Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Blog you!
Vi Blogges - blog you (rather than see you) - is the headline of an article by the administrative director of Dagbladet as he writes about the new concept in the paper: their weblog. Their new weblog is frequently updated and organised chronologically, and has links. Sadly, since it's written by several different journalists and it basically links to the paper's own news, it's badly organised and can at present not compete with the better organisation of the online paper.

Rune Røsten, publisher and director at Dagbladet, mentions something else which is interesting - and perhaps a little alarming.

Vi ønsker også å bidra aktivt til demokratiseringen av nettet og vi har som ambisjon å tilby webloggverktøy for deg som bruker. Dette arbeidet er vi ikke helt ferdig med ennå, men vi lover å komme snart tilbake slik at også du kan lage din personlige avis. (We wish to contribute actively to the democratisation of the net, and our ambition is to offer a weblog tool for you as user. this work is not quite finished yet, but we promise to return so that you can make your own personal newspaper.)

Now that is interesting. Dagblades doesn't just wish to offer commentary blog style as several of the large, international newspapers as well as independent journalists do (and CNN's reporter Kevin Sites has stopped doing), but to build an arena within the paper where their audience - or more politically correct, their users - can create their own newspapers. This neatly follows up on Rune Røsten's concern about weblogs as source and competitor:

Riktignok er det ikke slik webloggene vil sette CNN og medier på sidelinjen. De aller fleste weblogger har slett ikke det som mål, men fungerer som private dagbøker eller løpende forskningsnotater bare for å nevne noen av anvendelsesmulighetene. Imidlertid er det likevel slik at webloggens kraft er noe etablerte medier må ta hensyn til, både som konkurrenter og ikke minst som kilde. (It isn't likely that weblogs will put CNN and other media on the sideline. Morst weblogs do not aim at that, but are private diaries or running research notes just to mention some ways to use them. But it's still true that the power of the weblog is something established media need to take seriously, both as competition and not the least as source.)

By offering a blogging tool within the confines of Dagbladet, rather than pointing to for instance blogger or movable type, the paper attempts to make allies of the potential, future competition. The power of the blogg is to be harnessed in service of the established media. If you buy the line of media as the fourth power of the state and absolutely neccessary for a functioning democracy, this is perhaps a good thing. If you, like me, is notoriously skeptic of the idealism of any established power and suspect them all to exist mainly to conserve their own activity level, then the thought of media-controlled blogs is suddenly not quite as sweet. I can't help asking: Who benefits. Let us just hope it is the user of digital media.

(By way of an email from Trygve)
(For an other post on this topic, in Norwegian, read JonBlogg, 30th of April)
Praise and spanish bubbles
It was the last of SKIKT. Several important sounding people said nice things about the program, and there were discrete little bottles in pretty blue wrapping given out to all who spoke. The highlight of the evening for me was however Jon Bing's words about the book where I had published an article. Jon Bing is, besides a professor in law and informatics, a very active author who writes in some of my favourite genres: Science fiction and fantasy. He also plays computer games with a passion. I was more than delighted when he immediately addressed my article, and he addressed it with enthusiasm! That made the trip worthwhile, and the reception afterwards with fingerfood, important-looking people and dry, spanish bubbly white wine together with Ragnhild Tronstad and others I knew from earlier SKIKT conferences was the icing on a cake which already tasted very sweet indeed. As insecure as I am about my work at the moment, I soak up anything that sounds positive like a sponge, and that wasn't even praise-like, that was straight-forward praise from a man who knows both informatics, games and fantasy!
I am on the net!
Well, doh, I know I am, just look at this blog, but I didn't know that yesterday published an interview with me. It is in Norwegian, so the english speakers will just have to take my word for this summary: Playing computer games is good for you, and playing with several people is even better. Playing all day can become a problem, because you need to move a little and also maintain a local social network.
Women and business flights
In the week, on ordinary work-days, men dominate the flights. When I get into the little Dash 8 from Volda with 10 men, I feel - not exactly special, just different. Gender is significant in the oddest situations. This time I didn't really see how important until I got off the plane at Gardermoen and was on the train from the airport to Oslo. Hiding behind the newspaper in order to fit in, suddenly somebody addressed me. It was a young woman, a blonde and nice one. She asked me very politely if I had a cellphone she could borrow. Her brother was expecting them at the wrong railways station in Oslo, and she needed to let him know they would be at Oslo Sentral Station and not at Nationalteateret. I looked surprised, I guess, but I gave it to her and said sure, and she didn't need to pay for the call as long as she didn't run off with the phone.

