Blog Pile

Narrowing On Social Software

Harry was working on some new internet buzzwords this morning. Later today, I hope to be learning more about GHOS, Mady, and JiLT. Looks like some HTMl tags floating around the table too.

I’ve been just as guilty of doing Social Software / Web 2.0 type demos that are the equivalent of urban strength fire hoses. “Let’s get ’em bloggin’ and wiki’in and bookmarkin’ and flickrin’ and …”

It seems almost like a techno fools natural tendancy to try and get everyone excited abotu everything.

But the alphabet soup is likely a big bowl to slurp.

In my numerous worthy discussions this week with Brian Lamb, I am rethinking pressuring up that hose in the future. I am thinking that a more in depth experience with one sort of tool would be more effective.

I have seen this in a past session at UC San Diego (thanks Bernie Dodge) that flickr is the ideal candidate because:

* everyone has a personal interest / use for digital photos
* the interface is just plain fun and even sarcastic (remember the reference to “fascinating terms of service” and also elegant (I fell early in love with the pre-AJAX in page editing)
* it makes tagging meaningful
* the groups provide connectivity, discussion, sharing
* comments and favorites are a means of blogging via commenting
* the creative commons pool is soemthing every one should be intimately aware of
* The number of 3rd party tools and apps has more use and interest grab points than anything I have ever demo-ed (Spell With flickr is my all time fave)
* free slide shows from sets, tags, favorites, etc
* Hotspots. Hotspots. Annotated freaking hotspots. I cannot believe that not more teachers have dove into the flickr notes feature. After it being more than a year old, I still find Beth Harris’s Art History example as my only educational thing that uses this! What discipline does not have a use for a tool to created annotated images? And with links one can embed, think about the range of non-linear stories one can weave across images?

That is just my sales pitch. I can see a workshop /activity /session scaffolding first on doing some things with basic photography skills- taking good digital imegs, being creative with using a camera to capture metaphors and symbols. Then move on to basic photo editing in either iPhoto or Picassa/.

In flickr, one starts even before loading images. Teach how to search for photos, how to use tags, how to post comments.

Move on to loading images, writing captions, creating sets.

Advance to topics like using the annotation/notes, creating/using groups and pools, post to blog, embedding an RSS feed or badge in another web site.

There is a lot of social software one can do with just one little flickr.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. Alan,
    I love this idea! I think that even those of us who are aware of some of these technologies have not had the opportunity to learn all that it has to offer. Flick’r seems like a fantastic place to begin. So many of GWCC’s faculty are using softchalk to create opportunities for students to practice labelling images but we have yet to have a way to have students interact with an image without knowing the answer – the hot spot feature of Flick’r (which I was unaware of) certainly fits the bill. I also like the idea of getting in depth with using images!!

    I can’t wait to learn more!

  2. Great idea! I ran into that pressured up firehouse too ;-), and have had the turn the pressure down. For now, I think of it as the “sampler plate” approach, modular sessions that let me do a quick overview on one piece at a time. Hopefully, once they savour something and like it, they’ll come back for more. Meanwhile, I can take the plunge into Flickr 😉

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