2009年4月28日 星期二


我最近與朋友談東海大學的所謂"博雅教育" (Liberal Arts)
聽一位老師 (留美教書到退休回饋)說 現在學生還有一種理論
說台灣的社會科學碩士教育很不錯 一定比去留學學得更多

朋友心想 你們都沒留學過


Books of The Times

The Era of Adapting Quickly

Published: April 27, 2009

The philosopher Isaiah Berlin famously divided thinkers into two categories: hedgehogs (like Plato, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen and Proust), who know one big thing and tend to view the world through the lens of a single organizing principle, and foxes (like Herodotus, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Goethe, Balzac and Joyce), who know many things and who pursue various unrelated, even contradictory ends.

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Joshua Cooper Ramo


Why the New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It

By Joshua Cooper Ramo

280 pages. Little, Brown & Company. $25.99.

According to Joshua Cooper Ramo’s provocative new book, “The Age of the Unthinkable,” one study — in which hundreds of experts in subjects like economics, foreign policy and politics were asked to make predictions about the short-term future and whose predictions were evaluated five years later — showed that foxes, with their wide-ranging curiosity and willingness to embrace change, tended to be far more accurate in their forecasts than hedgehogs, eager for closure and keen on applying a few big ideas to an array of situations.

It’s a finding enthusiastically embraced by Mr. Ramo, who argues in these pages that today’s complex, interconnected, globalized world requires policy makers willing to toss out old assumptions (about cause and effect, deterrence and defense, nation states and balances of power) and embrace creative new approaches. Today’s world, he suggests, requires resilient pragmatists who, like the most talented Silicon Valley venture capitalists on the one hand or the survival-minded leadership of Hezbollah on the other, possess both an intuitive ability to see problems in a larger context and a willingness to rejigger their organizations continually to grapple with ever-shifting challenges and circumstances.

With this volume, Mr. Ramo, managing director at the geostrategic advisory firm Kissinger Associates and a former editor at Time magazine, seems to have set out to write a Malcolm Gladwellesque book: a book that popularizes complicated scientific theories while illustrating its arguments with colorful case studies and friendly how-to exhortations.

In drawing upon chaos science (explored in detail in James Gleick’s 1987 book, “Chaos”), complexity theory and the theory of disruptive innovation (pioneered by the Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen), Mr. Ramo does a nimble job of showing how such theories shed light on the current political and economic climate while avoiding the worst pitfalls (like an overreliance on suggestion and innuendo and the use of unrepresentative examples) of Mr. Gladwell’s clumsy last book, “Outliers.”

But if Mr. Ramo is adept at assessing the precarious state of today’s post-cold-war world — in which nation states face asymmetric threats from the likes of terrorists, drug cartels and computer hackers — he proves much less convincing in articulating practical means of grappling with such daunting problems.

The central image that Mr. Ramo uses to evoke what he calls this “age of surprise” is Per Bak’s sand pile — that is, a sand pile described some two decades ago by the Danish-American physicist Per Bak, who argued that if grains of sand were dropped on a pile one at a time, the pile, at some point, would enter a critical state in which another grain of sand could cause a large avalanche — or nothing at all. It’s a hypothesis that shows that a small event can have momentous consequences and that seemingly stable systems can behave in highly unpredictable ways.

It’s also a hypothesis that Mr. Ramo employs in this book as a metaphor for a complex world in which changes — in politics, ecosystems or financial markets — take place not in smooth, linear progressions but as sequences of fast, sometimes catastrophic events.

Real-life sand-pile avalanches, like the collapse of the Soviet Union or the 1929 crash of the stock market, Mr. Ramo declares, demand “a complete remapping of the world”: policymakers must junk a lot of their old thinking to cope with this unpredictable new order.

For instance, many of the assumptions of the realist school of foreign-policy making — which focused on nation states, “assumed countries were rational, and made the bet that pure power was the solution to any problem” — have been undercut by the irrationalities and contingencies that have recently multiplied on the world stage.

