NELINET IT Conference 2006–Keynote

I’m in Waltham, Mass. at Bentley College for the NELINET IT Conference today. I’ll be giving a talk about blogs and wikis this afternoon. What follows are notes on the conference.

Ben Vershbow
From Institute of the Future of the Book

The Networked Book

Cross between an academic research group and an internet startup

Coming out with an open source app called Sophie, a multimedia authoring tool

Blog is if:book

What is a book?
could be talking about multiple thing
–a book as a package
–a book as a cultural ideal

NOT talking about ebooks

The hardware red herring
–the idea that some kind of hardward that may come along to change books (ebook readers, etc)
–not a very interesting question, according to Ben
–does not take into account how the way we read and write is changing

We associate books with intangible things (ideas, knowledge, etc)
But books are visual cues, tangilbe things.
“the book isn’t broken”
a bunch of paper bound togeter is a really great piece of technology

How is the way we read and write changing?
linking of text to text is changing how we read and write
hypertext can allow you to add supporting evidence to what you write by linking to it (example, blog)
“Literature is an ongoing systemg of inteconnected documents” Ted Nelson

Vanevar Bush
“As We May ThinK”
The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945
idea of memex which stores knowlede, information, books
the memex links together ideas and create additional trail that will allow a user to find additional information
Amazon uses these trails, with “Buy this books with…”

Carla Hesse
wrote an essay “Books in Time”

Leaves of Grass
multiple editions
Whitman wrote anonymous reviews of his own work
Ben shows us a history of the multiple editions
information can from the Walt Whitman Archive which contains online edition
Whitmans works were always being revised

Also shows the Talmud and how it was constantly revised

Look at wikipedia. You can see all the revison history of an article
Ben uses the article on Iraq to show activity of revisions
He shows us some really cool looking history flows graphs
ALso looks at the discussion on an article
There is a moving target problem. How do you align the discussion of the page with the version? Discussion may no longer be relevant if the version changes

Social reading
Conversations going on as the document is read, updated, etc.
Feedback mechanisms are built in, which changes the way we write

Finnegans Wake wiki
entire text is in a wiki, and discussion is built in

Sites cannot happen on their own. If no one is tending the garden, it is going to fill up with beer cans and needles.

Books over wiki
The Wealth of Networks
other social reading sites.

Putting texts out there change the way we write
“collaborating with the reader” changes the way we write
writing is not isolated, it is a relationship

John Battele used his blog, the search blog, to write about ideas for his book.
Social writing helped him get ideas

Lessig’s Code Version 2.0
a collaborative book in progress
written by a community

Without Gods: Toward a history of disbelief
an online discussion as the book is being written
a work in progress

Mackenzie Wark wanted to get feedback and ideas and discussion in writing a blog
wanted to do something differently . Blogs have a hierarchy
an interesting way to read the book
Comments for each page are on the side
listed in NCSU OPAC

shows a movie that is a talkshow set in Halo.   Movie was recorded with video out from game, recording the game.   and then edited with audio voice over.   Very cool.

how do libraries tie in?   What do we consider a book to be?

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