I Couldn’t Manage a Starship if I Wanted To


But, I’ll confess that I’ve always wanted to.

Jamie Weir retweeted some advice from Jean-Luc Picard

What great advice!

I was curious about the account “PicardTips” so I used the lookup feature on Hootsuite.

Wow, look at the Klout this man has!

What about moi?

Obviously, not even in the same galaxy, out scored 64-56.

Have you checked your Klout?  Do you have more Klout than the good captain?  (Do you care?)

Do you believe that your influence can be reduced to a number?  Do you believe that it matters?  (Again, do you care?)

In the meantime, I spent the rest of the day practicing.

“Engage”

“ENgage”

“enGAGE”

“ENGAGE”

It confirmed to the family that I’ve lost it.

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Managing Social Media


Hootsuite posted this to their blog and made it available on December 29.

Managing Your Social Media Profiles While On Holiday

I suppose that it could, or should, be posted/reposted during any holiday period as a way to remind folks that there is a great deal of power available in the tools that you use.  In this case, Alyssa Kritsch is pointing to some of the strengths of their product which has become the social media browser of choice for me.

As I read her article, I realized that I was using the features that she talks about on a daily basis – not just when I’m on holidays.  Also, in the reading, I detect that perhaps her intended audience was for business but it all rang true for me and I’ll bet it does for you.  After all, we’re all selling something – ideas, concepts, promotions, friendships, learning opportunities, …

I recall a comment I heard from an edtech “leader” once and he was running down the concept of a Twitter workshop.  “Who needs a workshop on Twitter?”  I suppose that there may be some merit to the concept if all that a workshop did was cover signing up, sending a Twitter message, replying, favouriting, and sending a direct message.

Is that all there is to it?

Absolutely not.  Hopefully, by the time you get to this line in my blog you’ll have opened the link above in a new tab and read it.  Effective Social Media use does involve using the tools for more than sending a simple message or reading a couple of others.

Under the hood of the tool that you’re using, there are many features that will empower your presence.  Even something as simple as scheduling a message or a post to your blog or a picture to Facebook at the time of your choosing lets you take control.  Another simple technique of sharing an article the moment you read it helps feed the community of learners of which you’re a part.

One feature of Hootsuite that I use all the time is access to my Twitter Lists.  My Ontario Educators and Ontario Educators 2 lists are invaluable for keeping focus on Ontario things.  (And it makes #FollowFridays easier too!)  I also realized that I have a particular sleeping pattern.  Basically, I sleep at night.  There’s a whole other group of people who are busy tweeting and sharing while I’m asleep.  My way of coping is to create a special list for them – Over There – so that I can catch up when I get up.  Any list that you create would have to be done to meet your needs, but why not do it and increase the value of being connected?

The power of sharing cannot be underestimated – the more you share, the more people share back.  Consequently, you and your community of learners have the potential of being just that much more informed and, ultimately, smarter.

And isn’t that what we’re all here for?

If you care to share, what tools do you use to manage your social media presence?

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s Christmas Week but that didn’t stop the blogging from Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s some of what I caught this week.

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What Would You Do?

I think that David Fife’s latest post points out the very worst of social media and a disturbing trend.  We all got a giggle with the “United Breaks Guitars” bit and now it seems that many people take to social media to complain about issues that are better handled in person.

In this case, it was a community member railing against a school using an anonymous Twitter account.  David asks “What would you do?”

It’s pretty difficult to deal with issues if the complainer doesn’t at least identify her/himself.  Certainly the worst that could be done would be to respond on Twitter.  Anyone who’s ever gone through a flame war knows that you can’t have a successful resolution online.  It only deteriorates.  Yet, if it’s ignored, it’s probably going to continue.  I think taking the high, professional road offers a contrast to the ranter that might get some results.  If it’s legitimate concerns, invite the complainer into the school to talk about the concerns.  That’s how solutions are found; not by public shaming.

In the same way, I think that sites like Rate My Teacher or Rate My Professor just serve to amplify the very worst in social media.  If you don’t have the ability to take on an issue up front, then hiding behind an anonymous handle is just wrong.  It would be interesting to se the response of this parent (if it is one) if their child was bullied online by an anonymous account.

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In case you missed her posts the first time through, Eva Thompson teased us with this Twitter message.

In doing so, she refreshed some of the content from her blog that she had posted earlier.

