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lördag 17 december 2011

Kjell 5000

So, I've been recommended to have a look at "Kjell 5000" at least twice. It's a Swedish humor program about Kjell who has 5000 friends on Facebook and who travels around to Sweden to meet them all.

That includes showing up at the wedding of a "friend" etc. Most of all it's an exploration of what friendship means in the age of social media. Many of the questions Kjell asks explore whether they really are friends, what you can expect of friends etc.

I will continue to use the blog in this way...

I realize that when I find "random stuff" about social media, this is a good place to post things just to keep track of them so it might happen that I myself post stuff here once or a few times per month.

You can do that too, but please only post things that you might think is of interest to others and please also explain why you post it!


måndag 12 december 2011

More on digital natives...

As already mentioned before, kids are being exposed to technologies earlier and earlier in the their lives. Now Fisher Price is taking care of the problems, which parents encounter with when giving their electronic devices to their babies - drooling, dribbles and unwanted calls that is.

More information here:

No wonder they will grow up like this:

And this is how you can tell that we are getting old:

söndag 11 december 2011

iPad apps for children?

I don't know if this is really appropriate and I don't even know if people still read stuff that is posted to the blog, but, anyway, I have a question for y'all.

Does anyone happen to have recommendations for great iPad apps for children?

Yours gratefully,


PS. I hope you all will have a nice Christmas (and that you will come back well rested and with new energy for the spring term).

fredag 9 december 2011

150, the magic number

It is not uncommon that people today, have several hundreds of "friends" on social media tools like Facebook. And it almost feels like, that the number of friends has become a symbol of status.

Therefore I think that this interview with the evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar is very interesting. He claims that you cannot keep in contact with more than an average of 150 friends due to the limits of social skills in our brain. This also includes social media tools like Facebook.

These 150 friends involves relationships with trust and obligations not just names and faces. So how many of your "friends" on Facebook are real, actual friends?

You can find the interview here:

/Simon Enström

Democratizing Effects

Last week, we had a guest lecture about the allegedly democratizing effects of social media. I found an article that I think is relevant for this subject. It is about the use of social media and its influence on the recent uprising in Egypt.

The article claims that social media tools like Facebook and Twitter made an opportunity for activists and viewers to communicate, coordinate and document the protests against the Murbarak regime.

I like the conclusion in the article, that social media did not make all of this happen but that it brought everything to a head much sooner.

Here is the article:

/Simon Enström

Best deconstruction of news ever?

We've talked quite some about news in the course (who controls them, whose interests are represented in them etc.).

I really think this 2 minute long YouTube movie is the best example of using (the) news (format) to explain how TV news are made and how they work. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Have a nice weekend, good luck with your exams and have a nice Christmas break!


On how to raise the quality of the content on this blog!

Ok, so, I just wrote that it was great to hear your suggestions for what could have been better in the course. Here's another take on the very same issue (the quality of content on this blog).

So some of you (again) though the average quality of stuff on this (your!) blog has been too low. What could we (both you and me) do about it? I guess I could in more detail specify the "rules" for posting stuff on the blog, e.g. "please don't post links to random stuff on the Internet here".

I'd also like to point out that I and Pernilla can still and at our discretion interpret and decide ("retroactively") if individual contributions do live up the "rules" that were specified in this blog post (i.e. "The important criteria is that your contribution should add value. "I agree", "me too" or "the lecture was great" does not add value"). Perhaps "I found this on the Internet and hope you all like it" posted one day before the deadline for fulfilling the online discussion examination requirements won't qualify as "adding value"? (DO NOTE: you still have all of today to give it your best shot if you suddenly hesitate about the quality of some of your earlier contributions :-).

So, that is one thing we could have done differently. What could you have done differently?

1) Complain/raise the issue at the gripe session/course evaluation (which you did). What else?

