Thursday, 27 September 2007

MySpace - Is it Safe? Does it influence our YOUTH in an ACCEPTABLE Manner?

DJ Dean Thomas 101.9 fox fm Check out the profile - dig down - anything you see that you like? Anything you see you do not like? Then take a look here - see what you think? Last but not least - what about this profile - is all okay here? You be the judge - all comments appreciated.

Facebook | Jacinta Gascoigne

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A Charity Gig Comes Together Using Social Networking Tools! Part 1:)

A Charity Gig Comes Together Using Social Networking Tools! Part 1:)
The beginning of a journey. The evolution of a TRUE community.
Part One Earlier in 2007, I had a discussion about a project with a colleague I admire greatly. It was the result of great concern over, actions that could possibly be detrimental to learners and education in general. Topics discussed in the AFLF community forum, our individual expertise, contacts, connections from each party, saw the birth of a an interesting way, to demonstrate the benefits and power of social networking tools. Life along with an unsuccessful application for funds, saw the project left on the shelf, gathering dust. Recent events and activities have blown the dust away. New life. An idea now a reality. On the 19th of October 2007 an event will take place in Melbourne, Australia. It involves:
  • Young Aussie Indie Music Talent
  • Fundraising
  • Social Networking Tools
  • Learning
Increased awareness and promotion of:
  • Young Aussie Indie Music Talent
  • Individual Bands/Performers
  • DJ Nana Mex - and future radio station
  • DownUnda Thunda
  • Musicland
  • Asylum TV
  • Jazazi Pty Ltd
  • Social Networking Tools
  • Max Merritt and need for aid
  • A changing world, how to engage and evolve using the www
  • Leading Change
  • Innovation

This event has been pulled together in less than three weeks. Those involved have not met face to face. Social Networking Tools, email, skype, phone alone used.

The event is being filmed by Asylum TV and will be shown on air.

Other tools are now being engaged to connect all parties and broadcast live, beam people in and more.

Part two of this amazing journey will appear shortly.

I leave part one with a copy below of a bulletin issued on myspace to promote the event. An interesting read, clearly demonstrating the power of social networking tools.


From: "Nana" Mex Promoting Aussie Indies Date: 26 Sep 2007 3:31 PM Subject: Huge Thank You!! Benefit Gig Pre-post Body: What a Country and what an awesome mob of Independent Musos we have in this country!I put out a call for bands to do a free gig, get there, play, get home all for no pay, but to show their support for a legend. The response was even more huge than I could possibly have imagined. I want to say a special thanks to those bands and solo artists who would have had they been able to, and to those who rang just to see what they could do to help. The gig is set, the bands are working together, networking just as MySpace was designed for them to do to pull off this gig, and to see to it we have raffle items, that all musos have needed gear, and now they will begin to promote and sell tickets and make this the most awesome Indie Gig ever. Here are the preliminaries, with major posts, banners and posters to come over the 3 weeks between now and then.==================================================Downunda Thunda Indies for Life ... The Beginnings A Tribute to Max Merritt Friday 19 October 2007Downunda Thunda Radio Promotions in conjunction with* Jazazi Pty Ltd - Social Networking Tools and Related Technologies Consultancy - Education and Industry Globally * Musicland* Asylum TV Presents a benefit Concert Featuring (in alphabetical order)Ancient Free Gardeners GrumpyNeighbours Pete Gare Powerage Sleeplever Shonny Temple of Tunes h

Hours of awesome tunes by 8 of the finest Independent Bands in Australia.8PM - 1AM Musicland1359 Sydney Road FAWKNER, Victoria These socially conscious bands and their support teams are donating their time, talent and music and are working and networking together to provide an awesome night of music for your listening and partying pleasure, the proceeds to go to Max Merritt. There will also be some awesome items raffled off, including Band Shirts and Autographed CD packages, and too many more items to list here, so you will need to attend to find out what else is on the block. Watch This Space for More Info, and watch for posts from these bands about this gig.OH, and bring your "Nana Hugs" with you to the gig, you will want to share!HUGS!!!!"Nana" Mex

