I hope some (or all) of the sessions will have online resources posted at some stage or other. Via the links on that page, I discovered Anna Farmery’s Podcasting A-Z which looks like a potentially rich resource.
Aggregate displays are everywhere, from the book ratings at Amazon.com to the most-emailed articles at the New York Times to the number of diggs at Digg.com. They’re a primary element of social design. They not only let people know how their actions relate to others, but they also alter the behavior of those who view them.
In other words, it was found that posting the ratings or download figures alongside the songs, influenced people in their choice of song rating or download.
Well, duh! you might say (or you might say bandwagon effect). Still, when I read this, I started thinking of possible ways to use the info to persuade students to make more use of their blogs or other social software/web2.0 tools that I’m waving in front of them (that’s a figure of speech). Haven’t worked out the details yet. I’m thinking, not of trying to sell music to students, but of possibly posting the visit counter numbers of my students’ blogs, or perhaps the “highest number of hits this week” kind of popularity contest. To make things more fun.
Anyone already using this kind of info with students?
(The original article, by sociology professor Duncan Watts of Columbia Uni, is over here: despite the title, the article is not about Justin Timberlake, in fact he’s not even mentioned. Go figure.) And the experiment’s website is here.
The article also refers to another article which examines the Columbia experiment, and comes to a more cycnical conclusion. Scott Karp on Publishing 2.0 writes:
All of a sudden it’s crystal clear what Web 2.0 really is — the greatest platform ever for harnessing randomly imitative social behavior. Before Web 2.0, achieving utterly arbitrary results took time and effort. Now, with platforms like Digg, we can get nowhere in a fraction of the time it used to take.
WOW — I am humbled and awestruhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifck by the power of technology, and the power of randomly socialized human beings to snuff out each others’ critical faculties and personal tastes.
This reminds me of another article I read about Andrew Keen, bemoaning the “cacophony” the internet has spawned. That article (you’ll need to register with the Guardian to read it) and Scott Karp’s article are missing something: web2.0 is not a project designed to produce great art or great writing necessarily, but to break the idea that only a few elites can (and should) decide for the rest of us what we should read, listen to, watch and think; that a few should decide what is valuable and what is not. Of course there is a lot of dross out there, but there is also some excellent stuff, that would not exist if we had to wait for some “expert” to find it and tell us about it.
Update: I see , has a similar view.
At first, he’s ecstatic, then he starts to see cracks in the system…
The first major stumbling block was Google Talk, the web-based chat client. I could chat with other Gmail users, but I couldn’t connect to my co-workers on AOL Instant Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. Something about the way our proxy servers are configured was blocking Google Talk.
I tried a few hacks that I found online, but they didn’t work. After two days, with a cold feeling of isolation creeping in, I gave up and went back to Adium. Not Google’s problem, but a problem nonetheless.
Problems With Microsoft Office: Google Docs & Spreadsheets threw a wrench into the works, too. Since the rest of my co-workers continued to use Microsoft Office on the desktop, if I wanted to share a spreadsheet or document with them, I would have to export the file to my desktop and mail it.
Well, not if your co-workers used and shared the document in Google Docs. And you can always download a Google Doc as a PDF, Word Doc or RTF file. I don’t see the problem, frankly.
Bye, Bye Drag and Drop: In Gmail especially, the loss was palpable. To attach a file to an e-mail, I’d always just drag it from the desktop onto an open message. But not in the browser — there’s a whole heap of clicking and menu navigation involved.
He obviously needs Lifehackers Greasemonkey Firefox add-on for Gmail.
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The 2-channel forum is a Japanese internet phenomenon. This single site has more influence on Japanese popular opinion than the prime minister, the emperor and the traditional media combined. On one level, it serves as a fun, informative place for people to read product reviews, download software and compare everything from the size of their poop to quiz show answers. But conversations hosted here have also influenced stock prices, rallied support for philanthropic causes, organized massive synchronized dance routines, prevented terrorism and driven people to their deathbeds.
