We all have an avatar on our social network accounts. Some of us took a while before changing the default, others selected one and have stuck to it over the years. But what does your avatar say about you?
For many this was what people remember me on Twitter for, despite the fact he wasn’t my first avatar:
I like infographics and social media statistics, but this is the one that has always annoyed me. Liking Facebook (a global network) to the population of a single country is inaccurate.
However instead of saying “if Facebook was a country (population X) it’d be the largest” you said “if Facebook was a government of a country (with population X) it’d be the largest in the world” sounds far more accurate. It’s not about the position or the size of the population, for me it’s the appropriateness of the comparison to geographic countries or responsibilities to it’s ‘population’.
According to Wikipedia Facebook is marginally ahead of China in population, with China at 1.36 billion, and Facebook reportedly at 1.39 billion.
And this is really what it is – Facebook is not a country, it is a government, of sorts. It has ‘residents’ or ‘citizens’, they are real people (for the most part), they have communities and shared interests, passions, ‘likes’, they poll/vote, etc. and they do all this in the area their government is managing.
I’m sure Facebook probably knows more about it’s citizens than most governments do (it knows when we’re happy, sad, ill, socialising, etc.). What I’m not sure on, however, is how many other governments sell this data to other governments?
This reminds me of the opening track from the 22 year old Billy Idol album ‘Cyberpunk‘ where it says:
The future has imploded into the present.
With no nuclear war, the new battlefields are people’s minds and souls.
Mega corporations are the new government.
The computer generated info-domains are the new frontiers.
Though there is better living through science and chemistry, we are all becoming cyborgs.
The computer is the new cool tool, and though we say “all information should be free”.
It is not.
Information is power and currency in the virtual world we inhabit, so mistrust authority.
Is there a similarity in these words and where we find ourselves today as we freely give our data, our currency, to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google, SnapChat, Apple, etc.?
So much of what I do these days, and what I produce, is digital. Tweets, status updates, audio & video files, documents, reports, etc. Less than 1% gets to where it needs to get to in any other way than by electronic transfer – money to friends (bank transfer), documents to colleagues (emails, networks, Dropbox), sharing (tweets, blog posts, status updates, etc.). Hell, even a message home to say I’ll be late will be a Facebook message instead of a phone call!
For my 40th birthday my brother bought my a USB turntable (Denon DP-200USB), something I (we) could use to rip our extensive collection of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s vinyl collection of rock, metal, and various dubious listening pleasures. So, the past few winter’s I’ve been holed up in the spare room with 300+ vinyl records (I’m sure we had more) and the turntable, ripping them, adding to iTunes, loading cover art and track listings, transferring to my iPod and listening to my childhood and teenage years in the car during the daily commute.
Even my two boys (ages 4 and 5) are getting in on it, asking for certain tracks or bands in the car with me, looking over the vinyl covers, reading the lyrics, laughing at the band photos (it’s the hair!), and not quite understanding just ‘how’ the sound works! Continue reading →
If you’ve not heard about the film ‘Terms and Conditions May Apply’ then you ought to go look it up. Better still, go watch it (it’s currently on Netflix, and probably elsewhere on the web in full too). Here’s the trailer:
“What we know today will get us to tomorrow, but we’ll have to learn more again tomorrow to keep ahead … welcome to the Social Age, where change is constant and we live in constant beta.”
I’ve never thought about learning like this before, other than I know I get bored quickly so find new things to keep me engaged and entertained. But, with the constant bombardment of new technologies, new networks, new applications to old techniques, etc. we are indeed in ‘constant beta’.
And I mean ‘we’ in the context of learning professionals (which I’m exploring with my next book project: follow here for news –#EdTechBook) that we need to not only keep up with developments but somehow keep ahead of them. I know this is near impossible, but we can at least be proactive in how we approach the changes, reflect on our own experiences, and make suggestions and engage with each other (and the students). From this will come better understanding and a clearer picture of what could be used, how, where, why, and (importantly) by whom. Continue reading →
“The mere presence of a cell or smartphone on the table can disengage people during in-person conversations and hinder their empathy, according to a new Virginia Tech study that finds your attention is divided even if you’re not actively looking at your phone.”
These are not my words (although I may agree with them)!
In February I wrote about my experience of Twitter and how it has changed the way I work, think, and look at myself – Where would I be without Twitter. In it I looked back over 5 years, 24,000 tweets, +7000 followers, etc. I acknowledge it’s impact on my personal and professional outlook, some good and some not so good.
Dan Snow, the presenter and historian has gone further than me and pinned his thoughts on the use of Twitter in The Guardian article ‘Anyone who doesn’t love Twitter is an idiot’. Dan explains that, for him, the use of the Internet (including Twitter and other social tools) has brought otherwise lengthy or geographically inaccessible primary sources into easy access:
“Digitisation of archives means we can search records and primary source material from the comfort of our own offices … a perk of the job used to be that you could travel abroad and work in an archive somewhere quite glamorous for weeks on end. Now we stay at home and do it online. For me, though, even more exciting is how it has allowed us to reach out to people. It’s made history collaborative and accessible. I can tweet about what I’m working on, and people will suggest ideas or come up with documents. It has opened a pipeline between geeky history people like me and the rest of the world. We used to just publish in academic journals, now we can share our research with huge numbers of people.”
Here’s a short ‘how to’ guide on displaying your Open Badges, or a Mozilla backpack, on your LinkedIn profile.
There’s the simple way, which is not very visual or appealing, which is to edit your profile and use one of the three links available under ‘contact info’, which will display on your public profile like this:
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really do it for me. You?
This post has been updated to show how to display badges from either a Mozilla backpack or the Cred.ly website.
Whether you use the term digital footprint or digital image social identity or online profile or some variant, there is much discussion on and around how we portray ourselves online, and how those who access that see us.
It is even more important (to me: I have two young boys who will one day want to be active online) to make sure we inform and guide anyone new to this kind of activity and to putting themselves online (not just children or students, but anyone of any age) – what, how, where, why, etc. It is as important to demonstrate how to do it as much as how not to do it, and why we do something and why we don’t.
There are plenty of examples of online behaviour causing a great deal of personal tragedy or loss – I presented about it a few years ago. What I have learned since then is there are so many people doing some great work in this to help people of all ages find their place and voice online, safely. Lisa Nielson posted this week on some great work by the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) who worked with students, parents, and teachers to formulate their guidelines for social media use. Continue reading →