As Mr. Ramo observes, “Theories that involve only armies and diplomats don’t have much use” when “confronted with the peculiar nature of a financially interconnected world, where danger, risk and profit are linked in ways that can be impossible to spot and manage.”

To make matters even more complicated, Mr. Ramo continues, complex systems “tend to become more complex as time goes on”:

“The systems never get simpler. There was no moment at which they would evaporate or condense into a single, easy-to-spot target such as the U.S.S.R. The 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, for example, was a single very knotty event that, in turn, gave birth to hundreds of jihadist groups, each of which developed different methods of terror, particular techniques of attack and destruction, which themselves were always changing and evolving.”

In this sand-pile world, a small group of terrorists armed with box cutters can inflict a terrible blow on a superpower — as Al Qaeda did on 9/11, just as bands of insurgents in Iraq managed to keep the mighty United States military at bay for three long years.

Iraq, Mr. Ramo astutely notes, is a war that showcased all of America’s most “maladaptive” tendencies. It was inaugurated on the premise of flawed idées fixes: that it would have “a clean, fast end” and would lead to a democratic regime that would transform the Middle East in a positive fashion. And the certainty of Bush administration officials not only led to incorrect assumptions (like the bet that “the ‘ecosystem’ of Iraq would settle into something stable that could be left to run itself”) but also resulted in an ill-planned and rigid occupation that was “incapable of the speedy refiguring that life in a war zone” inevitably requires.

So how should leaders cope with the sand-pile world? How can they learn to “ride the earthquake” and protect their countries from the worst fallout of such tremors? Mr. Ramo suggests that they must learn to build resilient societies with strong immune systems: instead of undertaking the impossible task of trying to prepare for every possible contingency, they ought to focus on things like “national health care, construction of a better transport infrastructure and investment in education.”

He suggests that leaders should develop ways of looking at problems that focus more on context than on reductive answers. And he talks about people learning to become gardeners instead of architects, of embracing Eastern ideas of indirection instead of Western patterns of confrontation, of seeing “threats as systems, not objects.”

Though Mr. Ramo sounds annoyingly fuzzy and vaguely New Agey when he tries to outline tactics for dealing with “the age of the unthinkable,” he’s at least managed, in this stimulating volume, to make the reader seriously contemplate the alarming nature of a rapidly changing world — a world in which uncertainty and indeterminacy are givens, and avalanches, negative cascades and tectonic shifts are ever-present dangers.

2009年4月25日 星期六

教学奖--Edinburgh University Student Association



然而爱丁堡大学学生社团(Edinburgh University Student Association)设立了教学奖,评委是该校的大学生,他们希望通过给老师教学能力打分来督促大学老师侧重教学,避免过多的偏重科研。


今年学生评估的教学奖共设为10个奖项, 分别是出色沟通交流奖、最佳反馈奖、最佳课程安排奖 、创新教学方法奖、热衷教学奖、最佳论文辅导老师奖、最佳综合表现奖、最佳传授就业技能奖、最佳操作奖和最佳系别奖。



爱丁堡大学学生社团的副主席盖伊·布罗姆利(Guy Bromley)觉得有必要采取一些积极的行动来激励大学重视教学,要让那些得到大家认可的好老师为自己的努力感到骄傲。


这个教学奖评选活动得到了爱丁堡大学校长蒂莫西·奥谢(Timothy Oshea)的支持,他说,“这是一个很棒的策划,学生们发挥了很大的主动性。我想所有被提名的老师都会感到很欣慰,他们会因此有很大的动力继续努力工作。”

2009年4月23日 星期四



社会 | 2009.04.22 幼鸟现象:离不开妈妈的德国青年


25岁的德国人中,有三分之二的人还同父母住在一起,其中以来自非城市地区的男性居多。相比之下,大多数的女性们都在24岁的时候搬出了父 母的住所,男性则是在26岁时。这种趋势还在上升。在每8名30岁的男性中就有一名和父母同住,但在女性群体中却在每20名中才有一位。

可是,为什么那些向往自由的年青人还要和父母住在一起呢? 是因为没有足够的钱去找自己的住处吗? 事实上,德国由于经济拮据和父母同住的情况很少见,因为87%的"幼鸟一族"都是有收入的。和父母一起住只不过是为了舒适,就像人们常说的那样:"妈妈做的饭最可口!"