The call was finished quickly, she thanked me and left. As she left I noticed that she was in an other part of the train entirely. She passed by rows of business-men, some of them using their cellphones. As I got off the train I noticed that she was almost at the front with her little family, while I was almost at the back. From a wagon behind me, two women left the train. The four of us were the only females not in uniform on the platform.

The woman had walked through almost all of the train, passing perhaps 30-40 men, before she found me and adddressed me. I had my cellphone in the pocket, not visible; she gambled that I would have one. I think it is a pretty safe bet that she asked me because she was desperate - lots of luggage, two children one of whom was in a pram, and her brother at the wrong side of town - and because she didn't feel comfortable turning to a man. She turned to me for the same reason that the female students knock on my door when they don't find the person they really should contact, for the same reason that they approach me with their more complicated, personal problems, for the same reason they dare take their aggression out on me. It's because gender matters, and by addressing a person of the same gender, they eliminate several potentials for misunderstanding. It is more likely that I will understand, sympathise and not be offended, and less likely that I will take advantage or make fun of their predicament. And so, they will pass by 20 men in order to ask the one woman for help. Women still need women.

Monday, April 28, 2003

SKIKT conference
Tomorrow is the "wrap-up" conference for SKIKT, the research program that financed me, Jill and Hilde. I got last minute-funding (last-minute because I didn't get to the mail-box last week) due to having contributed to a book which is launced at this conference, so tomorrow I will be in Oslo again. Oh, the strenous life of a cyber-set scholar! (At least I can increase the female quota on the morning business flights Volda-Oslo.)
Margaritas and new words
Friday April 25th, some time between 5.00 and 7.00 pm, I settled in a sunny corner of a restaurant on Karl-Johans gate. In the middle of my second margarita I decided that the world needs a new word. The word for which there is such urgent need describes the act of accessing an URL, for instance when opening a new website from an other. There should be no need for prepositions such as to, from, back, up, down, because the word itself decribes an action which has no geographical direction.

The word I thought of that sunny, lime-flavoured afternoon was dimle. When I click Jill's name here and her blog appears on my monitor, I have dimled her. When I click "back" I redimle my own blogg. If I update the page on the screen, I redimle it. This word does not indicate a movement in geographical space, but the repetition of an act.

In order to organise my thoughts about why we need this new word, I got a cappucino and a change of location. This was a physical act, as is the turning of the pages on a book. Something changes within the three dimentions of the flesh world when I open a book at page 54. This does not happen when I access Jill/txt, or, or whichever new URL I type in and see on the monitor of my computer. This is a change not of position, but of image. I am not in a new place, but in a new frame of information.

While we continue to use geographical metaphors for what we experience when reading web-pages online, we continue to limit our thinking about the potential of digital media. We permit the trap of three dimentions to hold us within a certain conceptual state even where physical restrictions are no longer valid. Dimle is a silly word. It's similar to dumle, a chocolat.covered toffee. Perhaps it is too silly to be useful, perhaps I should have researched meditation to find a word for accessing a state of mind, or made an acronym from some more common concepts: turle from to url - to turle, I turle, you turle, he, she it turles... This page was turled at 15.45, you are number 736 to turle this webpage... The syllables are unimportant, what is important is to give the act a word which is specifically its own.

