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The Net Effect - 2k0702 Edition

From: <search@websearch.com.au>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 18:36:50 +1000
Message-Id: <200007050836.SAA04558@mail.websearch.com.au>
To: xml-editor@w3.org

THE NET EFFECT                                   July 02, 2000

    Weekly Newsletter 

    The Net Effect is Copyright (c) 2000
    by WebSearch and Dez Blanchfield

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    The Net Effect bewsletter is a high quality publication
    created  to provide timely commentary on events taking place
    on the internet from week to week.
    The Net Effect newsletter is one of the largest newsletters
    available on the web focusing on this topic.  It is read
    weekly by over 541,000 webmasters and website owners.

    Please, do forward this newsletter to all your friends and
    co-workers who might be interested!

    Interested in writing articles for this Newsletter?
    Email mailto:Editor@WebSearch.COM.AU and find out how.
    To subscribe, please see the end of the message!


  - Editorial:
    Is your DOT COM project making money? No!?
    Well it should be!
  - Letters to the editor:
    Cookies - the way I like 'em

  - Word / Quote / Site of the week:
    - e-Marketplace
    - Brooke Shields said..
    - Whales Alive "site"

  - Merging Paradigms:
    Integrating Learning Technologies into the Academy
  - For the Webmaster in all of us:
    Tools you should be making good use!

    Is your DOT COM making money yet? If not, why not?
    by Dez Blanchfield ( mailto:dez@websearch.com.au )
    So you have a DOT COM, it's been your consuming passion for
    some time now, but is your creation, your property, is it
    making money?

    This is a rather important question to be asking yourself on a
    regular basis, it's one I live with every day, and time after
    time I find it the most relevant question for every single
    bright idea I hear about - particularly in the context of the
    average internet technology "start up".

    With this in mind, I've been working on a project recently,
    which might do something about the average DOT COM and it's
    issue of atleast covering costs.

    "adNet" - the project I recently launched to address this
    issue, is now online for all of you with those exciting
    startups that are just not quite making ends meet, or perhaps
    for those of you with that all time brilliant startup that
    just needs more revenue.

    adNet is an agregation or network of disparate web sites,
    which have signed up to allow us to serve banners on their
    sites and in return we pay them a fixed service fee per banner

    When I went out to investigate the market recently, I found
    that most well designed sites were easily acheiving a monthly
    impression count of atleast 5,000 page views, infact, most
    good sites we found were easily breaking 10,000 to 15,000.

    With that soft of traffic, any sight is going to strain to
    make any form of money from their online traffic regardless of
    what they are offering - so how do they make money to cover
    even just their hosting fees and perhaps a dialup account for
    the brain trust?

    Simple - adNet has come to the rescue - by simply joining up
    with adNet, upon approval of your site, you just cut and paste
    the HTML our traffic managers send you, and we can begin
    sending paid ads to your site - it is that simple.

    We're working on a new web site with full details, but for the
    time being, so that you don't get held up, we have a basic
    info site online already and I hope you will take a moment to
    consider the offer and consider having us atleast qualify your
    site for potential revenue even if not immediately - better to
    be signed up and ready than to miss the opportunity:


    So what are you waiting for - click the URL and see what we're
    offering. If you don't think we've answered your questions,
    then for goodness sake tell us by emailing
    dez@websearch.com.au right away as we're having trouble with
    our ESP module this week *grin*.

] Ed


    Looking to get your message out to 541,000+ webmasters?
    Contact dez@websearch.com.au for details on how you can
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    Have your say - we like it that way!
    by Readers of The Net Effect just like you
        Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 12:05:20 +1000 (EST)
        X-Sender: wicked@wicked.com.au
        Mime-Version: 1.0
        To: dez@websearch.com.au
        From: wicked <wicked@wicked.com.au>
        Subject: The Net Effect

        Cookies aint a big deal. Run Netscape. edit your
        cookies.txt file to empty and then convert it to
        read-only. The world thinks you're accepting cookies but
        none get resident. As soon as you're off-line you're
        anonymous again.

    Thanks to all of you who continue to write in each week, it's
    great to hear from every one of you and your feedback, even
    those who point out fault, and we will be including as many
    letters as possible in this new section for Letters to the

] Sub-Ed


    Our word of the week this week is:
    I chose this new coinage as it has quickly become the single
    most over used e-anything catch cry, but when you actually
    stop to ask what it really means, almost none of the abusers
    can give an accurate or reasonable description of what
    e-Marketplace means, so I've qualified it as this weeks acid
    test of all things DOT COM.
    Our quote of the week this week is:

	"If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
        -Brooke Shields
     hmm... well - there's something telling me that if I go near
     this one, I'm going to have a head ache for a week just trying
     to get my head clear of the problems with this sort of thinking!

