Archive for the 'Social Tagging' Category

My Technological Timeline #edcmooc

I’m still working on this and probably will have more comments on this subject, but as I was watching all the ‘utopian’ videos I thought about Arthur C. Clarke’s third law & wondered how advanced does technology have to be for it to appear to be magic to me. This started me thinking: how much has technology developed since I was born.

By the way I admit, I’m no graphic artist and I put this together ¬†in less than 30 minutes using Google Docs. It’s my way of sketching because I can’t draw ūüôā Also, I’m not claiming that this timeline is historically precise or accurate, after all it’s based from my memory.


Click on the image to see an easier to read version

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 7.29.08 AM


Lessons learned from my Twitter activity in the past few months

I’m sure some sage individual in the past has noticed that humans are most excellent at making order out of chaos as well as vice versa.¬† For most people who first encounter Twitter, when they hear that it’s just about people barking statements in less than 140 characters about the goings on in their lives, they immediately decide that the tool amounts to nothing but horsefeathers and mindless chatter.¬† A little over two years ago I too was skeptical about using Twitter. Now I have a great appreciation of what a powerful tool it is for connecting with people who are interested in the same things you are. More than that it’s a great way to learn from others and find people in your field to learn from.

While others may lament the 140 character limit, I believe that the limit forces you to ‘prune your words’ or carefully think out what you will share.¬† The medium itself is, after all, only designed for short bursts of conversation. If you want a longer discussion that’s¬† less constricted go find a forum on the same subject.¬† The great thing about Twitter is it’s a large body of information sharing, but you can still make relative sense of it by using the search or accessing what YOU want to hear or learn about by using the hashtags (examples: #baseball, #knitting, #instructionaldesign). You don’t have to dig through individual communities and forums to find what people are saying about a topic.

Again it’s difficult to engage in a deeper conversation from just following the hashtags, but groups can hold guided discussion by centering the Twitter exchange around a set of guiding questions which people in the group respond to individually. In the next few posts I’ll be sharing more about my own attempt to learn how to use Twitter as a tool have an ‘actual conversation’ with like minds. I’ll review the preparation &¬† steps needed to hold a Twitter chat, and I’ll also take some time to analyze the benefits & drawbacks of this format of conversation. Finally, I would like to take a deeper look at some of the Twitter tools out there that help both faciliators and participants.

Using twitter as a conversation tool can still pose challenges and seem restrictive, but if you leverage it’s strengths and adopt a Zen approach to absorbing with wave of content and thoughts from others, it’s actually a great window into how others feel about the topics you care about.

Pepino in Alicante

WordPress is really bull right now. I can’t seem to publish changes to my earlier posts, and I don’t have the time to worry. I wanted to scream this morning because I added a long write up of some of the shops, places and businesses we’ve frequented here… including a youtube video of Pepino… and it all disappeared after clicking the “Save” button.

I’ll try to post the vid again here. Note, the picture quality is bad but the sound’s the best quality of the videos I’ve found on youtube. Hopefully of the countless people taking video at the bar performance last night, one of them will post the vid of the performance.


More, video and sounds on digital music here:

Amsterdam via Google


Businesses, hotels and shops should know tourists like me always check out a Google Map for reviews before checking their goods out. I actually picked our Amsterdam Hotel based on the ‘real people’ reviews given for hotels. When I find a shop or business I really dig, I put up a Google Review if I can find their business online…. sometimes even if they don’t have an online presence too – I just have to remember the name of the store and its address.

The internet can give consumers a whole lot of power!

Our Google Map

ASTD conference notes and resources

The ASTD TechKnowledge 2007 is in session this week. Unfortunately due to previously scheduled engagements I will not be able to go.¬† But for now, I’m posting a link to some of the conference handouts.

Check out the excellent presentation on “Personal and Collaborative Learning Using Blogs and Social Bookmarking” by Tony Karrer.

Ah, I wish I was there…

Reflective exercise – library tagging

Here’s an interesting exercise to do a spot check to see what topics have been fueling your interest, and it’s an interesting way to connect or find others who were interested in the same books and topics.¬†

  1. List at least 10 books you have referenced or read in the past year
  2. Add these books to a personal library list on the LibraryThing
  3. Add tags to each of the books (these tags should include why the book was relevant to you or the topics the book covered which you found helpful). From the “Your Library” view you can add the tags to each book by clicking the pencil icon in the shared area

    Pencil icon allows you to edit or add tags

  4. Click on the “Tags” tab and run a tag cloud to see a visual representation of all of your topics.¬† This should give you a snapshot of all of the items you looked at last year. The subjects that you referenced the most will appear in the largest/bolder font.

Tonight I set up my Library. You can view my library list here:

I actually clicked on the people icon¬†in the “Shared” info column,¬†and could find others who read the book or had it in their library. I could also see if they posted a review of the book as well.¬† Great stuff.¬†¬† If you do try to use this, beware. It is a beta version so there are times when the site undergoes maintenance from time to time.

I think tag clouds are an interesting visual representation, but I struggle to see how they can be used as structured navigation to topics.¬† Perhaps there’s value, ¬†if you have a closed community contributing to a tag cloud or tagging repository you can track which items or topics are more relevant to that group. After running a search on Google, I happened upon Joe Lamantia’s blog again (it’s been a while – see the link below), and it looks like he has been exploring the phenomenon of Tag Clouds in more detail.¬†¬†He¬†claims that the clouds are a valuable¬†way for people to expand their learning through what others are documenting and listing in their clouds. This certainly does work for a learner like myself (part active experimenter/part reflective) ¬†who enjoys exploring and seeking out connections.¬†¬† For me the internet¬†can be¬†just one bread-crumb trail after another, which is dangerous because it takes some focus for me to come back and return to the original subject which was researching to begin with. But if learning via the net is great for my learning style; what about people who don’t enjoy learning this way? People who crave a little more structure to their educational menu?




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