2) Make sure that you personally don't contribute to the behavior you condone in others, i.e. make sure that each of your contributions to the blog in your own opinion are of high quality. That's shouldn't be very hard to do, and your position to complain about low quality of blog posts is definitely undermined if you think your own contributions were not of high quality. What else could you have done?

3) Well, why wait for the (late) opportunity to raise the issue when the course is about to wind down. Why not post something about it here, on this blog (for example one week or one month ago)?

So, you might think that the quality of a course is 100% equal to what the teachers "hand over to you" (or force you to do in the course). Wrong. The quality of the course is also (but of course not exclusively) a matter of what you, individually and as a group, put into it. If you as a student "perk up" and put some effort into finding angles or examples from your own experiences that you share at a seminar, that seminar will be all the better for it for everyone. If you as a student pose a good question, a lecture can become all the better for it for everyone. If you as a student listen to a lecture while simultaneously "playing with" or doing "really important work" on your laptop or your smartphone, the lecture will be slightly worse off (for everybody) because of it. Thinking that the lecture or seminar wasn't about the things you would have wanted them to be about might be justified, but a surly "I won't-contribute" attitude for sure detracts from the quality of the activity in question here-and-now.

So, is the onus on me as a teacher to become a "better entertainer" and find ways to lure your attention back from your screens and into the lecture hall? To some extent yes. Or is the onus on you to make the best of your time, your opportunities and your education and to actively contribute to the quality of it? To some extent yes. And, in the age of social media, why shouldn't courses and university education change from a lean-back (e.g. TV or "give me all you got") to a lean-forward (e.g. Internet) activity? The opportunities have at least never been better than they are now. Will you accept that challenge and make the best of it (for example during the courses you will study during the spring semester)? Or will you give them only a minimum of your attention and spend most of that precious resource elsewhere? (Not that it matters to me, I don't have any courses with you this spring - with the possible exception of those few who will write a bachelor's thesis this coming spring :-)

One more example: When we have had guest lectures, the quality of lectures would for sure increase if every single person in the audience had prepared a question in advance (perhaps by doing 10 minutes of "Internet research" about the lecturer or the topic in advance or by just sitting down for 10 minutes to reflect on the topic of the lecture). I certainly asked you to do it each week as part of the invitation to the guest lecture. NOTE: You still have the chance to do it for today's guest lecture - and I believe David has only planned to talk for 45 minutes and to leave the rest of the time open for questions...

Someone suggested I should have asked for you to provide questions for guest lecturers in writing, adding it to the seminar assignment in much the same way you were asked (forced) to provide a question for the seminar each week. Perhaps I should have done that. Or perhaps not. Perhaps that's for you to discover...? Should I as a teacher be "forced" to provide detailed instructions about everything I would like you to do, and to make it part of the examination for the course (like posting to this blog)?

So, my concluding question is: how do we (all of us, together) make students go from being passive "consumers" of education to also become contributors or even co-creators (in this and other courses)? Thoughtful answers in the form of comments to this and the previous blog post will definitely be rewarded! I'll even extend the deadline for this specific challenge until Sunday for latecomers, straggler and those few who haven't even accepted the invitation to become contributors to this blog (please make sure I can identify you - sign your comment)!

And to top it off, here's a well-know quote from John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech in 1961: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country".

On the quality of the content on this blog!

We had a "gripe session" (course evaluation) in the middle of this week. That was great, but there was only just enough time to document your complaints/suggestions and not really enough time to actually discuss them. So I will take the opportunity to discuss one specific point that was raised (and I might post a couple of more things later, i.e. even after the course is finished and not the least because I realized I can point next year's students to these specific blog posts).

The issue about the quality of the blog posts here was raised by some of you. Some thought that people sometimes just posted "random stuff I found on the web" here and that "quality" is/should be more important that "quantity". Which I of course agree about. The only guidelines you have had about the purpose of this blog and about what "fits" here were these instructions. In hindsight, I should obviously (?) have specified that you also have to "frame" your blog posts, i.e. not just post a link to [something], but also write something about why that [something] is of interest to you, why you think it is/should be of interest to your classmates, how it connects to the course (for example to lectures or seminar discussions) and so on.

