Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Meeting with old friends from UNL

Meeting with Mike & the Gang from the University of North London.


10/07/2002 12:34 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Only a fool start a company in today's environment..

My quote for today:

Only a fool start a company in today's environment.
Only a genius succeeds.


» I hope Mike wasn't reading what I wrote yesterday when he thought of this. :)


10/07/2002 12:45 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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More from the shrub

Lou Dobbs downgrades President Bush. And so do I. []

» President George. W. Shrub makes me feel better every day about our own lousy stinking government (which I voted for - won't make that mistake again!)


10/07/2002 19:09 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Spelling checker for IE (and Radio!)

To Answer Kate Z's Question!. ieSpell - F**kin A Man.

"I urge any serious bloggers out there who haven't tried ieSpell yet to go over to and do so.  Immediately!  The newest version now provides support for rich edit tools (like Radio's for instance) as well as AOL and other IE based browsers.  Worthy of a micro-donation for sure.

I'm going to suggest the possibility of user-defined short-cuts (or smart tags) to the author.  It seems like the perfect tool to provide all those cross-system, bloggers like myself a way to maintain a central list of shortcuts." [...useless miscellany]

[The Shifted Librarian]

» Well spotted Jenny, downloading now....

10/07/2002 19:13 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Chalks away

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United Kingdom, London, Tooting, Matt, Male, 26-30!


10/07/2002 19:33 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Good quotations (among other things)

JR Mooneyham.  Lots of counter-intuitive long-view thinking here. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

» Lots of stuff here, I especially enjoyed the quotations which I reproduce here because the lessons of these quotes are just as valid & urgent for us in the UK & Europe.

"...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

-- Hermann Goering, Hitler's chosen successor for ruling Nazi Germany during World War II; quote from the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1946

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-- Theodore Roosevelt, US Republican president, 1918

"Preventative war ... I don't believe in such a thing, and frankly I wouldn't even listen seriously to anyone that came in and talked about such a thing."

-- Dwight Eisenhower, US Republican president and Allied military chief in World War II , 1954

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-- Benjamin Franklin, one of America's most important founding fathers, 1,759 AD


10/07/2002 19:43 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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A good metaphor for the blogPlex

My friend Mike O'Reilly came up with a great metaphor for my blogPlex idea:

"it's a dating service for Blogs"

(but not Bloggers!)

Thanks Mike, I think this captures it neatly.  blogPlex, like a dating service, is all about matching up profiles of people who are (or have been) writing about similar concepts.

More later as I digest this.


10/07/2002 19:59 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Edublogging with Moodle (cool name) - LCMS. Quote: "Moodle is a software package for producing internet-based courses and web sites (including this one). Moodle is an ongoing research and development project designed to support a social constructionist pedagogy"

Comment:PHP - open source - weblog style.  Parents with kids may hear: "Moodle, do the moodle dance" [Serious Instructional Technology]

» Looks like interesting technology.

I'm struggling a little with the social constructionist pedagogy, but the idea seems to be:

"More specifically, what web structures and interfaces encourage or hinder participants to engage in reflective dialogue within a community of learners - by reading openly, reflecting critically and writing constructively?"

Sentence like the following don't help:

"Thus, our pedagogical intention to enable teachers to develop the skills of transformative professionals capable of appreciating the need to complexify the culture of learning in their own educational institutions so that the interests and aspirations of all students are met."

Is complexify even a word?  [Oh, yes it is...]

I wonder how this stacks up against the encumbents like WebCT and BlackBoard.


10/07/2002 20:33 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Onward redundant soldiers!

Terry Frazier is another of the recently redundant.  Like me he's not headed straight back into the job market, but I'll let Terry put it in his own eloquent words:

"It is time for a revolution. Time for the capable to rise up and put the smack down on the BS artists. I refuse to believe that business success is predicated solely on being a bellicose snake-oil salesman. I do believe the competent, intelligent, and honest have a place in the world.

I'm just not sure where it is. But I still believe in the free market and I guess I'm going to find out."

Couldn't have put it better myself (and, indeed, I didn't!)

10/07/2002 21:22 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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More on liveTopics

I gave an initial pitch of some of my ideas today.  Not a pitch that I would like to give to an objective audience but, then, this is only my second day off the job!!

