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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Topic Assignment: SuprGlu

Journey's song "Wheel in the Sky" summarized my feelings for this assignment perfectly in the following lines:

Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

I've been trying to make it home
Got to make it before too long
I can't take this very much longer.

I could hear the song in my head as I watched the little counter wheel spin around while I waited for feeds to be pulled in. It took about two hours to sign up, get my feeds in, and get my page to be visible to the outside world. I also did not get all my classmates included because of a limited number of feeds allowed. Contacting the factory was problematic. I had 65 windows pop up when I used Internet Explorer. Firefox said no way. I ended up going into my email and using the link provided in there. I also had problems viewing everything in Internet Explorer. The aforementioned song keeps playing in my head.

In all fairness, the concept of SuprGlu is great. This is a place to put together your own "newspaper" on the topic of your choosing. Some of the sites that pulled up were very interesting: Library Clips, Library Blogs, and Boggled by Chaos. In the hours that I spent making a class site, my results were not as polished. There were ways to add links and change the style sheet that I did not have the patience for quite honestly. Some people have had a great deal more luck in working with this site as is evidenced in the entry SuprGlu is SuprCool from thesocialsoftwareweblog. Also, the fact that SuprGlu is being run on a single server and may be slow is referenced in several locations on the SuprGlu site. With all that said, this has the potential to be a cool product given time, more servers, and more bandwidth. For free, you really can't complain.

The meat of the assignment was to ascertain the viability of this site's use in education. I really can't recommend it for that at this time. It simply is too slow for kids. We live in a world of instantaneous feedback. Scene changes in most commercials are about a second. Kids simply will not wait 15 to 30 seconds for sites to load. They will not take hours to build a site. This has the potential of putting a lot of information together on a single site quickly and easily. It just needs more time and to work out some of its growing pains. I will continue to tinker with this product in the hope that things get better. My recommendation is to wait for now.

References

Check the links above for the sites that I used.

Update

With a prompt and polite response to my question about raising the number of feeds to include everyone, I have been granted more feeds and will include as many of you as I can. There is hope for the product. It seems to be run by genuinely passionate people.