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This is interesting: Facebook is planning to add hashtags as an option for updates.  While this is heavily used by twitter as a keyword and categorization method around a topic or event, I’m interested to see what this might mean for Facebook.  Social Media today reported that:

The WSJ reported this last week Facebook is moving to allow users to engage around topics by using a hashtag field in status updates, that would presumably be viewable openly by Facebook’s 1 billion users.

I think possibly the strongest benefit may be from social media users who post across social networks.  For example, I use Tweetdeck to post to Twitter and Facebook pages at the same time. Other folks use  If This Then That (ITTT) or Hootsuite to do something similar.

This will certainly allow me to use hashtags as an organization, or grouping, tool within my posts.  For teaching and learning, I could see that this would really help with postings across social networks, such as a twitter post that works well with one of my courses or teacher professional development programs and so I will be able to post it in both places using the common hashtags.

What other thoughts do you have about Facebook using hashtags?

via Facebook Hashtags: What Will They Mean for Brands and Users? | Social Media Today.

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, half-length portrait, standing, facing left, tipping his hat.This weekend on NPR’s On the Media, I heard an interesting segment about how to begin codifying the method by which we recognize and attribute sources of our information on the web.  Now, I’m an academic, so I tend to live and breathe American Psychological Association (APA) referencing.  However, with the advent of Twitter and Facebook, these media’s constraints don’t really reconcile easily with the notion of a two or three line APA reference.

Many bloggers and tweeters agree that it’s good netiquette to acknowledge where sources of information were retrieved.  In research, we consider referencing essential. Hat tips, sometimes abbreviated “h/t” in Twitter posts are pretty common. As common is “via …” with a URL or source website filled in.  At the Curator’s Code, they have attempted to standardize and operationalize “hat tip” and “via.”

How it works

Via is used to denote a link of direct discovery. The folks at the Curator’s Code have even gone so far to suggest there is a symbol that should be used instead of the word via.  It’s this sideways S symbol.

The unicode for this symbol to use on a webpage is ᔥ

Similarly, hat tip indicates a link of indirect discovery, story lead, or inspiration.  This is different than simply repeating or reposting something you found elsewhere.  Instead, hat tip is used as a source for your own original content that may in fact be remixed from multiple sources.  The symbol for hat tip is this curly arrow. It looks like this:

The unicode for this symbols to use on a webpage is ↬

Connecting to APA & Twitter

For me, my students, and the preservice and inservice teachers that I work with, I have to figure out how we can connect with this system with the systems we are currently using, like APA. I’m going to watch the Curator’s Code system closely. I find these symbols to be helpful, particularly in Twitter posts and possibly with SMS texting.

I liken via () to a direct quote, that is I am not making a change to the original source. I find that it most often used when retweeting or reposting a URL or a piece of another’s post. Hat tip  () then for me is similar to a paraphrase or in-text citation, where I am using others’ works to support or inspire my own. Hat tip may be used with summary or with synthesis.

Will it function?

Unfortunately, I just tried using the unicode versions and the symbols themselves in TweetDeck (my tool for Twitter), and neither worked.  I also tried using the bookmarklet that Curator’s Code has released (see it below).

The bookmarklet pulled in the HTML code for the link to Curator’s Code and the unicode for the symbol, but I didn’t see where it actually attributed the link to the current page I was on at all.  Also, it didn’t work for a pop-up window, like I’m typing in right now.

I also tried using the bookmarklet directly into Twitter and that didn’t work either. Twitter didn’t translate the HTML.

I am attempting to see if I can tweet this post with the hat tip symbol and a link to the original On the Media article and podcast.  (I’ll let you know how it goes. Update: The hat tip symbol worked going from WordPress to Twitter, but it did not show up in TweetDeck. See below.)

From Twitter:

From TweetDeck:

Will it function?

Like I said earlier, I’m going to have to watch this. Conceptually, I like the idea of standardizing, or at least operationalizing, how to acknowledge our sources. It’s critical in academic work and it’s a good method for teaching students to acknowledge their inspirations. But the system isn’t completely functional right now outside of webpages and HTML. It’s got to be easier to implement across all of the social media we use, like Twitter and Facebook, and possibly texting, where each character counts.

