Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Social Media Mainline with Tee Morris

On this 1 day course, Tee Morris introduced participants to blogging with Wordpress; Youtube; Facebook and Twitter. Technical problems, with some PCs not logging on to start with, and WELTEC's firewalls and security settings caused frustrations to participants and presenter alike. Partly as a result of this, we spent almost all the morning setting up an account on wordpress.com, and learning how to use some of its features.

Tee feels that blogger, which we use at National Library, is the easiest blogging platform to use. He prefers wordpress, as wordpress.org can be much more customisable, with individuals being able to change its settings and add their own features to their blogs. Wordpress.com, which we used in the course is good for beginners.

Tee recommends that blog entries be no more than 500 words, and feels that any longer can be a bit indulgent. (Oh dear, how many am I up to now...)

When looking at Youtube, Tee showed us his videos there, or tried his best to. I'd like to look at these at some stage, as Tee Morris has a strong background in this area, and has written books on Podcasting. A new book of his "All A Twitter" is about to be published, and he's also a Science Fiction author. Tee definitely has excellent "geek" qualifications, and answered questions thoughtfully, showing his background and knowledge about web 2.0. Come to think of it, I don't think he mentioned the term web 2.0 once during this course, which is a refreshing change!

Here are his videos:
ANTI-Social Media: Part One — Blogging

ANTI-Social Media: Part Two — Facebook

ANTI-Social Media: Part Three — Twitter

Tee talked about the value of twitter as a marketing tool, and discussed his relationship with Air New Zealand last year. At one stage, Air NZ sent out a tweet saying that their thoughts were with the people in Gisborne after the earthquake. Tee twittered back "what happened," got more information from Air NZ, then asked if the Air NZ twitterers were OK. They replied that they were fine, as they are based in San Francisco. Tee discussed with us the power of being able to send a message to so many people at once, and then quickly reply to Tee, and have a conversation on the subject. Last year twitter traffic increased 750%.

He said that he is recent and reluctant FaceBook user, being a "recovering" MySpace user. Facebook can be very powerful as a networking tool. Tee was, for example, able to contact an old university friend, who has become an actress, and successfully ask her to play a small part in one of his podcasts. You can create groups for specific communities of interest (click on the groups icon, right at the bottom of the FaceBook screen). However, he gets fed up at all the requests, for example people "poking" him, or sending him some silly survey.

Tee feels that Twitter and Facebook are currently neck-in-neck as the most popular social networking application. This made me think, that if we (SYNZ) are serious about using social networking tools, we should have a presence on these.

To use social media in the workplace, Tee sees three obstacles:
  • you've got to get past the "higher-ups" who don't understand social media
  • IT people can be a problem. They often won't allow access.
  • Its difficult to decide where social media falls - is it PR, advertising, IT - its all three.
Don't do it just because its cool. You do it because you have a message, and want to use the best application to get this message across. Find the initiative that works for you and then decide - how am I going to plan this, how am I going to initiate it.

Tee suggested having a social media plan. As an example, he talked about a plan he had developed for an educational institution he was working with. The plan included initiatives such as having a blog which discussed classes on this week; a 5 minutes "free-for-all" podcast each week where students could put their 2c worth in; a twitter quick tip sent to students once a week; and having a short video with a specific topic on youtube each week. You might build up the plan gradually, eg we will do this for the first 6 months, then add this initiative, then this etc.

Oops, 709 words - sorry Tee!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Twitter on School Library Journal

Haven't blogged much for a while, but am just looking at this information before another presentation at the Reading Conference next week. Found this good article about the benefits of twitter on School Library Journal:

Monday, February 11, 2008

What should a literate teacher be able to do?

This is quoted from David Warlick's blog 2c worth, who wrote these notes live from Stephen Heppel's keynote address at the 105th annual OLA Super Conference on January 30th.

Heppell asked a group of students what a literate teacher should be able to do, and they agreed that teacher should be able to:

  • upload to YouTube
  • edit a Wikipedia article
  • choose a safe online payments site
  • subscribe to a podcast and unsubscribe
  • turn on and off predictive text
  • manage a groups Flickr photos (and spell Flickr!)
  • look after a community in Facebook

Blogging for Students

Here's a podcast called Blogging for Beginners from this Thinking About Learning blog. This podcast is for students to introduce the concepts of blogging.

Here's a great quote from this blog:
My school is in the midst of a blogging revolution! It all began with one 5th grade teacher who was willing to try something new, (thanks, Emily!) and now it’s the latest craze. The students in all six 5th grade classes, four 4th grade classes, and even one 3rd grade class have their own blogs. That’s over 220 blogs in our school! The goal is to blog at least once a week. The students love it because it’s fun. They stop me in the hall in the mornings to ask if today is their day to blog. Teachers love it because it motivates their students to write, it ties directly into their curriculum, it builds literacy, it improves technology skills, and it provides a great way for students to reflect and share what they’ve learned.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Flickr and creative commons photos

The above photo is from http://flickr.com/photos/elsie/154054286/

I have just been learning how to automatically post photos from Flickr to my blog. Have just set this up, and its so easy! I have had to log in to my google account to give permission (1 easy click from flickr), then choose a template for my photos.

I'm still working out the copyright aspect. Which photos are under a "creative commons" licence and which aren't? Which ones can I use, and how should I attribute them. What about if a photo is called "public" and has a "blog this" button above it, but says "all rights reserved"? Will let you know how I get on.

OK, hope you didn't mind the wait.
I found that I need to go into advanced search and choose to search on copyright commons images only.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Friday, January 18, 2008


What should I read next? What are some great YA fantasy books? I've read all the Alex Rider books, what else is good?
Join LibraryThing, and you'll be connected with thousands of book lovers and all their ideas.
You start off by cataloguing your own books online. This is easy and fast, and much cleverer than it appears. Under its bonnet, LibraryThing uses the power of z39.50 searching to interrogate the world's major library catalogues and find professionally catalogued details of the book you are referring to.

Once you've catalogued a few books the fun begins. You can check out who else has catalogued similar books, browse their collections and see what you might like to read next. Say you had a very specific interest in vampire books that none of your friends understood. All of a sudden, on LibraryThing you can find a group of like-minded people, check out their collections, add your book review to theirs, and form or join a group on the topic.

One popular group is the "50 book challenge". Members aim to read 50 books in a year, and post information on what they have read so far and what they think of it. Other people comment on their choices and make suggestions about what they might like to read next. There are some great conversations going on on this group.
Other popular groups include Children's Fiction, and Read YA Lit, which choses one book a month to have a discussion about. March's book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. They also have great "group talk" discussions about a wide variety of other topics.
LibraryThing is very popular with librarians. In fact, the group Librarians who LibraryThing is the most popular, with 3655 members.

Or, you could just use LibraryThing’s powerful search system to find recommended books. Look up Eragon by Christopher Paolini, for example, and LibraryThing will show you the most popular books that people with Eragon also have in their library. Click on more recommendations for specifics. This type of search can pull up interesting results, as its not limited to any genre or type of book, just to popularity by lots of Eragon readers. People with Eregon also seem to buy Inkspell by Cornelia Funke, and Magyk by Angie Sage. The recommendations work best with popular books – have a look at the top of a book’s entry to see how many members have this book (5,332 for Eragon).

Here's a good link to an article about LibraryThing.