    Our site of the week this week is:
    "Whales Alive"
    If you've been reading the news this week you would have seen
    that Australia is hosting some very serious discussion
    regarding whaling, and so I went searching WebSearch AU for a
    site "down under" with some info on the status of the fight
    against whaling, and here's what I found:
    Whales Alive is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the
    protection and celebration of Whales and their fragile marine
    habitat. Check out their site now at:

    note: we found this site by searching for the keyword "whales"
          at the WebSearch AU search engine located at:

] Sub-Ed

    Integrating Learning Technologies into the Academy
    by Denny Prussian (jessprus@bri.net.au)

    All birds and mammals educate their young; the 'lower' animal
    species by example, the 'higher' human species by design. We,
    the humans, create systems of learning in the hope that we
    might teach our young the fundamental requirements of survival
    in a human world. We call these systems 'schools' or
    'colleges' and as our young learn to assimilate and act upon
    those fundamental teachings, we promote them into higher
    systems that incorporate specialised schools or colleges. We
    call these higher systems Academies or Universities, and
    through them attempt to ensure the survival of our specific
    cultures in a socially cathartic human world.

    "What makes public schools public, is not so much that schools
    have common goals but that students have common gods. The
    reason for this is that Public Education does not serve the
    public. It creates a public. And in creating the right kind of
    public, schools contribute toward strengthening the spiritual
    basis of [a particular] Creed. (Postman, 1995. WWW Doc.)

    The ultimate irony of the human 'parental' teaching design is
    that, like the 'lower' mammal parent, the parental Academy
    always teaches by example. The difference between the 'lower'
    example and the 'higher' example is profound: the lower takes
    wing or hunts, and 'says' do as I do, the higher takes a
    'position', and says think as I think, learn as it is
    textually remembered, survive on past 'truths' and historical

    How then, do we break the historical hold on our own
    educational design? How do we open our Academies to knowledge
    uninfected by the bug of past agendas? Does such knowledge
    exist? Will the answers to these questions become evident if
    we integrate open-information technology into traditional
    educational design? This paper will contend that, in the final
    analysis, we humans have created technology to overcome our
    own learning limitations. That we have finally left the
    bending bough or comfortable den to soar like our beaked
    compatriots or seek out, bring down and ultimately devour our
    sustenance as our more carnivorous cousins do. And what
    sustains us? The knowledge that, through knowledge, we can
    shape our own destiny as a species and control the process we
    call evolution.

    With this knowledge and its subsequent agenda, we have created
    a 'brain' that spans the globe, containing nearly every byte
    of information we as a species have ever contrived. We call it
    the World Wide Web. We are the body and blood, the heart and
    soul of this, our global brain - maintaining it, growing it
    and maturing it. If sheer volume of information were
    accountable in years, the Web's human equivalent would be the
    most ancient of ancients. But without a connection to a
    sophisticated body, an experienced host, the Web, in this
    moment of its short history, is still in its infancy.
    Educators now face the challenge of integrating our
    sophisticated academic processes into our global brain and, by
    taking advantage of its incredible possibilities, creating a
    truly universal University. The difficulties we must overcome
    to achieve this integration are numerous and perhaps the
    largest difficulty lies in adapting the old education systems
    to the new technology.

    In this moment, for the first time in history, a phenomenon
    has occurred that is beyond the control of the Academy. The
    World Wide Web has evolved as a repository of opinion that
    directly challenges the accepted truths and facts of the
    educators. Ideas, philosophies and concepts are added to the
    human database faster than the educators can validate them.
    Publishing no longer serves to qualify a text as reasoned,
    respected academic knowledge, for now, with a few deft clicks,
    we can all publish our own texts and offer them to a worldwide
    readership. This tends to weaken Professor Ian Thompson's
    position on the 'mission' of the University. He states:

    The mission of all Universities is essentially to act as
    custodians, critics and transmitters of the universitas - our
    common human heritage, and by re-search and re-examination of
    the tradition to propose innovations for the common good.
    (Thompson, 1999. WWW. Document)

    But the Web adds a whole new dimension to the concept of
    commonality. It is fast becoming the true custodian of the
    texts that define or describe 'our common human heritage'. It
    provides a critical arena, open to everyone with the means to
    access it, regardless of their academic or moral
    qualifications. And there is no question of its ability to
    transmit information. What it cannot do, however, is plan
    strategies that will promote a desire to assimilate knowledge.
    It cannot provide personal guidance from learned sources
    motivated to teach. It cannot ask questions. The things it
    cannot do belong to the educator and, as Edward L. Davis
    writes, 'curriculum design becomes the art of posing problems,
    introducing large questions and then facilitating work on
    them.'(Davis, 1998) This brings us back to the difficulties of
    attempting to incorporate conventional academic principles
    into a worldwide information network. Citation is a major
    problem for students and faculty of modern Universities. There
    are three problematic issues involving citation of published
    works. The first is copyright and the mechanism required to
    reimburse authors for the use of their Web-accessed texts, and
    the second is the rather sticky subject of 'disappearing' Web
    pages cited as sources by the student, but unavailable at the
    time of assessment. The third issue is the stickiest of all -
    academic validation.

