Technology Weblogging

Weblogging and course management systems

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I found the following through Scripting News:

There was a cross-posting between Adam Curry and Greg Ritter about weblogging, school weblogs, and course management systems. Having contracted at both Harvard Business School as well as Stanford’s School of Business, I was curious about this mixture of course management with blogging, so I followed the thread.

The cross-posting started with a post Curry made about Weblogs in Education, where he discusses weblogging in academia, his school blogging server DataBarn, and the use of Manila. Curry also, briefly, described a business model associated with it (blogs and blog hosting are free, charge for the tools to enable higher level integration; however, verify my interpretation at his site.) Ritter responded with his views of the proposed business model, and the possibility of tying blogging APIs into Blackboard. In case you’re not familiar with it, Blackboard is a courseware management application. (Within education systems, courseware systems rank among the highest for being the most complex pieces of software.)

Curry posted a response to Ritter’s posting (as well as other commentary from what I can read). He was a bit uptight, which is surprising because Ritter’s comments were mild, more questioning than anything. Nothing approaching a flame or a rant (and I know both of these quite well).

However, RItter took “the high road” (as Curry himself put it), with a response explaining his original posting, as well as providing more information about the possibility of melding Blackboard with weblogging capability — the real focus of his earlier blog. At which point, Curry did a final post, gracefully following the lead that Ritter provided — the concept of melding courseware and blogging software together. What would it take?

I know this cross-posting threading is a bit tough to follow at times, but I found it very worthwhile. Reasons:

  1. I’ve worked with courseware, and I’ve looked into the innards of blogging technology; I never would have thought about marrying the two. The concept generates interesting possibilities. At a minimum it highlights the usefulness of open APIs and interfaces.
  2. I’m very impressed with Greg Ritter’s handling of a possible point of combustion. His graceful response re-focused the discussion on the issue of merging courseware and blogging technology, rather than the more sensitive topic of business models and the use of Flash. And he managed this without any obsequious manner in his response.
  3. Adam Curry, in turn, gracefully followed the thread that Ritter gave him, continuing the discussion into merging courseware and blogging.

My own natural inclination is to burn in situations like this. And sometimes the burning is necessary, effective, and the only way to make a point. However, as these gentlemen demonstrated, you can rub two opposing views together and not create a fire. In fact, you might even find out that there’s no disagreement.

My New Year’s resolution: reason more, burn less. The stress generated by the burning is causing me health problems because, for me, with the burn goes high blood pressure. And in the last few weeks, I’ve had more than one night of overwhelming headaches caused by the burn. Bluntly, I’m too young to succumb to stress because of RDF, patents, and cheesy legal letters, open source discussions, and web standards and the WaSP. My preference is to live to be a dirty old woman and then die in bed. And not in my sleep.

Mr. Ritter, Mr. Curry, I doff my weblogging hat to you both. I’ll try to learn this particular “SchoolBlog” lesson.

P.S. This doesn’t mean I’m changing the name of my weblog to Reasoningbird

Just Shelley

Experiences on not having a driver’s license

My brother Michael is 2 years older than me. As lovely as he is now, he was a Demon Child when he was young. Pure evil. Bright, intelligent, resourceful, and determined to cut a swath of destruction around him.

Among some of his earliest acts of mayhem were several related to his decision, at age 3, that it was long past time for him to drive.

Adventure 1: Mother takes brother and me into town to get a few things at the store. She knows better than to bring us into the store with her and leaves us in car (in this town, believe me, it was safe). My brother figures out how to release the emergency brake. Two parked cars and a tree later, we finally came to a stop.

Adventure 2: My father, a Washington State Highway Patrolman, is driving I and my brother home in his patrol car. Michael wanted to drive. Now! Luckily the ditch wasn’t too deep and Dad wasn’t driving too fast.

Adventure 3: Poor father again. Mother is away to the Big City for the day. Father gets a call — bad accident on the mountain. There’s no one to take brother and me so he has to take us to the accident scene. He leaves us in the car with strong descriptions of what will happen to brother if he touches anything in the car. However, Child Demon doesn’t speak English. And the patrol car has a tempting, shiny brake release lever.

This is a mountain. This is a rolling car going down a mountain. See car roll. Roll, car. Roll. See the river at the bottom of this mountain. Go car, go!

Splish splash we were taking a bath, long about about a Saturday night…
No, no. It’s okay. We hit a tree just before going into the river.

One year. Three cars. One demon child. And one cute little helpless baby (Me) along for the ride…