Saturday, September 30, 2006

The World Game

Playfulness lives...
The World Game: "Is it possible that at least one person from every country in the world will visit a specific web page?

You can make it possible by using your internet ingenuity and personal connections.

Find people who live in countries that are still on the list down below.

Send them the link to this page using email, instant messaging, blogs, forums and smoke signals.

The first time someone from a country visits this page, the name of the country moves from the left column to the right column.

The first person from a country that visits this page gets a special digital gift (see example) and a chance to sign his/her name with a link.

Even if you are not the first visitor from your country, you can also sign your name and add a link. Your name and link will appear next to your country.

Have fun! This is the only purpose of this game.

This is not a hacking game. Please be polite. Thanks."

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Giving Chocolate Online

Still in the insane-work-no-time-to-thoughtfully-blog mode, but you have to see this wonderful example of "gesture" online by Mike Seyfang, Giving Chocolate Online. Thanks, Mike! (view the screencast).

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Recording of my Sept 25 Presentation on Blog Communities

Over on the The Knowledge Tree they have posted the link to the recording of an Elluminate session we did on Monday evening US time, Tueseday afternoon Australia time.

Here's the info:

If you missed a session, check out the links below. You may need to join Learning Times community and log in to view some of them (free).

Blogs and Community: launching a new paradigm for online community

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Taking a Tag Stream to the Next Level

In her NetSquared posting, NpTech Tag Finds: Some Excellent How-Tos, editor Beth Kanter gives a great example of how to use a tag stream. She monitored the tag, NPTech, then used it as a source for a posting on happenings in the tech/non profit intersection.

People sometimes ask me why follow a tag. I usually say "to research something or stay on top of what is happening around a topic." In other words, you are using the network to filter the gobs of stuff on the net.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Originally uploaded by theworldcafe.

I have been thinking about Trust online a lot these days, so when I saw this lovely image created out of the World Cafe Stewardship Dialog gathering, I wanted to "save" it to remind me of this stream of thinking. I have had no time to blog, let alone sit and contemplate ideas.

Here are a few other mental bookmarks for myself:
  • Information trust - we begin to trust someone not because we have gotten to know them/their identity, but we have begun to appreciate and trust the content they share via their blogs. That is NOT to say people don't share about themselves, but a lot of the connections I seem being made between blogs have a lot of information transaction in them.
  • The creation of trust has new faces in the blogging era. (See the recent conversations out of the elearning guys traveling around New Zealand. I need to fetch the link - Stephen Downe's posted about it.)
  • When virtual teams first started to take off, the idea of "swift trust" was posited. Swift to create, swift to destroy. What does that mean today?


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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Embedding PowerPoint into Blog posts

Amit Agarwal has instructions on how to embed PowerPoint slides into a blog post with no additional expensive software. Cool! Check out Embed Powerpoint Slides as Flash Presentations in your Blog without Spending a Dime

Now, let's see how it works!

Hmm, tiny window. I wonder how to make it bigger? Any thoughts?

Hat tip to Jane's Elearning Tip of the Day

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

2007 SXSW Interactive Panel Proposal Picker (Round Two)

OK, I finally got my act together to propose three panels for SXSW. I guess I should tell y'all so if you are interested, you might vote for them. 2007 SXSW Interactive Panel Proposal Picker (Round Two).

They are all weird and not on my usual topics for conferences:

Chocolate, Our Dark Master: Tired of tech? Ready for a hit of hedonism? Come join an hour of choc-talk - where it is made, what we love about it, why we eat it, write about it, obsess about it. What is YOUR favorite? (Miscellaneous category)

Is it Time for the Culture of Love? The US and parts of the globe have been driven by a culture of fear in recent years. We are scared of this, scared of that. It fuels a culture that glorifies conflict. Of us vs. them. Of expertise over local knowledge. What if we took a breath and considered the culture of love? How would we design differently? Blog differently? Lead differently?

and finally...

