"Networks, Groups, and Catalysts". Nancy White has a very relevant article from August 2002 titled "Networks, Groups and Catalysts: The Sweet Spot for Forming Online Learning Communities". In it she discusses how online communities form. She writes in her introduction,
"online community or online interaction is not the goal. Itís one means for helping groups achieve their goals. It is not necessarily about "online community" but what conditions and process are needed to enable communities to use the online environment."
Liz is thinking of applying for funding at the U.S. National Science Foundation to study blogs. Ideas on her mind include "designing new curricula, creating new professional publication models, sponsoring a conference, developing a new online resource center for microcontent publishing, etc, etc." Alex might be interested in such a thing...
This might be the first time that plans for a research grant application are unraveled in such an overt manner. I must say Ilike the approach.
The truth about RDF. "I am a disbeliever of anything that requires as much documentation, head-scratching, hand-waving, and eyes-glazing-over as RDF does in 2002. Forget the problems with the formats, that can be dealt with later, after you figure out how to explain it to someone who knows a lot about computers, networks, users, XML, HTTP, etc. If you can't explain it to me so that I understand what you're doing -- you've got a big problem.
It's a cute, and all-too-common tactic to say that people who don't get it are dumb. I'm not dumb, but RDF makes me feel that way. After all these years, I've concluded that if I can't understand it, it doesn't have much of a chance in the market. All the powerfully successful technologies of the past have had simple explanations anyone could understand. If RDF is one of those, I strongly believe it must too. Therefore I conclude that it isn't.