Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OpenID basics

I noticed that Explode had implemented OpenId, which I thought of using but had not completely comprehended so I did some searching around.

Then I found a January 3, 2007 Read/WriteWeb article wherein Emre Sokullu and Richard MacManus talk about "the distributed identity management system, a.k.a. a decentralized single sign-on platform" with a "screencast to better explain the idea". They also tossed in "a more detailed explanation, focusing particularly on Yahoo and Google" for good measure.

Current state of play: "The number of sites that implement OpenID is low for the time being." Here's a very short (barely 40 items) OpenID directory. I just don't know if it's the publicity, neutrality, user appeal or trust factor. Remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sage on the stage vs. guide on the side

The Juniverse points to Mary Burgan's article in Change Magazine: In Defense of Lecturing as an attack on the "learning by doing" school of thought.

But apart from taking sides, he posits that:
"In any case, if universities want to change how they teach and how students learn, the issue of just where in the process learning is supposed to occur needs to be clarified. It doesn't work to assume that the content of a typical full course can be learned in only three one-hour classes a week. It never did."
Now if you ask me, I'd like to think that we are aproaching a learning model that focuses on lifelong trajectories. Perhaps e-portfolios could serve a useful purpose.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bucolic blogging

aka the sights and sounds of a Tagaytay City B & B

I rarely blog about personal things, so here goes. For a change, I thought of leaving the rigid structure of the city and sample/soak up what the beauty of the suburbs has to offer.

I read about this novel concept of a Bed and Breakfast in a newspaper last week and wondered, "Why not take a quick-get-away-from-it-all with a significant other?" So I thought of making time for one. I didn't have to think hard when Tessa popped the question, "How about accepting an invitation from a friend for a video shoot on lifestyle TV show in Manila?" Sweet! Yesterday, Tessa and I drove up to Tagaytay (about 70 km South of Manila). Turns out, it only takes about 2 hours of leisurely drive to get to the place.

I don't believe in reinventing the wheel. I'd rather remix and mash up parts:

Panoramio has some mapped fotos of Tagaytay.

Check out a fairly "Wisdom-of-Crowds" review of the Boutique B&B.

For a sample of the sounds I took around the B & B, click on Tagaytay bird songs.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

YouTube, Facebook Spark Copycats, Bubble Fear in Silicon Valley

Edward Robinson and Jonathan Thaw of Bloomberg write an insightful account of how the new Internet gold rush could be different from the first one.

Let's take a look a little background:
"A murmur of recognition ripples through the standing-room-only crowd at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club of California as Mark Zuckerberg steps on stage.

He looks like your average college kid, in his green Urban Outfitters T-shirt, jeans and Adidas flip-flops. Yet Zuckerberg, 22, is royalty to the Webheads who have assembled on this cool November evening to hear him speak on ``Defining the Self in a Virtual World.''

Zuckerberg is founder and chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., a three-year-old social networking Web site that's exploded into an online hub for more than 17 million young people.

Last fall, Yahoo! Inc. offered to buy Facebook for $1 billion -- conjuring up a specter that last haunted Silicon Valley during the late 1990s: a technology bubble. Zuckerberg turned the offer down. He's also received e-mailed marriage proposals on his own Facebook page. He's turned them down, too.

Zuckerberg and scores of Web-savvy entrepreneurs who've grown up chatting, dating and shopping online are defining new rules for the Internet startup economy seven years after the dot-com bust."
It's a rather long read, but the following pretty much capture the main points:
  • Mass-market Phenomenon
  • A New Bubble?
  • `Damn Frothy Time'
  • Cheaper Than Ever
  • One Disappointment
  • Dot-com Bust
  • More Sober
  • Keeping VCs Waiting
  • The Next Google
  • Playground Game
  • `IM Anywhere'
  • Trouble-shooting
  • $3.5 Million Funding
  • Built on Speed
  • `Formal Fridays'
  • Hackathon
  • Ad Spending
  • $100 Million in Sales
  • `Trust Network'
  • Eventual IPO
I vaguely remember an article in The Economist in 2000 summarizing how in the (then) new gold rush "the only people guaranteed to make money are those making the shovels." And that meant players the likes of Cisco and Sun.

I'd like to think that in the newer version of Internet gold rush, knowing how to collaboratively use the shovels in diverse ways may just allow ordinary people to hit pay dirt.
Now Back to Technology

... or how to turn an old NES to a PC.

As hatsuli described his project:
"Ah, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Brings me back a lot of good memories: Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, Megaman. It also brings back not-so-great memories. The agony of changing cartridges, blowing until you're dizzy and still getting nothing but a flashing screen when you start the console. When you finally got the cartridge to run, it could freak out at any time from the smallest dust particle in the connectors."

