Collaboration Tools I Have Loved

<ed.note>It occurs to me I need a post to record the tools I cite again and again. I hope to expand this over time.</ed.note>

Today's entries sponsored by the letters "B", "C" and "W":

Wave (Preview)

Web Conferencing


MediaWiki with PurpleNumbers Examples (fedgov) (ontologists)

Sematic MediaWiki (Paul Allen backs some of Ontoprise's work, if I'm recalling correctly)


* Open Source

** Links under construction 

LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, and VOX (Six Apart)

Content Management Systems


Stuff not to forget to include:

Micro-blogging Platforms


5th International Digital Curation Conference “Moving to Multi-Scale Science: Managing Complexity and Diversity” Call for Papers

We invite submission of full papers, posters, workshops and demos and welcome contributions and participation from individuals, organisations and institutions across all disciplines and domains that are engaged in the creation, use and management of digital data, especially those involved in the challenge of curating data for e-science and e-research.

Proposals will be considered for short (up to 6 pages) or long (up to 12 pages) papers and also for demonstrations, workshops and posters. The full text of papers will be peer-reviewed; abstracts for all posters, workshops and demos will be reviewed by the co-chairs. Final copy of accepted contributions will be made available to conference delegates, and papers will be published in our International Journal of Digital Curation. Accordingly, we recommend that you download our template and
read the advice on its use

Papers should be original and innovative, probably analytical in approach, and should present or reference significant evidence (whether experimental, observational or textual) to support their conclusions.

Subject matter could be policy, strategic, operational, experimental, infrastructural, tool-based, and so on, in nature, but the key elements are originality and evidence. Layout and structure should be appropriate for the disciplinary area. Papers should not have been published in their current or a very similar form before, other than as a pre-print in a repository.

We seek papers that respond to the main themes of the conference: multi-scale, multi-discipline, multi-skill and multi-sector, and that relate to the creation, curation, management and re-use of research data. Research data should be interpreted broadly to include the digital subjects of all types of research and scholarship (including Arts and Humanities, and all the Sciences). Papers may cover:

  • Curation practice and data management at the extremes of scale (e.g. interactions between small science and big science, or extremes of object size, numbers of objects, rates of deposit and use)
  • Challenging content: (e.g. addressing issues of data complexity, diversity and granularity)
  • Curation and e-research, including contextual, provenance, authenticity and other metadata for curation (e.g. automated systems for acquiring such metadata)
  • Research data infrastructures, including data repositories and services
  • Disciplinary and inter-disciplinary curation challenges and data management approaches, standards and norms
  • Promoting, enabling, demonstrating and characterizing the re-use of data
  • Semantically rich documents (e.g. the “well-supported article”)
  • The human infrastructure for curation (e.g. skills, careers, training and organisational support structures, careers, skills, training and curriculum)
  • Curation across academia, government, commerce and industry
  • Legal and policy issues; Creative Commons, special licences, the public domain and other approaches for re-use, and questions of privacy, consent, and embargo
  • Sustainability and economics: understanding business and financial models; balancing costs, benefits and value of digital curation

Important Dates

  • Submission of papers for peer-review: 24 July 2009
  • Submission of abstracts posters/demos/workshops: 24 July 2009
  • Notification of authors of papers: 18 September 2009
  • Notification of authors of posters/demos/workshops: 2 October 2009
  • Final papers deadline: 13 November 2009
  • Final posters deadline: 13 November 2009

8th Annual Fiber to the Home Conference Call for Papers – September 27-October 1, 2009, Houston, TX

Lake Oswego, OR – February 9, 2009. The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council has issued a Call for Papers for its 8th annual conference to be held from September 27-October 1, 2009 in Houston, TX.  The 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo is the only gathering of its kind dedicated to the advancement and deployment of FTTH technologies and benefits. This year's theme, Building the Business of FTTH, will bring leaders, visionaries and decision makers to the Hilton Americas-Houston and the George R Brown Convention Center to share success stories and lessons learned about the business elements needed to generate revenue with FTTH.

With considerable investments in fiber to the home deployment, the pressure is on for operators to add subscribers and to generate revenue from the subscribers they serve. The stakes are high and so are the expectations. The 2009 program will offer attendees an overview of best business practices for advancing of high speed broadband over fiber optic networks.

The FTTH Council is seeking papers in the following target areas:

Conference Tracks

1.    Building FTTH Revenues: Explain how to build the top line as an FTTH service provider. Describe your marketing and service packages and how they attracted subscribers.  Provide an overview of the video content and internet packages that were considered and selected, and how to increase market share away from the competition. Experience-based service provider submissions are requested.

2.    Success Stories: Share your experiences as a provider of FTTH services to help others build successful FTTH based businesses. Explain the benefits realized from linking your customers and community to FTTH, to better quality of life and prosperity.  Experience-based service provider submissions will be given first consideration.

