LearnDog to PlanetMuse - three clues
I'm not exactly sure who or what you are but I understand that you are launching something tonight that could help bring to life some of my lofty vision for helping kids through recognition of their vocational skills. I will be at your party this evening and hope to meet the team and find out more. Till then, here are three clues from somebody who has been dreaming a lot about what is possible:
- Digitise - Make recordings in audio and video, take lots of pictures, draw stuff, write stories, whatever. Just make sure they look and sound great on a computer.
- Publish online (with open licensing) - While still 'in the moment' of creating stuff make sure it gets published online with the most open license you dare. (Creative Commons:Attribution for the brave, Attribution, NonCommercial if you are not sure about your future business model).
- Build communities of Recognition - take a look at what is possible by open sharing through various social networks. Just today I was playing with fotopedia.com which does a really good job at building recognition around digital photos. Find ways to do this with your band, music, art, poetry, photos, drawings or whatever.
With the very best of wishes
My last post
Imagine for yourselves the sound of a bugle, played by a lone soldier on a cliff near some old battleground - playing the last post...
Yes folks, this is is - my last post (for a while at least)
Sad but true.
Here's the skinny - on April 1st, 2005 I was contracted to perform the role of 'product manager' of LearnDog for one year. The plan was to envision ways a media company could help kids through recognition. I was also given the challenge to see how far we could push the idea with minimal resources. That we did and all went well, so well that in our first annual review we decided to keep going for one more school term. We were so close to recruiting a board, core team and setting up a legal entity that it might have been possible to transition seamlessly from plans to reality. We nearly made it!
But... even in the Not for Profit sector, money makes the world go around. Until we get some help setting up legal entities, bank accounts and lots of other administrivia, we are not really in a position to raise funds and pay the bills ourselves. So, my contract expires today - May 31st and I am already in the midst of finding / doing bits and pieces of work to keep my own bills paid and family fed.
Sadly (since I am a bloke and can't multitask) this means I won't be doing much LearnDog stuff for the forseeable future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark and the team at Archer College for making the adventure that was the last 14months possible. There is no way I would have had the courage to step of the 'corporate merry-go-round' without the arrangement we had and the support of the Archer team and you - the community who read this blog. No matter what happens from here, I will always be grateful for that.
Sniff, sniff, woof, woof. (out but not over)
Fang - Mike Seyfang - LearnDog
Yesterday's meeting was great but not quite what we had planned. A couple of key players couldn't make it so we will need to catch up with them later. We covered a lot of ground,which I will attempt to summarize below and elaborate highlights in separate posts:
Vision/Scope revised - final version to be linked from homepage.
Constitution - objects of company finalised, final draft due by end Feb.
Board - plan to form initial small/local temporary (<1year) board.
Membership/Stakeholder Analysis - participant, member, premium member, patron, board are the groups of stakeholders. The middle three will require formal 'membership' under Australian law. Much discussion on benefits to members - needs work.
Business Plan / Cash Flow - needs more work but we will need around half a million Australian dollars to cover staff, infrastructure and project costs for the balance of the year in order to have viable launch in spring. Amount of contribution from stakeholders will vary with the group to which they wish to belong.
Launch - Conference in Adelaide around spring.
S.W.O.T. Analysis - fantastic input, already posted here.
So there it is folks, the plan in a nutshell. Wish us well, and if you are interested in getting more deeply involved let me know.
Fang - Mike Seyfang - LearnDog
LearnDog SWOT Analysis
Here is the first output from our first meeting of members:
LearnDog SWOT Analysis - Feb14, 2005
the idea is strong – we are onto a good thing
our networks (those of the founding group are strong)
visual / brand potential of ‘the dog’ (nose, …)
recognition services are free (to participants)
the entity – public company limited by guarantee (not for profit)
first year small local board lets us begin (bootstrap)
ability to create a ‘superstructure’ that leverages existing infrastructure
abstract (out there, futuristic) nature of what we are attempting
ideas driven needs first participants to make it tangible
lack of framework for appropriate involvement (implemented mechanisms for dealing with issues)
fundamental clash between ‘Rip + Remix’ vs ‘Trustworthy’
create tangible examples of our abstract ideas
reclaim trust for the individual (participant)
act like top cat when nasty things happen
for sponsors (employers, etc) to leverage our participant base = a value proposition
to grow/evolve initial small local board to large global
potential for explosive (network effect) growth
new business models become possible as growth occurs
control as board grows
managing explosive growth
reliable / robust interface to external ‘superstructure’
competition – sabotage by profitable recognition services businesses
undermine association between learndog brand and flourishing recognition services
Big day next Tuesday
Next Tuesday will be a big day for LearnDog.