Of course you can always go for the reliable NES Emulators. Read more of the step-by-step collaboration.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Politics 2.0?
This morning, I got an invite from a certain Vic Magsaysay to be his friend at Friendster. Then I remembered him as a candidate for Senator in the May 14 Philippine elections. Frankly, I felt no compulsion to accept the invite, much less the compunction rejecting it. Seems like the politicos are beginning to pick up the toolsets and skill sets of the younger generation. I wonder how the regular Friendster denizens would respond to such an invite.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How Many Social Network Accounts Can You Handle?

Perhaps Explode can help. Site says it "is a simple way to connect to all your friends regardless of their network!" This I gotta see.

View my friends

SWOT at Wikimedia

Originally uploaded by fuzheado.
Done in 2006. Notice that its major strength is people. So is its weakness, or people's attitudes. The Internet indeed is people.
Adhocracies, Online Video Services and more

In a chapter on the upcoming book "Coming of Age: An Introduction to The New World Wide Web, 2nd edition" Leon Cych writes about what I'd like to call the YouTube effect.

Cych notes that:
"The phenomenon of millions of users uploading video content has been anticipated and some commentators have called this and similar web based user activity Adhocracies where people flock together when the conditions are right to construct informal knowledge communities in what are called by James Gee "affinity spaces". These often coalesce outside the mainstream education community and are often fan or specialist interest based and may remain relatively unaffected by it – as is certainly the case at present."
He thus proposes that we try co-opting "this cultural activity for use in schools".

But "schools and institutions appear resistant". Cych resonates with the arguments of Henry Jenkins:
"Many schools remain openly hostile to these kinds of experiences, continuing to promote autonomous problem solvers and self-contained learners. Here, unauthorized collaboration is cheating...Media are read primarily as threats rather than as resources. More focus is placed on the dangers of manipulation rather than the possibilities of participation, on restricting access – turning off the television, saying no to Nintendo – rather than in expanding skills at deploying media for one's own ends, rewriting the core stories our culture has given us. One of the ways we can shape the future of media culture is by resisting such disempowering approaches to media literacy education. We need to rethink the goals of media education so that young people can come to think of themselves as cultural producers and participants and not simply as consumers, critical or otherwise."
I could not agree more. For schools taking baby-steps, they could perhaps start introducing modalities other than video. Sometimes, all it takes is encouraging learners to share hyperlinks. Take a quick look at a sample " new classroom" experience here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Retro validation

Dated but still valid.

In Chapter 10, Technology - Rising Tide Does Not Lift All Boats Equally, of the book "E-commerce: Formulation of Strategy", Robert T. Plant (2000) was spot on when he predicted, thus:
Future Wave 3: Power comes through consortium relationships and the collective knowledge [they] bring. To extend the technology vision of the corporation, two forms of consortium can be exploited: open-industry-based and closed-proprietary consortia; utilized intelligently this assists in the prevention of technology isolation.
Shades of Wikinomics (2006).
MySpace-focused browser

It's called BuddyWave. What can I say? And to think the people behind it are 22-year old college dropouts. I call it passion.

Thanks to Techcrunch.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Attributes for the global leader of the 21st century

A thought starter, in a social entrepreneur group post to get a "Wisdom of Crowds" idea of "what attributes of character and/or competency would prove crucial for better addressing the complex global issues of today" had the following initial questions:
  • What kind of leaders do we need to address complex global issues?
  • Where would they come from?
  • What sort of training would they need?
  • How should they act?
  • Resources to muster?
  • Thoughts to share?
  • Skills to master?
Someone in the group chimed in with:
  1. Intelligence (to grasp complex facts and see simple solutions)
  2. Humility (to accommodate varying viewpoints)
  3. Gravitas (to have a physical or virtual presence that people want to follow)
  4. Good Luck (to be in the right place at the right time)
Another fellow added "curiosity, though it is probably impossible to be intelligent and humble without being curious. nevertheless I would like to add it, intellectual curiousity, the desire to learn" then suggested having a short list to be ranked according to the criteria on say a scale of 1-10:

e.g. Maggie Thatcher
  • Intelligence 7
  • Humility 1
  • Intellecual curiosity 3
  • Gravitas 8
  • Good Luck 10 (the Falklands War saved her from electoral defeat early in her prime ministership)!
or Jimmy Carter
  • Intelligence 7
  • Humility 7
  • Intellectual curiosity 7
  • Gravitas 5
  • Good luck 0 (the Iran hostage crisis)
Then a third participant zeroed in on, who else, but:

George W Bush
  • Intelligenge 7
  • Humility 0
  • Intellectual Curiosity 0
  • Gravitas 1
  • Good Luck... (toss-up between 0 and 10)
Now I am looking at creating an xls worksheet for a more methodical approach. I hope I find the time to do it soon. Could perhaps use that on GMA of the Philippines or even the "Senatoriables" since election fever has just kicked in.
Science needs entrepreneurs, Google founder says

Thus reports Eric Auchard who covered Google Inc. co-founder Larry Page's speech before Academics in an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science late on Friday.

