Social media network experiment


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How I used social media to teach people about how to use social media.

An experiment, too: how many times will this be shared by 25 October, and how many connections will it create for me?

I'll present this to a set of delegates at a conference in ICT in Higher Education being held in South Africa, and am curious to see whether this approach will encourage people to share their thoughts and make new connections.

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  • If there’s any indication of the impact of social (media) networks, it’s when governments take interest:

    ’The CIA is actively monitoring social media, and Twitter specifically, to help predict uprisings or measure the pulse of a particular region.

    In their Virginia-based “unassuming brick building”, the CIA follows up to 5 million tweets per day to get a real-time handle on events and moods around the world.’
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  • Some lessons that I learned from doing this presentation:
    * We need to find beginners guides to each (common) social network. Just because someone uses Facebook, doesn’t mean they’ll become experts in, say, LinkedIn overnight.

    * The fear of exposing oneself to the anonymity of the WWW -is- legitimate, but one must try not to attribute to technology that which is human nature.

    * Africa can become the leader in mobile technology adoption - because we’re pretty much being forced to!

    * Not enough people know about lolcats:
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  • Nice overview wrapped in a bright red ribbon
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  • Another way of making sense of social (media) networks is by considering the abstractions being suggested, such as this Honeycomb Framework by Kietzmann et al (2011) (via) [1]

    A challenge:
    Try to position the technologies you do to do your work -currently- (email, desktop-based work such as word processing, closed learning management systems) in this framework. What are they lacking?

