Beta, data and more

Here’s what I learned on Twitter this past week:

@literacyadviser “The only truly effective web filter is an educated mind.” via @ jonhusband

@dweinberger “The only way I know to solve big problems anymore is to do it in public.”

Training for future use of a skill is pretty much pointless.” by @JaneBozarth

Why you need to understand political policy by @cognitivepolicy via@drmcewan

In other words, we are more like defense lawyers than philosophers.  We are compelled by our judgments to feel a moral view is appropriate and correct, then defend it if pressed to do so.  We don’t start with a set of assumptions and reason our way to conclusions.  And this process occurs largely outside conscious awareness so it takes practice to recognize when it is happening.

This relates to a common psychological phenomenon called “confirmation bias” which refers to the tendency to be overly critical of information that challenges what one believes to be true (or the tendency to uncritically accept information that supports one’s belief).  We see this all the time in politics.  People are predisposed to consider their values, views and positions as inherently good and right.  At the same time, we tend to be suspicious of anyone who holds a view different from our own.

Industrial vs Networked approaches to work: Fire the indispensable? OR nurture a linchpin culture? via @minutrition

@courosa “Ning Exposed – Tech Company Scams its Clients” [2008]

Is Ning a scam?
There’s a theory that Ning’s actions are part of a carefully planned scam to make the company the next MySpace or Facebook. Instead of spending millions of dollars advertising and gathering enough members to compete with MySpace or Facebook, why not create a social network platform and rely on the ambition of thousands of other network creators to up build membership. When the time is right, simply take all of those members and combine them into one super-site, Ning.com

[Read the comments on the above link to get a better idea of the issues]

This reminds me how important it is to own your data, and the following show two open source options to Ning’s Software as a Service (SaaS) platform:

@elggdotcom “there is a hosted version of Elgg coming in May”

@romiranck “A hosted version of Drupal, Drupalgardens, is in beta now. Testing it out.”

You may have noticed that I’ve changed the tagline of this website to life in perpetual Beta. I find it an accurate description of my life and work. It’s been a subject of conversation here since 2006.

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4 Responses to “Beta, data and more”

  1. Clint Lalonde

    I echo what you have said about the importance of owning your own data, and good news about a hosted Elgg and Drupal on the way. But I’ve been pondering that Ning article off an on since Alec posted it. Recently that article came up from another forum I am involved in, so I did some more digging and can’t seem to find any reputable source of information to back up the claims that Ning is a scam or a pyramid scheme. Those are some serious accusations in that article. I can’t even seem to find the name of the author of the article on the Charting Stocks website. Have you come across any more information?

    • Harold Jarche

      I haven’t come across any other information on this subject, but there are over 100 comments to that post and I noticed that some e-mails were provided.