week 3

Take a look at the Web 2.0 introductions on CommonCraft. Here are some introductions to key Web 2.0 tools: wikis, social networks, Twitter, blogs, rss, social media, tagging, podcasting. In addition, wikipedia is a great source of further information: wikis, social networks, Twitter, blogs, rss, social media, tagging, podcasting.

As part of this week’s exercise we have an introduction to web2.0 tools including wikis, social networks, Twitter, blogs, rss, social media, tagging, podcasting (to name a few) and  I’ve watched a few videos on CommonCraft outlining the basics of these web2.0 technologies.  While I thought I was already pretty familiar with these concepts I decided to give the suggested videos a watch just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything.  The main useful concept I gained from these videos are that wikis have many uses for the most basic of collaboration tasks (like a group of friends organizing a list of things to take camping) and not just for enormous repositories of unstructured information (like wikipedia).  A simple task like the camping example demonstrates where email falls down.  I suppose one could do something similar with Google docs, but the advantage of using a wiki is the use of links and other pages.  On that note I have utilized Google docs quite often during my studies at QUT in group work.  It is handy if we are all working on one big document as there is always only one up to date copy and and everyone can work on it at the same time.

You can get your free hosted wikis at the following websites:

pbwiki.com wetpaint.com & wikispaces.com

Tasks for this week:
How can web 2.0 tools assist with your personal productivity? Check out the links in the lecture notes and in my previous posts. Find more resources. Sign up and test some (new) tools that you have been previously unfamiliar with. Share your experience of using these tools on your blog.

So I’ve touched my foot into the twitter pond.  I had resisted for so long, thinking naively that all the goss was true.  It was all just goss.  It was always in the paper and news, some big celebrity tweeted this, some politician tweeted that.  Even the MX newspaper got on board and dedicated an entire page to making up crazy tweets from famous celebrities.  Well, I thought they were fake but its hard to tell sometimes.

I think in some forms twitter could take the face to face out of relationships.  Its like an advanced form on text messaging. They’re broadcast to anyone and everyone that’ll listen rather than being targeted to specific people who actually care.  People can keep in touch with miniature updates (under 140 characters).  Good if people use it to interact, but I think people could develop a false sense of being in touch with people when really its all just superficial updates.  Same thing goes for facebook, people can easily find out what their friends are doing without actually having to interact with them.  While these new forms of social media may have many benefits, I think it may breed a new generation of people who are unable to communicate efficiently in face to face interactions therefore in some ways making them more socially isolated.  And now, after thinking about all this (Sacha was right about writing to think)  it seems twitter is just communication on a different level and it will depend on HOW it is used as to its consequences.

Its not all bad news though, twitter is not all just mindless fools posting to the world that they’ve well,  thought something (eg: twitter.com/commonsquirrel,   Now your dog can post to twitter too, and #2 result for “twitter” on Google Aus: twitter.com/kevinruddpm 0 posts, his actual account is twitter.com/KRuddMP strangely enough).  It’s just that the signal to noise ratio is very high but YOU control the ratio by deciding who you follow and don’t so its kinda alright.  I find more value in twitter for that of updates from companies or events rather than that of individuals.  I can follow bdo_official to ensure I keep abreast of all upcoming info regarding the Big Day Out without needing to keep checking back to see if there is a website up for next year’s event or scouring forums for leaks about artists that might attend.

I have found a number of other interesting web2.0 tools that assist with personal productivity @ onextrapixel.com.  I’ve listed a couple of my favorites and why below:

MailChimp offers free email marketing service which allows you to design, send, and track HTML email campaigns with its simple tools.

Basecamp is a leading web-based project management and collaboration tool.

SugarSync enables you to share and access files from PC, Mac & mobile phones – your data anywhere and anytime.

For anyone with a more than one computer, maybe a smart phone as well, a cloud file hosting service like SugarSync would be invaluable.  From simply keeping a automated backup of your most essential files documents to backing up your entire library of photos and music  to the cloud, the advantages of having access to your files anywhere anytime are priceless.

Using SugarSync, I imagine working at home on a report while downloading some new music for the journey to work.  When its time to leave, you simply save your report as normal, and walk out the door while leaving the computer on to finish downloading your music.

You get in the car, open up the SugarSync app on your iPhone and you have music streaming from the cloud that you just downloaded to your home PC.  You stop on the way in a coffee shop and you download the report to make some final touches and upload it back to the cloud.

When arriving at work, you find out that you have left your iPhone at the coffee shop and your house has burnt down.  Luckily your report and all your personal photos and music are still safe stored in the cloud.

Well that’s all for now, I feel this post has turned into quite the rambling but I got distracted along the way by many things on twitter.   Twitter on the whole I doubt will actually be any help for productivity, but rather an enabler of the time waster.


2 Responses to “week 3”

  1. August 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Hey, great post!
    SugarSync reminds me of Dropbox, maybe you should try that out too? Your exploration of the world of twitter is very interesting, I agree it can be a time waster, but it can be a useful tool to promote yourself and your brand.

    • August 9, 2010 at 6:32 am

      I have had a look at DropBox and I think for the beginner or for someone with just a little data (under 2Gb) it would be better than SugarSync as you get the first package free whereas SugarSync requires payment for even the first package. SugarSync will be cheaper for anyone looking to use more than 2Gb.

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