I’m liking this list so far. I wonder if it’s too complicated, though.
Following section presents a brief taxonomy of user intentions on Twitter. The apparent intention of a Twitter post was determined manually by the first author. Each post was read and categorized. Posts that were highly ambiguous or for which the author could not make a judgement were placed in the category UNKNOWN. Based on this analysis we have found following are some of the main user intentions on Twitter:
- Daily Chatter Most posts on Twitter talk about daily routine or what people are currently doing. This is the largest and most common user of Twitter
- Conversations In Twitter, since there is no direct way for people to comment or reply to their friend’s posts, early adopters started using the @ symbol followed by a username for replies. About one eighth of all posts in the collection contain a conversation and this form of communication was used by almost 21% of users in the collection.
- Sharing information/URLs About 13% of all the posts in the collection contain some URL in them. Due to the small character limit a URL shortening service like TinyURL9 is frequently used to make this feature feasible.
- Reporting news Many users report latest news or comment about current events on Twitter. Some automated users or agents post updates like weather reports and new stories from RSS feeds. This is an interesting application of Twitter that has evolved due to easy access to the developer API.
“Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communitites,” Java, Finin, Song, Tseng (August 2007).
I never got around to writing the guidelines for students for Youth Twitter today. Instead I spent a lot of time getting the technical side of things ready. The theory about the variety of purposes that young people might have in using Youth Twitter — like we use Twitter — is clearly bouncing around in my head. I just have to get it down.
I’ve been thinking about all the ways of getting students connected. Pushing tumblogs into Youth Voices via RSS seems to work, and now I’m testing the tag feature. I’ll explain, if it works.
“A significant portion (about 45%) of the Social Network still lies within North America. Moreover, there are more intra-continent links than across continents. This is consistent with observations that the probability of friendship between two users is inversely proportionate to their geographic proximity.”
”Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communitites,” Java, Finin, Song, Tseng (August 2007).
This reminds me of something that I’ve been interested in the past couple of months. It’s complicated, but I think it’s worth thinking about the relationship between face-to-face connections and online networking. (Even the language we choose for both is revealing.) In this quote, the authors of this paper on Twitter seem to be arguing that the fewer miles users are away from each other, the more likely it is that they will will follow each other. I think if we follow their mathematictical model out, it suggests that the power of geogrphic proximity looses it’s power the further away people get. In other words, we are very likely to connect to people close, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t connect with people very far away. There’s a lot to think about here about how local, physical groups form and how these groups connect online, and how these local online networks overlap with national and internaional social networks.
Oh, I looked up “inverse proportion” to help me think about these matters.
Two quantities, A and B, are in inverse proportion if by whatever factor A changes, B changes by the multiplicative inverse, or reciprocal, of that factor.
TOWARD A DEFINITION OF 21st-CENTURY LITERACIES
Adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee
February 15, 2008
Literacy has always been a collection of cultural and communicative practices shared among members of particular groups. As society and technology change, so does literacy. Because technology has increased the intensity and complexity of literate environments, the twenty-first century demands that a literate person possess a wide range of abilities and competencies, many literacies. These literacies—from reading online newspapers to participating in virtual classrooms—are multiple, dynamic, and malleable. As in the past, they are inextricably linked with particular histories, life possibilities and social trajectories of individuals and groups. Twenty-first century readers and writers need to
• Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
• Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
• Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
• Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
• Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
• Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments
“Compared to regular blogging, microblogging fulfills a need for an even faster mode of communication. By encouraging shorter posts, it lowers users’ requirement of time and thought investment for content generation. This is also one of its main differentiating factors from blogging in general. The second important difference is the frequency of update. On average, a prolific bloger may update her blog once every few days; on the other hand a microblogger may post several updates in a single day.”
Java Akshay, Tim Finin, Xaiodan Song, Bell Tseng, Why We Twitter: Understanding Microblogging Usage and Communitites (August 12, 2007).
Maybe this is too obvious to quote, but maybe clear, obvious definitions help people feel more comfortable about something that is conceptually not so easy to understand at all, except by experience.
