Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I had a sudden insight on Friday that was a bit shocking and funny at the same time. During a discussion about online 'openess' someone explained that his daughter answers the phone by greeting the person calling, she knows who is calling her. I realized I always say my own name when I answer the phone.. but in a way it is ridiculous, because on my display I already see who is calling me! It is just a matter of habit. It's an old habit from the time when you could not see on the display who is calling you... There is my age-group playing out a small act as if we don't know who is calling.. It shows clearly that practices change very slowly following technical solutions. The way we interact and communicate with friends is grounded in a lot of conventions. If a persons picks up the phone saying her name, you know she is from the era before the displays!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- Right to reproduce, modify or broadcast
- Moral rights- to protect the integrity of her personality
Exceptions: the right to make quotations with proper attribution, educational exceptions and private copying, public interest, reuse of press materials by the press.
Now- there's an explosion of creativity for other motivations than rent seeking that's not really recognised by the copyrights. For most people the problem is not being copied, the problem is not being read/seen/ copied enough.. it limits authors and access to orphan works.
Creative commons was set up in 2002 by US non-profit corporation (by Prof. Lawrence Lessig) similar to open source licenses. As long as you adhere to certain principles, you can use it freely. Now in 44 countries though the concept of national licenses may be outdated. There are now more than 250 million CC licensed objects available on the internet, like good quality pictures on flickr. There are 6 different licenses that allow sharing, or transfer the work into another format. Give proper attribution to original author. licensor can choose if she wants to limit this to non-commercial uses of the work or include commercial purposes as well. You can choose to allow performance of derivative works. See the 6 core licenses here. Important is that they do not limit the 'fair use' rights and do not exclude the use of other licenses simultaneously.
Good news: Adam Curry has a flickr account with a creative commons account! Which the tabloids took to use in an article. Adam sued them and won (because it was commercially used), which was the first court case involving a creative commons license.
- By the way life blogging doesn't distract me it keeps me quite focused! though during boring parts you start to do other things on your computer and that's really distracting.. I wonder why the topic of copyright always seems slightly boring to me whereas it seems important enough.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Innovation in Participatory Learning Awards support larger-scale projects.
that demonstrate new modes of participatory learning in a variety of
environments, by creating new digital tools, modifying existing ones, or using
digital media in novel ways. Collaboration is strongly encouraged. International
applications are welcome from eligible organizations
This year we are piloting international eligibility for our Innovation Award and will be accepting submissions from primary applicants in Canada, People's Republic of China, India, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands,Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States; collaborators can befrom anywhere in the world.……
Application Deadline: October 15, 2008
Full information at: DML competition
(You can find out about last year's winners here)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
When we had a skype conference call, we opened a chatroom to take notes. However, Mark couldn't see the chatroom and I explained what he should see on the bottom of the screen. He couldn't see it. Then it appeared he had a Mac computer and it was showing up at the top of his screen! It makes me think starting to work online has similarities to working in a different culture. You have to be prepared to open yourself up to new ways of working and alternatives to what you expect. It's a whole new world and you are a total stranger till you get familiar with it.
Sibrenne and I have worked online quite a lot, but Mark is new to our way of working. It's amazing to see how easy he is picking up on working with various tools, as compared to efforts to introduce tools in organisations! We are using skype, Unyte, various google docs and write for the giraffe weblog. Mark is enthusiastic about google docs and has started using it for other projects too, and has recently started his own weblog about learning and social capital in South Africa.
Linking this to the lessons about teaching web2 tools to researcher by Pete Shelton, I think you can say that Mark has experienced how it can work from peers (us) and is therefore able to apply it to his own work situation. And ofcourse we are great, patient co-workers that don't make him feel stupid when he doesn't know how it works (or do we?)...
I'm not sure if I linked already to the article that I wrote with Sibrenne about tools for virtual teams - (because it is in Dutch I may not have linked it on this blog but here it is for any interested Dutch speaking persons)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of
connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of
interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people. (You could
belong to the same network as someone and never know it.) The domain is not
necessarily something recognized as “expertise” outside the community. A youth
gang may have developed all sorts of ways of dealing with their domain:
surviving on the street and maintaining some kind of identity they can live
with. They value their collective competence and learn from each other, even
though few people outside the group may value or even recognize their
From the definition you can see that a community of practice is a special type of network, one with a focus on its domain. By interacting, the members are forging common ideas and practices around their domain, and may achieve -slowly- innovation. Slowly, because there is a stage whereby the members need time to exchange and establish the common ground and bridge differences. You have to know what exists before you can innovate. What I can add from my experience is that there are no hard rule for domain definition. Yet, it is best if the domain is not so vast, that you start drowning and get too wide a group of interested people. On the other hand, it should not be so narrow that it becomes like a problem. You may have a 'name' and a 'description' for instance the e-collaboration community focusses on 'how to guide the introduction of e-tools into development organisations in a way that it improves collaboration (north-north and south-south) in development cooperation.' Probably 'teleconferences' would have been too narrow a focus and 'using ICTs' too wide a focus - in this particular case.
Friday, September 05, 2008
To start with the weaknesses: I don't buy into his idea that social media will make organizations obsolete, because they will bring the power of 'organizing without organizations'. His explanation of the raison d'etre of organizations is very simplistic; when you want to organize something with a group of people, you start an organization. First of all he overlooks the fact that there are many more informal and formal forms of organizing - families, networks, associations, friendship groups etc. Secondly, he does not enter into a description of the different functions of businesses, governmental and civil society organisations. Each have a function to play in society and I don't think this function will disappear because people can organize things without costs by using online tools.
What I'm impressed with is his understanding of the impact of new communication tools. "communication tools don't get socially interesting untill they get technologically boring. The invention of a tools doesn't create change; it has to have been around long enough that most of society is using it". I think that is very well said. The tools don't change us. It is through experimenting with the tools, and becoming at ease with new tools that our behaviour changes. Shirky provides the recognisable example of the cell phone- now with cell phone, we don't make clear appointments, we say- I'll call you later. It's not the cell phone that makes us sloppy, it's the fact that we've become comfortable and used to cell phone that changes our appointment making habits. When anorexia patients meet over the internet, it's not caused by the internet, but it is a latent interest of anorexia patient to connect that gets crystallized into a network because of they make creative use of the new tools. I recall that when the students went on strike, the Dutch newspaper headlines were: MSN calls for strike! But in reality it's the students that called for strike and they were very effective in organizing themselves because they had their MSN networks. Online tools remove the barriers to collective action. He provides a very convincing example of the first groups that used Meetup to connect. They were not the well-established groups you'd expect. On the contrary groups that used Meetup to organize gatherings were groups with a latent desire to meet, but for whom it was difficult to organize it (for whatever reason).
As a result of experimenting, behaviour may change and the balance of power may change too. And that's the exciting - or revolutionary if you wish, part of the story. Clay Shirky: " the most profound effects of social tools lag their inventions by years, because it isn't until they have a critical mass of adopters, adopters who take these tools for granted, that their real effects begin to appear." So this is a stage of intense experimentation. There are definitely chapters of the book I'm going to reread.
By the way, you can find all the weblinks mentioned in the book (often annoying to retyp a paper weblink into your browser) here.