Social Media is what YOU make of it

Posted by Debby on 18th November and posted in Social Media

I am a creature of habit. I usually wake up every morning well before my mad scientist so I reach for the iPhone plugged in by the bed. After a quick check of email I always turn to Facebook to see what’s going on in the world. Facebook? Yes, Facebook. I don’t flip on the TV, mostly because it’s in the other room and we hardly watch it anyhow. I save NPR for later in the the morning. But while I’m laying there in bed denying the reality that I need to actually get up and do something, I scan what is going on in the world around me, digging in a little deeper where I am most interested, and keeping up-to-date with the people who matter to me the most.

On Facebook and on Twitter I’ve deliberately chosen to follow an eclectic group of people and organizations so that I have a broad outlook on what is going on in the world. I have created a personal newsfeed that mixes my interests in a dynamic and interactive interface that is easily accessible from my computer or my cell phone. The platform allows me to be an active participant in the media stream if I choose to do so, instead of just a passive consumer of information. I can comment, I can “like”, I can contribute, I can get feedback on what I write. I get to control what I see. I block all of the silly game updates and quizzes because I don’t care about those. It’s my choice. The nature of the newsfeed changes throughout the day. In the morning, I come across items from organizations or groups and from my night-owl friends. Later in the day, I begin to see more posts from “normal” people I know, from innovative educators in the field, from students, and from breaking news sites. It’s a constantly changing view of what is going on with people I know and things I am interested in.

I talk about this all the time to my students and to my own children. I try to get them to see and understand the power of social media through active participation not just passive observation. Sometimes I wonder if it sinks in. Sometimes I know it does. Yesterday, my 14 year old daughter ran into a roadblock on an opinion paper she was writing, and we had a discussion about how she might search for information to back up her ideas. Later on, she came bouncing into the garage where I was working, totally excited about her discovery. She said something to the effect of “Mom, you know how you say if you have a question, you can ask your network? I posted a question for my essay on Facebook & got responses!” Now she wants me to post the question out to MY network because she knows it’s much larger and she’s excited about what she will learn. She’s making the shift from a spoon-fed student to an actively engaged learner. That’s awesome!

Social media is what you make of it. It can be a world filled with middle-school drama and shallow commentary or it can be a place where you discover, learn, interact, engage, create, contribute, and expand your view of the world around you. YOU get to choose. Which will it be?

So, in case you are wondering what I see in MY media stream, here’s a sampling from this morning’s “paper”. The order got a little jumbled when I saved the pictures, but you’ll get the idea 🙂

(Hover over the image for a description)

Kim Blackwell - former student, now a colleague and friend. She's a kick to keep up with!

Luisa Suorsa & Kjell Crowe - folks from church in Porterville.

Kandi Stevens - friend for over 20 years, but she lives far away. Sometimes this is the best way to keep up.

Dianna Miller - friend in the "real" world.

My Favourite Scientist - Produced by the University of Nottingham folks, videos that make science fun and accessible.

Dianna Blackburn - I've known her since 7th grade and grew up with her kids. Now I can follow along as she and her husband serve as missionaries in Swaziland.

Guy Kawasaki - always posting stuff that makes you think

Brent Gill - first he was my high school computer teacher, then a colleague at Porterville College... still a friend and mentor.

Academic Earth - online degrees and video courses from leading universities

Fresno Bee - local Fresno paper that reports on the Central Valley

Periodic Table of Videos - awesome science videos from the University of Nottingham

Victor Valley Daily Press - high desert news in the Inland Empire

Pew Research Center - frequent reports about American life

LifeHack - a blog with great tips on how to minimize the flotsam in your life and maximize the enjoyment.

NBC LA - Los Angeles news station

Kristen Zukley-Morgan - Pepperdine peep

Catalog Living - A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.

The Institute for Democratic Education in America

Elizabeth Davenport - former student and colleague, Dean of the University of Chicago's Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Misty - a friend who lives in Tennessee

Discovery News - from the Discovery channel

Peter Reynolds - author, illustrator, educational evangelist.