5x5xSXSW: What I Learned at 5 Days of SXSW:
With a team of 5 writers, podcasters, and vodcasters, we'll capture the key "blings" and "aha's" from the sessions we attend and on the final day, share our zeitgeist. No, no pressure! OF COURSE! Each of the team will have 5 minutes max to share their story, then we'll compare notes with the audience. What did YOU learn? What would you want to learn next time?


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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why the net is fun... - Roll Your Own Catalog Card

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Workshop Fellowships for Full Time Educators

I don't know much about this workshop, and I know getting to Italy is not always cheap, but I saw this and thought of all my educator friends - fellowships to go to a creativity workshop in Italy! CREATIVITY WORKSHOP, writing, drawing, storytelling

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I PhoneConned!

Is this classic work avoidance or what??? ALLIED by Jeneane Sessum: WHAT TIME IS IT!!!!!? PhoneCon 2.0 Fall TIME!!!!


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9 Ways to Make Your Blog More Inclusive

Via Bev, in her new blog Phronesis comes a pointer to Darren Rowse on 9 Ways to Make Your Blog More Inclusive.

Darren has 9 (going to the post and reading the elaboration of each point is worth it) hints:
1. Be Aware of the Language You Use
2. Consider a Glossary
3. Mix Up the Levels at which you Write
4. Highlight Posts for First Timers
5. Educate Users in Blogging (and RSS)
6. Create Spaces for Different Levels of Users to form community
7. Encourage Participation and Interactivity
8. Leave Room for Other Experts
9. Create a Culture of Inclusivity

Bev noted that these are the same principles that she/we use in community building. Spot on.

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Arrrrrr! -- The social network for pirates

Matey, the blokes at cerado have issues the orders from the deck, the The Pirate Page is up and all ye maties who realize September 19th is "Talk Like a Pirate" day now have your very own lawless social network. Make your own eyepatch? Avast!

(And as to my blogging silence -- chalk it up to the priority of the to-do list. I have a bunch of half edited posts I'll try and get up!)

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Monday, September 18, 2006

If you only read one thing this week…

This is a lovely blog, worth a mention, with a terrific title! If you only read one thing this week…:
"If you only read one thing this week…
… a humanitarian’s guide to what to read if you only have 15 minutes."

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Learning Alliances Case Study Discussion

The Pelican Learning Alliance, a group that focuses on the role of learning in social change processes, is launching an email discussion around an interesting case study documenting the use of a "">Learning Alliances" approach.

The case study can be found here: Pelican_learning_alliances.pdf (application/pdf Object)

For more on the Pelican Group, check here (MS Word doc).

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A little self reminder about joy

The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference. - Audre Lorde
In my bloglines, there is a post from Lee and Sachi LeFever that I bookmarked so it would show up every time I read their wonderful posts from their year long trip around the world. This picture to the right, from Songkran's Day (Thai New Year) in Thailand is so joyful it infuses me with energy.

You see, I have been working really hard the last few months, in a time of year when many of us think of vacation, I have been focused on my to do list. This type of workload and mindframe can be exhausting. When I let it, it becomes stress. It keeps me awake at night. I'm certainly less fun to be around for my family.

But my work is joy. Keeping that thought alive with each thought, each keystroke, even when I have to battle my computer for 4 hours because of something stupid I did (which is what I did last night!) is important. Essential. Taking joy in the companionship and ideas of my colleagues spread around the world is joy. Figuring something out is joy. Ending the day with a quiet mind is joy.

Joy is a powerful force.

Joy is a personal and community indicator.

Joy is a source of connection.

Lee and Sachi's picture helps remind me. Thanks!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

How can one improvise in a virtual world?

Andrew Rixon is asking a great question in Anecdote: How can one improvise in a virtual world?. He pinged me to see if I had anything to add, and as I started writing in the comments, I realized it was more than "comment sized" so I'm responding here.

