Tag Archives: communication

Facebook is like chairs – and bridges, dance floors, door bells?

A first for Facebook – its first advertising campaign. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced:

For the first time in our history, we’ve made a brand video to express what our place is on this earth. We believe that the need to open up and connect is what makes us human. It’s what brings us together. It’s what brings meaning to our lives.

How do you like it? The point of Facebook is not the technology but the connections between people, global connections. Absolutely agree with that.

“Chairs, doorbells, airplanes, bridges – these are things people use to get together so they can open up and connect about ideas and other things.”

Okay. Starting with a chair is quite clever; a chair (or seat) is one of the simplest cross cultural symbols and has existed for centuries.

“Dance floors, basketball, a great nation. A great nation is something people build so they can have a place where they belong.

So now Facebook is getting a teeny bit ambitious perhaps. Or are they, considering their place in world populations? Here’s an infographic comparing Facebook’s population with that of the most populated countries in 2010.

Here’s an updated one showing Facebook’s population in a different context.

“The universe – it is vast and dark and makes us wonder if we’re alone. the reason we make these things is to remind ourselves that we are not.”

Facebook – really? Suddenly you are the answer to the world’s ontological questions? Get real, please.

Mashable posted its reaction to the video:

Mashable editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff previously pointed out what he thinks is wrong with the ad: confusing analogies, absence of technology and a plethora of vagueness that spoils an otherwise beautifully shot commercial. “It was created to celebrate the social media platform’s 1 billion active monthly users and my takeaway is that Facebook is an empty chair,” he says.

And then spoofed the Facebook ad with this image –

I don’t know about that one either. It leaves me luke warm.

Don’t get me wrong – I use Facebook a lot. Despite the frustrating, intrusive and changeable nature of its dealings with users, it’s still one of the most effective ways to communicate both personally and professionally. Connections are great – it’s what you make of them. As a teacher, you have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. It’s unwise to befriend students but, knowing they’re there, it’s the place to set up groups that students will inhabit – because they’re already switched on. Most of the time.

Good try, Facebook. Maybe you should get some user feedback for your ads before you decide on the best one.

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Facebook’s wall a consolation in death

People use social media for different purposes. The wall of Joseph McLellan’s Facebook is a touching tribute to the loving relationship between him and those family and friends who have survived him. Joseph McLellan, Archimandrite Joasaph, left this world too early for those who love him. And yet his Facebook wall is still a living noticeboard posted with regular notes to him.

I knew Fr Joasaph in my first year of marriage when I accompanied my husband to Jordanville, upstate New York, in his third year of seminary. He was a year ahead of my husband, and although I lived there for nine months only, Fr Joasaph clearly made an impression because my memories of him, his academic brilliance, his talents and wonderful sense of humour remain clear.

It was on Facebook that my husband and I were reunited with Fr Joasaph after a lengthy lapse in communication. At a time when I heard many people criticise those who ‘wasted their time’ on Facebook, we were enjoying the ease with which it allowed us easy communication with those who lived far from us.

In the short period of Facebook friendship, we learned that Joseph had decided to leave Princeton University where he had been teaching Russian and enter into monasticism, moving through the ranks of ordination quickly and being elevated to the rank of archimandrite. At the time we didn’t know of his illness and wondered what the rush was.

In December 2009 we joined many others in expressing our grief at his passing, and in expressing our condolences to his family.

And now his Facebook remains open. Family and friends continue to ‘talk to him’, to remember him, to console each other.

I open his Facebook page on and off to see how he continues to live through the comments of those who still love him. I hope it stays open forever.

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The power of Youtube – Queen Rania wins (and we celebrate Jenny Luca’s win too)

Our own Jenny Luca has recently been recognised by the Victorian Institute of Teaching as the winner of the World Teachers Every Day competition. Well done, Jenny! You’ve certainly deserved this award, and you’re an inspiration and model for all educators.

Across the other side of the world, a member of royalty received a different award, but one which will be of equal interest to 21st century educators. San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, presented the inaugural YouTube Visionary Award to Queen Rania of Jordan. Queen Rania wasn’t able to accept the award in person, so instead she sent a video.

Her acceptance speech shows that getting serious about something significant doesn’t preclude a sense of humour. Queen Rania warms up the viewers with humour and ends powerfully with a serious message: that suspicion, intolerance and mistrust are driving us apart. She says she wanted to kickstart a conversation in the world’s largest community. Her motto for the power of YouTube is:

We’re stronger when we listen and smarter when we share.

