Thursday, October 30, 2003

vancouverlearning.net is born

Today I launched a new service: vancouverlearning.net
This is a little brainchild that I've created, I hope it has legs, I suspect it will. Will see.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Six degrees of separation and online networking tools

I attended a fairly interesting webinar this morning on 'Six Degrees of Separation' with a fellow by the name of Kevin Temple (there will be a recording available in about 24 hours at Placeware). While far more focused on sales than my tastes (I am most interested in collaboration and learning applications), it held my attention and I learned about two interesting tools:
Zero Degrees
Friendster.com

My discovery about sharing webinar listings...

I have had an interesting experience this morning. I recently added a page on my website with listings of webinars. I attend a lot of webinars and often have people asking me where I find them. So thought this would be of interest to others in the learning and development field. What I didn't expect is that when people have trouble accessing a webinar that they would contact me, rather than the Webinar providers. I thought it was pretty obvious that I am not running these, but I guess not. I'm just the messsenger here! Hmmm.... I don't want to pull the page, but I certainly don't want this as a result! I've changed the blurb at the top of the page, hopefully it's clearer. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Mergers abound: Macromedia acquires eHelp

While the industry was abuzz last week about the Click2Learn/Docent merger, another merger slipped under my radar, that of Macromedia and eHelp. More precisely, Macromedia is acquiring eHelp. As I've recently purchased eHelp's products (RoboDemo, RoboHelp, etc.), and subscribe to a support license, this was of personal interest to me. Though I am not sure what the impact will be, and I am already a Macromedia customer as well. My guess is that it won't be hugely negative or positive initially, in the long term the ability to develop seamlessly between DreamWeaver and the eHelp suite would be my hope. I'll be staying tuned.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

How do you spell blog?

Ha! Just tried out my blog spellchecker and it says that blog isn't a word! Tsk Tsk.

Good blog stuff in today's elearning post

From elearning post today:

A new blog called Dusk and Dawn. It is the blog of "mindful learner", otherwise known simply by his first name, Stuart. He's a senior learning designer for a UK and chooses to remain anonymous as his ideas do not necessarily reflect those of his company.... Looks like it will be a good blog. For a couple articles from the mysterious Stuart are at:
10 Damaging e-Learning Myths (co-written with Maish Nichani of elearningpost)
Learning by Design

David Weinberger blogs about what will happen when blogs get really popular on the Joho blog.

I'll be looking down at the sidewalks now, could very well bump into warchalking WiFi searchers

I haven't yet been taking my laptop out seeking wireless connections in this city, the low number of locations available from the paid services has me holding back. But thought this was pretty interesting:

Warchalking is the practice of marking a series of symbols on sidewalks and walls to indicate nearby wireless access. That way, other computer users can pop open their laptops and connect to the Internet wirelessly. It was inspired by the practice of hobos during the Great Depression to use chalk marks to indicate which homes were friendly.
I'll be keeping my eyes open!

The Scobleizer Versus Cerberus the Hound of Hades

What would happen if a member of the Windows marketing team were to publish his personal observations in a public blog? Well, it’s happening at the Scobleizer Weblog, the personal blog of Robert Scoble. Jay Cross told me about this article, "The Scobleizer Versus Cerberus the Hound of Hades". It is a fascinating read!!!

An excerpt from the article: "I've gotten email from people telling me they have changed their attitude about Microsoft because of my blog," says Scoble. "It helps me share the company's beliefs." It also helps Microsoft hear what the market is saying, both good and bad. "I link to everyone who hates Microsoft, and I send the negative stuff to the executives," he says.
Here's the link to the actual Scobleizer Weblog.

Scoble had an interesting chuckle over this, and so did i: Freud Meets Blogs.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

British Columbia couple both win Ironman in Hawaii

Today, Saturday, October 18, 2003, Peter Reid and Lori Bowden, a married couple from Victoria both won the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii. After a 3.8 km. swim, a 180 km. bike ride, and a 42 km. run (a marathon), he won the professional men's division in 8 hours and 22 minutes and she won the professional women's division in 9 hours and 12 minutes. They have both won this event before but never at the same time. They have been described as the world's fittest couple. Two other Canadian women, Heather Fuhr and Lisa Bentley, finished in the top five. Canadians and British Columbians can be proud.

This came to me via an email from Don McIntosh, wishing congratulations to them both and a comment, "I am sending this out because the major media will barely mention it." He's probably right (so thanks Don!).

Not only that, but, hey, did a quick Google search, and found this Ironman site, and they don't even have the results posted yet (site still says there are four hours left); guess after the run the organizers were mai tai'ing.