施蒂芬说:"我今年29岁,在大学攻读企业管理学,29年来我一直和父母住在一起。虽然和父母住在一起,但是我还是有属于我自己的私人空间。不搬出 去的原因也很简单,要是有人给你做饭、洗衣服和料理生活中的琐碎小事,那岂不是更好。还有就是我现在还没有找到合适的结婚对象,在这之前,我宁愿先住在家 里。另外,我也不需要在攻读学业之外再去工作,因为我会得到足够的钱,这样的话我不去工作也可以买得起我所需要的东西,比如说买车、加油,购置其它很多东 西。"

那么,这样的人可以完全不借助他人的帮助,将自己的生活打理得有条不紊吗? 科隆的心理学家宾格尔认为:"我也可以理解,相对于这个年龄段的人来说,想要完全不依靠别人过独立的生活还是有困难的。这可能是因为现在的父母过长时间宠 爱自己的子女,这种宠爱在某些方面是必要的,但是现在娇生惯养的孩子实在太多了。研究表明: 如果父母过于溺爱自己的孩子,也会对他们的独立性产生不良影响。"


除了舒适的因素以外,还有其他的社会原因也让很多人在和父母分开住以后或是大学毕业后又重新和父母住在了一起。卡塔琳娜说:"我曾经在荷兰上大学, 虽然我很喜欢那里,但是那时我也非常想念我的父母和家里熟悉的环境,所以大学毕业后我又搬回去和父母同住。现在我正享受着和父母同住的乐趣,我并不觉得家 里挤。我的家人对于我来说非常重要,现在我很高兴又重新回到了他们身边。"

但有些时候并非是子女们不想搬出去住。心理学家宾格尔说:“有些家长也有意无意地延长子女和自己同住的时间,这也和当今社会的转变有关系。现在有很 多的单亲父亲和母亲,他们把所有的爱都倾注在了子女身上,所以现在子女们住在家里的时间越来越长了。但是这种情况对双方来说并不是什么好事,而且也不能从 根本上解决单亲家庭中因为缺少另一半所造成的问题,子女们也会因此变得不善与人相处。”


作者:Maiss Ass'aad- Rother /


2009年4月20日 星期一

How to Raise the Standard in America's Schools

各國的教育困境 都是 "罄竹難書" 老美的一樣 當參考資料

How to Raise the Standard in America's Schools

National standards have long been the third rail of education politics. The right chokes on the word national, with its implication that the feds will trample on the states' traditional authority over public schools. And the left chokes on the word standards, with the intimations of assessments and testing that accompany it. The result is a K-12 education system in the U.S. that is burdened by an incoherent jumble of state and local curriculum standards, assessment tools, tests, texts and teaching materials. Even worse, many states have bumbled into a race to the bottom as they define their local standards downward in order to pretend to satisfy federal demands by showing that their students are proficient.

It's time to take another look. Without national standards for what our students should learn, it will be hard for the U.S. to succeed in the 21st century economy. Today's wacky patchwork makes it difficult to assess which methods work best or how to hold teachers and schools accountable. Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope that the politics surrounding national standards has become a little less contentious. A growing coalition of reformers — from civil rights activist Al Sharpton to Georgia Republican governor Sonny Perdue — believe that some form of common standards is necessary to achieve a wide array of other education reforms, including merit pay for good teachers and the expansion of the role of public charter schools. (See pictures of inside a public boarding school.)

