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My book Machines are the easy part; people are the hard part is now available as a free download at Lulu.

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EdTech Update





Do consumer reviews skew negative?

mgmstudios.jpgA hot discussion topic among librarians (and others, of course) is the "wisdom of the masses" theory of information authority. Does the expertise of 100 (1,000, 10,000) amateurs or a single credentialed specialist provide the greatest authority?

The topic came up in yesterday's workshops for ALA in Anaheim. (Wonderful groups, BTW.)  I related how my views have moderated on the issue since I have been using the "authoritative" Frommers and Fodors guides for travel planning less and relying on user-review sites like TripAdvisor more. And feeling sort of cool and modern about it.

Then Laura Pearle raised an interesting question. She wondered if those who contributed to consumer review sites are more likely to be the ones who have had negative experiences. Good question.

I remember seeing a study showing that if a person has a positive experience with a business, he is likely to tell one person; if he has a negative experience, he is likely to tell eight other people. Does the same hold true for online communications?

Is the grouser more vocal than the satisfied?

I certainly hope so considering the reviews of the cheap hotel (Days Inn Riverwalk) in San Antonio I've booked. It has received less than, uh, stellar reviews. Headings like  "too scary for words,"  "never again," and "dump is too nice a word for this place."

Laura, I sure hope you're right. I guess I'll find out tonight!


See you ALA and NECC

In the airport on my way to San Antonio via Anaheim. I'll gone 11 days. I actually had to check a  bag. I didn't much like the shirts I packed anyway...

Here are somethings I'll be participating in at these overlapping ;-( conferences:

Friday, June  27 at ALA, preconference workshops:
Eating Elephant 2.0 One Bite at a Time: Using the Read-Write Web in Classrooms and Libraries 8:00 am – 12 Noon E-Books, E-Kids, E-Flat! 3 Trends Schools and Libraries Will Ignore at Their Peril 1:00-5:00

Sunday, June 29, preconference workshops:
E-Books, E-Kids, E-Flat! Three Trends Schools Ignore at Their Peril 8:30am–11:30am
Are You Punishing or Preventing Plagiarism in Your School? 12:30pm–3:30pm

Membership meeting, 4:15 

Tuesday, July 1
ISTE SIG MS Membership Breakfast, sponsored by Linworth Publishing, Inc. and ProQuest 7:00-8:30am
SIGMS Forum: NETS or AASL Standards for 21st-Century Learners?—A Standards Debate 10:30am–12:30pm
Tech directors panel at the Bloggers Cafe, 2-3

Wednesday, July 2
Session: Policies 2.0:  Safety and Ethics for the Social Web, 12-1

I am not sure where the locations of these events all are. I am hoping people will point ME in the right direction.

Oh, if I promised to do something at a public event for you that is not on my list, please let me know.

Hope to see lots of you there. 



Pay it forward - professionally

Miguel Guhlin at Around the Corner has said some very nice things about my writing's impact on his career. I am far too modest to reprint any here, but not so modest I won't link to the blog entry. In fact, he cites me as one of his "Amazing People." I am indeed, as Ian Jukes would say, a legend in my own mind. I am truly humbled that anyone as thoughtful and articulate as Miguel would say such things. Usually he just teases my about my advancing age.

But here's the way Miguel and anyone else who finds any value in my work can repay me - pay it forward - professionally. Encourage, help, support, identify, mentor, and praise new (not necessarily young) leaders and innovators in education.

That's it.  

 mguhlin.pngAs a way of saying thank you, I had Miguel's oil portrait commissioned.