Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Google Alliance vs. Facebook&Microsoft

Via Ton Zijlstra (btw Ton has an excellent blog)

An article in The NY Times today announces:

Google and some of the Web’s leading social networks are teaming up to take on the new kid on the block — Facebook.

On Thursday, an alliance of companies led by Google plans to begin introducing a common set of standards to allow software developers to write programs for Google’s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning.

The strategy is aimed at one-upping Facebook, which last spring opened its service to outside developers...The start of OpenSocial comes just a week after Google lost to Microsoft in a bid to invest in Facebook and sell advertising on the social network’s pages outside the United States.

The new alliance’s platform is called OpenSocial (URL will go live on Thursday). Michael Arrington on Techcrunch writes:

OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:

  • Profile Information (user data)
  • Friends Information (social graph)
  • Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)

CUELC meeting in Cairo

Over the next couple of days I´ll be attending a CUELC seminar in Cairo. I´ll accompany 4 of our best bachelor and master students to meet other students from Cairo University and INT Evry, France. The main goal of this seminar is the give students from different institutions the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange their experiences in the area of technology enhanced learning. Since the semiar will bring together students from different cultures, intersting would be to study the impact of different cultures on TEL. I´m looking very much forward to this event.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

jQuery vs. Prototype

Via Dion Almaer - Ajaxian

A comparison between the jQuery and Prototype Ajax frameworks by Remy Sharp.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blogs Are the Long Tail of Media

Chris Anderson pointed to a book called Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World's Top Bloggers by Mike Banks. This book is not more than a collection of short interviews with some famous bloggers. One of the interviews was with Chris Anderson who was talking about his "The Long Tail" blog experience. The interview is availabe here (.pdf). The author summarizes the interview as follows:

To better serve the low-demand niche markets (or just to increase the quality of your own blog), consider these points:

  • There is no one “blogosphere.” There is an infinite number of blogospheres, each shaped by the tastes and experiences of individuals.
  • A blog is a thinking tool, a means of collecting, composing, and amplifying your thoughts—while getting useful feedback. Ideas are enriched by the experiences of blog readers.
  • A personal blog presents a better platform for communicating honestly and transparently than a company blog, where a writer is constrained by commercial considerations. However, remember that self-promotion is more effective when it includes a value-added element.
  • A blog, especially one with a large community, can function as a distributed research project and become an efficient marketing platform.
  • A carefully selected set of feeds can make blogs function as an information filter.
  • When blogging, focus on specific interests. You don’t have to appeal to an overly diverse audience. Focused blogs are self-selecting, in that they draw readers who have a legitimate interest in the blogs’ subjects. Such readers are more likely to forgive errors and omissions, and will contribute more than someone just passing through.
  • Every blog, and every blogger, can be improved. To maximize your blog’s audience, focus with laser precision on your subject.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Knowledge Management Video

Via Samuel Driessen.

Knowledge Management is about people...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The state of Enterprise 2.0

Via George Siemens.

A nice post by Dion Hinchcliffe on the state of
Enterprise 2.0. While discussing the state of Enterprise 2.0 in fall 2007, Dion listed 7 lessons learned about Enterprise 2.0:

  1. Enterprise 2.0 is going to happen in your organization with you or without you.
  2. Effective Enterprise 2.0 seems to involve more than just blogs and wikis.
  3. Enterprise 2.0 is more a state of mind than a product you can purchase.
  4. Most businesses still need to educate their workers on the techniques and best practices of Enterprise 2.0 and social media.
  5. The benefits of Enterprise 2.0 can be dramatic, but only builds steadily over time.
  6. Enterprise 2.0 doesn’t seem to put older IT systems out of business.
  7. Your organization will begin to change in new ways because of Enterprise 2.0. Be ready.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Google Translate and ALOA

Google Operating System is reporting that Google has switched the translation system on its Google Translate service to its own technology. Previously, the site used Systran for almost all of its translation processing, except Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
Our ALOA system, the Web Services driven framework for IEEE LOM compliant automatic matadata generation, is using Google Translate for its translation service. Here I use the ALOA framework to generate the LOM summary metadata from the MIT course "Database Systems" in 5 different languages; English, French, German, Arabic, and Spanish. The result can be seen in the screenshot below. I´m very familiar with these languages and I can say that the result is quite good for a machine translation.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Web 2.0 Summit Videos

Videos from Web 2.0 Summit 2007 including e.g. a conversation with founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg are available on

Friday, October 19, 2007

How the Net Works

A nice article by Stephen Downes on "How the Net Works". In this article, Stephen contrasts the network approach to learning with the transmission model of learning. He writes:

Rather than being a process of acquiring something, as commonly depicted, learning is in fact a process of becoming something. Learners do not 'receive' information which they then 'store', they gain experiences which, over time, result in the formation of neural structures. To learn is to instantiate patterns of connectivity in the brain. These connections form as a result practice and experience. They are not constructed; a student does not 'make meaning' or 'construct meaning', as sometimes depicted in the literature. Connections are grown, not created; meaning is, therefore, grown, not constructed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Information R/evolution in Web 2.0

Via Marco Kalz.

