September 30, 2008
Cool Toys Conversations: September 2008
We had a small group today, from computer science and architecture, but wonderful dynamic discussion.
Discussion: Tools for bringing online media into Second Life. We were looking at some items sold in OnRez and talking about WebX.
NOTE: Conversation was along the lines of what is going on with online and social media tools to support research processes and long distance collaborations, as well as off campus graduate students.
Google CSE: Disability Info: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=017697754354459676484%3Ae54laa4xksu&hl=en
NOTE: Talked about Google custom search engines (CSEs), with this as an example, focusing on power of CSEs for the expert who really knows their field. Showed briefly how to start your own.
NOTE: This was discussed as an example of a relatively undiscovered class of tools for annotation, collecting and sharing the web via tools that allow you to embed notes or highlight sections of a web page in a way that allows you to share that note with your friends and colleagues. More web annotation tools are available here: http://delicious.com/rosefirerising/annotation
Joyce Bettencourt: Global Kids Second Life Curriculum: http://www.rezed.org/group/GKslcurriculum
NOTE: Not coming up to speed as fast as you'd like in Second Life? Have grad students or classes you want to bring along quickly? Take a look at this curriculum designed for youth but being also used at the grad student level.
50 Awesome Open Source Resources for Online Writers / By Christina Laun: http://www.jobprofiles.org/library/students/50_awesome_open_source_resources_for_online_writers.htm
NOTE: I have a lot of work to do ...
Story of my Second Life: Imagine a Person Who Is Blind Using Second Life…: http://www.storyofmysecondlife.com/?p=733
NOTE: Several folks interested in web accessibility were at the table, including a few using virtual worlds and gaming. We covered the gamut, from games designed specifically for those with visual impairments to universal access applied to virtual worlds design. This topic needs a whole blogpost just for itself.
NOTE: Ideas included putting up blueprints as a background texture and having persons at remote sites sketch on and annotate the design. Need to test to find out if this is possible. Meanwhile, we can do exactly this function in Second Life using the whiteboards available from AngryBeth Shortbread's CyberGrrrl shop.
Simple Wikipedia: http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
NOTE: Could be used with children, students with learning disabilities, international students seeking assistance in explaining concepts, teaching / expanding literacy, consumer health, writing projects / assignments, and much more.
Keith Jarrett / Welcome to NCS-Tech!: Let students design their own video games with Atmosphir!: http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=1715
NOTE: Gaming is increasingly important in basic and distance learning. The blogpost has links to several excellent resources and research about gaming for education and learning. Atmosphir is a free tool for making your own video game. Very exciting. We watched the video. :)
Google Base: http://base.google.com/
NOTE: We talked about Google Base Clinical Trials and Google Base: Recipe Search, looking at some interface design issues, content sources, and potential for marketing local content.
NOTE: Open source searching platform being evaluated by the UM Library system. Potentially very interesting. Discussion about going directly to the best source/tool versus stab-in-the-dark tools.
Plurkshop: Delicious: http://www.plurk.com/p/42esr and http://www.plurk.com/p/4d393
NOTE: Someone mentioned their bookmarks were out of control, so we talked about Delicious, and showed this Plurkshop about things to do with Delicious. Talked about the similarities and differences between Twitter and Plurk.
Embeddable Google Books: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2008/09/embeddable-google-books.html
NOTE: Excitement about being able to embed a Google book on the course page for your class. Wondering if it is possible to embed the page you searched, with the search terms highlighted, to promote / provoke discussion.
Superstruct Game: http://www.superstructgame.org/
NOTE: Crowdsourcing meets gaming — solve the world's problems by brainstorming with the best and the worst in "the world's first massively multiplayer forecasting game."
* Flickr: Shareski: Interesting Quotes: http://flickr.com/photos/shareski/sets/72157606411341392/
* Flickr: InJenuity: Slides: http://flickr.com/photos/jentropy/sets/72157606210370733/
* Google Docs: Reflections: http://docs.google.com/Present?docid=dct3x4vw_65hcgq6bg5
NOTE: Looking at how folks use social media to share resources for professional presentations, collaborate on presentations, and as viral marketing for concepts.
