Researched, written and coded by Wendy M. Walsh
© 2007 by Wendy M. Walsh
New technologies on the World-Wide Web are affecting the future of publishing, from educational texts to journals, from magazines to newspapers. The role of print is declining. Although print media is still vitally important, readers are being diverted to the web, and advertising budgets are being diverted to the web as well. Web content is getting richer, and web access devices are getting more cheap and more powerful, and therefore more popular.
I’ve outlined the most important new technologies and new practices below.
I. Second Life
From: The Art of Living a Second Life
Presentation at Museum of Science, Boston, MA
April 25th, 2007, Wednesday
a. Overview—What is Second Life?
From Museum of Science program:
Museum of Science
Called “the biggest digital art installation in the world” by Warren Ellis, Second Life is a highly imaginative, online, 3-D rendered environment populated with avatars (graphical representations of people). In Second Life, you can teleport, fly, live in a house, go to clubs, take classes, make and view art, or just “hang out.” Spanning more than 42,000 acres in real-world scale—larger than metropolitan Boston—Second Life is second home to over 2 million “residents,” many of whom collaboratively create its content. It is a place where real business is conducted with virtual dollars that can be exchanged for real-world currency.
b. Wagner James Au, embedded journalist for Second Life
1. His blog New World Notes, like a newspaper in Second Life.
New World Notes
2. Linden Labs recruited Au from Salon in 2003.
3. In the last year or so, big corporations such as Coca Cola have bought their own “islands” in Second Life.
4. STATISTICS OF SECOND LIFE USERS:
a. LANGUAGE: English 40%. French and German are the next two most popular languages.
b. NATIONALITY: U.S. 27%
c. SEX: 40% Female
d. AGE: Median age is 32.
5. GROUPS OF SECOND LIFE USERS (>100%):
a. FANTASY—20%: Role-playing, games oriented, fantasy type avatars.
b. SOCIAL GAMERS—40%: Called “bllngtards” They are young people that make elaborately decorated, hip hop type avatars and go to the nightclub, casino and “sex” parts of Second Life, into MTV, etc.
c. FASHIONISTAS—20%: Designers, models, consumers, stores and fashion shows.
d. FURRIES—15%: Avatars are fuzzy animals and cartoon characters.
e. CAPITALISTS—10%: Landowners, Vendors, People who are Entertainers in real life and have land devoted to their real-world entertainment image and product.
f. INNOVATORS—10%: Builders, Scripters, Artists, Activists, Game Builders, Programmers.
c. Pathfinder Linden (John Lester), community manager for Second Life.
1. Linden Labs recruited Lester from to be Boston Operations Director for Linden Labs.
2. STATISTICS on PHYSICAL, BUSINESS ASPECTS OF SECOND LIFE:
a. 5.8 million accounts
b. 10k cpus
c. 250 sq miles if real!
d. Build in 3D by starting with 2D blueprint on ground and developing by using geometric primitives.
e. For now, people converse by typing text messages, but soon there will be voice interaction, sounds, music.
3. Lester trained as neurologist at Harvard Med and MGH.
He sees Second Life as a way to help handicapped and brain-damaged people interact with larger society. Biologically, human brains evolved to do five things really well:
a. Navigate 3D world
b. Communicate with other people
c. Learn from sharing experiences
d. Use tools
e. Take partial data and construct a meaningful whole from separate pieces.
d. John Craig Freeman, artist in Second Life, Associate Professor at Emerson College.
1. Describes Second Life as Immersive explorable spaces based on real world.
2. Project “Imaging Place” in Second Life
Now operational within Second Life. Study of the effects of globalization, featuring video clips of local streets and interviews with people from selected spots around the world.
3. People will soon be able to access Second Life with mobile devices.
e. Eric Gordon, Assistant Professor of New Media, Emerson College.
1. People want to import and export their creations (avatars, objects, buildings) from Second Life, and they can’t do that now, they need to build them within Second Life, which means they have to obey the rules of Second Life or lose their creations.
f. Other web resources are meeting the need to provide independent multi-user dimension assets
1. Google is competing with Second Life by building Google Earth.
With three-dimensional building tool
2. Other web sources include one with the ability to customize and animate 3-D avatars for free.
II. Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School
Corporate Second Life sites are an example of a new way to put professional skills lectures online. But what about the more complicated interactions of a semester-long college course, where the experience of learning with a cohort of one’s peers is desirable? Will Second Life courses, wikis, websites, etc., work in courses on a college level? What will the powerful Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 rich media capabilities, combined with its popularity among the general population, mean to the future of scholarship in general? This is the question that Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society seeks to answer.
a. Rebecca Nesson at Harvard University taught first class in Second Life, for the Fall Semester of 2006.
b. Conference, open to public. Internet & Society 2007
c. Berkman Center notes changes data organization systems.
Everything is Miscellaneous.
Presentation at the Berkman Center
April 30, 2007, Monday
by Berkman Fellow David Weinberger
Weinberger presented his book on “third order.” He says that “first order” of information is the tradition of arranging three-dimensional items (books on shelves), “second order” is arranging information ABOUT information (catalogs), and “third order” is arranging information on the internet and web databases, and describes how this “third order” of organization differs from all the previous ways that humans organized information. He describes the new ways of sharing research and information and tells us how academic disciplines, along with many professions, are changing as a result.