“2-channel stirs the naked heroism that lives in every individual,” says Keisuke Suzuki, the author of several books on Japanese internet culture. “This can be dangerous, but in a community where you can’t ordinarily express your true feelings because of its restrictions, it’s really important.”
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A while back, I posted about some “safety online” videos that Quentin D’Souza had posted. One of them shows a photo of a girl lying on a bed; the photo is posted on a bulletin board, and every time someone pulls the photo off the board, it magically reappears there. The moral: once you post a photo of yourself online, it stays there for pretty much eternity.
Today, I came across the case of a naturalized German historian who has trouble travelling freely, due in part to malicious defamations posted on his Wikipedia biography page and on Amazon.com as “reviews” of some of his books about a contentious period in Turkish history. Food for thought.
Dan Meyer is checking out Elgg, Drupal, and others. Dan works fast, and thinks fast. He scribbles notes to himself and lets us read them. Watch Dan go. Go, Dan, go!
Here’s a story with several interesting themes: an enterprising young lady, someone who doesn’t fit in with the crowd, the power of the blogosphere and of web-connected PCs, virtual communities, and the courage to speak up for peace.
It’s a nuanced, complex story. As I’m reading, I can feel my mind badgering me, begging me to let it make a snap judgement: “is she a good guy or a bad guy? Is home-schooling good or bad? Is the Internet and freedom of speech good or bad? Is this activism or propaganda?” The article raises questions as well as informs. And for me, never lived in the US, it’s a “slice-of-life” look at a part of America today. Fascinating.
Meet Ava Lowery, the Southern homeschooler whose antiwar videos get 30,000 hits a day.
I was going to attend a birthday party for Ava Lowery, a homeschooled teen activist who posts professional-quality antiwar video shorts on her website, peacetakescourage.com, from her bedroom in a small town about an hour’s drive from Montgomery. Ava, whose videos have a worldwide following thanks to the blogosphere, had decided to throw her Sweet Sixteen party on the steps of the Capitol to protest the war in Iraq.
A decade earlier, a teenage girl out of the local political mainstream might have held her tongue until she could leave Alabama. But these days the Internet provides a means out—a community of like-minded people, albeit a virtual one. Ava’s website averages 30,000 hits a day and is recommended by Michael Moore’s. It remains to be seen, however, whether such virtual, viral efforts can serve as a replacement, or even a stimulus, for face-to-face networks such as church groups or labor unions. Ava’s rally/birthday party was a small test of what Internet activism can look like on the ground. And it was a particularly ambitious test…
As Ava’s website was linked to by high-profile sites such as CrooksandLiars and Daily Kos, its viewership grew. After Yearly Kos kicked off its 2006 convention in Las Vegas with one of Ava’s videos as a rallying cry, a New York Times editorial asked: “Could a 15-Year-Old With a Laptop Be the New Campaign Media Guru?” More recently, United for Peace and Justice solicited her to produce a video promoting its January 2007 march on Washington…If the innovation of cable news shaped the representation of the first Gulf War, then this war is partly being defined by another new form of media, one practiced by amateur diarists and commentators.
(link from DailyKos).
I’m a sucker for technology. I blog, read blogs, use Google Reader daily. Love it. But reading this post by Pissed Off Teacher (and then this one) just totally depressed me. Ruined my day. Can technology help here, or is it just insultingly irrelevant? I would suggest that if it can’t help in this practical and political matter, then School2.0 or whatever you want to call it isn’t worth much. Is Web2.0 just mental masturbation, something to stave off the boredom in between leaving our comfortable middle-class homes and returning to them in the evening? Or is it able to make a difference in the face of this kind of (to my mind) criminal negligence (and bureaucratic, systemic negligence, which is far harder to identify and root out)?
I’m sure this teacher is not alone or in a unique situation. Solidarity and legal advice, perhaps financial support seem to be needed here.
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