Dion Hinchcliffe keynote speech (2011)
Dion Hinchcliffe Social Enterprise networking thinking
Dion Hinchcliffe keynote speech (2011)
Whizzy charts from Dion Hinchcliffe in Flickr
How best to use social networking in an intranet
How viral is your social network?
Dion Hinchcliffe design social business capability
Dion Hinchliffe social enterprise workforce engagement
Dion Hinchcliffe key social business trends
Dion Hinchcliffe Attributes of Modern Communication and collaboration methods
Dion Hinchcliffe Social Business Ecosystem Chart
A week ago I was clearing out the shed and came across a Diablo ... a Bowtie-like shape. It struck me that this could be a way to represent the traditional relationship between an organisation and the public, the messages are funnelled through a spot.
I've done various drawings on this theme
Each stage represents the spreading of the 'word' at and from a variety of 'touch points' in an organisation, gradually increasing so that dialogue between people inside and outside an organisation have increased greatly to their mutual benefit.
Then I say this, the light from a small vase on a table.
If I could visually double this up as a mirror image then I'd be getting some sense of the dynamism that is still a vital part of communications, as inventive as always, and usually all the IT tools at its disposal to create, share and respond,
Social Media isn't replacement anything ... it is easy, convenient and of the age. It suits and comes out of the direct way we've learnt to communicate through email and messaging.
All I visualise are these lines of 'activity' spreading between an institution and its public to create something that might resemble a funnel.
The same thinking applies to education, that the realtionship used to be funnel through a teacher to a student in a classroom who belong to a cohort, or through a lecturer into a lecture hall. The opportunity to create (or the necessity to permit) a broader breadth and depth of two way communication is permitted by social media.
These lines of communication are personal, and one to one.
They are forged through links in websites, links in print and from TV, links offered up through Twitter and blogs. They are conversations that are picked up in Linkedin or Facebook.
The expression 'old news keeps like fish' can no longer apply ... far from going off, the write message, insight or assistance is kept alive and made even more meaningful as it is shared and stored and linked to.
'From the outside the 'blogosphere' looks like a self-indulgent pool of slush that wouldn't get past the usual filters'. David Weinberger.
I see it like this (so does he).
Dandelion seeds that you allow to blow away in the wind.
The pictures of these seeds in the grass need some work .. and possibly a different lens.
All I need now is a picture of a pomegranate turned inside out. That's the way I see the creation of content for the social network. Though flicking the seeds out into cyberspace or bashing the fruit with a kitchen roller might be as apt.
I've had five nights in a guest house with FIVE OU students/academics: 3 PhD students and one 2 years post doctoral, while I come in a long way behind as I'm yet to complete my MA (though in theory it is my second MA, and I have done TWO post-graduate courses the equivalent of MAs that were not accredited). So I am another natural for life-long learning.
Conversations - who we are, defined by what we do, what we know, what we don't know and what we think.
Key components missing from online experience are: rapport, facial expressions as we listen or talk, the reciprocal nature of dialogue there is, or should be a natural see-saw of give and receive, of request and response which asynchronous threads struggle to provide.
I have had thought that as someone who kept a diary before blogging came along that this makes me a natural blogger - it helps.
There is another habit or trait that is equally important and may help others get started - the tradition in school of 'taking notes' and even 'call reports' or 'minutes' of meetings. These are starting points for a blog, the trick is to type it all up in real time, as you go along, then edit/censor before you post. Even post into a private page to exploit the affordances of the blog, the date, the place, the tags and categories and how much easier it is to find tagged information than it is to file it, whether on a desktop harddrive or printed out and put into a filing cabinet.
At its simplest level these notes are an aide memoire - they could be an audio record (Tony Benn) and Captain T Kirk - or they coule be a video log (surely you have seen Avatar - 'this is science' he says, dismissive of the importance of reflection, and right to be so given what trouble his personal record made public causes). It may even be the case that someone else takes down your every thought (Churchill's secretaries).
A writer's journal - excerpts and ntoes, can only be of practical value to their author - and if they become a successful author, authority or powerful/influential person - then to academics once archived (we love to study the creative process).
A 'Secret' Dairy is just that (or in the case of H.G.Wells locked down for 50 years, or Mark Twain 100 years). I hope the genre hasn't died just because of the compulsion to blog it, and the volume of traffic and interest that such candor, exposure or disclosure can bring. Is that it, bloggers just crave an audience? THey are in fact wannabe lead singers or actors? They'll say anything if they get an audience, the problem being with a blog to know if that audience is there.
