Got Social?

Hey Ya, You Make My Dreams Come True

Ok, so you really must be wondering what the title of this blog is about.

Last night, on the Rachel Maddow show, I watched segment she did about Rolland Burris, the now famous Senator from Illinois, who was awarded President Obama’s seat in Congress.  He actually did a quite original reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas, changing the words to reflect the current silliness in the Senate, thanks to “our friends on the right”.

This was a light covering to allow Rachel to cover this lip-dub-off that is going on between two schools in Seattle.

Here is the link to Maddow’s piece from last night

Here’s the deal, the first one, Shorecrest, is really quite good – and shot all in one take, which is quite an accomplishment.


They challenged their crosstown rivals, Shorewood, to top it, and for my money, Shorewood blew them out.  Here’s that video, but keep one thing in mind – this entire video WAS SHOT BACKWARDS!!!  Yes, shot backwards – thats how they got the objects to fly BACK into people’s hands.  And its AMAZING to see that even the lip sync is done pretty close to right BACKWARDS!


So, here is my point in bringing this up, aside from wanted to share both of these awesome videos with you.  This is what our kids can do if we provide them with the learning objective and let them create and construct the learning.  You might say, “please – what kind of learning in going on making a lip-dub video.”

Think of what had to happen in order for this video to take place.   These had to be very carefully planned out, orchestrated, organized, there are plenty of real-life, real-world skills on display in both of these efforts.   Maddow’s blog ( through some of the highlights of the videos and also some of the detail on what went into making them.  Especially interesting is the details on how the backwards video idea person made this happen, including how he made sure the lip sync worked right – BACKWARD.

Did I mention this was all show in reverse.  Watching it, I’m even having trouble wrapping my head around this.  Kudos Shorecrest and Shorewood.  Sorry, Crest, Wood has my vote at the moment.  :-)

How we decided who gets into our network

With all the social networks out there, how do you decide who you “approve”?  Do you find this decision particularly complex given the different nature of each social network.  Let me give you and example.

Because of work, I have registered for a LOT of social networks.  For instance, I’m on both Facebook and MySpace.  If a faculty members asks me why one is better than the other, I need to be able to respond.  If someone wants to know what the differences are between Plurk and Twitter, I need to speak from experience.  Why?  Because thats part of my job, thats part of what I’m supposed to do.

Now, there are definitely some networks I spend my time in and others I do not.  I actively participate in Twitter.  I do not actively participate in Plurk.  I use an application call to update my status in all my networks.  That is what Plurk was designed to do.  This way I don’t have to open each one and update things, since that just would not happen.  So I send my status update to Ping and it goes to Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Friendfeed, and so on.  But I have a note right in my Plurk profile that says I do not monitor that account actively.

My basic networks are Twitter, Facebook, and Linked in.  Each is very different in its approach.

With Twitter, when someone follows me, I look at their tweet time line and if there is an interest in what they are saying, I follow them back.  Only if I know someone very well will I follow them if their tweets are protected.  With the exception of children, I don’t see the point of subscribing to Twitter and then protecting your tweets – but thats just me. But I will follow almost anyone, known to me or not, as long as their contribution to my time line will seem interesting.  This is a very broad network.

With Facebook, I’m a bit more restrictive, since there is a greater possibility for “more” information to be shared.  I started out only friending work related people but my social network (family, high school, etc…) caught up very quickly.  I joined FB for a professional reason, I did it for work, not to socialize.  That changes at some point, and I’m ok with that.  If there is not a clear connection to someone, I won’t friend them back.  In fact, in my INFO area, I ask that if someone I don’t know very well is going to friend me, please include some text in the friending process to let me know who you are.  I’m pretty willing to let people in, if I know how I know them.  So this is a more restricted network.

With LinkedIn, in the past, I have been VERY tight with letting people in.  In fact, LinkedIn very clearly states that people you allow in your network should be people you know and can vouch for their work.  But LinkedIn has grown beyond that, I think, and is taking on a much more casual tone about people being in the network.  I’m getting people I barely know asking to join my network.  Until now, I’ve not accepted since I can’t, as the company says, “vouch for their work”.  But that all seems to have changed, now, or so it seems – perhaps I’m wrong.  This, for me, is my most restricted network.

