ICTlogy.net: 8th anniversary

Time to celebrate again, and stop even for a little while to recap the activity for the last twelve months: since last time I checked, ICTlogy.net became one year older. And, thus, my personal research portal, my personal learning environment — is now eight years old.

As usual, some figures first, then some comments:

This year, the “other” blog SociedadRed became quite important: international politics, in general, and Spanish politics, in particular, caught my attention powerfully and I thus spent a lot of time thinking out loud on topics like the Spanish Indignants Movement.

On the other hand, Twitter established itself as an essential way to get information, to communicate and to share with others. That was especially true during events and for discussing issues on real time, like the aforementioned politics.

Indeed, most traffic comes now from Google searches and Twitter conversations, and you visitors come looking for three different things: resources on ICT4D, my rants in Spanish on the Information Society and related issues, and personal/professional information about me, like who I am, what do I do, or what have I done.

That, and the increasing amount of content gathered behind these virtual walls, made me think that a thorough redesign of the project was definitely due. And we are working on it. More information about that, hopefully soon.

By the way, for those who do not know yet and care about it, I became a father on September 4th of a beautiful Muriel. That is a project and, as we say in Spanish, the rest is nonsense.


Browsing ICT4D Authors Visually

As it has been recently mentioned, this website has an ICT4D Bibliography with 1797 works and 1436 authors more or less related with the field of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, the Information Society, Development, etc.

Sometimes authors share the authorship of a work, and thus one can jump from an author to another one by clicking on the links of the aforementioned authors, always listed besides their shared works. But especially for the most prolific authors, the result ends up being a long list crowded with links (to authors, to works, to source journals) that becomes quite messy.

To solve that, I’ve applied Daniel McLaren (Asterisq) Constellation Roamer (free version here) to visualize the relationships that one author has with other authors according to the works they have in common.

The goal of the tool is twofold: (1) to glimpse the social ecosystem of the author (within the boundaries of this ICT4D Bibliography, of course) and (2) to (re)discover other authors and, with them, their works. Let us see an example.

A visit to Richard Heeks‘ page in the ICT4D Bibliography will first of all provide us with his ecosystem of co-authors:

We can see that he has four shared works listed in this bibliography with a total of five more authors. By clicking (also just putting our mouse over it) the work he has in common with Charles Kenny — which appears to be The Economics of ICTs and Global Inequality: Convergence or Divergence for Developing Countries? — Charles Kenny’s shared works have their co-authors appear too:

With yet another click now on Charles Kenny, we see now all the authors and their shared works related to him. Thus, starting from Richard Heeks, we easily (re)discover that Charles Kenny is related to Robert Schware and Christine Qiang, who, in their turn, also share works with other people, which allows us to keep on browsing.


ICTlogy.net: 7th anniversary

It seems that a whole year has gone by, and ICTlogy.net — my personal research portal, my personal learning environment — has become seven years old (that is one year in a cat’s life… or maybe is it the other way round? ;).

First some figures, then some comments:

Two experiments on ICT4D information finally became reality:

  • The ICT4D Calendar, a Google Calendar for ICT4D-related events (ICT4D Calendar feed), visit the page to see who’s involved)
  • ICT4D Tweetmap, a mashup that presents #ict4d tweets on a Google Map (inspired by the always inspiring Tony Hirst)

The big news was that, during this last year, the (one and only) blog got to have a new name, the ICT4D Blog, the reason being the coming to existence of its smaller sibling, the blog SociedadRed (RSS feed), less academic, more opinion-biased and in Spanish.

Amongst the things to forget (or not to…), during this year I got my first hate comment — a xenophobic/racist one — that didn’t come from spam, but from a human hand. Shame on you.

There’s little else that I could say. Just a big thank you to all the people I read and drink knowledge from, wherever I am, whenever I want to. Thank you all.


ICTlogy.net refurbished: focus on the personal research portal

More than six years after I set up this site, I’ve just made a dire change on its structure, which is but a change in its purpose, aim or focus.

The site began as a simple blog, and then went on growing by being added more content and sections: the ICT4D Wiki the ICT4D Bibliography, etc. At some point it started to feature information about myself and, especially, the writings and speeches that I was doing.

It is now time to turn it upside down, put the content on the back and the researcher to the forefront. (Almost) everything is still there, but as more people (a) get here through search engines and land directly on a specific page or (b) just subscribe and read content on their RSS feed readers, I thought the home page should be more a presentation of the whole site rather than the last blog post and which kept all other information cornered up to the header menu.

