Evolving Language


At the RCAC meeting on Friday, we did a sharing about how we’re embracing many of the components of the Read/Write Web. While I don’t like the phrase Web 2.0, I use the other and it’s a tongue twister to me. I end up more often than not doing an electronic version of Wascally Wabbit. Spent too much time in front of the television as a kid, I guess. But, I’ve adopted the one and not the other.

As we were going around, I was mindful of the new technology that was just flowing off our lips. Second Life, Wiki, Twitter, Del.icio.us to name a few.

it was a very enjoyable sharing session and we certainly took to heart many of the messages that came from Symposium 2007 and have made them part of our daily routine and our daily language. They are new terms and worthy of evolving into use into the language.

There’s one that shouldn’t though.

“Powerpoint”. As in “Let me see your Powerpoint”.

The Microsoft Office Suite contains a number of software applications. Notably Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint. The newest versions of the product running under Microsoft Windows are known as Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, and Microsoft Office Powerpoint 2007. They create Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, and Microsoft Powerpoint presentations.

In language use, the third program doesn’t create a “Powerpoint” anymore than the first one creates a “Word” or the second one creates an “Excel”.

In conversations, there are those that use it that way. On numerous occasions, I’ve had people let me know that they’ve used StarOffice to create a “Powerpoint”. Grrrr.

The one that gets me is “How can I create a Powerpoint like ### does?” The answer is “Get a Macintosh computer, get a copy of iWork and develop a presentation in Keynote”. Even then, you don’t “Create a Powerpoint”. You create a presentation and you may wish to export it in Microsoft Powerpoint format.

Some words are ready for evolution status and some just aren’t.

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Where there’s a will, there’s an internet way


The ima08 conference is on today. I can’t be there but would be very interested. It’s being streamed over the internet but streaming has its issues as in blocked or retraining or lost of signal…

However, Andy Carvin is in the audience.

Currently Jimmy Wales is addressing the audience and making some exciting comments about Wikipedia, its growth, the languages, the uptake in various countries.

I don’t have to be there. Andy is twittering all of the key points of the speech!

So, while I’m moving back and forth working on three different documents for the RCAC Meeting tomorrow and chomping on a Granny Smith apple, I have Twitterific following the tweets on my Mac and Twitbin on my PC. I’m not missing a thing unless Andy’s not tweeting the whole story.

Thank goodness my chair has wheels.

I now have stereo Twitter.

Hmmm. “Wikia has 4000 projects, 66 languages – not including Klingon.” Thanks, Andy.

Gotta stop blogging and get back to the documents. Where did my apple go?

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The $50 Laptop


I like Negroponte’s thinking.

I remember being in the audience when he announced the $100 laptop. Today, we’re talking about lowering the price to $50 by 2011.

http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/02/negroponte-olpc.html

The concept isn’t to produce a cheap laptop. It’s to produce the right laptop with the features that you need and don’t include those that you don’t. It’s those extra features that drive the price up and keeps the mainstream machines at a fairly constant price.

When you look at the classroom, just think of all of the extra processing cycles or DVD writing drives or numeric keypads or port gluttony that you get when you buy the traditional machine off the shelf. Sure, in industry or for the home hobbiest, these are important but when students type the great Canadian essay two fingers at a time, all of this functionality sits there unused, but most assuredly paid for.

The total irony is that at times we buy these high end machines with all the ports and drives and then lock them out so that nobody can use them.

Why not, then, design a computer with just what you need and nothing more.

Makes sense to me.

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Politics of Searching


As we’re aware, there is an election brewing south of the border.  You can’t help hearing about it and the messages are everywhere.  One of the plums that candidates hope for is the endorsement of major newspapers.  This carries significance and undoubtedly sets the direction for much of the editorial content.  In major cities, the newspaper readers always have the option of switching from one newspaper to another if they don’t agree with the message. 

Now, in terms of internet searching, I think that we all have come accustomed to thinking that when we do a search, the results that we get are the best and most relevant given the search terms that we enter.  I never thought that it might end up being political.

Until I read this report:  http://www.gopconvention2008.com/news/Read.aspx?ID=511

The Republican Party has named Google as its official innovation provider.  Now, I don’t know enough about American politics to take a stand, Republican or Democrat, but this will be far reaching.  In the article, it’s noted thatAs Official Innovation Provider, Google Inc. will enhance the GOP’s online presence with new applications, search tools, and interactive video. In addition, Google will help generate buzz and excitement in advance of the convention through its proven online marketing techniques.”

Just how will Google generate this buzz?  From a marketing perspective, here’s a company that has become part of our language.  Instead of “I’ll search for it”, how many times have your head “I’ll Google It”.  Or, “have you ever Googled yourself?”  This has become part of society and reaches into all kinds of places.  From a Republican point of view, this is a huge move.  How will the Democrats respond?

It’s noted in the article that there will be a video presence as well with YouTube specifically named.  Is there a service that’s more publically blocked?  What an opportunity to teach politics in the classroom but will be lost.

Look for an elevated presence of all things Google as the Republican National Convention approaches.  Let’s hope that the politics of searching results in enhancing Google tools for those of us who can’t vote.

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