Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.



Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this


  1. 1. Blogs, Wikis, and RSS Utilizing Populist Internet Technologies in Education Tutorial Presentation for CCSC October 28, 2006 Thomas C. Lominac Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Virginia Military Institute Lexington VA 24450 (540) 464-7493 [email_address]
  2. 2. Informal Poll <ul><li>How many…. </li></ul><ul><li>Regularly read blogs? </li></ul><ul><li>Write a blog? </li></ul><ul><li>Use a blog for a class? </li></ul><ul><li>Use an RSS aggregator to read RSS feeds? </li></ul><ul><li>Write for a Wiki? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why I got involved <ul><li>CS Curricular guidelines—like many others, our program needed more content about ethics, social issues </li></ul><ul><li>Received in-house TTL grant to develop a new course, “Contemporary Issues in Computing” </li></ul><ul><li>Desired features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Up to the minute topics for discussion to augment basic issue categories (freedom of speech, intellectual property, privacy, security) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Outline <ul><li>Overview of what’s been happening </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation issues </li></ul><ul><li>A bit of hands-on </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>References </li></ul>
  5. 5. What’s Been Happening <ul><li>Excerpts from remarks by Bill Gates at Microsoft CEO Summit 2004: </li></ul><ul><li>“ One thing that I think has been an interesting dilemma…is this issue of centralization versus empowerment.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… the next generation of collaboration really is about bottoms-up creation of Web sites where the IT department doesn’t have to get involved.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Another new phenomenon that connects into this is…a thing called blogging. And a standard around that that notifies you that something has changed called RSS.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Another big phenomenon is building communities around Web sites….And virtually every company ought to have on their Web site the ability for their customers, their suppliers, various people, to interact and their employees to see the dialogue taking place there and jump in and talk to them and help them.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Overview of Technologies <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul>
  7. 7. Blogs <ul><li>Web log </li></ul><ul><ul><li>n . a personal set of entries, usually structured in reverse chronological order, published in a web-based log or journal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Weblog” => “we blog” (Peter Merholz, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>n. A Web log. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vi. To run a Web log . </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Blogs were… <ul><li>The first widely adopted simple, personal web-based publishing tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>first blogs (c. 1997) were HTML pages generated with whatever editor was available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gained momentum as a force with the appearance of certain web-based services and applications such as Blogger, LiveJournal, and MoveableType </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>exploded in 2002-2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The first set of tools supporting simple creation of XML-based content, embodying the principle of separating structure and content from presentation </li></ul><ul><li>A new form of social ‘network writing’ </li></ul>
  9. 9. Common Features <ul><li>Main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top </li></ul><ul><li>Archive of older articles </li></ul><ul><li>Way for readers to leave comments </li></ul><ul><li>List of links to related sites </li></ul><ul><li>Feeds for syndication </li></ul>
  10. 10. Blogging’s Influence <ul><li>War blogs – (after 9/11) weblogs primarily devoted to covering news events concerning an ongoing war (e.g. Afghanistan, Iraq) </li></ul><ul><li>Talking points memo (Josh Marshall)-influential in resignation of Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Howard Dean and Wesley Clark utilized blogs in their 2004 Presidential campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>“ Rathergate” (2004) bloggers built a case that memos on 60 Minutes were probably forgeries </li></ul>
  11. 11. Educational Blogs <ul><li>EBN (Educational Bloggers’ Network) </li></ul><ul><li>Weblogs in Higher Education </li></ul>
  12. 12. What You’ll Need <ul><li>Blog hosting site (see for a more extensive list) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LiveJournal ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blogging Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moveable Type ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio UserLand ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blosxom ( http:// / ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greymatter ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. RSS <ul><li>RSS stands for… </li></ul><ul><li>RDF Site Summary… </li></ul><ul><li>… or Rich Site Summary… </li></ul><ul><li>… or Really Simple Syndication </li></ul><ul><li>Versions include… </li></ul><ul><li>The original: 0.90, current version 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, current version 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>… and then there’s Atom </li></ul>
  14. 14. Chronology <ul><li>RSS 0.90 (Netscape, 1999) – obsoleted by 1.0 </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 0.91 (Netscape/UserLand, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 1.0 (RSS-DEV working group, RDF-based, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 0.92 (designed by Dave Winer at Userland, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 0.93 (discussed but never deployed, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS 2.0 (0.92 with optional elements, designed by Dave Winer after leaving UserLand, 2002; RSS 2.0 spec released through Harvard under a Creative Commons license, 7/15/03) </li></ul><ul><li>Atom (adopted by IETF, RFC 4287, 2005) </li></ul><ul><li>--for a more complete history by Dave Winer, see </li></ul>
