Monday, May 28, 2012

Twitter Two Years On

The twittering phenomenon rages on with an ever-increasing divide between those who twitter and those who do not or will not. I was bullied twice this week by twitterers--first at a seminar where attendees were required to set up twitter accounts, so I obliged for the occasion. The result of the exercise, while interesting, proved to be a waste of time and the contents were far from worthy of the library of congress however.

That said, I think there could have been greater value gained from the experiment had participants chosen to care more about the process. In this instance, the 140 character restriction might have allowed for a "renga" - collaborative poetry that is tantamount to serial haiku.

The second unfortunate twitter bullying came in the form of a presentation I listened to politely but reluctantly while waiting my turn to give a lecture on Scandinavian "creativity". Delivered by someone who didn't think first to ask the audience if we knew anything about Twitter, this speaker spoke for nearly one hour on the marvels of twittering as though it were the greatest thing since the proverbial "sliced bread" (and I still prefer cutting my own bread from a freshly baked loaf).

If I were Lady Gaga and wanted to know, concretely, that 20+ million people had signed up to follow me, I might enroll--and hope that even a fraction of a percent of that number actually returned to their twitter accounts more than once a year--or that they were truly accessible via their twitter app or respective emails in order to notice if I addressed them. Twitter has reasons for being. It still remains true, however, that the majority of tweets are much less useful or beautiful than the bird calls outside my window. They sound more like stray dogs yapping at nothing in particular.

Here are the latest stats for Twittering in 2012!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Teaching with Twitter

Chronicle for Higher Education contributer, Mark Sample, who is is an assistant professor of literature and new media at George Mason University, offers his advice on teaching with twitter.

Since this blog dedicates itself tech in education, these kinds of articles are a must, but since this blog is written by a pre-wordprocessing, pre-video, pre-new media human, then each new article she cites requires a pre-new-media-defense to warrant a full endorsement!

Some quick facts about Twitter. According to RJ Metrics data gathered from Twitter API, at the end of 2009, there were 75 million "users" (those with accounts). 25% of those accounts have no followers and 40% have never tweeted. 80% have tweeted fewer than 10 times.

So, while more people continue to open Twitter accounts (at a slower rate than in 2009), and while some users become great fans of the technology, the full value of Twitter over the long term remains to be seen. My guess is that something else will come along soon to replace it. That the Library of Congress is archiving tweets since the launch in 2006 is rather amazing (our phone calls probably have sociological significance also, but other than those stored by the CIA, Interpol, KGB, SÄPO and others, I don't we'll have them archived.)

Still Twitter is an interesting, if not narcissistic, experiment in the exchange of in, miss, and over-information. Whether it helps to improve the outcome of university course facilitation remains to be seen as well.

Viewers of this post are welcome to share concrete examples of how teaching with Twitter facilitates learning.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Updating blogs

This particular blog was my first. It was the product of a class exercise via Indiana University when I was studying computer assisted language learning in late 2007--primarily for teaching English as a second language. I rather hate to shut it down, but the problem with Internet technology merging with human identity and social networking is that our virtual selves become dangerously entangled with our real selves. Shutting down blogs and social sites is like tearing away a small piece of the person we think we might be. Then again, I am the owner of a cluttered desk as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room

"A story about people--a human tragedy"...

What happens in a corporation, in management, in personnel, that can lead to a multi-billion corporation's going bankrupt in just 24 days?

In light of the run on Bear Stearns last week and the pending US depression (I think we may well be moving beyond "recession"), one wonders whether enough was learned by those banks that were implicated in the ENRON fiasco less than 10 years ago. One also wonders where the thousands of traders went to work in corporate America and how many of them "learned" their ethics at ENRON and neglected to unlearn them.

Transparency today may actually have less to do with openness and honesty and more to do with the lack of substance, financial or otherwise, in front of and behind the products and services that individuals think they are buying.

Technology online offers us the chance to revisit recent history and consider the potential for longer term impacts of events.

Here is a link to a preview of the 1hr49 minute video:
ENRON: The Smartest Guys in the Room

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Anonymous Blogging

Today, while looking for a discussion about the deeper meaning of the word "näringsliv" online (loosely, trade and industry in Swedish), I came across a blog about Swedish policy and practice that is written by a 60-year old man who prefers to remain anonymous in order to more safely voice his oft-unspoken convictions. It's an interesting way of utilizing the Internet really. It reflects both the character of Sweden where sticking one's head out, bragging, or showing off is considered bad behaviour, and at the same time it helps paint the contrast between those who use online media as a platform for personal conviction and those who use it as a platform for personal ego--where one's name is more important than the substance of one's thought. Which one of these defines one's identity, and even one's ego, is a question to ask perhaps.

Monday, December 3, 2007

November blahg

Given the amount of work I find myself doing prior to the holidays (Christmas for me), I have plenty to say, but no time to spend saying it. Perhaps that is a good thing when it comes to NOT filling cyberspace with useless blogging.

That said, I will post a comment about my HP laptop nc6400 in the hopes that it might actually elicit some response or at least empathy in this holiday season. Not only is my comment related to the "technical" nature of this site, but it is relevant to the meaning of second language acqusition. Bottom line: my keyboard is out of control. If I were typing from the nc6400, you would be seeing the following language:

MMMMMMMMMMyyyyyyyyyy llppppppptopppppppppppp iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis *damn* nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnot wwwwwworrkkkkkkkkkiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnng.

I have tried cleaning the keyboards with air pressure cans. I have checked and updated loads of drivers. I've run extra scans for bots, worms, viruses, spies, and you name it. I have written to HP, and I have screamed a lot. The crazy thing is that the problem comes and goes. Sometimes I can turn the machine on and there is no evidence of any problem. At other times, I may not be able to use the laptop for days at a time. (I do plan to try connecting another keyboard, temporarily). Since I bought the HP in Sweden and I am currently working in Glasgow, and travelling a lot, I have not had an opportunity to do anything about the situation in the last three weeks since the problem began. Given the nature of laptops and their use, one might think that the likes of HP and their competitors might see fit to open centers that can truly deal with such things without telling a person that he or she must mail in the thing.

In another 2 weeks I'll be back in Sweden and will stop by the place that sold me the laptop, and let's hope that by January all will be well again. In the meantime, if any techie types out there have an idea or solution, do tell.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Finding God in Unsuspected Places


I can't help but add to the many cyberlinks reporting on last month's story about Nebraska state Senator Ernie Chambers September 14th lawsuit against God (and his various aliases). (see last week's update).

American cartoonist and political satirist, Scott Adams, writes a humorous commentary on "Suing God" in reference to the Chambers suit. The follow-up commentaries are telling of American sentiment and cynicism (as well as the occasional inability for some individuals to think their way out of a box).

The case would be humorous if it didn't actually underscore the very frivolity of the United States court system which Chambers is actually defending. It's certainly my hope that Chambers is a sort of modern day Jonathan Swift, who in his new and less-than-modest proposal, is perhaps striving to admonish judges, attorneys, and plaintiffs to curb their own participation in frivolous action RATHER than to support the current action of legislators who want to impose laws that will curb frivolous suits. If Chambers is working at this level, then the last laugh should be his indeed.

And then from America to Italy where reports from the Vatican (via the Telegraph) reveal that the Italian Bishops Conference now owns majority shares in the Ancona soccer team (known as football outside of the United States). Roman Catholics who wondered where the money from special collections was headed can now be relieved to know that their tithe was in good hands--and feet.

Is this religious extremism--or simply a truer reflection of the omnipresence of God?

Cheers!