Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm afraid, I'm very afraid

Just in time for Halloween too. But I'm not scared of ghosts and goblins.  Oh no.  I'm much more concerned about content control.  What do I mean by that? It suddenly struck me yesterday as I listened to Google Evangelist Jamie Casap's keynote at TechCon yesterday, that the "72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute" (yes, you read that correctly) could suddenly disappear. Wow, that'd be a lot of lost data!

I am not trying to cause widespread panic.  There was no indication that YouTube was anywhere near headed to the deadpool.  That being said, we are quickly headed to a world on the web that is more about content creation not content consumption.  But what are we doing with this data?  More and more often, we are placing and creating it directly on the web.  How do we create an exit strategy for this?

Perhaps my fear is escalated by the fact that I just watched the first 3 episodes of Revolution - A television series based on the concept of a world without electricity.  At one point Maggie Foster and Aaron Pittman are discussing why Maggie carries her now "useless" cell phone.  It turns out that all of the photos and videos ever taken of her children are on it. OK, that's an extreme scenario; but, it's a sobering thought that could happen.  I know even as a self proclaimed "Geek" I often forget to unload that SD card until Snap - suddenly there is no room left.

Now I'm not advocating printing out every photo and making backup copies of your backup copies.  But this series of events has got me thinking of the fact that I do have content scattered across the web and that some of it may just be the only copy in existence.

So what's the solution?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps better organization?  Maybe a Web 2.0 tools that tracks your content across sites and allows you to back it all up to a large hard drive?  Does such a site already exist?

Is there a point to this post or am I just rambling on?

I think there is.  We are slowly moving away from the generations that kept everything.  And that's probably a good thing.  But are we going to the other extreme where we keep nothing and blindly expect that the Internet will just be there in the future?  That's what scares me.  Content should not be disposable - but our resources to store that content are far from limitless.

What are your thoughts?  Add a comment and continue the conversation.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

If You Build It...

Some years ago as the grassroots "EdCamp" movement was just taking off, there was a lot of talk about a Special Education EdCamp.  In fact my Twitter friend Chris Vanek (@ChrisVacek) had one set to go a few years ago in Kansas City.  I was trying to get a busload of educators to make the road trip from Illinois.  Unfortunately one thing lead to another and the #spedcamp never came to pass.  This was beyond unfortunate.  In my humble opinion, this kind of open forum conference is essential in the Special Education arena. 

For a few years now I have been involved with the organization SET Connections.  This groups mission is to "promote an overall understanding of technology and its benefits and to then assist in utilizing technology to improve the field of education with an emphasis on special education."  A few years ago, I was asked to serve on the board and have since been suggesting we re-vitalize Chris' idea  and host an UnConference of our own.  

I am pleased to share with my readers that on November 3rd, 2012 SET Connections will be hosting a first of it's kind SPUnconference.  You can get all the details at  This half day of learning will give attendees an opportunity to discuss education and technology in an open forum setting.  Registration is now open for the event and spots are filling quickly!.  I'm hoping that we will have a large turnout and I hope to see you there!
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