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Firm Sues Forum To Silence Critics - Read on, today's highlight for me! I am in shock over this article. The mere fact it can get to court is enough to send me spinning. Not sure how we can alter what is happening in Oz but we need to work out something and quick.If this goes through and a precedent is set, best I look for a cave to live in as I am sure someone will hunt me down and I do not think I will be alone. What a great message in Oz, block all users, scare the parents, sue forums, where I thought we could speak our minds - should I really place a post on my blog about facebook? Should I exclude all negatives from any posts about any sites, tools, technologies? What should I say? What should I share privately? Many questions will be posed if precedent is set, issues for all online forums, networks, bloggers and the like.I am starting to wonder if our bandwidth in this country is so poor that the govt will use the media, industry, parents, all the bad news stories they can muster, so that our nations system does not crash and burn - oops sorry I think I can already smell the smoke. My vent - apologies but this is the work of mad men out of control - albeit they think they are in control. Oh, when did freedom of speech vanish in Australia? Jacinta

'Facebook' More than a Face or a Book. Creative Networking and Learning!

Initial skepticism Upon entering the world of 'facebook' some months ago, I was skeptical to say the least, as to what it could offer me. I have since had a 'wake up call' after revisiting 'facebook' and now consider it to be incredibly important in all areas of my personal learning journey. My first look at 'facebook'. What was I searching for? Why did it not appeal? What purpose/s did I wish any tool/site/technology to offer? As my learning interests concern web 2.0 and beyond, in learning, formal and informal, business, charities and music, it was important for me to find online worlds, that would advance and enhance, my own learning in these areas. In particular I required a world that could provide:
  • User control - security to avoid cyberbullying
  • Ease of use - one or two clicks - no drilling down into middle earth
  • User choice of applications
  • Design options
  • Established networks
  • Interesting networks connected to my area of learning
  • Interesting individuals
  • Ability to connect with others easily
  • Global connections in education, business, charities and music
  • Willingness to share
  • Willingness to collaborate
  • Active participation
  • Enjoyable and fun environment
  • Mobile functionality
  • RSS feeds
  • Blog
  • Picture/Video
A 'one stop shop' that I could tap into each day, connect with my friends, develop my networks, write notes, post items,enhance my learning, share my learning and experiences, see what was happening around the globe and keep abreast of the rapidly advancing, changing landscape of web 2.0 and beyond. Along the way, finding people, groups, ideas, concepts, applications, successes, concerns, sameness and difference. Was I asking to much? In the beginning from 'facebook' - Yes. At the time of joining it was very much a USA college networking site and I found it quite clumsy, with little that attracted me - even the look put me off - boring in fact. What exactly did I need? What would satisfy me? I needed a world where I could learn, share and collaborate in the following areas (to name a few):
  • how to enhance learning using web 2.0 and beyond in teaching practice
  • how to change the culture of organisation's who continue to reject the us
  • how to help others learn and apply web 2.0 and beyond in their practice
  • how to network with other like minded souls in a meaningful and productive manner
  • how others were already using web 2.0 and beyond in their own teaching practive
  • how others were reacting to roadblocks placed in their way by management, educational authorities, government policy
  • how the world of web 2.0 and beyond had changed and was changing
  • how I could enhance my own learning and teaching practice
  • how I could enhance the learning of my children
  • learn what was new on the scene
  • learn what works and does not work for others
  • how to help reduce the fear instilled by the media in many, especially parents

How to successfully use web 2.0 and beyond in business:

  • employees
  • marketing
  • advertising
  • promotion

How to successfully use web 2.0 and beyond for charities:

  • fundraising
  • awareness
  • sponsorship
  • online donations

How to successfully use web 2.0 and beyond for those in the music industry:

  • events
  • promotion
  • marketing
  • record deals
  • radio airplay
  • benefit concerts
  • and more.......
Solutions, Solutions, Solutions to as many issues faced by those in the educational arena, the business sector, the charity sector and the music industry, with the explosion of the tools and related technologies on the www. Exploration of other worlds As 'facebook' did not appear to satisfy my needs initially, I explored other social networking sites, other than myspace (which I am a great believer and user of, with three sites developed and managed by myself). 'Facebook was somewhat forgotten as I concentrated my efforts in Ning and began to 'blog', using blogger. Ning I have found useful and functionality increasing (a story for another day). Blogging, took a while to get used to as I was one of the 'fraidy cats' who worried to much about what and how I wrote. Limitations I placed on myself and advise others against - give it a go - you will love it in the end. Venturing back to 'facebook' By chance I ventured back to 'facebook' and found that the networks, groups and those interested in learning, sharing, collaborating in the area of web 2.0 and beyond as it applied to education, business, charities, music and other arenas, had grown exponentially (do not like using that but I kept no data from when I first joined). The look still a little drab but after exploring so many sites, I came to the conclusion, that all the pretty designs, bells and whistles, mean little, in fact they can clutter not only ones site, but ones mind to the point of distraction. Networks, like minded people, active participation, it was all there. It appeared to have taken on a life of it's own, in my absence and I was thrilled to return. At present there are close to 4,000 different applications/gadgets on offer (no today in fact as I am editing - there are nearly 6,000) - see what happens over a few weeks. The variety, providing options for all users of facebook - youth, business, education, personal learning, causes and the rest. Customising your own site a users dream. I have loaded many of the 'facebook' applications overtime, as you will see below, yet only those in red are currently active albeit in some cases modified. Here is a little guide that may help you understand the terminology, as it appears currently on my edit applications page.
  • Left Menu = place in the left handside menu
  • NewsFeed MiniFeed Profile Links Disabled = disable these features for specific applications
  • Profile disabled = application unavailable and out of sight
  • Menu disabled = application unavailable from the menu

