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highlighted links:

Twitter Blocking explained

Social Marketing... at last!

The Psychology of Collective Action, Social Media,...

Fwd: [#MRO-489-36585]: com-give.com scam site

Today's "what's this company?" mystery: Safer Alco...

Losing classroom content

Cross pollinating outreach ideas

Equity versus equality

Tempered glass whiteboard ideas

Top tier front line




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10.29.2010

Cafescribe

http://www.cafescribe.com/

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"Attached"?

"In Buddhist terms, some of our students are very 'attached' to being busy."

I need to look up that phrase/language; never heard it before.

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College as "mandatory personal growth"?

A friend said something interesting this morning as we had our weekly breakfast meeting to help steer what our church calls an "adult bible fellowship" (also known as an "adult Sunday school" though I think "Sunday school" has too much baggage and that title's acronym isn't one you want to use in church).

As we talked about the challenge (for the class and for ourselves) of helping people engage in the material and stay motivated for personal growth, we realized something:
At our stage of life (parents of young kids) we now have lots of competing time pressures and priorities. Conversely, our college years were marked by an externally applied "demand" that we learn and grow; even if we didn't enjoy sitting through calculus class, we couldn't help ending that semester having been "changed" in some way. Today, we no longer have a mandate of personal growth imposed on us.
Maybe it's just me, but I found this really profound. Is this a key role for higher education today -- to "impose personal growth" on students? Faculty have joked that we ought not underestimate the "value of custodial care" at a university; I think that the value of a structured "demand" to learn a specific curriculum carries quite a bit of weight, too?

My immediate reaction is a mental tangent on the topic of home-education -- a term that my parents preferred to the more common "home schooling" because the entire principle was one of self-direction, contrasted with the imposition of a "school" structure.

For highly self-motivated individuals, this is all fine... but for those of us who need a nudge at times, being left to explore on our own means we'll stagnate.

So, our question for next time will be "how do we improve self-motivation"...?
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A Flavors.me ah-ha moment

I could be wrong (what a way to start!) but I think I "get" Flavors.me and why it's slow (sometimes really slow) for me.

At the suggestion of someone replying to a Wordpress question on some site or another, I did a view-source of my Flavors.me page.

All the feed content was loaded.

I have a lot of feeds.

So, what it seems to be doing is pre-loading the content, then displaying it "hidden" with CSS.

What that means is that when my page loads, the server needs to grab a dozen RSS feeds, arrange them a smidge, then push all that content down to the browser.

Someone who just wants to see my latest Tweet doesn't need several thousand words of blog writing dropped into their cache.

So, I'm going to see if some type of "equivalent" could be built out of flatter pages, rather than handling everything within just one page. Maybe in Wordpress, maybe not.

(I know that the "cool" way to do things is to push all the content down at once and dynamically hide/display it... but I'm just not convinced that's efficient enough to avoid being considered "blatantly sloppy"...)

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10.28.2010

Good Adwords idea

HOWTO use Google AdWords to prototype and test a book title - Boing Boing: http://www.boingboing.net/2010/10/25/howto-use-google-adw.html

Quote of the day: "There's almost a pathological sense of deceptiveness to some of his stuff."

The covering up others' books does seem to cross an ethical line...?

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What's an "educator"?

In "Twitter???s Golden Egg" (http://www.alchemyofchange.net/twitters-golden-egg/) the author notes that "I???m using the term??'Information networker' to describe a group of people whose work centers on creating and connecting information."

Wouldn't the same description apply to educators? What more (or less) do educators offer to society?

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Why isn't podcasting easier?

My first podcast was recorded in 2005. More than five years later... recording, editing and distributing a podcast isn't any easier.

Isn't that a bit surprising?

I've lamented the loss of GigaVox Audio Lite, which became Podango ShowBuilder Lite, which became totally nonexistent. I figured something would step up to take its place.

Nothing has.

Phone-to-podcast solutions came and went -- Gcast, Garageband, etc. I finally became excited about the idea again when I discovered that drop.io offered the service... only to find they discontinued it. (The phone number reference still appears on accounts but it doesn't seem to do anything.) The few I've come across so far (UHaveAudio.com, ipadio.com -- which has nothing to do with the Apple iPad -- and Yodio.com) don't seem to match the ease/simplicity of Gcast -- nor do they have the posting speed. (I don't want to have to wait a few hours to see if my call was successfully recorded.)
Paul ColliganPaul Colligan image by Neezee via Flickr
Paul Colligan offered PremiumCast.com which seemed to do some of the same things as ShowBuilder, but that's now become "Nanacast" but from its features list I'm still having a hard time figuring out what it can do for "automatic show assembly". And with it starting at $97 a month, it's not really good for the academic/hobbiest market.