Here are a couple:
  • Use the built in chat room of a web conferencing tool to do improvised story telling - one person starts with one line, then the next person adds a line. You can do Haiku, limericks, ghost stories -- whatever. They can be themed to the domain or work of the group.
  • Play "just three words" but ask people to really play off of the previous person's contribution. Some things that are useful online are to ask people to take three breaths before responding, so they are "listening" to the previous offering.
  • Find a web based piece of music and ask people to open a second browser and listen to that music (or better yet, play it in the webroom). Ask for a minute of silence, then have people share what they visualize when hearing that music. Debrief about how different modalities cause us to react differently online and how that can allow us to improvise around our ruts in online spaces. (See "Adding Music to Serious Chat") The point here is not to encourage frantic, mindless response, but spontaneous improvised response.
  • Ask people to take on different roles and interact as if they were those people.
  • If the tool has a shared white board, ask each person to pick a color and respond using that color. This way at first people don't know who is writing what. Then ask them to change colors and try and respond the way that "color" had been responding.
For me, this question is about a) getting us out of our rote behaviors and b) using more than text or audio to assist us. I find that when we switch something, we are freed up to improvise. Like standing up for a meeting changes the dynamics from a traditional, sit down meeting. We tickle different brain cells.

See also FaciliPlay, Telephone Facilitation Tips (which describes in more detail some of the things I noted above)

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mary Lu on Assisted Computing Facilities

This is a keeper. If you have ever helped out a family member with technology issue, read this! SHOULD MY LOVED ONE BE PLACED IN AN ASSISTED COMPUTING FACILITY?
For family members, it is often the most difficult and painful decision they will face: to accept that a loved one - a parent, a spouse, perhaps a sibling - is technologically impaired and should no longer be allowed to live independently, or come near a computer or electronic device without direct supervision. The time has come to place that loved one into the care of an Assisted Computing Facility. But you have questions. So many questions.

We at Silicon Pines want to help."


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Monday, September 11, 2006

Blogs and Community – launching a new paradigm for online community?

After blogging my rough ideas here in my blog in July and August, the good folks at The Knowledge Tree asked me to turn my rambles into a full fledged article. Well, I'm probably still a bit rambly, but I encourage you to check out Blogs and Community – launching a new paradigm for online community? at The Knowledge Tree. I would particularly appreciate your comments there or here. (Eventually I'll reprint it on my site, but for now, do go to the KT and look at the other cool articles as well!)

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My Australian October: First Workshop: Melbourne VPS CIN

As I mentioned earlier, I'm starting a blog just for my Australian Adventure next month. I'll post about each workshop or presentation with the hope that those interested in attending will comment, share a bit about themselves, and tell me what THEY want to talk about!

Here's the first one which I'll be doing with Shawn Callahan of Anecdote: My Melbourne VPS CIN

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Another conference tool

Via one of my Seattle MindCamp colleauges, Jeff Barr, some a pointer to a F2F conference artifact, backnetwork
from the d.Construct 06 event in Brighton just a few days back . Developed by Glenn Jones this application allows social networking and reporting out from a F2F conference - blogs, flikr streams, etc.

It looks interesting. I'd love to hear from participants on how it added to their experience.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion

Via Beth comes a pointer to a unique and very interesting offering: CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion:
"Welcome to the course website for Law in the Court of Public Opinion. This course is being offered jointly in the Harvard Law School and the Harvard Extension School in the fall semester, 2006.

If we do say so ourselves, the course will be unlike any that has ever been taught. It is a course in persuasive, empathic argument in the Internet space. Throughout the course we will be studying many different media technologies to understand how their inherent characteristics and modes of distribution affect the arguments that are made using them. Students will be immersed in this study through project-based assignments in which they will be using these technologies to make their own arguments."
They welcome not only Harvard Law students, Harvard Extension students, but also us "learners at large." Gee, if I could find more time in the day, I'd take part. Hmm... maybe I can find a little time... The distributed participation is being supported through a Second Life experience. Another thing on my to do list.

The introductory video
was quite useful to me. It framed both the offering from a content and process dimension, gave me a sense of what empathic might mean through the demeanor of the professors, Charlie and Rebecca Nesson. It is interesting to peek into their course development wiki.

