Monday, November 28, 2005

"I syndicate myself and ping myself...

....For every item belonging to me as good belongs to you. " (Apologies to Whitman)

I've been using it for a little over a month now, and I'm hooked on SuprGlu. This online service allows a one-stop shop for the syndicated me - my Blogger,, Furl, Flickr, and Reader2 syndication feeds all collected on my public feeds page at SuprGlu.

You can browse my tag cloud, follow my daily links and posts, or even aggregate my feed mix.... a much more effective way of sharing resources than posting them in a course shell, I believe (and in the ultimate act of digital narcissism, I'm aggregating myself in Bloglines).

Friday, November 11, 2005

More Fun with Google Maps

  • Frappr Edubloggers map - International edubloggers directory for everyone blogging about education and/or facilitating education based blogging.... Put yourself on the map! (And/or use Frappr to create your own group map)
  • Another examlpe: Using Google maps for the online version of the board game Risk

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

O'Reilly Interview

Definitely worth checking out...The BBC World Service presents a two-part interview with Tim O'Reilly. Part I is on open source, Part II on Web 2.0.

(If you haven't yet seen the Craig's list/Google Maps site used as an example of "mash-ups" in the interview, be sure to check it out).

Note to self...

Have an email address that's likely to be around for a while? Then you might want to check out this free service from Forbes that lets you send an email to yourself and have it arrive in 1, 3, 5, 10, or 20 years

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How much can you handle?

Like Mike, I've been thinking a lot about information overload these well as about how much information anyone can reasonably be expected to track and use.

In Amy Gahran's post on why her RSS feed list is so long, she cites Ross Mayfield's assertion in “Attention Saturation” that the maximum number of feeds a person can handle for the purposes of maintaining social relationships is 150. While not taking on the question of this limit for social connections, she goes on to describe the purposes for which she uses different types of feeds - and how she can maintain a list of around 500

Questions for my fellow blogger/aggregators:
  • How many feeds do you aggregate and how often do you check them?
  • What different types of feeds are they?
  • What do you think your maximum is?

As for myself, I find that my own comfort level is with a list of about 100-110, and only a handful of these represent "social relationships" to me... by far, the majority of the feeds I check are for reference, research, and work-related purposes.

The "social" blogs I read on a daily basis... The majority of others I check several times a week, furling, bookmarking, and "clip blogging" anything that looks interesting but that I don't have time to fully investigate, and blogging things of particular interest after I've reviewed them further.

I also keep a "watchlist" of new blogs that I check out from time to time to see if they're worth adding to the regular list. In addition, I have a bunch of feeds that are more "for fun" - feeds that I only check when I have some spare time and want to find something interesting or unusual to investigate... and I mark these all as "read" from time to time if I don't have a chance to look at them for a while.

Getting through the network

Another great post at Dipping a toe... I'm also finding that network security issues are having a bigger and bigger impact on course accessibility for the courses I develop - in fact, when students have problems with accessing the synchronous sessions at NYU, 9 times out of 10 it seems to be a problem related to a company security or a personal firewall setting.

There are so many options for firewall and proxy settings that it's nearly impossible to plan for all of them... And as this post points out, in a large organization you may be dealing with the biases and security fears of more than one IT department. (I tend to send my technical specs to each IT department involved in a company for approval of all file types and applications to be used during course analysis, but half the time they don't really read the specs before approving them, so you still end up troubleshooting these problems during pilot testing.)

The most annoying problem for me is the one mentioned in regard to .wav files - blocking file types out of the fear that employees might be using them for non-work activities ... as if it's the type of files available that causes employees to goof off!! Please.

Now that blogs are being called out in the popular press as time-wasters, I wonder how long it'll be before participants in my classes aren't able to access their class blogs from work?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Other places

A Web round-up of posts you might have missed:
  • jmaddrell has posted a ton of great stuff lately...including a post on MIT Open Course Ware , podcasts she made at, a link to a free Vlog tutorial, info on ivist, and more.
  • At Dipping a toe in the water of blog, a great reflection on the "cubicle dilemma" in corporate online learning... Language instructors might also want to follow the results of her research into online language training.
  • Frank, who says he's starting to warm to the idea of blogging, beat me to the blog with this post on Stanford and iTunes, which I had meant to post this week!
  • Mike wonders "are there enough good teachers to go around"? ... and in another post, he asks the eternal question "What do Buffy the Vampire Slayer and NYU have in common?"
  • Nelson gives us some thoughts on Furl and points out this CNN article on how to avoid getting fired for blogging at work
  • Adam weighs in with a thought-riff on a connectivist koan
  • E-Learning gives a thumbs up to, points to an interesting article on break-even analysis, and reflects on some learning issues.
  • Splindarella takes a break from knitting penguin sweaters to say "rabbits" and to build a spooky gingerbread house. (Hey, Splindarella, if you want to take up educational knitting, you might want to checked out this replica of the knitted digestive system or Baby's first DNA model.)

Design and Development Resources

Page and Informational Design. Those new to the areas of information architechture, user interface design, and navigational design might want to check out some of the following links:
  • These Web design guidelines from IBM provide a basic introduction to the topics of site structure, navigation, text design, and visual layout. On the same site, the section on Design concepts gives a basic introduction to the topics of user-interface and user-experience design, as well as some basic principles of good site design.
  • This User Experience Resource Collection is a great collection of annotated links on a wide range of subtopics from user experience design specialist Dey Alexander.
  • This shareware course from ScratchMedia, a UK-based new media consultancy, offers practical information on good web design, including basic information about how to perform a simple analysis, "tutorials" (really these are more a series of brief essays) on design topics, and case studies that address design problems on real sites.... Nice, simple explanations with lots of supportive graphics.
  • In this article for the Australian Flexible Learning Community, Maish Nichani presents a nice, concise argument for taking a "big picture" approach to user experience design - with a useful description of some differences between IA & ID
  • Site Diagrams: Mapping an Information Space. Useful information on how to outline and diagram your "information space"
  • This tutorial from Webmonkey is a good place to start if you're new to IA, particularly the lessons on Site structure and Visual design.
  • AIfIA(The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture) provides a host of resources, including a Design tools section that includes sample process maps, content development spreadsheets, wireframe templates, and other development tools.