Archive for October, 2010

Extending the network

I’ve been have some interesting experiences with my excursions into the twittering, or is it tweeting, world. And as a result, some of my prior assumptions about the value of social media are under some kind of transformation. I’m not sure that I can clearly share what I’m getting just yet, but here’s a go at it. While there are definitely challenges to sorting through the volume of tweets coming in, I have likewise definitely found some interesting topics and links either through people that I follow, or by exploring tweets of people who are followed by people I follow (is that clear?!). Sometimes, I’ve found interesting things by just scanning some of the trending topics in Tweetdeck.

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Is there anyone out there?

Tossing around thoughts about my recent forays into the twitter world, developing a personal learning environment/network, and how a LMS fits into a learning picture, the image of a neural network came to mind. Is a PLN something like an extended neural network? Well, for one thing, any neurons I’m connecting with via the net aren’t really directly connected to my own. But through the exchange of experience, understanding, information, and knowledge, there is some kind of connection. I would say that at this point my extended neural network that works through the digital media world is still in an early growth stage.

Am I like the 2 or 3 year old who is learning to talk and puts his/her fingers into whatever is near, still learning to discern this from that and not yet really understanding the ways of working in this world? Or maybe I’m a bit further along in my development, but I don’t think so far, especially when considering the social media aspect. My extended neural network and the ability to understand and use digital media is probably closer to the neural development of an 8-10 year old. That’s just a guess without having really deep knowledge of the stages of neural development in the human being.

Anyway, I’m still experimenting, finding interesting stuff, going for a digital ride, at times, with uncertain outcomes except that I realize time has passed. Filter and focus are key ingredients to this recipe that seems to under continuous revision. I do believe that my learning network has increased. Twitter has opened the door to something more than google search. And while delicious is a result of a human touch, it’s not visible like with twitter. I don’t have a Facebook page and am not sure that I will anytime soon. I do have a Linked In profile and have participated in some of the forums there. I kind of like twitter with the ability to find and follow an interesting hashtag, search on topics. So, I do think I am extending my learning network. It’s mostly as a consumer at this point, but I think that’s a starting point.

Drinking from the digital ocean

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I’m finding that RSS gives me a chance to have a selective drink from the digital ocean. It does help to have option to have the news I choose delivered at my digital doorstep. However, I do have to discover what I want to be included in that delivery. Of course, I can choose to read or not, too. I do like the netvibes ability to put a feed in its own window from which I can browse the posts that look to be of interest. One of the ongoing challenges is to sort out just what is relevant and is of interest. I guess that’s an ongoing process, isn’t it?

I found an blog I’m checking out that touches on that – zenhabits. The author, Leo Babuata, say it’s about: finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, find happiness.” That’s it with any of these tools, isn’t it? Clear the clutter so we can focus on the important. And, just what that may be… we each have to discover, eh?