3.    New Technology: Educate prospective and practicing network builders on new technologies that enable profitable FTTH services. Target topics include MDU technologies, in-home connectivity, video and IP video, green benefits, and new electronic and optical systems. Special consideration will be given to system-level papers that help decision-makers improve the business case for FTTH.

4.    Advanced Network Design, Construction and Management: Explain innovations in efficient network design, construction, installation and testing. Describe new options for efficient management of the network and subscribers. Target topics include network design cost modeling, construction techniques and equipment, testing and tools for managing subscribers.

5.    Finance and Regulatory:  Elucidate the new funding and financing options available, and teach how to access capital.   Explain how to navigate through the application process to reach government loans and grants. Clarify the latest regulatory changes and implications to FTTH service providers.

Abstract Guidelines

Abstracts should be a maximum of 500 words, without pictures, and must be commercial free. The abstract should describe the primary conclusion or results of the paper including pertinent details of the work indicating the significant findings. Learner outcomes must be included. Papers must contain significant new material not presented or published previously.  Papers may range from introductory to advanced, but bear in mind that your audience may be just getting started in this field. As such, "FTTH 101" papers will also be considered within each category.*

NEW for our 2009 Program…we will be offering a few repeated track sessions in Spanish.  As a perspective speaker, you may wish to indicate that you wish to repeat your presentation in Spanish during the online submission process.

For complete information on deadlines and submission guidelines, please visit…Become a Speaker. 

*FTTH 101 Papers do not need to meet the new or unpublished requirement.

About the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council

The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections – as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks.  The Council works to create a cohesive group to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. Communities and organizations interested in exploring FTTH options may find information on the FTTH Council web site at

About Legend Conference Planning

Legend Conference Planning is the official project management and event planning firm for the 2009 FTTH Conference & Expo and the FTTH Council Secretariat. For further information, email at

Speaker Liaison, Jennifer Cakir
Legend Conference Planning
Tel: 613-226-9988 x4


UCP Executive Director Post to Change.Gov

The inauguration of a new president takes place tomorrow. Like
many Americans, I am proud that our country is an example to the world
of what peaceful and orderly change in government means in a democratic
society. The Obama Administration has developed a website called Change.Gov, where they are asking for input from indivdual citizens on how to change government. Following is the post I entered today:

I work for United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee. In our state,
people with cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities other than
mental retardation do not receive dedicated DD services. In fact, our
State Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
doesn’t even serve people with Developmental Disabilities. In my job, I
interact daily with young families who need intensive home and
community based supports that are not available to them. To make
matters worse, because our state has no intention of serving this
population, their critical needs are not even registered on a waiting

More here.

Venture Nashville: Bart Gordon announces Sci-Tech priorities

I replied at the DNJ link saying (after seeing the Venture Nashville blog post):

One thing we need to consider is making a Results-Only Work Environment ( ; ; ) the DEFAULT work condition in both schools and businesses. One should have to make a business case for being required to "drive into work". With so much employment moving toward knowledge work, the costs of not promoting telecommuting (Net-Working) have not been studied by area CEOs and they would be astounded how much money they are wasting on real estate, etc.; costs which were necessary in 1980 — but not today. That is not to say that their competitors are also wasting these resources unnecessarily — think about why cloud computing and virtualization have been in the IT press lately. ROWEs are not a panacea — but definitely an option that very rarely shows up on the C-Suite table.

What think ye?

Reply to Susanna Dodgson RE: Broadband Build Out in Nigeria

over at

Her post:

This is all great, but the hurdles are still huge. I went to a
Corporate Council on Africa Health Forum in November and was listening
to a talk by a South African CEO of a pharmaceutical company. He said
something astounding: he refuses ever to pay a bribe anywhere. This is
the first time I have heard this said and it is exciting.

What has this to do with highspeed internet in Nigeria? Everything.
This is a country with daily power outages (and the power company
employees demand bribes to provide even sporadic power, at least that
was what I saw in BAV studios where I work in Surulere); a country when
even canned tomatoes has to be imported (and Nigerian food has tomatoes
in everything). Given that back-drop, is high-speed internet somehow
avoiding all payment of bribes, avoiding corruption? I desperately want
the answer to be yes.

My reply:

Technologically, of course, the answer is easy. WiMax and solar energy vendors should team up to build out the grid. One could avoid the ground by using blimps, drones, etc. RE: Bribes seen as a fee-for-service where there is no other meaningful industry exists, well, that's a catch-22. Broadband could bring knowledge work (if global employers would learn to pay for something other than butts-in-seats, i.e. driving into a plant in order to post on a wiki or write software {see Results-Only Work Environments at your local search engine}). Bribes purely for sloth, well, that's a theological problem, which, ironically, broadband could help (at least in delivering seminary curricula). The one anti-corruption benefit of broadband is the enabling wiki-eske ability to create "walls of shame" near real-time — both of the ones perpetrating the corruption — and of the law enforcement officials for not prosecuting them (in those cases where the actors aren't the same people). XBRL was just mandated yesterday in the US for firms over 5 billion — so getting to underlying data is at least theoretically going to be easier. Wish I had more optimistic answers.

