Connecting, Sharing and Curating

The New Year has prompted a range of posts about trends in connecting, sharing and curating.

Some examples I have found in the last few days:

Stephen Downes linked to Nick DeNardis’s post Why now is a great time to do an OAuth audit. Nick points out that “The beginning of the year is a great opportunity to start fresh and look at everything with a new set of eyes. Something that is easily overlooked is who (or what) has access to your social media accounts. It’s easy to change your password and revoke access from co-workers but it isn’t as easy to identify which websites and services have access to your accounts.”

Alistair Gray shared a link with the International Sports Management LinkedIn Group to a Dan Schawbel discussion of optimising use of LinkedIn. Dan identifies two fundamental principles of networking in his conversation with Jan Vermeiren, the founder of Networking Coach: the networking attitude (give and receive); and the Know, Like, Trust factor.

A Diigo Teacher-Librarian Group link from a page to an Apollo Research Institute Report (April 2011) on Future Work Skills. The Report identified ten skills “vital for success in the workforce”:

  • Sense-making: an ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence: an ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions
  • Novel and adaptive thinking: a proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based
  • Cross-cultural competency: an ability to operate in different cultural settings
  • Computational thinking: an ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning
  • New media literacy: an ability to assess critically and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication
  • Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines
  • Design mindset: an ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes
  • Cognitive load management: an ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques
  • Virtual collaboration: an ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team

Robin Good observes that:

By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can’t avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.

This week’s presenter in the #change11 MOOC, Howard Rheingold has discussed five essential literacies:

I’ve concluded that one important step that people can take is to become more adept at five essential literacies for a world of mobile, social, and always-on media: attention, crap detection, participation, collaboration, and network know-how. The effects of these literacies can both empower the individuals who master them and improve the quality of the digital culture commons.

Stephen Downes shared a great link to Alec Couros’s end of year Social Media and Open Education blog post about student work. Alec notes that:

I wanted to use the last post of the year to share a few examples of the great work that is being done by my graduate and undergraduate students. I am so very fortunate to have creative & hard-working students who are committed to improving their knowledge of teaching and learning in light of our new digital landscape. I hope that some of these examples will inspire you to take up new challenges in your own context.

These examples included student projects using: stop-motion technique; Glogster; Freemind; Xtranormal; Screenr; Jing; Voicethread; TikaTok; Prezi; and Knovio.

SlideShare compiled 12 presentations that look at change in 2012. I was particularly interested in Skytide’s 7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2012 and the discussion of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming. Skytide suggest “As adoption of adaptive bitrate protocols grows, providers of legacy streaming methods will find themselves under increased pressure to prove their added value. Witness the recent decision by Adobe to cease further development of its mobile FlashPlayer.”

I noted from an iSportConnect alert that the Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse team is using Twitter handles on its shirts (and following on a lead from two football teams (Valencia and Jaguares de Chiapas). Whilst looking at the Twitter possibilities I saw the Twitter blog post about New Year’s Eve activity. The post includes a video visualisation of tweets.

Phil Davis has written a post for The Scholarly Kitchen, Tweets and Our Obsession with Alt Metrics, that offers another perspective on tweeting. He discusses Gunther Eysenbach’s paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. The comments on this post make for fascinating reading and raise some salutary issues for me about connecting, sharing and curating.

I thought I would end this post with a link to Tagxedo. It is a word cloud generator and I have used it here to summarise the content of this post.

Photo Credits


Share Your Ideas

Librarian Action Figure

Narrative Networks

I heard Marieke Hardy’s conversation with Dominic Knight on Radio National’s Book Show last week

She was discussing the art of writing a memoir with Dominic and two other guests, Tanveer Ahmed and Benjamin Law. Part of the conversation was about “how many youthful indiscretions can you reveal without being disowned by your family? Is it fair on an ex to have the intimate details of your relationship immortalised in print, and should you give them a right of reply?”

Marieke was talking about her approach to writing You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead. This approach is discussed by Danielle Binks in her review:

Apart from being very funny, Hardy is also audaciously honest (always good in a memoir/autobiography). But her honesty stretches beyond self-reflection and confession. The book includes e-mail exchanges with the people she (sometimes viciously) writes about. An old boyfriend corresponds with her after reading the short story about their prostitute-riddled relationship – an interesting e-mail in which he despairs the seeming lack of love she had for him, and is bewildered by her confession of his purely bad-boy appeal. An old friend carrying an old hurt responds to Marieke’s confessional story about the demise of their friendship – and it’s both awkward for being so relatable, while also brimming with surprising hope for social networking.

The Book Show discussion explored the idea of a right to reply in a memoir. Marieke was very clear about this right, Tanveer and Benjamin took a different view.

