13 October 2006

Musings from a New Blogger

Well, my foray into social software through this research blog and associated wiki has given me a few headaches to say the least!

First of all I had to learn some html again - I put that aside a long time ago but if I wanted to customise there was no choice, but then the real challenge began - How to attract subscribers???? I have sent private emails, posted to listservs all to no avail although I was so excited when a couple of contributions were made to our wiki. However, I really thought the advocates of social software would be keen contributors and this would be easy (as I hang my head feeling rejected).

Yesterday some enlightenment from someone willing to give me feedback - I really wasn't using web 2.0 technologies the web 2.0 way - I needed to link to 'stories', experiences, blogs, wikis rather than ask for contributions on mine! Hooray - I was so grateful for feedback and so grateful to learn. Thank you Sean.

BUT how do I find out where to link?? Sure, I can do a Blog search and I've certainly been doing that and have found some great blogs, which when I find a moment I will add to our blog list, but how do I ask the questions I need to ask if I can only comment on blogs, not post? I've searched postings looking for one I could both comment on, and sneak in a mention of our research project but haven't found anywhere yet and I know it would be rude of me to sidetrack the conversation by blatantly advertising our blog and wiki as an unrelated comment.

And the most active discussions I've found seem to be through listservs/eGroups. Hmmmm ...

Now, I am not new to technology, but if my frustrations of the last week are anything to go by, how on earth do we expect social software to be used more widely by VTE practitioners? Comment anyone - can you see me out there and hear this plea for help??


At 8:26 am, Blogger Wendy Zammit said...

Hi Val, I can certainly relate to your frustration- it is a huge learning curve for teachers! Yesterday I was saying "why does it have to be so hard" as I spent hours trying to embed my blogroll into my blog- same problem Anne had. And I do understand your problem with timeframe. I do hope you'll be able to join us on the OMN>>CLC discussions for teachers in the next few weeks.

At 10:47 am, Anonymous Stephanie said...

Hi Val

Your experience is interesting and no doubt the norm for many. Attended Web Directions South Conference recently and some comments that were made by Mark Pesce were pertinent. "Social networks need our time to survive. In the 21st century, time is a non-renewable resource." and "Much like a shark swimming in the ocean, if a social network is no longer fed fresh data, it dies."
And though as humans we are social animals, I personally, have little use for social software in its present form.

Couple of interesting statistics from the conference regarding "User Generated Conference":
"Only a small percentage of people will engage in folksonomic behaviour:
80% won't create content - readers
10% will comment
1% will create original content

Good luck with your research

At 8:14 pm, Blogger maryanne campo said...

Hello- good luck with your research - I'm very interested in social networking.

Build it and they will come?
No I don't think so.

People will find their favorite technology and stick with it like their old shoes...why buy new ones...the old ones are comfy, and breaking in a new pair takes time.

One interesting point for you to look at is "age". Adults are pretty set in our ways, we like emailing and pretty traditional communications like our phone answering system, but teens like texting and using sites like MySpace to drop in and 'leave messages'- so they are using the social networking tools to "keep in touch'

I have kept an educational blog since grad school and use it now in my job working with faculty. I blog as part of my job- it makes my life easier..when I do faculty trainings/workshops all my links are on my blog and so are my rantings. It has become my organizational tool.

check it out and you can link to me:

I guess my point is - we will find many different uses for these tools and use the ones that fit us- not just because someone 'built them'- but because they fill a need.


At 11:15 pm, Blogger Loretta Donovan said...

Where to link to has been a question that new bloggers ask me too. I often suggest that they get an account with www.del.icio.us which is a web2.0 bookmarking service. One of its features is the ability to search for web sites and blogs that other members have identified and tagged with topic names. You will notice the number of members who have bookmarked an item and popularity often leads you to some wonderful sites. As you find these sites, you can add them to your favorites and tag them with topic names that are meaninful to you. In true web2.0 fashion, you are becoming part of the social software community as you give and get, and contribute to the folksonomy - the evolving development of taxonomy based on terms that are meaningful to the folks - ie you and me!

Loretta Donovan
New York, NY

At 1:37 pm, Blogger Elke said...

Even only 10 months ago I was blissfully unaware of the terms web2.0 and social software. I have just cruised a site called "Curbside Poets" for which my teenage daughter has been a moderator for at least 3 years.
http://raver1.proboards20.com/index.cgi How she got started I have no idea but I suspect it was an avenue to "publish" her poetry. I am now finally understanding what it was that she was doing on the net so frequently. Many of the correspondents in the forums on this site are international. She is Generation Y through and through. A digital native. She did it all by herself. Her parents were too set in their comfortable shoes to try new ones. Even with limited techology (in very slow dialup on the farm) she was out there using social software I had no idea existed. Attract comment? Try the next generation of teaching graduates as a starting base, or those recently graduated. I feel even older today, all I seem to be doing is playing catchup. Val, I have linked this to my RSS feeder and will keep tabs. If anything occurs to me I'll let you know.

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