Funny, but by some bizarre coincidence, a list of quotes I was working on with Tessa yesterday turned up the following:

"Il n'existe pas de sciences appliquées, mais seulment des applications de la science." Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)

"There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science." Indeed!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model

Michael Habib presents a detailed framework on how the social and academic spaces are blurred when they intersect at the library space. Makes me wonder whether the intersection of "blue" and "yellow" will ever meld into one "olive green" space.
Free Geek and Cool Trashware Video

Helping the Needy get Nerdy

So who needs Microsoft Vista?

Thanks to Paolo Massa for writing about the trashware video.
Web 2.0 and Professional Development

Donna Desroches responded to Will Richardson and Rob Mancabelli's podcast on the use of social technologies in schools by echoing the 3-fold elements:
  • Educate teachers as to what the technologies are – that is, give them the very basics of social software: blogs, wikis, social bookmarking, etc. When providing examples of blogs don’t use educational sites. Use blogs that reflect individual hobbies and interests such as politics, business, and sports. They suggested using LibraryThing to introduce people to a social space and the sharing and connections that occur based on a common interest.
  • Invite participation but let teachers decide their own path to using the tools. Encourage people to read, comment, create and connect to follow their personal passions. Keep in mind that there is no one path for individuals to come to use the tools.
  • Nurture application of these tools as teachers begin to use them and support them even when the application is used for a personal interest.
  • As in everything about learning, Head, Hands, Heart, may be all it takes.
    Tree-hugging 2.0

    Michael Arrington writes:

    "Tree-Nation is a Barcelona-based entity that wants to plant 8 million trees in Niger, in the shape of a giant heart. Their hope is that this re-forestation campaign will help the environment and the people of the country. " Follow the post and discussions.

    My 2 cents. Great idea. How about replicating this with the theme "Teach-Nation: Teach a child in Guinsaugon"?

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Have Web 2.0, will co-learn with the poor

    Waleed al-Shobakky and Jack Imsdahl write that new web applications can benefit the world's poor.

    They argue that "users need education — particularly in English, the dominant language of the Web — and a familiarity with computers to get the most out of these tools. "

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    The next generation of learners can take care of themselves

    ... it's the older generation that needs to learn new skills.

    Go figure.

    Now reports that Helga Nowotny, Vice Chair of the European Research Council and Fellow at the Wissenschaftszentrum, Vienna, writes:

    That she "spoke at science-related meetings on two consecutive days in different places in Europe. One was the official opening of a network of science centers in Vienna, linking decentralized activities in an interactive exhibition that tour Austria. The other was the Science Festival of Genoa, Italy, a young and hugely successful event with exhibitions and high-profile speakers throughout the ancient town."

    She continues: "What struck me on both occasions was the sustained, and evidently successful, attempt to reach out to the two target groups upon whom the future of science and technology will depend. The first group is teenagers, who are deeply interested in all the new technologies and gadgets that surround them. They have made these technologies an integral part of their lives, but their relationship to science has remained distant. The other target audience consists of younger children, whose openness and inborn curiosity have not yet been stifled by formal schooling."

    Read the syndicated article.
    What drives people to participate in Social Software?

    Slide 4 on intensity of participation, caught my interest. Reminds me of Ross Mayfield's Power Law of Participation; also makes me wonder how people can move beyond forwarding e-mail messages into the realm of more intense participation, e.g. blogging. Fulvio Iavernaro's "Life cycle of COPs" might offer some valuable insights.

    Note: Part 1: Democratic Participation in the Technological Design Process. Thanks to molodiez.

    Monday, February 12, 2007

    49th Grammy Awards: Does anyone under age 30 care?

    Larry Katz noted that "CD sales are tumbling. Record stores are closing. More and more fans choose to download single songs for 99 cents (if they pay at all) instead of buying $15 CDs." But the Grammys "rolled on as usual at the Staples Center" in LA.

    I suspect the kids just needed to key in Grammy 2007 in YouTube or Google Video to enjoy the event.
    Selling Social Software and Crisis

    Robert Paterson argues that "Social tools, (e.g. blogs, wikis, etc.) new models for work and business, independent and creative work are all very personal things." And that in selling Social Software, "[a]s we bring these new toolkits and capabilities to organizations, we have to respect the fact that we are asking people to have faith more than anything."

