Knowing Knowledge, and releasing books online

August 30, 2006 | Leave a comment

George Siemens is about to release a book:

How we market, how we learn, how we build, how we collaborate – these are all changing. Most organizations are not prepared for the sea change washing ashore. We are conducting business in a manner that is no longer reflective of the market, or society as a whole.

Knowing Knowledge is an exploration of knowledge – what it is, how it is changing, and what it means to our organizations and society. Knowing Knowledge will be available for purchase (or download) by mid-September 2006.

There’s a blog for the book, and George intends to turn it into a kind of living document by placing it in a wiki.

The Internet is People was originally conceived as a book, and I still intend some of the ideas posted here to form the basis of a publication. It’s very interesting to see how web-orientated authors cope with the print medium, and George’s wiki move is a bold one. He’s not alone: Cory Doctorow has released all of his novels as free downloads to great success, for example.

Michael de Kort, the Coast Guard, and democratised media

The Washington Post features a report about Michael de Kort, a Lockheed Martin employee who – after getting no results from the usual channels – posted a whistleblowing video on Youtube about a set of critical security flaws in a fleet of refurbished Coast Guard patrol boats.

The report suggests Michael’s tactics have worked:

The video also has caught the eye of people in high places. De Kort’s video has been covered by defense trade magazines, and yesterday, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, wrote a letter to the Coast Guard asking for an answer to De Kort’s “extremely distressing” allegations.

This is unlikely to be the last time this happens. As the read/write web allows more and more people to publish content online, people like Michael who have something important to say but would ordinarily not have a voice will able to make their concerns known.

Better yet, thanks to embedded media and social networking, the message can be shared and amplified. Here’s the video:

I can see this becoming ever more important as we start inching closer to the end of President Bush’s term in office and a new US presidential election. The question is – given the dubious turthfulness of some videos online and the propensity of the medium to be used for viral marketing – how many of these messages will we be able to trust?

Web 2.0 job boards roundup

The 37signals Job Board costs $250 for 30 days; jobs are divided into design, progbramming, business and miscellaneous. Given 37signals’ emphasis on design, most are design jobs. It’s hard to say how many there are a day, as dates aren’t included.

CrunchBoard is Michael Arrington’s effort, attached to his not inconsiderable TechCrunch empire. Posting a job costs $200 (undercutting 37signals by $50); there seem to be three or four a day. Most are technical, but there seem to be a fair amount of marketing positions in the mix.

GigaOm Jobs seems to be modelled on CrunchBoard; it also costs $200 a month to post. It’s too early to say what the average number of jobs per day are. Most are programming, but there are some project manager jobs.

MetaFilter Jobs costs nothing, but you’ve got to be a member of MetaFilter to post. MeFi users tend to be clued-in, well-read, tech-savvy people, and the jobs run the gamut from developers to a director of youth education at a synagogue.

Performancing Exchange is a job board for professional bloggers, which differentiates itself by, like MeFi Jobs, being free; it also allows users to post fuller descriptions on the main jobs page, like a classified ads page. There seems to be more or less one post a day.

The Problogger Job Board is, compared to most of the above, a bargain at $50 for 30 days. (Unfortunately, it covers the same ground as Performancing Exchange, above.) Most of the posted vacancies are for professional blogger positions, although there are a handful of ad sales positions. There usually seem to be between one and five ads a day, and some look suspiciously unpaid.

Any I’ve missed? Any experiences with any of these, positive or negative? Let me know.

On the move

This blog on a mobileOm Malik and Michael Arrington are pondering Dave Winer’s move towards mobile-enabling the blogosphere. Specifically, his product OPML Editor will allow users to view content they’ve subscribed to on their mobile phone. This is definitely a useful feature; I certainly spend a fair amount of time viewing my Gmail on my phone (in lieu of a Blackberry or similar device), and the ability to subscribe to content and take it with you is brilliant. Similarly, Winer’s service for posting to weblogs by phone looks like it could be great.

Arrington also highlights Skweezer, a site that will take any other site and return it in a mobile-friendly format. This seems completely redundant to me given the existence of Opera Mini, an excellent browser that goes through Opera’s proxy server which automatically provides content-squeezing functionality. I now can’t do without it, and there aren’t any phone browsers – certainly not for my handset – that come close in terms of functionality. (To see if it meets your needs, there’s a Java-based demo here.)

Update: Of course, some sites prefer to do this kind of optimisation themselves on a per-platform basis: Yahoo! Go has just been released for Windows Mobile, for example.

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