As I was saying…

I have two blog posts already started, and another two waiting to be transferred from my head to the computer and thence to the web. I have had to interrupt myself so many times because of work commitments that I have become impatient – with myself! Hence the title of this post which should read, in full:

As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted…

Anyway, while I am in the process of completing the aforementioned articles, I thought I would mention the Propaganda exhibition that is currently on at the British Library.

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How much should we share online?

audio surveillance zoneI’ve been thinking a lot about this topic recently, and even more so since Simon Finch sent me a link to his excellent article, Privacy is gone, live with it. In the article, Simon talks about managing his digital identity, not so much for self-promotion, but for self-preservation. His view is that if you don’t take charge of your digital identity, it will become defined by what others are saying about you.
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Let’s hear it for the lurkers!

Thinking RFIDLurkers – those people who hang around in forums and other online places, saying nothing but seeing everything – have a pretty poor reputation. They are generally viewed as takers rather than givers. But, as a part-time lurker myself, I think lurking has much to recommend it, and is not all bad for everyone else.
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Teens and social media

Texting in the ParkThere was an interesting article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph about the film The Bling Ring. Entitled “Is the Facebook generation anti-social?”, the article presents what I think is a fairly balanced view of how teens seem obsessed with recording every moment of their lives. Well, balanced in the sense that the writer, Tim Stanley, attempts to present it as something we have always done. He cites the example of people in years gone by insisting on showing their (boring) holiday snaps to their friends and family. Now they upload them to Facebook instead (thank goodness!).
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An example of how technology changes things

P1000244I have found the Never Seconds debacle quite interesting. Story in a nutshell, in case you missed it: nine-year-old Martha Payne writes a daily blog in which she uploads a picture of her school lunch and reviews it. Argylle and Bute Council has some sort of nervous breakdown and issues an edict telling Martha that she isn’t allowed to take photos of her lunch, because catering staff are now in fear of their jobs. As a consequence, Martha’s blog gets over 5 million page views in just a few days, the number of comments on her posts soars from around 30 to over 2,300 in two days, and Argyll and Bute rescind the ban.

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50 Rules of Social Media Etiquette for Students

I've just been checking my Google Reader subscriptions., and came across this interesting post from Social Guy. It contains 50 'netiquette' rules for students, categorised into General, Twitter and Facebook. Helpfully, there are sections devoted to job-seeking and grammar as well.

Observe the rules of etiquetteI don't agree with all of these 'rules'. For instance:

Substituting “2″ for “to” looks like you’re in junior high.

Well, perhaps, but it also saves one character, which could be crucial!

Another one:

You might think it’s nice to send an automatic message every time someone follows you, but it actually makes you look lazy and unengaged. Social media is about the personal effort behind the connection.

I agree, but not responding at all for a while also makes you look unengaged.

I shouldn't use this set of rules completely out of the box, but as a very useful starting point for discussion with students.

Interesting embeddable widget I discovered on Wesley Fryer's blog. It shows how many blog posts etc there have been since you loaded the widget, in real time.

I'm not actually sure how valuable or even how valid such information is. There is no doubt, however, that using it in a presentation, as Fryer intended to do, would be a good way of grabbing people's attention right from the start.

Perhaps it would work well in a classroom setting too, as a starting point for a discussion about what such statistics mean, in a 'real' sense.

You can obtain the widget, and more information about it, from Gary Hayes' website.