Queen Rania urges us to use the power of YouTube’s conversation. She admits that it’s not likely to change the world, but it will change some minds.

San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom, introduced the award by nominating YouTube as a dominant force in politics, a powerful tool for shaping policy, and communicating with the public world wide. He talks about this award recognising those who use technology to instigate change, who have had a real impact.

Mayor Newsom says that Queen Rania of Jordan has dedicated her time and talents to breaking down stereotypes, and combatting misconceptions about Islam and the Arab world. Her videos have created open dialogue around the world amongst millions of commenters and viewers. Her aim has been to encourage people to join forces and bring down misconceptions. Here is a message worth thinking about:

We can’t judge another culture through the lense of our own cultural compass.

So true.

Queen Rania encourages us all to make a difference through YouTube. She says: Your eyes can open people’s minds. She urges us to get our clips out there to create change. YouTube is a platform for the most powerful dialogue.

We need to look past technology as an end in itself, and realise its potential.

Thanks to Joi Ito for his post.

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Filed under Education, film, humour, internet, technology, Web 2.0

Bring Show and Tell into the 21st century

peacock

Does Show and Tell sound old fashioned to you?  Think again…

Remember Show and Tell in primary school? In my primary years (a long time ago), Show and Tell was possibly the only time that the teacher stepped aside and encouraged students to take centre stage to share sundry news items and paraphernalia. Think about what’s happening – a variety show led by students themselves. You can say or show almost anything – news (world news, local news, trivial or important news, news about your dog or about your uncle), opinions, and the freedom to bring in ANYTHING you like – stick insect in a jar, your dad’s gallstones, the latest in technology (for me, that was my talking Bugs Bunny), strange money, photos of a trip to exotic lands, a special book, something you have made, a science experiment (remember growing your own crystals) – wonderful, wonderful things. I imagine Show and Tell still happens in primary schools.

But why stop at primary school? How often does a student get free reign and the attention of the whole class? When else does the student audience get to see such a great show. By secondary school – correct me if I’m wrong – everything fits into neat little curricular boxes. Very full boxes. No room for randomness, for the unexpected, for student-directed sharing; no procession of ever-changing wonders, no exchange of opinions on student-directed topics.

And another thing. The time limits for each Show and Tell slot allow for a quick succession of small, tasty morsels. If you’re not interested in one thing, the next offering could be more to your liking.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Doesn’t this remind you a little of Twitter? The short, quick exchange of goodies just discovered, great links, photos worth sharing, questions offered to the group? Is blogging or microblogging our new version of Show and Tell? A reclaiming of our natural desire to share and learn with each other? Our instinctive knowledge that learning happens from and with others, and not just from the teacher?

What do you think?

What are your best Show and Tell memories?

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Filed under Education, flickr, Web 2.0

Microblogging American History – Twitter responses to Obama’s win

day-of-obama

 

In its unique way, Twitter has commented on American history being made today. Never let it be said that Twitter is unable to convey anything more than little snippets of trivia devoid of any substance. The picture built up in the Twitter stream today as Obama’s victory became clearer and clearer was nothing short of emotional. The brief, fast-flowing tweets created a moving picture of people’s reactions to the historic event.

These are only some of the comments that I’ve selected. Remember, the most recent tweets are first, so you’re reading backwards in time. Kind of cool actually. Here goes:

wow – amazing – i’ve woken up in a better world – my only slight concern… what the hell is michael moore going to make films about now?

well done america 🙂 🙂 🙂

asked Yr 2 boy my reason for making him watch news – he said because it’s the first time a “brown person” has been elected president

Obama thanked me by text message. Wow, he looked pretty busy at the time

‘nite twitter. Welcome to Obamanation. The world approves, btw…

I have always been grateful to be American and I served it with my head held high… I have never been this proud

Analysis of Obama’s speech ( http://tinyurl.com/6xlvkl )

It’s been a long time coming, as the man says ♫ http://blip.fm/~ni0i

Balancing my delight in humanity with the grimness of Fox News pro-life, white supremacist babbling http://icanhaz.com/grim

Bless Obama and the people of the US

I may be a Canadian I am blown away by the history I have just observed. Very moving

awesome speech; told my kids that (let them stay up to hear it), both lass and lad noticed

“He talked of having to housebreak the puppy, they’re gunna also have to housebreak that new democratic majority in the congress”-Tom Brokaw

Oh, the place is vibrating

I like this image of Obama leaving the stage – a single man, walking to meet his wife, going off to meet destiny. Hard to hold back tears

I bet there’s a lady in Alaska who just fired HER personal stylist

We have a White House that looks like our country. Look at that stage, kids all over America are reimagining their world.