The idea of "common schools" that adopt the same curriculum and standards isn't new. It first arose in the 1840s, largely owing to the influence of the reformer Horace Mann. But the U.S. Constitution leaves public education to the states, and the states devolve much of the authority to local school districts, of which there are now more than 13,000 in the U.S. The Federal Government provides less than 9% of the funding for K-12 schools. That is why it has proved impossible thus far to create common curriculum standards nationwide. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush summoned the nation's governors to Charlottesville, Va., to attempt a standards-based approach to school reform. The result was only a vague endorsement of "voluntary national standards," which never gained much traction. In 1994, President Bill Clinton got federal money for standards-based reform, but the effort remained in the hands of the states, leading to a wildly varying hodgepodge of expectations for — as well as ideological battles over — math and English curriculums.

The No Child Left Behind Act pushed by President George W. Bush unintentionally exacerbated the problem. It required each state to ensure that its students achieve "universal proficiency" in reading and math — but allowed each to define what that meant. The result was that many states made their job easier by setting their bar lower. This race to the bottom resulted in a Lake Wobegon world where every state declared that its kids were better than average. Take the amazing case of Mississippi. According to the standards it set for itself, 89% of its fourth-graders were proficient or better in reading, making them the best in the nation. Yet according to the random sampling done every few years by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, a mere 18% of the state's fourth-graders were proficient, making them the worst in the nation. Even in Lake Wobegon that doesn't happen. Only in America. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, led by reformer Chester Finn Jr., has been analyzing state standards for more than a decade and concludes, "Two-thirds of U.S. children attend schools in states with mediocre standards or worse."

See pictures of a diverse group of American teens.

See pictures of the college dorm's evolution.

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Everyone agrees that the existing standards aren't working; what has been lacking so far, on both sides of the ideological divide, is the political will to do anything about them. Bush and his reform-oriented Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings, recognized the problem, but as a former governor, Bush was keenly attuned to the political problem of pushing for national standards. I remember listening to him at a White House lunch he hosted for a small group attending an Aspen Institute education forum. He challenged former Democratic governor Roy Romer of Colorado, who made a case for common standards. Bush agreed with the goal, but he said it was too politically explosive to make it worth pushing at the federal level.

And yet there has never been a better opportunity to do that. As a candidate, Barack Obama was ambiguous about his commitment to the education-reform agenda of standards, testing, accountability and greater choice. But such doubts were quelled by his pick for Education Secretary: Arne Duncan, who was a cool and driven reformer as CEO of the Chicago public-school system and is also a basketball player from the South Side who knows how to move the ball. Duncan's position on common standards is clear: "If we accomplish one thing in the coming years, it should be to eliminate the extreme variation in standards across America," he says. "I know that talking about standards can make people nervous, but the notion that we have 50 different goalposts is absolutely ridiculous." (Read "No Child Left Behind: Doomed to Fail?")

Duncan has a new arrow in his quiver. Buried in the President's stimulus package is a $4.35 billion "Race to the Top" education fund that the Secretary can use to give incentives to states that make "dramatic progress" in meeting goals that include improving standards. States that fail to give assurances that they will improve standards are at risk of losing education funding from other parts of the stimulus bill.

How to Build Better Standards
The drive toward common national standards should begin, I think, with math and reading. Algebra should be the same for a kid in Albany, N.Y., as it is for one in Albuquerque, N.M., or for that matter in Beijing or Bangalore. (We can save for later the debate over whether that should be true for more subjective subjects like history.) These standards should define precisely what students are expected to know by the time they complete each grade and should be accompanied by tests to assess their level of proficiency. The process should be quasi-voluntary: states should not be forced to adopt the common standards, but they should be encouraged to do so through federal funding and public pressure. In states that shy away from holding their schools accountable to these standards, parents and business leaders should hold the elected leaders accountable.

