Seb's Open Research
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and social software, collected by Sébastien Paquet

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Tuesday, October 08, 2002
Evolvability is key

dive into mark - RSS and evolvable formats. Quote: "Designed formats start out strong and improve logarithmically. Evolvable formats start out weak and improve exponentially. RSS 2.0 is not the perfect syndication format, just the best one that's also currently practical. Infrastructure built on evolvable formats will always be partially incomplete, partially wrong and ultimately better designed than its competition." [Serious Instructional Technology]

Reminds me of something I wrote back in July. Perfection is so passé.

What do you think? []  links to this post    4:50:27 PM  

Peace through Play. Peace through Play - "for transforming the Culture of Violence into a Culture of Peace by realising the inborn creative potential in children, young people, yourself" [...] In young children at play there is at times discernible a quietude and calm as though they possessed a deep, private and distant existence, which is just beyond the observer's understanding. [DeepFUN Weblog]

I fondly recall the moments in my youth when I felt that way. I can sometimes get back into that mood, but the world of adults, with all its "seriousness", is taxing on my ability to remain there for long. I should perhaps hang out with children more. Any childrens' blogs out there?

What do you think? []  links to this post    4:45:44 PM  
Bottleneck holders beware

'Fry cooks and pastry chefs aren't interchangeable.'. In The Death of the Newspaper at Teal Sunglasses, Chuq Von Rospach takes on some recent commentary about the online publishing, editors, and professionalism, responding to my post over the weekend prompted by C.W. Nevius's Chronicle column (whew! tracking these threads is hard work!). [...]

Chuq detects defensiveness on the part of those currently in control of the bottlenecks:

[T]his change scares the hell out of those who currently hold a choke hold on the neck of these processes because what is really changing here is that the role of the person that makes that decision. Right now, they have an effective veto power. ... If they don't [make good decisions], these new technologies allow their audience to go around them, render them irrelevant.

[Radio Free Blogistan]

The observation holds for all kinds of publishing, including the academic variety. If many good researchers in a field start blogging seriously, they might make boards of editors irrelevant by collectively giving people a better means to assess which contributions they should take seriously.

What do you think? []  links to this post    4:40:07 PM  

Much food for thought at Blogging News today. Hylton at Blogging News continues to do a wonderful job of rounding up interesting commentary from the blog world. [...] [Radio Free Blogistan]
What do you think? []  links to this post    4:32:16 PM  
A faceted classification standard

XFML 1.0 (CORE) Published today. [Curiouser and curiouser!]

Does this have the same purpose as XTM (topic maps)? What are the differences?

What do you think? []  links to this post    4:19:26 PM  

Water - Slush - Ice, and a slice.

The metaphor describes how innovations go from ideas to implemented projects. Here's a diagram that illustrates this process:

water to ice:

Weblogs are an excellent example of a "highly networked community that encourages innovation." The water to ice metaphor describes a way to move these ideas from interesting conversation to successful projects.

» Interesting piece from back in July by Andy Chen [Kumquat's musings]

I'm not sure yet whether idea management is a leaky pipe, but if it is then knowledge logs are, as Andy says, a very good way to handle the water-slush-ice transition.

Andy's weblog is new to me, but chock full of interesting ideas and insights.  I'll be reading more.

[Curiouser and curiouser!]

I have to agree - it is extremely interesting.

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:59:55 PM  

both2and: "Evolutionary psychology is a fascinating and deeply dodgy field. And unbiased, pan-cultural scientific evidence is extremely difficult to come by. It sure is entertaining watching them try, though! Proceed with caution, though: there be dragons."

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:42:10 PM  
Around the Blogosphere in 20 Links

[Kiplog] A pretty good, timely list. Can you guess who's on the photo at the right? If you know all of them you qualify as a true blog addict.

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:35:39 PM  

The Rise of Online Panhandling. []

Online panhandlers don't bother me in the least.

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:00:48 PM  
Faceted classification of weblog posts

Faceted Radio weblog demo.

This is pretty exciting.

I've just exported an XFML version of my weblog to so that you can browse my weblog by-liveTopics and drill-down by Date of Publication (e.g. start at 2002, drill-down into May, drill-down into 23rd May).

If you go to:;;v=1

You will see an example faceted browsing interface. It's basic but quite functional.

You will see two "facets"

  • The liveTopics facet contains all my regular topics in a big old list (with number of posts in parens)
  • The Date of Publication facet contains one topic 2002

Underneath you will see the "top 10" pages at this point.

If you drill down into either facet (please try drilling down into 2002 first) you narrow the range of available posts to display. Keep drilling down via and notice how this restricts the liveTopics that are displayed in the other facet to only those used in posts that are still available in your selected date range.

Now start to think about other ways of chopping your weblog than just "Date of Publication"

[Curiouser and curiouser!]

Way to go, Matt! (Read my earlier notes on facets in case you can't make heads or tails of this.)

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:54:45 PM  

Personal Knowledge Publishing and its Uses in Research. Detailed analysis, history and discussion of weblogging as it is (or can be) used in research. The purpose of this article is to "help you grasp the significance of this practice and better understand how you might benefit from getting involved in personal knowledge publishing."

