Connecting, Collaborating and Cooperating

2844866760_b9d96a9568_oI received some fascinating incoming links this morning. They prompted me to think about the ‘C’ words: connecting, collaborating and cooperating.

#ETMOOC is onto the second week of the second topic of the course, Digital Storytelling – Multimedia, Remixes & Mashups. The Advice for Participants page for the course notes:

We’re aiming to carry on those important conversations in many different spaces – through the use of social networks, collaborative tools, shared hashtags, and in personalized spaces. What #etmooc eventually becomes, and what it will mean to you, will depend upon the ways in which you participate and the participation and activities of all of its members. You may even establish and grow your personal and professional learning network (PLN).

Stephen Downes’ OLDaily took me to this Creative Commons post by Billy Meike. In the post, Billy reports:

The future of Open is a dynamic landscape, ripe with opportunities to increase civic engagement, literacy, and innovation. Towards this goal, the Science Program at Creative Commons is teaming up with the Open Knowledge Foundation and members of the Open Science Community to facilitate the building of an open online course, an Introduction to Open Science. The actual build will take place during a hackathon-style “sprint” event on Open Data Day on Saturday, February 23rd and will serve as a launch course for the School of Open during Open Education Week (Mar 11-15).

Richard Byrne shared a link to maps of the telecommunication cables that cross under oceans and seas.

I enjoyed discovering that Greenland is connected.


After looking at the maps, it was interesting to note Ryan Lawler’s post about Intel’s plans to build a Virtual Cable service for web streaming video content.

Via Clyde Street Daily I picked up a post by Valdis Krebs on Arrows on Twitter. I thought it was an excellent demonstration of social network analysis. In his introduction Valdis notes that “looking at a social graph from Twitter we can tell a lot by following the arrows…”


  • who is aware of whom/what?
  • whom/what is getting attention?
  • who is involved in conversations on specific topics?
  • who is central, and who is peripheral to the discussions?

Thanks to a link from Jackie Gerstein, I found the text of a danah boyd talk (30 January). In her talk, danah suggested:

Actively cultivating the right social networks both to activate in the moment and to help propel lifelong learning are actually fundamentally crucial.

After a morning of ‘C’ links I returned to Stephen Downes’ 2010 discussion of Collaboration and Cooperation. I think Stephen’s discussion of Autonomy, Diversity, Openness, Interactivity is very helpful in distinguishing collaboration and cooperation.

As ever, I marvelled today at the creativity of those sharing their insights and admired the way others connect to them and share them. I was reminded of Lyn Hilt’s post at #ETMOOC, Networking by Passion.

With the rise of social media and genuine online communities forming around passions of all kinds, there is no reason why educational leaders should limit themselves in terms of how and with whom they network.

Photo Credits

Connect with a Classic (TexasEagle, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Frame Grab from Submarine Cable Map 2013.

Facilitator graph (Valdis Krebs)

Aggregate and Record

CSDI am starting to make better use of my Twitter aggregator, Paper.Li.

In the last week I have been taken to some posts that I would have missed in the daily flow of tweets and exchanges.

For example, I found a danah boyd post that led me to this tweet:


which took me to Anil’s post and the 158 comments it stimulated. Anil starts the post with these observations:

The tech industry and its press have treated the rise of billion-scale social networks and ubiquitous smartphone apps as an unadulterated win for regular people, a triumph of usability and empowerment. They seldom talk about what we’ve lost along the way in this transition, and I find that younger folks may not even know how the web used to be. So here’s a few glimpses of a web that’s mostly faded away …

One of the comments (by Ryan Sholin) was:

Of all these things, I miss Technorati the most, but I also miss the culture of blogging that powered it. Now we (well, Anil and Jason and Gruber and obviously many prominent others excluded) barely use our blogs, content to share half-passively, doing things like posting a comment and leaving the box checked to post it to Facebook as a method of exposing our thoughts on a link to a wider audience.

2934563494_2dd9b2f3a1_bPerhaps moving six cubic metres of stone aggregate recently during house renovations has overly sensitised me to the medium but I was interested to note that aggregate has interstices (small openings or spaces between objects, especially adjacent objects or objects set closely together). Paper.Li is taken me to some of those spaces and is helping me connect macro themes with granular detail.

It seems to me that if we do talk about aggregation, we need to discuss record keeping and curation too. Paper.Li helped me with that today too.  At the end of last month, the Recordkeeping Roundtable, in partnership with the Australian Society of Archivists, held a two day workshop in Sydney; ‘Reinventing Archival Methods’. Radio National’s Future Tense program reported on the workshop.

Over two days participants in the workshop explored “how we can fundamentally reassess our methods and determine what can be done to create a stable archival record of the 21st century”. There is an excellent resource (compiled by Cassie Findlay) that came out of the workshop.

I was struck by Cassie’s introduction:

In 1986 David Bearman first argued that our core methods of appraisal, description, preservation and access were fundamentally unable to cope with the volumes of information that archivists were required to process. He called on the profession to completely reinvent its core methods.  While much has been done in the intervening 25 years, as a profession our methods are still ill-equipped to deal with the volume, fragility and complexity of contemporary archival records.

I recall that Claude Debussy suggested that music is the “space between notes”. Paper.Li is helping me with some of the spaces in my information interests.

On this journey I have thought about what we have lost and gained in the transformation of the web. It has been great having danah, Anil, Ryan and Cassie as guides.

Photo Credit


Danah and Fergus

Today was a day of serendipity …

Noticing a tweet about Danah Boyd’s The Power of Fear in Networked Publics.

Listening to Fergus Hanson discussing e-diplomacy on Radio National’s World Today program (and following up on his paper Revolution at State).

I am off to read more but their coincidence was too good a moment to let go unremarked.

Photo Credit

Stafford Rd Banksy