These 21st century American Standards should be comparable to, and benchmarked against, the standards of other countries so that we can determine how globally competitive our nation's economy will be in the future. Forty years ago, the U.S. had the best graduation rates in the world. Now it ranks 18th. In math scores on international tests, the U.S. ranks 25th; in reading, 15th. As Obama said in his speech to Congress a few weeks ago, "This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that outteach us today will outcompete us tomorrow." We can already see the signs. Major drug companies such as Merck and Eli Lilly used to outsource much of their manufacturing to India and China; now they also outsource much of their research and engineering.

See pictures of eighth-graders being recruited for college basketball.

See how children in your state test.

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The best standards are those that are clear and very specific. For fourth-grade reading, an example would be demonstrating the ability to distinguish between cause and effect and between fact and opinion in a selected text. For fourth-grade math, examples would include demonstrating the ability to calculate perimeters and volumes, multiply whole numbers, represent data on a graph, estimate computations and relate fractions to decimals. Specific common standards would allow textbook and curriculum developers to spend their research dollars achieving clear goals rather than producing various versions for different states. Just because the standards are national does not mean, thank goodness, that they need to be written by the Federal Government. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a more frightening sight than that of all 535 members of Congress grappling with a congregation of bureaucrats and voting on whether high school graduates should or should not be required, for example, to be able to plot real and complex numbers as points on a plane. Even at the state level, there were times when standards became tangled in political debates, including a protracted "fuzzy math" dispute over whether students should be taught to estimate answers and understand concepts rather than memorize multiplication tables and master long division. When politicians and ideological posturers got out of the way, reasonable educators and experts resolved the dispute by deciding, sensibly, that those skills worked best in tandem.

Fortunately, there is already a process under way that could, if properly nurtured, take charge of writing common national standards. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have been working with a nonprofit called Achieve Inc. In 2001, Achieve helped launch the American Diploma Project, which establishes curriculum standards that align with what a graduate will need to succeed in college, the military or a career. Gene Wilhoit, the executive director of CCSSO, hopes to kick this effort up a notch at a special meeting in Chicago on April 17 by announcing an agreement among 25 states to support an aggressive schedule to devise internationally benchmarked math and English standards for all grade levels. "I see standards as the essential foundation for all education reforms," he says.

These standards could build on the existing NAEP tests, which currently are administered every few years to a representative sample of students around the country in grades 4, 8 and 12. This type of approach was endorsed by the Commission on No Child Left Behind, a bipartisan group led by former governors Tommy Thompson and Roy Barnes that was run by the Aspen Institute, where I work.

The Road to Reform
Clear standards, testing and assessments would permit more experimentation by schools and individual teachers. After Hurricane Katrina, a surge of young and creative educators went to New Orleans, led by Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools, the New Schools Venture Fund and successful charter operators like KIPP Academies. Now more than 60% of the students are in charters, and test scores are improving. For such a system of experimentation to work, there need to be clear standards and assessments so that parents and administrators can know which schools are successful. Indeed, the entire national debate about whether charter schools are good or bad could be defused (as Duncan did in Chicago) if both sides accept the obvious: good charter schools are good, bad charter schools are bad, and a system of common standards and assessment is needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.

See how Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of Education, is tackling classroom challenges.

See pictures of teens and how they would vote.

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A national system of standards and testing would also permit the gathering of consistent data, down to the classroom level, so that we could finally get more rigorous evidence to answer some basic questions: Do smaller classrooms make a big difference, and in which situations? How beneficial is it to have a longer school day or year? It would also help resolve disputes about different teaching methods, like whether phonics or a whole-language approach to reading works best. In addition, we could more easily spot ineffective teachers, and they could be weeded out or offered training resources that have proved useful.

Wouldn't this arouse opposition from teachers or their unions? No, at least not from the teachers' groups that support serious reform. The American Federation of Teachers says clear standards would help ensure that teachers are effectively trained, objectively judged and provided with proven teaching tools and curriculums. "Common, coherent, grade-by-grade standards promote effective professional development," the union wrote in a 2008 report that criticized weak state standards. "A shared understanding of what students should know and be able to do enables the best kind of professional development: collegial efforts to share best practices." Randi Weingarten, the president of the union, argues that a national-standards approach would help students while still allowing teachers to be creative. "Abundant evidence suggests that common, rigorous standards lead to more students reaching higher levels of achievement," she wrote in a recent Washington Post Op-Ed piece. "Just as different pianists can look at the same music and bring to it unique interpretations and flourishes, various teachers working from a common standard should be able to do the same."