Which is why good stats are vital. Forget comments asa guide to 'readers,' and a universal 'page views' means little. We need stats on the pages viewed, to know which are or become the hot topics. We need personalised lay-outs and we need to DROP the idea of reverse chronology which by dating an entry also ages it, and by stages gives it a sell by date.
Just because a blog puts you on a soapbox and lets you artificially put up the volume. People get around this in simple ways, they keep their blog locked, or off-line, write under a psuedonym and disguise the main character/location (but risk exposure/scandal) or they buy a hard back notebook/diary and do it that way.
Note to self:
5:3:1 used to be the north American ratio of promotion, maintaining and creating a website.
1:3:5 was the mistake we said us Brits always made, putting everything into development/creation and little into getting an audience (and therefore customers).
I wonder if the desirable ratio for web 2.0 is more like 3:5:1, whereby the effort to maintain, to be active online, to be engaged in social media networking/social influence marketing is both a form of advertising AND part of the creation process?
Because I am living with FIVE OU students it is inevitable that we talk about what we do.
I find myself explaining the difference between blogs and social networking. I used the idea of a fish tank full of water and dripping different coloured inks into this, each colour representing a blog, social networking site, twitter (microblog) .. or e-portfolio or, what we used to have, a webpage.
I find myself recommending a blog site and suggesting its value.
If I have succeeded in getting two people started who had reservations was it because of the personal rapport, that we know each other a bit after a few days, that we've have previous conversations?
How would I achieve this online?
The exchange I've just had captured on video for a start. The narrative, as it plays out of the first 100 entries of these two.
Much more of the same?
In the workplace people can be encourage to blog on and for the Intranet. Someone with contributions that appear to deserve a wider audience could, with that person's permission of course, be released.
Outside the workplace it might still require a.n.other to take the initiative. I've not tried it, but I know it can be done, and that might be to use Edublogs, pay a sub to group 50 blogs, give them all a temporary name (the person's first name probably). And perhaps have 12 titles for blogs they might write.
A workshop? A presentation?bl
Grainne Connole is the 'star turn' in Cloudworks. She is Oprah. This is a channel, a network, a show. To stand out, let alone to be attractive to users, it requires this kind of 'ownership.'
This 'online filing system' is weak because of how it is presented NOT for what it does and can do.
It has the potential to be a social educational campus/network. The key is to overlay ALL assets with an image of the person who composed the material, i.e. the entry into the content is the person or if not an image, then at least the opportunity to add a 'book cover/sleave' i.e. something visual, relevant to the content, personal and engaging.
Facebook has the right balance between form and functionalty. There is a caareful balance of personalisation and prescribed layout/design. (Like a good TV channel, you know where you are when you're in Facebook).
Often I see ideas screaming out for the input of a designer
Here I mean a visualiser, an art director kind of designer, someone who can take the excellent functionality, the problem solving, engaging, satisfying programming/sites - and add some feeling.
We are emotional beings, we respond and are motivated for subjective reasons. We chose one thing over another because we 'like' it, not necessarily because it is better than another product or service.
In time it won't just be an art director that is required, you'll need a producer
... someone who can run the 'channel' as a living entity, as a live-show, that will include video. Am I describing the librarian of the 21st century, an 'asset manager' who is not working in the City of London?
If you give the new bubbl.us a go I promise that some of the things it does, and how it looks, makes it a joy. Every time you create a new node or bubble it automatically offers a different, though matching, graded shade of the previous colour.
(Six months ago it was more child-like - you deleted a bubble you didn't want and it bursts into flames! Now they fade away like mist on a Spring morning).
There is a war going on out there.
Make yourself attractive. People haven't time to compare sites, they'll just run with what looks right and if it delivers they'll stick with it.
See Visualising the Learning Design Process, A. J. Brasher, below.
See Information is Beautiful, David McCandless.
This is on now with BBC Radio 4.
Fascinating because however much we think it's all happening now, it actually kicked off nearly forty years ago.
The Bottom Line on Thursday night had guests Alex Cheetle, Jasmine Montgomery and Robin White. They were poked by Evan Davies and consequently shot out words as if from a submachine gun on the topics of new media (social networking largelly) in advertising and marketing and the role of optimism in business.
These are people who pitch for business all the time.
They aren't just at ease with the terminology, but are evangelists. Not being an Opera buff I can't immediately think which one, but these four leaping in and out of each other's conversation felt at time like a scene from an opera. It had might as well have been in German.
Having listened over twice and taken extensive notes certain phrases and ideas are coming through.
I liked being reminded of what 'stickiness' is - nothing more complex than 'loyalty' and 'engagement.'