(In Norwegian dimle will be: å dimle, dimler, dimlet har dimlet. Turle: å turle, turler, turlet, har turlet. It's easier to make a norwegian verb when the letter has an -e ending, and Norwegian is after all my language.)
Have students - will travel
I have just been on a trip to Oslo with a group of first-year students. If people start telling me that younger people today are irresponsible, waste their time and their lives, are rude, unwashed and self-centered, they should have a therapeutic trip with this group. Not all were on the trip, mostly for personal reasons (illness and personal economy are valid excuses), but the 20 something who showed up were clean, awake (!), sober, polite, prepared (!!) and notoriusly on time. The group that had planned everything took the task very seriously, and they had made a good program with a wide range of information and public relations departments worth visiting. Not all the people they visited were as well prepared as the students. But from a pedagogical view, that was very good, because it showed my students how important preparation is in their kind of job, particularly knowing who you will talk to.

And we all agreed it had been a great trip.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Veiledning informasjon 4
Kjære alle mine studenter som kanskje leser dette. Det blir umulig å få fatt i meg denne uken, fram til og med søndag. Jeg er tilbake mandag 28 april. Da bør dere benytte anledningen, for jeg er i Ålesund 5-6 mai og drar igjen 13 mai til Australia, så det er ikke noen god ide å utsette en samtale med meg til siste liten.
More reasons to go to Melbourne
Just received an email from an other of the implementors of Dragon Realms. He wants to make sure there's a dinner while I am in Melbourne, and I am exstatic. I get to meet them: Topaz, Elwyn and perhaps even Scarabae? This is going to be fun.
Giving up control
This week I will follow the plans made by my students. They have planned and made all arrangements for a trip to Oslo in order to visit information departments and public relations bureaus all over the Norwegian Capital, and I'll be there for most of the time - except when they started planning a boat-trip to Copenhagen and back in the week-end. There are things teachers should not get involved with - and one of those is seasick students.

Not that I expect seeing much of that this week. The "study comittee" (fagutvalget) has done a great job, and as they say in the brochure they made to cover the visit: they stand on their heads (meaning: they'd do anything) for their fellow students.

So if you want to know what I am doing this week, call one of the members of the information study comittee - I am in their hands, and I plan to enjoy it!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Google Easter egg
with a little game. Enjoy, and happy easter!

Friday, April 18, 2003

Easter in Volda
For once we are doing the stay-at-home thing for Easter. The family doesn't complain, we have always been travelling at any opportunity, and have crossed the southern part of the country over and over again to visit parents, aunts, sisters and the one brother. Before the kids were born we did this for the sake of our parents. Afterwards we did it to give the children a chance to know their many loving aunts, to make them feel at home in different cultures and even different countries. So what I have now is two socially very intelligent and relaxed teen-agers, who prefer to stay at home, lounge on the terrace, do dishes and help out rather than make the effort to go anywhere. To them staying at home is a luxury they enjoy, not a restraint or something they have been forced into.

But yesterday I did force them to do something. I made them walk up on Helgehornet, a small mountain almost in Volda, in order to enjoy the wonderful view west towards the islands and the ocean. Today they have a new layer of freckles and a pair of happy grins while I am sore and grumpy... which of course makes them feel even happier, more fit and ready to take over the world. The house smells of cocoa, which I made for breakfast, because spring, eggs and cocoa, melting snow and the scent of growing things mingled with sunscreen is all tangled in my memories of once-upon-a-time before growing up was forced on me by life, and I want to pass on the careless invincible promise of spring to my children while they can still identify with it and make it their own.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Why I love my wireless
I can sit in the chair in front of the window and watch the sun set in pink and gold right where the islands protect the fjord from the open sea.

It's 10 am on a holiday morning, and I am in bed while I write this, drinking tea while my husband reads right next to me. I didn't have a book, so I surf the net.

When I meet a stream of boys on their way up the stairs ready to demand the use of the desk-top in the home-office, I can point to my son's laptop and wireless link and say: get back into the basement! you can check your messages from there!

