Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wikipedia vs student papers

One of my students just sent me a link to this story about a professor who assigned her students to do a wikipedia entry instead of a class paper. Her motivations sound much the same as mine in incorporating blogging into my 375 class (class blog here), but I think blogging might be a better approach. The thought of thousands of college students being forced to edit or create entries is probably filling the hearts of the wikipedians with dread. I think a better approach might be to give students a choice between the two so that they don't feel forced to post to WP if they don't feel like they have something to contribute.
Yes, having them post to the Net (as opposed to handing in a paper to professor) will probably raise the level of engagement overall, but there are always some students who are chronically disengaged, and forcing them to contribute to site built on the backs of volunteer labor sounds very problematic to me.

"Searchles" and Security issues in SNSs

Newsweek has an article next week called "What You Like" (with a short quote from yours truly) which describes the melding of a search engines with SNS functionality. I think we'll start to see elements of an SNS in all sorts of applications.
In other news, the ENISA position paper on Security Issues and Recommendations for Online Network Sites is now out. This was a large collaboration with all the benefits and problems typical of these ventures. Of course, I have a range of feelings about the recommendations and some I see as less necessary than others. But overall I am hoping this will be useful is helping folks think about the design and use of these sites.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Facebook Parody

I've been thinking about relationship status in facebook lately and came across this parody of an e-harmony ad. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Facebook and Microsoft

MS and FB today announced a deal wherein MS is going to pay $240 for a 1.6% stake in Facebook. I especially love the last quote in this New York Times story: "Mr. Lorenzen and other Silicon Valley investors are often dismissive of MySpace, Facebook’s larger rival, which has more than 110 million active users and is owned by the News Corporation. “MySpace is not based on authentic identities. Facebook is based on who you really are and who your friends really are. That is who marketers really want to reach, not the fantasy you that lives on MySpace and uses a photo of a model,” he said."