I am always interested to tag a few more ideas onto my understanding of 'branding,' as I am convinced this will be the deciding factor for most people choosing a product or service. Which is why and how the likes of Google and Facebook continue to dominate, while familiar 'sexy' brands like Adobe may muscle into creative industries education in an even bigger way by offering e-portfolios.
Can we as students reach the stage where we can talk with such enthusiasm and as lucidly about 'e-learning,' and as its the current topic, about 'e-portoflios' in particular?
Getting Organized in the Google Era
by Douglas C. Merrill and James A. Martin
(Broadway Business, 2010)
A book I've just bought based on a pithy review in the Harvard Business Review. In brief Douglass Merill and Jame Martin suggest:
Stop chasing work/life balance and start focusing on
For example, keep a list of five-minute tasks to tackle while in line at the grocery store, and if there’s a lull at the office, ditch your desk for a bit to mentally refresh.
Realize that filing information is almost always futile.
Our brains aren’t built to recall data out of context, but, lucky for us, many new technologies are. They rely on search, not sort. You should, too.
The authors, say Rasika Welankiwar reviewing the book for the Harvard Business Reviews says that the book makes good use of Merrill’s Google expertise (he's a whizz director of something at Google), offers 21 principles of organization, and includes 'a sprinkle of song lyrics'.
What next? A podcast and a sketch on YouTube?
I'll keep you posted as I consme and digest.
The OU has stimulated my mind suitably over the last seven months to oblige a subscription to the New Scientist.
I was picking it up every other week for the Web Tech and other 'e-' related topics. These now feature regularly. My wife has ten years in medical market research, though not a Scientist, she will often have an opinion on anything that touches her world of work. It is better read that the weekend colour supplement. In fact, I've ditched the Guardian once a week for the New Scientist once a week with all other stories and news prompted by a sentence on TV, a couple of sentences on the Radio and a paragraph or two online.
Beware the Irresistible Internet
Is it addictive?
Expecting or wishing to look at numerous e-learning style products for H808 I found I had spent 3 hours today doing this with Dropbox and Facebook. I wish I hadn't. I haven't even started to make Facebook sing, so would prefer to exit in tact. And I suspect that Dropbox, like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter is just a neat trap and that within six months we will be enrolled into a myriad of appealing, complementary services that we'll be paying for by subscription.
- technology-dependence clinic (Richard Graham)
- young men stuck in multiplayer online gaming environments
- Women and adolescent girls using instant messaging platforms and social media compulsively
- obsession with screen-based media (Ofcom)
- Blackberry-addicted white-collar workers
Hear say or fact? Not evidence and the citations are sparse. But of interest.
- Is there such a thing as an OU obsessive?
- A blogging obsessive (certainly).
- If you have an obsessive nature.
'Now, the potent combination of omnipresent technologies and our addictive nature means more casualties look inevitable.' Paul Marks. Senior Technology Correspondent
Marks, P. (2010) New Scientist. Volume 207. No. 2777. pp24-25.
Isn’t ‘re-invention’ the word? (Rogers, P114 & P115, 2002)
Not wholesale repurposing, but as Rogers puts it 'It should be acknowledged that rejection, discontinuance and re-invention frequently occur during the diffusion of an innovation and that such behaviour may be rational and appropriate from the individual's point of view.' (Rogers, p114 2002)
I wonder how my experience might have been with a group of colleagues or friends, signing up together ... but might this too ‘spoil the party.’ And how over a longer period fellow students would be emailing and messaging and getting on the phone ... let alone meeting up.
This fascinates me primarily because I am convinced that collaboration, sharing, discussion and so on is crucial to a deeper learning outcome. But does this not have to be down to the drive of the individual and permitted by the institution they belong to?
How much motivation can others really offer or be expected to offer?
If neither a carrot or stick will work with adult learners, especially in a online environment, then what do you do? ‘You can take a horse to the trough, but you can’t make it drink.’ As I’m about to take a course on the Psychology of Sport as a Senior Swimming Coach I may gain some further insights into waht motivates people to do something and how outsiders can influence this in a positive way.
And just because we’re invited to drink from this trough once, dos not mean we will do it again, or often or with enthusiasm. Our moods will wax and wane, or commitments beyond the course will impinge.
Deep learning, as I’ve learnt, benefits from, even requires a rapport with one or several others at various levels of understanding – a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or experts, a tutor, a couple of fellow students on the course, and perhaps someone more junior who can be in turn mentored or tutored by us (first years being buddied by a second year, a post-grad student supervising a fresher).
How much this mix can be set by what little the OU or other Distance Learning Provider knows about an individual is quite another matter.