The last time I saw this much emotion on TV was death of Elvis when I was about 5 or 6. Better this time around

God, the image of the racial, national, and generational mix hugging on the stage in Chicago is a book in itself. History, history, history

Seeing all of the kids together is so cool!!!

Okay, I don’t think I’ve ever cried at a politician’s speech before in my life. Still kind of afraid to hope. But I think I’ll try

I like the sense of marital harmony I get from B and M. They really seem a pair that likes each other, a team. And those kids are fresh air

is it my imagination or did everyone stop tweeting during that speech?

Officially crying tears of joy

“if our children live to see the next century ..what progress we will have made? Open opportunities for our kids – peace. yes we can”

I am crying. Just from my right eye. Obama is great

He’s going to close with the speech we need

v v excited about Obama winning – maybe humans do have some ability to restore balance

Sitting in family room watching Obama’s speech. Wife and daughters waving American Flags at each pause. Great night!

“Our story is singular but our destiny is shared. A new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”

I gotta remember to buy different newspapers and magazines tomorrow to put in my daughter’s memory box

Okay, seriously… “the new puppy that is coming with us to the White House?” That absolutely made me laugh with delight.

holy wow… can that man speak.

Obama takes the stage! What a night!

anyone else terrified about what Those Who Hate Obama might attempt to do once he’s president, or before? I can’t shake it from my mind…

From another student — “I feel as if I can really do anything in the world now. Like for real.”

Just got a text from one of my advisees that made me cry, “Lehmann!!! We did it! President Obama!” This election really was about hope.

goodnight, tweeps. Pray for this nation, now more than ever.

Oh hurrah! My American friends have just texted me the news!!! Good old America, good old Americans! Xxx

Wow McCain’s speech was amazing. That was the McCain that should have been showing more during the campaign

well done to the people of America (and Obama), congratulations are in order. change is a necessity and a good thing

Magnanimous concession by John McCain. Well done.

There are moments in life that are too big to grasp. This is one of those moments. In total blissful shock. Too shocked to even cry… yet

Congratulations America!

Woo hoo! Just saw that Obama has won the election! I’m crying! Tears of joy 🙂

History in the making. . was this the first presidency tweeted through? Will Obama be known for changes in technology?

wow, nyc is going crazy, so loud outside.

“Don’t deny it, Obama is all Web 2.0” – http://is.gd/6n9j

When I watched his speech at the DNC 4 years ago, I thought “He could seriously be president.” Never thought it’d be in 2008.

“This is something so much bigger than Senator Obama”

nice to see my friends cheering too… yay twitter. hi dudes. i love loving america this morning.

McCain conceded via phone

Huzzah!

I am so proud of us right now…

wow. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O.M.F.G. Thank you America. You have made me extremely proud. Thank YOU!

Playing “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” with all of the American flags waving is really moving

So happy to call Obama my PRESIDENT!

Congrats to President Obama! So much for going to sleep, gotta see his speech now!

Congratulations to my US friends – looks like you just got yourself a President

Hopes and Dreams!

gotta go hug my wife!

I can’t imagine being in the room with Barack when he got the word about becoming the next president……amazing time…..

Wow! This is exciting!

Fox just called it for Obama. That’s about as done as it gets. Congratulations President Obama! Please fix our country soon!

Obama. It’s over.

ABC News declares Obama the next President of the United States

I just got chills………..

CNN just called it

CNN calls it. Obama is the 44th President of the US

called. Omg

It’s all over!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Filed under humour, internet, Web 2.0

A vast and diffuse cocktail party

Clay Shirky raises an interesting discussion about weblogs and the mass amateurization of publishing. Personally, I think it’s about time people were able to express themselves so publicly and globally without having to publish in the traditional sense. Discussing the problem of making money from blogs, Shirky says, ‘we want a world where global publishing is effortless … However, when we get that world we face the paradox of oxygen and gold. Oxygen is more vital to human life than gold, but because air is abundant, oxygen is free. Weblogs make writing as abundant as air, with the same effect on price’.
He then goes on to talk about Continue reading

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