I was trying to show how liveTopics and blogPlex fit together.

liveTopics really started life as a bootstrap technology for the blogPlex.  blogPlexing depends upon being able to extract meaningful information from what people say on their weblogs.  Until such time as technologies like Cyc or Summarizer (see Share in the sidebar) can deliver the goods I needed something else.  Hence liveTopics was born to allow you to annotate your posts with descriptive concepts.  From a very simple original concept it has taken on a life of its own which is kind of cool.

There are two steps on the way to blogPlex that I think are worth sharing.  The first is topicRolling which I have discussed in another recent post.  Briefly topicRolling allows you to publish your topics & subscribe to the topics used by others.  This allows a group of people to develop a shared conceptual vocabulary or BlogSpeak.

The second is the super-blog.  This was really Jack Foster Mancilla's idea.  This is an extension of the Blog Topic Table of Contents (TTOC) idea which will be familiar if you click through any of the topic links on my page (or click here).   At the moment the TTOC is an individual affair, however pretty soon I am to provide the ability for a group of people to create a super-blog together.

In the same way that the TTOC now lists each of an individuals posts under a topic, the super-blog will list the posts of every member creating a way to see what each member of the group has posted regarding specific concepts.  This makes topicRolling very important.  We will also need tools to support the merging and grouping of topics into topicThemes.

My view at the moment is rather than embarking on a massive project to create some kind of control language or standardized vocabulary that we allow Darwinian pressures to select topics.  As has been written elsewhere people will gravitate towards "good" topics and abandon the bad (and there will be tools to help the losers graciously migrate).   The pressure will come from the other users of the plex, in order to be listed you have to use the right topics.

I can imagine situations where two similar topics will grow equal in size.  Thats okay.  Clever software can work out that they are synonymous by examing their associations with other topics.  And the use of topicThemes will help to prevent unnecessary isolation.

And then we reach the blogPlex itself.  At the moment I envisage this as a service subscribed to many blogs or klogs.  Using the data in each along with the topical metadata to create profiles of bloggers and kloggers.

The value of the profiles is that they will allow the blogPlex service to match up bloggers who are writing about similar concepts - who are not already linking to each other.  This is a key point because it is this that enables new communities to form.


10/07/2002 21:51 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:

I'm not free-falling

I'm not free-falling.  I'm learning to parachute in mid-air...


10/07/2002 22:05 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Trackback for Radio inches closer

Radio TB Ping Development.

Ron Lusk is working on a script for setting up TB pings in Radio:

I've posted a message to the Radio Userland discussion group asking where to hook into the system so I can ping KMPings once for each entry.

[High Context]

» Fantastic news.

10/07/2002 22:08 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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Why TrackBack?

More on TrackBack for KM. If Gammel and Mower both think there is something useful in TrackBack who am I to argue? I don't undersand it, but I'm open minded about it. [Blunt Force Trauma]

» I didn't get it at first either, and nor has everyone I've mentioned it to.

What makes TrackBack so important is, I think, the following:

Imagine that I read someone like Jon Udell (which I do) and I find an item of his particularly noteworthy or relevant to me.  I post it from my news page and add some editorial content of my own.

But if, like me, you are a relatively new blogger then maybe very few people read my item and nobody bothers to click through to Jon's original.   My item never appears in his list of referrers.

This means Jon, likely, will not know that it exists.  We could imagine further that Jon would have liked to know what comments I made but he  never gets the opportunity.

TrackBack addresses this problem.  It allows me as the author of an item to "ping" the original during the act of publishing.  This ping does not require someone to read my item and then click through to his.  Simply by publishing he is notified that someone has referenced him.

I think this is a very powerful idea and will help to get new bloggers into the space.  For those with interesting things to say the time to migrate from the fringe to the centre will be drastically reduced.

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!


10/07/2002 22:27 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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The Tao of Topic Maps

The TAO of Topic Maps. The TAO of Topic Maps introduces topic maps, “a new ISO standard for describing knowledge structures and associating them with information resources.” [Ron Lusk: Ron's K-Logs]

» Wow cool.  More reading for tomorrow!


10/07/2002 22:30 by Matt Mower | Permalink | comments:
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