Monday, 18 December 2006

Blog api's

I've been playing with flickr and am quite taken at the way you can post photos direct from flickr into your blog, Clever use of an api.

Over at my other blog I've been musing about multiuser blog software and the joys of exporting and importing posts from blog providers - something I'd like to do, as well as the professional need to come up with a multi user blog solution that has ldap integration and doesn't suck in some disgusting way and is free

odd ...

A long time ago, just before I moved to Australia my resume was picked up by what was then webct, who phoned me up to talk (in very vague and hypothetical terms) about my perhaps working for them.

Well nothing came of it, I moved to Oz, did things and then today, I get an email from blackboard, who now own webct, asking me if I was still vaguely interested.

What's odd is that they sent it to the jnd[at]apex[dot]net[dot]au account that i've hardly ever used and is set up to forward to my wife's mailbox. Even more bizarre is that the apex account dies tomorrow, since we've given them the flick ...

I thought about posting this on my other blog which is linked to from my resume website but thought better of it - you never know it might be (another) change of direction

Saturday, 16 December 2006

istanbul golden horn sunset

istanbul golden horn sunset
Originally uploaded by moncur_d.

I took this in August 1998. If you've looked at my other blog you'll know that I'd lost the picture.

Fortunately I've now found it, along with a few others from the Turkey trip.

Friday, 15 December 2006

surf at hobart beach

surf at hobart beach
Originally uploaded by moncur_d.


last weekend we went down to Tathra, walked on beaches, ate freshly caught fish and did some human things - great to be away for a weekend

Friday, 27 October 2006

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0

Went to a presentation yesterday by our Library solutions provider. Some of it was NDA so I won't name names. What was interesting was the demonstration of the new system which was all web 2.0 ified ready for the participation age or all about collaboration.

Now personally I'm not too sure how much of the particiapation age or web 2.0 is hype, but certainly the youth of today seem to expect some sort of shared working, and to be fair most vle's (eg sakai, webct, bodington) seem to have the idea of collaborative small project work in the box.

Anyway, librarians are apparently scared that the library catalog doesn't give the amazon/google experience, so this nameless software now adds support for participation age features:

Tagging - basically allow students to build a folksonomy of references and use that for individual study rather thanrely on the library catalogue. This sort of makes sense, especially if they can add online resources into their collection, as so much material is online. After all, all it is is allowing students engaged in independent study to share references, although there are questions about the worth of individual tags and classifications within a relatively small university community. All it would take is an assertive and off the wall individual in a tutorial group to skew the folksonomy, or it would until people learned to ignore him or her

Facets - use faceted classification - basically keywords on drugs rather than single subject classification which makes thematic searching for information easier

and Mashups - the idea here to feed your catalogue search into other sources, eg Google Scholar to come up with related online material to add 'value' to the search, really grasping towards using a federated search to create a virtual reference shelf.

Interesting, yes. Revolutionary, no. Even when I was a PhD candidate over 25 years ago we used things like the print edition of current contents and ISI to search for information and get it from elsewhere on interlibrary loans, and used our own classifications for these 8x4 filecards you kept references and notes on to make the knowledge structure that made sense of the problem for you.

Or at least I did - I've always been interested in the relation between things rather than orthodox linear views of knowledge.

What a lot of this stuff is is showing that it can be as flexble as people are and allows you to work the same way as you would intuitively rather than, like a lot of old fashioned systems, forcing a particular rigid model of knowledge on students, and instead encouraging learing and discovery.

Or at least it will among the bright motivated self starters. I'm sure how it will play with the dumb plodders ....