15 October 2006

Super-Natural Things

On October 1st in the post titled “Hoity Toity” the Communist University boasted of various statistics. The visits to the blog were certainly overstated in that post, for which we must apologise. In fact, the CU blog is not very successful as compared to the wikispace web site. “Pages” on the blog are running at about 15 per day and “Hits” at about 50 per day. What is more successful is the e-mail distribution and the consequent page-views at the CU wikispace web site. These continue to run at about 1000 per day, so that the total CU page views by tomorrow (since last November) should number 315,000 as compared to 300,000 at the beginning of the month. What’s new is that the Google Groups have developed new features, which you can see by clicking on “View in Groups Beta” at the Communist University Google Group, or by going direct to the new “Beta” Communist University URL. You can now customise the appearance of a Google Group site. But more than that, you can upload files and you can create pages with unique web addresses. As a way of beginning to learn to exploit these features the Communist University has uploaded the remaining readings for this year to the Google Group site in MS Word format, starting with this week’s. See if you can find it and open it! It looks as if it will be possible to do everything needed for a good, interactive, Freirean political education programme, or for an organising and mobilising structure, on a Google Group site alone. It is certainly worth trying this as a design project for any branch or other formation that wants to start something now. Please let us know. The Communist University would be glad to assist. Some points to ponder:

  • It looks like the “wiki” principle of common editing rights for web pages now fully exists in Google Groups.
  • The new Google Group developments are an acknowledgement that the innovations pioneered by Adam, Dom and James at wikispaces are likely to be generalised.
  • This synthesis means that the Communist University’s choice of a combination of e-mailing and archiving corresponds to the kind of system that is going to be maximised on the Internet by service providers like Google.
  • The Internet is moving towards more simplicity and more interactiveness.
  • The bloated, encyclopaedic sites that are kept going by professional “webmasters” are likely to be somewhat eclipsed now by new forms of collaborative, voluntary and non-specialist ways of working, on sites like these Google Groups with their uploads and their easily edited pages.

The Communist University will be off the air now for two or three days due to a “bosberaad”.

There are no further links or attachments today.


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