ASATW: Beth's Blog Notes and virtual communities

Beth Ritter-Guth mailed me yesterday…
As you will see, I have started generating notes about your blog on
>my research wiki. Please feel free to make comments on the wiki or
>through email if you wish to clarify my statements or add to them:

I asked if I could publicize these and Beth agreed. (She will also correct the spelling mistakes…)
The primary purpose of this is Beth’s research (or scholarship – an underused word). I would hope that readers can give Beth feedback which may be helpful. We all must agree that we must be honest and clear in what we write and not be afraid to critique others and to receive criticism in public. That is part of the Open process.
Of course one of the problem of Internet communities are that they are self-selecting. This means that they can floursih quickly as everyone shares fairly common views. It would be good to have some counter-balance from other communities but this isn’t easy when they are not involved in e-activities at all!
Anyone with experience of Internet/virtual communities knows that differences of viewpoint, strategy, etc. can become magnified quite rapidly. As an example the BO has had a heated debate over another Open project Gallium vs. Kalzium (both Open offerings of the periodic table under UNIX and other systems). I haven’t followed all of it but it seems as if the projects will be happy to find common and distinct ground and both are enriched.
So Beth, feel free to critique this blog accurately – your assessors expect no less. I am feeling my way and often have relatively little idea where this is going. Unlike single topic blogs, especially those that report current issues, this is more free-ranging. I had thought it occasional, but now it seems to have taken hold. The CML blog has stagnated and I need to do something there. I hope there are more comments on ASATW because an analysis of just my ideas expose the limitations of my vision, knowledge and typing speed.
For interest I ran something slightly similar for XML-DEV many years ago which I called XML-DEV jewels. Unfortunately the link in there is broken as when I left Nottingham I lost all my digital objects. So there may be some copies elsewhere – I’ll write on this later.

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One Response to ASATW: Beth's Blog Notes and virtual communities

  1. Thanks, Peter, for including the link here. I do hope people will pop in to look at what I am doing. Wikispaces doesn’t have a spell checker, so I have to go in manually and fix all of my errors, as well. I type in the moment to demonstrate that scholarship can happen (ethically and practically) using internet technologies.
    I work a little bit each day. I have completed Jean-Claude’s blog (, as well (posted notes at After vI finish your blog, I will be doing Rich Apodaca’s blog next.
    I am willing to do notes on any “open” blog, so long as it talks, at some level, about the practice and nature of sharing in chemistry.
    Thanks, again 🙂

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