How do you decided to follow on Twitter?  When do you decided to drop someone?  Do you care if you follow someone and they don’t follow you back?

How do you decided who to friend on Facebook?  How do you decide when to accept a friend request?  How about deciding what groups to join or when to accept a “I know SOandSO and I think you know him/her also” friend suggestions?  How closely do you follow people on Facebook?  Have you ever dropped a friend and, if so, why?

Do you only accept networking with people on LinkedIn when you know them very well AND can vouch for their work?  Has the focus of LinkedIn changed in that respect?  Who do you let in and why (or why not)?  How do you determine who to let in?

Are there other online social networks you are part of that you have to make decision like the above for?  If so, which ones and how and when do you make those decisions.

Upcoming Event for the SLER / VWER

There is a lot going on for the SL Education Roundtable, soon to be Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable.  I thought it might be a good idea to summarize some stuff in one place.

  • The topic of our upcoming meeting, Tuesday the 22nd, will be Meeting Management and Event/Function Facilitation Tools.  2:30pm SLT.  Montclair State CHSSSouth Amphitheater
  • Join us for our Holiday Meeting, Tuesday December 29th. There will be no formal “meeting” per se.  The idea here is to enjoy each others company, network, socialize, and one of the main things is for new people to join us to find out things they may not know or want to know more about. There will be volunteers on hand to answer questions about a wide variety of topics (changing clothing, attachments, etc….).  We’ll have freebie clothing and other items, food, drink, dancing, and not far from the amphitheater location (in our Quidditch pitch) we have a winter wonderland built with free ice skates, snow ball throwers, and much more.  If for no other reason, you MUST come see this winter build.  We retained Claudia13 Rossini, who also built the Quidditch build for us.  She has done an astounding job and I recommend her services wholeheartedly!
  • The first official meeting of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable will take place on Tuesday, January 5th, at 2:30pm SLT.  This meeting is a reprise of our very first, Special 1st of the Month meeting last January.  The topic is: Possible, Probable, and Preferable Futures of Education in Virtual Worlds – Redux and our special amazing panel includes: Sarah Robbins (SL: Intellagirl Tulley), Chris Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque), Jonathon Richter (SL: Wainbrave Bernal), Ken Hudson (SL: Kenny Hubble), Daniel Livingston (SL: Buddy Sprocket), and Anthony Fontana (SL: Anthonyfontana Chavelier)
  • January 11th, VWER hosts its monthly non-SL event, we’ll be meeting in Metaplace.  Details to be provided later.
  • January 19th, VWER announces the start of a new monthly feature – VWER’s The Reading Meeting.  The 3rd Tuesday of each month we will meet around the topic of a previously determined and announced article pertaining to virtual worlds and education.  Details on the article for this first meeting are coming soon.  Our facilitator for this first meeting will be Evelyn McElhinney.
  • February 8th, VWER hosts is monthly non-SL event, we’ll be meeting on the ReactionGrid.  Details to be provided later.
  • February 9th the VWER will have our Special 1st of the Month meeting, a week late.  :-)   Our very special guest for this meeting will be Barry Fishman, who serves on President Obama’s National Educational Technology Plan committee.

There is SO much more planned, this is just the beginning.  If this listserve is not the best place for you to get your information like this, you can follow us on Twitter (username VWER) on Facebook, LinkedIn, Koinup, Flicker, and in Second Life – all under the name Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable.

Digital Community and Friendship

I am readeing “The Young and The Digital: What the Migration to Social-Networked Sites, Games, and Anytimes, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future” by S. Cragi Watkins.  So far I am really enjoying the book and look foward to blogging about it.  Probably tomorrow.

So, here is a question from the book I want you to consider:

“Are notions of community and friendship changing in the digital age?”

What do you think?