  15. 15. RSS Documents <ul><li>Most versions are a flavor of XML </li></ul><ul><li>Example : </li></ul><ul><li><?xml version=&quot;1.0&quot; encoding=&quot;ISO-8859-1&quot; ?> </li></ul><ul><li><rss version=&quot;0.91&quot;> </li></ul><ul><li><channel> </li></ul><ul><li><title>CCSC RSS Feed Demo</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link></link> </li></ul><ul><li><description>CCSC RSS feed demo</description> </li></ul><ul><li><language>en-us</language> </li></ul><ul><li><image> </li></ul><ul><li><title>CCSC RSS logo</title> </li></ul><ul><li><url></url> </li></ul><ul><li><link></link> </li></ul><ul><li><width>90</width> </li></ul><ul><li><height>36</height> </image> </li></ul><ul><li><item> </li></ul><ul><li><title>Hello, world</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link></link> </li></ul><ul><li><description>Hello, world as RSS feed </description> </li></ul><ul><li></item> </li></ul><ul><li><item> <title>Abe Vigoda</title> </li></ul><ul><li><link></link> </li></ul><ul><li><description>Abe Vigoda's status</description> </li></ul><ul><li></item> </li></ul><ul><li></channel> </li></ul><ul><li></rss> </li></ul>
  16. 16. RSS Advantages <ul><li>Efficiency—scan multiple sites from one place </li></ul><ul><li>Always fresh—RSS reader automatically updates itself with latest items from sites it watches </li></ul><ul><li>Customizable—scan only feeds of interest </li></ul>
  17. 17. What You’ll Need <ul><li>RSS Reader (Aggregator) </li></ul><ul><li>Stand-alone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSSReader ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSSOwl ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feedreader ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharpreader ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrated into Browser or Mail Client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefox (live bookmarks) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opera </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thunderbird </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pluck plug-in ( ) for Internet Explorer and Firefox </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web-based </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Thunderbird
  19. 19. Firefox
  20. 20. Bloglines
  21. 21. Syndicating News Feeds on Your Web Page or Blog <ul><li>Feedroll ( http:// / ) provides a free service </li></ul><ul><li>A script to do the same with PHP can be obtained from </li></ul><ul><li>WebDevTips </li></ul><ul><li>( ) </li></ul><ul><li>generates RSS code for feeds for your pages </li></ul>
  22. 22. Wikis <ul><li>A wiki ( wiki wiki , wiki web ) is a collaborative web site whose pages can be edited by anyone </li></ul><ul><li>First wiki created in 1995 for the Portland Pattern Repository ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Most famous example: the Wikipedia ( http:// ), </li></ul><ul><li>a publicly edited encyclopedia consisting of over 150,000 articles </li></ul>
  23. 23. What You’ll Need <ul><li>Join an existing wiki to participate </li></ul><ul><li>To create your own, you need wiki software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web server (e. g. Apache) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki engine (a lengthy list can be found at ) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. My Setup <ul><li>Constraints: </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive (preferably free) </li></ul><ul><li>Light- or middleweight in terms of complexity (installation and use) </li></ul><ul><li>CS Apache Web Server on Solaris, so blog and wiki servers should work there </li></ul><ul><li>Desirable to have clients for both Solaris and Windows platforms </li></ul>
  25. 25. What I Use <ul><li>Requirements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog and wiki engine run on Solaris using its Apache Web server </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS Reader runs on Windows and Solaris </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blosxom blogging software (includes RSS syndication) </li></ul><ul><li>RSSOwl and Firefox for RSS reading </li></ul><ul><li>The Oddmuse wiki engine </li></ul>
  26. 26. Conclusions and Issues <ul><li>Instructor blog is a convenient way to present classroom material; student blogs didn’t take off </li></ul><ul><li>RSS feeds provide contemporary topics for classroom discussion in an issues course </li></ul><ul><li>Class wiki is good tool for collaborative assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Same potential issues as standard web sites (obscenity, libel, etc.)—easier to write before reflecting </li></ul><ul><li>Open wiki editing allows graffiti </li></ul><ul><li>Revision control on wikis allays these problems if they surface (they didn’t for me) </li></ul><ul><li>Wiki content copyright ???? </li></ul><ul><li>Not a full-blown CMS </li></ul>
  27. 27. What We’ll Use Today <ul><li>Blogging: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blosxom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greymatter ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>RSS Readers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefox ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloglines ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oddmuse ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Password for Today <ul><li>CCSC1028 </li></ul>
  29. 29. Discussion <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Potential topics for discussion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do blogs, wikis, or RSS aggregation or syndication seem of use to you? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If so, what hurdles do you foresee? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you think of other uses? </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Thanks! <ul><li>Feel free to contact me at </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Or visit my VMI websites at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Links for this tutorial online at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Tom Lominac Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Virginia Military Institute Lexington VA 24450 (540) 464-7493