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a new way to conceptualize Web 2.0 technologies as memory enhancement and an emergent form of collective intelligence

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  1. 1. Mnemonomics: Social Networking as Collaborative Memory Richard Smyth, Ph.D. EDCO Collaborative 11 April 2008
  2. 2. Purpose/Objectives <ul><li>Theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Propose a way to conceptualize new technologies as aides de memoire </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer practical way of managing information overload </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Part I: Theory A New Concept for Communications Technology <ul><li>Mneme: “memory” </li></ul><ul><li>Nomos: “management” </li></ul><ul><li>Mnemonomics: “managing memory” </li></ul>
  4. 4. A Brief History of Memory <ul><li>Orality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>f2f communication (storytellers) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>memories/history stored in human brains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Literacy (alphabetic and print) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memory stored in books, libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Electracy (“secondary orality”) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memory stored electronically/digitally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Pixels are the movable type of the future” (Stafford 288). </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Technology as Prosthesis <ul><li>Think of communications technologies as expanding functions of the human mindbrain: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>memory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reason </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>emotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social networking </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Technology as Amplication <ul><li>“ The knowledge and technologies that triggered the jump from clan to tribe to nation to market to network all shared one characteristic: They each amplified the way individual humans think and communicate, and magnified their ability to share what they know.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Rheingold, Smart Mobs 181) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Technology as Augmentation <ul><li>“ What literacy is to the analytical mind, electracy is to the affective body: a prosthesis that enhances and augments a natural or organic human potential. Alphabetic writing is an artificial memory that supports long complex chains of reasoning impossible to sustain within the organic mind. Digital imaging similarly supports extensive complexes of mood atmospheres beyond organic capacity.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Ulmer “Electracy and Pedagogy”) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Web2.0 as Mnemonic Prosthetic <ul><li>How are new technologies changing the nature of memory? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they supplement our memory? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they free up our minds from having to remember? </li></ul>
  9. 9. as public memory <ul><li>“ The actual database represents crystallized attention--what people are looking at, and what they're trying to remember.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Joshua Schacter </li></ul><ul><li>(founder of, quoted in Wikinomics p. 42) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Searching Other People’s Memory <ul><li>Searching Google = searching robot memory </li></ul><ul><li>Searching = searching (expanded, technologically enhanced) human memory </li></ul><ul><li>“ Google knows the words on the pages but doesn’t know what the pages are about.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Weinberger, “Tagging Lets Ordinary Users Organize the Internet”) </li></ul>
  11. 11. On following tags in <ul><li>“ It’s like having the world of people who care about a topic tell you everything they found of interest and, unlike at Google, you’ll find the pages the people have decided are about your topic.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Weinberger, “Tagging Lets Ordinary Users Organize the Internet”) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Collective Intelligence: Epistemology as Community <ul><li>If is a way to publicly remember personal websites, then networking with others on is a way of adding other people’s memories to your own .  </li></ul><ul><li>Who you know becomes how you know:  epistemology as community. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Smyth “Memory in the Age of Electracy”) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Part II: Practice How to Manage Information Overload <ul><li>Check news aggregator daily! </li></ul><ul><li>Subscribe to relevant sources </li></ul><ul><li>“ Memorize” immediately: scan, select, and organize </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to “Memorize” a Blogline <ul><li>Check to “Keep New” </li></ul><ul><li>200 headlines max! [first (#)] </li></ul><ul><li>Feedlist tells how many kept “new” [second (#)] </li></ul>
  15. 15. How to “Memorize” a Blogline <ul><li>“ Clip” the blogline </li></ul><ul><li>Save to clippings folder </li></ul><ul><li>Create folders! </li></ul>
  16. 16. How to “Memorize” a Blogline <ul><li>Save to bookmarking site (e.g. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Warnings! <ul><li>If you don’t “Keep New” or “Clip,” the headline will disappear!! </li></ul><ul><li>When (not if ) you fall behind, don’t be afraid to make them all disappear! (You would have been missing them anyway….) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Suggestions <ul><li>Spend some time experiencing news! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>think of bloglines as “storage” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>think of listening/reading as “retrieval” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t keep duplicates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if you clip a blog, don’t keep it new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>after experiencing an item, bookmark it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if you bookmark it, delete from clippings </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. -- Mnemonomic Practices <ul><li>use multiple tags to increase access during searches and be part of emergent folksonomic paradigms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. informationliteracy, information_literacy, infolit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>research tag labels before using </li></ul><ul><ul><li>search for the tags you think to use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use what appear to be the most common </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. -- Mnemonomic Practices <ul><li>bundle all tags </li></ul><ul><ul><li>immediately categorize newly created tags to avoid buildup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>put “uncategorized” into a miscellaneous bundle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>create new bundles as patterns emerge among miscellaneous </li></ul></ul><ul><li>bundles categorize & express interests </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Network with those who share your foci in </li></ul>Mnemonomic Social Networking: Social Bookmarking
  22. 22. Mnemonomic Social Networking: Social Bookmarking <ul><li>Watch who’s watching you! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>you might want to establish a “mutual connection” in (like the one between informationgoddess29 and me), depending on their interests as expressed in their bundles and tags </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Mnemonomic Social Networking: Microblogging <ul><li> -- who are you following? </li></ul>
  24. 24. Mnemonomic Social Networking: Slidesharing <ul><li> -- who’s in your group? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Mnemonomic Social Networking: Epistemology as Community <ul><li>Collective intelligence: communities of individuals who publicly map their skills so that everybody else in the community is aware of who has what available skills (Levy) </li></ul><ul><li>the above social networking sites are nascent forms of collective intelligence and collaborative mnemonics </li></ul>
  26. 26. Works Cited/Resources <ul><li>Levy, Pierre. Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. New York: Basic Books, 1997. </li></ul><ul><li>Levy, Pierre. “Trees of Knowledge.” Connected Magazine. 7 July 1997. Viewed 10 April 2008. . </li></ul><ul><li>Rheingold, Howard. Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution . Cambridge, MA: Pegasus Publishing, 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Smyth, Richard. “Memory in the Age of Electracy.” Scholaris Erratus (blog). 11 October 2007. Viewed 10 April 2008. . </li></ul><ul><li>Stafford, Barbara Maria. Artful Science: Enlightenment Entertainment and the Eclipse of Visual Education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>Tapscott, Don and Anthony D. Williams. Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. New York: Portfolio, 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory. L. “Electracy and Pedagogy.” Viewed 10 April 2008. . </li></ul><ul><li>Ulmer, Gregory L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Weinberger, David. “Tagging Lets Ordinary Users Organize the Internet.” NPR (20 September 2005). Viewed 10 April 2008. . </li></ul>
  27. 27. Contact <ul><li>Richard Smyth, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>