* About Garrett Lisi and the e8 Polytope
Talked about open science, open notebook science, the Nature Publishing Group event on scientists and the lack of engagement with social media, impacts on translational research and bench-to-bedside practice, changing publication models, and Garrett Lisi as an examplar of these, and how his work has continued to move through the online social environments into Second Life.
Nature Network: Joanna Scott's Blog: Scientific Researchers and Web 2.0: Social 'NotWorking'?: http://network.nature.com/people/joannascott/blog/2008/09/16/scientific-researchers-and-web-2-0-social-notworking
Open Science Blog: http://www.openscience.org/blog/
A Preliminary Forensic Exploration of a Scientific Social Technologies Success - The Garrett Lisi Story
September 25, 2008
SparkPeople for Nutrition: The Blogpost that Turned into a Class
This post started as my telling my colleagues in a meeting about a social network I thought they'd enjoy.
At the previous Cool Toys Conversations meeting, someone had told me they like to use SparkPeople to analyze the nutritional value of recipes. Hey, that is useful, I thought! So I mentioned it. They said, "You should do a blogpost. Just a simple one." Famous last words, right?
The next day I found another fitness / nutrition community. Then I found a nutrition-only network. And it kept going — more and more. Quickly the number of tools and communities I found far outstripped anything appropriate for a blogpost, so we are now planning a mini-class overview of Food and Nutrition Online Communities. If we're lucky, maybe right before Thanksgiving?
Meanwhile, I checked out SparkPeople for the rumored recipe analysis, and here are some screenshots to show how you'd get there.
NOTE: Did you see the Serving Size Calculator in the upper right hand corner of the picture above?
NOTE: You would use this when you are using a food in a recipe or meal plan that isn't already in their database. For myself, this is often when it is an old family recipe that starts with a mix or prepackaged food of some sort, and I will use the nutrition data from the packaging information.
Okay, not go have fun. We can get into more detail in the class, later.
September 13, 2008
Torley Linden on Living With Asperger Syndrome
I've been meaning for a long time to do a substantive post on the amazing benefits of online social media and communities for persons on the autism spectrum. Well, it hasn't happened. I also have wanted to blog about the potent value of the support communities in Second Life for persons with health concerns. There is some overlap between these two topics, which I've been tracking. Ironically, earlier today I was working on the page about the Autism section of the SLHealthy wiki.
Today, these two topics came even closer and more unavoidable as a blog entry through the events at the Autism Society of American weekend, Bounce for Autism. I spent a lot of tiem there today, and took a lot of pictures. I want to blog about that, too, but it probably won't happen before the weekend is over, so go see it, don't wait for me to talk about it. One of today's presenters was Torley Linden, in the guise of his "alt" (which is actually probably his original avatar), gave a talk with slides on the topic of his life with Asperger Syndrome and how Second Life has benefitted him relative to this. It was pretty wonderful.
Because some folks were having difficulty with sound or voice, I offered to try to do a rough transcription, and later got permission from Torley to put this on my blog. I stripped out the backchat, because I did not have permission from all participants. He goes awful fast and says beautiful things (and I was having a small RL minicrisis during the transcription), so chances are very good that I missed some important things. Please note, hope springs eternal - Ravenelle captured video of the talk which will be posted in YouTube. :)
While I did not capture or transcribe the chat after the talk, I did capture the URLs shared, and have activated them as links below. In the question and answer section, I did capture the questions, but only used initials of the avatar asking, again to protect privacy of the people there.
Oh, and please notice his watermelon eyes ... More pics coming later, probably when I get to work and have a wired connection.
[18:00] Crysta Laville: I ask all to please turn your mics off while Torley speaks so we dont hear you
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: yes Anaid
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: thanks Crysta :)
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: yes that's important
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: hehe
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: i love seeing gestures circulate...
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: it's one of my fave things
[18:00] Torley Olmstead: oh i have TOTALLY heard that Linden Time one before, oodles
[18:03] Brett Stand shouts: If I can have your attention please!
