When we search for and find information on the web, how do we decide what information is useful? From a researcher perspective, deciding how ‘successfully’ people have found information – whether through a search engine like google, an OER website like gooru, or a jobs portal, school site, or whatever is challenging. I think we should also be interested in how users conceptualise what they’re looking for – do they think there’s, “one answer” or many, do they think there are lots of bits of connecting information or are they more independent. Perhaps they have views on particularly authoritative websites (the BBC v. Wikipedia v. Yahoo Answers), or whether they should just take as a “given” what is said on websites, or that in order for them to have knowledge, they need to understand the information. more >
As part of the Digital Makers programme that we’re developing with Nesta, Mozilla and a range of other partners, I was able to share some of the challenges that this programme is navigating and looking to address at an event at Ravensbourne College on Friday 25th May.
Last week David Wilcox commented on the 11th blog post rightly saying 'I agree with the analysis. But do you want to continue with idea of *persuasion* when the theme is now relationships and network building?'. more >
One of the difficult things about working on Skype or Google Hangout is that it strips us of the social cues that normally oil the wheels of good conversation, that little lean forward, opening of the mouth, intake of breath before someone interjects. (If these social cues don't mean anything to you then you are either spending way too much time online, or bereft of social skills. Either way stop reading this and go and talk to someone immediately)
One of the things we've been exploring at Nominet Trust is how do you replicate a natural flow of conversion when working on video conferencing that just isn't subtle enough to pick up on these?
I suggested in yesterday’s post in the Guardian that in order to fulfil the potential of open data for the voluntary sector, we need to reach a critical mass of activity, and that fostering new relationships between technology and charity experts is one way that we’ll get there. So what are we proposing to do about it?