A few nice social media report images I found:
My Blog Ain’t No Stinkin’ Diary
If one considers blog software as a "lightweight content management" system or a template driven web publishing platform, the possibilities are only bounded by our creativity.
* Once past the land of "blogs as diaries", what is there?
* What are the essential characteristics of blog software, and how can their applications be extended?
Hand coding HTML for web pages works fine for a few "pages", but loses effectiveness when the numbers hit 3 or 4 decimal places. What blog software provides for anyone publishing web content include:
* separation of content (stored in a database) from formatting (more and more web-standard designed templates)
* built in keyword search
* built in creation of RSS feeds
* built in commenting
* flexible organization via ctaegories defined by users
* editing via a simple web browser interface, w/o need for special software
* a shift to focus on the content from the formatting
* extensibility of functions via plug-ings
In April 2001 Dave Winer foresaw the Read/Write Web– The Web is a Writing Environment– In the meantime, the one revolution that the Internet has totally delivered is a fundamental change in the way written information and ideas flow. As people get more comfortable with networking technology, and as engineers learn how to do easier user interfaces, there will be more people writing on the Web.
* Weblogging: Another kind of website by Chris Ashley, IST—Interactive University. One day in mid-March of last year, Raymond Yee of the Interactive University (IU)  thought it would be a good idea to buy and experiment with Manila, a web server application capable of supporting literally thousands of weblog websites. A bargain-priced education license was purchased, and Catherine Yoes (then at IU) downloaded and installed it on a rather ordinary NT server. Within weeks the IU experienced a revolutionary change in thinking about what a website is, how they’re hosted, what they’re used for, how they’re built, and who owns them. A year and a half later, all of the IU’s websites are being produced using weblog technology, our team communications and sharing have been vitally enhanced, and a number of our team members are regularly writing on the web, as are many of our University/K-12 projects and the K-12 teachers we work with. (emphasis added)
* Weblogs, part II: A Swiss Army website? Chris Ashley, IST–Interactive University. This second article is an overview of a number of areas in which weblog software and the weblog model of content production and platform interoperability are proving to be increasingly useful and powerful, pushing and inspiring innovative developments for, and uses of, the Web. These areas include: content, information, and knowledge management; community building; publishing and journalism; teaching, learning, and collaboration; and course management systems (CMS).
* The blog as resume and autobiography (Jon Udell) The idea would be to explore the professional blog as a literary form that grows out of, and extends, two traditional forms: the resume and the autobiography.
* What Blogs Are: A Collaborative, Open Model For Information Exchange Robin Good, MasterNewMedia
* Using WordPress as a CMS (Ruminate) lists a few examples
* Beyond the Blog (The Prequel) A screencast (43 MB QuickTime) that demonstrates some educational blogs that push the common perceptions of what a weblog does. See also the companion wiki.
Education Support / Department Sites
* LEAP– a student support resource site at UBC
* Bowie State University School of Education site (WordPress)
* Building a School Web Site One Blog At a Time Rob Wall describes using WordPress to create the CELTC School Announcement System . See Several more examples in the comments:
Journals, Newsletters, Books
* MCLI iForum – online publication at Maricopa Community Colleges (published in WordPress). See technical details.
* Culture Corner Horace Mann Elementary School (MovableType)
* Classroom Notes at Lewis Elementary School . Using a Weblog to Facilitate Paper Publishing Tim Lauer describes how his Elementary School uses MovableType to assemble stories from teachers for publishing in electronic and print format.
* Pulse The Coming of Age of Systems and Machines Inspired by Living Things by Robert Frenay"This is a networked book. We’re releasing the full text of Pulse to the public via RSS, email, and on this blog. You can even get a from-the-beginning feed if you come late. In a first, the text is fully linked and tagged."
* Wisdom Quotes a reference/resource site (MovableType)
* Low Threshold Applications (MovableType)
* Into the Blogosphere (University of Minnesota) "This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others."
Activism / Citizen Journalism
* WikiPedia definition
* J-Learning "your how-to site for community journalism"
* The Thunderbird UBC’s blog-powered School of Journalism online publication.
* Philly Future – Philadelphia Blogs – "The News YOU Write
* The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism PoynterOnline
* We the Media "grassroots journalism by the people, for the people"
* Stormwatchers citizen journalists covering hurrican Rita
* I, Reported
* Staying Ahead of Your Patrons With Weblogs and RSS by Steven Cohen (Blogger). See his notes, www.librarystuff.net/2005/02/presentation-about-weblogsin…
* More Than Cat Diaries: Publishing With Weblogs by Alan Levine (Blogger)
See more examples and resources in the notdiaries tag stream.
Image Credits: Mock-up of SciFi book cover created by Alan Levine, derived from Creative Commons licensed flickr image by "Spatial Mongrel"
Bird-brained and proud of it
The corvid family of birds which include ravens, rooks, jays, many others and this crow have been long been considered pretty intelligent and smart.
While there are reports that their brain is actually larger in proportion to their body weight compared to birds in general, we certainly can vouch for their intelligence the way they have survived, adapted and spread all over.
They are omnivorous and can eat anything. They find their way around in crowded cities or suburban settings or farmlands. They flock together and can challenge most other competitors. They are curious and they explore. Only thing that seems to limit their spread is the lack of nesting sites. So these supreme survival skills is a definite credit to their intelligence levels. Once they were considered the ‘advanced’ of all birds; modern biologists won’t go that far and say that but do consider them smart. There are some studies which report the use of tools by some of these birds.
Of course, crows have not always had it nice with people. Humans don’t find them cute enough or tame enough like many other birds. Being dark also plays upon the minds of humans. Though corvid family as a whole enjoys a protected status in US today, there was a time crows were seen as a ‘public enemy’ and hunted down ruthlessly – competition shoots, dynamiting, poisoning, media propoganda and the works. One would think they were related to Saddam!
But crows survivied all this. And continued to spread. It is said that they learn to sense danger very fast- they learn that man with a gun is more dangerous than one with a stick, someone bending down to pick up someting from the ground needs to be watched etc. They assign some crows as sentinels for warning others of dangers.
Owls and such could be their enemies but the social defence of crows is formidable. Their only enemy, as it is with many evolved species, is man.
Teaching Social Software with Social Software
One of the best exmples of what we mean by "Beyond Blogging" is the Social Software Affordances course taught by Ulises Mejias. This is a graduate course at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
It’s a powerful example because it does something that seems obvious– using the subject as the medium, so his course materials are all available in a suite of (free) social software web stes. And the content is open, as opposed to the more common "lock a course in a CMS and hide it from the world behind a password".
In a report (published to his own ideant blog) .
The main goal of the course was for students to acquire proficiency in the use of blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and distributed classification systems while engaging in a critical analysis of the affordances of social software (what the software makes possible and what it impedes). The class also asked students to apply their newly acquired social software skills and knowledge to promote a social cause or project of their choosing.
* Course Blog with links to all individual student blogs) [Blogger]
* Syllabus [Blogger]
* Design Patterns of Social Computing Wiki final projects the class authored collaboratively [PmWiki]
* resources tagged by students [del.icio.us]
It’s more than just using a Big Pile of Tools, it’s that each is used to do what the tool can do well, and how they are connected.
It flows so well.