Your thoughts? What do you think about this idea of using the symbols and agreeing when they should be used.

Oh and by the way,

Brook Gladstone, On the Media



I’ve had a couple of folks ask me about the presentations I gave at the Midsouth Technology Conference (#mstc2010) last week. So, I wanted to go ahead and provide those links and slides.  This first one is for beginners and is about Web 2.0. I’m also providing the links to my resources that go with this presentations, so you can see all of the videos and links I use.  Enjoy!

[slideshare id=4468194&doc=web2-from-beginning-100610153458-phpapp02]

Image from http://www.dawghousedesignstudio.comLast week, I spoke with students at Clemson University in their graphic communications program about HTML and CSS, content management systems, and how to combine mediums for publishing.  Yesterday, in one of my feeds this video was brought to my attention.  It’s incredibly clever. Apparently, the video was created by Penguin Group for a sales conference and it sort of exploded from there, as mentioned in at paidcontent.org.  At Penguin Group’s blog, though, they explain the inspiration, idea, treatment, and development process, following “The Lost Generation” video.

Disclaimer:  This video was produced by publishers PenguinGroup USA and DK in the UK.

I encourage you to watch the whole thing.  Don’t stop half-way through.  If you do you’ll be disappointed. This video is very thought-provoking and it’s in the vein of Michael Wesch‘s viral The Machine is Us/Using Us.  I can see this video as a sort of mantra or battle cry for publishing as printers and publishers consider digital technologies and the individuals that rely on them.

So, take this video with awe and a grain of wisdom for recognizing it as a small piece of propaganda, too. Enjoy!  Hey, but let me know what you think about the video.  Leave your comments below.  I’d love to heard from you guys!


Guest PostFacebook is an Internet phenomenon. It launched to a small group of Harvard students in 2004 and now has millions of users worldwide. Although elearning is popular, it has not had the kind of widespread acceptance with the general public that Facebook has seen. Let’s take a look at a 5 things Facebook can teach us about elearning.

1. Anyone can do it.

One reason people give for not wanting to participate in elearning is that they aren’t good with computers or technology. According to Inside Facebook, Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is women over 55. I’ll never forget the surprise I had when I logged into Facebook and saw that I had a friend request from my mother. MY MOM IS ON FACEBOOK! I was shocked. If she has the ability to create an account, upload pictures, make status updates, and everything else she’s been doing on Facebook, why can’t she take an elearning course?

2. People don’t mind spending time online.

Another complaint I’ve heard about elearning is that people don’t like spending that much time on the computer. If you take a look at Nielsen’s Online Ratings, you’ll see that the average Facebook user spent almost 6 hours on the site in December. If someone can spend 6 hours a month updating their status, viewing photos, and participating in virtual pillow fights, they should be able to spend time participating in elearning.

3. Evolution is critical.

Facebook is constantly changing and improving. They add features that are needed and take away features that people don’t like or don’t use. They change the layout to help improve the user experience, even though everyone doesn’t always agree.  Elearning must take a similar approach for the content and the experience to remain relevant. Elearning must take advantage of the latest technology, make changes based on user feedback, and keep content up to date in order to improve the overall experience.

4. An active facilitator is not necessary.

Elearning proponents often talk about the need for an active facilitator to help create a thriving online community. Facebook blows this theory out of the water. Facebook has an extremely active and constantly growing community without having someone in charge of making sure everyone is participating. However, there is some facilitation programmed into the system. It might make a suggestion about adding a new friend or contacting someone you haven’t messaged in a while, but there is no live person checking to make sure you do these things.

5. It’s not for everyone.

I know I said earlier that anyone can do it, but that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to do it. Even with over 300 million Facebook users, there are still people who just don’t get it. I know several people who have signed up for an account, spent some time looking around, and then never returned. The same applies to elearning. It just doesn’t seem to fit with some people’s learning style.

