Friday, July 29, 2005
”Podcasting” always makes me think of sci-fi transportation, for some reason…
Although Apple has just released a version of iTunes that locates, tracks and downloads podcasts from all over the place, for those of us who still like to make happy serendipitous finds, the following portals for locating do-it-yourself podcasts work just fine and dandy: www.podcast.net and www.podcastalley.com.
Couldn’t resist the corny title, but a lot of the current content of Cellphedia registers at the corny level. That aside, the idea behind cellphedia really taps into the fast emerging world of the “always on” internet described by Howard Rheingold. Basically, Cellphedia claims to be the first “Ubiquitous Social Encyclopedia” and comprises an internet-based archive that is built via mobile phone text messages. The archive is a set of questions and their answers (even worng answers, but answers nonetheless) that are organized according to pre-set categories, and contributed by registered members. The posting process begins with members sending questions to everyone registered for cellphedia via text messaging, and then the first person to respond with a text-messaged answer is the "winner" (they accrue points and their response os posted to the archive, along with the question).
So far, the facts being shared on cellphedia aren’t exactly what you’d call ‘knowledge’ in any deep sense (e.g., Q: what is a limpet? A: a gastropod, mollusk), but I did learn some interesting things, like, the second most popular bridge in the US to commit suicide from is the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, where to find serious information on time travel, and how to make Long Island Iced Tea (which, incidentally, doesn’t contain a skerrick of tea).
I can see some potential in Cellphedia for some nice social activism and advocacy (e.g., one question posed by a member reads: “does it seem possible that adhd might be caused by the same metal mechanism of constant anxiety?” And the answer is: “adhd is caused by drug companies that want to sell ritalin to kids”). Nice.
This might be a hoax, but then again, maybe not...
My sister in Reading, not far from London, sent me this picture today. She got it from a friend in Australia, which makes me think it's gotta be a hoax, but just in case it's not, this photo of the announcement board at Nottinghill Station on the London Underground says so much.
Nice introduction to grounded theory
Colin and I have been dancing around with grounded theory for the past while as part of our exp[lorations of phenomenology as a potentially fruitful research approach to studying new literacies. Colin found this website today that offers a really nice introduction to using grounded theory in qualitative research.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
In The First Person
Alexander Street has put together an astoundingly cool and free online archive of first person accounts (diaries, oral history transcripts, letters, audio recordings) from a wide range of geographical locations and time periods that is an absolute cornucopia of data! In The First Person includes data from literally hundreds of oral history projects from all over--Newfoundland, Australia, Nicaragua...
Blogging about blogs
We're back in Newfoundland and we have a whole slew of new blogs that participants in the course we're teaching here have generated. Here is a sample of what's been produced so far: