By Stephen Downes
February 19, 2005

Montreal 2005
My head is full of ideas from today's BlogWalk, some of which will emerge in my talk tomorrow (if I ever get it written). In the meantime, here is a link to photos from Montreal before, after and during the snowstorm. I've also got for your viewing and dowloading pleasure a bunch of photos from Vancouver as well as a set from one of my favorite places in the world, Stanley Park. Personal note: many people are waiting for an email back from me. I'm not ignoring you. Replies are coming, but not until I return home in a couple of days. By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, February 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Bloggers, Your`Audience Awaits
We were discussing today, what is an A-List blogger? Friends of Jason Kottke? Or a large enough readership? According to this article, I fall into the category of B-List blogger. But funny thing - if I linked to my own posts (the way most blogs do) instead of directly to articles, I could break the A-List hit rate (as defined in this article) pretty easily. That wouldn't make me an A-List blogger, of course. It would just make me annoying. Via Mathemagenic. By Dave Pollard, How to Save the World, January 4, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Dark age of Information/Take Back the Web
The reaction continues. Darren Cannell: "Are the schools ready to remove the walls and welcome in the information age? I for one do not think so. I think there is going to be an era of adjustment? An era called the dark age of information. An era where the high school system will not be able to meet the needs of their students..." By Darren Cannell, Teaching and Developing Online, February 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Reconfiguring Education
In one of the weird artifacts of Radio Userland, Spike Halls's link to an article titled "Sin without Consequence: Corporate Citizenship Needs to Be Redefined" (available here, for now) leads instead to this post, a look at the wisdom of Ivan Illich. The two items are related, and not just by an odd quirk of code. Now I was interested in the corporate citizenship article because of recent news about Google, and how its now being a public company seems to have stripped from it any semblence of social responsibility. And it seems to me that if capitalization turns even the best company into something pathological, then there are serious problems with our social order that merely electing new governments will not solve (this, of course, has been addressed before and better by Joel Balkan). So what's the connection? It's this: schools are what corporations would produce. Illich: "The pupil is thereby 'schooled' to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence..." By Spike Hall, Spike Hall's RU Weblog, February 14, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

I met Wirearchy's Jon Husband today, and after a conversation and a read of his blog conclude that we're pretty much on the same wavelength (indeed, some of the words that came out of my mouth today were almost word for word from some of his recent posts, interesting when you consider that I had never seen his blog until a few minutes ago). Language warning, especially in the first post, a colourful criticism of a recent speech by Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers (a speech that will probably cost him his job). By Jon Husband, February, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Exclusive Audio: Interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations, NYTCO
Audio interview with Martin Nisenholtz, SVP-Digital Operations for the New York Times, about the newspaper's acquisition of About.com. "About.com had in 2004 significant revenues and profits. It had great margins, so anybody can start any business at any time but getting it up to the point where it is right now is going to take a lot of time in my opinion... It's a highly complex and very profitable business and it would be time consuming and difficult to replicate it very quickly." All true - but About.com's operating stragety - employing poorly paid 'guides' for each of its content areas - is something that might not survive the acquisition. What if the guides expect real money for their work? What if the Times' regular authors revolt against their new low-paid colleagues? Direct link to the audio. By Staci D. Kramer, PaidContent.org, February 18, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, and API Topics
A new feature in the Google Toolbar, one which inserts links to useful resources into web pages - whether the webpage author wants them there or not - is drawing the ifre of webpage designers. "How long," asks this writer, "will it be before Google starts offering paid partnerships to certain parters to link their data directly from your pages to theirs?" Microsoft, of course, tried the same thing with Smart Tags a few years back. Here's the OLDaily coverage of smart tags from 2001; I also wrote an article about them back then: Education, Redmond style. By eventus, WebmasterWorld.com, February 17, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2005 Stephen Downes
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