Malleable Musings

May 12, 2009

I’m a sheep…

Filed under: Social Media, Twitter — Brendan @ 11:26 pm

I was listening to Episode 155 of the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast on my train ride home this evening.  I was really interested in the first 20 minutes or so in which there were some good points about how 21st century educators need to be a cross between curators, librarians and broadcast editors.

However the later part of the podcast seemed to drift off in to talking about how people are using web 2.0 tools, particularly twitter…

Somewhere within the podcast there was a phrase about how some people are sheep who just RT or share a message without providing their own perspectives or taking an idea forward in anyway.  This struck me as particularly ironic as I’d just ‘liked’ the podcast on Friendfeed.

Later on, I started thinking about new technologies generally and how they are adopted. My thoughts initially strayed to cavemen and the adoption of fire and how the idea of fire might have been marketed and spread as it’s use evolved (a source of light and heat, a weapon, a way to prepare food etc.).  I also remembered something I once read about primate group learning of tool use.  The basic idea is someone has an insight which may or may not be imitated and spread through a group.

Web 2.0 tools are still relatively new technologies and we’re collectively still figuring out the uses for them.  Like fire to the caveman many tools can be used in very different ways.  Consequently, it’s so easy to make assumptions that people use tools in the same way that you do.

As tools develop and mature, social pressure will probably standardise their use somewhat, but at the moment the tools are evolving.  I certainly don’t use the tools, or think about thim in the same way I did three months ago (e.g. twitter favourites as a way of showing you value content and wanting to read every tweet from every person I follow).

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