Secretary Duncan has indicated that he will use the carrots and sticks in the stimulus bill to support voluntary efforts to write national standards and to prod states to adopt them. This process should involve advisory boards that represent employers, college admissions officers, military recruiters, teachers, education scholars and parents. It should also be ongoing, because the standards will have to evolve as the needs of the workplace and global economy do.

For example, I learned a lot of calculus, which hasn't proved that useful in my career. But I do remember being confronted at a Time Inc. meeting on digital strategy with the simple question of how many direct two-way links there were in a fully connected network of 50 nodes. It was a long time before any of us could figure out even how to begin figuring it out. Tomorrow's careers are likely to require more knowledge of networks, probabilities, statistics and risk analysis. That's why it would be useful to have the standards-setting body be advised by recruitment officers from the infotech, biotech, medical and, yes, financial sectors.

The U.S. will, believe it or not, eventually get out of the current financial crisis. Then it will face an even bigger challenge: creating a real economy that will be as internationally competitive in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century. All of the recent bank bailouts and mortgage plans will, even if they succeed, build an economic foundation of bricks without straw — ready to crumble — if we don't create a productive economy again. That means creating a workforce that is educated well enough to produce more value per capita than other countries. This will be especially true in the 21st century economy, which promises to be based foremost on knowledge. And that is why the U.S. needs, particularly at this juncture, 21st century American standards for its schools.

Isaacson, a former managing editor of TIME, is president and CEO of the Aspen Institute and the author of, most recently, Einstein: His Life and Universe

See how the recession is changing how Americans spend.

See pictures of college mascots.

2009年4月19日 星期日

大學生每天賴網五小時; Bloggers Get the Book Deal

網路是最奇怪的教育場所 我們大多搞不清楚 它對社會文化等的衝擊

Public Provides Giggles; Bloggers Get the Book Deal

Kevin P. Casey for The New York Times

Ben Huh wrote the book “I Can Has Cheezburger?” based on a blog of the same name. It has sold more than 100,000 copies.

Published: April 17, 2009

After Duncan Birmingham, a comedy screenwriter in Los Angeles, got one too many holiday cards featuring miserable-looking pets wearing fake reindeer antlers, he realized the photos were great material for a blog.

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Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

Doree Shafrir, right, and Jessica Grose created the book “Love, Mom,” from a blog that collected humorous e-mail messages between women and their adult children. Tracking down the owners of user-submitted materials to obtain publishing rights became a nightmarish task.

Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves

A typical entry on the blog Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves.

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Mr. Birmingham started Pets Who Want to Kill Themselves in early January, uploaded the first entry and asked readers to contribute. Within days, visitors were supplying him with snapshots of bulldogs in bunny costumes and cats wearing wigs. The blogosphere noticed — and so did the publishing world. Within a week, he was contacted by editors and literary agents. By the second month, he said, he had sold a book based on the photos to Three Rivers Press, an imprint at Crown Publishing Group, for “enough money to buy a Lincoln Town Car” — with change left over.

Not bad for an unpublished novelist who is allergic to animals and admits that he is “terrible with computers.”

Of course, it’s not unusual for blogs to form the basis of books. For example, Christian Lander, author of the humor blog Stuff White People Like, wrote scores of blog entries and then reworked them into a popular 2008 book of the same name.

But the latest frenzy is over books that take the lazy, Tom Sawyer approach to authorship. The creators come up with a goofy or witty idea, put it up on a simple platform like Twitter and Tumblr, and wait for contributors to provide all of the content. The authors put their energy into publicizing the sites and compiling the best material.