So, if you are involved in the development of elearning, keep these things in mind. They might help it improve. If you can think of other things that Facebook can teach us about elearning (good or bad) please post them in the comments.

Guest Blogger: Joey Weaver teaches Computer Technology to high school students at Kansas Career & Technology Center in Memphis, TN. He is currently working on a Master’s degree in Instructional Design & Technology at the University of Memphis.

Image courtesy of Befitt at http://www.flickr.com/photos/befitt/3786204929/

These are my Jumptags for December 9th through December 10th:

I recently had a facebook friend post a celebratory post about reaching 400 friends. Of course, comments of congratulations followed this. However, I could not help but wonder how many of the people he would recognize or speak to if he met them on the street?

A recent blog posted by Dion Hinchcliffe lists the twenty-two power laws of the emerging social economy. I found it interesting that number 3 was Dunbar’s Law that states we can only have 150 active connections. With more than 10 social networking options available, I think of people who have more than 150 connections on each network. For example, on my LinkedIn network, I only have four connections with two group memberships.

So, how many connections do I need? Personally, I have 148 friends in Facebook. In September, Wired published an article explaining where you could purchase Facebook and Twitter friends. Most of my connections are personal connections made through education and church settings. However, I did use my friends list recently to distribute a survey for a course. Because of their feedback, I was able to focus the instructional design of my unit.

The Facebook Song seems to summarize the feelings of the growing population of social networkers. With the number of social networking sites and connections increasing, are social interaction skills beginning to suffer? I love the thought of being able to connect with high school friends or college friends. However, when you begin to suffer withdrawl symptoms because of lack of Facebook time, there is a greater problem.

[youtube width=”480″ height=”295″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSnXE2791yg[/youtube]

  • Have you suffered facebook or social networking with drawl?
  • How many social networking connections do you have?
  • How do you use these connections personally and professionally?

Guest blogger:  Jamae Allred is a former preschool teacher of six years. She enjoyed working with children from three to five years old. After completing her Masters of Science in Education in Early Childhood, she taught undergraduate early childhood courses for one year. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in instructional design & technology at the University of Memphis. Her research interests include online education and e-Learning influences in the early childhood arena. She plans to teach in higher education after completing her degree.

These are my Jumptags for October 9th through October 13th:

These are my Jumptags for September 8th

  • The Five Design Elements Every Website Needs – Discover the five design elements that every well-built website needs. Includes tips and tricks for content and navigation design.
  • How To Jump Start The Website Design Process – Discover a simple four-step process that can help any web designer squeeze inspiration out of a competitor's website design.
  • Project2Manage – Free Project Management – Project2Manage is an Online project management system that allows you to stay up-to-date, on task and connected with your team. We’ve taken the hard work of staying organized and simplified it for you.
  • 15 Essential Web Tools for Students – It's time to head back to school and there are a number of web-based and social tools to help you get through the school year. Here are 15 essential ones.
  • Microsoft Launches Tools For Teachers – Microsoft's Education Labs launched a new project this afternoon and it's better on trees and the environment. The group just announced a new Math Worksheet Generator where teachers …
  • Kineo – Tip 27: Tear down the visual wallpaper – It is time to tear down the e-learning wallpaper and take heed of some top tips on using graphics for instructional use.
  • 30 Amazing Alphabet Recreations | Tutorial9 – The Alphabet dates back to the Egyptian era and forms the basis of our language, through the years people have experimented and created a wealth of interesting and unique alphabets. This is a collection of some of the best examples.
  • 3 Successful Small Businesses on Social Media – To help you see how social media can work no matter how big or small your business, I’ve found some great case studies of small businesses that get it and are seeing results!
Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Over at The Edublogger, Sue Waters offers up a quick tutorial (with screenshots) on how to import your blog posts into your Facebook account.  With a comment I made to Sue, she also discovered it was possible to use Yahoo Pipes and splice multiple RSS feeds together and import that into your Facebook account as well.  Finally, because Facebook is accepting an RSS feed, it seems possible to publish/re-publish just about any RSS feed, including your Delicious bookmarks, a CNN feed or the feed from your Google Calendar.

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