I saw Ignitecast this week and immediately became excited. This looks like something that I could really make (a lot of) use of. Ignitecast allows the combining of various media into a presentation, screencast, slideshow, an online course, broadcast video, and more. These then get uploaded to the Ingitecast site for free, allowing sharing across the web, or within an intranet. These can be embedded in multiple other online places. You can also uploaded them to YouTube.
In addition, you can publish to files:
web files (.html),
executable for CD/DVD (.exe),
video files for emailing (.swf),
video files for portable players (.avi, .mp4, .wmv, .flv),
iTunes files (.mp4),
and files for PlayStation Portable (PSP).
Interestingly, this should therefore allow the easy creation of video podcasts for iTunes circulation. Something I intend experimenting with sometime soon(ish).
To use Ignitecast, you need to register and download the scateignite software and there are three versions to choose from:
home – create video slideshows, mobile and social media
standard – create online presentations and sharable web marketing
and professional – create elearning courses, software demos and quizzes
There’s an Ignitecast that explains things a little better.
I haven’t had time to create with Ignitecast yet, but I can’t wait to get my hands dirty. When I do, I’ll show you via this blog.
The BBC is developing a unique four part documentary series for broadcast in 2010 on BBC Two. It has a working title of ‘Digital Revolution‘, and there are a number of ways we can all get involved, including helping Stephen Fry to come up with a better name for the series, and shaping the content of the series.
Here’s some blurb from the Digital Revolution website about the project:
‘Digital Revolution’ is an experiment in collaboration. We want to hear the opinions, thoughts and experiences from the populace of the web – you. Add your comments to our blog posts. Tell us the stories you think we should be covering. Your input will help shape our documentary.
One of the things I personally find exciting about the project is that as many as possible of the video rushes† are being made available by the site for us to watch, share, download and, significantly, edit ourselves (adhering to the licensing terms, which are similar to Creative Commons but have to differ because of the way the BBC is funded and run). This ties in with a previous post about Remix. Some of the people interviewed and available in these rushes include:
many of whom I’ve written about, used quotes or photographs of in presentations or writings, or communicated with directly.
When I have time, possibly next week, I’ll certainly be remixing this video content.
You can follow Digital Revolution on Twitter @BBCDigRev
† Rushes (or dailies) are the unedited, raw film (video) footage from a days shooting.
I’ve written previously about online lecture programmes from some of the most prestigious universities via Academic Earth. I recently came across an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education in which students express their liking of online video lectures, and whether they provide more than attending lectures at their own institutions.
I’ve previously written about and vlogged about copyright, the remix manifesto, and Larry Lessig. I’m also very interested in the concept of stretching the boundaries of learning beyond what is commonly accepted. So it was a delight for me to come across a school media studies class (mrmayo’s blog), which is heavily influenced by Creative Commons, working creatively with digital media. And not only that, but participating in a Q+A session with Larry Lessig over Skype.
Q+A Part 1
Q+A Part 2
That Larry, a Professor or Law at Stanford Law School, is willing to participate in such an interaction is simply brilliant! It also serves to encourage us all to ask and interact with noted experts across the globe. More and more the barriers of institutions are breaking down and enabling the potential for greater access to education for all.
Last night after finishing a blog post I sat back and watched “Upgrade Me” on BBC iPlayer.
In this Simon Armitage the poet and gadget lover (which I didn’t know until seeing the programme) investigates the obsession people have with technology and gadgets, and their seemingly endless need to have the latest gizmo. He travels to South Korea, which has transformed itself in the last 30 years into the most technological country in the world.
I think this is well worth a view but I don’t know how long with will be available on iPlayer for, so apologies if you’re already too late to watch it.
I chanced upon this Slideshare presentation that feeds back some survey and focus group findings about use of social media of university students in Italy. It’s interesting to see data that isn’t related solely to America for once.
I know that there are some issues with connectivity and broadband access in some other European countries, and therefore this data can’t be directly translated to other settings, but nevertheless it is interesting.
It would be useful to see similar data from other countries as a comparison. If anyone has any, please leave a comment with details.
The term Web 2.0 is about five years old now. It was coined by Tim O’Reilly at a conference and was intended to indicate the second coming of the web; that it wasn’t dead following the bursting of the “dotcom bubble”. But it has taken on this kind of folklore meaning, with many seeing it as an incremental version roll-out as with a software update. And Tim says he has been continually asked what the next big thing will be.
The Semantic Web,
The social web,
the mobile web?
And what’s it called, Web 3.0?
