Archive for August, 2013

I was used to only academic writing, where imaginary mean, anonymous reviewers scrutinize every word and comma and reply with snarky “constructive feedback” that hurts the core of your being and ruin your self-esteem.

But I really wanted to blog.

I wanted a platform for daring, unfinished ideas. A platform for fun, for experimentation, free of the absolute need for academic citations.

Writing the first few blog posts was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. You put yourself out there – no citations, no proofreading, and EVERYONE can see!!! They will kill me!

They didn’t.

The worst that happened is, I got ignored.

The best – I got interesting comments, new ideas, or notes that some of my posts have really helped people. Yay!

Writing honestly, without the protection of the academic article formula is scary. It is because you dare to be vulnerable. Brenee Brown says that we admire vulnerability in others but we hate it in ourselves. Yes, being vulnerable is scary. But it is brave.

Really, watch this video:

So, listen. I know you’re nervous. It’s normal. We all are. I need you to be nervous and do it anyway, so you can understand what it’s like to be a blogger. So you can appreciate other bloggers’ courage. So you can meet friends, block trolls, and help each other. In the end, more good than bad will come out of this – even if the only good thing is that you get to understand blogging culture a bit.

This is as safe as it can be. You have a community of friendly readers. You have a safety net.  Be brave, jump in. I won’t let you drown. I promise.

Dr. V

Want to know more about the culture of blogging and blogging writing style? Check out this book, you’ll read it in a couple of hours.


The next time we meet (you) students will give good presentations on topics of your choice related to numbers about social media adoption and uses. I posted some sample reports on Blackboard that you can use for inspiration and a better understanding of what fits in as a topic or not. You can speak broadly about social media adoption worldwide, or narrowly about teenagers and social media privacy in Thailand. But you have to present credible and reliable data and cite your sources!

It is up to you all to decide what topics you will present, in what order, and how long each topic will take. Plan to use a total of 125 minutes of class but divide them as you wish. Please use only Twitter to make these decisions collectively.

Once you have established a topic and found a team mate, you can collaborate with that person using whatever tools you wish (no restrictions).

Here are my suggestions and requirements:

  • The presentations themselves must be informative and well delivered. Please work on making clear slides that are clearly visible. Do not cram too much into one presentation. Less content that we can follow and understand is better than information overload. Organize the information clearly and make that organization visible to the audience. Speak up. Do your best to deliver what you think is a good presentation. You will learn that presenting is one of the most important skills in life – use every opportunity you get to practice it!
  • Each person is required to speak.
  • Try your best to collaborate with someone you do not already know. Try some networkING. It is enriching.
  • Cite your sources. One of the points of this exercise is for us to know what sources to cite when we need social media statistics.
  • Do some research before you commit to a topic. Make sure the data is available to you before you decide to present it!
  • Ensure to the best of your abilities that the data is credible and that it was collected through valid and reliable methods.
  • Explain in your presentation where the data comes from – what methods, what type of sample and what size. For this kind of information we are looking for statistically representative samples.
  • Avoid talking us through an existing infographic. Combine information from more than one source. Adapt it to the visual medium you are using (slides). Be cautious of infographics that do not disclose their methods and samples.

Questions about this assignment? Please ask in the comments below.

We spent most of the time in class today breaking down each of the 3 articles about definitions of Web 2.0, SNS, and Enterprise 2.0, respectively:

  1. 7 principles that define Web 2.0
  2.  a 3-point definition of SNS
  3. a new definition of E2.0 as ESSPs – Emergent Social Software Platforms

I then offered my working definition of social media:

“Online communication platforms that simultaneously support both public and personal communication.”

In the process of breaking down each article, we identified several fundamental concepts related to social media, such as:

  • blogosphere
  • trackback & permalink
  • echo-chamber
  • RSS
  • Long Tail (it’s called a Power Law curve, I remembered)
  • API
  • mashup
  • folksonomy

Then we tried to put the ideas back together by figuring out how they relate to each other. We arrived at a diagram of the entire thing that I didn’t take a photo of, but it basically showed Web 2.0 encompassing everything, SNS being a part of social media, and E2.0 intersecting with both social media and SNS.

So, what did you learn in class today? What you learned may be about the content, or about how the content applies to you and your work, or about the process of reading and learning in general. Let me know by blogging about it.

You might be wondering what to blog about now that the semester has barely started. Here are some ideas:

  • Goals and intentions for the class – what do you hope to accomplish? What do you hope to get out of this experience? How do you plan to work?
  • Goals and intentions for your blog – similar, but just for the blog.
  • Excitement/apprehension – what are you excited about regarding this class? What are you apprehensive about?
  • Blog recommendations – are you already reading blogs that are relevant to class topics? If so, write one or more blog posts and recommend those blogs to classmates. Explain what is the focus of the blog, and what kinds of information we can find there.

This is also on Blackboard, but please remember:

week 1 to do list


If you need some help with Twitter, please see these resources – and also ask me on Twitter!

It would be really helpful if you can get to this to do list in the next 2 days – so we can manage to follow each other by the time next class comes around.

Remember that you need to fill out and bring to next class a total of 5 worksheets:

  • one reading notes worksheet for each reading (4)
  • an additional worksheet for the Online Identity Management article (1)

Also, I need to know if you are following this blog. Please leave a comment (“great post” will do ;)) to let me know you saw it as soon as you do see it.