As I browsed the course information I was reminded about a bunch of thoughts that have been percolating in my head about the sea-change we are in. It was the use of the word "empathic" in the course description that grabbed me. How we "are" with each other online is of great interest.

I have been seriously thinking about totally redesigning my online facilitation workshop because we have entered a new phase of online interaction and many of the old assumptions are insufficient, the modalities are far more diverse (as exemplified by this course offering at Harvard) and the challenges of multi-membership and what that means to our time and attention is significant.

I need a sabbatical. Anyone have a small house overlooking the sea where I can go sit and think and write for a couple of months? Of course, with internet connection! ;-)

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

ICT Requirements in Emergency Response

Paul Currion alerted me to the latest work of the Emergency Capacity Building Project, its Report on Information Technology and Requirements. I'm including his email text (which he encouraged all to share) as context. Paul wrote:
This comprehensive five-part Report is the first in depth examination of information and technology issues for international NGOs in emergency response, the result of a six-month, inter-agency, multi-country assessment. It analyses critical requirements for NGOs in emergency response, providing a snapshot of existing initiatives, examples of good practice and useful reference documents for practitioners - we're sure that it will provide useful material for your work.

The ECB Project is an initiative of the Interagency Working Group, a seven agency consortium comprising CARE International, CRS, IRC, Mercy Corps, Oxfam-GB, Save the Children US and World Vision International. The project is funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft Corporation, with the goal to improve the speed, quality and effectiveness of the humanitarian community in saving lives, improving the welfare, and protecting the rights of people in emergency situations.

The Report consists of the following components:
  • Key Findings. A 2-page note explaining the background to the report and the Key Findings.
  • Pakistan. A review of agency response to the October 2005 Pakistan earthquake.
  • Darfur. A review of agency response in Darfur in February-March 2006.
  • Global. An overview of agency systems at the international level, carried out in October-November 2005.
  • Findings and Recommendations. The complete set of findings, accompanied by recommendations for improvements.
The Key Findings of the Report offer immediate insight into the challenges facing these agencies, and their peers and partners in the humanitarian sector. The assessment revealed five critical areas:
  1. National Capacity. The capacity of national offices and their staff is the critical issue in emergency response.
  2. Institutional Support. Without support from management, any information or technology initiatives are unlikely to succeed.
  3. Strategic Management. A more coherent and systematic approach to managing information and technology is essential.
  4. Information Requirements. We need to define what information we need and why before we can expect to get maximum value from it.
  5. External Partnerships. We can't improve technology use by ourselves - we need to work with partners from the public and private sectors.
These findings have been used as the basis for developing a range of projects by the ECB Project and its partners. More information on these projects will be available on the ECB website at, and you can download the complete report from CD-ROM or hard copy versions of the report are available on request; if you would like to order one of these, please contact our Communications Officer Matt Bannerman at

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Plaxo: An example of listening

A while back I posted a little gripe about Plaxo. Some days afterwards I received an email from Stacy Martin from Plaxo. (Smart people - they read blogs!) Stacy's email exemplified listening to what a user said, in this case me, in my blog post. Stacy asked permission to engage with me. I could opt out, in this case!

We went back and forth a few times, Stacy asking some specific questions to ascertain what I experienced, then responding from Plaxo's position. Ask first, answer second. Another good practice!

What I found remarkable was the non judgemental tone of Stacy's emails and the even response. It was not defensive. It was informative. It did not whitewash problems, but put them in context and explained what the company had and was doing about them.

Now, I'm not a likely user of Plaxo (I'm one of those who doesn't use Outlook, I resist, etc.), but some of you may be current or potential users and the information seems useful. I received Stacy's permission to share our correspondence here in my blog.

At 10:43 AM 9/1/2006, you wrote:
Hi Nancy,

My name is Stacy Martin and I am the Privacy Officer at Plaxo. I hope you don't mind me reaching out to you like this. I used to do a lot of blogging and responding to people with questions and issues regarding Plaxo, but stopped doing that after finding that people often misinterpreted the action as some type of PR stunt. This is not a PR stunt, so I now try to be more selective with responses and prefer to reach out directly to people, when possible.