[lots of applause]
[18:05] Torley Olmstead: yes it's in voice
[18:06] Crysta Laville: Please everyone keep your mics off while Torley speaks
[18:06] You: Rod, would it help for someone to take notes in chat?
[18:06] You: I will do that
[18:06] You: he says embarassment is part of having Asperger
[18:07] You: pictures of him as a child
[18:07] You: stereotype of Asian kid who plays piano
[18:07] You: childhood strange behavior - not in sentences, kind of incoherent, odd behavior
[18:07] You: music helped him with phrasing and tempo
[18:08] You: need a sense of timing to tell jokes
[18:08] You: tends to race in speaking
[18:08] You: His mom read books about gifted children
[18:08] You: Went through rough times abefore 2nd life
[18:08] You: His wife reminded him to face the audience
[18:09] You: He was depressed in 2004 because his dad died and used to be a music producer?
[18:09] You: he has hyperacusis - distorted hearing
[18:09] You: this meant he lost his music career
[18:09] You: his main focal interest
[18:10] You: very depressing
[18:10] You: Read about transhumanism and cyberpunk
[18:10] You: He loves game Deus Ex
[18:10] You: He found Neil Stephensons's Diamond Age
[18:10] You: Neuromancer
[18:10] You: felt lonely online because he wanted to share these new loves
[18:11] You: New World Notes is what gave him intro to SL
[18:11] You: slide shows his first av
[18:11] You: he chose to focus in SL on skills that are struggles in RL
[18:12] You: socialized as much as possible
[18:12] You: chatboxes, sandboxes
[18:12] Ravenelle Zugzwang: Torley crashed but will be right back
[18:13] You: no - he crashed
[18:13] You: back!
[18:13] Torley Olmstead: sorry! crashed!
[lots of welcome backs, and comments about "Lindens crash?"]
[18:13] You: after all the socializing "crazy crazy crazy"
[18:13] You: he was using text viewer, thus crashed
[18:14] You: Met a lot of mentors
[18:14] You: corrected help guides, fixed errors
[18:14] You: by famous early leaders in SL
[18:14] You: helped with bug reports
[18:14] You: serendipitous path to becoming part of the community
[18:15] You: He thought LL folks were really cool people
[18:15] You: sent in a fan letter / resume
[18:15] You: talked about how SL had transformed his RL
[18:15] You: He did contracting for a while before becoming a fulltime employee
[18:15] You: Simple things that make a difference
[18:15] You: you feel emotions here
[18:16] You: you share things together, like gestures
[18:16] You: his gestures in RL are awkward
[18:16] You: personal space
[18:16] You: gestures help him learn
[18:16] You: there was a gesture bug that took away his gestures
[18:16] You: and he had to learn about them
[18:16] You: Being hired by LL has let him "amplify your awesome"
[18:17] You: such cool coworkers
[18:17] You: looking for and making tools to help you get things done
[18:17] You: lots of how tos
[18:17] You: Started video tutorials
[18:17] You: A great social moment
[18:17] You: a woman
[18:17] You: you see someone across the room
[18:17] You: your eyes meet
[18:17] You: Ravenelle ...
