Among active Facebook users, the term “Like Bomb” describes someone rapidly liking a whole bunch of content on your wall. The question is when, if ever, is this a good thing to do?
Like so much else in life, one person’s trash is another’s treasures. Some people love broccoli, other’s can’t abide it. Some people love seeing a long, raid list of notifications show up. Others, especially those who get Facebook notifications on their cell phone or email Inbox, may find it highly annoying.
And, thus, there’s a simple answer:
- If you don’t know someone well enough to predict their reaction, it’s probably a bad idea to Like Bomb their Facebook wall.
- If someone hits your wall hard, it’s fair game to return the favor.
- If you’re looking to engage with someone on Facebook, hit like a maximum of 3-5 items and craft a heart-felt comment.
Another word of warning: too many likes in a rapid span and you’ll end up in Facebook jail. That’s a temporary (but highly annoying) condition whereby Facebook disables the like (and/or commenting) features for your account.
What do you think? Are you happy or annoyed when someone blows up your Facebook notification stream with a dozen or more likes?
Image Source: The Library of Congress, no known copyright
A story aired on NPR this morning about the backlash Google Glass is already facing, even before it is generally available:
Right now, Google Glass might be the world’s worst spy camera; if you go out in public with a pair on, you are guaranteed to attract attention. Still, the idea of techies mounting a tiny screen and a little camera to their faces makes millions of people uncomfortable.
According to Sarah Rotman Epps, a tech analyst at Forrester Research, that is why Google is rolling out Glass to the world slowly in stages.
“Google has been incredibly transparent … with their Glass rollout,” Epps says. “They realize that Google Glass will require shifting social norms to be accepted.”
The excitement about Google Glass reminds me of the buzz back in Fall, 2001 about Segway:
[Inventor Kamen] believes the Segway “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” He imagines them everywhere: in parks and at Disneyland, on battlefields and factory floors, but especially on downtown sidewalks from Seattle to Shanghai. “Cars are great for going long distances,” Kamen says, “but it makes no sense at all for people in cities to use a 4,000-lb. piece of metal to haul their 150-lb. asses around town.” In the future he envisions, cars will be banished from urban centers to make room for millions of “empowered pedestrians”–empowered, naturally, by Kamen’s brainchild.
Segway does not release sales figures, but best estimates are that no more than 100,000 units have shipped in a decade of sales.
Six years after the release of the Segway, another eagerly anticipated product hit the marketplace (from Jan., 2007):
After more than two years in the making, Apple CEO Steve Jobs Tuesday announced the company’s intention to enter the mobile handset market, unveiling the new Apple iPhone. The iPhone brings together several features of the iPod, digital camera, smart phones and even portable computing to one device, with a widescreen display and an innovative input method.
“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything,” Jobs said.
Through six generations of releases Apple has now sold 300-350 million iPhones.
Google Glass: Segway or iPhone?
What is a better model for predicting the trajectory of Google Glass?
Will Google Glass suffer the same disappointing fate as Segway? Will it wilt under the weight of high expectations and resistance to change? Or, is it a revolutionary product that defines a new mode of communication and computing?
In its favor, Google Glass is less expensive, is a natural evolution of existing products and has a supportive ecosystem of developers. Yet, as Ms. Epps said, “Google Glass will require shifting social norms to be accepted.” Demonstrating the risks, cafes, casinos, and other locations with privacy concerns have already moved to ban the use of Google Glass.
Google is pioneering an entirely new model of computing usage. Early users reviews are positive, but without a consumer price tag it is difficult to predict consumer viability. There’s a big difference in the level of consumer demand for a $200 product than a $500 one. Also, Google still has time to address privacy concerns. (For example, it could add a visible indicator showing when a device is recording.)
Also, if the long rumored segment of smart-watches emerges, Google Glass will face competition. There is no doubt a huge market for even more portable Internet-enabled smart devices, but it is too early to tell what form factor will gain social acceptance.
What do you think? Will Google Glass be the next iPhone or the next Segway?
I decided to bite the bullet and migrate off of Jetpack for managing subscriptions to this blog. Instead, I’m now giving MailChimp a try (thank you to Jeff H. for the recommendation).
One of the reasons I’m moving is that Jetpack provides me, as the blog author, with no control over subscriptions. I can see a list of email addresses for subscribers but have no control over what is sent, when it is sent, or to remove someone from a list.