My daughter's sullen arguments about how she can not do her homework research properly without the same desk-top in the office are easily countered by giving one or the other lap-top into her hands with the options of working in the guest/spare room, two kitchens, two livingrooms or even on her beloved warm bath-room floor (OK, this may sound odd, but I think this family is genetically disposed to prefer cable-heated bathroom floors as comfort- and even working spaces. Open the doors carefully, and be grateful there are options!) My one complaint: the heater in the concrete walled room with a veritable labyrinth of pipes exclude her from using the wireless link in her room. Sad but true.

The wireless phones have removed the need to yell in this house. We just call - on the internal network and free of charge - the other floor and speak in moderate, civilised tones. Delightful.

With the cellphone I can embarass my daughter at a wider range. If she is late getting home, I can call all of her friends and ask for her, without waking their parents, thus limiting the embarassment to the area where it hurts her the most.

And there are of course a lot of sensible work-related reasons which I should mention here... but I am just too comfortable to think outside of this building. The sun is shining, the tea is perfect, I am getting a little hungry, and I want to go out and change the soil in the flowerpots on the terrace to give my lilies and herbs a better life this spring. Norway has the longest easter vacation in the world, and I plan to enjoy it!
Playing females
Frequently articles and writing on playing female characters are steeped in so much theory you can't take the writer seriously. They look like the writer has a thesis nicked whole from the most recent book on gernder, identity and representation and then applied to the nearest computergame featuring a female heroine - and this frequently turns out to be Lara Croft. Jane at GameGirl Advance writes about Genderplay from the strength of her rich gaming experience.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Yesterday I discovered Adbusters, through the means of an extremely interesting television documentary which it turned out had been made by our own students (!). The idea of Adbusters is to make visible the cultural hegemony of the large international corporations, and thereby expose this development to criticism. One of their means for this is The Corporate Flag. This flag was behing the head of the Estonian talking in the program... since I tuned in a little late I did not catch his name, but Monday I'll be there, ready with my finger on the record-button.

Their main objective is not to ruin any particular company or brand, but to raise our consciousness about consumption on a personal level. In their Boycott Brand America campaign they don't go out against one brand in particular, but against the general lack of consciousness as to what the brands does to our cultural identity, challenging people to choose one brand and stop using it.

It's almost ten years ago now that my son - then 5 years old - explained to the father of a girl in his pre-school that he wouldn't give her a barbie doll as a present for her birthday, because Barbie represents all the worst aspects of American culture. I had explained carefully to his somewhat older sister why I would not have a role-model doll that looked like an anorectic silicone-enhanced porn-star in the house, and his ears had been wide open... Today they both admonish me when I drink TAB, since it's produced by Coca Cola (I have cut back on that since USA invaded Iraq) (when I do drink it, my son says, with a grin: "enjoy the taste of capitalism."), they refuse to visit McDonalds unless it's an emergency, and they read Fast Food Nation with eyes wide open.

But back to Adbusters... Their call to arms is modern, ironic, high-tech, open source and directed at the future and the consuming generations. And they very much have the finger on the pulse of modern culture, as for instance with this meme-fest. I'll be watching them! And I really want one of those corporate flags!
Little problems...
I have a problem with the template and archives today. Good excuse for not being brilliant and engaging. I'll be back to shine later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

A compliment delayed
March 13th I got a compliment (I think), and I didn't even know it:

Aside from "making out" with my thesis (yet *another* lame attempt at lightening the mood...always fails) I've been poking around Torill's blog as well as the Blogging Thoughts blog in case there are any useful links I could use in my thesis. As cliched as this may sound, Torill's blog is totally inspiring me to pursue a career in academia. Yes, you heard me right. Academia. I know. Stop laughing.

This was written by Nurul, a young lady in Singapore. She has written a paper about weblogs and community building, which sounds like a good place to start if you want to be future oriented and work in Academia. Go, Nurul!

Friday, April 11, 2003

blogging as publishing
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum asks if people should edit weblog entries, and Elizabeth Lane Lawley replies with "the party-line" from Rebecca Blood, that no, one should not do so.

