Happy New Year! (again)

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Happy new year 2002A custom of this now nearly dormant weblog is a post at new year. The first such post that I could find was for 2002. Back then I was using Radio UserLand as my blogging platform. WordPress had yet to be invented. By 2002 I had already been blogging for a couple of years. One of the things that I regret now is that I wasn’t consistent in where I posted. I ran several blogs at the same time so a lot of what I posted back then was spread over several sites, a number of which were hosted, from which I never took a local copy of my data. A lesson to us all, but thank goodness for the WayBack machine. I now self-host my own WordPress installation.

Dave Winer, without whom there wouldn’t have been a UserLand community, and Aaron Swartz. Take a look at this screen grab of one of my early weblogs that allowed anyone to post to my site via email. Dave and Aaron both posting to my blog on the same day! Aaron was only 15 at the time and had been working on the RDF/XML media type. He went on to do so many great things before his untimely death almost exactly a year ago. Also posting that day was Scott Lofteness, someone else who has achieved great things. I was in good company.

So as another new year starts and I reflect back on this weblog I notice that there has been a shift away from publishing to my own personal blog, and instead I post to different sites depending on the context or the medium. I use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and several other services that have fractionated where all my stuff goes. I can’t say yet whether this is a good or bad thing because these sites make it easy to create great content and I still have control of my data. But I do miss those late evenings and early mornings of the early days of blogging. These days however I need my sleep.

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Happy New Year! (again)



Where will the money for MOOCs come from?

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

The thing that caught my eye about this report in the Chronicle of Bill Gates’ keynote at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit was:

“In the Q&A, Mr. Gates predicted that MOOCs would not be “place-based” classes but would be led by a small subset of instructors who taught to a broad audience. There’s a set of people, he said, who are really good at it and who have big budgets and great support.”

I’ve been wondering where the money will come from to create MOOCs (who hasn’t). Right now most institutions are simply absorbing the cost for their own early ventures with MOOCs because this is a game that everyone wants to get into without necessarily knowing where it will lead, or even the rules of the game. A few of the lucky ones may have external funding to create their MOOCs. However if you’re a university with any ambition for online learning, can you afford not to be dabbling with MOOCs right now? But longer term, when the initial rush to go live is over and the revenue models are known for the big players, how many can afford to remain in this space? I think Gates is probably right. MOOCs, or whatever they turn into, may remain the product of a small number of players with big budgets and great institutional support. Those of us without the cash will have to come up with different sustainable models for production and support for our online learning, or else mooch rather than MOOC.

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Where will the money for MOOCs come from?



CoComments Lets You Track Your Comments

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

It also ‘outs’ your moderated comments, without your help
I track my comments by revisiting the site again and again and again.  CoComments is a way to track comments on a blog without constantly revisiting the site.  In fact, it keeps up with all the comments you leave (very helpful for client tracking).

While the initial discussion on CoComments was interesting to me:

From Robert Scoble comes news of coComment. After I read the post – damn, it only had 12 comments at the time – I signed up for the beta, and actually got one. It’s pretty cool, and an interesting service. You download the bookmarklet and then add it to your Firefox toolbar, and prior to commenting, you click on coComment and … voila, your comment becomes tracked, as does any other comments on that post, and you have one page to view your comments and other comments. It’s an all-in-one stop to view comments and conversations on blogs, without the original post. Stowe Boyd has already taken the time to break down the system step-by-step.

It’s actually the moderated comments information that I found particularly useful:

An interesting sidenote … as most people know, I strongly dislike (read hate) moderated comments and only use them when I have no control/choice on the platform. Well, I posted a comment using coComment on another blog … and while it does not show up on the blog, it does show up on coComment. Here’s an interesting twist: a blogger can moderate all he/she wants, but on coComment it shows up immediately; it’s going to start showing out some people quite quickly who try to control the conversation flow for their own purposes.

This, in itself, is going to be dangerous and become ugly for PR: the outing of comment moderators, which includes clients’ blog. If clients have a blog and do not let through comments … well, that is now a wasted effort and perhaps more detrimental than letting through a comment and answering it. Likely, most corporations are going to opt to just turn off all comments, thinking that is the best way to control and not track elsewhere.

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CoComments Lets You Track Your Comments



Managing Blogosphere Feedback

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Here is a great post from Andy Beal on how to manage your reputation online.

The first step is to find out what others are saying about your brand.

• If possible, monitor hourly as early action is crucial.

• Create custom RSS feeds based on keyword searches: Feedster.com, Technorati.com, IceRocket.com, Google.com/blogsearch, Blogpulse.com, MSN Spaces, Yahoo! News, Google News, MSN News and PubSub.

o Monitor This allows you to monitor a single keyword across 22 different search engine feeds at the same time.

• Filter all feeds into one RSS Reader for easy and time-efficient monitoring options include: Newsgator.com, Bloglines.com, Google Reader or Pluck.com.

• Sign up for Google and Yahoo email alerts using your desired keywords (http://alerts.yahoo.com/ and www.google.com/alerts).

• Determine message boards/forums to track: BoardReader.com, ForumFind.com, Big-Boards.com, BoardTracker.com, iVillage, Yahoo Message Boards, MSN Money

• Determine groups to track: Yahoo Groups, AOL Groups, MSN Groups, Google Groups.

• Track changes on web pages via tools such as Copernic Tracker, Website Watcher and WatchThatPage.com. Monitor every page of your competitor’s web site and specific keywords on pages, etc. Also, a good tool for tracking posts to user groups, message boards, forums and blog comments.

Have a look at the other tips Andy has for you.

Managing Blogosphere Feedback



The Enterprise is Untagged and At Risk

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The more research I read, the more I realize that the enterprise is barely holding it together. Sure, some of the dysfunction can be attributed to trying to keep up with emerging technologies or changing demographics of their workforce or customers. But when new research reveals that most organizations can’t leverage existing work, enterprise knowledge, and institutional memory, I only have two words: face palm.

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The Enterprise is Untagged and At Risk