on rebuilding public spaces

Anil Dash’s recent post on the web we lost, and a follow-up post on rebuilding it, got me thinking about my own little corner of the web. In his follow-up post, he talks about creating public spaces:

Create public spaces. Right now, all of the places we can assemble on the web in any kind of numbers are privately owned. And privately-owned public spaces aren’t real public spaces. They don’t allow for the play and the chaos and the creativity and brilliance that only arise in spaces that don’t exist purely to generate profit.

I’ve really been liking having my blog as a no-comments place for me to just post stuff. I’d been hoping that people would respond (if needed) by writing blog posts of their own and tracking back. But that didn’t happen. Comments happened either via twitter, or by direct email. So the public play and chaos was lost. Is it worth changing direction (again) and re-enabling comments here? Maybe. One way to find out.

In response to Anil’s posts – the web we had hasn’t been lost. Alan and Bonnie triggered something this morning, and I realized it was parallel to suburban development. The funky neighbourhoods of the web are still there, and are still being built, but much of the activity has been gentrified into the suburbs and exurbs of the big box outlets.

So… Although I still feel like having no comments is what works for me, pushing any discussion away from the noise and chaos of public spaces and into various corporate silos isn’t cool.

Whatever. I’ll probably flip-flop again, for like the dozenth time…

Owning Your Massive Numbers – CogDogBlog

Over 60,000 in one course. This will change everything! Except for the part about needing the same effective class size in order to support the handful of students that actually pass the course… Nice reorganization of the marketing hype published by Coursera.

So in the end, we have 107 students who got the more personalized attention (doing a project, getting feedback, being part of the Google hangout presentations).

This class had one professor and 3 TA, about a 1 : 27 teacher/student ratio.

That is pretty much the size of a normal section of a class, it is the size of one of our ds106 sections at UMW.

via Owning Your Massive Numbers – CogDogBlog.

The CogDogBlog Will Be Back Soon

I got an email from Alan last night mentioning that his blog was actually knocked offline by the overzealous actions of spammers. They were hammering his site so hard that his host had to kill the site. He had been running the CogDogBlog on some graciously donated webspace, so it’s understandable that they weren’t thrilled about the load that spammers can add to a server.

Unfortunately, Alan’s got a Day Job which is currently in conference management mode (i.e., traveling and busy) so he’ll be trying to get things back up and running in the few spare milliseconds he can eke out in the next little while.

Yet another reason why Google needs to step up and show some serious corporate responsibility in helping to actually solve the spam problem created by Adsense. Come ON, Google, what’s it going to take? How many billions of spamments need to be inflicted on blogs, wikis, and other open web spaces before you’ll act?

I’ve outlined some potential ways to solve the problem, but curiously never heard from Larry or Sergey.

I got an email from Alan last night mentioning that his blog was actually knocked offline by the overzealous actions of spammers. They were hammering his site so hard that his host had to kill the site. He had been running the CogDogBlog on some graciously donated webspace, so it’s understandable that they weren’t thrilled about the load that spammers can add to a server.

Unfortunately, Alan’s got a Day Job which is currently in conference management mode (i.e., traveling and busy) so he’ll be trying to get things back up and running in the few spare milliseconds he can eke out in the next little while.

Yet another reason why Google needs to step up and show some serious corporate responsibility in helping to actually solve the spam problem created by Adsense. Come ON, Google, what’s it going to take? How many billions of spamments need to be inflicted on blogs, wikis, and other open web spaces before you’ll act?

I’ve outlined some potential ways to solve the problem, but curiously never heard from Larry or Sergey.

Levine’s Law

I think everyone that will be “presenting” to a group should have to be familiar with Levine’s Law before they take the podium.

Start with the demo

Alan Levine, 2006

I tuned into what promised to be an excellent session on flexible, organic, dynamic ePortfolios using social software, only to find myself holding back from screaming “Levine’s law! For the love of God, Levine’s Law!!!” as bullet point after bullet point was dutifully addressed.

The session wasn’t bad, and the back channel discussion in the Elluminate chat room provided some interesting opinions, but a demo (or two) would have brought everyone onto the same page in under a minute, leaving time to discuss implementations, issues, and practical details rather than hashing over bullet points. I would have been much happier to see screenshots (or live demos) of these social-software-driven ePortfolios.

I may be co-presenting a session at Interface 2006, on our ePortfolio project being used by our Faculty of Education, but if the session is accepted, I plan on using exactly 0 bullet points. Probably no PowerPoint either. If I do wind up using a PPT, it will be in the modified-Lessigian style, with no bullets and lots and lots of images to support what I’m saying (rather than just providing a script for me to follow).

Start with the demo. Stay with the demo. Think on your feet. To borrow a quote from D.M. Shaftoe in The Cryptonomicon: “Show some damned adaptability.”

I think everyone that will be “presenting” to a group should have to be familiar with Levine’s Law before they take the podium.

Start with the demo

Alan Levine, 2006

I tuned into what promised to be an excellent session on flexible, organic, dynamic ePortfolios using social software, only to find myself holding back from screaming “Levine’s law! For the love of God, Levine’s Law!!!” as bullet point after bullet point was dutifully addressed.

The session wasn’t bad, and the back channel discussion in the Elluminate chat room provided some interesting opinions, but a demo (or two) would have brought everyone onto the same page in under a minute, leaving time to discuss implementations, issues, and practical details rather than hashing over bullet points. I would have been much happier to see screenshots (or live demos) of these social-software-driven ePortfolios.

I may be co-presenting a session at Interface 2006, on our ePortfolio project being used by our Faculty of Education, but if the session is accepted, I plan on using exactly 0 bullet points. Probably no PowerPoint either. If I do wind up using a PPT, it will be in the modified-Lessigian style, with no bullets and lots and lots of images to support what I’m saying (rather than just providing a script for me to follow).

Start with the demo. Stay with the demo. Think on your feet. To borrow a quote from D.M. Shaftoe in The Cryptonomicon: “Show some damned adaptability.”