Log for Bloggery

12 September 2004
This is probably silly, and should better be done in blogspace... but I still want that intermediate territory that's mostly MINE and wouldn't be public unless its fragments happened to be found... and the plan is probably to put ripe bits into UrBlog.

We step directly into ongoing discourse, and must somehow get our bearings. But why not begin with D'Arcy Norman has a posting Thoughts on Stephen Downes’ ITI Keynote and this morning Boing Boing informed me that it had a reference (a link-to and comment on it had been made in another blog) by Just Another Ant (stigmergic wanderings):

I'm sensing a bit of a movement away from the paradigm of large repositories of static learning objects towards an approach to online learning that embraces spontaneous activity of learners and learning communities. D'Arcy and Stephen both mention Brian Lamb and Alan Levine's paradigm of Fast, Cheap and Out of Control as an effective way of organizing online learning in actual practice.
So I went to FC&OoC and started looking around. I think I'm a Fence Sitter ("...the choice between "centralized" and "distributed" methods is a false one. For one, it is clear that both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. For another, there is no "universal user"... different people respond differently to online environments. Finally, the worlds are converging... it won't be long until "central applications" support the tools and protocols such as weblogs, wikis and RSS -- it's already happening -- and at the same time distributed tools are evolving to interact with each other in increasingly structured ways."). I sense a karass at work, to which I probably belong.

The point here: I'm able to include myself in a conversation, if only as a listener/lurker, and in fact it turns out to be a Conversation, loosely joined... My immediate problem is how to help my students and colleagues to the essentials of this process without getting bogged in details.

12 November
(a lot happened in those two months, much of it recorded in other places. But I need a place to locate links to Jon Udell's Prime-Time Hypermedia columns, arguably THE most important IT reading of the Season:

Prime-Time Hypermedia 08/04/2004

MP3 Sound Bites 09/03/2004

Marrying Hypertext and Hypermedia 10/13/2004

Movies of Software 11/11/2004

Blogs, courseware, and control (Matt Pasiewicz, citing Liz Lawley, who points to James Farmer... and many Comments)

14 November
So many obvious but unconnected bits... here's one of the moment:

Of course I can peek at Jon Udell's del.icio.us links (del.icio.us/judell) and see what he thinks is worth keeping track of... and how much he uses the service... and so on. His links on blogging and AV and RSS are wonderful glimpses into conversations he understands and is active in.

Python looks like something that might work to solve some of the problems I encounter in trying to extend the features in blogs and in Web services generally. Udell's materials on access to specific locations in mp3 and other files are a case in point. He has a Python script in his September MP3 Sound Bites column ... and Beginner's Guide to Python makes it a bit clearer. For me the missing piece is the Python interpreter...

15 November
Why didn't I think of this sooner?


Name that genre from Jon Udell

So what should I call the medium -- or, as Eric Hanson says, the genre -- that I've been developing? TechSmith, the company that makes Camtasia Studio, calls it screen recording. Microsoft calls it screen capture. Qarbon uses the term viewlet. The generic term I've been using until now is screen video. But none of these is especially catchy, and none really conveys what I'm aiming for.
(see also this earlier post ...and [17xi] screencast is the winner, for now)

I bought Camtasia for myself, because it was what Jon Udell was using so successfully, and sent around a short pilot

16 November
Audioblogger FAQ

Audioblogger enables audio posting to your current blog site with any phone at any time from any where... Actually, it is simpler than publishing a text post. You call the number, record a post, then your blog is updated with an audioblogger icon and a link to your recorded audio. Super simple.

Userplane AV Blogger

Userplane's Audio & Video Blogger service is an easy-to-use system allowing the creation of audio and video recorded messages for use in blogs, websites and email. The Userplane AV Recorder application will automatically detect your camera and microphone, and allow you to record up to a 10 minute recording. Each recording is streamed from the Userplane servers, and can be copy-and-pasted into your web media.


a simple and feature-rich audio publishing service for your weblog or online journal

17 November
So much has happened in the last month, with a whole new set of possibilities opening up for creating, managing, distributing sound. This morning I finally got the Mackie mixer linked into the matrix of equipment, as I got it to recognize the microphone ...so I'm actually ready now to MIX, with good quality. Now and again a new conundrum comes along, like ?where can I PUT all these MP3s? ...and ?how to catalog and manage the burgeoning collections, before they get just too big? ...and ?how to archive [and catalog and manage] material that I might want to retrieve? ?how to automate/simplify metadata creation/collection? And one can of course readily foresee that the mp3 format has a half life too.

The pressing problem of the moment is how to get mp3s onto bloggery.wlu.edu. I can't ftp as ROOT, though I can use COMMAND and then login as myself, and use PUT C:/filename to move stuff... but don't know how to get to it from the Web server. Bloggery DOES have USB potential.

18 November
Bandwidth Notes (via Dann Sheridan's Weblog)

Us.ef.ul: A beginner's guide to The Next Big Thing (del.icio.us)


29 November
THe Blogosphere in the December issue of Communciations of the ACM

30 November
outline of Adam Curry's podcast: SOMETHING is happening here, Mr. Jones. How to get this all into one package, one workflow that documents and indexes as we go? The key seems to be Active Renderer ("outline publishing for Radio Userland") and OPML... following some links, oh jeez: Loebrich... and Adam Curry ...and Engadget. I'm just barely hanging on here. How can I get up to speed? This is what I need CET to help me with, and I know I'm not alone.

