I have to admit as the list of social media sites I have accounts with grew these last few weeks, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. There seemed to be a lot of people to keep track of and my little book of passwords was filling fast. But, what a relief to start the activities in Week 4 and find there is some hope of making use of all of these innovative tools in a sane manner.
Hootsuite was awesome – I love to see the columns so nicely organizing my social information – and it is all in one place! I really look forward to using that one. I was thrilled with Dropbox – and am already using it for my school work and pictures. Peace of mind – yes, wonderful peace of mind. No more sinking feeling when I realize as I arrive in class, that I left my jump drive full of assignments in the computer at home.
I liked the Aboutme site and promptly shared it with everyone I knew. I am intrigued by the possibilities for Netvibes for future projects. I worked for a while with the iftt.com and managed a “recipe” or two – I have promised myself some time to revisit this effort – I feel there is potential there for its usefulness. I haven’t yet found a strong reason to use Twitter – though when I heard some of the Tweets circulating after a certain political event this last week – I could see where they would be amusing.
For me the most exciting part of this experience was bringing most of these services to my cell phone. This made me feel like I am connected to my work, and school, and home in a very personal way that did not seem possible before. Everything now is accessible from where ever I am – surprisingly – this gave me a sense of relief. I feel like the different parts of my existence are connected – and the different roles of my life are not so scattered and unrelated to each other.
It also helped when our Instructor demonstrated that the different services were just that – services. Tools that served a purpose. And that there was no mystery – it was about using the right tool for the right job. So it became a matter of figuring out what my goals were and then choosing the best tool to accomplish this. The fact that these tools can now be connected is powerful for me. And when I have access to them when it suits me – It also feels like I am controlling when and what I access. This is better then the anxious rush to check for notifications as soon as I get home – or as soon as I get to work.
In the context of the internet, I understand aggregation to be the process of collecting automatically all available information on the basis of key words. Curation is also the collecting of material that has a particular focus – but, it is done more intuitively and with other factors besides the bare keywords to guide the process.
There seems to be a community that finds reason to argue the rightness of both of these but, as pointed out by Matthew Ingram at the link below, “These efforts may be well-intentioned, but they are misguided and likely doomed—as virtually every attempt to control the Internet has proven. “ I hope this is true.
At this link I found a very comprehensive discussion of the concept of curating that included Rohit Bhargave’s “five models of curation” – well worth looking at. His descriptions reminded me that the audience and goals of any search (or research) determine what the method is that is used to retrieve it and to manage it. The right tool for the right job!