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Why Anne is a Slow Writer:  Reason #1

Intrigued by the title, I was drawn in to find out why.  Even this dog person could possibly understand the pictures that go with this post…

… and story!

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Education Library Blog

The blog from the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario is worth bookmarking and reading daily.  Denise Horoky, who I interviewed here keeps the site fresh many times daily from stories from all over.

It’s wonderful to have someone who has already curated the best of the best for you to enjoy.

Now, I’ll never be confused for a learned man, but I was strangely drawn to a recent post “The End of an Era for Academia.edu and Other Academic Networks?

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Thanks to those who keep writing and contribute.  It’s always inspiring to read a good blog post.

Check out the blogs at the links above or you can get the entire collection of Ontario Edubloggers here.

Tips for Bloggers to Remember


My Sunday morning reading included the article “Ten Things Every Blogger Should Remember“.  If you’ve been a reader of this blog, you know that I’m a sucker for posts like this!  I find the perspectives very helpful as I try to get my head wrapped around my own blogging.

I also like to think that the tips and exercises are valuable for those who would have students blogging in their classroom.  It’s one thing to provide an assessment (and I’ve seen a great deal of them that I don’t particularly agree with) but it’s quite another for students to sit back and reflect on their own efforts.  The fact that it might be criteria not teacher generated lends an additional level of credibility.  Have the students read the original post with its criteria and then even write their own blog post analysing their own efforts.

So, I’m going to take a look at the 10 tips from this post and see how I think I stack up.  Feel free to tell me where I’m wrong in the comments.

1) You will probably not become famous from this project

This is absolutely true.  I’m reminded of the television commercial talking about US college football players that talks about how so many of them will go on to be professionals in a sport other than football.  The same applies here; but it should never deter you from your blogging efforts.

2) The majority of your readers will be other bloggers

I never thought about this.  I know that the bulk of people who offer replies are bloggers and for that I’m appreciative.  It does beg a question though – what is a blogger?  Do micro-bloggers count?  Does it really matter?

3) Nobody will ever read every word on your blog

There are days when @SheilaSpeaking or @NobleKnits2 will send me a DM with a typo or missing/extra word in a post.  I guess not even I read every word!  I think this reinforces the writing tips that I learned in high school – start with a good title; bring the reader in with an interesting first paragraph; close with a good summary.

4) Trolls will come

There is a big dark side of the blogging web.  Thankfully, Akismet keeps most of them from public view.  I think there’s about 100 of messages that are awaiting my attention.  I do find that most of the replies that are legitimate are polite and helpful.

5) It does take work to make the blog worth your time

I’ll agree that it does take effort.  I’m not at the point where I consider it work though.  If I did, I think I would pack it in.  I don’t make any money from this blog (although I’m open to offers…) so I don’t set a time to blog.  It just happens when I feel the urge.

6) You get what you give

There’s a great deal of truth to that.  While I read daily and try to reply, I’ve scheduled Fridays as a concerted time to give back to the great Ontario Edubloggers who take the time to share their thoughts.

7) Make your blog as much about the content as it is about the person writing the content

I agree totally.  If you want to know about me, you’re further off being friends with me on Facebook.  My blog entries  here are about my thoughts and opinions.

8) Remain consistent

I like to think I’m consistently random in topic but I do try to schedule a little something at 5am every day.  That lets me write any time I have the opportunity.  That is one of the concerns that I have about blogging in education.  Unless they develop a passion, will students only blog during class when required to?

9) Don’t rely on words alone

This can be difficult at times.  Sometimes, there’s just no image or video that’s appropriate.

10) Be yourself

Yes.  Mistakes and all, this is me.  You won’t confuse this blog with something really academic.  It’s just my thoughts and opinions on whatever the topic de jour is.

 

Day 1 at BringITTogether #ECOO13


I am tired.

But, very happy.

There were a few fires to put out at the first of the day of #ECOO13 and I’m convinced that the internet can never be your friend if you’re running a conference but beyond that, what a day!

The Google Spot was huge.  I was hoping to be able to sit in and take a look but there literally was no room.  The attendance at DJ’s keynote just filled the ballroom.  So, I thought I would go next door and sit in on the French session.  Things were going well until the conference walkie-talkie picked up conversation between people in the building.  My apologies, Lise and Pierre.  Sigh.

