Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Online Discussion tools

From a mailing list that I subscribe to - a very nice concise explanation of the tools that we have been looking at - written by James Jones

"Discussion Lists --

Great for this is me announcements, What do you think about this type questions, or I'm having issues implementing such and such. If archived online can be indexed by search engines. :-) Check out http://www.mail-archive.com/

Not so good when restricted to a single topic. Or when an online archive isn't present. The list tends to stagnate.

Forums --

Pretty good for how to posts, tips and tricks, and tracking comments. Indexed by search engines :-) Here is an example of a highly used forum - http://forums.gentoo.org/

A royal pain to find useful information, when the base structure is disorganized. Or when the comments on a single post goes on and on for several pages. http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-231506.html that post has 5 pages of comments. Now if that is the absolute only place I can find any information about the topic at hand I'll wade through that but a trip to the dentist would most likely be more interesting.

Twiki / Wiki's --

Really good for how to posts, best practices, editable by a large number of people etc. http://gentoo-wiki.com/Main_Page

Can be over kill for static content. While you can edit the page you can't really place a comment outside of the discussed area. You have to make a new entry in the posted page and anyone can remove your comment.


Defiantly fits the news post type role and people can comment. Blogs can also be used to give a recap of the more interesting dialogs that occurred during the week with groups using any of the above methods. Could be a good way to point people to your more user active areas.

Doesn't really foster an active community. Seems to foster a passive community....

MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning

The New Media Consortium and the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education, working in collaboration with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, are soliciting abstracts for chapters to appear in a series of volumes entitled the MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. The MacArthur Foundation Series will explore the intersection of digital media and learning from the perspectives of experts, visionaries, and thought leaders chosen from across the globe.

As many as 60 authors will be selected to write chapters for one of the six volumes that will comprise the first topics in the series. The project enjoys substantial support; authors who are selected to participate will each receive an honorarium of $10,000 US for their chapters.

I write to encourage you to submit an abstract for consideration.

The Call for Abstracts contains considerable information on the project, submission information, and detailed descriptions of each of the topics. That document can be downloaded at http://www.nmc.org/pdf/MacArthur_Series_CFA.pdf

I hope you will also share this announcement with others whom you think may find it of interest -- we hope to reach both the leading thinkers and writers in the world on these topics as well as those whose ideas are significant but less well known.

Dr. Laurence F. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer


The New Media Consortium
sparking innovative learning and creativity

2499 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Building A, Suite 202
Austin, TX 78746-7762

tel 512 445-4200
fax 512 445-4205

email johnson@nmc.org
web www.nmc.org