Thursday, January 19, 2012

Publishing Under Threat? + Apple's Announcement Today #ioe12

So this was the view from my office a while back, while the library was being modified. There's a lot of empty space!  Now the work has finished that space is once again filled with books but I do wonder if the future will mean lots more empty space in our libraries.
Yesterday I wrote about the publishing industry feeling threatened and Jeroen asked an interesting question in a comment. Are the companies really threatened or do they just feel threatened?
My answers would be yes and yes but of course it is much more complicated than this. Publishing, even more than the music industry, was a very stable business for a great many years.  Changes were incremental and the basic model didn't change much. Certain areas (for example academic publishing and textbooks...) were real money-spinners with a certain market and locked-in buyers.
Suddenly all that started to change and this staid business could see its model becoming less and less valid. 
One part of the threat was Open Educational Resources, and another was the advent of open publishing. In fact these areas didn't make much of an inroad into publishing profits so in the beginning the threat was more felt than real. However, when prestigious universities starting insisting that research paid for by public money had to be openly published the threat became real and the lobbyists were called in to do their stuff.
Of course, some companies have realised that their old model is under threat and therefore they need to create a new model. Today's announcement from Apple "iBooks 2 released - textbooks reinvented" shows the direction we are going in (Think if IBooks does to publishing what iTunes did to music!) It also shows that some companies (who already have their products on iBooks) are moving rapidly towards the new landscape I wrote about yesterday.
How does CC and remixing fit in here? Well, that is the other part of Apple's announcement - a multimedia authoring tool combined with a platform to collect and show off your creations. Will this become the tool/platform of choice/distribution point for future works, both free and commercial? We'll have to wait a while to find the answer to that. 

Creative Commons License
Publishing Under Threat? + Apple's Announcement Today #ioe12 by Keith Bryant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 1 #ioe12

I thought myself fairly knowledgeable about open licensing but gained interesting new ideas and concepts as I worked through the material and read the work of others.  The CC game taught me about remixing and licensing the remixes. This game will have a concrete effect on how I produce and license works.
Pollocks 2006 paper Value of the Public Domain  also gave me a new angle on the economics of openness and copyright, discussing how we value property and how that valuing influences the economics of the system.
Towards Openness by Allan Quartly (January 14 2012) summed up the material far better than I can. I particularly liked his graphs.

Today Wikipedia is blacked out as part of the protest against SOPA and PIPA.  I can't help feeling that these acts are a reaction towards the success of the openness movement. Venerable companies and organisations are threatened by the new media and the concepts of sharing, remixing and openness.  Rather than opening up the new landscape, creating new business models, these companies are instead trying to close out the new landscape. They want to force us all back behind the fences where their old business model will continue and they will continue to thrive.
Parallels with East Germany could be drawn and we all know how successful that model was!
Fortunately there are exceptions, companies that are adjusting to the new landscape. Andreas Link's ScoopIt pointed me towards the Springer publishing company with its decision to broaden the use of its Open Choice option.

A stretched excuse for a picture - Another form of openness - a wonderful program of modern dance by Norrdans in our Swedish town. The dances are designed for their large windows. The public stands outside and gets to see the whole spectacle for free!

Creative Commons License
Week 1 #ioe12 by Keith Bryant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Openness in Education - An Open Course!

Wow - suddenly it's 2012 (OK, only just!) and I'm back to this blog I ceased writing almost exactly two years ago. Why did I stop writing? I didn't lose my interest in internet and education but I did get very busy with new jobs and that sort of thing. I was also writing another blog on another topic and that ate into my time. (Maybe more of that later...)
Question 2 - Why start writing again now? Well. I noticed this interesting open course led by David Wiley on "All Things Open". Go take a look at the contents if you doubt me.
I've been interested in Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources for a long time but there are other areas there I haven't delved into. So, I hope for new knowledge in the areas I'm not so familiar with and new insights into areas I am familiar with.
Right now I've watched the first video used on the course - Lawrence Lessig talking about Republican (right wing) support for sharing and re-use and by extension Creative Commons. Now that was a new insight for me!
Well, that has got me started and I already have an idea for my second posting but here in Sweden it's the middle of the night so that is for another day. I'll finish with a superfluous picture of myself mostly because I love photography and I feel every blog posting needs an illustration!

Thank you David Wiley and participants for returning me to the blogosphere!

Creative Commons License
Openness in Education - An Open Course by Keith Bryant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

Monday, January 18, 2010

red-tailed hawk

red-tailed hawk
Originally uploaded by profiles of nature
Just an example from Flickr. There are so many beautiful pictures on Flickr, available for teaching or just for admiring. Personally this one, with flight, action, colours, and good technique felt perfect for me on this grey winter day.

(Written March 2)  Of course the photographs are sometimes removed from Flickr and then you get a "photo is currently unavailable" notice.

 Not to worry - just go to Flickr and search for "red-tailed hawk" and you'll find hundreds of other images!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The web is now much more Readable!

   You can make this text,      look like this!

Example text from Aftonbladet Jan 15, 2010

Do you spend a lot of time reading text from the web?  I mean slightly longer texts such as newspaper articles, scientific texts, books, long instructions, or course material. If so you may want to check out the Readability tool, which removes all clutter and leaves only text!
It all works via the web, and there is nothing to download.  You follow the link to Readability, make a few basic choices about layout and colouring using the example text, drag a bookmarklet onto your bookmarks bar, and hey Presto you are ready to go.

By the way, this tool can be very useful not only for reading but also for printing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using Internet Resources for Teaching - Perspective (art)

After a request from my wife I started looking for teaching resources to help with drawing in perspective.  I thought this type of subject which is not simple but does follow rules, would be ideal for internet and I was right.  There is a lot of material.

Sources for slide presentations includes slideshare and slideboom, and of course there was some very useful material on YouTube.  Strangely enough Wikipedia was not so useful on this occasion, which is unusual.  The above picture is one of my own. The following is the shortest useful presentation I found on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Write or Die!

Found a fun tool for anyone wanting to write and needing something to get them going. I wrote something to check how it worked and this is what came out...
OK, I'm writing and if I stop writing the program does evil things to my text. I paused just now and it all went red round the edges. So I carried on writing. I wrote "edges" a few times and then waited. It got redder and redder, and them my words started to DISAPPEAR!!!!! This is the kamikaze setting. This is fun! Och man kan skriver på svenska också.

Give it a try!  You can get a badge like this...


or like this...

depending upon your aim in your writing.

(Thanks to Terry Freedman and Dr Wicked)