Doing the Wave

[wave id=”googlewave.com!w+sjvxmJ1sA”]

I’m passing this wave along to other EdTechers to see how this tool might in fact get used. It’s fine to have an account, but unless there are others out there who you can share with, it’s no fun. So, if you have an account, be sure that you are logged in and you’ll be able to see what is going on. For everyone else, I’ll try to post screenshots as things move along.

Edit – so it seems that the sandbox account that you need to see exported waves is not connected to one’s googlewave account. So I guess for now, there is no way to publicly display waves.

Edit 2 – Let’s try this:


Edit 3 – It seems that GW is already playing nice with webkit mobile browsers. So while it seems that this might be a confusing message board for the desktop, the setup might do very well on the mobile side. I’ll have to try it at home as it crashes the BB browser.

Edit 4 – This is the best explanation of why Google Wave is important.

Photosketch

I spotted this on Gizmondo and was also blown away:

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.

I can imagine how Photosketch might be the killer app for use in schools for digital storytelling. It takes the same idea as Scibblenaughts and uses it for image creation. The catch would be to make sure that the stock images used would be ones that are age appropriate. But I’m sure using the gravatar idea, they could build age filters in to make it more palatable for cautious school admins to allow access to.

I’m certainly going to follow this one.

WA Homework Day

On Oct 21st, the folks behind Wolfram Alpha are going to have an online homework day for k-12 students (no word on how they are going to deal with citing search/knowledge retrieval results), post secondary and educators. They are going to go over how to use the system for a variety of subjects and are accepting questions through the homework website.

It’s certainly an interesting way to get people to start thinking about the service again.

What I learned from Twitter this week

Over the last week, EdMedia was taking place in Hawaii and Twitter was able to deliver some of the key ideas, enabling those who couldn’t be there to vicariously participate. One of my tweets wound up on top of the screen during one of the keynotes, quickly garnering some tweetbacks from the conference – it certainly felt like I was virtually there.

This meme propogation and participation isn’t anything new for Twitter, but the utility of the backchannel in a conference certainly became real for me as a remote observer. There have been other conferences to use this, but EdMedia was likely one of the first Edtech conferences to do it and do it well.

Participation in world events like MJ’s death and the Iranian “election” were also fully featured in Twitter this week, both massively stressing the system. Participation in personal events, like Adam Savage’s AT&T bill also showed how companies can no longer afford to be “cloak and dagger” with their activities as one popular or motivated follower can bring attention to even the slightest missive.

Facebook is now allowing custom sharing

facebookpublicbitsIt looks like people will be able to choose how their status updates and other published items are shared. This only makes sense after the Vanity URL move because right now, it makes no sense to send people to your URL unless it is to make it easier to find you. With this, you now have the opportunity to put something on that page. Hopefully it spreads through the system quickly. Now all Facebook needs to do is to allow for some way of “retweeting” to allow sharing between otherwise closed/isolated networks.

Generations of Media, SNS and the Ballot

I last wrote about Shirky in November, and now I’ve spotted a TED talk from his as well. This one was just recorded and addresses how social networks are changing patterns of communication and how those networks are perhaps able to if not shake the Earth, at least report it.

Right now, Twitter is going nuts about the Iranian “election” and in these situations it seems that the democratizing power of the ‘net is most evident and all of the sudden borders start to melt. We saw this before in the US ’08 election and the prorouge event in Canada.

PS. If you are interested in helping out what is going on in Iran through the ‘net, here are some pointers. I know that I’ve forwarded proxies in the clear – realizing it only after the tweet went out and then not being able to get to a computer in time to delete it – but after reading this, if I happen to come across some helpful information, I’ll know better how to deal with it.

So Mr Jones, you broke Facebook did you?

Well, it was only a matter of time before all the wisenhiemers who chose geeky/hacky usernames would break something. Now it looks like whoever went for something.aspx has broken something within Facebook. Yesterday, one of the guys in the office (a Mr. T Jones) chose 500.aspx as his URL. Everything worked, until last night when all he got when he logged in was:
500

facebookfail

Trying the other famous aspxer, Christine Shipley, the same thing happens. But if you Google her URL… guess what shows?:
defaultaspx
Google’s already indexing these new URLs, so it seems that Facebook better get some coding done in a hurry, either than or crater these vanity URLs at let the geeks reselect.

Update 6/17/09 – it seems that the .aspx URLs are working again.

500fixed

Update midday 6/17/09 – Broken again.

Vain in the name

These last few days have seen quite the interest in who scored which vanity URL from Facebook. Outside some commercially styled or really geek usernames (default.aspx an example – et al) most are true to their owner’s identity. That is assuming that you had a name that was uncommon enough across the millions of Facebook users that you could land your firstname.lastname or some other common combination or concatenation. If you are lucky (or unlucky enough) to have a more common name, you likely wound up with a whateverX username. Not very vanity nor very unique and in many ways, much like the email systems that made many pre-social networking users feel so very “non person”. One of the things that I remember hearing from non geek friends when they started into Facebook and the other systems was that they were now themselves online “Bob Jones” not jones.robert10. It seems that those days are slipping away. Where once there was a database reference ID of ten digits making everyone unique, now there are a string of characters that has taken us back to what it seems that social networks were helping us move away from. This generification of identity on social networks could be a good thing – it can help ensure that you are able to contact the right Bob Jones, when you need to get something done, or as one of my tweeps does find out about/contact babysitters.

If for whatever reason you want to, or need to change your name, you can’t right now. So that makes choosing your username somewhat difficult. Especially for those with an established online identity. So for myself, as much as I wanted to get /idarknight, I went with /boora. Why? Well, if/when someone is looking for me and they are facebookcentric, they are as likely as not, not going to know my idarknight handle, they will be looking for /boora. If Facebook ever allows secondary URLs, I”ll be sure to catch that one, but in the mean time I have the “old school” vanity URLs covered – boora.ca, idarknight.com and idarknight.ca.

So why is all this of any interest to anyone? Outside of the once or twice a month when you are looking to add some new contact to your Facebook contacts when you are sorting through which Bob Jones from your town you are actually looking at especially when they all haven’t put anything with their real face on their profile, are you ever going to use that URL? I don’t know. But if Facebook wants their service to be more than just a website, it might fit into that plan. It might also be another attempt to get some attention away from Twitter who has done the twitter.com/user for quite some time now (at least in ‘net years).

I’m certainly not the only one thinking about this, others include Wired (again), Silicone Beat and GigaOM.