Now, since Sara herself has exemplified this phenomenon by referring to her own blog post, I will do so too. I thought the picture was hilarious. In fact, I forwarded it to all the teachers at Media Technology. But before I sent it I felt I had to write something in order for them to understand why I thought the message was important/funny/pertinent for them. So I wrote:

"Picked up by a student of mine (in my course about social media) and containing some deep truths about our problems with viscerally understanding the reality of mediated relationships on the Internet:"

In hindsight I would of course have wished that you all would have done something similar before you posted stuff here. One thoughtful sentence can be all it takes to reframe something from "random stuff I found on the Internet" to "random stuff that I found on the Internet and that relates to this course because...".

That's something for me to think about for next year's course (if we decide to keep this blog going for one more year - the other possibility is of course to abandon the blog or to replace it with something else).

How ideas spread with social media


here is an article for spreading social media. I hope you like it.

torsdag 8 december 2011

The "four generations" theory

On the Lecture about e-learning Pernilla talked about the "Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants" and their perspective over social media technologies.

Actually it was the first time I have heard this definition. In Brazil it is still very common to use the "four generation theory", from the authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, while describing different characteristics of this new generation x the previous ones, specially into companies, that need to figure out the profile and needs of their new employees/work force.

These images bellow taken from this article are very interesting to understand the major differences of the generations, although the theory is from 1997.

Besides being based over American history I consider it very similar over the context we live today in lots of countries.

From what I could observe there are many researches being made over the technology impacts on different generations, but none can be irrefutable, once the time you were born does not certainly predicts the way you interact with technology, it might also vary a lot depending on cultural, social, and economic aspects.

The digital natives theory is one of the recent ones, launched in 2001 by Marc Prensky, but it became more famous only in 2007 and since then is being challenged and discussed.

Negative comments in social media work


I know that many people liked Therese's lecture. I have found an interesting article related to her lecture. It is actually an interview so it will be more fun to read.

Most talked about on Facebook

Facebook releases stats of 2011 most talked about topics. On the link you will find most shared songs, series and other stories!

Perhaps more fun is to look at smaller topics (of course bin Ladens death is trending) like planking!

So if your planing to start planking now, you are a bit to late!

/Olle Westerlund

onsdag 7 december 2011

It's not about the money, money, money

Pargman quoted today about a research over what motivates people, which to me seemed the same research Fredrik, the teacher from the Leadership course (students from the Media Technology Program, like me, are taking) quoted over one of his first Lectures as well.
I don't know if the theory they have seen is this one, from Daniel Pink, author of the book Drive, but anyway I think this two videos, I coincidentally have sent some friends one month ago, are worthy sharing.

The focus of this research Pink talks about was to find out what motivates people.
Something very interesting they found is that after a person consider having the money "need" fulfilled, earning more money won't make one dedicate more over something. 

Other point the research focus is that once the task is mechanical reward with money works. On the other hand if the task is cognitive (demands deep thinking), it is the contrary, the larger the reward the worst the performance.

Ok. Then why companies keep this rewarding money system, once it is scientifically proved it does not work?
Would this be related to what motivates us over sharing something over social networks?
The storytelling video is quick and gives a idea of this concept.
The TED is a bit longer, but I think it's worthy.

About the Posters

I really liked the presentation of this morning. All the works were nice and quite interesting, as well as the themes dealt with.

The large diversity of ideas put out made me think about which results we could have got if all the groups had worked on the same specific theme; I'm quite sure that would have been really enjoyable to see how many different ideas.

Moreover, I've found very very funny the fact the the most "appreciated" poster was the one realized by the "Appreciation" group: they nailed it!!! Nomen Omen * ???

* For those who don't know Latin: it means "The name is a sign/The name tells about the destiny in itself"


As our Rich Picture group area was infographics, I've come across quite a few interesting ones the last weeks. A popular topic for these seem to be social media and their networks. Here are some of my favourites:
Many are thoughtworthy and quite funny, but as with many infographics their sources of information are sometimes poorly stated or suspicious.

