presentation at icel 09

so a couple of weeks ago i presented my third academic publication, this one titled “persisting chat for communities of practice.”

joan at icel 2009

joan at icel 2009

in layman’s terms, it’s a new logging system for online group chat (irc, jabber, etc.) with special integrations into non-synchronous systems such as web forums (academically often called asynchronous learning networks), blogs, etc. the goal is to make chat less transient and throwaway, to promote it to a first class citizen within the wide variety of mechanisms that can be used to help communities. it’s especially designed for communities of practise as described by lave and wenger out at xerox parc way back in the day. go read the linked article, it’s not half bad for wikipedia.

the system will be released under an open source license later this year. if you’d like to get involved, comment here using your real email address and i’ll get in touch.


Well, if you’ve visited my website in the last day, you’ll see I’ve added my plurk widget to the sidebar. I’m finding plurk altogether more motivational than twitter. A recent comparison of the two services I think was unfair to plurk, mostly due to overhyped twitter features that aren’t even working correctly half the time.

Even if Twitter solves their reliability concerns, plurk just feels more alive. It’s not a single thread with everyone’s crap mixed in (and hacks like #hashtags). It’s a threaded timeline: part web forum, part IM, and part IRC. And yes, a bit twitter, too. I like the fact that it’s Web 2.0 enough for my friends who won’t get on IRC (still my #1 place for synchronous) and that the web layout is attractive. The “get more points to get more features” thing is a pain, but I’d rather have that than some sort of “pay us $$ to get more features,” I think.

I moved over to plurk when some of my friends followed Leo Laporte over. I’m not a personality cult-er, but I do like keeping tabs on my friends. And I’m finding that plurk’s interface encourages more synchronous collaboration (read: chatting) than twitter ever did. In about 48h on the service I’ve managed 15 “plurks” (microblog entries) and 38 responses; I never hit that level of engagement with twitter.

Once they add some sort of SMS interface (I can’t get their IM interface to work…) it’ll be a sure fire hit, I think.

So you twitter types out there: would you miss me from twitter if i semi-abandoned it?