This Week’s Grab Bag

Once again, here’s a smattering of interesting items which have caught my attention lately.

TOP OF THE LIST: The ASTD E-Learning Handbook, edited by Allison Rossett. My Dad just got me this book for my birthday. (See, my wish list came in handy!) It’s fabulous, I’ve been devouring it in spare moments. I’ve read several books on e-learning, mostly how-to and theory. This book offers unique appeal because it’s actually a compilation of articles where e-learning practitioners discuss, largely in plain language, the practicalities, possibilities, and pitfalls of this field. It’s fascinating reading – right up there with my other favorite title in this genre, Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning. Thanks, Dad!

Read the rest of this week’s list…

  1. Personal knowledge management tools, Aug. 3, from T+D Blog. This article picks up on my theme of arranging ideas and takes it further: “I think Gahran has hit on a trend. …I’ve been seeing many tools for what could be called personal knowledge management, i.e. tools that help a person organize and share his own knowledge more than an organization’s. But I would expand the definition of ‘own knowledge’ to mean not just the thoughts that a person generates on her own, but outside information that she chooses to be most relevant to herself personally.” Then follows a great list of cool new tools I’m dying to try.

  2. How sleazy can search engine spamming get? Read Latest Search Engine Spam Techniques, by Gord Collins, Sitepoint, Aug. 9. I’ve expressed my frustration with the search engine optimization (SEO) field before. I think it a lot of ways it’s undermining not just the usefulness of search engines, but the Web itself. Collins explains how search engine spammers are spreading like kudzu through various new online media channels, such as weblogs.

  3. Innovation in blog design. I’m not a designer, never have been, but I can appreciate how interesting, innovative design has the power to either help or hinder the goal of communication. I’ve been considering this point as I work to shift CONTENTIOUS from Movable Type to WordPress blogging software, because I would like to enhance the design. This comment by Ed T. to a posting in mezzoblue sums up my thinking, and got me thinking even more: “Designing as if the audience should discard what it has learned elsewhere is foolishly arrogant. But on the other hand, designing to encourage new ways of interacting – ways that inform rather than negate other experiences – is brilliantly arrogant… Challenging the audience can bring an unexpected delight in the moment. …And I’d like to think it is sometimes something else: an evolution towards what is more intuitive rather than just expected.” (Thanks to Dina Mehta for this link.)

  4. HTML email is not evil, by Matthew Revell, Aug. 16. In his delightfully pithy fashion, Revell skewers people who condemn HTML e-mail newsletters as bandwidth-hogging pseudo-spam. I think he makes several good points. So why, then, do I still produce my blog’s e-mail alerts in plain-text format? Simple: It’s easier for me. Hey, no one’s paying me to write this blog! But you can make a donation, if you like (click below).

That’s all for this week! Sorry, but I’m short on time today, more to come later…

2 thoughts on This Week’s Grab Bag

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  1. Personal Knowledge Management Tools
    In Amy Gahran’s posts on “Knowledge management in human terms” and “How arranging ideas spawns new ideas,” she does a really good job of boiling the KM issue down to a basic definition, which is often hard for those intimately involved in the field t…