WatchKnow: How teachers (and parents) can find short, online educational videos

election2008.jpg

WatchKnow sounds like a great idea for teachers — and parents. It’s a “non-profit community” devoted to creating a directory of cataloged, sorted and rated videos that teachers can use. Nice touch: A search function that allows teachers to filter the search by age-appropriateness.

The idea of developing an “educational video encyclopedia” started in 2007, but was relaunched yesterday with 10,000 videos posted to a newly redesigned site, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

The project was an idea of a Memphis-suburb anonymous philanthropist and is funded by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, who enlisted the help of Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger.

(via: ResourceShelf)

It’s official: The AP is absolutely nuts

election2008.jpg

I’ve tried to avoid speaking out regarding reports about the Associated Press’ plans for the future. I’ve done so because AP executives and board members have a habit of saying lots of things that are later “corrected” after they stick their fingers in the air and discover the wind is blowing another direction. So I assume everything I hear that’s attributed to “someone at AP” is merely a trial balloon.

However, the article in the New York Times today about AP (or, if you prefer, “the” AP) “cracking down on unpaid use of articles on the web,” attributes the insanity it reports to the CEO of the AP — by name. As he was going on record with the New York Times, I have to assume that he means what he’s saying.

In other words, I feel fairly confident now that it’s okay for me to start calling a nut a nut.

Here’s a quote from the NYTimes.com story:

“Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.”

In other words, what I just did — quote the New York Times and point to the article — would be considered a copyright violation by AP if the point was to an AP story. To quote and link to that story would require me to have a licensing agreement with AP. That policy, of course, is nuts.

And I’m not even saying it’s nuts from a legal “fair use” standpoint or nuts because AP reporters quote and link to bloggers all day everyday. And I won’t even explain why it’s nuts because of the traffic-driving dynamics and economics of advertising revenue that results when I point to an AP story on, say, my hometown newspaper’s website.

I’m just saying “it’s nuts.” And it’s nuts that Tom Curley doesn’t understand why it is nuts.

Here’s an example — a personal one — of why it is nuts:

Because my company, Hammock Inc, publishes a magazine and various online content that are read by hundreds-of-thousands of small business owners, I am a voracious scanner of news that might be of interest to that audience. A few times each day, I spend about five minutes scanning a hundred or so small business related headlines that are collected by Google Reader. My first review will be about six a.m. and my last will be about ten p.m. In other words, I’m typically on top of what people are writing about the topic of small business. (One of the reasons I don’t blog about that topic is that I am writing or talking about it so much elsewhere.)

Several years ago, I decided to use the service Delicious.com to bookmark and share with anyone interested the links to the best articles I ran across each day. Simply clicking and sharing links — or, “curating news” as the cool kids now call it — is something I’ve rarely blogged about here, but those 5,000 bookmarks I’ve added to Delicious.com/smallbusiness over the years are an incredible service I’ve provided by doing little more than 4-5 clicks per day. Frankly, I have absolutely no idea if anyone other than me ever looks at the actual page, Delicious.com/smallbusiness.

However, I do know this: Delicious.com/smallbusiness generates an RSS feed that hundreds of people subscribe to. And over the years, I’ve pointed that RSS feed in several directions (and I’ve granted a Creative Commons license for anyone else to use it, as well). For example, I’ve pointed that feed so those links can be used by 4,000+ people who follow a Twitter account I maintain at Twitter.com/smallbusiness or @smallbusiness to Twitter users.

That RSS feed also powers the SmallBusiness.com NewsWire page on SmallBusiness.com, where, on the front page, the RSS feed powers the recent headlines feature. There’s even a daily email of the headlines that people can get free, again powered by the RSS feed from that Delicious account. In other words, my simple act of adding to a Delicious account 4-5 bookmarks a day — articles I selected from hundreds of headlines I scan each day — is viewed by thousands of people, who in turn, forward or “re-tweet” links to, potentially, hundreds of others.

So here I am, by merely bookmarking links 4-5 times a day, generating hundreds of page views on news websites.

I used to point to Yahoo! AP stories on Yahoo!. Yahoo licenses AP content, so I figured that would be okay. However, when AP started talking about their in-the-works policy, I started moving away from linking to the AP version of news stories. Let me say: It’s easy to do. Rarely is there not another version of the kind of headline story I point to.

So, if AP wants to criminalize me for choosing to generate hundreds of page views for them each day, that’s fine. I’ll officially stop pointing any link in their direction.

But they’re nuts.

More: Jeff Jarvis says the Associated Press is becoming the “enemy of the internet” because the link is the basis of the internet.

My running list of online inauguration things that wow me

Click arrows to see photos recently uploaded to the
Inauguration 2009 Group on Flickr.

This is going to be an “open post” that I add to over the next couple of days as I see online coverage of the inauguration that is unique or special. I was starting to bookmark these for personal historical and research purposes, but I decided I might as well make it a public exercise as it may help a few of you discover sites you may have overlooked.

It already appears that the major media players are blowing out all the stops for their online coverage. But “minor” media are also doing some simple, cool things as well.

Here are some things that have already impressed me (again, I’ll be adding to this list through Tuesday or Wednesday):

Post-inauguration: An incredible satellite photo of the National Mall. Speaking of incredible photos, here’s a link to the CNN.com feature called “The Moment,” that “synchs” photos people took from the Mall. Speaking of “the moment,” Google has a fascinating blog post about inauguration-related search activity that includes a line chart that displays the dramatic fall-off in the U.S. people using the service during the new President’s speech. Same thing happened on Flickr and Last.fm.

Watching live: This event will likely be the most “live-streamed” event to date. As I note in several places below, nearly ever news site you anticipate live streaming to be, it will be. However (as of 7:30 a.m. ET), it’s already apparent to me that C-Span’s Inauguration Hub is going to be a great spot to see multiple feeds. Other places (list to grow) to watch live streams:

CNN/Facebook: In addition to feeds you’d expect from CNN.com, they are trying out a Facebook app that will stream video and allow FB users to “discuss amongst friends” what’s taking place. Go to the front of CNN.com and click through. The “connect” with your Facebook username and password. I’m on it now and can attest: It’s a new benchmark for the all online “group-watch” experience.

Hulu.com: This is the first “live” event the impressive service has featured. If you have the bandwidth, it should be worth checking out. I predict Hulu.com will be most “like TV.”

Joost.com: Like Hulu.com, Joost seems to be using the day to show-off its service.

The ‘official’ feed: It will be interesting to see if the official Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies website has the bandwidth to live stream the swearing in.

Old School web cams: Here are some links to web cams that may be stationed around the areas of D.C. that will capture images of the inauguration.

Official sites: There are two “official” inauguration websites. (1) As mentioned above, the official Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is run by Congress and is focused on the swearing-in event, itself. The Presidential Inaugural Committee‘s website is focused on all the festivities related to the Inauguration. They are also managing web outposts on YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.