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Posts Tagged ‘facebook

According to The Guardian, Twitter beats Facebook for breaking news.

It used the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as an example. While the news of this broke (and was updated) on Twitter, Facebook feeds were filled with feel-good ice bucket challenge videos for ALS.

The Guardian then went on to say that social media was not one amorphous beast and that “Twitter and Facebook are radically different networks”.

Why is this the case? The Guardian explains:

What you see on Twitter is determined by who you follow. In contrast, what you see in your Facebook newsfeed is “curated” by the company’s algorithms, which try to guess what will interest you (and induce you to buy something, perhaps).

If this sounds familiar, I reflected on this yesterday in response to thought leaders writing about Twitter’s possible move towards algorithms.

I will offer this perspective: Twitter is better for the personal learning networks (PLNs) of educators worldwide. In an impromptu #edsg chat yesterday, I mentioned that 1) Twitter & educator PLNs are practically synonymous, and 2) I have yet to see successful Facebook or Edmodo-based PLNs.

What draws educators to Twitter?

First, it is relatively simple to use. With only 140 characters to share a thought or a resource like a website, video, or image in the form of a short URL, you have to get to the point immediately. It is professional development at its most efficient, and if the resource is meaningful to you, most effective.

The brevity of tweets allows you to consume many in one sitting. Imagine reading comic cells instead of War and Peace tomes. The bite-sized experiences can be very empowering.

Second, you choose to follow people of substance. You do this by manually adding to your Follow list or subscribing to a list of recommended tweeters. Unlike Facebook friending, when you follow tweeters professionally, you are more likely to benefit from their distilled wisdoms instead of their inane navel-gazing.

That is not to say that there is no personal connection or humour or noise in Twitter. It is that you get to choose people who choose to share in a certain way.

Third, you can manually tune in to discussions via hashtags like #edsg. Whether the online discussions are synchronous (fast and furious chats) or asynchronous (slow chats), you are in the company of like-minded folks who have questions and answers that interest you. Hashtagged chats are like tuning in to specific radio channels except that you can participate instead of just listening. The hashtag is so powerful that even Facebook and Google+ have some form of it.

All this is not to say that PLNs cannot be formed in Facebook, Edmodo, Google+, or any other platform. The adoption of a platform is a sociotechnical phenomenon, and while Twitter was not designed specifically for PLNs, it currently ticks most of the right boxes. Educators have appropriated Twitter for personal learning and have adapted to its idiosyncrasies.

The power of a Twitter-based PLN lies in human connection, content creation or curation, and communication. If Twitter moves the goalposts by introducing a more algorithm-driven timeline, educators the world over will decide whether on not they want to keep playing Twitter’s game on Twitter’s field.

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This is probably the safest video I can share from this pair of musical comediennes, Garfunkel & Oates.

Their tongue-in-cheek video about Facebook reminders of the birthdays of “friends” you barely know barely scratches the surface of what is wrong with that “social” media platform.

Of late, there have been a few thought leaders writing about the actions of major players like Facebook and Twitter. One is Natasha Lomas of Techcrunch who wrote There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media.

Like me, Lomas likes Twitter and would not miss Facebook if it disappeared overnight (and so does this writer). Like me, she worries that Twitter might use Facebook-like algorithms to populate our Twitter timelines.

With algorithms machines not only decide what you read first, they are also optimized to benefit Facebook and its advertisers.

I carefully curate what I share and who I choose to follow. I even cull who follows me. I do not mind Twitter making recommendations if they add value to my learning, but I do not appreciate unwelcome or unknown tweets appearing in my timeline. Such tweets are typically from corporations or brands that I have no interest in and I have no option to opt out of their drivel.

I understand Twitter’s need to monetize its service. But it should not do so at the risk of antagonizing its users, particularly early adopters like me, who by curating and creating content as well as generating followers, actually helped Twitter grow.

Lomas made an interesting observation:

Another point worth making: It can be rather difficult to articulate exactly why a service like Twitter can feel so alive, when — conversely — Facebook, an apparently similar social service, can leave you feeling cold, suckered in, used and abused. Or indeed just bored by homogeneity.

But actually it’s really rather a simple distinction: one is the product of a single human mind; the other is the product of an algorithm. Twitter, as it (mostly) is now with users in the driving seat, is a service with a human soul. While Facebook, which long ago prioritized algorithmic logic over human choices, is just another mechanized process.

Automation and algorithms can make things convenient for the user. In Facebook, after you provide personal and demographic information, you get instant “friend” recommendations and then instant content (but not necessarily of your choosing or your taste).

Twitter seems to be seeking to do the same. But it is the human work of cultivating, curating, and culling that brings real value.

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Facebook is a juggernaut. But if you keep tabs on social media trends you might get a sense that the older set are adopting it and the younger set are avoiding it.

Here is a musical reason why (courtesy of the brilliant Brett Domino Trio).

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You do not have to be on Facebook to misrepresent your life. People have been doing this before social media. There are probably cave drawings of conquests that have been “editorialized” by a PR-savvy cave chief.

So let us not kid ourselves. And let us teach our kids to know and do better too.

It has been a week since I presented at the PGCB conference in the Philippines.

At the end of my presentations at conferences, seminars, or workshops, I normally invite participants to connect with me on social media to keep conversations going.

I normally get a droplet or two by way of response. This is not a bad thing as only the most sincere make the effort to connect and converse.

But following my presentation in the Philippines last week, I experienced a stream of connections on Facebook. I call it a Friend-zy.

I rarely step into Facebook because of the mostly navel-gazing that happens there. People who know me well know that I prefer Twitter because I use it as a personal learning network and a means to amplify my messages. Thankfully several birds of a feather flocked to follow me there instead.

I stand by my closing message: If you cannot reach them, you cannot teach them. The Filipino teachers who are already on that platform want to share photos and thoughts, to say thank you, or to ask questions. So I will be there for them.

By doing this, I will not just walk the talk, I will also model processes for them to do the same with their students. Behaviours like these are often not taught. They are caught.

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This BuzzFeed video suggests nine unwritten Facebook rules we should all follow.

As serendipity might have it, Jack of jackfilms reminded me of a tenth rule.

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I am not suggesting that we need to be Grammar Nazis. However, it certainly helps to maintain a good level of written English.

Note: Jack’s video contains expletives. If you do not like four-letter words, you should **** off. By **** I mean something like walk, move, back, or take.

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If you are honest (and funny) about Facebook lookback videos, what would you say?

Perhaps something like the video above. But not as funny.

Or a lot more tragic. Like the video below.

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It does not take much to create opportunities for some critical thinking.

It might help to bring in a context shared by all your learners. It might also help to use a funny video.

Not all will identify with the father’s loss of his son. Not all with appreciate the humour. But most, if not all, will react to the emotion.

If we want our learners to think, we must get them to feel first.

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