By Stephen Downes
February 7, 2005

Is It Time for a Moratorium on Metadata?
"Creating metadata for text has gone from tedious to insignificant." If this isn't obvious, it should be. From where I sit, the text is the metadata - it describes itself. So where is metadata useful - photographs? Video? Well it would be, if people filled it out well. What would be better, proposes the author, would be if there were a moratorium on metadata. Instead, we should embark on a project to differentiate multimedia content without metadata - in effect, letting the pciture be its own metadata just as the text is. Good article, via Scott Leslie. PDF. By Dick C.A. Bulterman, IEEE MultiMedia, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Commercial Success
I found this article on advertising on weblogs and especially on Yahoo! interesting. Worth noting though is that you need to attract a large circulation - about 30,000 page views a day, according to an ad agency that contacted me - before it really becomes viable. What we're seeing is that properties combing a number of blogs - such as Corante and Gawker - can make a go of it, but for single-author sites (such as this one) advertising isn't likely to support the business. I continue to be impressed by Yahoo!, which has taken really nice technology and fashioned it into a destination site; most evenings you can find me playing backgammon there for an hour or so. By Alan Deutschman, Fast Company, January, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Probing Podcasting From the Professionals
Good overview article on podcasting with a number of links to definitions and references. The author describes his own use of podcasting, and in particular lists a number of sources for podcasts of scientific talks and shows. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, February 7, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

AskJeeves buys Bloglines
The big news in the blogosphere today is that Ask Jeeves, an internet search service, has purchased Bloglines, an online RSS Reader (one I use quite a bit). The morivation would be the same as Google's was for purchasing Blogger: access to blog post content informs search results. By Unattributed, RSS Latest News, February 6, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Publishers Irritated by Google's Digital Library
In a press release formatted to look like a news article, Nature Publishing Group is expressing displeasure with Google over its plans to index and excerpt academic articles. "Google has not yet struck any legal agreements with publishers, either individually or collectively... Few publishers would want to opt out of the library scheme, Morris says but they need to be asked to provide the appropriate permission." This is probably not true; copyright law is not intended to prohibit such use. Google excerpts everything else on the web and provides thumbnails of images. There is no reason to expect permission would be required to cite a few lines of an academic article. But of course, if Google signs an agreement then the publishers can exert pressure on others (such as, say, myself) who don't have "800-pound gorilla" lawyers to defend their rights. Via PC pro, which provides a link to some background. By Press Release, Nature, February 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Eide Neurolearning Blog
Several sites (including the e-Learning Centre) pointed today to this blog, which launched December 30. It discusses physical processes and problems such as dyslexia and tinnitus. These don't interest me (even though I have the latter). It also discusses perceptual processing, metacognition and metaphor. These do interest me. Your mileage may vary; looks like an interesting read thus far. By Fernette and Brock Eide, December 30, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Trackback is Dead, Use PubSub
From Roland Tanglao (just to prove I'm not the only person saying this): trackback is dead. "Trackback is broken, and I concur. It was broken right from the start, but we didn't know it because it seemed to work, or at least, work the way most people thought it should work." I don't know whether PubSub will be the long-term answer, but something like it will be: the principle is that you search (where you want, when you want) for sites linking to you, rather than depending on them to tell you (with dubious honesty) that they are linking to you. By Roland Tanglao, Roland Tanglao's Weblog, February 6, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Getting Microsoft to Support Blogware ...and LiveJournal ...and Flickr ...and...
Citing this article, Roland Tanglao says, "just like VoIP will be part of every app so will Post To Blog." In other words, content authoring tools - such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and opthers, which now simply save to file or print, will (and should) be able to post content to any online service, such as Blogger or Flickr. These online services have APIs ready to receive content. But who will write the bit in, say, MS Word, that sends the content? Microsoft? Not so long as they're striving for ubiquity. But who would invest in such a tool, when Microsoft could put them out of business with a shrug? Still - the concept is right, and eventually, desktop tools will become syndication tools. Also from Roland (just to prove I'm not the only person saying this): Trackback is dead. By Ross Rader, Random Bytes, February 3, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Mind/Brain Learning Principles
elearningpost ran this item today - it's from several years ago - and while I would disagree with details in just about every one of the twelve points I am in general agreement with the overall thrust of the article. By Renate Nummela Caine and Geoffrey Caine, 21st Century Learning Initiative, Summer, 1997 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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