Being There.. in that Unevenly Distributed Future

Hobart (Oct 15), Melbourne (Oct 16), Sydney (Oct 18), Canberra (Oct 19)

Available as a flickr slideshow set

Audio recording (1:29:00; 59.3 Mb mp3) video recording (Sydney, Oct 18)

URLs from presentation

Being There


George Siemens / Connectivism
Connectivism web site
eLearnspace (blog)
Listen to entire conversation:

Technorati’s recent state of the web reports:
  • 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or...
  • 1.4 new blogs every second
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or...
17 posts per second

But for a different measure…

On March 23, 2006 I took and posted this photo of a daffodil to flickr ( . Later that day, some one from (user generated news) found the image and asked to have it part of a news story on Ireland’s Daffodil Day (international event for cancer awareness).

Just for fun, I looked up how many flickr photos there were of daffodils over a week’s period-- almost 6000!

Over the course of the last semester, I have been analyzing the behavior of UNC-Chapel Hill students in social network communities. In case you're not quite sure what social network communities (SNC's) are, they are services like MySpace, Friendster, Orkut and Facebook. I am particularly interested in Facebook, primarily because it is so heavily used on campus. In a previous study, I found that 88 percent of freshmen on the UNC campus had active Facebook accounts. As one might imagine, any service that reaches 88 percent of our freshmen is worth trying to understand, so I devised a system to sample the Facebook on one week increments. In this post (which will be long, and is available for download as a white paper - pdf), I'll explore some of my findings, share interesting data and trends, and provide some of my personal opinion on this Facebook phenomenon. (Fred Stutzman)

Comscore has reported some interesting stats on Facebook, shedding light on the site’s growth after opening up last September and their demographics. Over the past year (May ‘06 - May ‘07), Facebook saw an 89% increase in unique visitors to the site at 26,649,000 uniques, with a 143% increase in page views at 15.8 billion. The site’s stickiness has increased and then tapered off at about 190 minutes per average user.

In terms of total users, Facebook has approximately 18,000,000. In terms of page views, Facebook gets 30,000,000,000 page views per month.

11.4 million, or 33% of the Canadian population, has joined Facebook as of June 2007, making up over 10% of the total Facebook population.

Facebook’s Australian population grew by 80% in June alone,

55% of online teens have created a personal profile online, and 55% have used social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.

EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 42, no. 5 (September/October 2007): 12-27
My Computer Romance by Gardner Campbell

Audio of Gardner reading
Short clip used in this slide

A few years ago, for blogging workshops, I warned against practices demonstrated by “The Dullest Blog in the World”

As a tangent, when I last visited this blog, I found a link to a site by the same person- We Blog Cartoons ( Free cartoons by Dave Walker

Twiiter - telling everyone what you are doing, minute by minute (

User dan7

Twitter Cycle
CogDog twitter (me)
Dynamic, almost real time see people’s tweets from around the world, located on a Google map
Converts RSSfeeds to a twitter account or
TwitterCamp - free app for displaying a real time “board” view

Casa Grande, AZ Library using twitter to post updates
International K12 student project using twitter for group status on projects
US President Candidate has more than “2000 friends”

Lifehacker on Twitter and Productivity

Twitter and notofication of earthquake in Mexico
Andy Carvin on use of twitter

A chruch using twitter
Notification of server status

Serialized novel via twitter
Daily quotes from books- entices readers?

News organizations:

Rob Wall Twitter Mediated co-presentation:

Clive Thompson on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense
Individually, most Twitter messages are stupefyingly trivial. But the true value of Twitter is cumulative. The power is in the surprising effects that come from receiving thousands of pings from your posse. And this, as it turns out, suggests where the Web is heading.

When I see that my friend Misha is "waiting at Genius Bar to send my MacBook to the shop," that's not much information. But when I get such granular updates every day for a month, I know a lot more about her. And when my four closest friends and worldmates send me dozens of updates a week for five months, I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of the people most important to me.

It's like proprioception, your body's ability to know where your limbs are. That subliminal sense of orientation is crucial for coordination: It keeps you from accidentally bumping into objects, and it makes possible amazing feats of balance and dexterity.

Twitter and other constant-contact media create social proprioception. They give a group of people a sense of itself, making possible weird, fascinating feats of coordination.

Here’s another example that on its surface looks patently stuoid! LOLCATs are pictures of cats with poor grammar captions aiming to communicate a cute message. You can find hundreds of these on sites:

There are user generated sites (e.g. that allow you to choose from a pool of ahred images, annote them with captions, and generate new content. So what it the same system was available, but not for silly cat photos? I have a favorite site within flickr called “Interesting Snippets” by LynnetteR- these a re a collection of high impact images, overlain with text as a quote, and supported in the captions for facts and links.

These are rather simple but powerful learning tools for communicating in both pictures and words.

Strange communities. I posted a flickr picture of a cactus I saw in Hawaii that was etched with someone’s initials. I got a comment later inviting me to join a flickr community (a group) called Vegefitti- people who collect images of graffiti etched into plants and trees-- there are 124 people in this community!

A breed of web tools provides a stream of real time information covering what people world wide are doing online.

Blogger Play - displays the most recent images used in Blogger posts
Flickrvision - shows flickr photos attached to location in world where they were posed gives anyone with a web cam the tools to give live video shows
Live Marks shows in real time what people are bookmarking in
Twitterrvision - shows twitter messages attached to location in world where they were posed

Google Street view- combines maps with camera images on the streets, allowing a navigable view of a map. This is in selected cities (in the US??) but expanding- recently downtown Phoenix was added. This is a view from across the street of Chase field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team.

Flickr comment comes 3 years after event-
My annual week of no blogging, where I visit other people’s blogs and post in their space
Track with

Being in Second Life
My own “aha” Second Life experience was watching the space shuttle lift off on July 4, 2006. More than 60 people gathered at the International Spaceflight Center (a fabulous virtual museum of every space vehicle built to scale and educational spot) to watch the live video from NASA. I could have watched the video on the web or TV, but there was a much more enhanced experience of watching it in the company of 60 others who were chatting their own stories, feelings of excitement. It became a shared experience, an anamoly in a world where we often fight isolation

Dan Zellner, Northwester University, leads an in world class in improv techniques.

Social Network Fatigue

iGeneration video