Fulfill The Promise

I am writing this post to the women of Tennessee who have a strong interest in issues impacting women and children, as well as the capacity to bring about positive change in Tennessee public policy. We have talked for many years about how women are disproportionately affected by long term care giving needs of family members affected by disability (“An estimated 44.4 million Americans age 18 and over provide unpaid assistance and support to older people and adults with disabilities, and between 60% and 75% percent of family and informal caregivers are women.”)

I also know that when Tennessee women are united in commitment to right an injustice to our most vulnerable families, we can be a powerful force for good. I am asking for your help in addressing an important issue that is before our state legislature this year:

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

I have a photograph in my desk drawer. I took the picture a couple of years ago when I was making a home visit to one of UCP’s families. It shows a smiling young African-American boy sitting in a wheelchair.  Next to him is his mother, also sitting in a wheelchair. The little boy’s hands are twisted and clenched in what are called contractures. This occurs when a child with cerebral palsy doesn’t get the physical therapy necessary to keep muscle groups flexible.  This child’s cerebral palsy is severe.  He requires home based care giving supports for all times when he is not in school. Despite his physical challenges, this remarkable kid makes A’s and B’s on his report card.  He is mainstreamed in a regular public school classroom where he receives the school-based supports necessary for him to succeed in this setting. Due to the level of his disability, affordable neighborhood day care centers and after school recreation programs for typically developing children are not available for him. 

The little boy’s mother is an attractive single mother who gave up her once-promising full-time career to provide care for her disabled son. She is also smiling, but her eyes are weary.  She is sitting in a wheelchair because of a ruptured disk, acquired after years of lifting her disabled child in and out of the bathtub, and from his wheelchair and bed, with no assistance.

Somewhere in the background, out of the picture, is the boy’s 12-year old sister. She is the one in the family who is now lifting her brother, helping him get bathed and dressed, getting him in bed at night, and doing everything she can to meet his care giving needs while her mother recovers from back surgery.

Convoluted State Infrastructure

This is just one of many families of children and young people with developmental disabilities who do not have access to Home and Community Based Supports and Services in Tennessee.  While we have a Division of Mental Retardation that addresses one form of developmental disability, i.e., mental retardation, there is no comparable entity in Tennessee that provides intensive home-centered supports for persons with other types of developmental disabilities. This includes severe conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other acute disabilities defined under Tennessee State Title 33 as conditions acquired prior to age 22 and typically identified as severe developmental disabilities by the time the child reaches age 5.  By definition, these disabilities have lifelong impact on an individual’s functional abilities and capacity to earn a sustainable living.

Did you realize that the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities has no services and no funding for people with Developmental Disabilities? Despite a legislative mandate in 2000 that changed the name from the “Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation” to the “Department Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities” and made persons with Developmental Disabilities eligible for services beginning in March 2002, the legislative intent was never carried out.

In order to address a series of federal court orders, during the Sundquist Administration, the Division of Mental Retardation was moved out of this Department to the Department of Finance and Administration. All Developmental Disabilities funding went with the Division, and when that happened, children and adults with some of the most severe forms of developmental disability in our state were simply dropped out of the equation. Over the years, commissioners under various administrations have attempted to address this gap, but with no funding stream and no definitive “home” in state government for these families, their efforts have been fruitless.

Help Needed for Families in Serious Trouble

In my fifteen years as Executive Director of United Cerebral Palsy, I have visited the homes of many families. I have watched severely disabled children grow up without benefit of home and community based supports that they would have received in other states. I have seen families driven into poverty over the cost of care for their children. I have seen other families split apart at the seams because of unremitting stress. Inevitably, this leaves a single mother trying to cope alone with the needs of a disabled child, not to mention the needs of other children, and sometimes even aging seniors in the extended family.

I have testified in child support cases where judges threw up their hands in frustration over the impossibility of meeting a developmentally disabled child’s critical needs on the income basis of the parents in question.  I have seen young people with disabilities who graduated from Tennessee high schools and colleges who were shuffled off to nursing homes because we have no place in our communities for them.

On the other hand, I have also witnessed caring, sacrifice, and fortitude from these families in the face of amazing odds.  I know one eighty-something year old mother who has for the past sixty years been the primary caregiver for her daughter who has cerebral palsy so severe she can voluntarily move the muscles in only one part of her body, her right foot. This wonderful elderly lady is now also caring for her husband who has dementia related to aging.

