Stephen's Web

[Chat] [Discuss] [Search] [About] [Options]


by Stephen Downes
April 9, 2007

7,500 Words On the Irony of Social Computing Degrees Later
My only comment on this is that anti-intellectualism is distinct from anti-formalism, and that it is disingenuous to conflate the two. Liz lawley writes, "so without a systematic structured approach to a complex topic we run the very real risk of not seeing the big picture, and falling into the trap of generalizing from our anecdotal experience." My experience is that the same risk exists even with a 'systematic structured approach' - like a road system, it will get you there faster, but at the risk of bypassing the swamps and forest. Will Richardson, Journal April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

The Travesty of Canadian Mobile Data Rates
If you've ever wondered why I've been lukewarm about the mobile internet, this is why. "I redid the graph to look at 1GB usage and look at just the 4 Canadian carriers. Fido and Rogers come in at a whopping $4100 per month, and Telus, who I've long dismissed, is actually really competitive." Now 1 gig usage is not a lot - it's an amount I would easily hit in a month. But you know - I even consider the 'base monthly charge' of $100 to be ridiculous. Until the telcos get real, they can count on my disdain for their offerings. Boris Mann, B.Mann Consulting April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Why I'll Never Sign Up for Any Blogger Code of Conduct
Why is it that any time some problem occurs, somebody wants to make a rule. That sort of response is legion in organizations (especially mine). But the thing is, it never works - it is an attempt to respond with simplicity to what is inherently a complex problem. Sheesh, even spam filtering requires Baysean filtering, and that's a logic that is well beyond the scope of any code of conduct. As Dave Taylor says, "I don't want to pin anything down because I want to retain editorial flexibility." Right. Good behaviour isn't defined by rules, it is limited by them. Or as I commented on Clarence Fisher's blog, if you behave decently, you will already follow something like a code of conduct (but intelligently, adapting to complex circumstances), and the code won't change your behaviour. If you don't behave decently, then the code of conduct isn't going to stop you, and rather just gives you 'the letter of the law' as a technicality to duck behind if someone calls you on it ("well, it wasn't in the code, so I assumed it was OK..."). Good conduct has always been a matter of education, a matter of character, not a matter of legislation. Dave Taylor, The Intuitive Life Business Blog April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Competing For Attention
Graham Wegner ponders the dynamics of blog readership, as he notes that it becomes harder and harder for new bloggers to become recognized (funny that he harkens all the way back to 2005 as the beginning). This is why I argue we should not be reading people, we should be reading topics. Reading people perpetuates this celebrity culture, giving an undue advantage to the first people in (or those with the loudest self-promotion). Reading topics allows anyone with something to say an equal chance for attention on any given day. But of course, what blog celebrity is going to recommend a reading technique that diminishes his or her importance? Graham Wegner, Teaching Generation Z April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Standardising the Widgets
Scott Wilson points to this interesting page from the W3C about standardizing for widgets (a widget is a stand-alone application you can embed in other applications, like a website or a desktop, or view on its own on a PDA). Quite a bit of the widget standard exists already - things like Javascript (aka ECMAScript) and the Document Object Model (DOM). W3C wants to add things like a manifest, packaging format, and widget API. I can see a pretty good case for this, but as always, my advice to W3C is: less is more. Scott Wilson, Scott's Workblog April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

The convergencde continues. "Loopster allows you to find what's new with the people you care about, no matter which online service they use. Loopster enables you to import your friends from various social networks, connect them together and watch how they change." Via Jane Hart. Related: The death of YASN. Various Authors, Website April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

PodcampNYC Webcast Coverage
Podcamp is one of those places I'd love to be but which is just far enough outside my range of expertise I can't make a case for going (especially when it conflicts with something else). But I enjoyed listening to the interview with Gary Leland of The audio and video content just works perfectly on the Mac, of course - I think I would be more inclined to multimedia if I used it all the time. Various Authors, Worldbridges April 9, 2007 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]


This newsletter is sent only at the request of subscribers. If you would like to unsubscribe, Click here.

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. Click here to subscribe.

Copyright 2007 Stephen Downes

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.