Barry Dahl attended a merlot conference and reports on Blackboard's plans to move into Web 2.0 world by building the social software funtionalities we already have on the web - as he dryly suggests maybe they'll patent those too -
"All this stuff already exists in multiple forms, so expect them to be filing patents on this stuff any day now, unless they already have (couldn't stop myself). Why would this be a good thing for academia? Why do we want a vendor creating stuff like this where they control it, where they put up barriers to entry? This is totally contrary to the whole concept of Web 2.0 philosophy of no or low barriers to entry. Blackboard 2.0 will have very large barriers such as enormous licensing fees to join the community. University and corporate control over social networking means that the social network will die from neglect. I seriously doubt that students will flock to social networking inside the BB system. BB is a course management tool and not an authoring tool...which it would need to be to be successful in a web 2.0 concept. Finally, I find it really telling that Blackboard is talking about creating things that already exist, and that it will take them 3-5 years to do it."
The walled gardens may become richer,may become more attractive to administrators wanting to "incoporate social software", but it is still a walled garden.
I want to be free! Information wants to be free! Socialization wants to be free! What kind og lifelong learning e-portfolio can a private enterprise corporation offer? Do I want my or my students' personal learning artefacts hostage to a pay service?