Agents and publishing houses can’t get seem to get enough of these quickie humor books, which sell for $10 to $15 in gift shops and hip clothing stores like Urban Outfitters as well as traditional bookstores. At least eight books created from user-generated content are due out this year, including “Love, Mom,” a just-published collection of embarrassing or funny electronic exchanges between mothers and their children.

“Just about every house in town is paying attention,” said Patrick Mulligan, a senior editor at Gotham Books who handled a 2008 book of cat photos with bizarre captions called “I Can Has Cheezburger?”

Publishers are hoping that millions of page views on a blog will translate into booming sales on the bookstand, he said. “I Can Has Cheezburger?” is based on a blog of the same name. It sold more than 100,000 copies and hovered on The New York Times best-seller list for 13 weeks.

“As long as the category is selling books, publishers aren’t going to ignore it,” said Mr. Mulligan, who recently purchased two more books from the company behind the “Cheezburger” phenomenon.

Ben Huh, who bought the “Cheezburger” franchise from its original owners, hopes to create a whole line of similar books. “We’re turning user-generated content into editorial content,” said Mr. Huh, who estimates that his company will generate half a million dollars in revenue from its book deals alone.

The audience for these blogs and books is drawn to the gross as much as to the cute. The photoblog This Is Why You’re Fat, a repository of grotesque food creations like bacon-wrapped Twinkies, attracted more than two million page views in its first few days of operation and was a popular topic on social networks like Digg, Twitter and Facebook.

The viral popularity of the site propelled the blog’s creators onto the radar of the publishing industry. “From the first day, we were getting calls from agents,” said Jessica Amason, one of the founders. In March, three weeks after the blog’s introduction, Ms. Amason and the co-creator Richard Blakeley landed a six-figure book deal with HarperStudio, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Web-oriented literary agents like Kate McKean have seen the competition to sign new clients increase in the last few months. “There are a lot more agents chasing down hot properties,” she said. Ms. McKean, whose clients include Mr. Huh, gravitates toward sites with measurable, consistent traffic. “You can use that information to prove marketability,” she said.

Still, there are risks for both authors and publishers.

Tracking down the owners of user-submitted materials to obtain publishing rights can be daunting, said Doree Shafrir, one of the creators behind “Love, Mom,” which was built from a blog called Postcards From Yo Momma that collected humorous e-mail and instant-message conversations between women and their adult children.

When Ms. Shafrir and Jessica Grose, the co-creator, signed a book contract with Hyperion to publish a collection of their best tales, it told them they had to secure permissions from both the contributors and their mothers. “We were freaking out for a few days because if we hadn’t gotten the forms back, we wouldn’t have gotten the book. That was a little scary,” said Ms. Shafrir.

And then there’s the risk that the Internet crowd will get bored and move on before the book comes out. “You want to catch the wave while it’s cresting,” Mr. Mulligan said.

宅社交 大學生每天賴網五小時

  • 2009-04-18
  • 中國時報
  • 陳至中/台北報導








通通信 打氣


教育人行道 blog 第一次有人追蹤
這是鼓勵 不過有點遲了 最好還是通通信 打氣

2009年4月18日 星期六

BBC 吸引学生 游戏出马

BBC 吸引学生 游戏出马

英国教育专家艾伦•斯蒂尔(Alan Steer)爵士说,要让调皮捣蛋的学生变得爱学习,老师就需要在教学中引入一些有较强参与性的游戏。像宾果(Bingo)、猜猜画画(Pictionary)和谁想成为百万富翁?(Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?)这类游戏,都值得借鉴。


曾担任中学校长的斯蒂尔爵士,授命于英国学校事务大臣鲍尔斯(Ed Balls),就儿童行为问题进行一项为期四年的调研工作。上述观点就是斯蒂尔在报告结尾部分提出的。









英国学校事务大臣鲍尔斯(Ed Balls)对斯蒂尔爵士的观点表示赞同,尤其肯定了报告中提出的“家长应在儿童行为教育中发挥重要角色”的观点。