1 December
I want to get my mind around OPML. Here's the closest I've seen so far to a how-to, from Dawn and Drew (26 Nov):

i've got Radio Userland as my outliner and i've also installed activeRenderer which saves out both html and opml of my outlines. i stripped down the template of activeRenderers html version and used a php include to slap the outline into my MovableType post. wahlah! the only downside so far is that since it's a php include, my rss2.xml file isn't rendering out the outline html, just the php include code. so if there's anyone out there that knows how to get an xml file to parse the php include before it's written, i'd sure appreciate some help.
What I don't really get here is how Radio Userland figures into this, or how it might thread together with Movable Type. DandD uses MT 2.65, presumably because it's free...

8 December
This from Will R. at weblogg-ed:

What I've come to realize is that for me, at least, this really has become more a place to think and write and talk about the potential of the Read/Write Web. Sure, that includes the individual tools. But it's the larger shift that the individual tools make possible that is really the focus of much of my blogging of late. Recently, I've been starting every presentation and workshop with that context, and I think it gives people a better understanding of what all of this might mean for education. Our relationship with the Internet, with information, to some degree with each other, is fundamentally changing, in ways that I think are extremely exciting for educators. We're still throwing darts in the dark to a large degree, but it's becoming much more clear that as the Read/Write Web changes other portions of our world (business, politics, etc.) it will no doubt have a huge impact on education.

So, Weblogg-ed is now about "the Read/Write Web in the classroom." Not very newsworthy, I know, but I just wanted to recognize the continuing evolution of the discussion here. I'm sure it will continue to evolve as we all continue to read and write and learn.

The vexatious thing of playing CLIPS from mp3s, mooted by Jon Udell in his 3ix Sound Bites: he cites Doug Kaye's ITConversations interface ...both seem to be python scripts.

9 December
Learning Movable Type

from http://www.edtechpost.ca/mt/archive/000616.html:

MT 3.121, Blacklist v2.01b and Comment Spam Blocking Bliss
I'm probably the last Moveable Type user to realize this, but boy does your blogging life get a whole lot easier by upgrading to MT 3 and using the newly updated MT Blacklist 2.01b release. The new Blacklist plugin very handily throws comments with too many URLs or ones on really old posts into your list of comments needing moderation without posting them to your site (in addition to blocking ones it knows outright to be spam), and the ability to batch delete pending comments in MT means that maybe 1 out 1000 comment spam attempts in the last week or so got through to my site, and dealing with them is now under a 1 minute process in the morning. And my ISP is happy because I no longer bring their servers to a halt trying to despam my blog. If you haven't already done it, a highly recommended set of upgrades for MT users. And extremely painless too. I can feel my blood pressure going down already. - SWL

11 December
from Techno-News Blog ("Technology News for Higher Education"), quoting Frank Rose in Wired:

Sit back on the sofa and get ready for packetized, on-demand, digital broadcasts. We live in the age of the digital packet. Documents, images, music, phone calls - all get chopped up, propelled through networks, and reassembled at the other end according to Internet protocol. So why not TV? That's the question cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner and Baby Bells like SBC and Verizon have been asking. The concept has profound implications for television and the Internet.

Not just sure what I think about “If RSS is the Yahoo backdoor, is a Blog Google’s?”, but its perspective is well worth considering.

...and this story on BitTorrent is a good summary. Says the software creator: "As far as I'm concerned, they're just pushing around bits, and what bits it is they're pushing around is not really a concern of mine. There's not much I can do about it."

One of the live questions of the moment seems to be whether various forms of beastliness will infect and spoil the Eden of [fill in the blank]. cogdogblog laments: "Alan's rule of internet technologies: Good open internet social technologies eventually become exploited (and less desirable to newbies) by profiteers who will taint the technology for all who follow., citing scamming, spamming, and other loutish behaviors. But, says Frank Rose, "We live in the age of the digital packet. Documents, images, music, phone calls - all get chopped up, propelled through networks, and reassembled at the other end according to Internet protocol..." ...so some of it is simply inevitable, if perhaps personally avoidable. I sense the oystery fingers of PR astir as the blogosphere enters mainstream consciousness.

12 December
from 2004 EduBlog Awards:

Well, what can I say, a great bunch of people sharing a great bunch of blogs, thanks to all who came along & voted!

Basically, congratulations to everyone who was nominated. As I’ve gone on about ad infinitum the idea of how ‘results’ might work has been troubling me a fair bit and I’m really keen to avoid ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ (because really, these and the many great blogs that weren’t nominated (probably due to lack of credible-blog-clout :o) are all very much winners) and in that thinking we kinda decided to scrap the ‘editorial’ aspect and just let the votes decide. In the end I reckon if you picked up 5 votes or more then you should get a mention here.

