Subscribe to

Archive for December, 2007

Book link

AdaptiveBlue ginned up this widget for Everything Is Miscellaneous, as part of their marketing outreach to authors.

Hashtags – making sense of Twitter

If you append a tag prefaced by a #, the hashtags site will cluster them.

This is a cool example of metadata being layered in from outside an app. Well, the metadata is being created inside the app (Twitter) but it’s only metadata, and not noise, because an external app (hashtags) says so….

Two brilliants talks on education

Two completely fascinating presentations on technology and education, from very different points of view.

Dylan William brilliantly advances, step by step, toward concluding that technology has a quite particular role to play in education:

What I’m going to argue is that the role of technology in improving learning is primarily in what I call third generation pedagogies. Where we have automated aggregation technologies, which actually take the responses of different students and do some smart things with those things. And give the teacher advice about what are the sensible next steps. The really brilliant teachers are doing this already. But most teachers can’t do it. And so the challenge of third generation pedagogy is to have the contingencies of teaching—that what you do when you know that the teaching didn’t work quite the way you intended—that is supported by technology.

Google’s Peter Norvig, among other things, adds to the mix the value of having students learning in teams so they can teach one another.

(Many thanks to Seb Schmoller for the pointers.)

[Tags: education teaching dlan_william peter_norvig ]

Dopplr enters the radar screen

Dopplr went live while I was traveling last week, and I’m just now getting around to noting the fact.

Dopplr does something simple: It tells you which of your friends are going to be in the places you’re going to. And it does it quite simply, even though specifying places is actually quite a daunting task: Did you mean Paris in France, Texas or the other dozens of places on earth that share that name? The Dopplr UI makes entering this info just about as painless as possible.

Or course, my good feelings about Dopplr, where I was a beta user, are abetted by the fact that the people doing Dopplr are among the people I like and respect the most on the Web.

BTW, here’s a moderately funny video parody of Dopplr from Mahalo.

[Tags: dopplr travel dan_gillmor everything_is_miscellaneous ]

Encyclopedia of Miscellaneous Species

Last night before I gave a talk in Woods Hole, I got to chat for a very few minutes with David “Paddy” Patterson who heads up the Encyclopedia of Life project. I’d heard a bit about it, and I\ve been meaning to learn a whole lot more. From my narrow point of view, it’s fascinating as an attempt to make itself useful by saying yes to everything. Each species gets its own unique identifier, and if scientists don’t agree on where the species boundaries are, anything that a scientist might want to point at as a species gets its own ID; that way the argument can continue but at least each disputant can point to exactly what she’s talking about. Likewise, it incorporates multiple taxonomies so even if two people disagree about how to organizes the branches of the bush, they can still each use the EoL, and they can still talk with one another without getting lost in the brambles.
In some ways, it’s trying to do the same thing as the OpenLibrary project: Make it possible to aggregate information about things when we don’t agree about what those things are. And in that regard, both of these projects are embodiments of the ontological insecurity the postmodernists were laughed at for.[Tags: eol encyclopedia_of_life openlibrary species taxonomy books everything_is_miscellaneous ]

Defrag talk on the implicit

download (m4v)