Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is this a future Web 3.0 learning tool?

Sometimes you find possibility in the strangest places. For one reason or another I subscribed to a SciFi channel newsletter about technology. For one reason or another I rarely read it and have been too lazy to unsubscribe. And boy am I glad I didn't (unsubscribe that is). I happened to open the latest edition of Sci Fi Tech and besides articles about kite generators and handmade laptops there was this article on the future of online networking: SHIFT: What comes after MySpace.

The article proposes a social networking system unplugged from a computer.
Let's imagine a new site that was designed not to connect people just when they're sitting at their computers, but in real life as well. We'll call it "RealityConnect," just to keep it simple. RealityConnect is event-based rather than profile-based. That means unlike MySpace, a site based around personal profiles, it would be similar to sites like Flavorpill or Oh My Rockness, with listings for cultural events like movies, concerts, art openings, and the like. These listings would be city-specific, so you'd use a localized version of RealityConnect depending on where you live. You could use your PDA or phone to connect when you're out and about and find out what's going on wherever you are.

In addition to the site-created event calendar, users would be able to create and share their own events much like you can do using Google Calendar and Evite. Combine this with the profile-based setup of MySpace and you have a new type of site that is focused on real-life events rather than on just creating profiles. People could share photos about events as recaps as well as to use in the listings of similar upcoming events.
What if this is applied to learning. Suppose you are in the field and you have an "aha" moment and you discover a new way of doing something that streamlines a process and makes your work easier. You can post what you did (maybe a simple podcast or a written note) and let others within your network become aware of your shortcut. It's an instant learning moment.

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