Monday, August 24, 2009

here's a guy whose job I covet
I'm going to Blogsville- C. Dawson
Industry fight against Google hurts education- C. Dawson
Is crowdsourcing a better choice for grading?- C. Dawson
Facebook pages for schools- C. Dawson
Ridiculous lawsuit against Amazon- C. Dawson
Kindle draws fire at AZ State- C. Dawson

As you can see, I'm an avid follower of Christopher Dawson, who seems to find topics that I'm invariably interested in. They are short, and informal, but well-written, and people chime in with lots of comments (these often lead to interesting sources as well). If Mr. Dawson retires, I would be interested in doing what he's doing (obviously).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

of interest


Stripling, J. (2009, Aug. 12). Life in a Google book search world. Inside Higher Ed. Accessed 8-09.

Arnold, S. (2009, Aug. 18). Google in Jeopardy. Beyond Search. Accessed 8-09.

Iskold, A. (2009, July 6). Free: It works, it cries, it bites. Read Write Web. Accessed 8-09.

Social networking

Hegna, J. (2009, Aug.) Guidelines for educators using social networking sites (draft). Blue Skunk blog. Accessed 8-09.

Cheng, J. (2009, Aug. 14). Facebook privacy: A guide. Ars Technica. Accessed 8-09.

Matlin, C. (2009, Aug. 16). Facebook cornering the market on e-friends. Washington Post. Accessed 8-09.

Shields, M. (2009, July 6). Nielsen Online: Kids flocking to the web. MediaWeek. Accessed 8-09.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

siuc web conference

It was my pleasure to attend part of the Web Conference, held at Rehn Hall on Mon. Aug. 10. Since my wife is out of town and I had childcare only in the morning, I could attend only in the morning, and even yet only part of that, since it was the first day of vacation and we, young boys and I, had trouble getting out the door early enough.

So, I missed the first part of the one that was probably most useful to me, about css stylesheets. The presenter, from housing, introduced csszengarden, a site I really like and one that hopefully will introduce me a little better to stylesheets.

The fact is, my web skills have grown hopelessly out of date, with no time to take classes or learn such things as stylesheets, javascript, etc. I have time for pop art, but no time for classes. Sometimes I'm made more aware of this just as I stand around and talk to other designers, many of whom are also doing it basically in their free time.

One thing you pick up is people's attitudes; for example, how to deal with fringe groups. It's one thing to worry about the blind, they say; of course you're going to have to go out of your way. It's another to worry about people on an IE5 on Mac. What do you owe them? If they're less than 5%, don't worry.

There's a push to open-source design; I confirmed my son-in-law's advice that everyone moved from tables to divs a few years back. it hasn't improved much; in some ways divs are just as bad.

Nevertheless, I was lucky to be here, and lucky to learn, and I knew it. The second presenter was from the school of journalism and taught how to be aware of and stay aware of the words that would be picked up by the searches, and displayed therein. A headline writer, she was aware of global traffic, local people, site visits, attraction and such; she was onto Jakob Nielsen and the accessibility guidelines; she reminded us of description text; she gave us the image of trying to pick up academy-speak on an iPhone (the kid moves the phone farther and closer, and squints); and how to make academy-speak into blunt powerful headlines & bullets (there are magic bullets, she said). Like poets, she shoots for big meaning, small words; she has a scorn for "click here" left over from the old days. Invite the reader to experience, she said. We can tighten, she said; we can put it in steps, even if it's the Woody shuffle. A silence hung in the air, no questions, while the one I had (how do you get away with a url like that?

Finally, Curt Wilson, who turns out to be an old friend of mine, and his talk on security. This went from SQL injections, to the different kinds of attacks; cross platform, etc. Keep updating your apps, he said. Adobe Reader is the newest one to attack, he said. When there's something to protect, that's when you need to worry about security; we at SIUC have a lot to protect. I had to leave this early, again for childcare reasons; I was in awe of his ability to know the difference between these kinds of attacks; it's a science, is all I can say.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009

twitter cont'd

Sutter, J. (2009, Aug. 6). Twitter hit by denial-of-service attack., technology.

Ostrow, A. (2009, July 29). What is Twitter? 69% of adults don't really know. Mashable.

Schroeder, S. (2009, Apr. 17). The web in numbers: The rise of social media.

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chat articles

Leverett, T. (2009). Chat and the language learner. Global Study Magazine, online.

Leverett, T. (2009, July). Chat and the writing class.
On the Tapis Newsletter, 140, Tapped In.

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