Friday, March 21, 2008


A colleague recently blogged a link to a video about the massive shift that is going on, socially and technologically. At the end of the video is calls for the viewer to get involved by reading, and hopefully participating in, this wiki.

I encourage you to watch the video and take part, in your own way, in this important and global conversation.

What do I plan to do?

Well, to start I posted this into my blog - please track back to this if you feel so inclined. Post something into your blog, bring this to your own network.

I RSSed the blog and also requested permission to join it. You can do the same!

I plan to post a link to the video for my writing class. The theme for our section this semester is social issues, so this fits right in. We start each class off with a writing exercise. They get five minutes to write, and two or three minutes to edit, a piece on a topic I announce in class. They post their work into the discussion board of our course management system (we use BlackBoard). It will be interesting to see how the react.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I am on many listserve, a few of them are big, but none of them are as big as the Second Life Education (SLED) list. As of the last report, there are nearly 5000 individual email addresses on this list.

The list is unmoderated. Not only does this mean that messages go out as they come in, meaning nobody has to “approve” them, but it also means that, for the most part, no admin is “watching” the list. Are some of the folks from Linden Labs on the list? Sure, but they are not there, apparently, to administrate the list.

Every few weeks someone realizes that the list volume is gigantic and they don’t feel like they can handle the sheer number of emails generated daily. In an effort to get off the list they send an email to the list asking to be unsubscribed.

If handled properly, this is not such a bad thing - someone writing and saying “I’m not sure how to get off this list, can someone point me in the direction?” Normally, however, it is someone just writing “unsubscribe” or “unsubscribe me”, and that’s it.

I delete these but some other folks get very upset by them. This massive list is right now going through gyrations about how to handle this problem and how these people making these requests should be shot, stabbed, drawn, quartered, burned at the stake, and then made to sit in the corner.

Do I think these folks asking to be unsubscribed are lazy? Yes, some. I mean, there are clear instructions at the very bottom of each email from the listserve telling people how to unsubscribe. I’m on a number of listserves and most of them have unsubscribed instructions at the bottom.

Do I think some of these folks requesting an unsubscribe are inconsiderate? Yes, some. Instead of figuring it out on their own, they now have to generate 5000 emails in inboxes to solve a fairly simple problem. Lets keep one thing in mind here – this is a listserve for people who are interested in using what is still a leading edge, if not bleeding edge, technology. So, the question might be, should they be allowed to do that when they can’t even figure out how to unsubscribe themselves from a listserve?

I think most of these folks are just busy. They get inundated with 50-100 emails right after signing up – freak out – and just want to get off the list. So, we have the lazy, the inconsiderate, and the desperate. Not a particularly attractive group, huh?

The fury that has surrounded these requests on the list takes up so much more effort than just hitting delete. So, if you’re on the SLED list, and you read my blog – next time someone posts an unsubscribe, or you get an auto-away message, save yourselves the time and effort and just hit delete. And then you can vent about it in your blog. LOL

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seton Hall and Play2Train

I had the fortune to meet Ramesh from Play2Train when I was writing the ECAR Research Bulletin. The stuff they've been doing over there has been groundbreaking for some time now. I met Heide and Riad late last year when they, and Laura Nicosia, and I all presented at NEConnect. Congrats to all, this looks like an amazing effort.

If you knew Torley, like we now known Torley..."

I've been reading Torley Linden's blog for a while now. His videos rock, the guy is totally brilliant. Every once in a while he comes out with something that make me wince, but normally we're spot on. Here is one of his on the fringe posts, but I have to share it. This guy cracks me up.

Guess what videoblogging on your toilet is called?


No kidding. I was in the shower, and when that happens, all sorts of ideas come to mind. When shower's done, I scramble to my computer to write them down. Sometimes I have a voice recorder on, but with the amount of water noise and reverberance, it isn't that clear.

According to expert Laura Nicosia...

Congrats to Laura for showing by doing, using technology to break down the traditional barriers of education.

MSU's very own Howard Stern?

I've heard absolutely nothing about this. I haven't read Thursday's Montclarion deeply yet, scanned it, know I didn't see anything like this.

Thanks to Google Alert, I found this in a Philly paper.