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  • Just in case you're already viewing notes:  For online readers: This presentation is meant for a conference on the use of ICT in Higher Education * .  I asked permission to post the slides beforehand to see whether we can't start the conversation early, and online.  For presentation participants:  These are the slides I'll use for my presentation at 15:30 on Tuesday, 25 October. The title is:  Using social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  My talk will be less of a workshop and more of a way to encourage attendees to try out social (media) networks as part of their everyday and/or working lives.  *  Details :
  • Hi, thanks for showing these notes.  For online readers: This presentation is meant for a conference on the use of ICT in Higher Education * .  I asked permission to post the slides beforehand to see whether we can't start the conversation early, and online.  For presentation participants:  These are the slides I'll use for my presentation at 15:30 on Tuesday, 25 October. The title is: Using social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  My talk will be less of a workshop and more of a way to encourage attendees to try out social (media) networks as part of their everyday and/or working lives.  * Details :
  • I'm going to show what I see as examples of social media.  Invite to comment Let us know in the comments:  What's your favourite viral media? * *
  • One of the phenomena that people always use to refer to when talking about social media is LOLcats . Internet memes such as this one spread rapidly enough to reach hundreds of millions of audiences in the span of weeks, or days. Figuring out how these memes spread is important to many scientists [1]. I think it won't take much for me to convince you that social (media) networks allow for the rapid sharing of ideas - in a variety of ways and for various reasons . For an encyclopaedic stance on the LOLcat phenomenon, see: [1]
  • Placing animals in humorous context is nothing new. The way we're sharing this media, the skills required to create them and the tools available to do so are new, however.   "The Photographer", a carte from 'The Brighton Cats' series, photographed by Harry Pointer at his Bloomsbury Place studio in Brighton.
  • So-called "viral videos" are examples of media that spread really quickly.  I've selected two I think most people have seen at least once: 1) Charlie bit my finger 2) Sneezing baby panda I explain my reasons for choosing these two videos during the talk, but the essential message here is:  * Media can spread fast on the WWW.  * Social (media) networks are becoming a big part the WWW (always have been). * Viral videos * exemplify this (and are fun to watch!) * All viral media, in fact. 
  • Invite to comment What's missing from these definitions? -- I source these definitions from Wikipedia. Wikipedia authors cite published papers (the good ones, at least!).  When I publish this presentation and share it, anyone gets access to those papers.  This interlinking is something which is becoming everyday for people.  Note: Wikipedia isn't one of the newest social media networks - and isn't often considered as an example of such. Still, the project is a collaborative effort which involves media creation / sharing on the internet.  Kaplan, Andreas M.; Michael Haenlein (2010).  "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media" .  Business Horizons   53  (1): 59–68.  doi : 10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003 .  ISSN   0007-6813 . Retrieved 2010-09-15.   Kietzmann, Jan H.; Kris Hermkens, Ian P. McCarthy, and Bruno S. Silvestre (2011).  "Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media" .  Business Horizons   54  (3): 241–251. doi : 10.1016/j.bushor.2011.01.005 .  ISSN   0007-6813 . Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  • There are so many examples of social (media) networks out there - each a collaboration between millions of users. I'll demonstrate a few to give you the idea at the end of this presentation.  However, if you're looking for a categorization of social (media) networks, see Kietzmann et al. (2011) present a  "honeycomb" framework that might help you to classify something you see on the internet as a social (media) network: Image source:
  • Invite to comment: What's the social (media) network you use to connect with people around your hobbies / interests? -- I've been working on the WWW since I was a teenager, so I've witnessed the change in the way people (can!) do things. I'd like you to take from this presentation at least the inspiration to try out social media yourself. So, why did I become involved in social (media) networks? Image source:
  • Take the time to hop on to Google (or your search engine of choice), and: A) Google your name. If its a less... unique name and surname combination than mine, filter results for South Africa * . B) Google someone else. How much can you learn about them from the search results? Take the above advice in mind! * And whichever other filters you can use. 
  • 1) The first result wasn’t surprising. I created a Twitter account during an iBala * workshop, but only started using it actively about two months ago. Still, I’ve been busy, so it makes sense that this one is placed pretty high. 2) This is why I ensured that my staff page is accessible via my Twitter account, and vice-versa. 3) UP’s own wiki ** is really more of an online storage for information, but it still has great potential. I was active as a moderator at the start, still check in now and then. 4) I created my Google+ account –very- recently, but I’ve been active there. I prefer doing all of my professional-but-not-serious stuff through there, often adding my students to my “Share this with students” stream. Posting content such via ClickUP is difficult and error-prone. *!/iBalaMobile **  - which can be improved a LOT if we just follow some Wiki Patterns ( )
  • 1) I’ve been nagged to join LinkedIn *  for years now, and had been resisting it. You'll learn later why I was glad.  2) That’s my grandfather, who shares my nickname. I’m glad he’s there, too, because he was a great man. 3) I don’t grow Avocados, so that’s another Kosie Eloff. Besides, anyone who’s actively looking for me will notice a detail (e.g. Email address) that implies this isn’t me. 4) I was recently asked to share a set of slides I used during a presentation via Slideshare ** , so now I’m associated with that service too. This one will be available there, too. * **
  • 1) Scribd is a community for sharing all kinds of documents. I’m not very active there, but still plan to use it. 2) I didn’t realize that my participation in Open Access Week @ UP would become part of my “search identity”, but I don’t mind. It’s a nice memory. 3) I made a comment on that blog post and physically typed in my name and surname. Nowadays, I use Facebook/Twitter to sign myself on a blog (see: ) 4) WAYN (Where Are You Now) is a typical  social network, but I NEVER wanted to join it. I was forced, basically, to register just so I can manage my privacy settings, because the site had been collecting this kind of information from me without my consent since 2003.  WAYN is a social network that really doesn’t respect its users, I feel, and this is reflected in their data collection policies, web site design etc. For more on this, go to:
  • Several of those sites I’m mentioned in (e.g. LinkedIn and WAYN), I never gave explicit consent (though the data gathering mechanisms were perfectly legal). Still: 1) I’d rather have my web presence be controlled by me, not anyone else. Insert arguments about identity curation vs. true knowledge collection here... 2) Integrating social media into my life has been a great experience (though not without its dangers * ) I expect people to Google me anyways – why not make my staff page more valuable by allowing people to add me to their existing social media life? * Definitions: Troll Flamer Griefer Here be dragons reference:
  • Invite to comment: Which networks not named during the presentation, should be named? What am I missing? -- Networks that I'm connected to (of which I'm aware!): Google (Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, Picasa, Google+) Facebook LinkedIn WAYN Myspace Livejournal 8tracks Localmind Shelfari Goodreads Kobo Reading Life ...  
  • I mentioned that there are risks associated with sharing your data with social (media) networks.  There are also many serendipitous connections to be made. Elizabeth Castro is a very influential (and just overall awesome) ebook enthusiast.  I was really happy to see that she was willing to share my thought with 1, 930 people – of which some may also retweet this, etc.  The same goes for Joe Wikert. He's the co-chair O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishers conference (TOC) and I've been following him for a while.  I get the same satisfaction when ANY friend, associate/stranger  reposts/likes/plusses/retweets something I said. I know that there are privacy concerns associated with placing yourself “out there”, but I’m willing to do so as long as I have some control over it! Twitter logo source:
  • I started connecting to colleagues, current (and old) students, old friends in ways I hadn't connected to them before. During my presentation, I explain a few instances of connections I made recently with social (media) networks.   I truly enjoy knowing that people reshare the things I share. Some of these folks are students, some are close friends, some are acquaintances.  Good social networks allow me to customize to a great extent who receives what notifications.  Google+, for instance: Google+ logoImage source:
  • Invite to comment: Have you made any interesting connections via social (media) networks? There are lots of ways to start connecting with people and sharing media.  Next is an example of what I recently experimented with. 
  • The first thing I did was to add a way for people to add / follow me on Google+ and Twitter.  That step took a bit of time, so in future I’d work on improving the simpler things before starting to add widgets. There’s still a lot of work that I could have done here after adding those buttons.  * For instance, there’s also a list of courses I present. I can link directly to the course ClickUP pages, or to some document on our intranet describing the course in more detail. * I chose not to include a reference to my Facebook page, since I prefer using that for non-professional purposes.
  • I realized that I could allow people to add me to their Google Plus Circles, or follow me on Twitter, directly from my staff web page.  I decided to create my own URL (, which directs here.  Now I have a central place through which to route / manage my social networks. 
  • Another widget I added to my staff page is my collection of Slideshare notes - through which this presentation is being shared. 
  • For online participants:  1) Check if your phone has a QR reader application - If not, try: If you're too busy focusing on my presentation to download one, look around to see if the person next to you is using theirs.  2) Use that application to be redirected to my staff page For presentation participants: 1) Check if your phone has a QR reader application - If not, try: 2) Use that application to be redirected to my staff page (Can't wait for QR readers to become bundled with every mobile device!)
  • I speak a bit on these social (media) networks just to give those who won't know them a general idea Invite to comment: Are you connected to any of these? Which one is your favourite? 
  • Google+ is useful for me because I already use Google services such as Gmail, Scholar and -especially- Google Documents. Image source:
  • There really isn't much I need to say about Facebook.  However, there have been a few interesting developments: 1) Many web sites (including existing social networks) allow you to connect your Facebook account to their site.  I like this, because: a) I don't need to register each time I want to use a simple service (such as Doodle, which I use to do scheduling, and which in turn is connected to my Google Calendar).  b) I can discover friends already using this social network. For instance, when I joined Goodreads, a book discovery community, I already had friends whose reading lists I could add to mine! Facebook integrates very nicely with Twitter. 
  • If you're the type to count, my LinkedIn profile doesn't seem that impressive.  However:  1) I only filled out my registration a week ago 2) I didn't aggressively pursue connections * I was surprised at how useful LinkedIn has become for me.  During the  presentation , I recall  how I made a connection with a student of mine ** that wouldn't be possible if I hadn't connected to LinkedIn.  These are just some of the reasons I really like LinkedIn as a  social (media) network.  * Social scientists study so-called "super-frienders" to figure out what drives us to make connections both online and offline. ** She discovered that I teach digital publishing, and was interested in taking the subject. 
  • I've already said a lot about Twitter, so here are some interesting Twitter-related links for you to check out later: Notice how many of the sites listed here are also social (media) sites that, in turn , allow the remixing / co-creation of media (e.g. all your Twitter followers printed on your coffee cup!). I follow people that relate to my current professional interests, but other people use Twitter for entertainment.  Some folks use Twitter for entertainment in some really interesting ways: 
  • Thanks for partaking in this discussion & experiment!  That's the QR code to my staff page.  Shall we connect?
  • Facebook: Public includes people who are not your friends on Facebook and people who are not in your school or work networks. Twitter: Also, those following me - how many follow them? I'm trying out Twittercounter to find this out: Google+: Google+ introduced the "Circles" concept: My extended circles is quite a brave choice, since I have no idea where that share is going to end up.  LinkedIn: I haven't been active much since joining LinkedIn, but already have a lot of (mostly automated) connections. I haven't shared any media* yet, so not sure what to expect.  Slideshare: You're likely downloading this from, or reading this on, Slideshare.  Scribd: Scribd is a community for sharing documents - not necessarily presentations or ebooks. I'm going to try and share this on Scribd, too. 
  • Social media network experiment