I've also come across some other interesting visualizations of networking in general. Lots of information, easy on the eyes

tisdag 6 december 2011

Companies using social media

Therese brought up a couple of interesting and useful ways that companies use social media. I wanted to find out if there where any more ways of using it and if any companies had come further in their use. I found a site which mentioned a few of these and I found them very interesting and innovative. The best features (in my opinion), that I hadn't really heard of before were:

One homebuilder company used a location based technology, where they had put GPS's on the workers' cars. You could then see on a map, on the website, where all the employees where at the time. I think this technique could be useful for companies in many different ways to help with customers service and interaction. One example could be the ice cream truck company wanting people to always see where their trucks are.

Another company created a small social network of their own on their website, and made it really simple to sign up (just through one click by connecting to Facebook or Twitter etc). The same company is also using an own peer-produced Wiki for their products. If someone asks a question other customers who knows can answer. That relates to what Therese said about wanting to hear opinions from other people (friends or just other customers) instead of only the company's thoughts.

A third company (a restaurant) used another feature I liked. If you run a restaurant or a café you can take reservations through Twitter. The guests will have to follow your account in order to make a reservation. They send you a tweet to make a reservation request that you can then answer and tell if you have free tables or not. By following the account, they will also be able recieve information from the restaurant and that will help market the company.

Other social media features that where mentioned can be found here:

The role of social media in elections

Last Sunday there were elections to parliament in Russia. I think it was first elections in Russia where social media played really important role.

First of all, waiting for mass cheatings and stuffings, people distributed information about any violations in social networks (mainly Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter). On Sunday my feed on FB consisted only of videos, photos and links of violations during elections.
And at the same momemt main Russian TV channels said nothing about it.

In the end on Sunday and next Monday morning in social networks appeared first messages which invited to join protest meeting concerning unfair eletions which was planned for Monday evening. And again all information was distributed in social media only. Main platforms - Facebook, Vkontakte, Livejournal, Twitter (heshtags #чп #5дек #5dec)

On Monday evening about 7000 people came to the center of Moscow to protest against cheating and elections' results. And all of them were informed with the help of social media only! This is an example of video from the meeting:

An as I can see from my feeds on social networks protests are planning to go on on Tuesday's evening as well.

Of course, it is not a new revolution. The level of people's disagreement is not high enough. They don't have any clear requirements of suggestions. And there is no real alternative for current politicians.

But the important thing in this case is that even without any true information from main TV channels, social media have enough capabilities to gather several thousands of people! It is a good case for Russian politics ahead of president elections on spring'12.

måndag 5 december 2011

My favorite E-learning resources

I would like to share with you some resources on e-learning that I like, since we've been talking about the topic, and since it's one of my favorite topics!

E-learning Europe is a community for teachers, producers and academics interested in the subject. I think their E-learning Papers is very good!

The rapid e-learning blog has actually been very useful to me when designing e-learning content. Fun to read and very practical. But consider the author's relation with rapid e-learning tool Articulate.

LinkedIn has a few e-learning communities as well, and interesting articles pop-up from time to time while, if you have the time to care about them...

And these are some interesting books on theory, practice and design!
Enjoy and let me know if you know any other good e-learning resources!

The lifecycle of this blog

I realize that thiscourse, is going towards it´s end … and the probability that you contribute to the subject social media technologies, in the form of a blog post to this particular blog, dramatically will decrease as soon as the weekend is here. Due to this, I still want to share some of my thoughts concerning the lifecycle of this blog.

