• Weblogs

    Virtuous circles – a blogging quiz

    A ‘how addicted to blogging are you’ quiz available here, which of course, anyone who is addicted to blogging will take and then blog about (via What counts). You can’t stop this stuff even if you want to. This is a promotional aid for an online dating service, which has nothing to do with blogging, but they know what we’re suckers for. I didn’t want to blog about it, but felt compelled to. It’s not as good as my connected academic quiz though. 81%How Addicted to Blogging Are You? Mingle2 – Dating Site

  • e-learning

    The butterfly learner

    As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m encouraging Patrick McAndrew to blog. His first proper post is a goodie – it sets out his concept of the Butterfly learner. This is an idea we have discussed over beer/coffee before, but he has never got around to publishing formally. Enter the blog and you have an immediate outlet. Anyway, the idea is that small changes in the environment can have unforeseen effects on learners. As Patrick says, this may have significant implications for learning design work, since it may be that learning is just intrinsically chaotic. There are too many variables and the inter-relation between them is too complex to…

  • Weblogs

    Becoming a blog mentor

    As part of my mission (that may be aggrandising it somewhat) to promote blogging in the OU, I have offered to be a blogging mentor to three or four colleagues. The idea is to help them become regular, stable bloggers. They will then promote it to others and soon the whole world will blog! What do you mean pyramid schemes are dodgy? Anyway, I have no idea what I mean by being a blogging mentor, so we’ll have to make it up as we go along. If anyone has done something similar I’d really appreciate any tips. My plan is to be open about it, hence this posting, and to…

  • Books,  e-learning,  web 2.0,  Weblogs

    Books, playlists and the granularity of ideas

    I have mentioned this before, but thought I’d revisit it (hey it’s the summer holidays, time for reruns all round). In Everything is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger gives a nice analysis of how the digitisation of content has altered our perceptions of what we thought was the basic unit. In talking about music he says "For decades we’ve been buying albums. We thought it was for artistic reasons, but it was really because the economics of the physical world required it: Bundling songs into long-playing albums lowered the production, marketing, and distribution costs … As soon as music went digital, we learned that the natural unit of music is the track."…

  • Asides

    Simpsonize yourself

    (via John Connell) Burger King offer the ability to Simpsonize yourself. You upload a photo, do some adjustments and hey presto, there’s a Simpsons character that doesn’t look much like you. But it is fun. Here’s me: Whoever devised this for BK deserves to have their meal maxed – this is exactly the kind of marketing that works online. It’s fun, irresistible, quick and very viral. Look – even grumpy old professors do it and then blog about it. Whether it will make me buy a whopper is another question though.

  • e-learning,  Weblogs

    Blogging the course design process – leftovers and sausages

    I’ve mentioned this in passing before, but it deserves a full posting I think – my colleague James Aczel is keeping a blog as he chairs the production of a new course in our Masters in Online and Distance Education. The course is H809, "Practice-based research in educational technology", and the title was even voted on by readers and students. I would like to see more courses keeping blogs during the design phase, because a) it might help create a buzz around the course before it starts, b) it acts as a useful resource once the course has started and c) it probably aids the design process itself if you…

  • broadcast

    BT Vision – the sound of failure

    A while back, as part of the Broadcast strategy review, I was in a meeting with BTVision. Their new broadcast package sounded interesting, you get Freeview through the aerial and then they use broadband to deliver on demand services, and some subscription. I liked the hybrid nature of it, so I decided to test it out. What followed was a catalogue, no, an encyclopedia, of errors. You have to subscribe to BT Broadband, so I did this on the phone and signed up for the BTVision package I wanted. The chap set an installation date for me (morning of 8th August). The broadband hub arrived and I installed that reasonably…

  • broadcast,  Open content,  web 2.0

    The content law

    Through the various projects I’ve been involved in recently (openlearn, broadcast strategy review, Flosscom), I’ve come to the realisation that something very significant has happened to the nature of content. It can be summarised thus: "Digital content wants to be free, and will seek the path to maximum access." Let’s call it the content law. It can be seen as a variation on Dan Gillmore’s ‘the internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it’. Evans and Wurster have argued that the digital marketplace has seen the unbundling of the economics of information and physical product. This is most readily seen in retail, where you have to see the physical…