Communication- Evidence the World is Changing
I wrote a post about Swivel the other day (a really interesting data sharing/graphing site) at about 11:40 at night. By the next morning I had two comments from the co-founders (Mr. Dimov and Mr. Mulloy).
To me this demonstrates how the world has fundamentally changed. It really is about conversation and the people who take the time and have the skill to communicate are going to succeed. These are the skills our students will need.
I have to feel that Swivel will do very well. These guys get it.
I’m reading Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal as part of a VSTE book study. I do not like it. I find myself vacillating between anger and nausea (despite liking isolated elements). I started to break down this book point by point but found it tedious and repetitive to do so. Essentially, the author’s point is that reality is broken because it isn’t like games- which by the way are super awesome (always). There are huge, vast, amazingly arrogant assumptions made about games and their applicability to all people in all contexts but that’s par for the course for this type of book. The statement that I couldn’t pass on was – reality is too easy – location 400 Really? Maybe McGonigal is observing other people. Most people I know seem to have their hands full with reality. There’s an entire blog dedicated to people who publicly document that they can’t tell the difference between an Onion satire and reality.Then when told it’s satire, either don’t know what that means (and make no effort to find out) or worse simply think “well, it should be true” and add it to the mental armor against reality. Even if we assume that reality is too easy for our populaceWe have, after all, already solved all those problems around pollution, energy, famine, war, […]
I’m going to be attempting to explain what rampages.us is to a group on Tuesday. I’ve been struggling with a more digestible version of this for some time. While true, saying “Whatever you want it to be,” isn’t what people want to hear. Giving people something more concrete to think through what the site can do makes sense. These categories, however blurry and overlapping, provide some entries to additional thoughts and will likely help me organize my brain around this a bit better. Outside eyes are helpful so if you see stuff I’m missing or explaining poorly please throw me a comment here or on Twitter. While some of the details are specific to our version, I think the general arguments might be of use to others. If you end up doing that (or have already done it), throw me a link as I’d love to see how other people do this. Technically Speaking Rampages.us is a large WordPress multisite installation started roughly three years ago. Our community currently has over 24,000 sites and 22,000 members. WordPress is an open source platform which runs a huge portion (~30%) of today’s Internet and is the most popular CMS in the world. That matters for a variety of reasons. WordPress is free. This dramatically lowers barriers to access for our students while […]
It has been interesting to see the excitement surrounding WolframAlpha . The new “Computational Knowledge Engine” called Wolfram|Alpha has gone through a full media cycle before it has even been unleashed on the world. It has been hyped as a “Google Killer” and denounced as snake oil, and we’re still at least a few days from release. The simple goal behind the engine is to connect searchers with precise information. Wolfram|Alpha’s search magic comes through a combination of natural language processing and a giant pool of curated data. That quote is from Radio Berkman (which is a very interesting podcast out of Harvard Law) and they’ve got an interview with the creator as well. Watch the abbreviated 10 minute version below. I’m not sure how well the idea of a curated semantic web will work (although I can understand that urge). This does really show a different way to think about searching for information. It really takes it beyond search, making it closer to exploration maybe. It’s similar in some ways to one of David Huynh’s Parallax project (of Simile Exhibit fame) which has been out for quite a while now. Video of that is below. Freebase Parallax: A new way to browse and explore data from David Huynh on Vimeo. While the media may be portraying Google as being […]