After talking to some of my ex-student (at other universities), who nowadays are working in different media companies, I started to contemplate information sharing in courses. Some of these students have reconnected with me; just to ask whether there is a possibility for them to maintain the login to different system, just to get “inside-information” about what is happening right now. Out of curiosity I often ask what's driving them to ask that question, and if they don’t use their common filters to gain information? Often the students reflect on how far behind the companies are (this of course differs between companies) regarding implementation and well as thoughtful use of different social media technologies. So for them, keeping up with (lurking in) course blogs is a way to stay one step before…

Maybe… this can be worth considering, as Saturday soon will be here and the stream of notifications will drop as the course will end for this semester. Until next fall the activity might be close to zero, but then there will be new students reading Social Media Technologies..

How Youtube deals with Copyrights

In this video, Margaret Stewart talks about Youtube system to manage with uploaded videos and copyrights.

I've found this quite interesting; it shows how different media companies decide different policies as owners of songs, video etc...

That's why some videos are removed and some others have the suggestion to buy a certain (background or not) song from ITunes, for example.

Moreover, it made me think about the check complexity of that system, as it has to deal with a huge amount of files at the same time.

UPDATE: as the html tag seems to have failed, this is the link

Digital inclusion: Pulling not pushing

More wisdom from "The Internet Days".

Ellen Helsper, Lecturer in Media and Communication Department from the London School of Economics and Political Science talked at Internetdagarna about digital inclusion of vulnerable groups.The lecture was based on the results and observations from her research on governmental programs for digital inclusion in England.

Digital inclusion can be understood as the interaction between four factors in continuous development and change:
  1. Access: Mobility, ubiquity, privacy 
  2. Skills: technical, social, critical, creative 
  3. Motivation: Societal, personal 
  4. Engagement: Civic, educational, social, economic, cultural 
    In spite of growing access to computers and Internet in the UK, the emerging "digital underclass" is actually growing. This underclass is highly represented by low educated and unemployed.The reason? research shows that people outside the digital world are not really interested in getting in. They don´t see the purpose. Motivation is lacking. Skills are not improving. Programs for digital literacy lack engagement. Helsper proposes that people should be engaged by making technology relevant in their lives. This means changing the strategy from "pushing", or forcing technology into peoples lives by intervention",  to "pulling", integrating technology into people´s life depending on their needs. This lecture was part of Digidel, a campaign to increase digital inclusion in Sweden. Digital literacy is a subject very dear to my heart. I have worked  before as a volunteer in a project called Internet for Alla. If you speak swedish and you have the time and interest to teach basic computer and Internet skills to someone who needs it, get in touch with them!

    Putting up the posters

    Hi everyone!

    I'm going to pick up the posters tomorrow at the printer-shop right before lunch. They will be available for you at 12.00 at torget in the D-building so that you can put them up during your lunch:)


    Yochai Benkler: ”Is not utopia, is about faster vs slower innovation”

    Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to listen to Yochai Benkler at Internetdagarna (The Internet days), an annual conference on Internet-related issues, organized by .SE, the organization responsable for the top domain .se. in Sweden.

    Mr. Benkler talked about innovation and open source technologies. First, he proposed that competition between similar technologies is depending on the capital required. Today, working with open technologies has become a strategic move for companies in the industry, such as Google and IBM, for example, who sponsor free software development; "And if they are not totally open, they are collaborating with other technologies, companies, sharing".

    But what I found most interesting in Benkler´s lecture was his view on knowledge and its relation to innovation. Knowledge as a process, a process that can´t be own nor restricted, because it is "sticky" (it sticks to others) and results in "spillovers" (when it benefits to others).

    Innovation in today´s corporate world implies taking this uneven process into account, creating organizations, organizational cultures and technical platforms that have flow, that are permeable, generous and non hierarchical: ”Is not utopia, is about faster vs slower innovation”.

    Sixth Sense Technology

    And as we talked about technology – I would recomed you to use 8 minutes to watch this TEDtalk: sixthsense technology (U might wane considered it was produced in March 2009).

    Chimpanzees vs. Human childe learning

    As we during the seminar today talked about e-learning, some of you ended up talking about the way we learn..   Regarding to this I mention a movie about children and Chimpanzee.   Here are the links (to the 2 movies).