[18:18] You: "Ravie, please come up on stage"
[18:18] You: SL gives us opportunities in RL
[18:18] You: expotentially increase opportunities
[18:18] You: Torley loves watermelons
[18:18] You: Here is his sweetie
[18:18] Ravenelle Zugzwang: *waves*
[18:19] You: not enough emphasis given to real love stories - great friendships
[18:19] You: great stories
[18:19] You: when something really moves you
[18:19] You: tell them right away
[18:20] You: keep the love flowing
[18:20] You: facelights
[18:20] You: kind of maligned
[18:20] You: he helped get the fashion industry hooked on them
[18:20] You: transformative effect on our culture
[18:20] You: Another picture of Toryley and Rav
[18:20] You: better skies, suns, and moons
[18:20] You: ambassador for windlight
[18:21] You: romantic - share your hearts
[18:21] You: 650,000 images tagged SL in Flickr
[18:21] You: abt 15,000 mine ;)
[18:21] You: other creative things
[18:21] Torley Olmstead: http://torley.com/textures
[18:21] You: Torley textures
[18:21] You: all free
[18:22] You: He offers them for free,
[18:22] You: use them in yr builds
[18:22] You: they are on help island
[18:22] You: Creative photography
[18:23] You: he has taste for loud colors because of how his eyes perceive
[18:23] You: he learned where his weaknesses are
[18:23] You: learned to speak confidently
[18:24] You: he loves the great avatars here
[18:24] You: very beautiful
[18:24] You: encourage you to never stop being creative, never stop living SL
[18:24] You: carry it on
[18:24] You: concerned not with buzzwords (social media) but how to really connect with people
[18:24] You: last picture, next to last
[18:25] You: Here Island
[18:25] Torley Olmstead: http://torley.com/here
[18:25] You: A joke - "You are Here"
[18:25] You: all video tutorials there
[18:25] You: how to use click actions
[18:26] You: he answers questions
[18:26] You: type them in text
[18:26] You: Please type questions in chat
[18:26] You: It is super fantastic to be here
[18:26] Crysta Laville: Thx Torley for being a speaker tonight
[18:27] You: he'd have to see what anti-scam scripts are all about
[18:27] You: be sceptical
[18:27] You: of "get rich now"
[18:27] You: don't trust anti-lag scripts
[18:27] MC: this question came up in there.com the other day, do you object if people use the textures in other virtual worlds?
[18:27] You: Use Torley textures ANYWHERE
[18:27] You: totally open source
[18:27] [multiple people]: As a mother of an autistic child, what advice could you give parents to support their child to succeed as well as you have
[18:28] You: advice for parents: accummulation of small victories
[18:28] You: they get discouraged, look for the small victories
[18:28] You: his mom was nurturing, dad was Donald-Trump-esque - they balanced well
[18:28] You: don't compare too much to other people
[18:28] You: comparisons are useless
[18:29] You: unrealistic expectations
[18:29] You: such as to compare to Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods i
[18:29] You: don't listen to bullies
[18:29] You: he's been bullied a lot
[18:29] You: Have a happier first life and SL than not
[18:29] You: if tempted to snipe, try to be nice instead
[18:29] You: person by person - small victories
[18:29] CR: Torley: Do you think of Asperger's as a disability, or as being 'different' with no significant impairments? If the former, what would you consider to be your 'worst' AS-related disability, and how do you deal with it?
[18:30] You: come to his office hours for technical questions
[18:30] You: disability: not being able to relate to others, using body language, but flip side - he doesn't feel inhibited
[18:30] You: he just goes for it :)
[18:29] RH: Torley I have a very interesting question, if you have someone who is Autistic or is with Asburgers who is harrasing residents, is it okay to file ARs against them if they are persistant? That is to say, should they be treated like everyone else even though they have disabilities?
[18:31] You: first talk to people to understand who they are
[18:30] LM: Is Asburgers an excuse for being an intolerable poop face?
[18:31] You: even people with Aspergers need to be sensitive to community standards and communicating kindly
[18:31] You: even if you don't know how
[18:31] You: have a heart to heart to help
[18:31] You: do the humane thing
[18:32] You: there are bound to be communication barriers, we should aspire to transcend them
[18:32] You: I will reach out to you, will you reach out to me? keep trying
[18:32] RS: Q: I have been told you also suffer from a mild form of agoraphobia, is that missinformation, or if it's true, how has SL affected you. ---
[18:32] You: agoraphobia rumor is true
[18:33] You: anxiety in crowds when he was a child
[18:33] You: trying to come off as someone who wasn't a total freak
[18:33] You: the first few times I do something, I'll goof up, make horrible mistakes
[18:32] Milton Broome: Greetings Torley. In your opinion what is the advantage of Second Life over real life for people with Autism and Asperger’s?
[18:33] You: Don't. Give. Up.
[18:33] You: how we learn
[18:33] You: is to keep trying
[18:33] KM: Torley, what is the difference between Aspergers and High Functioning Autism?
