My Blog List

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Classroom 2.0 and one SNS's History

I decided to comment on Steve Hargadon’s point # 4 in his blog called "Classroom 2.0: Things I Think We've Learned About Social Networking in Education" and also incorporate an historical view and addressing some questions posed regarding one SNS from Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship by Danah M. Boyd, School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and Nicole B. Ellison, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University.

A network must fulfill some compelling need(s). You can't expect people to come to your network just because you have a great idea for talking about something and when they understand the power of that idea they will want to participate. They have to have a reason to come that is compelling, that solves a problem for them, or offers them the ability to do something they have really wanted to do that was much harder before. Finding friends for Facebook does that. Finding answers about how to use technology in the classroom does that. One more online book club may not.

I see the social network as evolving while it is also expanding through continually drilling down to address the most important aspects of people’s lives understanding they need to be very specific about reasons why I or anyone joins “the group” because humans at their core are social beings who like to be with like-minded people.

Yet, conversely, Facebook addresses the limitless potential communication links with a much larger part of the world. This is the “reason to come that is compelling”, as people continue to seek connections for a variety of reasons, more then we can possibly imagine. And, together this world of social technology (by that I mean our iPhones, iPods and iPads, etc.) along with social networks and the Read/Write Web is so powerful, it is altering the very nature of how to read and asking teachers to look to refining teaching strategies.

However, I also started looking at one social networking website and drilling down to its core. What I found was not particularly positive, which is due to my view is that the internet today is full of websites run by large corporations, just like the building you look at named for the corporation residing within it, so too, these websites have flourished from little fledgling selective social sites with little advertising into leading edge businesses that continually look to broaden their base by creating a website that addresses some aspect of our human nature and our behavior. And, an advertising strategy is now fundamental to these sites profitability. Although I am deviating from addressing social networking in education directly, I think it is important that educators look into the SNS they may be about to introduce in the classroom.

I just took at stab at looking at this website, for example. Pretty much can guess at its target audience based on its title…wasn't disappointed or wrong: is described on its website as…a dynamic online community for Latinos reflecting our cultures and perspectives.
This site seems to try to almost do it all for the "largest Latino-American community online".

Their home site asks you to…
Join the largest Latino-American community online
Socialize Meet Latin women & men for friendship, networking, dating.
Speak Freely Discuss hot topics in our forums, groups, chat & blogs.
Shine Showcase talent with a personal profile and build your network.
Let Loose Have fun meeting Latin people who share your interests.

Scrolling to the bottom of the site is the owner’s names, which in this case is Community Connect, Inc. Interestingly enough, it also owns a couple of other SNSs on the "Launch Dates".

Business Description: Community Connect, Inc. provides online communities for ethnic and niche audiences in the United States. Its Websites include,, and The company’s Websites provide information regarding jobs, politics, culture, music, and entertainment. Community Connect, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is based in New York, New York.

Taking it another step, I decided to just Google Community Connect, Inc. and look at their history. Well, the first link that naturally caught my eye was…

Community Connect Inc. Jobs Forum - DO NOT WORK AT COMMUNITY ...
Wow, when you read the comments, it makes you stop and think about whether using a SNS might be supporting a company that doesn't sound too likable by the posts on this site. But, that of course, is a first impression; as only one site appeared to be in the main listings that was based on negative feedback from its employees.

Community Connection’s next foray into the niche SNS arena was the establishment of GLEE - Gay Lesbian & Everybody Else
From Wikipedia… is a social networking site that is geared toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities. The site was launched in February 2007 by Community Connect Inc.
Community Connect operates several niche market social networking sites and GLEE is their latest venture. As with their other social network sites, GLEE is modeled after the popular MySpace and Facebook offering many of the same features.
Currently is available only in the English language and primarily the North American market with approximately 86% of its users in the United States.[1]However, as of October 2008 it is blocking countries such as the UK and Netherlands, possibly with more of Europe affected too; the true extent is unknown. spokesperson purports this move was due to "spammer" activity.

Here is an interview from their CEO regarding their mission and their competition from Bloomberg Business Week…8/28/2008:

By 4/11/2008, they were purchased by Radio One:

Then I found that Community Connect created; yet it also seems to connect to Elev8, a one-of-a-kind online experience dedicated to uplifting the lives of African-Americans. But "lo and behold”…the domain appears to be for sale (if I understand/believe the following See below for sale details (2-10-11)… is for sale. 
The owner of the domain you are researching has it listed for sale for $7,000. Buy now >…

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wiki on EI

I would consider several reasons for including a wiki to help broaden students' understanding of the concept and how to apply the techniques they learn in real world application. To begin, students would be asked to add to the resources page regarding EI and explain who that resource was helpful in better understanding the concept of EI.

I might possibly ask students to find videos and other information to include in a notes page regarding EI, again to assist in broadening their understanding of EI.

Perhaps I might consider adding a page where students would a list tips and tricks for handling emotionally charged situations. Students might include examples of how their suggestions have worked for them in the past.

There are several ways in which a wiki could play a part in a workshop or course on EI depending upon the specific learning objectives. Contributions to the pages would depend upon the content being taught during the course and regular posts would be part of the course requirements.