I think it is circumstantial. First, there should be a distinction between which kind of blogs we are talking about. If they are subjctive, personal, and written mainly for the writing pleasure of the writer, he or she has no obligation towards the rest of the world. If they are or wish to be professional and part in a larger debate, if they profess to communicate facts or try to convince the reader of this or that view, then the editorial reliability becomes increasingly important.

In this blog, I change sentences or fix typos, because I always "blog hot" as MGK calls it. But I try to keep the gist of the post, and if I find out later that I was wrong, or if I need to correct or add something, I point out that I have updated or changed something. Occasionally I do delete or totally change posts. I think I have done that four times over two years of blogging. One was a post that I feared would be offensive to a person, the three others were posts where I found that I couldn't finish the argument I had planned for, and I deleted/altered them very shortly after posting.

Still, I don't consider this or other blogs to be as authoratitive sources of information as for instance peer-reviewed journals. I am after all just my biased self, as designer, writer and editor.
Talking of roles...
There are still stunning facts to learn about people you think have been totally open and sincere in their blogging. But truth will come out!

Cracks up laughing, loving the confession, if not the plastic.

If you ever catch me with a special plastic holder for my deviled eggs, to fit inside the Round Cake Taker, you'll all know I have developed a new and to me quite deviant fetish...

Thank you Liz, I needed a laugh this morning!
Hiding in plain sight
Jill writes about how she hides behind her writing, and Mark questions the need to be exactly what you say you are. I find that hiding in plain sight is how people cope with their everyday life. With the advantage of knowing Jill, when her posts turn impersonal and businesslike, I know there's something wrong - which is why I tried to call her at odd intervals this last week. And that is because all writing somehow reflects yourself, even if it is not about your personal life. Our bodies and brains are our instruments, it is the tool we have to work with. Using tools lets us extend the body and mind, but not transcend it.

Even when playing a role or pulling off a scam, you are yourself. The role you play is taken from your own experience and knowledge, and if you trick somebody or lie to them, that is also who you are: you are a trickster, a lier, a fraud. Studying role-playing has taught me two very hard roles: to pretend that you are more intelligent than you are, and to pretend that you are more stupid than you are. The first one is impossible. You can perhaps make me think you have more education, more formal learning, more experience or more skill than you actually have, that you are of a different gender and live in an other culture, but to do that you would have to be at least as intelligent and a lot more ruthless than the victim of your fraud. The other one is hard, really hard. Real stupidity is hard to fake, the best option is to choose social stupidity caused by cultural bias or lack of social training. That is because it takes a very intelligent person to understand the way fools think.

To sum it up: Even when you make everybody believe you are very different from your legal and physical self, the fraud is part of your self. Your pretence is as tainted by your personality as is your sincerity. Somehow, even lying, you tell some part of the truth.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Strategies and realities
Developing a structure is a very different thing from studying or critizising it, which is why we have so many critics of everything, and so few real artists. These days I am struggling to develop a structure. And in this post I'll do what I claim in the title of this blog, I'll think with my fingers.

The Information Study at Volda college is being altered from a two-year study in a four-year cand.mag degree to a three-year bachelor study. Once upon a time I implemented the plans for the two-year study, and I now am leading education again, through the changes towards the bachelors degree. This is a unique chance to get rid of quite a few frustrating gridlocks.

The two years were split in four semesters, and the students had journalism, media theory and information/public relations theory and practice. Today there are still four semesters of required courses - or 130 points (1 full semester is 30 points), but they are scattered over the three years. This has disrupted the flow of the study, and worst of all, disrupted the experience of identity for the information students. In the third semester, for instance, I won't see the students at all, exept when I run into them in the hallway. This is not a good thing for the study, it breaks down the strong profile which we have in the business, and it limits the opportunities for the students when they leave the college. I need to rebuild a structure which takes care of the students, offers them good and relevant options in the semesters when they don't have required subjects, and still takes care of their right to not be here, if they choose to spend two out of six semesters elsewhere. I need to develop good optional courses, as well as change the required ones.