The short answer from Tim seems to be that it’s all those things listed, and more; and it’s not Web 3.0.
The next phase of web development is Web meets World and to achieve this doesn’t need an incremental step, but an exponential one.
The remainder or this post is concerned with what I think is most pertinent from this report and my comments.
The fundamental premiss of Web 2.0 is that the Web is becoming an application platform reliant on data subsystems that get better the more people use them, rather than just an information platform.
The question that then arises is, “Is the web getting smarter?“
Looking at the current generation of apps is where we see the web getting smarter. An example Tim gives is Google Mobile Application for the iPhone. The speech recognition in the cloud is aligned with the search in the cloud, so Google knows what you’re likely to say – Pizza rather than Pisa – then the location information from the phone indicates that you want to know where the nearest three pizza places are located, rather than a Wikipedia entry on the history and origins of pizza. That seems to be much smarter. Speech recognition, search and location information all working seamlessly together.
And boiling down the essence of good web apps is that they harness collective intelligence. Collective intelligence is a collective working that acts more intelligently and leads to greater value than can be achieved by the individual components, be they people, groups or computers.
Key takeaway: A key competency of the Web 2.0 era is discovering implied metadata, and then building a database to capture that metadata and/or foster an ecosystem around it.
Web² Special Report, p.4
Examples of what appear at first to be unstructured data that have subsequently been identified and utilized include Facebook where online relationships with friends are used to form a social graph, Bit.ly where a URL shortening service realised the potential of realtime analytics, the fact that every web link is a vote and every link from a person deemed to have greater standing in a group (as measured by their contributions to that group) has a greater weighting.
The report considers the influences that moving sensory and input devices away from the fixed keyboard and into our hands will have. These devices (e.g. smart phones) have eyes (cameras), ears (mics), position and direction locators. All of this will enable increasing amounts of metadata and tags to be automatically and more accurately assigned to vast amounts of data stored in cloud databases. And, interestingly, when the amount of data reaches a critical point, the addition of extra data actually reduces the size of the database because the linkages become stronger and the need for explicit metadata reduces.
This will give rise to a number of new applications, leveraging these affordances. Already we are seeing interesting augmented reality applications, including Layar on Android phones;
An article appeared a couple of days ago in computing.co.uk entitled Moving beyond Web 2.0. It too was looking at Tim O’Reilly’s Web Squared concept. I’d like to highlight some points from this article, because it not only talks about the advances in technology and the concepts that encapsulates, but it also focusses on the (for me) important philosophies underpinning Web 2.0.
There is, however, more to Web Squared than new types of application that will process the immense data shadows soon to be cast by the emerging internet of things. More broadly, Web Squared is also about recognising that Web 2.0 has been as concerned with embracing new philosophies as new technologies. And in championing Web Squared, O’Reilly is signalling that the Web 2.0 ideologies of openness, transparency and rapid, collaborative value creation may have significant value well beyond the internet.
A big idea of Web Squared is that this may be achieved by applying the philosophies of Web 2.0 to mainstream politics and business thinking.
The CIOs who are embracing the cloud and not trying to build barricades around their datacentres are the ones who understand the philosophies as well as the technologies of Web 2.0, and who will also very much grasp Web Squared.
Some time ago I expressed my take on the importance of the philosophy of web 2.0 rather than just the software, services and mechanics in a presentation I gave (full text available).
The relevant specific audio section about the philosophy is reproduced here:
I’ve been looking at infographics; graphic representations of statistical information. I recently came across one of the tools on Smashing Magazine titled Data Visualization and Infographics Resources. Here there’s a list of links to some great infographics sites.
What Spectives does is create visual galleries aggregated from other websites of your deciding. Once registered it is relatively simple to create a ‘collection’, adding additional feeds. Note: to add the feed you simply paste in the required site URL and Spectives identifies the feed. If there are multiple available feeds on a page then you are offer the alternatives and just click on the one you want to use; I tend to choose the RSS 2.0 and that always seem to work fine.
I like the way Spectives works, and the way it displays the information. Hover over an image and if there is associated text it is displayed. Clicking on the image loads up the appropriate page. It’s an interesting way of finding information. It’s a nice way for those who tap into visual cues, (I know that isn’t for everyone). Then you can squirt out the feed of your aggregated collection using the RSS link on the right of your page.
Infographics are by definition very visual. What a perfect subject for a Spectives collection. So I thought I’d combine the two and use some of the links from the Data Visualization and Infographics Resources list and put them into the Spectives feeds to create an ‘infographics images’ collection.