The trends around supporting the idea of play as a way to learn systems co-relates to the increasing acceptance of hacking society.
I’m a big fan of TechMeme, a web aggregation service that provides, at a glance, a few of what’s being discussed in the technology-focused part of the blogosphere. It has allowed me to unsubscribe from a large number of RSS feeds that were providing me with redundant information and I’ve long hoped for a version of TechMeme that would provide me with a customized view that providing a similar user interface for my own personal feeds. Recently, though, TechMeme has gotten me thinking about the tech blogosphere conversations as a whole and their longer term relevance. To the small “web 2.0” community, TechMeme serves as a bit of a paper of record; The subhead even claims that it represents the “Tech Web, page A1”, claiming to bring us the important stories. But how do those stories fare over time? Is today’s hot topic a step in understanding a longer term trend or is it just a temporary distraction that will be forgotten a month/3 months/6 months/a year from now. Fortunately, Gabe Rivera, the founder of TechMeme must have anticipated such a question and provided a way to look at TechMeme as it was a particular point in its short history….
According to recent research, the digital divide may include people who are not interested in getting online. The implication of this are enormous, impacting areas like E-government initiative. The idea of providing more services online allows corporations and government to reduce costs by encouraging self service. However, if a number of people decide that there is no value in being online, how does one offer them service? Would prodding, in the case of corporations through increased fees, work? And how would governments, which are supposed to offer services for free (well, almost, since those services are paid for by tax dollars), reduce costs. These are issues that need closer attention and I believe there is a need to better understand why people drop out. According to the wired article, some of the reasons have to do with complexities related to going online. In order to resolve those issues, the industry needs to play closer attention to user experience and start figuring out how to make things easier. Return on investments in technology will increase if more people use a system. More people will use a system if it’s easier to use. However, few companies pay close attention to those kinds…
If blogging is to replace journalism, it has to do a better job than current journalists. Even journalists are now decrying the low quality of reporting. Of note: “CEOs describe business journalists as lacking a basic understanding of how businesses operate.” Now that’s pretty scary. If you cover something, shouldn’t you at least understand its basics? The main problem here is the way journalists are trained (and, as a journalism graduate, I went through it): we learn to gather facts and write quickly and efficiently (I know, I know, some people are going to complain about how wordy I’ve been getting lately) but most J-school students do not learn anything else. What should happen is that journalism schools should require that its student also have another major so they would develop field expertise in something else than just gathering facts and writing on deadline.