Do you run a call-centre like team of facilitators/moderators ... or aspire to the one-to-one relationship of tutor or governess to student mimicking some land-owning/aristocratic model of the distant past? Where is or how can that rapport that can work between student and tutor be recreated here? Or is this something for a DPhil?
A free-for-all would create imbalances, inevitably ... for the institution. But whose experience are we prioritising here?
Whilst a balance must be found, if the best outcomes are to give tutors and SMEs much more time online to forge relationships then this should be - a good coach attracts the best athletes and attracts the interest of other coaches. How does she do that? (Expertise, training and personality ... enthusiasm, putting the athlete at the centre of things)
Perhaps by pursuing ‘educational social networking’ institutions are shooting themselves in the financial foot?
The time put in to make a freer networking between students, tutors and SMEs, with students in different time zones and different priorities would be prohibitive. Undergraduates studying on campus, in a homophilous cohort, with fewer worries (other than debt) don’t know how fortunate they are to have this opportunity to study, probably for the only time, before the life of the wider world impinges.
Are Personal Learning Environment (PLE) a way or the way forward?
If I have this concept right, i.e. with the formal relationships and tutor relationship given equal potential, the tools in one place on the same homepage is a suitable progression from the VLE) Perhaps OU students are doing this anyway by starting at their own Blog or Home Page and simply anchoring the pages from the OU that matter most to them?
The New Scientist is running an interesting essay in its current edition which touches on all of this.
New Scientist (week 10th July 2010) has a piece called 'Generation F' by Richard Fisher (2010).
* 400 million worldwide ... on social networking sites.
* The importance of weak ties as well as close ones.
* The time it takes to forge 'reliable and trustworthy' ties.
* The value of 'acquaintances' to provide relevant and trustworthy news/information.
The article is prone to the some hyperbole:
Social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace) the 'harbingers of a sea change in our social evolution, in the same way that the arrival of language informed our ancestors.' (Donarth, 2009)
Danah Boyd (2009) describes Facebook as ‘an essential utility like water or electricity.’
Academics are just as guilty of this kind of thing, there’s been plenty of it in the reading for H807 the democratising of education, ‘starting the world anew’ ala Tom Paine etc: and claims made in the last ten/twenty years regarding ICT and education, what it could do, will do ... but hasn’t.
The essay is of value though for how, and if, social networking can be used short-term purposes:
'Online social networking appears to be 'very good for servicing relationships, but not for building them de novo.' (Dunbar, 2010)
H807 tries to use an ‘educational social networking’ approach, or does it. Perhaps it is deliberately more self-contained than this. Though with emphasis on authors such as Salmon (2002) and her model for e-tivities, undue emphasis is put on getting people talking and working together? Is that so necessary.
Isn’t experience showing that this is wishful thinking?
The OU must have research on this. Why do more people quit a an online distance learning course (20-50%) compared to a traditional distance learning course? What are the views on conversations, synchronous or asynchronous between fellow students and students in the wide OU community and tutors?
At various times, the ‘weakest links’ to fellow OU students through the OU blog has produced some useful support and insights for H807, yet engagement through our own Cafe/General Forum can surely only be described as minimal?
Whilst deeper learning experiences do come from sharing (like this), it isn’t happening to the degree the OU would like?
Collaboration between some random people I may meet at the bus stop when the service is delayed is not the same as forging an academic bond with some one or some many who are equally engaged with the material, whether their opinions are the antithesis of mine would be immaterial – indeed, disagreement would be better, it feeds discussion. This is NOT a criticism of H807, we have a common purpose, we have elected to do H807, there is a common profile intellectually and absolutely the variety of life experiences enriches the experience. But clearly, as individuals, our approaches to learning, IT skills, time allocated to the task and for many other reasons will and does negate against certain ways of learning. Such as this.
If on the one hand the wishes of some students, maybe most, to stay at arms length aren’t the wishes or hopes of others who would like to engage with a wider circle being denied?
The sought of relationships between students that the OU is hoping for can surely only developed over a few years rather than a few months.
Jeff Hancock (2008) of Cornell University '... found that those with Facebook access asked questions to which they already knew the answers or raised things they had in common, and as a result were much more successful at winning people over.' (New Scientist, 10July2010).
We experienced the ease with which we could share personal information, there was no drilling or phfishing for information, but clearly I will know more about some people than others. It relevance is another matter, the buy-in to these people could eventually result in a bond of sorts, at least as working on this platform is concerned. I would have to look back through the way we respond to each other to see if the above occurred ... deliberately asking certain people certain things even though we knew the answer, as a catalyst to conversation. This does not work discussing trivia such as pets and the weather (though I’ve indulged in plenty of that too ... it doesn’t lead to conversations on costing programming, what Vygotsky means about scaffolding or whether we are fed up with e-tivities, e-granaries, e-moderators ... and e-jobs.
