Tim O’Donnell, a speech professor here at UMW, has designed (with Ross Smith at Wake Forst University) a really cool tool that enables each of their classes to interact (more precisely, debate) online. The class site is called arguendo.com, and is powered by Scoop software – when going to Scoop’s site I found the following blurb:
Scoop is a “collaborative media application”. It falls somewhere between a content management system, a web bulletin board system, and a weblog. Scoop is designed to enable your website to become a community. It empowers your visitors to be the producers of the site, contributing news and discussion, and making sure that the signal remains high.
The basic logic is that the site community is centered around a blogging engine that users post to. However, only certain users (namely administrators) automatically show up on the frontpage. Whereas student and visitors posts can be easily found via the sidebar or search tools – they only show up on the portal/homepage when they make it to the “big time” (which means they are recommended often and highly enough by their fellow users -a celebrity hook built right in!). Tim took me for a quick tour and I really liked what I saw, but now its time to dig a bit deeper in the backend and see the inner-workings …
Great stuff Tim and Ross and thanks for the lead Gardner …
Ya beat me to it: Scooped on Scoop! I find the whole idea interesting, and the arguendoclass.com project absolutely fascinating. I do wish Scoop didn’t call the blog entries “diaries,” though-not a good description.
Truth be told, Ross did the heavy lifting on this one. In a very short time, motivated by his vision of debate as the cure for our times, he mastered a somewhat cumbersome infrastructure (but with lots of bells and whistles) to drag me kicking and screaming into the blogosphere. We’ll report back, as time permits, and have tentative plans to discuss Arguendoclass at the UMW Faculty Academy on Instructional Technology (if this were Scoop, I could put a link here).
One more thought: Gardner’s trouble with the word “diary” strikes me as intriguing. There is definitely a struggle over terminology underway…
Ahh, but Tim you can link in the comments … see
Don’t get rid of WordPress just yet!
Jim (and colleagues)–“Scoop” sounds fascinating–is this something we should be trying in HISP 463, as we work on our exhibit?
Jim, one other question–I note that the “Comment” link in your blog is at the top of the page–useful in an instance when the message is longish–Is that a location we should be trying out?
John, I’m delighted to see you here, and your observation about the comment link is thought-provoking. I can see it both ways: the comment link at the end invites people to read the whole post and then get to the discussion, but the comment link at the beginning makes it clear right away that a discussion is going on and, as in the case of this post, it’s generated many replies. The question emerges, and maybe Tim can help here: what does that comment link represent, rhetorically speaking?
And Tim, if you don’t present on Arguendo at the FA, you’re in big trouble. 🙂
Jim–quick note: when I post the comment, the results are odd. Sometimes I get a comment from another post, sometimes I see a rearranged list of comments from the post I’m commenting on. I haven’t yet gotten what I expect: a set of comments with my comment at the bottom. I wonder if this anomaly is linked to the odd Bloglines behavior I’ve noted for your blog?
I think I have to upgrade to WP 2.1 (have you upgraded yet?). I am not sure if this is what you are referring to, but after I post this comment, for example, I will see the most recent comment made before this one appear (which after a quick refresh corrects itself). I am not sure why my blog is acting so buggy, but I will look into it. As for bloglines – I am a recalcitrant editor after-the-fact and given that until now no one was subscribed to any of my blogs I never saw it as a problem – looks like I am gonna have to change my habits, damn.