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Wednesday, November 06, 2002
More of that Bogdanov Stuff

Bogdanovs Chronicled. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a piece on the Bogdanov Affair. ... [Musings]

I especially like these parts from the Chronicle piece:

"Nobody on the [thesis] committee had any deep understanding of the ideas." They relied on the journal referees who had accepted Igor's papers for publication in order to judge the finer points of the work. [...]

The agreement to use publications as the critical benchmark for granting a degree is "ass backwards," says Frank A. Wilczek, a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "It's a real cop-out by the committee and totally unacceptable." [...]

The scientists who sit in judgment often will not acknowledge that they cannot assess the work of their peers. "It's a very human thing," he says. "Nobody likes to admit that they don't understand something, especially if it's very fashionable." [...]

There is one way, though, for physicists to measure the importance of the Bogdanovs' work. If researchers find merit in the twins' ideas, those thoughts will echo in the references of scientific papers for years to come.

Currently, a leading database of scholarly work in high-energy physics shows that the Bogdanov brothers have earned only one citation, in an unpublished manuscript written by a nonacademic. Had it not been for the rumor of a hoax, says Mr. Verbaarschot, "probably no one would have ever known about their articles."

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:49:41 PM  
Exploring the K-logs - learning connection

Spike Hall is on a roll, theorizing the relationship between k-logging and knowledge making. Good stuff. See these posts in particular:

We need processes, concepts and standards for providing supportive and useful responses as we see other's processing struggles with knowledge-making efforts. I would also suggest that we must take pains to show our knowledge-making efforts, not just our finished products.

Knowledge grows a) from the foundation of prior knowledge and character and b) in response to the demands of problem-centered activity and in proportion to the frequency of access to relevant information. As will be argued below klog-based knowledge making in formal or informal groups can be expected to result in the most accelerated learning.

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:36:34 PM  

Reinventing MCB University Press. It is ironic: a journal publisher founded by dissatisfied academics is now targeted as one of the major causes of the rapid rise in the price of academic publications. This article tells the story of MCB University Press and how it became Emerald Fulltext. "'The outrage over what ... MCB did with New Library World still has not subsided,' wrote Hamaker, adding that the current subscription price for the journal (which had been $80 when Emerald acquired it) is $5,799 for 12 'issues' and 7 'dispatches.'" As a result, Emerald has alienated its readership base. "It seems reasonable to assume that the increased profits are as a direct result of charging more for what's essentially the same product." Yes, but also: the service created by academics continues to be supported by academics, writers who do not know or do not care how much the journals are charging for their contributions. By Richard Poynder, Information Today, September, 2002 [OLDaily]

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:19:12 PM  
For how long can you sell creativity?

Pascale Soleil confronts big questions that I think many creative people have to face one day or another in Reclaiming My Life: A Declaration of Intent.

[...] I have sold my brains, I have sold my ideas, I have sold my vision, my persuasiveness, and my enthusiasm. And I have turned my best impulses into a commodity which, ultimately, has become a practice I despise. [...]

I'm getting off the achievement train. I'm no longer going to look to the marketplace for my success, even the rarified marketplace of the arts. I'm giving up on the concept of "making my mark." It will be enough for me to be valued in the lives of my friends, to contribute in some modest way to the betterment of my community, and to enjoy the passage of time.

If I make something wonderful, great. It will have been made because I enjoyed making it, and other people will know about it because I felt moved to share it with them. If I wind up selling some of it, that will because people want it and it will help support the process of making more, NOT because I need it to survive. I am going to play more, and worry less about whether what I'm doing is important.

I wish you best of luck, Pascale!

What do you think? []  links to this post    11:07:54 PM  
Online community issues: imperfection and readability

Here's a thought-provoking post by Jennifer Klyse following the recent O'Reilly article on building online communities (which I thought I'd linked earlier but can't find). Highlights:

 a "planned" online community is similar to a planned community in real life; anyone who has visited Reston, Virginia (a model "planned community") will understand what I mean--while it is clean and organized and neat, it lacks the character that make spontaneous, evolved communities so interesting. [...]

Communities with a lot of life in them are messy; the same goes for parties. I find this observation to be especially true in the research world.

One thing that isn't discussed in depth in the article, though, is the extent to which the underlying technology sets the tone for the community, aside from a brief warning about keeping the posting process simple.  In my mind, the posting process is less relevant to the resulting community development than the reading process.

A similar observation is behind our group-forming mailing list's impending transplantation into a blog + threaded comments medium.

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:55:52 PM  

Faceted Classification of Information. Good discussion of an obscure, but important, concept. [...] By Paul Murray, Knowledge Management Connection, October, 2002 [OLDaily]

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:57:23 PM  

HP, MIT Delve Deep With Digital Library. I don't want to sound too cynical, but it sounds to me like MIT has re-invented the Open Archives Initiative and slapped its own brand on it. "Called DSpace, the new system is essentially a centralized, electronic repository for the massive amounts of intellectual property created by research institutions." Not that I think they've done a bad thing - this is exactly the sort of project that should be encouraged (especially once we get them networked). But it would have been nice to see the years of effort at OAI get some credit. By Michael Kanellos, News.Com, November 4, 2002 [OLDaily]

Here's my page on the Open Archives Initiative.

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:52:35 PM  
How to nurture a knowledge logging community

Here's more goodness coming from Phil and the Knowledge Board. For more background, you may want to check out my quick klognet resource page before you read this.

Roles and tasks of a community manager.

So "klognets" are little ad-hoc communities in blogspace. Suppose you want to support and nurture them? What do you do?

Sift Online Communities Insider posted these key roles and tasks to the Knowledge Board's Communities of Practice SIG.

Amongst the key roles of the community management function are:

  • A visible custodian of the user's experience on the site
  • A focal point for the creation and development of both content and functionality
  • A driver for 'added value' content and services
  • A source of leadership, standards and 'netiquette'
  • A pro-active stimulator for interest, engagement and participation
  • A co-ordinator of partner relations, contributions and offerings
  • A public champion for the site
  • A strategic thinker capable of visioning, planning, reviewing, measuring and developing the community

Depending on the nature, role and audience of your community, the tasks associated with community management can be individually identified:

  • Strategic planning
  • Content management
  • Member relations
  • Value creation
  • Event scheduling
  • Partner relations
  • Driving revenues

More details on each of the tasks, enough to create a job description.

As klognets are embraced by project management culture, project workers will step into these roles and do this work. Expect a variation of this description to become a project communication checklist.

[Phil Wolff: community via thomas n. burg | randgänge]

Personally, I think the "community manager" appellation is a misnomer. You don't manage a community. You care for it. You nurture it.  Same goes with knowledge. How about calling this role "community gardener"?

What do you think? []  links to this post    2:27:40 PM  

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