I was looking over some recent blogs that mentioned Plaxo and your's caught my interest. You mentioned you are a consultant and like experimenting with new things, but it appears there is sufficient doubt in your mind to discourage you away from trying Plaxo.

If I may, I'd like to offer my time to address any concerns or questions you may have. You mentioned that you continue to receive "Plaxo spam". I'd be happy to discuss these messages with you - where they came from, who sent them, why they were sent to you, as well as how to stop receiving them, as well as any other issue you have with Plaxo. Perhaps I can provide you sufficient facts and answers so you can get a much better understanding about Plaxo and what someone is getting into when they use Plaxo.

Please let me know if you are interested.

Thank you,

Stacy Martin

Plaxo - Your Internet Address Book
Stacy Martin
Plaxo Privacy Officer Plaxo, Inc.
1300 Crittenden Lane
Suite 300
Mountain View, CA. 94043
smartin at plaxo dot com
I responded with my particulars, then Stacy replied. I have removed the name of the person I referenced for their privacy.
At 03:20 PM 9/5/2006, you wrote:
Hi Nancy.

Thank you for your response. I apologize for my lengthy reply below, but I wanted to best address your concerns as much as possible. As I may have mentioned, it is not my intent to "change anyone's" mind, but simply add to the discussion and understanding. I've tried to address each issue separately below.

> 1. you had to register for the service to opt out of other people sending you notices. So in effect, if your colleagues or friends use plaxo and you don't want their notices, you must
> register to opt out. So you have in effect, opted me in without my permission.

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying. By "opted in without permission", you mean you were "opted-in" to receive notices from Plaxo members without being asked if you wanted to receive those notices. Is this correct?

If so, I would agree this is has been a difficult problem for us to address. From one perspective, Plaxo is not the actual sender of these notices. The notices (known as update requests) are being sent by the actual Plaxo members, similar to them sending you an email. As with normal email, the member has your email address and they have chosen to send you an update request. The update request includes a personalized message from the member if included, or otherwise contains default text provided by Plaxo. As you know, email itself has no 'opt-in' mechanism. If someone has your email, they have the ability to send you an email message, so this is why you saw no 'opt-in' mechanism provided with these update request. Instead, we relied up the proper etiquette of the Plaxo member, as for any email message.

But I do agree there are problems. Because the email are processed through Plaxo, nicely formatted, include transactional links, and often times contained default "canned" text, these emails can come across as impersonal and programmatically generated. Many people assumed they were sent automatically by Plaxo, without the knowledge and consent of the Plaxo member, and therefore in violation of the contact's privacy.

But while it is the actual member sending the update requests, we do acknowledge problems in how this "update request" feature was provided. We made it too easy for members to send to everyone in their address book and failed to put in place proper throttling controls. This lead to people sending update request to contacts in their address book whom they had very little association with and who often did not recognize the member. We encouraged users to use the "update request" feature too early in their Plaxo membership, before they truly had a full appreciation for how Plaxo worked. This also meant unnecessary update requests being sent.

We've tried to correct these issues as we've gone along. We no longer include our Update Contact Wizard during our registration flow and we limit the number of requests someone can send at one time. Members are encouraged to send personalized update requests to people and only to people they truly know and wish to stay in touch with. Since implementing many of these controls, we've seen the number of update request sent by member decrease tremendously.

But of course, these changes don't address the fundamental issue you may feel that people should "opt-in" to receiving these notices. I'm afraid I don't see a true solution for that problem since it is inherent to email, in general. We've tried to mitigate things by providing the 'opt-out' capability which instructs us, as the service provider, to block messages any/all of our members may be attempted to send to your email address.

But hopefully, by requiring the messages to be more personalized as with normal email messages, reducing the "Plaxo-branding" within the emails, and being more intelligent about whom update requests can be sent to, the perception of these emails will change and this will be a lesser problem. But I also understand that as long as "sending email" through Plaxo is possible, this will always be an issue for some.

