Saturday, August 31, 2013

My MOOC experience and what it means

Versión en español aquí.

If you want to study journalism, you have more choices today, at lower cost, and of higher quality than ever. Sometimes you will get that at a university and sometimes not. That represents a challenge for universities.

In a lecture at a journalism conference in Puebla, Mexico, I described a personal experience taking a course in data visualization from one of the world leaders in the field, Alberto Cairo, author of  "The Functional Art."

The six-week course had readings and video tutorials of the highest quality. The homework assignments required at least 10 to 15 hours of work a week.  

Engaged professor

Cairo was intimately involved with the course participants, offering criticism of their work and suggestions for improvement. What was remarkable about this course was that there were 2,000 students enrolled from more than 100 countries, it took place completely online and it was free. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bezos purchase of Post has parallels in China

Versión en español aquí.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos isn't the only e-commerce billionaire making news with acquisitions. Jack Ma, chairman of China's e-commerce leader, Alibaba, has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in a Twitter-like microblogging service and a mapping service.

Both of these giants have been bolting on companies that can help them gain synergies by combining content, social networks, internet retailing, mapping (location-based selling and services), mobile platforms, devices and operating systems. 

Their model and chief competitor is Google, the worldwide leader in online advertising. Google has been getting into all of these businesses. In order to compete globally, the big internet companies -- like Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, Twitter and, in China, Alibaba and TenCent -- are seeing the need to develop all parts of online business.