Steve Muth, one of the developers of VoiceThread suggests that “casual” ways of publishing on the Internet are becoming more and more popular: “
People are interested in doing what blogs do. All the stuff that blogging is, they want to do that stuff, but they simply don’t want to make that big investment in time. And that’s the same thing with a lot of things people like to do online. They want to do it; they don’t want to make a big investment in time doing it. And so, they’re looking for casual answers… If you give people a vehicle that’s incredibly simple and still looks really good, it’s so easy for them to set aside the five or ten minutes or the twenty minutes.
How easy it is to imagine this becoming an argument for using microblogs in the classroom where teachers might be able to invest 5, 10 or 20 minutes each day for students to post one “ah-ha” or one question, or an image or link on their micoblogs.
“And then,” as Muth continues, “strangely enough that often translates into them spending more time than they would have with a more complex blog. Just because it’s microblogging doesn’t mean that it has to be shallow or not meaningful or deep at all! The content can be just as good. It’s just that as you approach it, there’s no big hurdles.”
It’s exciting to imagine students adding to their microblogs, taking a few minutes in every class to update their thinking throughout the day.
David Karp’s description of posting on a microblog, such as tumblr, suggests to me that such short forms would fit well in many secondary school classrooms. “Posts can be a small encapsulated piece of data. It doesn’t have to be the nicely formated four paragarphs of text that a WordPress post sort of forces you to make each one of your posts…. When you just have a thought to post or just have a link or a photo to post, it can go up.” Teachers who find it difficult to squeeze blogging into an already bloated curriculum might consider adopting microblogging.
Once such short bursts of online publishing become the norm, however, one can imagine the next steps as well. Karp continues: “That doesn’t mean that [microbloging is] not elastic and can’t handle a long, thought-out, multi-paragrpah post just as well.”
The vibrant, relevant student blogs I can imagine as the the “end rusult” of all of these elastic, frequent updates are ones in which students would have, “ten to twenty posts throughtout the day with lots of photos, lot of links, lots of blurbs, lots of quotes, and dialogues, and songs that you are listening to!” I think most studets woud agree with Karp when says, “All of that ends up frankly being a much more rich experience than that one editorialized piece a lot of the time.”
This week two different teachers have come to me to learn more about VoiceThread. A couple of weeks ago, when we were making “curriculum maps” together for the new semester, they expressed interest in using video in their classes, but felt frustrated by how difficult it felt th have students making videos. The health teacher, Joann wanted her students to make commercials that really showed the dangers of alcoholism. The speech teacher wanted a tool that would allow her to help students hear their own errors in oral production.
VoiceThread — after upgrading many computers with a more current version of Flash Player — is turning out to be an easy and exciting option for both of these teachers. Finally, I’ve been able to bring some of the work I do with teacher in other places bace to my own school.
I signed both of them up as administrators in our Ed.VoiceThread school, and they’ve been adding students themselves. It works!
We have two guests planned for tonight’s Teachers Teaching Teachers live webcast. Join us, at EdTechTalk at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific USA Wednesdays / 01:00 UTC Thursdays World Times
We will be talking to David Karp the 21-year-old founder of Tumblr, an interesting new blogging platform that some of us have been talking about adopting. (See the TTT88 podcast: Me and my inquiry in relation to a whole community of learners - TTT88 - 01.23.08.)
George Mayo, an 8th grade teacher in a school just outside of Washington D.C. will be joining us. Mr. Mayo has been an early collaborator on our http://youthtwitter.com site, and his students are getting the word out for a Global Darfur Awareness Event to take place on March 6th: Here’s George Mayo’s introduction to this project:
A group of students started this Darfur Awareness blog as part of a classroom project: http://stopgenocide.edublogs.org/ Students were really into this topic and have decided they would like to continue, even though projects are officially over. So we have teamed up with Wendy Drexler’s 3rd grade students in Florida and are co-sponsoring this Global Darfur Awareness Event:http://manyvoicesdarfur.blogspot.com/ Project bloghttp://stopgenocide.wikispaces.com/ Project wiki Mission Statement: Many Voices for Darfur Blog This is a global collaborative effort involving k-12 students from around the globe to raise awareness about the genocide in
Darfur. On March 6th, we are asking students from around the world to visit our Many Voices for Darfur Blog and leave thoughtful, well-written comments.