Sunday, August 13, 2006

Interview with John Baker

Sorry, this took several days longer to post due to technical problems on my end.

I sat down with John Baker, CEO of Desire2Learn (see zoominfo bio), late Tuesday night at the MERLOT Conference to talk about the Blackboard suit as well as a few other things about D2L such as their recent growth and even pandemic planning. (Photo courtesy of Al Essa under Creative Commons license.)

The interview was recorded and edited with Audacity, but I uploaded the final cut into Odeo so that there would be a nice player embedded into the blog post. I'm still having a problem finding a nice way to get an audio player into a Blogger post.

powered by ODEO

0.00 Introduction and quick background
1:30 Support from competitors (eCollege press release)
3:58 Al Essa's comments about copyright vs. patent (Part 1)
5:36 Blackboard's patent filing in Canada (patent application)
6:40 Anti-trust comments/questions about BlackCT
10:50 Quotes from Blackboard (BB Patent page)
14:25 How does a 2000 patent relate to recent D2L developments (LOR, LiveRoom, etc)?
16:35 Potential for D2L benefits from Blackboard's attack
18:30 Pandemic planning
21:10 D2L Growth during past 2-3 years
24:05 Feedback on version 8 from clients using it

As you can imagine, on many topics he was only comfortable saying a lttle bit. I had no expectations for John to give away any trade secrets or compromise their legal positioning in any way. With that in mind, I hope you find something in there worth listening to.

Full disclosure: My college (LSC) uses D2L. I am the FY07 Chair of MinnesotaOnline which also uses D2L. I chaired the committee in 2002-2003 that made the recommendation to adopt D2L throughout MnSCU. I consider John Baker to be a friend and have known him for over three years now.

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