By Stephen Downes
January 3, 2005

Bringing the Press Into the Story
Convergence. Dave Winer writes: "I can't trust you until I know where you're coming from. So a blogger always discloses his opinion on something he's reporting on, so we can triangulate, get a variety of points of view to determine what's really going on." Why is this the case? I wrote to ITForum today: "once a certain level of complexity is reach[ed], the having of a property or quality ceases to be a constituitive function and begins to be a contextual function... By 'contextual', what I mean is that the having of a property is a matter not merely of being composed a certain way, but of standing in a certain relation to a (large) number of external entities, the nature of which cannot be determined by a study of the entity in question." I think this is important, but I need to think about it more (follow the entire ITForums thread here). To bring this full circle: it means that in the assessment of student work, the assessor is 'part of the story'. By Dave Winer, Scripting News, January 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The State of Blogging
Interesting report on the rising popularity of blogs. From the summary: "8 million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users; 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online; and 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs. Still, 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is." By Lee Rainie, Pew Foundation, January, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata
This is a good article defining and describing classification systems created through a non-regulated process of keyword or metadata attribution - folksonomies. The idea, dervived in this case from Flickr, is that people write whatever they think is appropriate to describe an image, and categories emerge as natural clusters based on these descriptions. Such a system leads to ambiguities. But the advantages, well described in this article, in my mind outweight the disadvantages. Via elearningpost. By Adam Mathes, Computer Mediated Communication, December, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Journal of Computer Mediated Communication
The JCMC has has a new look, a new editor, and has moved to a new address - http://jcmc.indiana.edu/. No RSS feed yet, though. By Various Authors, January 1, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

A Bit of Edu Torrents?
Alan Levine comments on BitTorrent, pointing to an article published in Wired last week about the high-speed downloading service. Educational uses of the service are minimal, he notes, but "maybe it is a way of sharing full sized versions of Digital Storytelling. Or maybe sharing of very complex desktop simulation programs." By Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, January 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2004 Stephen Downes
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