I originally posted this entry on May 18, on the Apple Digital Campus Exchange (ADCE) "Tools to Enhance Teaching and Learning" weblog. I'd post a link, but everyone (including myself) would have to login to the ADCE system to read it. So I'm reposting it here in the hopes that it might make some difference. I'm not holding my breath. I was almost convinced that a walled garden might have value, but on further consideration I have to agree wholeheartedly with Alan - and won't be posting to the ADCE weblogs unless/until the walled garden is opened up to everyone.
One thing that the read-write model of the internet is pretty much diametrically opposed to is the concept of content silos, or walled gardens of content.
There has to be a pretty compelling reason to lock content behind logins and registration. Restricting publishing is another matter, but restricting access to content that is not confidential is just plain wrong.
People won't create accounts just to read content. Walled Gardens will wither and die - quickly atrophying into irrelevance.
I can see having a requirement for a login to post in the discussion boards, or to comment on a weblog (although even that is questionable). But the concept of having to log in just to find the URL to a weblog is pretty shortsighted.
Hopefully that's just an oversight that will be quickly righted (especially considering the fact that Google has already found the ADCE blogs).
Update: I've put a quick-and-dirty PlanetADCE site up, which aggregates all posts from all ADCE blogs into one easy-to-read page. Enjoy!
PlanetADCE remains the only way to read the ADCE weblog posts. At least until the walled garden stormtroopers decide to seal our backdoor entrance...
The only way this kind of walled garden would fly is if it were the first, the only, or the largest (by an order of magnitude or so). ADCE isn't any of those, but it does offer some cool things. For me the biggest draw of ADCE is the fact that it's getting Carl Berger blogging. If that was the only product of the project, it would be well worth it.