Mid-way through the unit we read Elliot (2008) and I took an interest in the way 'lifelong learning' functions.
I was looking at this as an adult learner environment, the merging of social, family and work through social networking sites and the communication habits and styles of all three merging into and becoming a messed up single entity. Historically it wasn't long ago that work, family and social words were one ... fifty years ago, seventy or a hundred years? No more.
Both of these points, revealing more and the merging, or coalescent, or the dropping of barriers between these spheres is changing behaviours.
'Increased visibility also means our various social spheres - family, work and friends- are merging and so we will have to prepare for new societal norms. 'Well have to learn how to live a more transparent life.' (Holtzman, 2009)
The idea of 'Exposure' was used be Ellen Levy in 1999 (Levy, 1999) after she had spent a year keeping a blog and photojournal, then a novel activity. (Washington Post, 24th September, 1999).
What an employer, parent, friends or colleagues make of this is another matter, but then again, one day we’ll all be walking around with our DNA profile on a dog-tag (or embedded under our skin on a microchip).
The relevance of all of this?
How far can the individual be indulged within the parameters of an online course, that must retain students and prove its worth to the institution (financial, academic, members), the students (worth it financially, academically, career wise ... and personally) ... and the wider community (grants, knowledgeable workforce, content and informed citizens)
Je suis comme je suis
Je suis faite comme ça
(Jacques Prevert, 1946)
I am what I am, I was made this way.
Donath, J. New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com, p40. From Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol.13, p 231)
Dunbar, R. (2009) How many friends does one person need? Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com.
Elliott, B. (2008) Assessment 2.0: Modernising Assessment in the Age of Web 2.0 [online], Scottish Qualifications Authority; available from http://www.scribd.com/doc/461041/Assessment-20 (Accessed 1 February 2010).
Ellison, N (2007) The Benefits of Facebook "Friends:" Social Capital and College Students' Use of Online Social Network Sites
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume 12, Issue 4, Date: July 2007, Pages: 1143-1168
Nicole B. Ellison, Charles Steinfield, Cliff Lampe. (Accessed 11 July 2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com.
Fisher, R (2010) New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com
Granoveter, M, S. (1973) The Strength of Weak Ties. The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 78, No. 6 (May, 1973), pp. 1360-1380 http://www.jstor.org.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/action/exportSingleCitation?singleCitation=true&suffix=2776392
(Accessed 11 July 2010)
Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com. The University of Chicago Press.
Golbeck, J (2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com.
Hancock, J. (2008) I know something you don't: the use of asymmetric personal information for interpersonal advantage
Jeffrey T. Hancock, Catalina L. Toma, Kate Fenner. Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com. (Accessed 11 July 2010)
Holtzman, H (2010) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com
Kearns, M. (2009) Behavioral experiments on biased voting in networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 106, p1347) http://www.pnas.org.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/content/106/5/1347.full.pdf+html (Accessed 11 July 2010) Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com.
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(accessed 11 July 2010)
Prevert, J, (146) Paroles.
Pentland, S (2010) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Quoted in New Scientist. 10 July 2010. Volume 207 N0 2768. www.newscientist.com
Rogers, E.M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations (5th edn), New York, Simon and Schuster.
Salmon, E (2002) E-tivities the key to online learning. Kogan Page.
Tom Tong, S (2008) Too Much of a Good Thing? The Relationship Between Number of Friends and Interpersonal Impressions on Facebook. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, vol13 p531-549)
A healthy debate over the use of photographs has developed in our Forum.
What is best practice?
There needs to be common behaviour for a start. If some of us show our faces while others do not, or put up abstract images or symbols then I'd liken this going to a dinner party and finding some people in fancy dress, or eating alone outside ... or hiding under the table.
There is a very good reason to 'show your face' - there is not better way to relate to someone, or to 'tag' a piece of text.
As a swimming coach I now coach or teach or have responsibility for nearly 300 children age 5-17. I know who they are because I recognise their faces. This is what we humans do, faces are of such vital importance, even our field of vision is defined by the scale and detail of a face.
The choice of picture matters too. Why half hidden? Is it recent? And the mood? Would it ideally look like the Mast Head for a Newspaper ... or ought it to be more modest and reflective, not quite a passport photo but equally bland?
What do people think?
How do you represent yourself?
Do you have a different picture for different sites or do you use the same picture each time?
Is this you in the last year? Or the last decade!
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