> 2. I had a man who kept sending me things even though I asked him repeatedly not to (he spammed me in other ways.) He wrote to you repeatedly to find out why, even after
> removing me from his list, I still got messages and no one ever replied to him. Eventually they stopped. Neither of us knew why. The person was XXXX.

Do you have XXXX's email address? I can look up any correspondence he's submitted to our Support team as well as why you've continue to receive messages from him even after he has removed you from his address book.

> 3. The tool to send messages from your email program seems to overreach. I'm always getting apology messages from friends who tried to use it and it did unexpected things.

I agree. Similar to question #1 above, I felt there were a number of implementation issues that caused the Update Contact Wizard (UCW) to overreach and send unnecessary/unwanted update requests. For example,
- Select All used to be the default option when running the UCW. This no longer the case.
- People were prompted to run the UCW soon after joining Plaxo. This is no longer the case.
- People were asked weekly if they wished to run the UCW. This is no longer the case.
- The UCW could find contacts directly from your emails but were not in your address book, and allow you to send update request emails to these contacts. This is no longer the case.
- Previously, a member could send update request emails to the same person over and over again, even if the previous requests went unresponded. This is no longer the case.

In addition to these and other implementation changes, we continue to provide the 'opt-out' mechanism that allows an update request recipient to choose not to receive further messages from a specific member or all Plaxo members.

Thank you again for the opportunity to correspond. Should you have further questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me directly


Stacy Martin
Plaxo Privacy Officer
I then thanked Stacy in an email for the informative response, and asked if I could blog our correspondence and was given permission. So now you can learn what I learned. And I like to learn. And I do appreciate it when someone listens. Thanks, Stacy.

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On the other end of the emotional register

In typical work avoidance mode (deadlines everywhere like the cords under my desk) I clicked into Jory DesJardin's blog, Pause.

Zoom! From the laughter of Rageboy and cartoons in my past two posts, to the tears of losing a friend and mentor. It feels fitting, so right, to celebrate our emotions as they flow from our blogs.

Take a read: In Memoriam: Craig Cline, The Accidental Guru.
This bit was just... well... I don't have words. It moved me.
"The first time Craig inquired into my love life was off-putting. Why do you want to know? I said. He put down the short story draft I'd sent him a week earlier.

'Because you're not telling the whole story,' he said. 'How can you get better if you keep things to yourself?'

His assignment was to write about my most embarrassing moment, and mine was about a date. He often talked about embarrassment being a gateway to learning something about yourself. He loved hearing about the inflection points in people's lives that made them turn purple in the telling, that people even kept from themselves."
A wise man. Craig, travel well to the next world.

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And while we're laughing...

Geek And Poke: The Unsolved Problem

To see the site referenced that inspired this great cartoon, a site which some actually thought was a parody, check out The New New Internet - Web 2.0 Conference. And the hype...
"An All-Star Cast of Web 2.0 Players Will Descend on the Tyson's Corner Ritz-Carlton on September 20th

Posted by Dion Hinchcliffe 6 days ago

As the summer and vacation season winds down, business leaders and thinkers everywhere are getting back to work and planning how to embrace the next generation of business and IT, otherwise known as Web 2.0. Know that we’re heads down, hard at work at building out the biggest and best Web 2.0 event on the East Coast, brought to you on September 20th, 2006 at an absolutely premier venue; the world-famous Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, just outside of the nation’s capital.

With TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington (who just hit 100,000 readers a day on his leading edge Web 2.0 blog), Harvard Business School’s influential Enterprise Web 2.0 thinker, Andrew McAfee, and a ongoing host of all-stars coming to discuss the game-changing trends of the Web 2.0 era, The New New Internet will be the only major event in the mid-Atlantic area this year exclusively covering the most exciting new technology trend since the Internet itself."
Dion, you have consumed too much KoolAid. Sit down outside away from your computer. Eat some dark chocolate. It will be ok.