Another great video by Michael Wesch, the creator of “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us”, on Information R/evolution. Well worth a look!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ajaxian 2007 Survey Results

Ajaxian published the results of their third annual Ajax Reader Survey. Some observations according to the Ajaxian team:

  • Prototype and Scriptaculous still dominate the field with 68% and 59% of readers using them, respectively. jQuery has a respectable 48% share. Yahoo UI!, Dojo, and Ext JS round out the top six. Google Gears enjoys usage by 22% of survey participants--pretty amazing for its youth. Despite Java's popularity amongst our readers, DWR is only used by 13% of readers, which surprised us.
  • A little over 50% of readers use PHP, and about 40% use Java. Only 20% of readers use .NET technologies.
  • The biggest concern on your mind? Cross-browser rendering issues, with 60% of you listing it as your biggest concern.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Need for New Learning Models...

Via Luis Suarez

"We can´t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them"
Albert Einstein

Did You Know 2.0:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mobile Web Services for Collaborative Learning

Last Friday, our student Iliyana Ivanaova has successfully defended her master thesis "Mobile Web Services for collaborative Learning". I supervised Iliyana’s thesis together with my dear colleague Satish Srirama. The goal of the thesis was to bring together the research areas of collaborative learning and mobile web service provisioning. The thesis combines the latest developments in the related research domains: collaborative learning, mobile learning, mobile social software, and mobile web service provisioning.

The outcome of this thesis was the design and implementation of the MobileHost CoLearn system which implements different modules to support web services based mobile collaborative expertise finding for learning.

The MobileHost CoLearn system presents a novel approach to expertise finding within a truly collaborative mobile learning environment, including expert finding, literature resource retrieval and multimedia resource broadcasting, based on web service provisioning from mobile phones. The system enables the users to find experts in particular fields, who can provide them with exactly the information that they need and who can solve the specific problems they encounter. The discovery of experts is not targeted only within the framework of the user's social network, but also within the social networks of her acquaintances, and the social networks of the acquaintances of her acquaintances, and so forth. Such an expert finder flow will usually lead to the discovery of more than one potential expert, and the user's subjective decision who of them is the most knowledgeable one can be based either on the rating for the expert's level of expertise in the field, or on the path that the expert finder request has travelled before reaching the respective expert. After having found an expert, the user is provided with all the necessary information in order to be able to contact her for further assistance and to ask her questions regarding particular issues.

Alongside the valuable knowledge that flows within the system from the experts to the non-experienced users, the system supports the retrieval of a variety of resources. Among the most valuable literature types for each learner are the articles, inproceedings, proceedings, books, URLs, master and PhD theses, and unpublished resources. For the easy retrieval of specific resources, users should be able to tag them with particular keywords, and, as tagging is subjective and relevant, the user should be provided the opportunity to set the relevance of a tag to a resource. For this purpose, a three-level scale of relevance of a tag to a resource is employed.

Except retrieving specific resources at the time when they are needed, the system maintains image and audio resources within photocasting and podcasting channels, through which they are automatically distributed to all subscribers, as soon as they become available. This is one of the most suitable ways for sharing up-to-date knowledge, as the amount of information that can be conveyed through such broadcasting channels is enormous. In addition to employing the tagging mechanism, the leaving of feedback to broadcast resources should be also available, as well as the opportunity to retrieve the comments, that other learners have left for a resource.

Regarding the technical aspects, the MobileHost CoLearn system is based on the concept of web service provisioning from mobile phones. It takes full advantage of the latest developments in the telecommunication domain in terms of transmission rates and resource capabilities. The networking technology, which is used for communication between the web service provider and web service requesters, is GPRS, as it provides excellent speed, four times faster than GSM, and allows learners to be always connected, so that services are quick and easy to access.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

From Knowledge Management to Knowledge Networking

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Networking


Knowledge as Thing or Flow

Knowledge as Network

Core Knowledge Activity

Knowledge capture or tacit-explicit knowledge conversion

Tacit/explicit knowledge networking


Knowledge Management System (complicated, top-down, centralized, controlled, hierarchical, knowledge-push)

Knowledge Ecology (complex, distributed, ubiquitous, bottom-up, flexible, dynamic, emergent, self-organized, self-managed, self-controlled, knowledge-pull)

Target Group

Knowledge Worker

Knowledge Networker

Related Posts:

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Quotes found here...

- It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin

(a big challenge for future learning paradigms and learners/facilitators)

- Technology has the effect of not changing the mathematics, but changing the way we do the mathematics.
Roger Brown

(is also true for social media and learning)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Rails vs .Net

More videos from Rails Envy

Rails vs. Net

Ruby on Rails vs. PHP

Thursday, October 04, 2007

NetBeans vs. Eclipse

In this zdnet post, Ed Burnette compares NetBeans 6.0 and Eclipse. His conclusion was:

If you are looking for deep Java SE support, incredibly fast compilation and turnaround, or a platform on which to build commercial software, I would have to say Eclipse is still on top. But if you want to venture outside of Java SE and need a free tool for creating GUIs, mobile development, and web development, then NetBeans should be on your short list too.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CSS Tools

A good collection of CSS-related links from basic tutorials to advanced tools is available here.

77 Resources to Simplify Your Life as a Web Designer

A list of 77 resources for Web designers...

Monday, October 01, 2007


My dear friend Vitali Fedulov pointed me to an interesting new tool for recording and sharing freehand drawings (sketches) called Sketchcast.

Here´s a sample sketchcast: