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by Stephen Downes
August 30, 2010

Should we be paying invisible education professors?
I tend not to cite Scott McLeod because he's a relentless self-promoter (and admits as much in this post) but I think he raises a good point - and, implicitly, a good question. The good point is this: should we continue to pay education professors who continue to do their work in secret, publishing only in closed academic journals, hiding their work from any sort of real public scrutiny? The good question is this: McLeod says, "I don't know how many Educational Leadership faculty members are really trying to be thought leaders. I know that I am (which is why I vigorously use social media tools)...," which makes me wonder, should it be the use of social media tools that makes someone a thought leader, or should it he the having of good thoughts? The two questions resonate. Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

The End of Management
I wonder whether we haven't reached some kind of turning point when the Wall Street Journal proclaims "the end of management." Of course, they have to add, "managers should act like venture capitalists," which undoes the effectiveness of the previous message. Because venture capitalists are like sharks, and what they don't eat they seek to control, like managers. We need quite different behaviour in a post-management world. Of course, we're so deeply entrenched in a world of business and enterprise based on power and control it's a long way to there from here. David T. Jones also comments. Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Facebook Alternative Diaspora Launches September 15
The people at Diaspora have released their first update in a while, announcing a release of their alternative to Facebook September 15. "What will Diaspora look like? According to the team, it's focusing on 'on building clear, contextual sharing.' One of the open source social network's features will be making it easy and intuitive for users to decide what content gets added and shared to their social circles." Yes, I was one of the many people who donated to the Diaspora project. Ben Parr, Mashable, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Internet Archive and OTR
I just love those old time radio episodes of the Falcon and the Shadow and the rest, and enjoy listening to them, especially late at night, when there's just the audio and me. But while I've been listening to them streaming over Shoutcast, I've been missing them while camping out of range of a proper internet connection. What to do? I searched around for MP3s, without much luck - here we have another case where people are simply taking free content and charging money for it, forcing the free access to the sidelines. Ah! But then this article, and the link to somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 OTR programs in MP3 format available for listening or download. Where? Where else, but the internet Archive. Now I'm downloading the complete collection of Philip Marlow episodes. Ethan C. Nobles, FirstArk, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

Google's Book Search: A Disaster for Scholars
Granted, the metadata in Google Scholar isn't close to perfect. But what Geoffrey Nunberg fails to show - after numerous paragraphs detailing the flaws - is why Google owes it to academic researchers to "at a minimum, licens(e) the catalogs of the Library of Congress and OCLC Online Computer Library Center and incorporat(e) them into the search engine so that users can get accurate results when they search on various combinations of dates, keywords, subject headings, and the like." He argues, simply, "every great public good implies a great public trust." There may be many more cost-effective ways of producing reliable metadata - such as, say, harvesting the efforts of the very scholars who are taking advantage of this free resource. Geoffrey Nunberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 26, 2010 [Link] [Comment] [Tweet]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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