes
May 17, 2004

Freedom 0
Movable Type has launched version 3.0 of its blogging software and is getting a bit of a rough ride from the blogging community. Chief among their concerns is its new pricing policy, which as Mark Pilgrim reports in this item, may result in people paying hundreds of dollars to maintain their blogs. Writes Pilgrim, "Movable Type 3.0 changes the rules, and prices me right out of the market. I do not have the freedom to run the program for any purpose; I only have the limited set of freedoms that Six Apart chooses to bestow upon me, and every new version seems to bestow fewer and fewer freedoms." Six Apart, which makes Movable Type, offered this clarification of its licensing, but Pilgrim's point holds. Moreover, it appears that 3.0 isn't the upgrade everyone hoped it would be: Alan Levine writes, "It is not like any of our beautifully running installations of MT 2.6 and earlier will suddenly blink out or self-destruct in 5 minutes, Mr. Phelps." Anyhow, bloggers are abandoning Movable Type and heading to WordPress, a type of open source blogging software that will never change its rules or suddenly cost hundreds of dollars. By Mark Pilgrim, Dive Into Mark, May 14, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Science.gov 2.0 Launches
This new version of the governmentwide Web portal for science and technology information is a significant improvement over the first. Still a federated search (which means searches may take, as the site says, 'up to 30 seconds'), the site has an improved search engine and now accesses 30 resource portals and 47 million pages in real time. It's not perfect, though: when I searched for 'Downes' (as I always do with services such as this) it decided that I was searching for 'down' and, of course, returned hundreds of useless results. I also think that the site is nearing the limit of what can be done with a federated search system, and don't expect that, with wide usage, it will be able to maintain its 30 second target. By Sara Michael, FCW.com, May 12, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Education Arcade
From Water Cooler Games (via WWWEDU), an interesting blog in itself, comes coverage of the two-day Education Arcade, a conference at MIT held to discuss the use of games in learning. Some good - and sometimes controversial - content here, such as this, from Brenda Laurel: "Laurel argued that the teaching of hierarchy is the primary function of public education in America -- designed to create an efficient underclass (even if there's not a conspiracy to do so). School trains kids to be good workers and buyers, which is, in Laurel's opinion, bad news." Coverage from Day One and Day Two. By Ian Bogost, Water Cooler Games, May 13, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Ignou Makes Mark Worldwide in Distant Learning
You might be hearing more about Ignou (the Indira Gandhi National Open University) as time goes by. As this article notes, the university "has taken the world of academic sphere by storm... With expansion in 26 nations, including the Commonwealth ones, the University by far has touched all continents and has become an Indian symbol in open and distance education." Via ADL Co-Lab News Report. By Surojit Mahalanobis, The Times of India, May 10, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

One of my little pet peeves is that 'relevancy' is not a word, or at least, not a word that should be used - the proper word to use is 'relevance'. That said, Lisa Galarneau wrote to me to inform of her new blog, Relevancy, which looks at "things that promote relevancy, including recommender systems (under the category relevancy apps)." Included in her note was this link to a paper about her experiences working at Towerrecords.com and about a faceted classification system called Endeca. By Lisa Galarneau, Relevancy, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Semio-grads
Nice article with (of course) hidden layers of meaning and a lesson. When Ira Glass graduated in 1982 with a degree in Semiotics, his parents took out an ad in the classifieds: Corporate office seeks semiotics grad for high paying position." Funny. But though it rapidly became arcane, Semiotics - the study of meaning - has had a lasting influence on culture and its graduates have obtained well-paying positions. It goes to show that academic work may not have an instant - or even obvious - payoff and yet still be important. Something to consider when we make programming decisions based on the current job market. Via ArtsJournal. By Paul Greenberg, Boston Globe, May 16, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections
About more than just collections, this framework is a very nice document describing principles for collections, objects, metadata and projects. Nothing in here I would disagree with, quite a bit I would enthusiastically support, and dozens of references to frameworks, metadata schemas, and more. If you work with digital repositories or collections, have a look at this one. This document was originally prepared for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and released in 2001. This is the 2004 version. By Various Authors, NISO, February 1, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/website/subscribe.cgi

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.