We are having our first members /board meeting which is an important step in 'BootStrapping' the legal entitiy that will underpin our efforts.
So, if you are wondering why things have been a little quiet it is because Mark and I have been beavering away on behind the scenes stuff.
Wish us well - will let you all know how it goes.
Fang - Mike Seyfang - LearnDog
Recognition Services (Infrastructure Blueprint 3/3)
LearnDog plans to evolve toward more formal structures and methods for providing recognition to the creator of a piece of digital content. This evolution will probably follow the emerging ‘attention economy’ quite closely. Recognition could be expressed as a function of attention – i.e. ‘Who is paying attention to me?’ (and ‘what are they saying about my stuff?’).
Use existing Recognition services where ever possible
While I have not been able to find any explicitly named services, it is clear that we can begin with existing services. For example, a simple blog post by a reviewer that links to a piece of content by a creator.
Track emerging Recognition services
Over time we plan to evolve to more structured representations of recognition and to more explicitly targeted services for both creators and recognizers.
The most likely source of emerging services in the first instance is the work being done by the attentiontrust.org and those contributing to attention.xml.
links: <<<look for prior post on attention >>>
If organizations other than LearnDog start addressing recognition explicitly we want to help them thrive.
Provide Recognition services only if absolutely necessary
Unless someone else does the hard work first LearnDog will need to provide initial (or ‘bootstrap’) instances of new explicit recognition services.
These services will probably evolve, over time, out of existing and emerging work in other areas. For example, the ‘simple blog post’ by a reviewer example given above might evolve to a ‘structured blog post’ and finally to a formal, standards based XML representation of a ‘recognition object’.
Likewise storage and retrieval services will need to embed strong principles of trust (in a similar way to the four principles of attentiontrust.org – property, mobility, economy, transparency)
Media Services (Infrastructure Blueprint 2/3)
Storage, bandwidth, Web and RSS plumbing are required so that content creators can publish stuff for reviewers to recognize. Popular works that receive a lot of attention can create expensive spikes in bandwith.
Use existing Media services wherever possible
Any web based service that lets content creators publish digital works of text, images, audio, video or animation. Services that allow free access outside any ‘walled garden’, preferably via RSS will work best. Any blogging, podcasting services, flickr, google video etc.
Track emerging Media services
Since the cost of storage is very low, many new media services are emerging.
Because bandwidth is still relatively expensive there are very few services that handle sudden spikes in popularity very well. podshow.com promises to be one of the first to address this for audio. There will be more.
Provide media services only if absolutely necessary
Until the cost of bandwidth falls significantly, we may need to find creative ways of providing industrial strength storage and bandwidth to handle sudden growth in popularity of a content creator.
Identity Services (Infrastructure Blueprint 1/3)
RECAP: this is the first of three posts around Infrastructure Blueprint.
See if you can spot a pattern in the way LearnDog wants to hook content creators up with reviewers (or recognizers).
Need to identify both publishers (authors) and recognizers (reviewers).
Use existing Identity services wherever possible
- federate to the ‘Top N’ existing identity services. If a person already has a google, yahoo, passport, del.icio.us, edublogs etc account, use their nominated favorite whenever possible.
Track emerging ‘Identity2.0 and Self Identification’ services
as they evolve and use them when it makes sense. Things like Sxip, mIDm etc.
Provide Identity services only if absolutely necessary
Because (too) many Identity services exist we shouldn’t have to provide any.
Infrastructure Blueprint - All part of the Master Plan
If you remember back to the 'Master Plan' series of posts on this blog, you will remember I said there would be more detail in a picture I call the 'Infrastructure Blueprint'. Well here it is, literally straight out of the LearnDog notebook (from 7/9/2005).
And if you wanna be freaked out - revisit the post from Dave the LifeKludger, where he drew an outline of this picture having only glanced at it once!
Master Plan v1.1
The conversation around the LearnDog Master Plan over the last two months has been fantastic. Thank you all for your contributions, the are greatly appreciated and affirm that we are really on to something here! This post is simply a summary of v1.1 of the plan:
Help kids through recognition
Become the world's most trusted connection to publishing services for kids
Lead a cultural revolution - 'publish or perish' for kids