Tag Archives: Wikipedia

Lurker or Listener

Listener or Lurker? #edchat

Lurker or ListenerI have always felt a little uncomfortable with the term ‘lurker’ when talking about users who are in the background on online discussions or social networks.

My first thought when someone is described as a ‘lurker’ is:

“someone that would hide in concealment, often for an evil purpose.” Wikipedia

which is what some people used to do in Internet chat rooms when the Internet was in it’s infancy. The term has taken on a less ‘evil’ undertone in recent years, and now ‘to lurk’ is:

“to learn the conventions of an online community before they actively participate, improving their socialization when they eventually de-lurk.” Wikipedia

But I can’t help think of it’s previous definition and use, where someone hides in the shadows for unscrupulous activity (you could argue the same is still going on today). This above new definition is also based on the premise that the ‘lurker’ will eventually be an active participant.

What if they don’t want to? What if the ‘lurker’ is happy being in the background and only offering something when the need arises? Nothing wrong with that.

This is why I would rather use the term ‘listener’ as it seems closer to the truth – they are online and in the online environment with their peers, but they choose to ‘listen’ rather then participate (for many different reasons). They are thinking about and taking notes about what is being said, adding their own voice when they feel the need, but for the most part they stay quiet.

Think about it – when you meet your friends and chat over coffee or a beer – do you ‘lurk’ in the conversation when you say nothing, or do you ‘listen’?

Image: Lurktastic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

PS. I resisted using a cat image for this post, it was too predictable (just search ‘pounce‘ and you’ll see what I mean!).

Sources in Student Writing

Sources in Student Writing

Turnitin have produced two infographics on the sources in student writing:

“Turnitin’s annual study examines the sources students use in their written work and the implications of their choices. This study was conducted for both Higher Ed and Secondary Education.”

The below is an extract from the Higher Education Infographic – those of you interested in Secondary Education can click the link to view that version.

Click the link below to view the full graphic, but I’ve highlighted some key points from it:

Sources in Student Writing
Sources in Student Writing Infographic

Are you still thinking ‘What is Quora’?

If, like me, you’re still trying to figure out what Quora is and how you can use it you might not find this video Infographic very useful in that respect, but it might just help you see where it has come from and where it’s going:

YouTube: Quora animated infographic

I found the fact that they’d stopped commercial/corporate accounts interesting, meaning that questions, answers, and ‘upvotes’ really are from (hopefully) individuals with the knowledge. The big question I’ve heard about Quora is ‘how is this different from Wikipedia?’ and I can see Quora is about the here and now, it does not seek a balanced or neutral viewpoint, it aims to cover emerging knowledge which have no point of reference, and that it’s strength is in it’s users (as everything is these days).

Do you use Quora, and why (or why not)?

Here are some other resources to help:

Thanks to Sue Beckingham for highlighting the video.

David Hopkins, Learning Technologist

Digital story of the Nativity

Yes I know it’s June, but this is still a good video: how social media, web and mobile would’ve impacted the Nativity story – as told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon, etc:

YouTube: The Digital story of the Nativity

I originally used this as part of my presentation to the BU Careers Forum – Presentation: Social Media, where myself and Debbie Sadd were asked to follow-up our work on students and student digital footprints and “inform students on the benefits and disadvantages on social media [like] how students should monitor Facebook with potential employers, using Linked In, Twitter, etc, and how to use these to create an advantage rather than disadvantaging their appearance.” The video formed an introduction to social media and how it has become, for some, integral to every-day actions and situations (Facebook updates, tweets, etc).