Glad to see so many make it through our course on Social Media! I've just a few thoughts before we go.
First, how did you like the book? If you would, please add a reply to this discussion board including (1) a meaningful quote you liked and (2) an explanation of how that quote represents something you've learned over the course of this professional development experience. I'll be sure to add mine once I've finished this post.
Second, I'd like to provide some explanation of one bit of technology that really connects all these websites (and people) together: RSS. I've embedded a video explanation below, one in a series produced by "The CommonCraft Show." If you're ever wondering how to explain (or understand) something involving the Web, I'd highly recommend their work. RSS makes the connective web what it is, allowing us to know what's happening with each other and around the world. The video directly relates to blogs, but many social applications, including Facebook, are built around similar concepts.
Third, I'd like to share another video, this one by "digital ethnography" professor Michael Wesch that displays a bit of the "back stage" elements of this technology and its implications for our work. It moves pretty fast, but the main message is that information is now not bounded to one website alone - that it be moved, reformatted, reshaped, and combined in ways that make the web an entirely unique world - one that will change the way we interact with information and connect with one another.
And last, I'd like to recommend a few resources for the question "Where do I go now?"
- Managing Twitter: As you use Twitter more frequently (and I hope you will!), you'll probably notice fairly quickly the need to manage your contacts. I do that through lists (on the website you can create these to "categorize" your contacts into meaningful groups -- I check in on different groups for different purposes) and through a separate program that I've installed on my computer, called Tweetdeck. There are some great tutorials online. Just Google "using Tweetdeck."
- Finding "real" blogs: We experienced blogging through this community. That's a better experience because there's an increased chance that you'll bump into someone outside our district. However, "blogging" here is not quite the same as owning and managing a blog of your own. You can check out the blogs of other educators at SupportBlogging.com . If you like what you see and would like to start your own, just drop me or your TIS a note. We'd be happy to help!
- Keeping track of it all: One you begin adding to your own network by belonging to a variety of services, it would be nice if you could keep track of it all. To do this, I'd recommend an "aggregator" - a personal home page where updates come to you rather than you checking multiple websites. Personally, I use Netvibes.com and have been quite pleased with their service, but maybe you've already started one of these with iGoogle or MyYahoo. Poke around this service looking for the words "Add a Feed" or "Add a widget" to find out how you can push your services from multiple websites all to one convenient place.
I'm glad you all came along on this journey, and I hope you'll continue it! Please drop your comments about the book below, and I'll see you online!