Ilse's weblog of random thoughts

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Web 2.0 category.

Unfriend is in

Like every year, the New Oxford American Dictionary announces the Word of the year in November, and this year the honour goes to ‘unfriend’:

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook
Continue reading this entry »


How a jeweler censored Twitter

On his blog, Flemish Koen Delvaux tells the story about how a jeweler threatened to bring him to court unless he deleted a twitter message. A few days later, the story is becoming a hit on Twitter, and numerous people are retweeting the original – now deleted – message or posting a link to the above mentioned blog post. The story is even picked by foreign newspapers like De Telegraaf. Continue reading this entry »

Will Google Wave kill learning management systems?

Lately, everyone is buzzing with excitement about Google Wave. Some are enjoying testing it, others are desperately hoping that someone tosses them an invite (including me *waves her arms at anyone who can invite*). Google Wave is said to be a mail killer, but these last days, people are even suggesting it could also replace learning management systems.

Google Wave combines instant messaging with wiki and document sharing functionalities.And since many institutions are already using Google mail and docs on campus, it’s not hard to imagine seeing them take an extra step by using Google Wave in their classrooms. However, The Wired Campus’ journalist Jeff Young still thinks most institutions will continue to use Blackboard or some other LMS as a core system.

Other bloggers are also hesitant about the immediate integration of Goog Wave on campuses. David Middleton writes: ‘From my experience working with Faculty on online course development, as well as with technology for its purposeful uses in the classroom and for hybrid and online learning, it seems to me that this is a few years off. Strategies for best practices, management, support, training and then managing the culture shift for faculty and students alike will need to be planned, piloted and investigated before we dub Google Wave a “Course Management System” killer.

I agree with Cole Camplese, who argues that although Google Wave sure has some potentials, it seems to lack many features teachers rely upon in an LMS, like roster management, group pages, assignment tool or dropbox functionality. On the other hand, our current course management systems are not the strongest in the field of real time collaboration and open publishing space, unlike Google and other web 2.0 tools.

Want to make up your own mind about Google Wave but haven’t got an invite (yet)? Have a look at this one-hour demo!

Chicks rule the (social) web!

Statistics on Brian Solis’s website regarding the most popular social network sites, reveal that women outnumber men in most web 2.0 tools. A few tools, like LinkedIn, and YouTube have an equal share of male and female users, but on most social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Ning and MySpace, women are far more present than men (up to 64% on MySpace). There seems to be one exception to this rule, and that is the content sharing site Digg. For a more visual overview of the figures, check out Information is Beautiful.

Happy birthday Mr. Smiley

27 years ago, Scott Fahlman used the smiley 🙂 for the first time in an electronic message board! But emoticons are in fact much older. It seems there existed a morse code for ‘love and kisses’ in the middle of the 19th century, and a smiling mouth, typed like \__/, followed by an exclamation mark, was used in satirical writings by the end of the same century.

Everyone knows the common emoticons like 🙂 and :-(, which have to be read by turning your face to the left, but there is also another style of smileys, commonly used in Asia, buy also in gaming, and although they usually take up more characters, they can be read normally. I have to admit that it took me awhile before realising that the ^_^ that sometimes appear in the chat messages of pick up groups in WoW, are kind of abbreviations of the Asian style smiling emoticon (^_^). Well, I guess that proves I’m a noob after all ;).

Busted through Facebook!

In my opinion, lots of people are very open when it comes to their discussions and comments on Facebook. I always avoid talking on Facebook about upcoming vacations or trips, not knowing exactly who actually can read it, especially when friends start to comment on it or on photo’s, making the conversation also visible to their friends.

There have been many news items lately about employees being fired over making racists comments or negative remarks about their work or boss. Today, most Flemish newspapers feature the story of an institution using Facebook conversations as proof for sanctioning two students who are believed to have cheated during an exam. Not only did these two act very suspîciously during the actual exam, they also made arrangements on Facebook deviding the exam content between the tow of them and afterwards bragged about it on the same platform. They both received a zero as score for the exam, and the Exam Committee of the Flemish Government ruled that the school could indeed use the Facebook conversations as evidence. I hope the two have learned their lesson!

Still not twittering?

For those of you who are still not sure whether Twitter could be useful for them too, here is a short video about microblogging made by JISC? They have several other interesting videos one web 2.0 subjects, like RSS and podcasting.

Want to know more, then check out this nice overview from Educause, 7 Things You Should Know About Microblogging. And just like JISC, they have more useful info on other topics.

Web 2.0 starts to bark

Now that almost every person on the planet who uses the internet regularly has found his or her way to social software tools like blogs and networking sites, it’s time to expand web 2.0… to the animal world for instance. It seems a Flemish site has found a new niche and launched a social network for dogs, and their owners of course. At, you can create an account for yourself and your four legged friend, keep a doggie diary, join special interest groups, look for vets or dog schools in your neighbourhood, and much more.  The dogs each have a profile, with interesting details like whether they prefer to sleep or run a lot, whether they like to catch a ball, whether they are rather dumb or smart and whether they like to bite or prefer to give you a friendly lick. If you like a dog, you can leave it a message or give it a cookie or paw. Isn’t that much more friendly than all those people throwing food at me in Facebook!

How YouTube can (re)make an artist

The last weeks, there was a huge amount of posts on blogs all over the world about a wedding video, where the happy couple and the whole bridal party danced towards the audience to the beats of Chris Brown’s Forever. It turns out now that the couple forgot that, when posting such a thing on YouTube, they should have made sure they payed royalties. However, instead of taking down the video or suing the couple (who are probably still on their honeymoon, enjoying their global popularity), Brown’s record company opted on adding a link to buy the song on the YouTube page. It seems it was the best option, since it has put the song back into the charts, with a #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list as a result.

When Microsoft met Yahoo

Today, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a new partnership, which will allow Microsoft to integrate Yahoo’s search technology. Together, they hope to compete with Google as main search engine.

Ah yes, where are the times that I used all kinds of search engines? I used to be a fan of Yahoo for more categorical searches, Ask Jeeves (now simply Ask, although people seemed to miss Jeeves so much they brought him back in the UK version) for specific questions, and Copernicus when I needed lots of results, but somehow, I stopped using all these others and automatically open Google when I need to find something. I wasn’t sure why, but after going back for a brief visit to some of the other search engines and doing some tests, I must admit that I like Google’s results the best. I did a quick test looking for info on our virtual learning environment Toledo and it took me a long time before i finally found something with Yahoo. Ask and Bing (Microsoft’s own beta search engine) did better. And I really don’t like Yahoo’s portal with its fancy cruise advertisements and clip-art pics, I prefer the clean, polished start page of Google any day! In that respective, I rather like Bing, which has more or less stolen Google’s lay-out, but with a fancy background that makes me long for vacation.

If you think about it, it’s really funny that Microsoft now partners up with Yahoo, after they first tried to buy the company. If you can’t beat them, join them? It’s a relief to realise that money can’t buy everything, and that even Microsoft sometimes has to bite the dust. Maybe they can have a chat with Blackboard, to get some tips. Although they are probably not celebrating either at the moment, since two days ago, the U.S. Court of Appeal re-affirmed the invalidation of their patent claim against Desire2Learn. You can’t win them all, as they say…