So, main changes:

  • New home page — If you’re reading this on your feed reader, I’ll be glad to know of your impressions on design and structure — with new design, and structured as a Personal Research Portal or, if you prefer it, as a Personal Learning Environment (PLE)
  • Drop of the ICT4D Calendar. When I set it up, I did it for myself (and most things here) to keep track of ICT4D events. It was difficult to gather that information there but it no longer is. The ICTD.at collective, Christian Kreutz, Pablo Arribas and I are experimenting with an ICT4D Calendar on Google Calendar (but we definitely don’t pour much intelligence in it), Mark Openner is doing a cool work with the Ethnos Project Calendar, the IPID discussion list is terrific, and the ICT4D community on Twitter is gorgeous. So, no need to do something other people are doing much better.
  • A new blog, SociedadRed, in Spanish. More information about the reasons to set up a second blog can be found in the first post in SociedadRed, but let us say that this blog — the ICTlogy ICT4D Blog — will remain a mostly scholar, professional, academic one, while SociedadRed, while still dealing mainly with the Information Society, will be more personal and framed in Spain.

By the way: I am sometimes enquired about the odds and ends of this site, how do I work with it, how I benefit from the huge amount of hours that I presumably spend with it, etc. Well, I have been invited to impart a keynote speech at the PLE Conference, which will take place in Barcelona the 8th and 9th of July 2010. Come and find out.

PS: Many many thanks go to Mercè Guillén: she deserves a good share of credit for the redefinition of the site and rearranging the mess it had become. Her advice is like watercolour: comes concentrated and in small drops, but once diluted you can paint a whole sea with it.


ICTlogy.net: 6th anniversary

With almost everyone certifying the death of blogs, and while witnessing a massive migration towards the fertile and prosperous lands of social networking sites, emotion tears in my eyes won’t stop me from proudly shouting out loud that this personal research portal just turned six.

No, it does not seem like yesterday. A zillion things have passed since the first post in this blog and since the 5th anniversary:

What about the events (events feed)? Well, this part is certainly under revision. On the one hand, there are increasingly more people and more ways to share agendas about congresses, conferences, workshops or any kind of meeting than when I set that section up in early 2006. On the other hand, in the last semester we have been discussing with Christian Kreutz and the ICT4D.at team the possibility to team up and create a Google Calendar on ICT4D Events, but everyone (including me) is so busy… Time will tell.

Of course there still are Twitter Twitter, Delicious delicious, Google Shared Google Shared, Google Shared Google Calendar, Slideshare Slideshare and YouTube YouTube to share content and my Sweetcron Universe Lifestream/aggregator or my FriendFeed FriendFeed to rule them all.

Notwithstanding, the huge discovery this year has definitely been Twitter. From the several ways to use it, my main purposes are sharing links to resources, broadcasting “headlines” when attending events, and network, which despite all criticism, works pretty well for me.

Another thing worth noticing — and I thank Michel Bauwens for the idea — was collecting all the conference reviews (liveblogging) in a common place. It now features 280 articles coming from 52 conferences, which gives an idea of one of the main uses of the blog.

All that said, probably the most important thing during this last year was that I got my PhD. My thesis, Measuring digital development for policy-making: Models, stages, characteristics and causes got an “Excellent” from an international examining committee and will, hopefully, be soon uploaded to this site and join the 98 works that it already features amongst writings and speeches.

I’m writing this sitting at IDRC headquarters in Ottawa, just before meeting about their telecentre.org project. I can hardly find a better framework for “my” anniversary.

I want to end up this personal rant by thanking all the interesting people I constantly meet both online and offline. There is no other way I could have learnt so much — at least I guess I did… — without so many people sharing their ideas, data, information, knowledge and warmth. Thank you so much.


Live-blogging and conference reviews

I just got an e-mail form Michel Bauwens — whom I met at the I+C+i. Liberty, equality and P2P conference (Part I, Part II) — suggesting that I should collect under a single page all my conference reviews, which, as some of you might know, is my favourite sport whenever I attend (or chair…) any kind of event.

Well, here they are:

As it is stated in that page:

Be aware that these are not proceedings, not objective reports of what was said, or not even faithful lists of topics covered at those events.
On the contrary, these are personal notes, taken on the run and filtered by (a) what I understood, (b) what I was interested in, (c) what I did not know and was worth noting down and (d) what I was able to type at that time.

Some (presumably many…) conferences might be missing, as I’m just collecting in this page the ones for which I created pull-down menus, which are the ones with several sessions. In other words, one-single-session events are not (yet) in the collection of Conference Reviews.

Nevertheless, the list already climbs up to 228 articles coming from 24 conferences, which represent almost 30% of the total or articles in this blog. I maybe should be doing this on a pro-basis and forget about doing research and teaching ;)