Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"I just want the world to make sense" Social Networking for the Overloaded

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Wikis, Listservs, Groups, Discussion Boards, ... What do these things really do?   Why? How? Who cares?  Who should care?  How do they help/hinder teaching and learning?  How could they?

I doubt that most people who have been using Twitter recently knew they were using "hashtags" or "widgets"  - especially those using some of Twitter's simplest and most effective capabilities to coordinate recent political activities in the Middle East. [ Simplest explanation of Twitter hash tags I've found yet!]  See below for more...

Also see the Overloadtiorium:  "If working 24 hours a day isn't enough, you have to work nights."

"...I just want the world to make sense.  ...There it was, the one thing everybody wanted, and the one thing nobody got. ... She'd lived a life that made the unpleasant truth easy to avoid - and now she must have run into something that made it so clear, she couldn't get around it." - Jane Haddam, Not a Creature Was Stirring, Doubleday, 1993, pp. 77-78

Labels first assigned to important new tools and functions of "social networking technologies" are often selected by those who are immersed in the technology itself and who are prone to extend insider terminology and create cute acronyms.  Gratuitously cryptic terminology can make new tools seem more complex and mysterious than necessary - especially to the next wave of potential users.  We hope to provide explanations and examples that reduce these linguistic obstacles and enable educators to take advantage of these tools' emerging capabilities to support improvements in teaching and learning.
This criticism is irrelevant and the need for simpler intermediate explanations vanishes when the new users are desperate.   That was powerfully demonstrated in the Middle East early in 2011.
"Unedited, raw, anonymous and emotional, Egyptian voices are trickling out through a new service that evades attempts by the authorities to suppress them by cutting Internet services." - from "New Service Lets Voices From Egypt Be Heard," By CHRISTINE HAUSER, New York Times, Published: February 1, 2011

"... anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt.  
 No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to "  - from "
Some weekend work that will (hopefully) enable more Egyptians to be heard


  1. Your quote about just wanting the world to make sense reminded me of a quote from my dissertation research many years ago. It has stuck with me, as has the woman who shared her story with me - of living with macular degeneration. I post it here ... and believe that it resonates with your quote and the sense/feeling I get from your blog post:

    "You see, my time is occupied trying to live … There are those adjustments that you have to make if you're going to cope with it at all … Somehow things work out. But to say they get easier is far from the truth. They get harder. Because it's harder this year for me to even get around … It's so tremendous a frustration that I don't even think of it as a frustration. I mean, I can't explain it … But I don't sit around saying "I'm frustrated" I don't think. But I know life is one huge mountain of frustration. I think it's so big that you can't, you can't, ah, you just can't talk about it. It's hard to know what is the worst part. Because it's from the time you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night. Your frustration never stops. And I think that's what gets ya. I can't sit and cry about it. Sometimes I wish I could … You get to the end of your tether some days and I wish sometimes I could just sit down and get a little release from it. But you can't. That's the worst part of it. Its omnipresence, you know. It never ceases."

    Think about paraphrasing - "It's from the time you open your eyes in the morning until you close them at night. Your SOCIAL NETWORKING never stops. And I think that's what gets ya."

  2. lauran3:38 AM

    Hat’s off. Well done, as we know that “hard work always pays off”, after a long struggle with sincere effort it’s done.


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