Listphile – a man thing?
(via Dan Taylor) I have had a play with Listphile a site that lets you (yes you’ve guessed it) create and share lists. Yes, that’s it – it never ceases to amaze me how small some of the ideas behind these web 2.0 startups are. You create a list which you can pull different media in to and others can edit it.
Although it’s a small idea, you can see how this might grow. Rather like the real world, in the online world there is an almost infinite variety of very small ecological niches that some company (organism) will exploit. Making and sharing lists won’t change your life, but it is something we do a lot. I used to carry a personal top ten films, novels, Spurs players lists in my head, which were often readjusted, as if I was going to be asked by a journalist for these at any moment. I think this is a man thing, men like making lists (readers of this blog will know I’m not averse to a list).
So, just to test it out, and not because I like making lists or anything, here’s my Asian horror film list. Feel free to add to, or edit, it.
I was going to add in some potential educational uses here to justify my playing with it, but instead (in a smug, postmodern, self referential way) I’ve created a Listphile list – Educational uses of Listphile. Actually when you start doing this it does seem like a really useful tool – I’ve done this list with a formal education cohort of students in mind, but you could apply the same to a broader subject community. Some of these would be really useful I think – best research question and best resource in particular. So much so, I think I’ll add them in to my course next year. I would really like you to add this list (the Asian horror one, less so).
Nah, not a man thing! Have to admit I do love a good list… but actually tools like this (and Google Docs) do make me wonder whether wikis will ever really find their place for every day use. They’re a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut when all you want is one simple collaborative element which these more niche type apps seem to offer. Bit debatable as to whether massive ol’ Google really offers a niche product in the form of Google Docs, but they’re a lot more user-friendly way of collaboratively producing a document than working on a wiki – and the listphile site seems to fall into that ‘more user-friendly’ category too.
A waffly way of saying – bring on the niche! Just got to work out how to bring all these niches together properly into one user-defined web portal… or something… (© ill-formed ideas ‘r’ us)
My reaction is almost the reverse of Sarah’s – I fired up the comment box to ask why learners would need this separate tool when they could use a standard wiki… If a VLE had an integrated wiki, pages could be created for each of the topics you suggest, Martin, & people wouldn’t need to go anywhere else.
I also have an old-fashioned distaste for initiatives that are so upfront about their commercial motivation – all that ‘customer’/’product’ stuff in the Listphile comments. Why do I feel that they might be just as committed to toothpaste or trust funds if they’d tripped over a niche there rather than in education?
Oops, I confused Listphile with Teach the People. Same point about commercialism, though!