How cool that they both won it in the same year, together! Or hot?

Friday, October 17, 2003

With my morning coffee....

People who are taller earn more money. $800/US an inch. It pays to be tall!!! (Where's my cheque). Source? Sorry, missed it. CBC Newsworld on the TV in the background as I surf (what can I say, I'm a news junkie).

100 millimetres of rain in 24 hours here in Vancouver. People's cars getting swamped with water up to their windows on Willingdon offramp from the freeway. Park Royal mall closed due to flooding. Lumber store flooded with floating wood everywhere in the store, 3' deep. It's called a Pineapple Express. Bet there are some interesting pictures, haven't found 'em yet. Interesting Vancouver rain clips:
Article
It always rains here
Well, not always

PS. It's still raining.

Before my morning coffee...

With my initial venturing online this morning, discovered:

Knowledge work and knowledge management are inseparable. At the Association of Knowledgework, people from every specialty cross professional, geographic, cultural, economic and hierarchical barriers to learn together. Not just another website, this is a virtual home for those who work with this stuff called knowledge.

Bloglines is "a free service that makes it easy to keep up with your favorite blogs and newsfeeds. With Bloglines, you can subscribe to the RSS feeds of your favorite blogs, and Bloglines will monitor updates to those sites. You can read the latest entries easily within Bloglines. Unlike other aggregators which require you to download and install software, Bloglines runs on our servers and requires no installation. Because your Bloglines account is accessible through a web browser, you can access your account from any Internet-connected machine." Bingo, may be exactly what I am looking for....

JOHO - Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization - I'm not even going to try and describe it, must visit.

Ever wonder what your Palm Vx would look like if you backed your car over it? Follow this link then hit page down about 2 times.

Take a peek into my brain before coffee: Gotta love it, found all that before my coffee perked, and I didn't even know I was looking! How'd I get there? For those may be interested, and even those who aren't, (OK, it's mainly me that's interested!), this all came from following a single link in this mornings elearningpost, which led me here. From there, well, you just scroll through JOHO, and see what happens! (This is life with curious mind ;-). Guess what happens when I have had my coffee first!!)

More pre-coffee discoveries:

Picking through JOHO I discovered something event better - David Weinberger's blog. ! And, for a little fun, here's a lovely comment from his website: "As for those of you who wonder why I don't write JOHO very frequently any more, take a look at my weblog. I'm writing every stinking day. Why? Beats me. Let me know if you figure it out." Well sed!! Go blogs go!

Back to JOHO, I just LOVED Weinberger's Editorial Lint: "JOHO is a free, independent newsletter written and produced by David Weinberger. If you write him with corrections or criticisms, it will probably turn out to have been your fault. To unsubscribe, send an email to joho-request@freelists.org with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. If you have more than one email address, you must send the unsubscribe request from the email address you want unsubscribed. In case of difficulty, let me know: self@evident.com. There's more information about subscribing, changing your address, etc., at www.hyperorg.com/forms/adminhome.html. In case of confusion, you can always send mail to me at self@evident.com. There is no need for harshness or recriminations. Sometimes things just don't work out between people. Dr. Weinberger is represented by a fiercely aggressive legal team who responds to any provocation with massive litigatory procedures. This notice constitutes fair warning. Any email sent to JOHO may be published in JOHO and snarkily commented on unless the email explicitly states that it's not for publication."

Thought bubble: I seem to be perking up with each discovery of people who tell-it-like-it-is...

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Demystifying RSS

Found a piece on RSS that I think can help me unravel this still-mystery aspect of blogs: "RSS: Hot Fix for Info-Junkies: Growing Web standard makes it easy to get news on the topics you want".

Courses as artifacts

Just L-O-V-E-D this statement on the elearnspace blog:

"Courses are artifacts of a learning model that is becoming obsolete. Courses work in an environment when knowledge/information is fairly static and developing slowly. The more rapidly information develops, the more quickly courses cease to serve the needs of learners. The information is outdated before the ink is dry." Read the rest of this piece, which discusses communities in learning: September 2003 archives under the heading, "Learning communities and learning networks".

Harvard blogs + more

A discovery today as part of my quest about blogs in learning: Weblogs at Harvard Law. It's really a meta-blog, a blog all about blogs - in general, and at Harvard Law. There's some good examples of legal stuff relating to blogs here, such as their terms of use. All those lawyers have been thinking about this stuff.

This led to other discoveries, from access to 80+ blogs at Harvard Law, and another recent blogger conference, BloggerCon, to this interesting NYT article: "Can Johnny Blog?",

Plus, I found: "How to enable Trackback on your Weblog" - this is something I've been meaning to learn more about, so nabbing the link here to return to. Plus, "How Trackback works".