[18:33] EA: is your opinion of where your weakneses are the same as what others view of what your weaknesses are????
[18:33] KK: does repitition sometimes help with understanding?
[18:34] You: what are teh benefits of SL for folks w/ Asp/Aut?
[18:34] You: you don't get all the emotional bandwidth, but it is safer, not a fear of phsycial violence
[18:35] You: allows you to focus on your obsessions -> glad addictions
[18:35] You: opportunity to share
[18:35] You: without feeling your are being stared at
[18:34] BG: How is the way you see colors different from most people's perception of them?
[18:36] You: Torley has keen grasp of dynamic edge with respect to colors
[18:34] CB: Is there help for people with Autisum & Asbergers in Teen SL?
[18:35] You: He would love to know more about TSL
[18:35] You: there are communities outside SL
[18:35] Torley Olmstead: http://wrongplanet.net
[18:35] MS: Torley, have you found, as you get more immersed in SL, that your AS has come to the fore as it would in RL? I find that as SL becomes more integrated as part of my RL, some of my issues have crossed the border as it were?
[18:36] shiney Sprocket: I'd say!
[18:36] You: there's always been a crossover between Asperger in SL and RL
[18:36] You: Some folk are interested because they have family
[18:36] You: Torley loves to help
[18:37] LM: Is autism a reason a 16 year old would expose themselves on camera?
[18:37] You: He can't talk about other people's motives
[18:37] KM: Torley, What is the difference between Austism and Asberger's?
[18:37] You: encourage people to do research and learn more
[18:37] MF: Why would you use poor pokeman as shoes?
[18:37] You: Pika-Shoe = Pikachu
[18:38] You: no actual Pokemon were harmed in the creation of these shoes ;)
[18:37] You: come to office hours for more answer to questions
[18:38] You: email is listed in his profile
[enthusiastic applause ensues and lasts for several minutes]
[18:38] You: followup followup followup
[18:38] You: share with a friend
[18:38] You: spread the goodness
[18:39] You: there are always problems, but there are not always solutions unless you help make them
[18:41] RH: Can I have your autograph?
[18:41] Torley Olmstead: hehehe
[18:41] Torley Olmstead: thanks so much each and everyone!
[18:42] Torley Olmstead: Rei what an awesome hat
[18:42] Torley Olmstead: EYE AND TONGUE OMG
[18:42] Torley Olmstead: aww shiney
[18:43] Torley Olmstead: yup hanging out!
[18:43] Torley Olmstead: i <3 awesome hats
[18:43] Torley Olmstead: i have this giant hat collection
[18:43] Torley Olmstead: it shall never cease
[18:43] Torley Olmstead: oh cool to know that re: textures Rei
[18:45] Torley Olmstead: http://filterforge.com
[18:51] You: Torley - would it be OK to share the portion of the chatlog that was trying to transcribe your voice talk?
[18:51] Torley Olmstead: sure Perplexity!
[18:52] Torley Olmstead: THANKS for helping
[18:52] You: Thank you very much!
[18:52] Ravenelle Zugzwang: I also took video and we hope to have that up soon
[18:52] You: Thank you, Ravenelle! I will watch for it
[18:57] Torley Olmstead: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Release_Notes/Second_Life_Release_Candidate/1.21 also
[18:58] Torley Olmstead: oh totally fine, Jaymes, what's the URL?
[18:59] JK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/masterjamie/2854127837/ --- Here you go, Torley. :)
[18:59] Torley Olmstead: thanx Jaymes!
[19:00] RH: Torley: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKi-fkyAtg8 this is a interesting concept someone has for new in world features
[19:00] SS: http://veodia.com/ that is the site I used to stream various capture devices and webcams in SL.
[19:01] SS: Not to access it there Perplexity, to stream INTO secondlife from a camera.
[19:01] You: ah - oh, thanks!
