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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Literacies

At the Tim O'Reilly keynote at the DevLearn conference. His outline is very interesting in that he's promising to talk about the "new literacies." I'm hoping this is going to be similar to Work Literacy.

He uses the same quote I often use from William Gibson -
The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed.
Pattern recognition is key. What do these companies have in common:
  • Google
  • eBay
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • MapQuest
  • Craigslist
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
Built on top of Linux (open source). Services. Not packaged apps. Data aggregators, not just software. Network effects are key to their market dominance.

Dell Ideastorm, Starbucks, Best Buy, SAP (Harmony), YattIt, BeingGirl (P&G) mentioned as examples. Allow people to share ideas. Social media in action.

At DevLearn - tend to equate Web 2.0 with Wiki, Blog, Social Bookmarking, Social Networking, etc. - instead it's really systems that harness network effects. The lock in is data.

Eras - Hardware (IBM), Software (Microsoft), Network/Data (Google). Data is the Intel inside of next generation. He's explaining PageRank.

Wesabe - contributing credit card data. Allows us to see spending at particular stores, repeat at stores. Wow, very cool data. Wonder how we could get access to that?

Mentions Google putting testing over the toilet.

What do you need to teach people? Not about the tools. It's about how to use them. How to leverage the data? Core competency of information age - leveraging collective intelligence.

Get away from old model of data. Hadoop. Computer Science shifted to teaching Hadoop to freshman from teaching SQL. Deals with messy data better.

Statistics. Design. "Big part of the new literacies."

These new literacies are not unlike talking about visual thinking as a literacy, new kinds of synthesis. The level of these "literacies" is interesting to me. Much more challenging to develop these literacies.

Suggestion - study the people who don't need your help. Go find the people who are on the leading edge and study them. The "Alpha Geeks."

Turn the Alpha Geeks into the mentors. They would pair Alpha Geeks with good writers.

Provide self-starters with access to the best resources. Online reference tool - Safari.

Show, then do, with reinforcement from frequent small successes. Get people engaged with the process.

Watch someone doing something right can improve your own performance.

Read in reviews - people talk about themselves. Very cool concept from Kathy Sierra. She is awesome at those kind of ideas.

Importance of hands-on. Magazine - "Make" about playing with technology.

Cites Wikipedia the missing manual. Literally just bookmarked How Wikipedia Works this morning.

People are telling us about these technologies, not telling us how to change. Create peer learning opportunities.

Study success stories.

"Stop fondling the hammer and focus on the house." - It's not about technology. It's about what you are trying to accomplish.

I'm not sure that Tim connected the high level concepts with what each person needs to do. I'll try to do it at 1:30 at my presentation. :)

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