Alas, that means that those of you who have subscribed via Jetpack are going to get this blog post sent to you twice: first via Jetpack and second via MailChimp (though not necessarily in that order!).
You are free to unsubscribe from either list (or both, though I’d prefer you didn’t!). If you’re not sure which to decide, I suggest keeping the MailChimp subscription and dropping the Jetpack one. That way if I ever end up moving those blog to another spot on the Internet, your subscription will remain intact.
That you for dealing with this one-time inconvenience of the switch-over.
And, if you’re not a subscriber and would like to be, either fill out the form at the top-left-hand side of this blog or head here to subscribe.
Image credit: George Eastman House
Update for subscribers: I screwed up. I setup MailChimp incorrectly yesterday and you got a strange looking template email. I think it’s all correct now… I apologize for messing up and having a junk email sent to you!
What are some characteristics shared by the best blogs?
The best blogs:
1. Convey informed passion about a topic,
2. Share a mix of opinion and facts in a consistent voice… regular readers know what to expect,
3. Are updated consistently so there’s a reason to return,
4. Have a mix of words, pictures and/or video.
5. Cultivate community in comments.
What do you think makes a great blog?
Image Credit: The U.S. National Archives
I ran across an interesting item today by Annie Murphy Paul about how today’s “students can’t resist multitasking, and it’s impairing their memory.” The entire article is worth reading, here’s a taste of the conclusions:
Young people think they can perform two challenging tasks at once, Meyer acknowledges, but “they are deluded,” he declares. It’s difficult for anyone to properly evaluate how well his or her own mental processes are operating, he points out, because most of these processes are unconscious. And, Meyer adds, “there’s nothing magical about the brains of so-called ‘digital natives’ that keeps them from suffering the inefficiencies of multitasking. They may like to do it, they may even be addicted to it, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far better to focus on one task from start to finish.”
In thinking about my own teaching strategies, I realized I’ve been using multiple methods to channel multi-taskers and help them maintain focus.
- I have students prepare a short summary of assigned reading. This helps students maintain attention in small manageable pieces while promoting active reading.
- In other writing assignments, I provide students with a detailed outline with what is expected in each section. Although there is no question that writing a research paper from beginning to end is a valuable skill, that’s not the focus of my courses. More importantly, I view this scaffolding as an appropriate way to help students develop those skill.
- Every class involves a variety of activities (e.g., listening, talking, watching, reading, writing, thinking, and doing). I mostly teach courses that meet one day a week in the evening. The time goes by more quickly when there’s a variety of tasks and experiences.
- Changing up a student’s cognitive load with some moments demanding high concentration (like a 5-minute quiz) and others providing down time (like pauses between student presentations) increases stamina.
- I frequently invite guest speakers. Meeting a new person activates social energies, one of the frequent causes of interruption. Also, like teens visiting a friends house, students tend to be on their best behavior when there’s a guest at class.
- To help channel student multi-tasking tendencies, I invite them to live-tweet guest speaker visits. This has an extra benefit of providing a permanent record of the event with valuable feedback to the speaker.
- Just about every class I have students do “break-out” where they discuss a topic in groups of 2-4 students. Each group then reports back out to the class, providing a structured discussion of the topic. There’s no hiding in a small group, making it harder to attempt to multi-task. Also, students naturally tend to compare their own responses to other groups, so that’s also an engaging activity.
Of course, the best way to minimize the disruptions of multi-tasking is to train ourselves to focus. Here’s helpful advice from Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University–Dominguez Hills:
This ability to resist the lure of technology can be consciously cultivated, Rosen maintains. He advises students to take “tech breaks” to satisfy their cravings for electronic communication: After they’ve labored on their schoolwork uninterrupted for 15 minutes, they can allow themselves two minutes to text, check websites, and post to their hearts’ content. Then the devices get turned off for another 15 minutes of academics.
What’s your strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of multi-tasking? Have you found anything in classroom settings that is particularly helpful?
Image credit: Steven L. Johnson
Today’s question from Klout.com is about Management:
What are the best books for someone who is looking to broaden their management skills and why?
Here’s a set of classics with timeless advice for personal and organizational success: How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie; The One Minute Manager, Blanchard & Johnson; Built to Last, Collins & Porras; Good to Great, Collins; High Output Management, Grove; Crossing the Chasm, Moore.
