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The Web Equivalent of Nudists and Should You Commit Web 2.0 Suicide?; Is There a Biblical Framework on Privacy?

Happy Data Privacy Day Dr. Barrett Mosbacker, Publisher
Facebook recently irked me.  I am a Facebook user but I am not a heavy user.  I keep up with a few colleagues and friends but mostly I post articles on Facebook that I believe others may find interesting.  I mostly use Facebook so that I can work through the biblical, educational, and social implications of social technologies as a Christian.  We are called to bring all of life under the Lordship of Christ—that includes Facebook and similar technologies. 

I also use Twitter (you can follow me @Bmosbacker).  I usually post an occasional link to an interesting article.  The exception is that I post my status as I travel.  My wife, children and secretary are able to keep up with me in real time and are immediately alerted if I have flight delays, etc. I also follow “Breaking News” the “CDC”, “TechCrunch”, AlertNet, and a few other organizations that provide timely and useful information. 

How did Facebook irk me?  The company changed its privacy settings to a default of “public”.  That meant that any information I posted on Facebook would be available to everyone on the Internet.  Facebook made this change because it is in the company’s interest to have as much information shared publically as possible. 

I have nothing to hide.  But I am very selective and careful about anything I put online.  I assume that anything I post could be made public.  Accordingly, I set virtually all of the privacy settings to the strictest level possible, exactly what Facebook prefer that I not do.

As an aside, if you want to commit Web 2.0 suicide, now you can.  This article explains what it is and how it is done.

Having just experienced Facebook’s effort to make our lives increasingly public, I found this particular article to be very timely: We All Live in Public Now. Get Used to It. Erick Schonfeld writes:

As the Web becomes more social, privacy becomes harder and harder to come by. People are over-sharing on Facebook and Twitter, broadcasting their whereabouts every ten steps on Foursquare and Gowalla, and uploading photos and videos of their most private imagemoments to the Web for all to see. It’s easy to say that privacy is dead, we all live in public now, and just deal with it.

But things are a bit more complicated. It used to be that we lived in private and chose to make parts of our lives public. Now that is being turned on its head. We live in public and choose what parts of our lives to keep private. Public is the new default. Continue Reading…


They Are Coming After Your Students and Said So!

Dr. Barrett Mosbacker, Publisher
At a recent Executive Symposium on Distance Education that I attended a public school superintendent, not knowing I was from a private school, said to the group (to paraphrase), "we are developing a robust online program and we fully expect to recapture students from home schooling families and private schools."

I just reread portions of Christensen’s excellent book, "Disrupting Class".  I am particularly interested by his analysis of the "Dimensions of Agreement" and the "Tools of Cooperation".  I have attached graphics depicting the concepts.  These are particularly important to me because it can be difficult to get staff to accept change–I find this particularly problematic among conservative Christians, whom by definition, are "conservative."  :-)  In my estimation, moving forward, carefully and thoughtfully, with distance learning programs in imperative but it is not an easy task–the learning curve is steep, creating a feasible business plan is critical, and getting buy in can be tough.  But, Christensen argues, refreshingly, that consensus is not necessarily the goal–cooperation is!  I find that a refreshing approach given the emphasis on consensus building over the last several decades in the management literature.  I was also surprised by his observation that change is most difficult when there is wide agreement on the goals and processes currently in place.  Continue Reading…


For Good or Bad: Email No Longer Rules


Dr. Barrett Mosbacker, Publisher
See my related article: “What is Google Wave and Why Should You Care?”

From the WSJ: OCTOBER 12, 2009

Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.
In its place, a new generation of services is starting to take hold—services like Twitter and Facebook and countless others vying for a piece of the new world. And just as email did more than a decade ago, this shift promises to profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine.

We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.

Why wait for a response to an email when you get a quicker answer over instant messaging? Continue Reading…


Not So Fast: Is Technology Diminishing Our Quality of Life?

Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that I am an advocate for the appropriate and effective use of technology in our personal lives and in our schools.  I am not a Luddite.

Nevertheless, I also share the conviction that technology, like many good things in our lives, can become an obsession and a cruel master.  Any addiction, even to good things, is harmful and unbiblical whether it is sex, food, work, or technology.

I recently came across a beautifully written article by John Freeman in the Wall Street Journal.  You can read the entire article here.  If the link is broken, you can access the article in PDF format here.

Because the article is copyrighted I will not post it here but I am providing a short excerpt with the hope that you will read the entire article. 

Not So Fast (August 29, 2009) WSJ Online

… We will die, that much is certain; Continue Reading…


Welcome to the Library. Say Goodbye to the Books

Things are changing!  For many years e-books have resided in the back waters of publishing.  Early adopters and gadget freaks have read them but the vast majority of the population were either unaware of them or didn’t care.

Kindle DX: Amazon's New Addition To the Kindle FamilyThe lowly status of the e-book may be about to change—and radically.  David Weir, in a BNET (a business and management blog) article outlines five reasons why he believes e-book publishing and use is reaching their tipping point–becoming widely accepted and on the way to outpacing printed books in popularity. Continue Reading…


Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth??

I stumbled upon a great site (Tiplet) that provides useful technical “How To” advice for laymen and techies alike. Click on the image below to go to the site. 


One of the “How To” articles was about how to test your broadband speed.  If you pay for internet service at home you will want to periodically check your speed to ensure that you are getting what you are paying for. 

Continue Reading…

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