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Rageboy, Visual Thinker

It has been too long since I clicked into Rage Boy's site. Do yourself a favor. Visit all noise - all the time. And make sure you are someplace where you can laugh and snort as loud as you wish. It's good for you.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Life Lessons

Denise, in her (new?) blog at Club Mom asks about advice and life lessons. She points to a bunch of smart guys in Fast Times @ Homeschool High: Life Lessons, then asks where are the women's voices answering this question. After offering my three and a half bits of wisdom, I wandered to some of the site she linked to.

First, I think Stephen Downes intellectually nailed it. I agree in principle with every one of his 10 offerings. So my first gut response is to just say ditto. I know, what a cop out.

Guy, sorry, but your advice is too narrow in the "pleasing bosses" category as Downes noted. Steve Wilhelm has a good one suggesting acting lessons (I'd add, IMPROV particularly.)

Second, where are womens voices offering advice? My first, flippant thought was "we aren't arrogant enough to presume we know what's good for YOU!" Is this true? It may be for some of us. I think there is a gender issue here. Self effacing may be a bit of it. Here is what I wrote to Denise in her comments - you will note I was NOT as thorough and thoughtful as many others. Fast and flippant may be more accurate. Maybe this leads to another bit of advice. Watch out for trying to do TOO many things!
List of TEN THINGS? You gotta be kidding. I'm not that organized. My list has three things:

1. Learn something new every day
2. Contribute something to the world every day (even if it is tiny and super local)
3. Have a little fun every day

For those who don't have health restrictions or allergies, I'd add, eat at least a tiny bit of good dark chocolate every day.

Beyond that, I feel advice is best given in the context of relationship, not generic to the world. Context matters! ;-)
Finally, I bet there are lots of women out there offering advice. If I didn't have a huge long honking "to do" list I would start researching it. But. I. Must. Resist. Must. Work!

So, back to work!


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

AidWorkers Network Relaunches

One of my favorite stories is the birth of the Aidworkers Network - a story of a couple of humanitarian workers in a bar in Africa who see a need and decide to fill it. I was happy to hear from Paul Currion that the site has been relaunched. I'm feeling exceedingly guilty for not having replied to Tom Longley's email asking for feedback about the site. Tom, I haven't forgotten!

But while I work to catch up with my to do list, don't let that delay anyone who works in development and humanitarian relief from checking out the site!

Tired of re-inventing the wheel? We are ... | Aid Workers Network.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

How my life has changed / How will my life change

Via the lovely Australian collaborative library blog,, comes, How my life has changed / How will my life change, a chart that summarizes how life has changed for a librarian since leaving library school in the 70's and 80's.

Joyce Valenza's chart is a great summation of the impact of technology on our communities, on our lives. Although I do not work in the library domain, much of her distilled wisdom rings true for me.
Learning happens between annual conferences.

Blogs publish professional news, new strategies before it can travel through traditional publishing process. (Essential strategies for keeping up!)

Attend conferences without traveling—viewing keynotes online.
While we were muddling on the Tech Report this week, one of the themes we have had at the heart of the report for two years was still strong. And it relates to Joyce's reflections. It is this dynamic of technology influencing the trajectories of communities, and communities influencing the development of technology. Sometimes it feels like it is is all being "done unto" us. But we are a force in the technology as well. If you look at the fourth column on Joyce's table, you will see hints of that force.

Some of this appears as practices to make technology useful. "Need to create signage, guides, pathfinders for new additions to “collection.” " Some of it is influencing the technology. For example, as staff help people create personal learning portfolios, the ideas of how these might be created and made portable using technology start to emerge.

For me, the practice of looking back and looking forward is very useful at this moment in time where shifts are happening everywhere I look. The grounding of my history, my memory, is not a ball and chain keeping me moving forward, but a gentle anchor to keep me on course as a traverse my journey, to give me moments of rest and reflection. That journey is shot through with threads of technology and I feel it is my responsibility to apply and shape that technology towards the best imaginable future possible.

Thanks, Joyce, for reminding me.

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