And, here they are in a convenient list:
What would you add to this list? Why?
Today’s question from Klout:
Are social media websites like Twitter and Facebook killing the blog? Why or why not?
I think overall that Twitter and Facebook are helping, rather than hurting, blogs because they make it easier to find good blog content. There’s still an interest in reading (and writing) content that fits better on a blog. Also, many people like the flexibility and control of having their own site.
- TV didn’t kill radio. I predict that blogging, just like email lists and discussion forums, will endure in some form.
- Blogging as content marketing can be incredibly powerful. While organizations benefit from using Twitter and Facebook to amplify their message and to interact with others, putting original content on your own website keeps you in control of your digital destiny.
- If Twitter and Facebook were going to kill blogs, it would have happened already. There’s room for lots of ways to express yourself.
- If you want a longer take on this subject, I recommend “Is Blogging Dead?” by Mike Myatt. An alternative view (ironically, presented in a blog post) is offered in Francine Hardaway in “Why Blogging is Dead–And, What’s Next“.
With so many people on social networking sites, do you think that helps or hurts blogs?
Today’s question from Klout is:
What’s the easiest way to live blog an event and why?
My response (links added here):
What works for me is to live-tweet and then post a collection of tweets as a blog post (a service like Storify makes that easy to do). I like this approach because I can easily monitor or amplify (RT) what others say and also post pictures. Twitter also helps me keep updates short and snappy.
Some additional advice:
- Have a story arch: introduce the event, post (or paint) a picture of the setting, do your updates during the event, and also provide an acknowledgement of when the event ends.
- Provide a summary and highlights, not a transcript!
- Be generous with credit: live-blogging is a great way to build connections by highlighting interesting things that other people are saying and doing.
- Engage in dialogue with those following along.
- Don’t forget to update your live-blog post with relevant links to the event’s official website and other information that will provide useful context for someone who reads the post later.
What do you think makes a good live-blog? Any advice to others who want to live-blog an event
For this week’s meeting of my social media innovation class I created an in-class activity related to ethics and social media.
The structure of the activity is:
1. Present brief scenarios.
2. Assign student teams to advocate for the “agree” and “disagree” sides of the argument.
3. Give students time to develop those arguments.
4. For each of the three scenarios:
- Take a vote on student positions.
- Have the “agree” and “disagree” teams present their arguments.
- Have any other students also offer justification for their stance.
- Take another vote to see if positions have changed.
This is the first time I’ve done this activity and I think that structure worked well.
Social Media Scenarios
Here are the three scenarios I created.
Scenario #A: One of your co-workers has signed up for the free version of a direct competitors product. One day they get an email blast about a major customer issue and the email was accidently sent with all of the recipients in the cc field instead of the bcc field. Your co-worker suggests adding all of those email addresses to your company’s marketing email list. Do you agree?
Scenario #B: One of your co-workers is assigned to investigate strengths and weakness of a competitor’s product. They create a website on your company’s intranet (e.g., only viewable by employees) that quotes from every negative consumer review they can find on social media or product review websites. One of your co-workers thinks that info should be posted as an anonymous public website. Do you agree?
Scenario #C: You work for a company with a small but loyal customer base. The company has cash flow problems and is concerned about making the next payroll. It may not be able to pay employees like you! A direct marketing firm offers a substantial amount of money if you will sell them the email list of your customers. Your TOS (terms of service) say you will never sell customers’ personal information but it also says the terms can be unilaterally changed at any time. Do you sell the email list to keep the company afloat?
When I use this activity again, I’ll likely tweak the scenarios a little bit. I’d also love to find videos or real-world examples that could be used instead. (If you know of any, please share!)
In initial voting, the students were divided on Scenarios #A and #C (roughly 25% to 75%). When students changed their mind it was a small movement towards the majority opinion. There was almost no-one voting for the “Agree” side of Scenario #B.
If you’re interested in seeing more details on how I administered this, here’s a copy of the hand-out I created: Prof. Johnson Social Media Ethics Activity.
A major thank you to everyone who responded to my Twitter and Facebook requests for input on social media ethical issues. It was very helpful.
What do you think? Are these realistic scenarios? What are other scenarios you think students about to enter the workforce should be well-informed about?
Image credit: Go Away! by Steven L. Johnson