MITC

I’m currently at the MoreNET Information Technology Conference… at least, I think that’s what the acronym stands for. I first heard about this conference about 4 months ago when I received an email from MoreNET inviting me to speak and, since I had spoken at their spring conference (HELIX), I agreed to do so and submitted a presentation about the Confluence wiki I’ve been working on.

Then I found out, some time later, that where HELIX is for higher education, MITC is for primary/secondary education. Suffice it to say that I wasn’t too excited about coming, and I’m still a little nervous that my presentation will be horribly out of place. But after attending my first session this morning, I’m optimistic.

One of the telling statements by the presenters was, “They don’t seem to realize how much we’re doing on the primary/secondary education level with technology!” Admittedly, they were using Blackboard as their full LMS and CMS, where I might have used a wiki system or something akin to SharePoint rather than Blackboard, but they had some really neat integration with the software, more advanced than how we’re using it at Missouri State University in fact. It is clear that they are very dedicated to online learning and have really poured their time and effort into their system, where ours seems a bit more… grudging. It is used, but not much, and not well.

At any rate, I’m going to wander around the exhibitor hall a bit, then go work on my Buddhism homework (due tonight for a class I’m missing). I’m also using one of the conference’s computers to blog, and there’s a line, so I’m off. Lates.

Exclusivity

A conference I’m speaking at in October has, as part of their Web 2.0 theme, decided to start a blog. After submitting my first entry last Friday, I emailed the coordinator and asked her what their licensing was on the content. If they are retaining full copyright on all materials, then I can’t post the articles here as well. However, if they are licensing the blog entries non-exclusively, then I can.

Issues of exclusivity are what have led me to commit to self publishing my work. I want to be published, even to make money off my work, but I also want to leave it open and available for people to read. I want to give it away for free. And most publishers, when you sell your book to them for publishing, require exclusive publishing rights, which means I would no longer be able to have that work on my website. Unless a site is going to leave my work open and available for public consumption, I’m not interested.

In this case, the MITC blog is available, though they’re waiting to post my first entry until they can check with their legal counsel regarding copyright. I intend to write an article on there every Thursday (linked from here if I can’t post the full text) on the subject of wikis for the next 10 weeks or so. I’m willing to deal with an exclusive contract so long as the work stays open, but otherwise it will be here, always free, and always copyleft.

HELIX

I apologize for the break in updates, and there’s another one forthcoming. My progress on Confluence has been stymied, though I don’t know yet whether this is because there’s something wrong with the product of which I am unaware or if it is due to my own incompetence. I’ve spent quite a few hours tinkering with it, making configuration changes, and restarting services, but all to no avail. I can’t get Confluence to secure logins through SSL, and I can’t get the web address to change from having server:portnumber to server/subdirectory. It always ends up being server:portnumber/subdirectory. At any rate, I’m going to zip up what I’ve got and send it to Atlassian for them to figure out.

In the meantime, I’ve been preparing for a conference I’m attending this week. I’ll also be speaking on Thursday, presenting the topic “Publications for Public Relations,” which is a fancy (and alliterative way!) of discussing web design, press releases, newsletters, and getting people to pay attention to them. I have no idea how it’ll go, and I’m a bit worried since our VP and Director will be there, but I’ve got years of public speaking experience and I know the topic pretty well, so I’m hopeful.

Back on Friday. I might give an update on HELIX then, and hopefully return to regular updates on Monday.