ABC30 - News from the Central Valley of California

TED - Ideas Worth Spreading

National Public Radio

Dr. Kelli Marshall - innovative educator that I first "met" on twitter

The Atlantic - I've subscribed to this since my undergrad days. In-depth commentary, a little on the liberal side.

Piled Higher and Deeper (aka PhD) - great comic

Gabriella Miramontes - Pepperdine Peep

Micheal Swank - Pepperdine peep, educator and friend.

The Onion - political and social satire

Vinnie Morrione - former geek student now enjoying university life.

FableVision - always involved in interesting projects.

Suzy Ligon - former student who posts lots of uplifting thoughts.

FableVision - some of the most innovative educators around. They are doing what I would like to do.

New York Times

Mashable - another great technology news site

Teach Tec

I follow politicians from all arenas, not because I agree with everything they say, but because I want to know WHAT they say. I am also curious about how they are using social media to get their message out. I’ve got Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and many others on my list, from federal to state to local government. It’s a great way to stay informed.

Students for Barack Obama

I was first introduced to Guy in grad school when we read his book “Selling the Dream”. Our professor was a friend of his from their days back at Apple together so she set up a class chat meeting with him. He’s really taken social media and made it work for him, and in the process, informs and engages millions of people. Very cool guy (no pun intended!)

Guy Kawasaki - posts all kinds of stuff, from breaking news to socially interesting to random odd things

Jamie walked into my office one day when I wasn’t there and left her name and number on a paper plate. We still haven’t managed to meet in person, but it’s nice to know there are other women geeks out there loving what they do!

Jamie Gallagher - working on her graduate degree in computer science.

National Center for Technology Innovation

Michael Yon - War Zone correspondent. He's there in the middle of things, around the world.

Eric Kauffman & KZIQ - local news and lots of humor

GeekMom - That says it all!

Craig Cunningham - Education professor in Chicago. Met through Second Life.

Kristy is an example of how expanding a network works. Her husband Wayne went to high school with a friend of my husband, Misty (who is now also my friend). Through interactions with Wayne on Misty’s page, I became friends with him, and by extension, his wife. I’ve discovered a common value system that we all share and it has been interesting and fun to discuss economics, politics, and life in general. When Kristy and Wayne flew across the country, they stopped at the little airport by our house and we had breakfast together. What a cool way to meet people!

Kristy Sigsworth Smith - wife of a friend of a friend

Juliette Jones - my cousin's daughter

National Geographic

Arlington National Cemetery events

ABC30 - Fresno station that a friend from high school works for.

Truthout - independent political commentary

Barbie Huerta Black - high school days

National Public Radio

Peggy Belcher - someone from high school

Susan Tiss - Pepperdine peep & interesting person

For over 250 years the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress. Our approach is multi-disciplinary, politically independent and combines cutting edge research and policy development with practical

Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Gary Stager - was my professor at Pepperdine, currently an educational globetrotter and innovator

University of Venus - GenX women in higher education from around the globe

Randy Roffman - my mother's cousin

Moodle For Teachers

Jean Simutis - AAUW contact

Smithsonian Magazine

Pew Research Center - surveys that illuminate what American think about and care about.

Make Use Of - lots of good ideas

Carlynne Mcdonnell - AAUW

Make Use Of - really cool widgets, gadgets, and ideas

Dave Ramsey - Christian financial consulting

Angela Maiers - educational technology

Scientific America

“Met” Susan through Twitter and extended the relationship on Facebook. She teaches journalism and social media at California State University, Fresno. Have exchanged many interesting ideas with her.

Susan Currie Sivek - Journalism Prof @ CSUF

Cal Poly Pomona - university events

Wailin' Jennys - musicians

Last year I had to update a course outline for a Java class. I posted a query to Twitter asking if any Java professors would be willing to look it over for me. One of the people who responded, Barry Brown from Sierra College, friended me also on facebook. I noticed a lot of interaction on his page with Pam, added her, and she’s become a great friend. I just wish she didn’t live way up by Sacramento!

Pamela Gauthier-Gill - Amazing girl geek and mom

  • wow this is cool 😉

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