Glad to see so many make it through our course on Social Media!  I've just a few thoughts before we go.  

First, how did you like the book?  If you would, please add a reply to this discussion board including (1) a meaningful quote you liked and (2) an explanation of how that quote represents something you've learned over the course of this professional development experience.  I'll be sure to add mine once I've finished this post.

Second, I'd like to provide some explanation of one bit of technology that really connects all these websites (and people) together: RSS.  I've embedded a video explanation below, one in a series produced by "The CommonCraft Show."  If you're ever wondering how to explain (or understand) something involving the Web, I'd highly recommend their work.  RSS makes the connective web what it is, allowing us to know what's happening with each other and around the world.  The video directly relates to blogs, but many social applications, including Facebook, are built around similar concepts.  



Third, I'd like to share another video, this one by "digital ethnography" professor Michael Wesch that displays a bit of the "back stage" elements of this technology and its implications for our work.  It moves pretty fast, but the main message is that information is now not bounded to one website alone - that it be moved, reformatted, reshaped, and combined in ways that make the web an entirely unique world - one that will change the way we interact with information and connect with one another. 



And last, I'd like to recommend a few resources for the question "Where do I go now?"
  • Managing Twitter: As you use Twitter more frequently (and I hope you will!), you'll probably notice fairly quickly the need to manage your contacts.  I do that through lists (on the website you can create these to "categorize" your contacts into meaningful groups -- I check in on different groups for different purposes) and through a separate program that I've installed on my computer, called Tweetdeck.  There are some great tutorials online.  Just Google "using Tweetdeck."  

  • Finding "real" blogs: We experienced blogging through this community.  That's a better experience because there's an increased chance that you'll bump into someone outside our district.  However, "blogging" here is not quite the same as owning and managing a blog of your own.  You can check out the blogs of other educators at SupportBlogging.com .  If you like what you see and would like to start your own, just drop me or your TIS a note.  We'd be happy to help!

  • Keeping track of it all: One you begin adding to your own network by belonging to a variety of services, it would be nice if you could keep track of it all.  To do this, I'd recommend an "aggregator" - a personal home page where updates come to you rather than you checking multiple websites.  Personally, I use Netvibes.com and have been quite pleased with their service, but maybe you've already started one of these with iGoogle or MyYahoo.  Poke around this service looking for the words "Add a Feed" or "Add a widget" to find out how you can push your services from multiple websites all to one convenient place.  


I'm glad you all came along on this journey, and I hope you'll continue it!  Please drop your comments about the book below, and I'll see you online!

--Drew





Tags: socialmedia101

Views: 56

Replies to This Discussion

One of my favorite quotes in the book is from chapter 4, referring to why there's so much drivel on the net, prompting me and others to ask why people are putting out so much information that we find inane. One simple statement: "They're not talking to you." I think this really gets to the heart of what we see out there - the way the internet makes us able to find and, many times, benefit from conversations that happened without us. I love that about the internet: the idea that you and I can have a conversation where we figure things out and then move on to another problem, only for someone to come by later and benefit from our conversation. When the public interacts publicly, especially to resolve an issue or think through a topic, that conversation has the potential to build the knowledge of a lot more people than just those engaged in the topic at that time. In a way, it's this realization that has helped me determine to do much of my "thinking" out loud, on my blog (drewmcallister.net). I figure, if it helps me to reflect, maybe it'll help someone else down the line.
Oh my gosh, Drew! That was my favorite quote too!! "They're not talking to you" is so simple and to the point. People who don't understand the point of social media fail to understand that this is the point! Social media/Web 2.0 sites allow people to communicate to others who are currently interested in what they are thinking or feeling or could be interested in the future. Sometimes I wonder why people post what they do on Facebook...for some people, I don't really care that they had a great day at the park, but for others, I do care. Those posts that I read and move on are just a blip in my memory, but to someone else, they might want to know! Bottom line, they weren't talking to ME!
That's the thing with social media. YOU decide what you look at and look into. If you aren't interested, move on :-) There really is a lot of freedom in seeking out sites to help us professionally and personally as well as sites to create on our own to communicate with others.
I took an online course through Webster last year on Technology, Ethics, and Society. We took a look at the "digital ethnography" video...soooo cool!!
I agree with you, too, Drew. Most people are not talking to me (thank goodness), and I need to work on blocking out so much of the extraneous "noise." In addition, when I reflect upon the book we've read, along with everyone's comments, I am left with thoughts of the enormity of it all. Possibilities of social networking are beyond what we can imagine, and the speed at which we can communicate boggles the mind. I find myself caught between wondering what my life would have been like if I had had the opportunity to learn and communicate with these current tools when I was in college (How would my life have been different?) and wondering where all this is going in the future (How will my life and the lives of others be different?). One of the quotes I will remember is:

"As more people adopt simple social tools, and as those tools allow increasingly rapid communication, the speed of group action also increases, and just as more is different, faster is different."

Hmmm.... Just what will this different "more" and different "faster" look like? How will these tools be used? Will people use social tools in more creative ways to futher the advancement of humanity or will we find people using social tools for more destructive means? Interesting thoughts to ponder lead to various imaginative scenarios. For me, I am optimistic, but I will definitely continue watching and participating in a variety of social networks.
I was intrigued by the concept in Ch. 2 of the "Tragedy of the Commons," described by biologist Garrett Hardin. In a given situation with a group of people, "as long as everyone refuses to behave greeedily, everyone benefits." He gave the example of sheep owners willingly refraining from overgrazing their sheep in a common pasture to keep the pasture healthy. This works until one shepherd decides to let his sheep graze longer, so that they are fatter for market. It is also the concept behind imposing gratuity on a restaurant check for large parties, where a member of the group may shirk their obligation to tip, thinking everyone else has them covered. Shirkey related this to collective action by a group on behalf of its members via social tools, which is still rare. On the web, self monitoring and independent choice when self-publishing are necessary to allow the web to be "G"-rated.

The advantage of new social tools is the ease of forming groups, what we have been attempting to establish through our own PLN. Shirkey says, "Ridiculously easy group-forming matters because the desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic human instinct that has always been constrained by transaction costs." I look forward to continuing the search for meaningful groups to support my professional learning. Thanks, Drew and group!
A quote that I really could connect to comes from Ch. 4 and is on the topic of what people post on the internet:

"Now that the cost of posting things in a global medium has collapsed, much of what gets posted on any given day is in public but not for the public."

As the book points out, just in the recent past, if we wanted to talk to someone or talk to a group of people, we would either have to meet face to face or talk on the phone. What was said in the group was only heard by the group. Nowadays, with all the technology available, it is almost simpler to post your thoughts through digital media, whether it be a blog, facebook, twitter, or some other social network. Even though you are posting something on a public network, you aren't necessarily posting it for the whole social network to view and respond to. You are posting it for those that would be interested in seeing your post, namely your friends and family. Posting online is a much simpler and quicker way to get a message across to a large group of people. Calling each one individually or organizing a meeting with a group is much more time consuming.

I find that I have turned to this method quite often over the past few years. I used to spend so much time on the phone, or meeting up with people to discuss different issues. With digital posting, I now can either update my status, post a tweet, email a large group using email addresses, or send a mass text to get a message across to a group of people. Although it is handy at times, I feel like communication is starting to lose its personal side, which is a definite downfall when I think about it. This makes me realize, though, that when I see other people's status updates or tweets that I don't understand, it means the comments or posts were simply not meant for me, piggybacking on the quote used by Drew and Christy. They were typed and posted in public, but they weren't meant for everyone.

On another note, I loved those videos. They were very informative, especially "The CommonCraft Show." It was also neat to see what goes on to create the digital media we see everyday on the digital ethnography. I am looking into google reader and netvibes right now. I still need to research tweetdeck to see it's something I think I would use often enough for it to be worth it.

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