The most radical change of the required courses will be to take the students out of the journalism course and create a journalism course developed particularly for the information education. It's a half-semester course at beginners level for the journalists, and used to be one of the first things the information students did, but now they have to go through this course in the third semester, and will in certain aspects be a lot more advanced than their fellow students. I fear this will underline the already exisiting touch of antagonism between information and journalism students.

A more moderate change is to start an optional course in web editing. Inspired by Jill, I have an idea which I am trying to give enough substance that we can start it with a few students this semester. If it is a success, we will open it up for more students next fall, and establish it as a fairly advanced course in practical multilinear editing. I am writing the model now - had a three hour meeting between the start of this post and the end of it, during which I was trying to give the study form and content. As we know, they are interdependent...

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Blog Coverage
Very interesting piece of information about citations on weblogs and blogs from Ezter.
Web Dreams
Ultimately, I want the Media Department at Volda College to offer a Master's Degee in Convergence Media News Editing. We already teach Television, Radio and newspaper journalism and editing, and all the technical processes are digitalized. We have started to teach multimedia editing in general, on a small scale, but the Quality Reform opens up for Master's levels at the colleges. Until we have a full professor (in Norway just having tenure, a PhD and loads of teaching practice does not a full professor make) we will not be able to start a Master's study, but I can start out with smaller courses at lower levels, to give shape to what I want to create. And before I get there I have to find the right software in which to create all of this, the right theory to teach the students how to think in more than one medium at the time, and possibly I will have to write parts of that. And I have to find a way to relate this to news and reporting. I am actually looking forwards to it! I haven't built and established a new study in years...

Monday, April 07, 2003

Once upon a time, I was trapped for an entire winter in a world of no mountains and no ocean. The landscape was flat and soft, fields and forest, the only diversion was watching the train as it passed through. It went from the ruthless city of the tiger and down to the sinful dens of the city of the king.

In this place I lived with a hundred other souls my own age, caught as I was, in limbo. Our futures were undecided, we could be angels or demons, descend or ascend. Somehow the landscape was amazingly appropriate to convey this. There was the line of the railroad tracks which gave us the choice of temptations, while the bowl of the sky was a lid over the frozen crust which hid the dark, dirty soil below.

In this long winter, I met some of the people I have loved the most, and some who taught me that sometimes indifference is charity. I saw madness, abuse and weakness, as well as talent, strength and delight. I learned not to fear deviants, and to accept that the norm is only a statistical value.

Most painful of all my experiences was oddly enough not any of the interactions with other humans. What made me realise that I was truly lost, in limbo, and with no way to return to anything familiar, was when I went for a walk. It was winter, and I was sick of the landscape I was trapped in. I needed the sound of open water, the scent of salt and the light - even the cold winter light - reflected off the surface of the sea. We were three miles away from the fjord, and I had a whole day for the walk. I still remember the houses I passed by, the surface of the road frozen under my feet, the garden decorations creating an odd otherworldly variaty - a tiny windmill, a garden gnome, toy-like animals. I was passing through the layers of a peculiar suburban limbo, and should have seen the signs of warning right there. But I was blinded with my own needs and desire, and pressed on, tired, hungry and impatient.

I found the beach. I found the polished pebbles and the rough sand, frozen tufts of beach clove and hard, tangled lumps of seaweed. But the expanse of water itself was hidden, deep below a thick layer of ice. There was no hint of salt in the cold, clear air, only a hint of woodsmoke from the nearby farm-house. The sounds were those of wintery farmland, not even broken by the signs of life in the forest, and the light the same unkind white glare from frozen fields. I think that is when I realised that I was not just in a school for a year, I was in transition, and that I could not expect any solace from nature or culture in this place. I would have to rely on the landscape within, in order to find my path up or down.