Australian Greens (about) Profile disabled Awareness Ribbons (about) Profile disabled Be an organ donor (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Blipcast: Post & Share videos from Youtube, etc (about) Blog Friends (about) Left menu, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Causes (about) Chinese Zodiac Horoscope (about) Profile disabled Cities I've Visited (about) Class Chat (about) Profile disabled Courses (about) Courses 2.0 (about)

Profile disabled Events (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Feed Friend RSS (about) Profile, left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Flickr Gallery (about) Profile disabled Fortune Cookie (about) Profile disabled FunWall (about) Profile disabled Gifts (about) menu disabled Groups (about) Left menu, News Feed disabled Jedi vs Sith (about) JunkYard (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Lyrics Book (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Magic 8 ball (about) Profile disabled Marketplace (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled MediaFire (about) Profile disabled Movies (about) Profile disabled My Questions (about) Profile disabled My Whiteboard (about) My Wikipedia (about) MyFuture (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled MySpace Connect (about) MySpace Link (about) Myspace Mail (about) Profile disabled Myspace Style Surveys NEW FORMAT! (about) Profile disabled Neighborhoods (about) Profile disabled News Headlines (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Notes (about) Photos (about) Poker (about) Posted Items (about) Left menu, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Profile Web Address - /YourName (about) SchoolTube (about) Scrabulous (about) Profile, left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Slates (about) Profile disabled Slideshows (about) Profile disabled Social Chat (about) Profile disabled Social Climber (about) Profile, profile links disabled South Park Character Creator (about) Left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled SpacePlayer (about) Profile disabled Super Wall (about) SuperPoke! (about) Profile disabled Surveys, Petitions, Votes, Polls & Quizzes (about) Profile disabled TinyFB (about) TizMe (about) Profile disabled Top Friends (about) Twitter (about) Left menu, News Feed, profile links disabled WereWolves (about) Which Brain Are You- Right Or Left? (about) Profile, left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled World Friends (about) Profile, left menu, News Feed, Mini-Feed, profile links disabled Why are so few active? I have found those currently active productive and effective, for both professional development and maintaining somewhat of a social network. To have a site where you can add a little personality, even playing games like, poker (I am a loser) or turning others into 'werewolves and biting them (Sue Hickton - I am coming) or just putting a nice comment out for the day, somewhere noticable on your page. Whilst there are numerous other applications to try out, and those already within my applications folder, I have found I need to be wary of making my site, tooooooo bussssssy. Even now as I write, I know that I need to edit the blipcast so that it takes less room and move around a number of other active applications. Note: This is an easy process as you are able to drop and drag the majority of applications to the position that suits you - you are your own instructional designer - oh dear, run to facebook and see if there is any logic anywhere - now:)) Why not delete the other applications? I will be perfectly honest, there are some I am yet to play with enough, to feel confident that they will provide any benefit, to myself or others. Of the others there are many I would like to position on my site, however at this point, the site is already busy and needs no more clutter. The Evolution of a Facebook site As time goes on, the page changes, some applications active yet hidden from full view, only to be found in the menu, some change position to provide maximum exposure for an event, success, cry for help, maybe on your whiteboard or your status. A twitter feed maybe comes in, myspace is accessed, emails retrieved, friends blog feeds and news updates continue, but may move just the same. New applications, continue to be developed before one can view the last 3950. Curiosity may get the better of you, new applications added, old ones revamped, some no longer current deleted. A range a themes, layouts, designs, backgrounds, become more easily accessible. All allowing you to show your creative flair, designing your world, one that you look forward to looking at as much as learning from and sharing, networking with your ever growing friend list and group memberships. For me making a one stop shop, the one I go to in the morning before I look at the online news, the one I hoped many months ago to find, was in my face - sorry - all the time - facebook. Direct Benefits Increased friend base through facebook contacts Increased discussions with others privately on various topics Sharing what I am doing with others Connecting with individuals interested in web 2.0 and beyond in a variety of arenas:
  • Education
  • Technology
  • Music
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Industry
Myspace, well you will find out within new posts, along with attending MobilizeThis on the 19th of October, 2007 - Register and join us all for a day that will be in itself a journey into many worlds.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Twitter a Micro Tool with Macro Power!