The author - correctly, I think - points to the phenomenon of "personal knowledge publishing" as having "grown out of weblogging" and is "at the beginning of a growth curve that could make it an important vehicle for sharing knowledge and fueling innovation in years to come." [Refer][Research][Reflect]


I've put a fair amount of effort into that piece, so I hope readers will forgive me for compulsively linking to it to stimulate its circulation a little bit. Of course I think it's worth reading, otherwise I wouldn't have put it on the Web.

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:48:19 PM  
"Buy my software and good luck."

Read Darwin -When Bad Things Happen to Good Ideas - KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT.

Quote: "It's all part of changing your culture. And if you don't change your culture, you'll never manage your knowledge--and KM will truly be a bust. "

Comment: I make a connection between this piece and Stephen Downes' observation here:

"Everybody is talking about learner centered learning. And yet (as Levy argues) e-learning is intended to promote corporate objectives. There is an inconsistency here."

[Serious Instructional Technology]

The Darwin article is pretty good. I believe it paints a quite plausible picture of how it works.

"[...] vendors have made a lot of customers think of KM in terms of working forward from a tool rather than looking at their knowledge needs, figuring out how to solve them and then finding the right tool. "

A-ha. But that's what vendors are supposed to do, isn't it? I think a company should assume the responsibility of assessing its knowledge needs by itself. Natural selection will take care of those companies (and individuals) who can't or won't do it. Here's something interesting:

At the Ritz, it's all about people sharing their experiences, says CIO Pam Angelucci. In fact, her most successful KM program uses no technology at all. It's a "green book" of best practices collected from the top performers in every department in the company, from corporate management to housekeeping. The hard-copy volume is updated annually by a vice president of quality, and the expert content is chosen based on quality scoring procedures. "[Knowledge management at Ritz-Carlton] really has little to do with any kind of technology"

To go back to Stephen Downes' observation, is there an inherent contradiction between learner-centered learning (or individual-centered KM) and corporate objectives? I'm not sure. I think it might depend on the maturity of the corporate culture, i.e. where it lies in the internal competition-collaboration spectrum.

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:40:56 PM  

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Crokinole. Here it is, at last. Everything you ever wanted to know about Crokinole... and probably a lot you didn't. Actually, a deep resource about a most playworthy game. After you've learned everything, be sure not to miss this Canonical List of Game-Related Quotes. [DeepFUN Weblog]

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:07:54 PM  
Wikipedia: alive and kickin'

Wikipedia. the Free encyclopedia breaks 50,000 articles. For those of you who don't follow along, the Wikipedia is a Free, a multi-language, online-encyclopedia licensed under the GFDL that is created and edited by anyone and everyone. It has recently broken the 50,000 article mark (Brittanica has 85K). Wikipedia aims to one day have more and better articles than the Brittanica. Wikipedia's are currently available in 25 languages. []

In the comments, Erik and the Cunctator have done a respectable job of defending the validity of the Wikipedia development model against the usual horde of naysayers. Another member explained pretty well what Wikipedia is good for. And from Rock Joe comes a telling comment:

People who don't trust Wikipedia just don't trust strangers.

The more time I spend on the Net, the more inclined I am to trust communities of strangers, and individual strangers provided that they have a history. (For some people it is the reverse; I suspect it's because they're not curious enough)

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:47:48 AM  
Paul Ginsparg: A Future with a View

Creating a global knowledge network.

Quote: "If we were to start from scratch today to design a quality-controlled archive and distribution system for research findings, would it be realized as a set of "electronic clones" of print journals? Could we imagine instead some form of incipient knowledge network for our research communications infrastructure? What differences should be expected in its realization for different scientific research fields? Is there an obvious alternative to the false dichotomy of "classical peer review" vs. no quality control at all? What is the proper role of governments and their funding agencies in this enterprise, and what might be the role of suitably configured professional societies? These are some of the key questions raised by the past decade of initial experience with new forms of electronic research infrastructure. In the below, I will suggest only some partial answers to the above, with more complete answers expected on the 5-10 year timescale." [Serious Instructional Technology]

I wrote about Ginsparg a couple weeks back. Here's a link in case you missed it.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:43:57 AM  
More good Radio documentation

A sample chapter from the new O'Reilly book on blogging. [Scripting News]

Including important instructions on Backing up your Radio. If I'm not mistaken, a lot of content on Radio Userland by the same author is available here.

What do you think? []  links to this post    9:33:08 AM  

Metaphors for weblogs.

Following up on my thoughts in the previous post, I've been trying to think of a metaphor for a weblog. For the first-time viewer (particularly those not familiar with technology) there is little to distinguish a "weblog" from a "homepage" of old. So you have the stuff on the page organized by date...can't I do that manually in FrontPage? How hard is it to insert the date before I type a message? Etc.

For me, the value of "weblogging" is the whole process of reading the views of others and selecting/commenting on some of those views in my own space (for myself and for others). RSS allows me to "see" many more chunks of info than I would be able to otherwise.

So what is a metaphor for this process? Is there one? To me, a weblog is:

  • a journal
  • an editorial column
  • a URL favorites manager
  • a messenging application
  • one side of a discussion group tool
  • a news reader
  • a project management assistant
  • a knowledge repository

What is a weblog to you?

[Stand Up Eight]

Well, here's how I see my weblog. It's your interface to me, and my interface to you. (Thanks Clément!)

What do you think? []  links to this post    6:56:00 AM  

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