Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Marc Andreessen: From the Web Browser to Social Networking

It's hard for me to imagine someone more interesting to interview than Marc Andreessen. Marc was one of the co-authors of the original web browser, has a history in the Free and Open Source Software movement, and now is one of the founders of the "build-your-own" social networking site Ning. The Classroom 2.0 social network I set up on Ning has really helped to galvanize my thoughts on the substantial contributions that I think social networking will have in education, both for student use and for teacher professional development.

Marc is not only fascinating to listen to, he's also a true gentleman--you may notice a skip in the recording, which is where my recording software failed in our original interview. Marc was kind enough to re-record the second half of our discussion some days later. His comments on the future of blogs and social networks toward the end are challenging and insightful, and his descriptions of the qualities he looks for in employees could provide a great platform for discussion on the skills we teach in schools (see also his blog post on this).

I also owe to Marc my first experience editing Wikipedia. I've been a huge wiki user and lover for quite a while, but I'd never actually played in the "big leagues" by editing Wikipedia. When I was researching Marc for the interview, I noticed that a couple of the links on his Wikipedia were broken, so I fixed them. I have to admit to feeling a little thrill editing Wikipedia...

For a related interview, Marc's business partner at Ning is Gina Bianchini, and you can find my recent interview with her here.

Listen to the the Interview in MP3 format
Listen to the Interview in Vorbis OGG format

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