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Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Day session on the collaborative creation of educational materials

Today, the Kairosnews community weblog is running a session of the Computers and Writing Online 2003 conference, entitled Open Anarchy or Closed Dictatorship: Methods of Producing Collaborative Teaching Texts. Throughout the day the many complex issues surrounding the collaborative creation of teaching texts will be discussed. Have a peek and feel free to drop into the conversation and contribute at any time by posting comments.
What do you think? []  links to this post    2:08:56 PM  

A project of PRWatch.orgDisinfopedia was started in last January - almost exactly 2 years after Wikipedia, after which it is modelled. It describes itself as

"a collaborative project to produce a directory of public relations firms, think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests. We are already working on 1015 articles.

Anyone, including you, can edit any article right now. See the Disinfopedia FAQ for more background information about the project. Read the help page and experiment in the sandbox to learn how you can use and contribute to the Disinfopedia.

The content of Disinfopedia is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License, which means that it is free and will remain so forever. See Disinfopedia:Copyrights for the details and open content and free content for background."

This could turn into a highly useful resource for making sense of much of what we read and hear, complementary to things like Who owns what. I'm kind of worried about the possibility of edit wars, though, should that wiki become very popular - is it possible to write neutrally or objectively about such a topic?

(via Collaborative Learning)

What do you think? []  links to this post    10:40:21 AM  
Distributed collective tweaking

Headmap: Declaration of Interdependence. A view of the future of the Internet and how it will impact the way we'll go about our business. Far-reaching, yet plausible if you ask me. (via Ming)
What do you think? []  links to this post    4:04:10 AM  
Will social software encourage polarization?

A good post and a fascinating discussion over on Don Park's blog on the potential adverse effects of social software, starting from his observation of how the Internet affected people in his home country:

Korea is emerging as one of the most advanced Internet nation in the world.  Young Koreans, in particular, live and breath Internet, each belonging to large number of online communities.  One would expect them to be well informed and objective, yet they are not.  Their views are warped and often radical.  While all the world's information is at their fingertip, they consume information subjectively and produce misinformation biased by their views.  Adding highly effective social software to this is frightening to me.

[...] In a sense, social clusters form gravity wells which has its own local physical laws and is difficult to escape from.  Social softwares make it easier to create and grow such clusters.

Bill Kearney offers a counter-argument that I find cogent:

The fact that groups can form more rapidly will do more to devalue the ability of any one group or cult of personality. Yes, for those ununsed to the process it will be a terrifyingly vast expanse of rapidly changing groupings. Hang on, it's going to be a fun ride.

I guess the question could be summarized as "Does social software help people turn inwards or outwards?". (Personally, I don't think it can be answered without taking the context of use into account.)

[Corante: Social Software]
What do you think? []  links to this post    3:48:30 AM  
Ridiculously easy group-forming via k-collector

Communal topics and super-blogs. Matt on k-collector and shared topics: "If you click a topic name on my weblog now you don't get a local page but, instead, the dynamic k-collector page for that topic.  At the moment this is an aggregation of all the posts about that topic from anyone subscribing to the cloud." [Curiouser and curiouser!]

I hope to find time soon to compare this to the Internet Topic Exchange and investigate interoperability in both directions. More than ever do I believe that there is promise in loose community formation among bloggers. Many ingredients are there that weren't around only six months ago: more developers, many more bloggers (meaning more diversity and overlap of interests at the same time), and new complementary technology, such as the shiny new Technorati API.

Now, this is nothing more than educated guesswork, but I have a feeling that, say, a year from now, many of my favorite sources will not be personal blogs, but rather topical feeds that have been duly post-processed in some way by the collective intelligence of my microblogosphere.

While it makes me kind of sad to entertain the thought of progressively abandoning per-person subscriptions, I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up with all of those tremendously interesting new voices without the help of more sophisticated personal relevance filters.

What do you think? []  links to this post    3:30:18 AM  
The Technorati Application Programming Interface

David Sifry releases the Technorati API. The continually updated Technorati database contains a huge amount of link information between blogs, and the API will allow outside developers to access it.

This is an important event in the evolution of weblogs, opening up many exciting opportunities, such as automated topic channeltrackback filtering as have been discussed recently. People will try all sorts of stuff. Expect the unexpected.

What do you think? []  links to this post    1:15:11 AM  
Now I know what it takes to hack into a Linux server

Linux Server Hacks
What do you think? []  links to this post    1:04:00 AM  
The cult of the massively distributed conversation

Stewart Butterfield feels he was witness to a new phenomenon during Clay Shirky's talk at the recent Emerging Technology conference.
What do you think? []  links to this post    12:32:38 AM  
More blogstats

Michael has just appended links to Seeing the Curve (on the blogosphere's growth rate across time) and to Hot Weblog Crawling Action (stats by tool and language) to the Weblogs by the Numbers page. Both worth a look.
What do you think? []  links to this post    12:16:01 AM  

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