Thursday, August 02, 2007

Commentary: Sotir: Blogs and Wikis

I've read more than a few articles lately about the 'death' of Blogs and Wikis as communcative tools. New technologies and applications come out literally daily, and it certainly is hard to keep up with them all. I don't see the Blogs and Wikis leaving us anytime soon. Widgets and small apps such as Blogarithm or Site Meter make them easy to use and track. Adding a post is as easy as writing an email. I love to try out new apps...the Babel Fish Translator is interesting, and so are Cluster Maps. You can get feedback using tools like Survey Monkey or Poll Daddy. Most Blogs and Wikis have a defined purpose, and are easier to track updates with RSS feeds.

And as for use...this tiny little academic Blog has been read in over 1000 cities and educational institutions in the U. S., and all 50 states. It's also been read in 92 countries, and over 600 cities around the world. I started out using the Internet before the WWW, using BBS or Bulletin Board System to post pages. Sure, you needed to know things like FTP File Transfer, and it took a while before you got your words uploaded, but the promise of being able to quickly share information across town or around the world was there. It's just easier now. A LOT easier.

Are there more changes on the horizon? Of course, and I can't wait to try them out. I've talked about the iPhone (as have more than a few others), and noted its positives and negatives. Subsequent generations will be better, and easier. Most of the flaws will be corrected. But back when I used BBS, could I have ever imagined the ability to see pages on a 2" by 4" handheld device, without a cord or cable in sight? Could I have imagined podcasting lessons for students that can fit inside a shirt pocket? Could I have imagined Interactive White Boards, LCD projectors, or Portals? The world is spinning more rapidly, but those of us with imagination are holding on tightly. It's worth waiting for, and just as exciting as it is frustrating. I'm ready...are you?