Tag Archive: socialmedia


I’m beginning to find little value in Facebook, Google+,  Twitter or Coursera  forums in helping organize knowledge and share meaningful conversations relating to #edcmooc.   Not surprisingly it’s exactly the same problem that we have in my workplace.    Prior to Jan 22, conversations were easy to handle and information generally easy to find.   But with the start of the #edcmooc  course on Jan 28,  the FB group has grown to over 4400 while the G+ group is over 1500.  Twitter feeds on #edcmooc turn over faster than one individual on Tweetdeck can adequately handle and the Coursera forums are like all the coursera courses where too many posts make it hard to read and respond in a meaningful way.  Additionally as new people jump on board they do not know the ground rules of various social applications and are apt to do things like misuse hashtags.      There is no way a person can read all the conversations even if you just focused on one social application.  And replying to any one thread becomes even more difficult especially on Facebook where notifications take you to the start of a sometimes neverending thread .  Fortunately a few people have jumped in to act as facilitators and coaches but not near enough for handling the sheer volume of people involved.

So what’s the solution with 40,000 people involved?  I ask because my workplace community is larger than that which is one of the reasons that I wanted to take this course to see how all this knowledge could be managed for better learning,  sharing and building/finding connections.   While there are some smaller groups set up for #edcmooc,  the noise seems unbearable at times.  Yet I don’t want to completely silence the noise because sometimes you need to connect to the larger stream of conversations just to find interesting connections or tidbits.   So how can technology help with that instead of just piling on more applications.

My initial response to the first week of class is based on both the formal lesson plan (using resources identified by the instructors) and my own expectations of what I hoped to get out of the class.  Based on the course content, I’m beginning to wonder if this class will help me achieve those expectations (especially the one to better understand how to juggle all these conflicting social networks and applications).   I do think the course format will bring home how broken social networking applications  at massive scale really is.  So now the question is what do I do about it?   Do I take the easy way out  and become a silent observer just doing the bare minimum interaction based on course content.  Or do I continue to build smaller networks that help me achieve a degree of satisfaction in connecting with interesting people trying to do the impossible – handle social networks at large or massive scale.

Social media is teaching me that there is no sense in arguing with someone is blinded by their passions – whether it’s love of an individual, love of stuff like guns or love of power. Some writers/researchers say it’s because of anonymity which allows people to write anything they want. I agree to some extent but I also wonder if it isn’t due to the fact that we no longer come face-to-face with those who have contradictory points of view. Instead we read what fits our passions and ignore the other writings as utter rot created by blathering idiots. To the point that we “unfollow” or “unfriend” or “unlike” someone because they dared to contradict our point of view. Sad that even the brightest seem rarely able to think objectively.  I’m not sure yet whether I will do any research into this area but I find it a disturbing phenomenon at global scale vice small groups arguing face-to-face in coffee shops.

Yesterday I came across two articles on the recent issue of whether Urban Outfitters was stealing designs from the craft sight Etsy.com. I’m not here to judge either one but I do want to talk briefly about the dangers of rushing to judge without looking at all the facts and the damage that is hard to undo afterward. I think this is a valuable topic to disucss and am not going to do it justice here. But it is hard to cover in 140char (even with deck.ly). I may do something deeper later on.

Social media can be extremely powerful in giving a voice to those of us who felt we previously had none. But the danger to that voice is that we may choose not to listen to all the other voices that are out there. This may be the case with the Urban Outfitter/Etsy.com event.

Amber on myaimistrue website posted an overview of the public outcry against Urban Outfitters for allegedly stealing a design concept from a crafter on Etsy.com.  The overview is called “Anatomy of a trending topic: How Twitter & the crafting community put the smackdown on Urban Outfitters”  .  It’s a very good overview.  However, last night I found a counter point of view from Helen Killer at regretsy.com talking about the fact that this design concept is actually not new and may not really be proprietary (see additional information in some of the comments).   Yet the damage is done.   I saw the first message sent out via twitter from two people I respect with the following comments:

1. Awesome ex of Social Media Muscle! How crafting community used Twitter to put smackdown on Urban Outfitters

2.powerful reminder of how social media has changed the relationship between customers and companies

Had I only seen just the overview article, my personal thoughts would have mirrored the first comment.  But having seen the rebuttal, it forced me to reassess what I think about the possible power of the people to “smackdown” a company and how a potential misunderstanding could be changed.  Especially since it seems that the first article is getting more traction than the second based on a quick query of Google where I found all sorts of people condemning Urban Outfitter for this action.

So how can social media help undo the lack of critical thinking that we may all be guilty of when we start retweeting and blogging without looking at all the facts.

Jabulani Does CIC

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