Saturday, 5 February 2011

Beginning module 2 and social media culture

At the start of this second module of our course for in web technologies and practice, I am now beginning my blog, to try and capture developing thoughts and ideas as we go along, and to attempt to reflect upon what I find out about implementing web tools.

This is not something I find easy to do publicly! and It feels very different from blogging in, where we knew we had the privacy of a password protected environment. However I appreciate it is an essential part of the learning process, although I am assuming the only people reading it will be my tutors and course colleagues.

Our first module gave us (in my case a much-needed) introduction to web2 tools, and an opportunity to explore them and to find out about the range and purposes of the available technology.

For the second module I was really pleased to see the structure and layout of the module on Blackboard for the forthcoming weeks, so I have an idea of what to expect, and can see how everything fits in to the overall topic. Having said that, there is soooooo much to do! and so many places to visit, I really am going to find it hard to keep on top of it all. Whether I prefer a more linear approach or whether that is just what I am used to I don’t know, but in order to deal with all this I have already had to set out my own checklists to try and manage the tasks and reading in a way I can deal with, i.e. ticking them off one by one!

I would be interested to know how my colleagues are finding this.

With regards to the background reading relating to social media, I particularly liked some of the ways the authors expressed the impact social media can have, for example as quoted by Lon Safko in The Social Media Bible (2010) ‘An angry customer will tell up to 20 other people about a bad experience...,’ that’s face to face. With the use of social media like blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, those 20 people can quickly become 20,000 or even 200,000.’ Basically a message can reach huge numbers of people very, very quickly, with subsequent negative or positive effects. News can go global in a matter of minutes, and social media and its potential is becoming more and more popular. And everyone can join in and contribute. The downside of this is the loss in privacy, if you want to participate you have to have some sort of online identity, and that means giving up personal information. Web 2 technology is all about creating, developing and using that digital identity, not protecting it.

I was interested in Erik Qualman’s maxim in his book 'Socialnomics' (2011) that ‘investing time in social media actually makes you more productive’- hard to tell when you are spending hours on a computer, many of them not very productive - but then no pain no gain, guess you have to go through these processes to learn and familiarise yourself with the digital world. And its interesting to think of social media as competition to Google and other search engines, given the additional search opportunities there are. More potential, more opportunities, but so much more to manage.



  1. Sharon,

    Thanks for kicking us off with your blog post. Good to see you highlighting two or three points that caught your attention with Social Media.

    Good point on "Web 2 technology is all about creating, developing and using that digital identity, not protecting it." - I think the key thing is knowing how best you can protect yourself if you do get involved.

    Maybe you have to go through a learning curve before your more productive! In fact you do - it takes a (good) while for things to sink in and for you to appreciate how you can use the various tools to your benefit.

    The first point in this video makes a good point about time and management in a business/organisational context

  2. Hi Sharon,

    Interesting to hear your thoughts about the structuring of the modules so far. Personally, I am happy with either a structured approach or one with more openness. I do like having a directed reading list though - but it tempts me spend far too long with my head in a book.
    I agree that the workload on module two does seem overwhelming, which is why I am only allowing myself access to information one week at a time (apart from the themed task information). I need to focus for this module.

    Your blog looks great by the way. I started with WordPress but switched to Blogger last night. I still need to spend some time learning how to use the functions of Blogger.

  3. Hi Sharon and Lisa,

    Just to say that the idea is that we do generally work together week by week, but so much of what you are learning about will take you off on tangents and there is nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with taking a look at forthcoming weeks resources. As you'll have gathered i think that the task's will probably keep you occupied for the week.

    I think i may have said earlier after about the 6 week mark we'll have a breather week and then ease off a little bit with the tasks.