    I suggest that the first issue could easily be solved by
    utilising existing copyright infrastructures. The specific
    infrastructure I refer to is the Performing Rights
    Associations method of reimbursing song-writers and composers
    for the use of their work. Radio and television stations are
    required to keep concise play-lists of the songs or musical
    compositions they play for public consumption. They pay a set
    fee to the associations responsible for administrating public
    broadcast copyright. The more times a song is played, the
    higher the song-writers percentage of the fee pool. The
    'pay-per-click' facility that currently operates on the Web
    could be linked to texts posted by authors expecting copyright
    fees. The fee pool would come from schools and Universities
    that wish to include copyrighted texts in a study program, and
    their students would require a valid password to access the
    texts via the Web. This would effectively provide 1) a
    monitored, economically viable publishing base for authors and
    publishers and 2) a way to eliminate the expense of text-books
    to students and University libraries, instead charging an
    annual fee. Copyright, therefore, would be payable to authors
    only after a text is accessed. It is a common occurrence for
    students and educators to pay thirty dollars or so for a
    text-book that only contains one or two chapters relevant to
    their study program. The 'pay-per-view' method would alleviate
    this problem.

    The second issue I referred to regards the unethical student
    and incorporates the concepts of direct plagiarism,
    paraphrased plagiarism and the faking of Web sources. It is
    fairly simple to resolve this issue, by insisting that cited
    Web pages be saved by the student to a 'cited sources' file on
    their computer. If the educator cannot access the page through
    the address cited in the students bibliography, then he or she
    can ask for the saved page to be e-mailed by the student to
    the relevant department.

    If the study course were to be provided in total on a CD, I
    would also envisage a search engine program that is capable of
    checking that CD's database for 'coincidental' similarities in
    text. For example, if the assessor were to highlight a
    paragraph from this text, copy it and paste it into the
    described search engine, then find an exact replica of it on
    the CD, that assessor could quite fairly assume plagiarism.
    The same would apply to paraphrasing.

    The third issue regards validation. There may be profound and
    enlightening texts floating around the global brain that come
    from academically questionable sources; from people with no
    recognised academic qualifications. The student is discouraged
    from citing or referring to texts such as these for one simple
    reason: The Academy has not had the time, the inclination, or
    the practical ability to disseminate or validate information
    provided by sources outside its own limited boundaries. Those
    boundaries are determined by ideas and agendas that
    compartmentalise educational method for the sake of the
    system. It is time to expand this system, to encourage ideas
    from all sources and to assimilate the Academy into the global

    This is an important distinction: we should be incorporating
    the Academy into the global brain, not the global brain into
    the Academy. I offer two main reasons for this: 1) the 'global
    brain' is an existing system with a developed technical
    infrastructure, and 2)  'it' has no cultural, religious or
    moral agenda. It is, simply, a tool to access information and
    a mechanism for transmitting it, it exists now and it grows

    The borders that segregate humans into cultural niches are
    disappearing as fast as new Internet connections are made. I
    suggest that this is because cultural diversity has become
    shared knowledge, based on easy access to information and
    broader based worldwide communication. James O'Donnell writes:
    The invention and dissemination of the personal computer and
    now the explosive growth in links between those computers on
    the worldwide networks of the Internet create a genuinely new
    and transformative environment. (O'Donnell. 1998 p.9)

    Today's educators should be taking advantage of this
    'transformative environment' by transforming with it. I
    suggest that if the 'modern' University does not allow this
    necessary transformation, then it will simply be repeating the
    mistakes of its ancient counterparts.

    Educators of the past became so intent on maintaining their
    known, traditional paradigms that the whole process of
    knowledge production stagnated. For example, Stephen
    Rasmussen's text, 'The Quadrivium', describes the seven
    liberal arts: Trivium - grammar, logic, and rhetoric and
    Quadrivium - arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music, as
    the predominating courses of study in the Middle-ages (In
    Republic and Laws Plato referred to the Trivium and Quadrivium
    as 'essential education for the philosopher').

