Professional Sharing Online - series post #1

I was posting something from Creekside to my Facebook profile* the other day - using a smooth working Fb plugin for Firefox - when I thought, as I often do - this is the wrong way to go about this.

Shouldn't I be sharing via twitter or or stumbleupon or stumblr or... something else badly spelt? I'm not at all sure the people I'm connected to on Fb would be interested in reading Creekside. For that matter, I'm not sure who I'm connecting with on Fb, or why we've friended each other or what happened to some people I used to be connected with.... What exactly am I trying to accomplish here, anyway?

The sad answer is, I'm trying to "share" with "the world" and I don't know how.

By now, sharing should be super-easy. We've been in a Web 2.0 world for four or five years. According to wikipedia (a fine example of 2.0) the term Web 2.0 "is commonly associated with web applications which facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web." It's a change from earlier style "non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them."

I'm guessing I'm not really at Web 2.0 yet.

Why not? My chief reason is this: extroverts.

You may know them as trolls, though that's only a subset. They're the shouters, the Fox News types, the attention-whores, who argue to win and not to learn.

They scare the begeesers out of me, and I don't want to be any place near them. I certainly don't want to open up my content to them.

So, I rarely join on-line discussions, I moderate comments here, I haven't yet learned to wiki or twitter, and I comment with only the greatest timidity.

Ah, comments....

K. Before I get ahead of myself, I better tell you I'm in the middle of a project here - I mean, a school-project type thingy. I'd be doing all this with markers and bristol board (and feeling better about it) except my conscience in these things (who looks and sounds like Brian Kelly) won't have it. It's not 1990, he says, cryptically. These days, we do our presentations with 1s and 0s. Create on the desktop, share online.

So, the project: I'm trying to explain, if only to myself, how I use web-based communication tools. This will take several posting (fair warning) and may all come to naught. Such is life.

Pictured above is a first-draft table (created in Word, click to see it in full or here for the Google Docs version) of my on-line communications. It's mostly self-evident. Where there is more than one audience or goal I used bold text to signal the one most important to me. Also, this is a table about what I do right now, and about not what I think I should do or you should do someone else should do.

So... let's start with an easy one: column #5 - commenting on another's postings.

I don't know if it's common to think of commenting as self-publishing, but that's how I think of it. While I try to avoid bad manners and spam-commenting, I'm always aware and hopeful that other readers might find their way back to my blog(s). So, for example, when both the math and poetry blogs were as active as my literacy blog, I was always very mindful of associating one or another of them with my comment (in the "name field", not the text) depending on the post itself. In fact, I went looking for math blogs to comment on (though not so many poetry blogs because they're all so freakin touchy).

There are exceptions. There are four or five places I comment because I feel like I'm part of a long, casual conversation. The above mentioned Brian Kelly's UK WebFocus springs to mind or the I, Reader blog. As well, I also comment in order to promote or share ideas, or raise some questions ("advocacy support building") on the trade sites I visit as part of my on-going professional learning - Alphaplus or electro-textual or the Literacies Cafe.

But, by and large, my comments on sites outside my field are self-promotional. My assumed audience is either potential long distance associates or complete strangers. I'm guessing I comment about twice weekly - on average, it's more a feast or famine type thing - as part of a general goal of "taking part in the web to learn and to raise my own professional standing." Kind of a dorky goal, I know. But it keeps me up of the bars.

End post #1.

Um... Feel free to comment.

* Note: I have a "public" Facebook for learners, friends, odd-bodies, etc. and another "private" for family and some closer personal friends. It's only the public or professional-me (vs. the private-me) that I'm talking about here.


KarenB said...

Since you asked...
I only want to comment on the first bit about extroverts for now. It'll take me a lot longer to process the rest, and then, possibly, respond thoughtfully. Many times I'm moved by something I've read in print or online to the point of thinking about making a public comment. In the few instances when I've gotten further than simply muttering to myself out loud, I'm taken aback by the proliferation of mindless, reactionary or inflammatory remarks that others are posting. Are these the extroverts? I don't know - maybe they're just faster thinkers, but I don't really think so.

Wendell said...

"muttering to myself out loud" LOL

If you typed your mutterings out and posted them we'd called it "blogging".

My favourite form of debate is parallel posting, I think.

Imagine, I post something on my blog. You disagree (and maybe say so politely in the comments) and post a reasoned and/or impassioned argument of your blog. If I'm vexed enough, I might bring it up again in another post... And so on, with the readership getting both sides and making up their own minds.

What's nice about that model is that nobody has to host bad manners on their own site.

Thks for commenting!!

OzGrace said...

please: what is creekside?

Wendell said...

Ah, yes... What is Creekside.

I don't know, exactly. A current-events / political blog maybe hosted out of BC?

It is a blog that calls attention to interesting (and distressing) West-coast and National news stories typically hidden in the back pages of the Globe & Mail. It has a "left-wing" bias (Yay!) and new posts appear about every third day.

The link is in the text about, or go here:

Spam and malware free, usually safe for work (unless you work for the Prime Minister).

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