This was more than 20 years ago. Even then I knew that some failed and fell. But I am still struggling to find the path up and out, terrified to be trapped and held again in a limbo where I cannot see the open water.
Time for celebrations!
Lisbeth is done with her thesis! this is great, wonderful, amazing and something that needs to be celebrated! And she got a job too, so we'll just have to celebrate twice! (Or twice as hard... being Scandinavians, perhaps that is not good survival tactics?)

(BTW, in case you wondered about my own progress, my eminent advisor Espen Aarseth is working on putting a comittee together, his suggestions are frighteningly good and I fear I may get a qualified evaluation. And I just wanted somebody to pick it up, weigh it and say: "this looks like a Ph.D. thesis. Fine with me!")

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Stir Crazy
After a certain time in the beautiful, safe, predictable, healthy comfort of Volda, I feel the itch, the need to travel. My lungs are too clean of asphalt dust, my system too purified, the last of the heavily chlorinated drinking water flushed out by the mountain spring water in our taps, all my clothes cleaned of the smell of crowded bars and the grey patina from the subway. This is when I have forgotten about how the constant noise makes me feel like I am going subtly deaf, how all the people in large cities leave me with a kind of mental overload which makes me long for a familiar face, and all I can think of is the variety - more than one bar, one restaurant and three cafeterias. The ferry across the fjord is a slow and suitable metronome, timing the life here between the mountains to a stately adagio, while my feet long for a different beat.

It is a good thing I will be travelling to Melbourne in May. But the summer will be slower than ever, spent painting the house and tending the garden. And the ferry will run on summer schedule. It is going to be a long, quiet summer in Volda. I guess I will have to use some really strong solvent for the paint, if I want any excitement at all!

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Blogs and ethics
Stephanie Nilsson, a student in Umeå, has started a blog as a part of a research project. One of the first things she does is to raise a question about blogs and if they are public or private domain (post from april 1st - permalinks are broken). She also asked this question in an email for me.

My stance on this is that blogs belong to the public domain. They have been made public, and you as the writer and editor have full responsibility for what you write there. You can be quoted, but you should be properly cited when your thoughts and ideas are taken from your blog. Which means that having published something in your blog, you have actually published it, and can claim ownership to your ideas.

Something similar goes for letters and emails, by the way: once you have sent a letter or an email, it's no longer your property. It belongs to the other person, who can choose to make it public or keep it private, you have no more exclusive rights of your words once they have been sent or published.

Good luck with your work, Stephanie!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Where's the remote?
Sleet and rain, sore from too much (or rather too little and then suddenly some) exercize, tired students, nervous colleagues, formal restraints that put Colleges at a disadvantage relative to the Universities and commercial research institutes in the ongoing battle for research grants, not a word of the progress on the processing of my thesis, not even a hint that there might be progress, and there is still war in Iraq. It's one of those "I-wish-I-could-change-channels-on-reality" days.
Yes, I need it
By way of Lisbeth, some realistic and really useful settings to the computer.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

What students do... - or too much information?
Just found the blog of one of my students. I visited him where he's doing his internship, and it felt like the family business. His supervisor was a student from way back when, and an other former student worked there as well. They took good care of the upcoming generation, and everything was idyllic. But the current student has to write his final little thesis, and his procrastination talents flower all over his blog, occasionally leaving me with images I'd rather not have of my students... But now I know how to keep an eye on him, and I'll be looking for frequent updates. Hmmm, not such a bad thing after all!
Norway travelling links
The Coastal Steamer: Hurtigruten
Norwegian State Railroad: NSB
Busses along the coast - Trondheim to Bergen, and Oslo - North-West Norway: Nor-Way Bussekspress. Notice: "rundreise" means roundtrip.
Maps of Norway; Notice: Trondheim is in Sør-Trøndelag, Volda is in Møre og Romsdal, Bergen is in Hordaland and Oslo is in Oslo - almost invisible next to Akershus.

So now you all ought to get an idea about what is where in Norway. Lots of space, not so many people. And we like to hide in out-of-the-way places.