Separate from the big-picture discussion on OAC's social model, I wanted to bring up a smaller idea also raised recently on Savage Minds:
I don’t have to fill my status updates with the newest latest about what I ate for lunch of how much it sucks that Maurice Sendak died. I already have Facebook and Twitter for that. Because this social network is for work only, my status updates are what article I read that day and a one sentence summary of that’s article’s main claims. For instance: “read ‘Ontologically Challenged’, James Laidlaw’s review of Morton Pederson’s book. An concise and convcing critcism of the unecessarily baroque VdC-style theory of perspectivism.”
Posting article-a-day status updates is really pretty amazing. First, it forces you to actually read an article a day, a habit that might otherwise be more often honored in the breach than in the observance. Second, because you know you will have to summarize your reading, you really end up focusing on your reading and developing the extremely valuable skill of boiling down an article to its essentials. Third, it makes note taking easy because you can cut and paste your status updates into your notes database. And finally, when everyone in your personal network starts doing this, you feel like your intellectual life is getting rich, exciting, and communal.
I try to stick to the article a day diet too, so in the past week I've started doing this on my OAC profile page. It has kept me honest so far. The only difference is I have to post the title in one update and the summary in another; I think OAC has a tighter character limit than the networking site Alex is talking about, Wunderkit.
My question: to fulfil the last of Alex's four points, do others want to join in on this, and form a circle of Friended profiles to share the process?
I am definitely up for this, paul and have asked to befriend you as a result. Like most people I am overextended right now and I don't know what proportion of my many online commitments I can give to the exercise. John asked why not a Group, but we have too many groups and the task of reforming the sysytem is heavy and tends to be deferred. So why not try what you suggest? How do you envisage it working? How will status updates be shared? Will some other medium be involved, like Twiter, our cumbersome message system? We might find that Ning's Group system works best. But let's see.
There are multiple ways to go about this, which is why I opted to do the simplest one in the interest of just getting a start on it. If something else might work better, we can try that. But simplicity is essential.
I haven't used other status-update-driven social media much, but I'm making the assumption that when I Friend people, their updates will be cataloged for me somewhere. Is that how it works here?
No Paul, it doesn't work like that here nor on Facebook (although there is an edited stream there of friends' posts which have already attracted a lot of interest). People only get notified here when they are mentioned specifically or have signed up for a thread, whether the Forum, a Blog post or a Group/group topic. No-one will see what you have posted on your page unless they visit there regularly or see the brief moment when it turns up in the sidebar of recent posts. So spend some time around here and figure out you are going to do.
One method which Ashkuff uses is to send a series of messages to a list of friends, sometimes linked to a discussion elsewhere. But the Ning messaging system is cumbersome and the Reply All function doesn't always do the trick.
Ah, my mistake. I couldn't find a way to test it out without having actual friends posting actual updates.
Maybe Twitter is the right platform after all. I feel like multiple people all posting daily, one-line updates would make a mess of the groups system.
The OAC was started on Twitter but moved elsewhere for reasons of space. I no longer communicate with anthropologists through it, but more often here or on Facebook. There is no hand me down solution to implementing the idea, which is a good one, but maybe someone will try it out here.
If you're concise enough, Twitter will do. Plus you can tweet a link to where the full summary is, wherever you post it on the OAC or off. Just hashtag any daily article summaries #OpenAnthCoop and it will come up on our new Twitter page (see blue button on left of page).