Twitter what an odd name I thought when I first heard of it some months ago. Like many of my online colleagues, I joined but I have to admit, that was about it. Honestly I could not see what this so called 'micro networking tool' was going to offer me. How much could I get from a site, where messages (tweets), can only be 140 characters long? I dismissed it and carried on my merry way, exploring other social networking sites, facebook, ning, xanga, myspace, orkut to name a few. A few weeks ago, I remembered that I had a twitter account and jumped in to see if there was anything going on. Was there something I had missed upon my first glance? Had anything changed? Could twitter be of any use to me, through my exploration? Was there a use for twitter in the tool kit I was preparing for Zane my son, who I am now homeschooling. Shocked, Delighted, Stuck for Words - that and more was I. Twitter looked the same but things had certainly changed, progressed in my absence. In typing in the names of a number of people I admire and respect, Alexander Hayes, Sue Waters, Anne Patterson, Stephen Downes, Graeme Wegner,I discovered they had all been busy twittering. Trusting their judgement I began to follow them - a simple task with the click of the mouse - I was lurking. I looked at the public timeline, my curious nature kicking in as I went. I began to twitter. I said hello and people said hello back and even welcomed me - "huh, they don't even know me, yet they are all saying hi". A more friendly and receptive group out there than I could have imagined. At the time I was working through all the negative media, that was coming through, especially in Australia, regarding social networking tools, the epidemic sweeping Australian educational institutions, who see their main role as blockers of social networking tools and related technologies, and the ignorance, displayed by those who are supposed to be the leaders, of our country (they maybe our leaders but I fear the path they are leading Australia down). As I discovered and read articles, those I felt worthy of sharing, I twittered to the twitts (not sure if I like that but anyway I digress). I was not sure what the outcome would be, expectations were low, so anything was going to be a bonus. So, this girl was in for another shock. My initial tweets and my subsequent tweets, were not only appreciated by many of the twitts, they have also lead to the following: 1: Reconnected with colleagues 2: Connected with new people who have the same or similar interests in social networking tools 3: Sharing and collaborating with new contacts on specific projects 4: Gained a great insight into areas that I was not ofea with and peaked my curiosity 5: Twitts following me into the world of ning and Classroom 2.0 where I have a page and becoming members 6: Twitts following me into my facebook world and connecting with me - sending messages, becoming my friend 7: Discovered an easy tool to quickly and easily get messages too or important updates on work 8: Followed many to their blogs, finding a wealth of information and expertise I was unaware of 9: Greater awareness of what my friends are doing - amazing work in all directions 10: Greater awareness of what others are thinking, experiencing, seeing, doing, in the moment (rare for any social networking tool/technology). 11: Questions answered instantaneously 12: New friends daily 13: Constant expansion of friends and growth of networks, within and outside of twitter 14: Leads to sources I may never have found 15: Kind and caring people connecting with, encouraging and supporting my teenage son who I have recently begun homeschooling, using social networking tools and technologies (ONE TWEET AND HE HAD EMAILS, COMMENTS LEFT ON HIS BLOG AND NOW HE TWEETS TOO). In the last week, I have wondered more about the power of this, 'micro' tool and thus decided to experiement a little. What prompted me to go into action - here is the story. I had a chat with a friend of many years, Mr Red Symons, an Australian celebrity I guess, who is on ABC radio in the mornings five days a week (never listened to it but I hear its great). We were chatting about our kids, what they are doing at school, growing up, surviving as parents, all the usual stuff, until I opened my big mouth about social networking tools. Interested he was, curious he was, a believer in their use in business or education, not quite there but not at all dismissive. Mr Symons began his career as a secondary school teacher in the maths/science arena, so maybe proof of some sort was required. We chatted about how I was going to homeschool Zane, due to the failure of Traditional Education to cater for the needs of one with a disability (Chronic Fatigue) and how I proposed to use a number of social networking tools and related technologies to help him along. Trying to explain to friends and family what and how I am homeschooling Zane, has been tricky and until many see evidence, they will continue to think I am a little nuts (that's okay as I have never flown with the rest of the ducks, nor do I want to. I have heard same questions, over and over - "But what about the