Reining in interest is sort of going OK, as I have been largely sunk in MOOCery and refining my research interests for a couple of months. Librarians are prone to being generalists, and I often feel envious of people who have a clear focus. Working on sharpening mine a bit more.
Related to MOOCs is the issue of lurking, and various forms of activity being considered of lower value to others. In his post on metrics round a blog post Brian Kelly comes up with the following taxonomy:
- Lurker – someone who only reads a post (my emphasis)
- Contributor – someone who facilitates engagement with others by lightweight ‘frictionless’ sharing, such as a tweet, a RT, a vote on the blog post, a Facebook like or a Google +1
- Creator – someone who create new content by submitting a blog comment or commenting on Facebook
The 1-9-90 rule applied near as dammit, and Brian suggests this taxonomy as a “possible approach for monitoring the extent of engagement with digital content”.
I’m troubled by the equating of reading with lurking at its most pejorative. I may not have slung up a comment on Facebook, but I read the post and took some knowledge from it. You may not be able to measure it, but I would suggest that reading (as opposed to scanning) is of rather higher value than frictionless sharing. This will become a growing issue in MOOCs, where the stress is on quantifiable measures.
I refuse to give in to the stream metaphor and the scroll of death! Stepping in and out quickly becomes not getting my feet wet, and that, I suspect, is what the rest of the 90% are doing – reading things of value to them and taking out of it what they wish. So there. Every time I come back from a holiday I feel less of a compulsion to get back to dipping into/following? the stream – there’s a point for your own particular focus (see above), but otherwise it’s a distraction.
We need other forms of presentation, offering context and proper opportunities for engagement. Think of a timeline – still a stream, but the time dimension has (or should have) a point to make.
Of more interest is something which stays with you rather longer and is worth going back to. Three Guardian articles have lurked (ha!) in my todo tasks for a while:
- News is bad for you (posted 12 April, skipped the 449 comments) – “People find it very difficult to recognise what’s relevant. It’s much easier to recognise what’s new.” Rolf Dobelli in praise of thinking. I’m at my most productive and creative walking the dogs – one reason why I want to take a look at the art of walking. See also Oliver Burkeman’s response.
- Internet detox (posted 5 May, 161 comments) looks at the urge to disconnect concluding that it’s autonomy that’s needed or perhaps rather
- Conscious computing (posted 10 May, 106 comments) – Oliver Burkeman veers dangerously close to tl;dr here, perhaps a bit of editing called for, but makes some good points re the slow movement applied to computing as a way of escaping the endless distraction and interruption of the stream; “continuous partial attention isn’t motivated by the desire to get more done…but rather by a desire not to miss anything and to be a live node on the network” – note, while detoxing he even went for a walk…
What you focus on, hour by hour, day after day, ends up comprising your whole life. “To be diverted isn’t simply to have too many stimuli but to be confused about what to attend to and why.”
Would sharing, frictionlessly or otherwise, these links have made any difference to my understanding? Contributing to the comment stream? I don’t think so.
Back to one of my focuses, here’s an event tool update:
- Tumblr for event coverage - #HEASTEM13 | Parliaments on the Net not sure, still too streamy for my taste, not convinced any more effective than Storify, so how about a board? see Tagboard, eg for #acadmooc
- chat tools for following events - TweetGrid (multiple chats) | Twchat (chatroom)
- TweetBinder | @TweetBinder - “analyze and classify tweets to create amazing Twitter impact reports”, dunno, needs authentication, see @BonJovi example; related to @FHashtags, might be useful to see spread of tweets of different types
- a Google + event, who knew…
- liveblogging plus livedrawing | example - that’s one helluva lot of content and effort, presented in a stream seems a waste, if it’s not to be throwaway stuff – ebook?
- from EventTech Circus, a top end gathering of startups, a couple of handy slidesets on the tech they used and the importance of the lifecycle and engagement
Finally, here’s some ‘interesting links’ particularly worth highlighting:
- Bloom’s taxonomy, God bless it…another layer for the DIKW pyramid/cycle; here are 14 Bloom visualisations, some of which are very pretty and some of which are actually quite useful
- on the subject of useful visualisations, the Good law diagram showing the perspectives of citizens, professional users and legislators on content, language and style, architecture and publication crams a lot into a small space and is a useful model
- I still have problems with “websites are for tasks”, but Gerry McGovern’s latest polemic does highlight that you don’t have to have news, images, a stream or social icons, or that your website isn’t just a home for marketing and branding messages – all of which feels like a step in the right direction; see Paul Boag on this as well, plus the mindbending figures from GDS themselves