And for what it's worth, years after I first mentioned it to Paul, both the PremiumCast terms of service and Nanacast terms of service still list as one of its "Restictions on Use" that "you may not (and may not authorize any other party to) ... (iii) hyper-link to this site, without the express prior written permission...." I don't know about you, but if I'm offering a podcast at a site I should would like to be able to link to that site. (I know that's not what they mean, but that's what they say, and the fact it's still not fixed causes me to worry about what else might be lurking in the TOS...)

I figured, "Maybe I can do the 'best of breed' thing and use multiple services, then combine those different feeds into one..." but the only tool around (other than the "running out of some guy's basement" level of developer service) is Yahoo! Pipes and reports are that it's flaky. In my experience, it works fine except that it won't sort the feeds by date and just tacks one onto the end of the next, which isn't very helpful.

Is there something out there that I'm missing?
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10.25.2010

Bill Irwin and mime

In the latest Ericast (repeat episode) Mikael Rudolph mentioned Bill Irwin and some of his performance art that explored the "space" of television.

I need to read up on him...:

Great Performances . Bill Irwin, Clown Prince . Essay . Bill Irwin | PBS

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/shows/billirwin/essay3.html

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10.20.2010

The "friendship paradox"?

According to this interview, "your friends have more friends than you do" -- I need to figure that one out. Hmmm...

(They're talking about tracking flu outbreaks with that, using "network mapping")

Podcast Title: APM: Marketplace Tech Report
Episode: 09/20/10 Marketplace Tech Report
Media URL:

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Podcast feed URL:
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/podcast/tech-report.php

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The game-changer of opening classical music

An interview with Aaron Dunn of Musopen and his project to create public-domain recordings of classical music.

The more we engage in classical music, the better off we are... right?

(This episode was also my introduction to the Looxcie...)

Podcast Title: APM: Marketplace Tech Report
Episode: 09/16/10 Marketplace Tech Report
Media URL:

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Podcast feed URL:
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/podcast/tech-report.php

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10.19.2010

Disruptive sousveillance

A good summary of Clayton Christiansen's notion of "disruptive technology" and surveillance; what happens when we turn that toward ourselves?

Podcast Title: APM: Marketplace Tech Report
Episode: 10/18/10 Marketplace Tech Report
Media URL:

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Podcast feed URL:
http://marketplace.publicradio.org/podcast/tech-report.php

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Pondering Pachyderm

I always saw this as a "solution in search of a problem" (which I'm ordinarily fine with) and it looks like they're no longer offering hosting to the general public... But I wonder where/how this could be used. The "what's it good for?" question.

Ideas? What does "digital storytelling" look like today, five years after I first saw Pachyderm?

ASSETT ?? Pachyderm: A Tool for Digital Storytelling

http://assett.colorado.edu/post/1114

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A recycled economy?

It doesn't keep me awake at night, but I'm still pondering what seems to be a big issue: buying used and recycling/repurposing things only "works" (i.e. is only dramatically cost-saving) because so few people do it and society is so wasteful.

That is, if everyone shopped for X used on Craigslist, the cost of X would go up because of high demand and limited supply.

As it is, you can buy X cheap because most people are buying Y at retail instead and are just trying to get rid of X to make room.

With me so far?

Thing is... This is great for those of us who shop used... but by definition you can't build a society on these principles because they break once everyone starts doing them. Kant wouldn't approve.

Personally, I can leave that as "Oh, well; too bad for the others!" I suppose... but something doesn't seem "right" about the situation.

Are there any economic models or theories that address this?

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10.16.2010

Ask and you shall re-meme

I respectfully charge that this isn't really a "mashup" but is more like a "medley"... and, even then, it's really just two songs next to each other in different keys... but at least someone else spotted that "King of Anything" and "King of Wishful Thinking" really belong together...

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PY7g9xz7to?wmode=transparent]

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10.14.2010

FABbing?

I hate to admit my stupidity and lack of vision... but I don't get how popular "making stuff" is going to be. Am I just in the wrong field and there's a "silent majority" of people who want to build little 3D thingies?

Other than "art" (sculpture, scrapbooks, etc.) and engineers who need to build little nuts and bolts and assemblies... What is there?

http://ng.cba.mit.edu/

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