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Theory & Practice on Moving Ground.

A few short points here, then I'll share something from outside the course outline in a separate entry. First, I finally subscribed to the Lifehacker RSS about a week ago, and lo and behold, a new IM/social network/email aggregator was listed: Digsby. See the Lifehacker entry for some details, I haven't signed up yet, but will by tomorrow.

Connect! This week again offered some great tips. The Orienteering method (starting on p.118) is essential to having any confidence in what you are researching online (or rather, in any answers you find), and frees you from the vagaries Google's or Yahoo's first-page search results. It's a bit slower on the front end, but you are certain to build more than enough knowledge to compensate. I also like the suggestions on page 138 for "renewing your beginner's mind". As Zalenka notes, it's easy to stagnate when you don't have a new look at the information you're working with - even when the information itself is new. I've inadvertently done a few of these things in the past when I've reached this point, and intend to practice them more frequently in the future.

Wikinomics seems to be the topic of the week, and I'll make most of my comments on the already extensive blogs by the rest of you. However, I do want to note that the chapter was somewhat troublesome to me in the same way as our Week One readings from Connect! (blog), in that Tapscott & Williams seemed to be going back and forth. Throughout Chapter 4 (p.97-123), they make strong prescriptive statements, but often immediately hedge them against current realities. The conclusion on page 123 brings that all together. Both sides are indeed necessary, and I fully agree with advocating the advance of technology and with pushing perspectives on innovation and open-sourcing, etc., but to me the argument is hurt by trying to play both sides in this fashion.

Comments

Quick Digsby update, since aggregators were a big topic last week. The install was tricky on Vista with AVG antivirus, but with full admin rights it worked in the end. Once that was completed, it seems to work well. It operates much like any typical IM client, with the list of contacts and so forth. It also lets you know when you receive new email and new actions (like wall posts, messages, etc) on facebook and myspace. Twitter isn't integrated, but otherwise I'm finding it a nice way to be live without a dozen Firefox tabs and logins. I'll try to be online a lot more now, so if you're on IM you can check for me on GoogleTalk (jimnegative) or AIM (NegativeMPLS). Cheers.