Year after year, these families are told to wait until the state gets the problems with the Division of Mental Retardation Services solved; then their issues will be addressed. The only thing is, we never seem to get the problems with DMRS solved. This year, there has been much attention focused on the Division of Mental Retardation budget cuts, the Division’s long waiting list (6,000+), and initiatives on aging. Yet few Tennesseans realize there is a group of severely disabled people, many of them children, who were aren’t even on the radar screen in our state. In effect, these families are told they are second class citizens with second class disabilities.

The “Fulfill the Promise Campaign”

In 2006, the Tennessee Legislature appointed a Task Force under the auspices of the Tennessee Division of Mental Retardation Services to investigate the gap in Tennessee’s service infrastructure for children and adults with developmental disabilities other than mental retardation. Members of the Task Force included persons with developmental disabilities, family members, representatives of non-profits serving the population in need (including UCP, the Arc, and the Autism Society) TN Council on Developmental Disabilities, TennCare, DMRS, TDMH&DD, Commission on Aging and Disabilities, TN Division of Rehabilitation Services, University Centers for Excellence on Disabilities, and the Disability Law and Advocacy Center. Representatives from the TN Disability Coalition observed and monitored the process.

The Task Force worked intensively for a year to develop the recommendations they delivered to the legislature in a report called “Fulfill the Promise*.” It can be found at

The report asks for a very modest investment from the state in the coming year to provide direct services to a limited number of families, and for a concerted effort over the next few years to develop comprehensive and cost-conscious home and community based services that take advantage of federal dollars available to help this population.

United Cerebral Palsy has hosting two meetings for state legislators and families to talk about the report. The first meeting was on February 26 in Murfreesboro.  The second meeting was on March 6 in Nashville. We believe that the first and most important step is communication and education. We really need help in getting state legislators (or representatives from their offices) to read the report, and to meet with these families.

Some of the women who will read this post are policymakers.  Others of you have good friends in the state legislature.  I hope you will use whatever influence you may have to draw the attention of our legislators in Middle Tennessee to this issue.  Please ask our policymakers to talk with families who are affected by Developmental Disability, and to listen to what they have to say.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Deana Claiborne, Executive Director
United Cerebral Palsy of Middle Tennessee
1200 9th Avenue North, Suite 110
Nashville, TN  37208

How do I know who my state legislators are?

Get your Tennessee voter registration card. Look at the back of the card to get the number of your state house and state senate districts.

To find your State Senator, go to:

At the bottom of the page, you can find your senator by entering your senate district number

To find your State Representative, go to:

At the bottom of the page, you can find your representative by entering your house district number

*The “Promise” refers to provisions of Tennessee State Title 33, which made persons with Developmental Disabilities other then Mental Retardation eligible for Developmental Disabilities services beginning in March 2002. The citizens impacted include individuals who are born with severe disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, spina bifida, and other disabilities acquired during the developmental stages of life.

Despite the promise of state Title 33, no services have ever been implemented, and the only division of state government serving persons with Developmental Disabilities, i.e., the Division of Mental Retardation, was placed under the Department of Finance and Administration, leaving the remaining group of persons with Developmental Disabilities without a place in state government.   

The Fulfill the Promise bills in the Tennessee State Legislature are sculpted directly from the recommendations of the Task Force. The bills have bi-partisan support among sponsors in both the House and the Senate. Bill sponsors encourage families who are impacted by developmental disabilities other than mental retardation to contact their own representatives and ask for their support of the legislation. This is particularly important as the bills move into the legislative committees.

Since delivery of the report, grassroots advocates from across the state have held local meetings with legislators, giving families the opportunity to share stories about their own situations. Families have written and called their legislators.  They also attended the Tennessee Disability “Days on the Hill” and met with legislators in their offices at the Legislative Plaza.

Many families report that the cost of caring for their children and family members with severe disabilities without benefit of Home and Community Based supports has driven them into poverty and has resulted in instances of divorce and multiple physical and mental health problems among caregivers.  Individuals with disabilities are impacted because they do not have access to direct support services, after school and daycare services, therapies, and other essential services typically provided by other states in their Developmental Disabilities waiver programs.

So I sez to Obama, I sez

<ed.note>Senator Barack Obama is apparently courting tech voters so I dropped by the site to leave my suggestions:

Ethics: fedgov, states and NPOs should adopt a universal chart of accounts and extensible business reporting language to web report expenditures in real time.

Economic Security: 70% of persons with disabilities are unemployed. Many lack accessible transportation to the workplace. Too much time|money|oil is wasted by the general workforce commuting to the work place. Telework should be promoted as the default work life arrangement by both governments and employers and should be seen as a matter of national economic security.</ed.note>