Everything Is Miscellaneous, Third Order
MediaBerkman @ blogs.law.harvard.edu
III. Library Science, Web Research and Archiving
Libraries and scholarly journals are digitizing their databases and sharing research, on sites that offer tools for researchers to easily enter source data and create citations.
a. RefWorks enters researchers’ original sources in APA style and enables sharing and collaboration.
b. Connotea (koh-no-TEE-ah) offers “Free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists. Completely free, no download.”
c. Free online training website for adoption of new social tagging technologies.
d. DOI® (Digital Object Identifier) numbers are worldwide digital equivalent of ISBN, EAN, and UPC numbers.
The DOI® System is for identifying content objects in the digital environment. DOI® names are assigned to any entity for use on digital networks. They are used to provide current information, including where they (or information about them) can be found on the Internet. Information about a digital object may change over time, including where to find it, but its DOI® name will not change.
The International DOI® Foundation
IV. Adobe InDesign CS3
From: Adobe CS3 Launch
Presentation at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
May 1st, 2007, Tuesday
Presented by Noah Edell of Adobe
a. CS3 art-editing techniques easier.
The CS3 suite in general has made it easier (therefore faster) to accomplish the more difficult production techniques for making line art and applying paint (from Illustrator CS2), also has improved automation of pen selection tool in Photoshop.
b. Streamlined color schemes
New color tool called the Kuler server, will make color schemes easier to create, and their application more consistent. It allows users to lock in a color relationship such as monochrome or tertiary, then apply alternative color choices by rotating the scheme on the color wheel. It also has a selection of color strips, some of which are generated and shared by users.
c. CS3 updates XML structuring
XML structuring is relevant to project management, to instruct contractors and vendors.
1. InCopy continues its inroads into editorial side of book production process.
2. New, InDesign CS3 Server. “Automate the design, layout, and typographical capabilities of InDesign using InDesign CS3 Server, a robust, flexible and scalable composition engine.”
3. Once the template is designed and preferences are entered, one has more scripting options, and can enter InDesign documents onto their own XML server.
1. Create and apply a rule set to imported XML content to automate the layout and formatting of pages
2. Insert Parent Element command
3. Streamline the creation of UI for scripts to create more interactive scripts
4. Script attachability
5. Formatted text can be copy/pasted into Adobe GoLive
Adobe InDesign CS3 Server
b. In contrast to the Adobe InDesign Server CS2, InDesign CS3 server is updated to current programming/scripting techonologies. Here’s a short list of the outdated and complicated protocols used by the CS2 version:
1. Model UI separation... is controlled programmatically through scripting, C++, or SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).
3. Developers can use the error capturing API to build more extensive error capturing API to build more extensive error handling into their solutions.
Adobe CS2 Server specs (PDF)
More and more educational content is going to be moved to the web. This content will not just be just in the form of PDFs and web sites with rich media content and interactive boards. It will also include Second Life, or another similar graphical space where users can interact, due to the following factors:
a. Increasing expense of running a real world college
b. Exponentially rising tuition rate will soon be beyond means of most families
c. The need for constant updating of communication skills, across almost all professions
d. Cohort performing physical tasks in real world teams is not necessary except for medical, sciences and biotechnology
e. Because of this, look for a stratification in education models:
1. Traditional monastic structure, with cohort living and working in community (current college structure).
2. Online professional skills training and updating, along with interest groups and sites where one can share one's new creations. This would apply to humanities and business education, as well as to creative careers.
3. Traditional apprenticeship system for the trades, such as carpentry. Work on job sites during the day, take classes in best practices, legal and physical standards in the evening, eventually rising though the ranks of certification.
f. Expense of paper
g. Expense of containerized shipping of raw materials and finished product (books)
h. Pollution in China, location of most offshore printing facilities, and the need for them to clear this before Olympic games
i. Environmental impact, fees for handling and expense of waste for paper, ink, photochemicals, CDs and DVDs, plastic packaging
j. Increasing power, cheapness, access of internet content
k. Popularity and ease of use for internet/web sites always increasing
l. Popularity of mobile devices and PDAs increasing as well, along with their rich media capabilities and their reach
m. Mobile devices are more advanced worldwide than in North America, and mobile web access is more prevalent than computer web access in Africa. Therefore, mobile may be the best platform upon which to offer developmental education of all kinds to Africa, and should be considered in the current global movement to improve African health and prosperity.
April 27th post on Berkman Fellow Ethan Zuckerman’s blog:
Eagle points out that 59% of mobile phone users are in the developing world. In Kilifi, he’s able to pay for his cab with his mobile, something he can’t do in the US. Africa is the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world. While there are only 200,000 households with electricity, there are 7 million mobile phone users. He tells us about a trip to “cellphone alley’ in Nairobi, where he picked out the innards, a colored case, a keypad and had the phone soldered together, giving him an unlocked GSM phone for $15.
The pervasiveness of these mobiles is having economic impact in Kenya—day laborers no longer have to gather on a particular street corner to seek labor—SMS could disperse the day laborers and make it possible for people to broker their own labor. Who’s going to build these new sorts of applications for the South? Probably not a Finn shivering the winter away at Nokia. Eagle’s new project—EPROM (entrepreneurial programming and research on mobiles) EPROM —is trying to encourage people in developing nations to learn how to build applications for mobile phones. This involves building a community of mobile developers and providing curiculum for students to learn how to build applications in this space. EPROM is running an “SMS bootcamp,” encouraging developers to build tools around SMS. There’s a real challenge in teaching this course in Ethiopia, where the local telephone company ETC is blocking most SMS traffic. Teaching in Addis Ababa, he managed to convince ETC to provide a small supply of unlocked SIM cards, which has let students try applications like movie listings, weather information, craigslist-type applications, and “crush lists” for automated online flirting.