OLDaily, by Stephen Downes

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February 7, 2012

How A New Blog Brought In $2,000 in Revenue—and Attracted 800 Readers—In A Single Day (case study)
Derek Halpern, Social Triggers, February 7, 2012.

What's worthwhile about this post is that it's at least honest about the technique, widely used (but seldom admitted) to drive readership. Called 'drafting', the idea is that you in some way associate your work with that of the famous and get drawn along in their wake. It's not just for SEO specialists like this one. It's for everyday bloggers - just list (or even better, link to) famous people (like from Noam Chomsky and Sir Ken Robinson, Mitch Resnick, Jaron Lanier, Conrad Wolfram, Ellen McArthur, Charles Leadbeater, Keri Facer, Stephen Heppell and Ray Kurzweil) and wait for the search hits to come in, or even better, for them to read your stuff and link to it. Or as Derek Halpern says, find your competitors, find the journalists who covered the story, and offer them a follow-up on the same story. Same concept. Or write things that praise the people who are already influential, and follow along in their wake. Same principle.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Web Logs]

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New keynote speaker video
Ross Dawson, Trends in the Living Networks, February 7, 2012.

I should make a 'keynote speaker' video. I could record myself staring into space and mumbling incoherently. Every once in a while I'd shout "Yes! Fish!"

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Video]

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Welcome to the pleasure domes
Steve Wheeler, Learning With 'e's, February 7, 2012.

Normally I wouldn't report on a conference set-up but these activity domes created by Graham Brown-Martin at Learning without Frontiers at Olympia in London caught my imagination. The presentations at the conference look decidedly ordinary, but as Steve Wheeler writes, "it was around and inside the domes that much of the conversations, connections and creativity took place.

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Leadership for Constant Change
Diana G. Oblinger, EDUCAUSE Review, February 7, 2012.

The current issue of EDUCAUSE Review focuses on leadership in the higher education information technology community. Diana G. Oblinger writes a brief overview of what constitutes leadership without missing a cliché:
- "Leaders catalyze change, not for the sake of change itself but for the sake of preserving fundamental values."
- "Values, experience, and analysis morph into leadership when combined through discipline"
Et cetera. My own view toward such 'leadership writing' is not kind. It seems to me that a lot of such writing is designed to play to the sympathies of people who are in leadership positions (much the way astrology columns stroke the egos of their readers) rather than raising more important questions, like (say) whether it's a good idea to have someone going around touting "fundamental values".

[Link] [Comment][Tags: EDUCAUSE, Leadership, Experience]

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Dramatically Bringing Down the Cost of Education with OER
David Wiley, Cable Green and Louis Soares, American Progress, February 7, 2012.

David Wiley, Cable Green and Louis Soares seek to inject the concept of the open educational resource (OER) into popular perception in this article. The brief, intended for policymakers (and people who influence policymakers), urges "federal, state, and local governments and educational institutions to adopt a simple public policy: 'All publicly funded resources are openly licensed resources.'" Related: this backgrounder and coverage in the Chronicle (not that the Chronicle can really get behind any of this; alother article describes OERs as homemade digital alternatives.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources]

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Stanford Professors Daphne Koller & Andrew Ng Also Launching a Massive Online Learning Startup
Audrey Watters, Hack Education, February 7, 2012.

We may invent these things in Canada, but its people at places like Stanford who really know how to draw out that investment dollar. Hence we see another pair of Stanford professors, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, starting a massive open online course enterprise. Their startup, Coursera, looks a lot like Sebastian Thrun's Udacity. "We see a future where world-leading educators are at the center of the education conversation," says Coursera, "and their reach is limitless, bounded only by the curiosity of those who seek their knowledge; where universities such as Stanford, Harvard, and Yale serve millions instead of thousands." See also the Chronicle's Jeffrey R. Young's interview with MITx's L. Rafael Reif and Anant Agarwal.

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Traditional and Online Courses, Canada, Online Learning]

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Why Pay for Intro Textbooks?
Mitch Smith, Inside Higher Ed, February 7, 2012.

Long known for its Connexions service for building open educational reosurces (OERs), Rice University is now moving into the open online etxtbook business. "A free online physics book, peer-reviewed and designed to compete with major publishers’ offerings, will debut next month through the non-profit publisher OpenStax College."

[Link] [Comment][Tags: Connexions, Open Educational Resources, Books]

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Copyright 2010 Stephen Downes Contact: stephen@downes.ca

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