Other stuff I found today:
Some uses of blogs in education - this is a great matrix!!! Even though I have been coming up pretty dry in my quest for examples of blogs in corporate learning, this model helps me frame the possibilities.

As always, the process keeps opening doors, and windows, and this little 'ol mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Sorta learned with Tom Peters today

Today I participated in a free webinar with Tom Peters on his new book (amazon.ca or amazon.com). Well, sorta participated. It was a Placeware event, aka Microsoft Live Meeting. I have taken literally dozens of Placeware events in the past, and have found them to be excellent as far as how well the technology works and how well they are facilitated. But ever since they were acquired by Microsoft, the experiences haven't been so positive. Ok, I've only been to two since then, but they were both very messy with technical problems. They'd better sort this out soon, or they are going to slip from being my favourite such provider, so several pegs down the list!

Now that I have finished that rant, Tom Peters was fabulous (would have been even better if I could have seen the slides, and it hadn't started 25 minutes late!) (oops, I said I was through with the rant, forgot). Tom is always totally refreshing. There will be a recording of the event available in a day or so on Placeware, and the slides can be downloaded from the Tom Peters site.

There's a follow-up event on November 10th, which will mainly be a Tom Peters Q&A, I'm signed up (and hopefully Placeware/MS will get their ducks in a row by then).

Thought bubble: I wonder what Tom Peter's rant will be after such a technology disaster ? ;-)
j0084206.wmf

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Found a Yahoo Group on blogs for KM

In re-reading a recent Information Week article on blogs, "Are You Blogging Yet?", my attention was drawn to the fact that there is a Yahoo Group on blogs in KM. I've just joined.

Post script added October 18: Uh, how not to demonstrate KM.... It's been 5 days and my moderated posting still hasn't been approved, this Yahoo Group is as dead as a doornail.

ROI at its best is a kinda, sorta thing....

Last week I went to quite a refreshing session on "Making Quality Count: How to Get Results With Training & Development" put on by the BCHRMA, and presented by Mark Frein. Mark is Director of Executive Programs at SFU and its Learning Strategies Group. Nestled among much great content was such practical council that it made me sit up and take notice. That doesn't always happen in this town!! (at least as far as new thinking in T&D). It was this quote, "ROI, at its best, is a kinda, sorta thing" that had me cheering. The attempts to exactly measure the ROI of training are, in my mind, continuing shots in the dark and generally fruitless. I think T&D folks are driving themselves crazy trying to pin the tail on a donkey that is dancing in a land of quantum physics. There is lots you can do to measure the impact of training, but it's time this industry got real. But it takes bravery to say, nope, can't do it. Mark Frein, you are breath of fresh air!

Blog lessons....

Blog lesson #1: blog often
After a roaring start, I kind of lost track of blogging for a bit there. It's not that there's any kind of rule, at least not for me, but the value blogging comes largely in its stream of consciousness, and its degree of currency (not $, but how current)....

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Learning Objects and RSS working together....

I have recently been interested in both RSS for blogs and learning objects, what I thought were two different subjects. But it seems that there are people putting the pieces together... totally intrigues me... It's late, and I've got to get some sleep, but it's caught my attention and I'll be back to study it:

"Customized collections of learning objects from multiple repositories are achieved with simple, existing RSS protocols, creating access to a wider range of objects than a single source. This provides discipline-specific windows into collections, contextual wrappers via blogging tools, and a system for connecting objects and implementations via TrackBack ...." Found at this url: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/show/merlot03/

What's a Webring?

I just realized that I do not know what a webring is.... haven't heard the term in a long time, and not since I became so online oriented. I gather it's some kind of online community, but for some reason I associate it with listservs and such... Tonight I came across an "Edublog Webring" - now there's a combination! Anyways, that got me thinking..... Any insights will be most welcome...

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Good webinars from CLO

Today I took a free webinar from CLO Events (the publishers of CLO magazine, and providers of CLO conferences).

The session I attended was called "Enterprise Architecture for e-Learning: Working With the CIO". There will be an archive recording available in the next day or so. The host was Kevin Kruse, of e-Learning Guru, and there was a panel of excellent speakers. I thought the stuff on the "great fears of the IT department" was excellent, and there were many great ideas and strategies for partnering training and IT groups.

I'd most definitely take a CLO webinar again. They have a couple interesting topics coming up:

Nov 5 - "The CLO's Role: Enterprise Education and Change Management"

Dec 3 - "Do's and Dont's for Measuring Cost Benefit Analysis"