So many of us are connected and/or using our connected devices regularly. Some might say we / you are addicted to them and suffer withdrawal symptoms when we forget them or leave home home without them.
Every so often I’ll have a discussion with an academic around “this facebook thing” or “what’s the point of Twitter”. Each time it’s for a different reason or coming from a different perspective or background. But each time it also comes down to two main areas of interest: time and effort. How long will it take or how much effort will they need to put into it for it to become a worthwhile enterprise.
I always say it will come down to what they want to get from the experience. Do they want to get hits or recognition, do they want to build a social profile and/or ‘digital footprint’? Do they want to manage or improve an existing profile or footprint, or eradicate a negative one? Is it to be able to connect with colleagues and peers through LinkedIn or Google+, or to increase conference speaking requests? Is the reason for signing up to Facebook or Twitter for student engagement or because you can only really understand how the students use it if you use it yourself? Is their need to be ‘there’ one of inclusion or monitoring? Often the reason is just one where they see someone else using it, probably successfully, and therefore “want some of that”.
In most cases it is nearly always ‘some of the above’, and in very few cases ‘all of the above’ (even if it’s not acknowledged to be this). I can’t say “you should start here … ” as each person should start where it is more appropriate: LinkedIn for professional reputation, SlideShare for conference and/or learning resources, Google+ or Twitter for networks and Personal Learning Networks (PLN), etc. Continue reading →
OK, I knew most of this was possible anyway, but somehow it’s more scarey after watching this, where our digital footprint is explained and linked together … it’s not just browsing history, it’s how our smartphones work for / against us when we don’t even use them that’s scary! From a basic Google search to your phone carrier, from advertisers to government agencies, ‘they’ know everything about you!
For the first time in, what, four years I am not planning trains to London for the annual Future of Technology in Education Conference. I’ve got to say, it’s quite a wrench to say that as it’s both a good conference and an excellent opportunity to network.
So, why am I not going? Two reasons mainly but ultimately I wanted a year off: it can be quite a trek to get to London which is made even harder when you have to factor about getting across London as well and then, with the conference being on Friday, the journey home with everyone else who’s evacuating the city is always a nightmare.
With only 300 tickets available there are far more people following online, either through Twitter #fote13 hashtag and the personalities and presenters themselves, Facebook and Google+ pages, or the streamed service. So, this year, Continue reading →
Hangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.
While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.
Thanks to Sue Beckingham (again) I now have a natty shortened URL for my Google+ account. Using GPlus.to website you can create a nickname and have a shortened web address for what is, let’s face it, a fairly unfriendly and unmemorable G+ web address.
Which would you rather use / show on a profile page or business card?
But what was the question? Simple … when someone questions your activity on blogs, Twitter, Google+, etc., how do you respond?
“It’s actually really valuable to me, and it is only a reflection of how it has progressed. It was not always like that … it rather evolved to become what it is today!”
Cristina notes that it’s about the journey from nowhere to here, it’a about changing the way we work to get the most and best out of what is available. Whether it’s online, in the office, in the queue for a cuppa in the morning, in a meeting, etc. It’s all about making sure you have access tot the best of what’s on offer.
“[It's] important to remember that working and participating online requires you to change the way you work… or at least, to acknowledge that the way you work is not the way your mother imagines you work. Working from 9 to 5 in academia is just unrealistic. Concentrating for long periods of time just doesn’t work for me.” [emphasis is mine]
Yes. We haven’t always been online tweeting and ‘liking’ what we read or post. Continue reading →
Using social media is easy. Using social media wisely is not quite so easy. Using social media safely is harder still.
Being safe online is, or should be, easy. Being safe with what you share, and with how, is different on each network or platform or device, and requires time and effort to know and understand the subtleties of the settings for each of your accounts.
Always one to find an easier way of doing something, if it can be done, I’ve just found and installed this little extension plugin for Google Chrome. It creates http://goo.gl shortened URLs quickly from the browser (without having to copy the web address, navigate to http://goo.gl, paste the text and click ‘go’). Called the ‘Google URL Shortener‘ (surprisingly enough) it’s quick, easy, and free to install.
What else can this little thing do:
Copy to clipboard to paste quickly into message, forum, etc.
History / dashboard for a link.
‘Ingognito’ mode … ;-)
Of course the usual caveat is required .. it’s a Google service so everything you now do is monitored and stored by Google.
PS. If you’re not using Chrome as your browser yet I’d recommend trying it out. It’s really fast to start and load websites and, if you’re logged in using your Google account, you can share and save favourites and passwords between different computers (as well as with specific Chrome App for smartphones, if you’re logged in).