Reasonate testing completed and a good quote

I have been taking a bit of a break after the successful completion of the Reasonate testing within the BBSc303 course. There's been a couple of interesting articles appear in my newsreader recently. The first has a good construction analogy for 'Web 2.0'.

"An analogy from the world of building construction perhaps clarifies the distinction. Web 1.0 was like building houses from cement, sand, crushed bricks and aluminium. You had to mix cement, bricks and sand together to make concrete, then use concrete to make the house. With newer Web 2.0 technologies you effectively have concrete, prefabricated walls, corrugated iron sheets, etc to build houses. So you can make more interesting and elaborate houses than before.

Many Web 2.0 building blocks are available as open-source software products. These products are, for the most part, free to use. Further, the source code (ie, the engineering blueprint) is usually available for developers to modify as needed. Since there is a huge variety of open source software (for example, SourceForge, a repository of open source software, has over 115000 projects), the programmer can mix and match the right tools and build a program very quickly (and cheaply.)

So, continuing our construction analogy, Web 2.0 programmers not only have ready-made concrete, but it is free ready-made concrete!"

Unfortunately there has been a lot of debate recently over the term 'Web 2.0', mainly caused by O'Reilly making moves to copyright the term because apparently it was Tim O'Reilly who originally coined it. This move certainly peeved a lot of people off who had considered the term more a definition of a genre/ideology rather than some new trademark to be monetised. Anyway in the future I'll be steering clear of using the term Web 2.0 just to avoid any controversy that will continue to plauge the term over the next six-twelve months.

Small featurette inspiration from Dave Weinberger

I was reading David Weinberger's blog today and saw two interesting things, the first was a dilemma he was facing with tag namespaces and the second was his idea of an 'ideal tag results page'. The first discussion centered around which website should be referenced when blog tagging (i.e using the rel="tag" microformat). A general theme in the subsequent comments was that his tags should first link back to his own blog site to show his tagged blogs and then from there provide links to other tag services (like Technorati, or Flickr).

About Reasonate

For the last few months I have been very busy developing and testing Reasonate within the BBSc303 ‘Digital Craft’ class at the VUW School of Architecture. The main purpose of the testing was to evaluate the adoption rate and usage trends of blogging and tagging within a simulated team design process. In concert with this goal the testing was also used to establish what sort of toolset design-orientated bloggers require, especially when operating within a structured environment of project groups, tutors (fellow students) and course coordinators (the lecturer, Mike Donn and myself).

Reasonate feedback from students on Tuesday 2nd May

At the end of the BBSc303 tutorial on Tuesday I held a feedback session with the students present regarding Reasonate, their experiences with it and areas that could be addressed. This feedback session was prompted following the observation that the tagging functionality was not being utilised by students as much as hoped.

My opinion of this was that the current usage pattern suggested a scrap-booking mentality by most students and tagging (if it occurred) would probably follow once the bulk of the modelling work was completed and the emphasis shifted to explaining the overall process cohesively.
The students present provided the following feedback:

Thesis update & Campfire

It has been a while since I last posted, mainly because for the last month and a bit I've been busy preparing and implementing Reasonate within BBSc303. Consequently its been a pretty interesting time. It seems to be working out really well, I've got to grips with Rails (to the point that I cringe at the thought of having to do Java stuff) and almost all of the functionality has been implemented in an easy to use manner. Tagging and RSS have been implemented and introduced to the students whilst the project blogging aspect will come into play once the students form their project teams. Overall the students have picked up the ideas very quickly and some are really getting into the swing of things.

A name picked and prototype development begins

After coming back from the Christmas/New Years break I have started putting together the prototype system for use in the revised BBsC303 Digital Craft course. The paper I am writing for the CAADRIA conference will be describing the methodology and once that is complete (this Friday) I will be putting a more in depth breakdown of the proposed concept online. In the meantime I have picked a name to call the system by: Reasonate

Its a play on resonate and reason because the two ideas are fairly closely tied to my concept. 'Resonate' in the sense that there is a continual reverberation of ideas within a project until some harmony is reached and 'reason' because at the end of the day it is hoped people will turn to the system to understand why decisions were made (pretty clever eh). I have bought the domain name but unfortunately someone has 'parked' the address space (damn GoDaddy and their $1.99 domain name reservations). There is no logo yet but at least there is a moniker to refer to it by.