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'07 The Year of the Network, '08 The 'Live Web'

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I can’t believe it’s been that long since I posted and yet I’m glad I took the time off. It is good to disconnect once in awhile, to reflect on ones life and to spend time with family.

My mom and dad flew in on Dec. 14 for their first visit every to China. Of course I set up a blog for my mother so she could write about her experience and family members back home could follow their journey through Shanghai, Bangkok, and Beijing. It was a great two weeks of spending time off the grid. But I missed it (not sure if that is a good thing). The network is where my friends are. It’s the daily connections, the Skype chats, the reading and writing. That is what 2007 will be remembered as. For me it was the “Year of the Network”.

2007 saw networks flourish. Looking back to what I wrote last year (Jan. 4, 2007):

Today, I woke up looking forward to tackling the long list of e-mails that awaited me from my 2 weeks of being disconnected (OK, I checked e-mail twice while in Vietnam). I made it through 2 e-mails, but instead was part of 3 Skype chats, 2 Skype calls, 4 Google Chats, and 1 more Skpye call tonight. Is this 2007? The year when chat and VoIP take over the world, when e-mail finally does not do justice to the conversations we are having? If so I’m excited.

Little did I know then that I was talking about the learning network that would defined what 2007 was for me. It was the year of the network. The year of my Skype contact list becoming to long, having 400+ people on twitter, and trying to define the difference between a learning community and a learning network.

As I reflect back over the past year it’s been an interesting one both personally and professional. Leading me down a path that ultimately saw me resign from my current position for something “different” (yet to be defined). Does that mean a different school? A different job? Or something more like what Clay and Will write about? One thing that I do know is that it will be my network that will help me find what “different” is either directly or indirectly, I believe it will be the network that leads to my next road in life.

So that leaves me looking ahead to 2008. Not knowing what the future holds for me personally or professionally. I can feel it though. Like a rain storm coming on a hot summers day. The kind you can watch rolling in off the mountains and you smell the rain before it starts. Something is going to give in 2008, like the storm that sits over the mountains for days before unleashing it’s down pour, it is going to come.

Barbara Torris left a comment the other day that has had me thinking about what the future holds for education, learning, and networks. What is going to “tip us forward” in 2008 that we will be talking about a year from now?

I believe it has to do with the “Live Web” that Doc Searles talks about (via Will Richardson). If 2007 was the year of the network, then I believe 2008 will be the year of the “Live Web”.

I base this souly off my own experiences but here’s what I see happening on the web today.

Ustream.tv: I’ve been very impressed with this web site and its ease of use. Live video where anyone that wants to can have their own web channel. Ustream is just the beginning. In 2008 we’ll see more web sites like this start to pop up.

Podcasts: The edtechtalk network has been doing this for awhile. But I think we’re going to see an increase in live broadcasts on the web with an archive podcast. I’m still looking for the perfect app that will stream your podcast live and archive it as an mp3 at the same time…basically a ustream for audio files.

Of course live chat will become even more popular.  I host all my web sites at bluehost.com partly because they offer 24/7 chat support on their front page. I know I have instant access to live support when I need it. Part of the reason I bank with the bank I do is for live chat. From 9am-5pm Monday – Friday my bank offers free live chat service via their web site. Living overseas this has been a huge benefit knowing I can chat with someone from my bank and not pay long distance phone charges.

I believe we’ll continue to see an increase in these types of live on-demand applications. I can see credit card companies getting on board, more banks, etc. The streaming of live content will continue to evolve and I think we’ll see more schools using this as well. Live video of school sporting events. Live feeds from classrooms or presentation. Yes, 2008 is going to be different. There’s a storm brewing out there, I can smell it…..and I’m exciting to find where my place is in it!

[tags]networks, liveweb[/tags]

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Pingback: My Web Hosting Site » Blog Archive » ‘07 The Year of the Network, ‘08 The ‘Live Web’

  2. I think you left out one of the best live video broadcasting sites – blogTV.com.
    It has the best video quality, and other great features that enables a broadcaster to create his own content and a group of fans that can’t wait until your next broadcast.

    Hopefully you will experience blogTV.com soon and we will be able to read about it some more on 2008.


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  4. I love that you and D. are making your world as big as possible. I wish your mom good luck with her blog. I will be checking on her.

    Because the world gets smaller and smaller we will see you often. Keep well.


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  6. Hey Jeff,

    I think we may have found that audio app you’re talking about. We’re using Red5 as a back end and playing with the possibilities of building a little flashiness to do the audio for us. Well worth a look… we should have something in the next couple of months.

  7. 2008 is definitely the year of change Jeff. I agree that in 2007 social/professional networks and collaboration happened without most of us noticing- we were just doing it – looking back, which is an excellent thing to do at this time of year, I guess it should have been the obvious next step…. the cause and effect nature of this has brought many of us to question our role and position in this new world – I think that your global network will indeed give you and support your ideas for 2008 whatever they may be.
    Wishing you both Best Wishes for 2008 – as I leave teaching after 19 years to embark on coordinating online workshops – a role I would never have seen coming even 12 months ago 🙂

  8. Hi Jeff-
    I am a grad student at Columbia University in New York. This spring I will be working on my Masters project/thesis, and my topic is literacy & technology. In particular, I plan to study how technology can be used as a metacognitive tool for students. I would like to know if you (or anyone else who reads my comment!) have any ideas, suggestions, advice, etc. on this subject – I have been reading your blog ever since I discovered it while doing some research for a class, and the work you are doing is great. Thanks –

  9. Jeff,

    I think you are absolutely correct! I too have experienced the growth of my own “network” and have been increasingly impressed with how the environment has changed and continues to evolve.

    One thing that also strikes me about this is the global links of these networks. We can quickly and easily connect with people throughout the world and share ideas, resources and opportunities. I won’t go back to Friedman, as we all know that story by now. There is a great takeoff from that which I always encourage people to read/think about. That is the work of Daniel Pink. Take a read of his book, A Whole New Mind (danpink.com).

    What you also seem to touch on here is the evolution of Web 3.0 and 4.0 as these changes you talk about will be reflected within these. A hint to readers of this to do some searching on these terms as well.

    For educators, take a peek at my site as well. It is a work in progress, but I hope it will continue to develop into a valuable resource. (http://www.csteinberg.com)


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