Thursday, February 28, 2008

OpenID: Probably the Most Logical Example of Web 3.0

While OpenID is not particularly new, the broad-base support for it is. So far, Yahoo offers support for it and now Blogger has enabled OpenID to place comments. Wordpress had support for it a ways back.

Now I should comment on what I mean by support. In some cases "support" means you can use an organization's ID to access other services. In other cases, as in blogger, you can use another institution's OpenID to get in. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. . .

What Does OpenID Do?

Many of you have already commented on how difficult it was to manage all the usernames and passwords for these Web 2.0 services. OpenID is a way to use one login for all your services.

How Does It Work?

First, you establish an OpenID account with a service. In Wordpress, you can do this by going to you Dashboard, hitting options and choosing OpenID. The page there will show your OpenID code (usually the URL of your blog) and the sites that you gave permission to access your account.

From there, all you have to do is login to your account at Wordpress. After that, any site that lets you use OpenID (eg. Blogger) will be able to accept your login to Wordpress as showing you are legit. For instance, I left a comment on the Web 3.0 post (mistakenly mentioning OpenURL, which is something completely different by the way -- I get mixed up over this stuff) by choosing OpenID as a login option, selecting Wordpress and entering my openID "identity provider."

Blogger then sends me to who asks me if I really want to give permission to Blogger to use my login to authenticate me. I say "yes" and now I can enter Blogger comments all I want with my OpenID. I can remove permission as well, by going back to the Wordpress "options" and clicking them off.

Firefox 3.0 (the next release of Firefox) has openID as a high priority item as well. This may mean even easier access to openID in the future.

Why is this Web 3.0?

As I mentioned before, as Web 2.0 was a fragmenting of the web, Web 3.0 is a re-consolidation. Being able to access many separate services with a single passcode definitely brings people closer to making the internet anticipate our needs based on context than ever before.

In the end, of course, it's just a great way of keeping track of all those usernames that collect over time.

I should also add that OpenID support is still very new. Yahoo! says their version is in "Beta" mode (that means it's at the stage where they are testing it). But if you are interested in new things, see if you can give it a shot!

Monday, February 18, 2008

B-Thing #3: Learn about Web 3.0 and/or "The Semantic Web"


Web 3.0
is a term that has sparked a collective groan on the Internet (and will perhaps cause the same thing from many of you). However, this term does suggest what might be happening to technology in the future.

In a nutshell, you could think of Web 2.0 as a fragmentation of the web, and Web 3.0 as a re-consolidation of the web. Other popular terms in this vein include: "mashup," "'god' Databases" and "the semantic web." An example of Web 3.0 might be Freebase, which is still in its infancy, or "Flock" a socially oriented Web Browser based on Firefox. Facebook's addition of applications like Scrabulous and others could be consider Web 3.0 as well.


  • This is all heady stuff that hasn't really been engineered well-enough to be considered user friendly to your average non-techy. The geeks are having a hard time getting their heads around this. Don't sweat it -- just know that it exists and keep an eye out for what might be happening in the future.
  • I did the Facebook application thing and turned off most of them because I felt that they got too invasive. Tread the water softly here -- like I said, this is experimental territory still.

B-Thing #2: Check Out

Description: is an innovative website that facilitates microcredit to entrepreneurs around the world. Muhammed Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for coming up with the microcredit idea and Kiva has added to it.

But, no you do not have to donate to an entrepreneur to qualify for this thing (you don't have to qualify for this thing if you don't want to anyway :) ). I just thought it was an innovative approach to community/international development and I wanted you to see it.


  • Reading the policies and operations of this group is a good example of how a lending organization should operate. Detailed information about how an organization works is always a good sign for telling that a site is trustworthy.
  • Checking out the Grameen Bank might be a fun extra too.

B-Thing #1: Check Out Zamzar!


Since this is bonus, I am not going to say too much. Go to the website and try it out! It's an online conversion software, and I think you may find it useful.


  • There are alot of file formats available for conversion, including sound, audio and text files. You can convert Word to Wordperfect. You can make pdfs.
  • If you do not know a file format, just Google it, it should tell you. Maybe add a period before the format for good measure (eg. ".pdf" instead of "pdf").
  • Some files are longer than others, that may impact the amount of time it takes to convert it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Get Help with the "Things"

As promised, I am beginning the schedule for people to help with the "things." A Google calendar will provide you with a schedule of who will be where and when. So far, the only person on the list is me, I will add as the gurus come in.

To make it easier, we are going to host guru help on the "Meebo Room." It's just an easy way to make all this stuff happen.

A couple of words of advice:

  • Chances are these "gurus" will be trying to get work done while they are, er, guru-ing. Please be patient if they do not answer you right as you come in.
  • Why not tell the person on duty when you are planning to come? It might make for less confusion.
  • A quick phone call might help if someone is not available when you expected them to be. Remember, this is volunteer work and sometimes there are small fires to put out.
  • I will add a few evening shifts over the week for those who are trying to complete the "things" at home.
  • Remember that communication online is a bit tricky. Pretend there is a smile on the person's face every time they write something. Most times people mean what they say in the friendliest way.
As things come up, I'll add more.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Learning 2.0 Quiz!

The moment you have been waiting for! The Learning 2.0 quiz. Inside, you will see questions that will help me decide whether or not you really completed the 23 things.

You will be asked:

  • For your name, department etc. (only Ryan will see this information)
  • For the location/address of your blog (I'll read it to see how you've finished them).
  • 8 questions on library/web 2.0. You need to get 6/8 questions right.
  • If you have any further comments about the program.
There are three possible outcomes:
  1. Total Success! You have successfully answered the quiz, and your blog includes entries on all the "things" that asked for them. Your name will appear on a "successful completion" list sent via email in mid-March.
  2. Partial Success! You have successfully answered the quiz, but there are a few entries needed on your blog. I will let you know what you need to add.
  3. Missed it by ->THIS<- much! You did not get 6/8 on the quiz. I'll ask you to try again.
Good luck! And remember, the bonus "things" will be coming next week.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

About This Week. . .

As far as I can see, people are really zooming through their things, and we are almost at the end! A few notes for the next while:

  • Many people have noticed that noone was there when they visited the Meebo room. That's not too surprising as I expect people will find themselves there at different intervals. I'm going to try to logon so that people will see at least one other person when they arrive! Please be patient with me, though. I may be busy working on the website or something.
  • Tomorrow, I will release the great Learning 2.0 quiz! This is the final piece of the puzzle if you want to qualify for the laptop. The questions should be fairly easy if you did the "things," and even if you do not pass the first time around, you can try again! (I'll let you know if there was something missing. . .)
  • In the near future, we are going to use the Learning 2.0 Meebo Room as a way to help anyone out with "things" they are stuck on. You may already have seen the message calling for "gurus." Once I have the list, I will pass on a schedule so you can see when someone will be there to help. There'll also be fairly explicit instructions on how to get there (yet another thing knocked off your list).