curriculum?", "How will you prepare him for exams?", "How will you cover all the subject areas?","Will it disadvantage him in anyway", "Are you sure it will work?" My response - I have been there for the children of thousands over the years and I believe provided them with the best learning and learning experiences that I could muster at any point in time. I have never been one for conformity, I believe that I am doing what is right, I believe and have seen the benefits of social networking tools and related technologies, first hand - my own learning has increased ten fold, my desire to continue learning the same, my interests and horizons expanded, making new friends, sharing, learning and collaborating globally - with no end in sight. Infinite worlds -Infinite opportunties - Worlds as with everything in life - where the level of your effort and commitment will be rewarded the same or in my case, I believe 10 fold. If you make an effort to keep in regular contact with, you are willing to share, willing to learn and have an open mind, if you strive to make better for you and all who connect with you, the benefits and rewards, will outweigh any negatives that others may wish to cast. How could this be wrong for my son? In my eyes it is not! If what I believe is correct, Social Networking tools and related technoligies, now and those yet to unfold, will breathe new life into 'Homeschooling' globally, and open worlds to all, especially those with disabiltities that are not catered for with Traditional Formal Education. Back to the Mr Red Symons and Twitter Experiment more on SNT and Zane to come! Mr Symons, was as I said curious and was going to be most interested to see how Zane progressed. I mentioned twitter near the end of our chat, tried to explain what it was (I may have failed a little), what it had brought to me but he was a little wary and hey, who can blame him - it did take me a couple of months after joining to give it a go and become active. After our chat I sat and pondered, how could I prove that twitter, this tiny little tool, was in fact a mighty tool, connecting so many globally with so many benefits. A little light flashed - Mr Symons has a number of incredible Youtube videos (under the name of rocsims) that he has painstakingly nutured and created - around 18 hours or more is possible for just one - oh to have the patience and the skills. Whilst not wanting to upset the twitteratti and flood them with URL's, I decided on the following plan (sounds like an evil plot the more I write). 1: Do as you usually do and tweet URL's that make you mad about ignorance in Australia re: SNT 2: Post a few of Mr Symons Youtube videos in the tweets as you go (they are worth watching so I was not fearful of anyone thinking I was sending through rubbish) 3: Check the view count for each youtube before you tweet 4: Keep track of the view count for at least 5 days and see if there is any obvious increases I implemented the plan, no objections to my posts, in fact one direct reply saying thanks they are great and one direct message, singing the praises of Mr Symons and his creations. But what about the views - did they change, was there a significant increase? I can report in the affirmative. Maybe nothing earth shattering but there appears to be a direct correlation between my initial tweets and instant increases in views and as the days have passed, the views are continuing to increase and more rapidly than the instant views. It is evident that the three I selected as prime targets, have had the greatest increase in hits, however it appears that once the selected target has been viewed, interest has grown and others out of the 14 on Mr Symons site have also shown reasonable increases in views. In checking today (only 31/2 days) since the initial tweet, Mr Symons site has had an increase of over 1800 views - whilst his site is popular and when he uploads a new video, there is significant traffic, in the downtimes, I have not seen such an increase in views in such a short time. So, what can be said of twitter in this situation, pretty simple really: Twitter has the power to be used as a forceful marketing/promotional tool that brings almost instant awareness to a vast and numerous audience. Twitter connects those trying to connect simply and quickly. Twitter can be used to lead others or can lead you to places you could have googled a life time for and never found. What can I say of my recent experience with twitter? That I should never dismiss a new site/tool/technology just because it looks to simple or does not have loads of bells and whistles. Sometimes simple outweighs the complex. Have I or anyone actually discovered the True Power of Twitter? I dare say not. I am now waiting for the day, that a cause or a situation of a critical global nature strikes - as I believe then and only then will the world sit up and take notice of the power of a tiny tool on the www called Twitter, as the twitteratti tweet to one and all. Thanks Twitter!

Anti social media. What is it?

anti-social media n.  Communication  channels  favoured  by  the aged , and those that don't want to be "part of the conversatio...