Whether links fail because of DDoS attacks, censorship, or just plain old link rot, reliably accessing linked content is a problem for Internet users everywhere.
Having blogged for a while I am very aware of this problem, links I’ve made have fallen away. My bookmarks are full of holes.
Just the other day I linked to a couple of posts here that were made this month. They have already gone.1
I’ve installed the Amber WordPress Plugin here and set it to use the Internet Archive to ‘save links’ when I make them. I could have chosen to save them here, but I wonder if that could get messy?
The other thing that crosses my mind is what if people want to rub out something they have published. When a post is taken down deliberately, should I be archiving it? The posts I mentioned above were deleted by the author (I presume). Should I then make public copies available? That is what would have happened if I’d had the amber plugin working at the time.
I don’t know the answer to these questions or how the plugin works, but I’ll keep it running here for a while and look out for broken links.
How do we redirect seemingly inane goals of “connecting” beyond upping friend, follower, and subscriber counts towards notions of community and care and concern for each other, especially in places and conversations that are fraught with anger, frustration, and deep, deep potential for harm?
I occasionally look through the stats for the school website and see were links etc are coming from. today I noticed some connections to youtube and myspace. I followed a couple up and found that they were using images from Sandaig blogs as background images. My first though was to be a bit annoyed about the use of our bandwidth. Then I started to wonder how the children would react. How would they feel about their images being used on someone else’s site without attribution. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to discuss this with the class (my p6 from last year), but it might be an interesting example to spark some discussion.
Article from The Herald on Sunday about cyberbullying. Includes recommendation that teachers should join Facebook.
I’ve had a facebook account for a wee while now and am pretty ambivalent about it. I am not really very keen on the closed nature of the network. Most of the web 2 stuff I’ve found useful (rss, blogs, flickr and I dare say twitter) are open(ish) networks, anyone can see what you have to say.
Someone, maybe Ewan, explained that facebook could be a place to get away from the openness and post more personal things that they would not like all to see, but now teachers are being asked to be ‘friends’ with pupils on social networks which would remove this personal aspect. Personally I’d not post anything onto facebook or anywhere else that I want to keep secret.
Neil has a great post Are You Going Far Enough? Or Too Far? on this area and I agree that in the case of your own children you need to discuss and reach agreement about access to their social space. Fortunately (for me) my daughter is too old for this to become a problem, I’m her friend on facebook but not on Bebo and for a 17 year old living away from home that is fine. For pupils this is a different matter, I can’t imagine that many would be happy with teachers befriending them on their space and I don’t think I want to sneak in by faking my age or claiming to be a pupil.
Better in my opinion to:
try to teach sensible behaviour and safety with open tools (blogs anyone)
model good behaviour and give the children a chance to practise this
discuss social software, relating that to real life (cyberbullying = bullying) with the same principals (tell someone)
take online behaviour as seriously are offline
and hope/expect that understanding and behaviour transfer to other online areas.
On the topic of facebook I did get an interesting invite the other day: