Gmail me

Cool, courtesy of a colleague (thanks Laura) I now have a Google email account. Now I just need to get some messages into the account to test out its features. It looks like that unless you’ve got loads of email there won’t be any obvious benefits over a regular webmail account. Has anyone got substantial data in their accounts and can they attest to the usefulness of Google Mail’s search and multiple labels features?

GMail me at ‘daviesda(at)’ obviously replacing the (at) with @ first – I don’t want to fill up my new account with spam just yet 😉


No, I invented moblogging

There's an interesting debate happening over at Dave's place on moblogging. Be sure to read the comments. Dave stirred things up a bit when he posted to Scripting News some thoughts on this topic. So many negative comments, it's clearly a sensitive area. But why? Perhaps because blogging is new enough and moblogging is newer, there's still room to stake a claim of having invented or discovered these. But I believe this is mistaken.

There is much to discuss about what weblogging means, in all its forms, which is entirely reasonable because thoughtful people are continuously discussing all forms of media. My daughter has just enrolled on a media studies course and her first assignment was to discuss a particular genre of movies and how they affect people. But we understand movies, right, 'cos they've been around a long time? Wrong. There are always new interpretations and ways of using all forms of media, and when new media arise, and there's an interesting debate to be had on whether weblogs represent a new form of media, the debate moves on in exciting new directions. So it's important to debate what weblogs and moblogs are, but don't expect a consensus because they're different for different people. Always will be. But isn't that the fun bit?

I have a claim to stake in the history of moblogging. I had a moblog before any of you. My SMS blog was the first moblog and it continues to this day. It was so new there wasn't even a generic name for what the weblog was trying to do. Dave grokked what I was trying to do way back. I posted pictures and video to my moblog before most of you even had mobile phones. And I'll state right now that I was only able to what I did by using the software that Dave and the Userland team created. I've always tried to be fair to that.

Copyright Steve Mann www.wearcam.orgBut just for the record, and to show it is pointless claiming to be the first at anything, I wasn't actually the first person to have a moblog. Not by a long way. You see that's the problem with definitions. Anyone remember this guy? Steve Mann was wearing mobile computers back in 1980 and was later posting images taken from his devices back to the Internet (see And I don't even think that Steve was the first to go on the road with a wearable computer. I recall seeing pictures of a guy on a bike with an even more ungainly mobile computer from the '70's but I can't find a link anywhere. Neither of these guys called what they did moblogging. Would you? Discuss.

A weblog for every student

The University of Warwick is giving every new student the opportunity to start a weblog hosted on their home-grown BlogBuilder system. It'll be interesting to see what the take-up is once the new university term gets underway. I spoke to Steven Carpenter at the ALT-C conference and he told me that Warwick will probably let the system run for 12 months then they'll tie it in more closely with their PDP e-portfolios. Perhaps Warwick might even decide that the student weblogs will actually be the e-portfolios, a bit like they're doing over at the Maricopa Community Colleges.

Revisiting a dialogue on reusable content

The content conundrum is a short piece I wrote back in Feb '03 on reusing content. After re-reading it the issues seem as familiar today as they were back then with not a lot of progress being made over the last 18 months. We do however have a couple of learning design tools now. RELOAD, the popular content packaging tool is about to get a learning design editor and player based upon the CopperCore engine, and while LAMS is a learning design tool, it doesn't actually support the IMS learning design spec.