    1. 1. A social (media) network experiment How I used social (media) networks to tell you about social (media) networks Kosie Eloff
    2. 2. Note: Activate / show speaker notes To get the most out of this slideshow Also, this is meant for online use. You can download an offline version via Slideshare.
    3. 3. Do you recognize any of the following? Or does anyone close to you? By the way, the speaker notes often have an invite to comment . Tweet or comment
    4. 8. There are many more examples of social (media) networks These were just for fun.  By the way, tweet your questions to @kosieeloff , use #ictsa2011 tag if you can. 
    5. 9. Definition(s) <ul><li>A group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0 , and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media are media for social interaction, as a superset beyond social communication. Enabled by ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques , social media substantially change the way of communication between organizations, communities, as well as individuals. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Also, </li></ul>
    6. 10. Social (media) networks aren't just for entertainment Though that's a fine enough purpose!
    7. 12. Why I became involved  with social (media) networks
    8. 13. Have you Googled yourself? Have you Googled someone you know? (Everyone does it) I Google myself View slide notes for an explanation of each result.  
    9. 17. So I started thinking... <ul><li>1. I want my web presence to be controlled by  me , not by anyone else  </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, this bring in all kinds of considerations: privacy, the nature of identity online & responsibilities for educators. Here's where lolcats become serious. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Integrating social (media) into my life has been an interesting experience </li></ul><ul><li>I've been living on the internet since I was a kid, so I'm fully aware of the dangers. &quot;Here be dragons&quot; , in cyberspace, translates to &quot;here be trolls, flamers and griefers&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>     </li></ul>
    10. 18. I'm connected to lots of networks now How many are you connected to? I ask, because this is what I found when I connected:
    11. 21. I've only started experimenting (example follows) But there are so many connections still to be made & media to share.
    12. 22. First step: added Google+ and Twitter widgets
    13. 25. I decided to make a QR code to paste on my door  (or wherever else) Links to
    14. 26. So that's the (hopefully) inspirational part
    15. 27. Popular social (media) networks - Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn - Google Plus (Google+)
    16. 28. Google+
    17. 29. Facebook
    18. 30. LinkedIn
    19. 31. Twitter
    20. 32. Issues related to social (media) networks No-one has the all the answers to these issues, but people are working on them
    21. 33. Challenges for higher education <ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>How do we connect to students? Should we connect to students? Should we use existing social (media) networks, or use our own? How do we create/share digital media responsibly & effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>How do we connect with other researchers / institutions? Which aspects of social (media) creation are related to our own research?  </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><li>Can social (media) networks improve the way we do our everyday work? Do we have the technical infrastructure and  media expertise  to support all of this?  </li></ul>
    22. 34. Social (media) network criticisms <ul><li>Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>How much about your life do you want to expose to not only others, but to the data centres of large multinationals? </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioural effects </li></ul><ul><li>Is the use of social (media) significantly changing how we communicate / work / play? </li></ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Can't leverage the most promising aspects of SMN if they aren't simple to use.  </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability </li></ul><ul><li>How much can these networks scale? Twitter's overflowing, for instance. How can digital media formats persist / be archived? Who owns these media (especially user information)? </li></ul>
    23. 35. Shall we connect?
    24. 36. My social (media) networks on 19 October (date of release) Let's see how this experiment goes!  Share this with anyone you think will find it useful.   Network Shared to Connections Sharing since... Notes Facebook Public Friends: 139 A few months after launch I think that most of my shares will go through here. Twitter All followers Following: 129 Followers: 51 24 November 2010, but only active since May 2011 Challenge: communicate intent in 140 characters or less. Google+ Extended circles In my circles: 107 Have me in their circles: 99 Around July 2011 LinkedIn Connections only Connections: 71 People in my network: 3 338 October 2011 I decided just to share with connections (not &quot;anyone&quot; to see what happens).  Scribd Followers Reads: 0 Uploads: 0 Followers: 21 N/A; not very active (yet) Here, I didn't just share a link. I shared a derivative work. Slideshare N/A, as I'm sharing this presentation via all the other networks.  Following: 6 Followers: 2 Social media: 594 views September 2011