[19:01] You: that is really useful
[19:01] You: veodia as a bridge
[19:02] Torley Olmstead: yeah have you seen the shadow-draft in Second Life :)
[19:03] Ravenelle Zugzwang: We did a video recently..let me find a link
[19:03] Ravenelle Zugzwang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBIdIiSY45U
[19:03] Torley Olmstead: KirstenLee Cinquetti
[19:03] Torley Olmstead: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2008/09/behold-shadowdr.html
[19:04] You: thank you for all the links :)
[19:04] Ravenelle Zugzwang: it's not ready to go live, that is why it's considered in the experimental stage at this time
[19:08] JC: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=E48RG_m9OaY
September 04, 2008
Assumptions about Library's Roles in Disasters
I just spent the last week and a bit working on one blog post about "What Assumptions From Now Are Shaping the Future of Librarianship?". (What slowed me down was that my computer crashed 6 times in 4 days, and required me to rebuild my lost work each time.) Here is the blog post I was working on.
Questions to Ask about Librarianship and the Future: Thoughts about the Ithaka and Portico Reports: http://mblog.lib.umich.edu/hsldir/archives/2008/09/questions_to_as.html
Basically, while the blog post is about some recent reports looking at professional trends, my perspective came from a few personal experiences.
I was on a committee with faculty, staff, and administrators to look into planning and preparations for potential disasters. During the various meetings and discussions, it became clear that there were a number of assumptions at various levels about how local libraries would support the community during disasters.
Patron Assumption #1:
All academic libraries keep basic reference materials in both print and electronic, so everyone will always have access to the core important information even if one library gets smashed in a disaster.
Patron Assumption #2:
Local public libraries aren't expected to keep everything when there is a strong academic research library in the area. Of course, the academic library and the public library collaborate and talk about who is keeping what, so we don't have to worry about it - they've already done that.
Patron Assumption #3:
I don't personally have to worry about keeping anything as long as it is in the library, because the library will always have it.
Patron Assumption #4:
For the really important stuff, the library has it in a variety of formats. After all, there was that Ohio backout, and Katrina, and 9/11 - we know that we can't always get to the electronic. Not to even mention the digital divide, or that some folks have tech of physical problems that prevent them from using one media or another. The library is going to have the Good Stuff in electronic, and print, and maybe other media as well.
These assumptions are very flattering, in a way. People were happy with what we were doing, and beyond even just respecting us as professionals, they thought the librarians had thought of everything in advance and were doing everything necessary to take care of everything. Pretty comprehensively. Hmmmm.
Having some concerns about these assumptions, I went back and started to talk these over with friends and colleagues and administrators. Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the librarians had corresponding but different assumptions.
Academic Librarian Assumption #1:
We primarily support the day-to-day needs of our immediate patrons (faculty, staff, students of our institution, and alumni, to a different extent), focusing on what is needed for their core functions of education and research. Everything over that is gravy, extra - not required.
Academic Librarian Assumption #2:
Public libraries have the primary responsibility for providing and preserving any materials that would be needed by the local community. We love our public library, but there really isn't much overlap.
Academic Librarian Assumption #3:
If you as an individual think there is something you can't live without, you should keep a copy for yourself.
Academic Librarian Assumption #4:
Electronic-only is perfectly fine, since the Ohio blackout was a blip and will never happen again. We will never be without power for more than a day, and will never have a crisis where we need information that is only available in electronic format. Besides, we kept backups on CD or DVD locked in a dark archive somewhere. We'll be able to get to those if we really need it.
OK, now I am oversimplifying both perspectives here. I am not directly quoting anyone. At this point, I am not presenting proposals for any solutions, merely presenting a possible problem arising from different communities having different assumptions about who is doing what and who is responsible for doing what. Remember this little ditty?
"This is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done."
If there are these kinds of misunderstandings in this area, are there other assumptions about the profession that are not being addressed in our decisionmaking for the future and for which the profession could later be blamed? Do we need to better communicate this type of context in our decisionmaking? Personally, I have an interest in how new technologies are being used to prepare and respond to disasters, with the flip side of the coin being when new technologies are NOT appropriate for these functions. I'll be blogging more on those topics. With the broader questions and context raised here, I don't know what the solution is, but am hoping there will be more of a discussion about these types of issues.