After leading the workshop about Social media at the Nottingham PDW, I figured I should put together some kind of a summary about what was said and the tools we played with – and perhaps a couple of additional things that might be of interest as well. So – here goes!
Not much about the Giant
To start with, I didn’t say that much about Facebook – partly because most people know their way around there anyway, partly because yours truly actually has deactivated his account! My reason for doing so was quite simply that I didn’t have time to hang around at FB, plus some other issues that I’ve found a bit disturbing (they really own you!). However, I just might activate my account again, especiially because it’s now possible to download (most) of your content from the social media giant’s servers. The new Groups feature at FB also looks very useful.
I do like Twitter – for the most part!
Using the micro blogging tool Twitter has definitely become part of my daily social media routine, even though I had earlier a hard time understanding how I possibly could have any use for it. Unlike Facebook status updates, everything you ‘tweet’ is public by default – no need to be friends to read someone’s tweets. Twitter can be slightly confusing before you get the hang of it; the tough part can be finding people who have interesting things to say! I started checking my colleagues using Twitter – both in Sweden and in other countries – and soon found several definitely worth following. Many times I have got help through Twitter right when I’ve needed it most; at it’s best, Twitter can be a formidable real time help desk. What about conversations on Twitter, then? Well, that sure depends!
There are tons of interesting Twitter tools available and I mentioned the ‘Twitter webzine’ Paper.li that quite simply is just another way of collating and displaying Twitter content – but a pretty neat one! The Paper.li that displays the content from me and those I follow can be found here. A Swedish colleague of mine, Mats Larsnäs, has a great paper with lots of content in English! He’s really good at mobile learning, by the way, so if you’re interested in that do get in touch with him. A final note on Twitter: it can also be a bit of fun, checking how ‘influencial’ you are (or aren’t, in my case..) on Twitter! You might try out Klout or TwitterGrader, for example.
LinkedIn connecting pros, Twingly for collaborative real time news
What else? Well, I mentioned the professional network LinkedIn – kind of a CV on the net plus lots of possibilities to connect to other professionals in your field. I had also planned on hands-on work with another web service I like a lot, you might call it a collaborative real time news service: Twingly. Unfortunately, Twingly was upgrading their servers during the workshop (of course!) but do check it out now. I have started a channel about eTwinning – direct link here – and I would love to get more sources (blogs, eTwinning sites..) to add! If you’ve got a suggestion, please mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll take a look!
Choose your playground
To wrap things up: sometimes the social media scene can get all too crowded and I think it’s really important to choose your own playground – it just doesn’t make sense, trying to be available everywhere. I feel it’s a good thing to disconnect completely every now and then; however, it’s also nice to get quickly up to speed again! One way of doing just that is to use a service like Nutshell Mail that combines the information from your social media channels and mails you a summary. Yes, that is done using good old email!
Yup, I’m on Twitter: @niiloa
P.S. I almost forgot: I have written a report about the Nottingham PDW on the Swedish eTwinning blog – it’s in Swedish but there’s a Google translation widget on site! The machine translation gives you a fair idea about the subject matter and quite a few good laughs so check it out here :)