    Each of the Quadrivial subjects had its meta-physical
    counterpart (arithmetic - numerology or arithmology; geometry
    - geomancy; astronomy - astrology, and music - 'speculative
    music theory' eg: the music of the spheres) and, as Rasmussen
    points out, students were required to '[uncover] knowledge and
    truth through the … reasoning of analogy and correspondence.'
    (Rasmussen, 1998) This method of educational enquiry was to
    'end rather suddenly in the 1600's …  with the combined
    onslaught of the Christian "witch craze" … and the Scientific
    Revolution.'(Rasmussen, 1998) Rasmussen summarises the effects
    of this rather abrupt ending by describing the Academic system
    that we currently maintain. Once the habit of
    "pattern"-thinking was replaced by "straight-line" thinking,
    knowledge lost its unity and interconnectedness, and began to
    fragment into ever smaller specialties, each with its own
    jargon, each dominated by its own elite of "experts".
    (Rasmussen, 1998.WWW. Document)

    Although I am not suggesting we return to the specific studies
    of the Quadrivium, I am saying that we must be aware of the
    inherent dangers in politicising Academic validation and
    knowledge production. We must attempt, through new
    technologies and the Internet, to broaden the knowledge we use
    to produce knowledge. In his paper 'The Future of Education'
    (1998), Edward L. Davis (referring specifically to the
    introduction of new technologies and the Internet into
    existing Academic systems) writes: 'The "means" of education,
    if they are to change on a widespread basis, must impact the
    three caveats of reform.' He specifies these 'caveats of
    reform' as 'access, cost and quality.' Access to available
    courses depends upon the availability of relevant tools (eg:
    Computers), and Internet connection. I suggest that the
    technical aspects of access are included in the second reform:
    Cost. The first and most obvious way for Universities to save
    money using computer technology is by eliminating printed
    reference text and replacing it with the CD ROM.

    A single CD (mass produced for about three dollars per unit)
    has the capacity to store a simple word processing program, an
    interactive study program (refer to the attached CD for an
    example), and over 300,000 pages of text. In effect, the
    textual resources for an entire degree could be 'written' on
    to one CD. I will not attempt to estimate the costs involved
    in supplying the same amount of information via the printed
    page, but will presume to suggest that those costs would be
    substantially higher.

    If a percentage of this saving was re-directed into the
    purchase of computers and, as part of their fee, each student
    was provided with one, the question of access would be
    answered. And if the rest of the saved money was subtracted
    from the student fee, students would obviously pay less for
    their education. This would make education more attractive to
    the fiscally challenged, bringing the University one step
    closer to universality. In this regard, Davis asks an
    important question:

    Information technology has generated dramatic cost-benefit
    gains in virtually every other sector of our economy:
    financial services, manufacturing, retail distribution, health
    care, entertainment, and yes, even government. Why, then, is
    our most vital segment lagging so far behind? (Davis, 1998.
    WWW Document) It is a good question and one must certainly ask
    how our educational institutions will choose to answer.

    Davis' third 'caveat of reform' is quality, and that is the
    reform that this paper has really been examining. Quality
    involves more than methods of teaching and their correspondent
    ethical or moral considerations, it also involves methods of
    learning and the ways in which educators must adapt to the new
    paradigms created by the 'distance' student. . Dorothy Sayers
    (1947) writes, ' the sole true end of education is simply
    this: to teach [people] how to learn for themselves; and
    whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in

    Tiano's ideas regarding the 'new paradigm' of 'technological
    exploitation in higher learning'(Winship, 1996) lean
    dangerously close to Ian Thompson's concerns about the
    'uncritical application of 'new' models and paradigms from
    business management, manufacturing and industrial relations to
    universities' (Thompson, 1999). Tiano conveniently labels the
    'Old Paradigm' of academia and university governance as an
    'ivory tower' and infers that academics are only concerned
    with maintaining their own positions and treating students as
    an unwanted but necessary evil (in my experience this is not
    the reality). Her 'New Paradigm' is an over-simplified
    offering, suspiciously market-centred and subjective (not
    surprising if one considers her employers). I contend that
    this is exactly the sort of thinking and promotion educators
    must be wary of: the profit first, worry-about-ethics-later
    mentality that can only undermine the quality of knowledge

    To conclude I must re-iterate a most important point: the
    Internet is simply a repository, technology (no matter how
    prettily it is wrapped) is but a tool. We would be surprised
    to see a carpenter drilling holes with a hand drill or the
    Prime Minister arriving at Parliament House in a horse-drawn
    buggy or, perhaps more analogous to the point, an academic
    composing a lecture using parchment, quill and ink-pot. So why
    are these new tools any less valuable? In this moment in the
    history of the Academy, the fundamental responsibilities of
    the educator have not changed, nor will they in the 'new
    paradigm' of techno-academia. The student is as demanding as
    ever. The only difference concerns the tools, and our
    acceptance, or rejection of them, will make all the difference
    in the world.
] Denny


    Boundless Concepts = Living | Looking Good | Fun | Business

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       Visit http://www.Boundless.com.au/?enter=tne2k0702


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Received on Wednesday, 5 July 2000 03:40:35 UTC

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