I toured the Minds on Media.  There’s so much good learning happening there.  Collaborating in groups was the order of the day.  Extra internet access points provided the needed network access.  I did get a smile.  Those who were running the event were tinkering with the best of them!  I saw a remote controlled helicopter and a Promethean table in action.

The food was awesome – a bunch of us dined in The Learning Space and I made my first tour of the Exhibit Hall. I just had to take his picture outside the Promethean bus as they were hanging up some T-shirts on a clothes line.

I finally solved an identity problem.  For months now, I’ve been interacting with cubeforteachers.ca.  An old friend came up to chat during a break and identified himself – not in the life I know him from but his new role as the social media presence for the Cube.  It was a nice, nerdy conversation about PHP and SQL.  Good stuff.

There was the usual round of trouble shooting.  Some things were easily solved; others required a little more thinking!

The ultimate though was the opportunity to meet the many people I interact with online in a face to face situation.  Ontario Educators are such a great bunch.  Friendly.  Open.  Collaborative.

Lost!   It’s the first time at a new location and there must be some scientific reason, being so close to the Falls.  The helpful conference committee in the light blue shirts did their best to get people to the right place.

At the end of the day, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

That certainly put the day over the top for me.  I’m looking forward to more of the same on Thursday.

 

Tag, You’re It


I had a good conversation with a friend of mind a few years ago.  I was going to visit her and she was starting to give me driving directions.  I told her that I probably didn’t need them because she had been broadcasting her location via her Twitter account.  Surprised, we took a look at her timeline and she had no idea that she was broadcasting her location.  A couple of clicks later and we were looking at her house on Google Streetview.  All because the new Twitter client she was using had geo-location turned on by default … it was probably in the terms of use use but neglected.

A new utility “Ready or Not” is designed to help in the cause of tracking location of Twitter and Instagram users.

It describes itself as:

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

This app shows how people could use your social-media posts to find you in the physical world. It uses GPS data attached to Twitter and Instagram posts to create a map of where someone’s been posting from recently.

Try to find yourself, your friends, or your favorite celebrity! Where are you most likely to be at 2:00 on a Tuesday?

I poked around with myself and some of my friends with some mixed results.

  • I couldn’t find myself which was good.  I do make sure that auto posting my location is turned off.  But, I was surprised that it didn’t identify that I checked in at Petite Côte during my dog walk tonight;
  • I could find some locations from some Twitter friends that did make sense.  I hope that they read this post and check to make sure that they know what they’re doing;
  • I found some that were out and out incorrect.

How to use it?  Just visit the site and enter a Twitter name.  After a search, you’ll get the location results displayed on a Google Map or a message that no location could be found.

Rather than identify a particular person, I chose a commercial entity.  In this case, it was one of the Big Three Car Manufacturers.  A quick search later revealed posting from the following locations.

Those familiar to the location should recognize Windsor, Detroit, Woodward Avenue

Map

Not included in the screen capture, but you’ll see when you visit the site, along the right side of you screen is the actual messages that help identify the locations.

The site isn’t perfect but the results are certainly interesting.  Some who don’t know that they’re broadcasting their location might even call it alarming.  Regardless of where you stand on the concept, it’s worth checking your own account and those of your close friends – you may decide to pass the information along to others.

If you are concerned, click the padlock to get instructions about to tighten down your location information.

It’s worth the time to check yourself out.  Do it now.

Checking Out the Big Social World


Now, before you read on, a disclaimer.  This is in no way an encouragement for you to do all of this.  Remember that you have a life, a dog to walk, a family to hang with, a job that needs attention, a garden that needs weeding, …

You get the point.

It’s very helpful to use the same brand name across social media platforms.  It carves out your identity and make is easy for people to find and follow you if they’re so inclined.

How do you know if a name or what you’re proposing as your brand is available on social media services?

One way is to visit each site and see if it’s available.

OR, just use namechk!

It’s as straight forward as can be.  Enter what you’d like for a username and Namechk checks to see what’s available.

When I ran it, it checks 158 different resources.

This is addictive!  It’s so useful at so many levels.

  • It’s a great way to find new services.  I had no idea of some of them.
  • It’s humbling for people with big egos like me to find out that I’m not the only “dougpete” out there.  I wonder who was the original?
  • It’s also a nice check to find some resources that I might have signed up at one time and haven’t used for a while.

So, if you’re interested in the motherlode, this is a great place to start.