dealing with post-Paris depression

I think that Twitter and the comment boxes on FaceBook, even those associated with blog entries like this do not do justice to my need to interact.  Where have those heady days of vigorous often heated banter on FOSSFA and other ICT4D email distribution lists gone? Frankly, I miss them.  They were simply and easy to use, and required very little bandwidth!

Virtualisation has been troubling me of late – I simply cannot smell the coffee.  That may be OK for those out there who only drink tea or coca-cola, but I realise that I miss the physical contact with loads of engaging humanity around me sharing the same stimulating ambitions about ICT4ED – not the odd meeting in corridors or odd international conference, but daily, invigorating intellectual banter and bouncing ideas of all and sundry.  I guess that’s why sensible academics engage bright, young, busting-to-go, post-grads in esoteric play.

Heather Ford — may she remain forever young 🙂 — wrote about ‘usability’ in her blog recently:

‘even if you were smart enough and had enough time to use every system perfectly, you would nevertheless be right to choose your system based in part on its usability for other users’. These problems of scale and usability impact a great number of online projects because they need to reduce the number of options in order to consolidate a large number of users/content, but must also ensure that there is enough diversity of options (and further options as they learn more about tackling a certain problem) to enable growing usability. Increasing options and making the network more diverse will, in turn, dilute the numbers and thus the value of the network to users, thus decreasing the numbers of users.’


While Steven Krug said much the same about web usability in his classic book “Don’t make me think”, I’m not totally sure where that places (educational) Content Management Systems like KEWL,  and social networking tools like FaceBook on the barometer of change…

I’m going to have to read more of Ethan Zuckerman’s blogs!  

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Posted in distribution lists, email, innovation, travel, web usability

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