Why people only post kitten pictures and videos

Cute kitten!

If you express any kind of serious opinion about anything on Facebook, you bring out the trolls and the disagreements.

This is ironic, since Facebook tends to only show you posts that you have shown an interest in. Maybe Facebook with its unlimited post lengths draws people who are more into argument. In other words, maybe some people see the posts they see because Facebook has figured out they like to argue.

Continue reading “Why people only post kitten pictures and videos”

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To split or not to split: keeping separate Twitter identities

Secret Identity

Note: this post mirrors one I posted on the PSCC Mobile Fellows blog. I think it will interest this audience also.

Brandon Ballentine and I talked about this a bit on an episode of our new podcast, Mobile Talk. (Promotional bit: you can subscribe on iTunes or via RSS feed, or look at the Podcast category for past episodes.) Twitter can be quite a useful tool for sharing information among colleagues and students, and there are a number of mobile tools for managing it. (My favorite is Hootsuite, available for iOS and Android.)

There is a practical question for teachers, though: do you maintain a separate account for professional-interest tweets, or do you simply tweet as yourself from one account for everything you’re interested in? Continue reading “To split or not to split: keeping separate Twitter identities”

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The real advantage of social media: it makes it easier to ask for info

Tin Can Phone

Yesterday I worked with a colleague from the college on a new podcast for faculty using emerging technology in higher education. I really love what doing something like that does for my own mind. The cliché (which is true, even if cliché) is that to really learn something, teach it to someone else. Because we were putting together something to teach others about social media in education, it has changed the way I’m looking at social media myself. Continue reading “The real advantage of social media: it makes it easier to ask for info”

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Internet vermin find a new way to annoy

I don’t know how long this has been going on, but I know a friend of mine was hit today, and it occurred to me how easy it would be to work this particular scam.

She feared she had been hacked, changed her password on Facebook and warned all her friends to change theirs, just in case.

Of course, changing passwords frequently is always a good idea, and certainly won’t hurt anything. It’s just that this particular scam doesn’t require anything but social engineering, and maybe not even that. Continue reading “Internet vermin find a new way to annoy”

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Take the time, updated

baby

I’m reblogging and adding to a post from March 2009, four years ago.

On that day, I wrote:

My cousin died in a car accident over the weekend [remember this was posted four years ago]. Your cousins may or may not be close to you. My family in many ways has never been close, but on the other hand I had no brothers and sisters, and my cousin was born within two hours of my own birth. He was the relative I was closest to growing up, though we lived an hour apart.

We’ve kept in touch mostly through third parties–my mom would hear from his mom, etc. I kept meaning to talk to him, but I kept thinking I’d spend some time with him at the next family reunion. Thanks to life challenges in both our lives, though, as well as the fact that no one in our family bothers to organize family reunions, that never happened.

I didn’t even find out he had been killed until yesterday, and the funeral in West Tennessee was this morning. Opportunity gone.

He has had a tough life. We could have helped each other. Coulda woulda shoulda helps nothing and no one.

Communication doesn’t just happen. It takes effort; it takes consciousness; it takes attention. Is there someone you need to talk with? Do it today.

It’s only been four years, but it seems much longer than that. Yet in that short time, much has changed about the way I communicate with friends and family.

I haven’t seen my middle daughter in a couple of years. She has gotten married since I last saw her, but she lives far enough away (and finances are tight enough) that we haven’t been in the same space in that time. I haven’t met her husband, and haven’t seen my first grandchild.

On the other hand, through Facebook and Skype we’ve kept in fairly close touch. I’ve been able to hear and see that new baby. It’s not the same of course. I can’t hold him, can’t get pooped on. But it’s better than just a few years ago, when years apart meant little or no contact at all.

People worry about electronic communication interfering with real human communication, and the worry is justified. But at the same time, I’m able to maintain a higher level of contact with more people than ever before. It gives me a way I can afford to make the effort and pay the attention to people I would otherwise miss completely. I think that’s a good thing.

What about you? Have you made that needed contact?

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Social media friends are real

A Conversation

At least some social media friends are real.

I’ve been thinking about friendship in recent days. I don’t think many of us have as many close relationships as we once did, but maybe I’m just extrapolating my experience to the whole world and maybe I’m falling into the “good old days” trap. Still, it seems that real-world relationships don’t have the depth they used to. Continue reading “Social media friends are real”

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It’s a small world after all*, part 2

Dutch Children Sing "It's a Small World"

In “It’s a small world after all, part 1,” we talked about how social media connects people in ways that weren’t possible until recently, and focused especially on Twitter. In this post, we continue the conversation.

Through Facebook I have connected more solidly with my friends

Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with old friends from high school and college that I haven’t seen for nearly 40 years, and I get to socialize with current friends much more than I otherwise would, since everyone is always on the run and time for “real world” socializing is short. I have also found some folks who share professional interests, but Facebook is mainly about fun and socializing for me.

Though it took me a year to start using it, up until about last October it was the social medium I turned to most. I connect with co-workers here, but more on a “water cooler” level–valuable, but a different sort of thing than the other two services we’re considering here. Continue reading “It’s a small world after all*, part 2”

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It’s a small world after all*, part 1

One of the great wonders of the Internet age is the ease with which people of like minds can find one another. When people say they don’t understand Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, it just means they haven’t found the “like minds” hook that matters to them yet.

I joined Twitter four years ago, but only really started using it about three or four months ago. I joined Facebook in Jan. 2007, and then went for a year before I posted even read anything. I also joined LinkedIn in 2007–February, to be exact–but went even longer before really using it. It just took awhile to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Though this blog focuses on effective communication rather than social media, social media is a growing form of communication. If you remain confused why anyone would use these services, or if you ignore any of them because you prefer face-to-face communication, read on. I also prefer face-to-face communication, but these services help form genuine connections and friendships. Continue reading “It’s a small world after all*, part 1”

photo by: sanctumsolitude
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Students need to get a jump on social media

Social Media Trends for 2012
Creative Commons License photo credit: HonestReporting.com

It’s easy to assume college students have social media all figured out. Experience shows, though, that while many are savvy about Facebook, they may not realize they need to build a social media presence in other avenues before graduation rather than after. Sue Murphy notes in her article Social Media Success Tips for Students two particular areas that seriously need attention while a student is still in school but looking to the outside world.

Many students believe they don’t need to worry about getting their profiles up on LinkedIN until after they graduate. But nothing could be further from the truth. You need to get on there. Now. LinkedIN is one of the best places to connect with the kind of companies and people you want to eventually end up working for. And the only way you’ll be able to find and connect with them is to start building your profile there.

She also builds a case for starting a blog–and she’s not talking about a chatty personal journal you share with the world.

Continue reading “Students need to get a jump on social media”

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Taking part in evolving model of education

I’m taking part in a course that illustrates in a lot of ways the changing face of education. Just as I don’t know exactly how that face will change, I don’t know yet exactly how the course works, but I get the feeling that the not know will likely be an integral part of both this course and that changing face.

The course is called Digital Storytelling, through the University of Mary Washington (I think). Here are some of the ways that (it seems to me) the course is emblematic of this cultural shift that is going on. Note that I’m using both “traditional” and “current” as amorphous terms. Much of what we now think of as traditional classroom education isn’t really all that traditional. Continue reading “Taking part in evolving model of education”

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