by Stephen Downes
Nov 09, 2014
Fall of the Banner Ad: The Monster That Swallowed the Web
New York Times,
The internet was originally a military and academic network designed for the free sharing of information and communications. As it began to be opened in the 1990s to allow commercial participation there was significant opposition to the introduction of advertising to the environment. These fears turned out to be well-founded, in my opinion, as much of what is bad about the web today can be traced back to the need to pursue clicks over content. I remember these first banner ads from Wired as I was a longtime member of the Wired online forums (called 'Hotwired Threads'). Today I am reading that sponsored posts are providing significant returns for advertisers. This next great retreat from meaningful content and communication will be equally harmful. Me need so much to be able to move beyond advertising, but the commercial interest is pervasive, and nobody seems to know how to escape the trap we set for ourselves 20 years ago.
Connectivism and Composition: Toward a Networked Classroom
Based on the slides this looks like an interesting talk, capturing the core ideas of connectivism. I also like seeing someone else with a proper presentation page, one including slides, audio, and eventually, a transcript. My only significant criticism would be the obligatory invocation of collaboration, which is quite unnecessary and misses some core points of connectivism. Collaboration is about everybody working for a single objective, while in connectivism people work on diverse objectives, interacting and cooperating on points of mutual interest.
John W. Moravec,
Good diagram, overall. I don't know where it comes from, exactly; I found it on Facebook. I'm not sure how "not restricted by age" is a 'skill'. I would say "shares" rather than "invites sharing". I would say "cooperates and communicates" rather than "collaborates". I would say "investigates new technologies" rather than "purposively..." (dropping the 'purposively' to reflect the idea of exploration over dedication to specific outcomes). I would say 'disregards hierarchy' or 'eschews authority' or some such thing rather than 'thrives in flat networks'.
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