Listening to the interview, following up with a visit to Marieke’s blog and reading Danielle’s review took me back to discussions in the 1980s about how Action Researchers dealt with interview transcripts and embodied cooperative enquiry.

A week later I was exploring a different kind of narrative. A link from #Change11 took me to a page and then to George Dvorsky’s Sentient Development blog post Propaganda 2.0 and the Rise of Narrative Networks. He points to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s call for research “to revolutionize the study of narratives and narrative influence by advancing narrative analysis and neuroscience so as to create new narrative influence sensors, doubling status quo capacity to forecast narrative influence.”

Dawn Lim has blogged about this call too. She notes that a workshop (Neurobiology of Narratives) held in April 2011 explored “the relationship between the seemingly disparate but deeply related issues of memory, judgment, identity, narrative and neuroscience.”  This workshop had five goals:

  • To assay narrative effects on our basic neurochemistry.
  • To understand narrative impact on the neurobiology of memory, learning and identity.
  • To assess narrative influence on the neurobiology of emotions.
  • To examine how narratives influence moral neurobiology.
  • To survey how narratives modulate other brain mechanisms related to social cognition.

I wondered what a workshop on narrative might look like with Marieke as the keynote speaker, with John Heron as the chair and the audience from the April event. I wondered too about the links between narrative networks and narrative engines.

Quite a journey via a fortuitous Radio National listening experience!

Photo Credits

Story Hour on the Roof

Italian Boys Listening

Community and Trust

I have been thinking a lot about communities of late.

Last week I wrote about trust, connectedness and kindness to exlplore some of these ideas.


Sue, my wife, is reading Donald Epstein and Nathaniel Altman’s book The 12 Stages of Healing. We have been discussing the ideas in the book in relation to wellness.

I was attracted in particular to Donald and Nathaniel’s discussion of community as “a way of being” that has a number of facets that include:

  • Bodymind
  • Primary relationships
  • Shared interests

Donald and Nathaniel observe that:

It is human nature to draw boundaries or imaginary ‘circles’ around our lives. Some people draw these circles and around their experiences to the exclusion of everyone else. Others expand their circles to include family and friends. Many enlarge their circles to include members of their religious denominations or those who share their nationality or political beliefs.

They suggest that as we broaden our circles:

we often draw on divergent energies (like arguments, disagreements and conflicts) to us. However, as we increase our sense of community and connection to others, we find that arguments, disagreements, and conflicts are only labels we place on divergent energies as a means of drawing attention to them.

They conclude that “what appears to be chaotic on an obvious or intermediate level is the basis of order within a larger context”. Divergent energies are essential to the flourishing of a community “because it is only through challenging our patterns and perspectives that we can learn to live more deeply within ourselves”. As a community accepts divergent energies it is able “to achieve a higher level of evolution and order”.


I am profoundly interested in community flourishing and see the integration of divergent energies as a key to lasting change. As I was contemplating this integration I came across a story in the Education Guardian (thanks to an alert from Sue’s RSS feeds). Wendy Berliner, the author of the story, discussed a survey of teachers in the UK . She introduced her discussion with this paragraph:

Disrespected, often bullied, fed up with governments that don’t trust them and despairing of the decline in parenting skills, you’d think teachers would be scouring the jobs columns for other careers, but, according to the Guardian Teacher Network survey published today, the reason they aren’t in larger numbers is because so many of them still love teaching.

One teacher quoted by Wendy observes that:

I have never before worked in a place where I have not been treated as a professional. My every move is monitored. I am not trusted to do the job I have trained and gained qualifications to do. It has had a great impact on my confidence to do the job.

Another teacher notes that:

I feel we’re missing a trick. Surely if we support colleagues rather than berate them, and focus on delivering engaging lessons, we will have a much happier staff whose love of what they do will rub off on the pupils.

I feel sad that many teachers are now, more than ever before, expected to be social workers, parents and teachers all rolled into one as there is a lack of parental support. Children are hoofed into schools and we have to do the groundwork of teaching them manners and how to behave properly.

Surely the school should just be one link in the chain? Parents, teachers and society at large all have a role to play in producing rounded, responsible members of society.

Energised by Divergence

I see differentness and the willingness to accept it as important cornerstones of community flourishing. I do see connectedness as the filament of community development (it seems to be a cosmic ‘reality’ too).

The current #Change11 MOOC suggests that “being connected changes learning. When those connections are global, the experience of knowledge development is dramatically altered as well.” This week in the course Allison Littlejohn is discussing connected knowledge collective learning.

My thinking about and practice of connectedness was transformed by a community of practice in 2008 (CCK08). Since then I have been keen to explore what Donald and Nathaniel refer to as the Twelfth Stage. I see trust as the trigger for this stage … trusting yourself and trusting others.

Photo Credits

Beware: Graffiti artists

Glogauer Strasse