By Stephen Downes
July 28, 2005

How To Be Heard
How do you get people to read your blog? This guide will tell you how to gain readers, how, in effect, to be heard. It discusses how to approach blog content, design, launch, writing your blog, marketing and revisions. Thanks to Little Train's Brad Carson for prompting this article (and for providing comprehensive coverage of the recent MERLOT conference, worthwhile work that should have received more attention than it did). By Stephen Downes, Stephen's Web, July 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Dark Underbelly of Napster Deals
It's as bad as we always thought it was. "The University must exclusively promote the Dell branded DJ, secure two Dell kiosks on campus to feature Dell products and services, facilitate a Dell launch event in the back-to-school timeframe, host Dell information on the UW website, execute an email campaign and participate in a case study." Oh, and pay $24,000 for 8 months of its service. You get the feeling the university negotiators never had a chance. By Kyle Johnson, EDUCAUSE Blogs, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

We Are the Web
Kevin Kelly looks back on the emergence of the web, the launch of Netscape, and how his magazine - Wired - took it all in. "Wired offered a vision nearly identical to that of Internet wannabes in the broadcast, publishing, software, and movie industries: basically, TV that worked." Something very different happened, though. "What we all failed to see was how much of this new world would be manufactured by users, not corporate interests." Kelly maybe didn't see it, but many of writers did, creating a vision of the future that was eventually expunged from the pages of Wired by the time it was sold to Conde Nast. The vision was always there. But maybe, now, Kelly sees this. "Every few centuries, the steady march of change meets a discontinuity, and history hinges on that moment... Three thousand years from now, when keen minds review the past, I believe that our ancient time, here at the cusp of the third millennium, will be seen as another such era." I believe this. I really do. Via Couros. By Kevin Kelly, Wired, August, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Keeping It Simple
- is it too late? Asks Derek Morrison, "Does what we have now really represent the best we can do?" Even when your virtual learning nenvrionemtn incorporates open source, it merely swallows it whole, making the institution ever more dependent. "We seem to be trapped in a reality of constantly reinforcing the monolith's walls." - if it's not too late? "Podcast, aggregator, RSS, and wiki might as well be an unrecognized foreign language to the uninitiated." But "if VLEs have taught us nothing else, it's that people want some means of distributing and sharing content." Maybe there are scenarios where it could work after all. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, January 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

ODRL Workshop 2005 Report
If you've already read the papers from the recent ODRL conference in Lisbon, linked here last week, then you won't need this item. If you didn't, however, this summary will be useful. By Susanne Guth, Renato Ianella and Carlos Serrão, INDICARE, July 28, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Bring on the Bling
I have observed in the past that as their exclusive hold on learning erodes, traditional universities will begin to market themselves based on lifestyle and amenities. In this article we see this happening. But one wonders whether the university administrators are ready for the other shoe to drop - the loss of funding that will occur when legislators realize they are funding social clubs, not institutes of higher learning. Via University Business. By Sarah Schweitzer, Boston Globe, July 27, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Evolving the Atom Comments Extension
Some follow-up on the RSS Referencing item I posted yesterday. Sam Ruby replies that the Atom 'link rel' attribute enables referencing. The rel values specified in the recently released Atom 1.0 are as follows: "alternate", "related", "self", "enclosure", and "via", none of which support referencing. However, via Tim Bray, comes an item posted last week describing "comments","in-reply-to" and "root" values, which would at least support comments. By James M Snell, snellspace.com, July 21, 2005 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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