1 July 2005, to Ron Nigh, Ron Brunton, Bryan Alexander:
Here's something truly magnificent, both in itself and for what it implies about future possibilities.

Start up Google Earth

In the Places menu, right-click on 'My Places', choose 'New' and then 'Network Link'

Name the new link something (e.g., 'delicious')

Paste into 'Location' window this URL:

Change 'View-based Refresh' to 'After Camera Stops'

click OK

Now when you zoom with Google Earth you'll see geotagged items contributed by others --click on one to see the hyperlink (e.g., Horton Landing in Nova Scotia, or St. George in Maine)

To add a place:

tag a del.icio.us item with these tags:

-- and any other relevant descriptors

The lat and lon need to be in decimal degrees. Here's a converter: http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/convertDMS

Takes about 5 minutes or so for the geobloggers site to update on Google


1 July 2005, to library colleagues and Bryan Alexander:

"IT" seems to be treated by many librarians as somebody else's business --in the Leyburn context, as the concern of the ITL, or perhaps as something that the Technology Coordinator will be responsible for. This is unfortunate, especially in the light of the many tectonic changes that are insinuating themselves into the worlds of Information, and placing new opportunities and demands on the library's doorstep. But where and how is one to leap aboard the speeding Cluetrain? This remarkable service/utility is one answer (http://www.itconversations.com/index.html ).

This morning one of the blogs I'm following pointed me to an hour-long conversation between Doug Kaye and Cameron Riley of G'day World (at http://www.thepodcastnetwork.com/gday_world/2005/06/29/gday-world-on-the-pod-36-doug-kaye/ if you should want to hear the whole thing), and I've made a few extracts of bits that present a pretty startling vision for the immediate future of audio materials. I hear in these excerpts a degree of authenticity that just doesn't survive transcription into text, and a here-and-now freshness that's positively inspiring:

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye1.mp3 (1:55) A grand vision for capturing and distributing audio: the scoop on what's next for ITConversations

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye2.mp3 (0:56) legitimizing BitTorrent

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye3.mp3 (2:04) the example of PopTech 2004
(some amazing talks are archived at http://www.itconversations.com/series/poptech2004.html ...and I wish I could afford the fees for the 2005 iteration, in Camden ME in October...)

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye4.mp3 (1:35) covering PopTech and Accelerating Change
(the Accelerating Change series is archived at http://www.itconversations.com/series/achange2004.html --and see also the O'Reilly ETech conference at http://www.itconversations.com/series/etech2005.html )

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye5.mp3 (2:25) on linking and remix
("...people are listening to the shows, but more importantly, people are linking to us... when content can be linked to, the value of that content goes way up... it's the linking that allows people to participate in the remix culture... it's the remix and reuse of the content that actually makes it more valuable...")

http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/kaye6.mp3 (1:59) on having NO business model [see http://www.rds.com/blogs/doug/index.php/archives/2005/07/01/the-new-business-model/ for DK's further explanation of details]


30 June 2005 to library colleagues

Here's a 4-minute screencast of a cool hack:

It's a bit jerky (limitation of the software), and may overfill your screen, but it's just a quick intro. A bit of a Talking Dog (geotagging Flickr images only started about a month ago), but think of it as early warning of a phenomenon that you'll see a lot more of in the near future. John Blackburn is in Ireland right now with a digital camera and a GPS unit. Just imagine: http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/eire.jpg


30 June 2005 to Bryan Alexander

Startlingly good article

It's at http://www.aepic.it/conf/viewabstract.php?id=66&cf=3 and "startles" because it's from UPEI, which I'd never thought of as a leader in anything until a year or so ago, when I noticed what they were up to in the blogosphere. This article has some really nice clarion-call stuff, starting with this in the Abstract:

The Internet created a new paradigm for communication and organization based on a distributed, decentralized, peer-to-peer networking strategy, a neutral, open approach to standards, and a free, organic development model. By taking this approach the BEAT team set out, not to orchestrate a community but to catalyze the organic processes of its members such that individual and group dynamics could emerge on their own...
But the part I'd like to commend to your Attention is in the second section, headed "Taking advantage of critical shifts...", which seems to me about as clear a statement as I've seen anywhere of the New Jerusalem, toward which we slouch.

29 June 2005 to library colleagues

Take a look at http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/googleearth.mov (it's a 2-minute screencast from Make Magazine). Ignoring the crummy production values and the fact that most of us don't care all that much about GPSing our jogging routes, what it displays is pretty exciting if you think out beyond the specific example.

And on another subject, continuing from yesterday, if you're beginning to note a pull toward that iPod tipping point, this may push you over the edge: http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/06/itunes_49_hacki.html While the iPod is designed and configured to serve music in 4-minute gulps, it has many more significant uses --and the next generations of these devices will surely explore territories outside of pop music. The dive into podcasting support is a harbinger...

It seems obvious to me that both of these recent releases have all sorts of potential relevance to teaching-and-learning, and thus to what the library does and is called upon to support, and so are worthy of our attention. But you've heard that line from me often enough before, right?

==== 28 June 2005 to library colleagues
A bit raggedy, and needs Microsoft's browser (not Firefox). Much smoother in Google Earth, but you get the idea: http://home.wlu.edu/~blackmerh/gmaps/gm1.html
==== 28 June 2005 to library colleagues
Quick warning: iTunes has a brand-new version, just out today, that offers a very nice interface to explore and subscribe to podcasts. I know that's not on the agendas of many of you, but you might want to explore a bit of the depth of offerings by installing iTunes 4.9 (http://www.apple.com/itunes/download/ has it) and trying 'Podcasts' --explore the directory, maybe try on one or two for size (free...). Believe me when I tell you that this is GOING to matter a lot.