Got Social?

Rez day?

What is a Rez Day, you may ask.  Well, if you’re not in Second Life, it will mean absolutely nothing.  Even if you ARE in Second Life, you might not have heard it put this way.  But one’s Rez Day is the day they first “rezzed” in Second Life, or in simpler terms, the day you started your account.  Its like a birthday – but its called a Rez Day.

Today is my 3rd Rez Day.  It’s been three years since I first created my SL account and SOOOOOO much has happened in that short time.

Today is also the 3rd Rez Day for Rixhawz Milestone and Hugo Vansant.  Doesn’t it seem odd that our of all the people in SL, and all the ones I know, that I know two other people who first created their accounts on the same exact day in the same exact year?  Well, for Rix, it is a strange and happy coincidence.  I met Rix a year or so into my SL adventure.  He works in the California educational system.

As for Hugo, well, having the same Rez Day is not such an odd thing.  Hugo is the first person I ever met in SL.  Back then, you showed up in an orientation area, a place where you learned the basic of using the application (moving, communicating, etc…)  Hugo showed up a few minutes before I did and we got to talking.  This is where the coincidence comes in.  Of all the places in the world Hugo could be from, he is Brasilian.  Now, for most of you that might not seem so odd, but that is because you don’t know about my ties to Brasil.  So, not only is he from Brasil, but he lives in Brasilia, a city in which I’ve spent a great deal of time.  Not only does he live in Brasilia, but he lives in a suburb (they call them satellite cities) call Guara I.  The suburb I spend nearly all of my time in Brasil in was Guara II, which is – as you can imagine, right next to Guara I.  So Hugo and I had a great deal to talk about, and knew many of the same places.  In fact, it turns out, that we used the same Pharmacy (Pharmacists in Brasil can dispense more medication than here in the US, often replacing the need to go to a doctor’s office).

It just goes to show – it really is a small world, but actual and virtual

FourSquare – love it or hate it?

For those of you who do not know what FourSquare it, you can look here or, from their FAQ,

foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things.  We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.

FourSquare is a flavor of the day when it comes to social networking.  It is geo-aware, so it lets you “check in” wherever you are.  If that place is not already in their system, you can add it.  You get points for checking in (and adding places) and that can be compared to your FourSquare friends.  When you’ve been someplace more than anyone else (also, more than once and you have to have a picture posted to you FourSquare profile), you become the “Mayor” of that location.  You stay the Mayor until someone unseats you – I’m not sure how many more times they have to check in than you, but you get the point.  Business have started using the “Mayor”-ship as an incentive, providing free food, drink, hotel nights, etc… for the “Mayor”

FourSquare gives you three notification options – you can notify your FourSquare friends when you check in someplace (or not), you can have it posted to Twitter (or not) or to Facebook (or not).  You can do any combination of the above.

So, for example – I got to work – check in when I get to my building.  Go to lunch, check in there.  Go for coffee, check in there.  Go to the gym after work, check in there.  Go for a bite to eat after the gym, check in there, you get the picture.  Thats a lot of checking in.

For those who follow you on your social network, it can be a lot of postings to your time line.  Now, if you have a handful of friends who are using it, wow – that could be overwhelming, depending on how frequently people check in.  On Facebook, you can block applications without blocking a person, so you wont’ see the notices.  Not so on Twitter.

So, this seems to have created a problem for some folks.  In fact, I’m having an ongoing discussion with someone in a Facebook thread on this very topic, which is what prompted this post.  A couple of people have said they “feel like their stalking me”.  A couple of others have said it bothers them that they get this notices.  They don’t mean just from me, but if someone is into social networking, it is likely they know others who are – so one could easily have an handful or two of people checking in  all the time.

Do you use FourSquare?
How often do you check in?
Do you have FourSquare notify Twitter and/or Facebook when you do?
Are the check ins of others starting to bug you?
Do you see any benefit to FourSquare?
How about educational uses – either to learn about someplace or as a tool for learning?
What other questions or comments do you have about it?

[UPDATE] I’ve added the following poll

[polldaddy poll=2540404]

Six EDUCAUSE events in the next two weeks!

In the next two weeks there will be six events for the EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds group.  All six will be simultaneous events.  If you will be attending the conference on-site, please plan to join us there.  If you’re not attending the conference in person, you are welcome to join us for any or all of the following events.  The Constituent Group meetings will be discussions, whereas the other meetings will be streamed audio and slide show from the featured session in Austin.  See the URLs for session details.

EDUCAUSE Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference
Baltimore, MD

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

EDUCAUSE Virtual World Constituent Group meeting
Lloyd Onyett (SL: Komputer Merlin)
11:45am to 12:45pm ET (Baltimore time)
8:45am to 9:45am SLT (Pacific Time)
Montclair State University – InWorld

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) Annual Conference
Austin, TX

Penn State World Campus – InWorld

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds Constituent Group Meeting
Tanya Joosten (SL: Juice Gyoza) and Shannon Ritter (SL: Shannon Rutkowski)
10:00am to 11:00am CT (Austin Time)
8:00am to 9:00am SLT (Pacific Time)

Bob Heterick Memorial Lectureship – Digital Histories for the Digital Age: How Do We Teach Writing Now?
William G. Thomas, III,
1:00pm to 2:15pm CT (Austin Time)
11:00am to 12:15pm SLT (Pacific Time)

2010 Horizon Report and Lightning Rounds
Malcolm Brown, Laurence F. Johnson, Alan Levine, and Rachel Smith
5:05pm to 6:30pm CT (Austin Time)
3:05pm to 4:30pm SLT (Pacific Time)

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Born Digital
John Palfrey
8:30am to 9:30am CT (Austin Time)
6:30am to 7:30am SLT (Pacific Time

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Computation Thinking
Jeanette Wing
10:45am to 12:00pm CT (Austin Time)
8:45am to 10:00am SLT (Pacific Time)

Technology as place?

Although I attended Sloan-C this year, virtually, one of my colleagues attended on site.  She forwarded to me a slideshow from one of the presenters, Steve Kerby from McDaniel College.  Steve talks about “Technology as Place: Designing Environments for Student-Centered Learning”.

You can watch the presentation here:
it’s about 16 minutes long.

The link should open for you in a new window.  Once you’ve watched it, feel free to come back here and in comments let me know what you think.

Is Slideshare trolling?

A few days after the Keynote I did for the Center for Innovative Education at Kean (for which I posted my slidedeck up to Slideshare).  I got the following by email – seemingly from Slideshare:

?The Shifting Landscape: Virtual Worlds in Education” is being tweeted more than any other document on SlideShare right now. So we’ve put it on the homepage of (in the “Hot on Twitter” section).

Well done, you!

- SlideShare Team

?After hovering over the link to make sure it was a legit Slideshare link I ended up on their home page.  I clicked the “hot on twitter” link, but alas – my contribution was not there, as indicated.  I poked around for a while and could not find any sign of it.  In fact, it is not even one of my most viewed slidedecks.

I moved on and forgot about it, until yesterday – when I got that SAME email again.  Now, the number of views has not gone up – at all perhaps, but certainly not appreciably.

So, this begs the question…is slide share trolling out these emails to folks to push them to their site?  I hope that is NOT the case, since I’ve always thought of them as a reputable site that treated its subscribers well.  Has anyone else seen a similar email or had any experience similar to this?