Also before we kick off I’d like to thank Alex Halavais for the spark and his support through this and say that, yeh, I’ve never been a great fan of awards but for me this is just about sharing, recognition and community and I’m sure you will find some fantastic blogs below… I have!

Best Individual Blog: Pharyngula

In high esteem:
Mario tout de go
Early Modern Notes
Easily Distracted
The Life and Times of a History PhD Student
Seb’s Open Research
Alex Halavais

Best overall group blog: Crooked Timber

In high esteem:
Into the Blogosphere
EdBlogger Praxis

Best resource sharing blog: OLDaily

In high esteem:
Teaching & Developing Online
Online Learning Update
No.2 Pencil

Best Research Based Blog: Mathemagenic

In high esteem:

Best blogged paper(s): Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs

In high esteem:
Into the blogosphere
The Buntine Oration: Learning Networks
E-Learning Flexible Frameworks and Tools: Is it too late? - the Directors Cut
Educational Blogging

Best designed & most beautiful blog: Blaugustine

In high esteem:
Teaching & Developing Online
Stephen Downes

Best technology meets pedagogy blog: Teaching & Developing Online

In high esteem:
EduBlog Insights
Think Thunk
Abject Learning

Best use of weblogs within teaching and learning: Bee-coming a Webhead

In high esteem:
KMD1002 & KMD2003
EduBlog Insights
Alex Halavais

Best Newcomer (2004): Chasing the Dragon’s Tale

In high esteem:
Learning Curves
My Blogging Experiment
Random Walk in eLearning

Best Librarian Blog: Library Stuff

In high esteem:
The Shifted Librarian
librarian.net: a library weblog

18 December
There are a lot of important ideas running around in odd places, and odd plumage. Case in point is The Long Tail, Chris Anderson on "the shallow end of the bitstream" as business opportunity (a 30-page pdf, elegantly done).

From Techno-News Blog:

Expect 2005 to open with a predictable slew of fashionably righteous articles de-hyping and pooh-poohing all things blog related, some even by bloggers themselves. Many will lament advertisers co-opting the medium, as well as the influx of clumsy, less savvy newbies in the blogosphere. Even so, the blog format will endure and grow, quickly advancing to a powerful rich-media context, punctuated by surprising new capabilities, such as podcasting. Publishers, site managers, and even message board managers will embrace (or in some cases, begrudgingly capitulate to) RSS. Big brands and their sites will find the "add water and stir" nature of blog publishing tools irresistible. That will humble overpriced agencies that view platforms such as TypePad and Movable Type as more evil than outsourcing.

Continuing comment on Jon Udell's piece from InfoWorld ("The network is the blog: The self-organizing blogosphere offers a unique way to manage the information deluge"):

The good news is that without question, the Read/Write Web has made the consumption of information much more democratic, and it will continue to do so as long as it's not regulated by the knuckleheads who currently regulate the more traditional media. And the other good news is that the more people we have using this network, the more reputable sources of information out there will rise to surface. Our job as educators is to give our kids the tools and the wherewithal to employ them in their own search for important and meaningful information. That's doesn't mean that every student needs to start and keep a blog, though I think on the whole, that would be a good thing. But it does mean we need to teach our kids how to think like a blogger. If we don't teach them how to be editors as well as writers and readers, we're doing them a great disservice.
(Will R. at http://www.weblogg-ed.com/2004/12/19#a2952)

2 January 2005
I have more and more occasion to grab bits of podcasts, to save and to redistribute, so I need a procedure for saving them. This morning I extracted a snippet from http://lance.heathville.com/archives/000583.html on (a) OPML and (b) recording Skype conference calls. I made it with Source Forge, and included the link in the metadata file. It's parked on acadproj... and yesterday I did the same with a bit from Brian Fagan's PopTech talk. Question is, how to organize these bits for retrieval?

Podcasting 101, a 22MB QuickTime from archive.org... it's Mac-specific

5 January
From Joi Ito's blog:

You can now query Technorati for advanced search terms such as tsunami AND ("red cross" OR "red crescent") and it will give you all of the blog posts in order by how long ago they were posted that include the word "tsunami" and either "red cross" or "red crescent". You can then click "Make this a Watchlist" and create an RSS feed so you can track all new posts that match that query in your news reader.
(http://joi.ito.com/archives/2005/01/05/technorati_keyword_search_watchlists.html) ...and I've made one for H5N1

Six Apart Guide to Comment Spam

7 January
Get Ready for Podcasting posted by Wade Roush on the technologyreview.com blog

To me, it’s all just one more sign of “the big story“ in information technology, the one that is at or near the heart of nearly everything Technology Review writes about IT: the blending of computing, communications, and mobility into one seamless technology. Podcasting shows once again how a commercial technology invented for a specific purpose -- in this case, the digital music player, which reached its pinnacle in the Apple iPod -- can be creatively repurposed to more democratic ends by independent software developers using open technologies like RSS and XML.

8 January
Social bookmarking - more than meets the eye

13 January
Yahoo News custom RSS feeds (I've made one for H5N1)

26 March
(for more than two months I got so busy with Cross-Cultural Studies in Music that I logged discoveries and thoughts mostly in that context)