Monday, January 23, 2006

Blogging and wikis

Brain Lamb has recently posted a call for submissions in support of a talk he's doing next week in Vancouver, BC.

I recommend that you visit the link above for the complete list of Brian's questions, but I thought I'd respond to a couple here:

In your mind, what is most misunderstood (or little understood) about these tools?

The most "misunderstood" aspect of these tools is the whole notion of public/private and walled gardens and the need to "protect" those in online environments. While I agree that certain age groups, and perhaps new and beginning users, need to be sheltered from the "black hats" that one finds on the 'net -- it's also imperative that we teach individuals how to conduct themselves in online environments from the outset.

Call it 'net-proofing if you like (although this may engender a false sense of security), but I think it's important to turn the responsibility for one's "online persona" back to the individual.

Those participating in the "read/write web" need to be responsible for both deciphering the semiotics of the web, but, just as importantly, have an appreciation of the fact that what one is posting is indeed accessible by anyone with a connection to the 'net.

Of course this means that the potential--good and bad--of posts to impact one's life is huge. Rather than be intimidated by this fact, I think we can do a lot to educate and encourage the effective use of blogs and wikis as a tool for sharing and building knowledge and communities of practice.

Are blogs and wikis evolving into something else?

I think that blogs and wikis are definitely evolving. I believe that audio and video will continue to play an increasingly important role in online environments. I think this is true for all kinds of 'casts -- be they audio, video, or screen, "canned" or streaming. I think that interfaces like elgg are examples of how blogs and wikis are evolving.

Elgg is "open source, learner centred, community building platform" that allows for the incorporation of "media" files into the interface and also provides for the tagging of objects and syndicated feeds with publishing details. This is one example, but I think that "sky's the limit" in terms of what we might see in terms of open source "mashups" and hosted web services applications.

I also think that "services" companies who provide "solutions" based on open source platforms will continue to drive "the open source movement" and make it viable and sustainable.

No comments: