A quick thought about web syndication

I’ve been working with some mighty stellar colleagues¬†(including Bryan Alexander, not pictured, as few cameras can contain his multitudinousity) on a new EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative “7 Things You Should Know About…” piece focusing on web syndication. We’re closing in on the final form of the document, and it’s been very exciting to try to articulate this rich, elusive conceptual foundation to “thinking like the web.” (My best teacher in this area, as in many others, has been Jon Udell–though he bears no responsibility for my errors, of course. My errors are original.)

This thought just came to me, and I wanted to record it here:

Web syndication really does think about the web as a vast database, and each site on the web as potentially a dynamic, curated representation or slice of that database. But the database is itself constantly refreshed because the web that feeds the database of the web is the web of human curiosity, expression, and meaning-making.

Yes, recursive.

4 thoughts on “A quick thought about web syndication

  1. Gardner –

    My read of your post made me ponder my use of “web” or “social media syndication.” For at least three years, or when these types of services became available, (I use paper.li) – I embraced the concept and told others of this marvelous, self-generating publishing tool. I particularly liked that I could aggregate all of the smart folks I followed, (like you and Bryan), turn those interesting tweets in to a daily published “site” with great content and deeper links. Technically, the tool did just that. Looking at this service, today, all that has seemed to have come from this effort is that the people I follow give me a thank you after I re-post their content and make their twitter “hit count” rise. So – I am not sure I have helped to spread the promotion of good ideas and quite frankly, some folks have quit following me because the only post I may make in a given day is from paper.li. Again, I keep coming back to the Bard’s quote from As You Like It, “The little foolery that wise men have makes a great show.” My 2 cents of my experience with web syndication.

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  3. Gardner,

    That’s an awesome quote, and you brilliantly get at this idea of the web as a flat database of awesome ideas.

    We’ve been building on Martha’s awesome work with the syndication of the ds106 assignment bank and using Gravity Forms to make ds106 sign-up to syndication seamless, the work happening with community.umwdomains.com as a way of visualizing the Domain of One’s Own mind of the community vision is the next level of institutional syndication. I recommend checking it out, especially given you are writing about syndication for 7 Things. No group has pushed heard on this concept thanks to you and Udell, and we are still reaping the benefits!

    Love to see you blogging about syndication. NOBODY!

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