MOOCs – Enough of the sensationalism, will they really affect Higher Education?

I have avoided writing a post on MOOCs (massive open online courses) for far too long. Partly because many other people have written about them already, and partly because I fear I might just write a diatribe. I’m not against the concept of MOOCs I hasten to add (I’d love to develop one), but against the way that MOOCs are being proclaimed by those who don’t know better as the game-changer of higher education. So, be prepared, this could get messy!

Useful web considerations: Bing vs Google, YouTube and accessibility, Top 100 internet sites

This is a very brief post about a few web related things that are worthy of note recently.

Bing is coming! Batten down the hatches, Google

I have to say I’ve been very impressed with Bing’s advertising campaign which effectively brands itself as a ‘decision engine’ rather than a search engine, but more noteworthy for me is how they’ve drawn out the point of ‘information overload’ which is oh so prevalent in modern society. Taking a look at some of the anti-Microsoft comments on the (Google-owned) YouTube videos of the adverts you might get the impression that people don’t like Bing. However, I get the impression that whilst most of us ‘web savvy’ types are happy to use Google and have trained ourselves to filter a lot of the Google Search Results Pages (SRPs) to find the stuff we want, Bing is targeting those people who are overwhelmed by seeing ‘1-10 of 304,235,000 results’ at the top of the SRP.

How I lost all my images on Google Image search: the perils of default settings

Although I like to consider myself quite well versed in the art of SEO and visibility on the web, I did have a ‘slap-forehead-moment’ a few weeks back. I’d recently reinstalled Drupal (which this site runs on) to the latest version. However, what I failed to remember was that I’d created my own robots.txt and .htaccess files to allow Google Image search to pick up on the 500+ images stored on this site. When I reinstalled Drupal, by default it overwrote the .htaccess and came with its own restrictive robots.txt which hides the photo storage folder. Bang, Google obeyed and removed all the images from its Google Image search database.

Murdoch charging for online news – seems a bit backward to me

The recent suggestion by Rupert Murdoch that he will be charging for online news provision starting sometime in 2010 goes against all intuition. Here’s my analysis and predictions. I mentioned the story to two people already and they both said ‘Well we’ll use BBC News instead…’ – who will pay for online news or celeb gossip? Not likely the target audience of celeb gossip (think about it).