    I don't mind being proved wrong but when Education appears seated on top of a tectonic shift and ends up missing a tsunami watch, I hope people don't mind hearing the phrase "I told you so". I'd like to believe though that all is not lost.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    160 years ago today.

    ... well almost, I am blogging from Manila.

    Entrepreneur, researcher and prolific inventor, Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.

    Speaking of history, you might want to check out the history of electric watches.
    Thanks to Cory Doctorow.

    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Picture this!

    Imagine British airline tycoon Richard Branson announcing a USD25-million prize for the first person or group to find a way to remove billions of tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

    Makes for an interesting demonstration of Wikinomics.

    Seneca once preached: "If you live in harmony with nature, you will never be poor. If you live according to what others think, you will never be rich."

    I hope the rest of the world is taking heed.

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Classroom Shortage?

    "Saying that the classroom shortage controversy is symptomatic of the (Philippine) education sector’s dire lack of budgetary support, Sen. Mar Roxas said the first step towards having a permanent solution is recognizing thedimensions of the real problem. 'The confusion and disagreement on the true state of the country’s classroom shortage bring to the fore the one thing we all need to recognize: that the education sector,particularly basic education requirements which include classrooms, lack not only money but also the political will to look for and devote money for education,' Roxas said."
    That was a quote from his unofficial blog.

    Now for my 2 cents. Does it perpetually have to be a question of the number of classrooms, as "old media-influenced" thinking would have it?

    I'd like to think that the growing number of internet cafes are the "new classrooms" Why not incentivize I-cafe owners for devoting a portion of their time/space operations to education, I mean curricullarly structured learning? And while they are at it, why not incentivize bloggers who devote part of their time teaching in these "new classrooms"? I'd like to call that "social capital" meets "private capital".

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Web 2.0ish Civic Engagement

    WorldCoolers: Spread the word to Cool the World.

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Help Find Jim Gray!

    Inquirer reports: Hi-tech search for noted computer scientist missing at sea

    I did a quick read of the news article and the keywords Mechanical Turk, Amazon, Wisdom of Crowds popped into my head.

    Reminds me of James Surowiecki's account of the disappearance and discovery of the U.S. submarine Scorpion.

    Up until 2004, the whole idea of Wisdom of Crowds had been counterintuitive. Then Michael Shermer called it Common Sense.

    "When the U.S. submarine Scorpion disappeared in May 1968, a naval scientist named John Craven assembled a diverse group of submarine experts, mathematicians and salvage divers. Instead of putting them in a room to consult one another, he had each of them give a best guesstimate--based on the sub's last known speed and position (and nothing else)--of the cause of its demise and its rate and steepness of descent, among other variables. Craven then computed a group average employing Bayes's theorem, a statistical method wherein a probability is assigned to each component of a problem. The Scorpion's location on the ocean floor was only 220 yards from the averaged prediction."
    Dave Pollard upped the ante by describing a framework for tapping the Wisdom of Crowds.

    Now I do not know Jim from Adam but I felt something that seemed to move me from discovery of this piece of news to discovery by co-creation (Read: take part in finding him). More about the efforts at Techcrunch. You may also wish to follow Jim Gray search updates here.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Here's where Technology, Economics and Society Intersect

    The Social Web: Wikis, RSS, Blogs, Flickr, and MORE!

    Also available here.

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Open Source Government

    Tapscott and Williams wonder about the possibilities of open source beyond "software, media, entertainment and culture". They ask:

    "Why not open source government? Could we make better decisions if we were to tap the insights of a broader and more representative body of participants?" Wikinomics (2006, p. 25)

    Alexander Schellong may offer some answers. Since October 16, 2006, he has been tracking two Japanese municipal government's efforts in promoting the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) as they are hoping to take advantage of this for consultation and during a crisis like a disaster. Follow Schellong's post for more details.

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    Perhaps Corporate types need to go back to school ...

    ... to grasp the real meaning of Social Software.

    Damian Stephens writes:
    "Corporations often struggle with social software programs because they don't fully understand them. Their desire to push products, or maximise advertising revenue, overshadows any real commitment to developing something relevant or useful for their users. "
    Read his article on Sheraton's "Belong" to see what I mean.

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    In the New World Wide Web, Who is YOU Anyway?

    Adrian Chan provokes deep thought on his musings about "The User of Social Media: A Second Self? "

    I'd like to be able to respond in a visual fashion. Imagine yourself in a room facing a mirror with another mirror behind you.

    Now my "discovery, disclosure, engagement, co-creation" paradigm enters a new dimension.

    Quote of the Day

    The Internet is a "series of tubes" - Senator Ted Stevens (R) of Alaska.

    I wonder if he was referring to YouTube. But his revival of the DOPA is not funny. Read Anastasia Goodstein's article for more.

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