Where Social Media Fails – It’s Us

No HateDemographics, or demography, is the statistical study of populations.  It encompasses the size, structure, and distribution of these populations. Demographics have long been used by decision makers in both government and commercial arenas.

Psychographics (a new word for me)  is the study and classification of people according to their cognitive attitudes, aspirations, interests, opinions, beliefs and other psychological criteria.

Cambridge Analytica is a company that uses big data mining to accomplish, among other things, “psychographic profiling.”  The company does this “..for political purposes, to identify “mean personality” and then segment personality types into yet more specific subgroups, using other variables, to create ever smaller groups susceptible to precisely targeted messages.”  THEY DID THIS FOR THE DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

Yesterday, ProPublica announced that they had successfully used Facebook, to direct mock articles directly to the newsfeeds of 2,300 people who’s psychographic profiles indicated interests in “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world’” – for $30.  The anti-semitic categories were immediately removed.  They had been created by computer algorithms, not by people. Facebook is exploring ways to fix the problem

For a long time I promoted and celebrated the people-power of social media, that it responds and behaves based on how we, people, use it. This characteristic is incredibly empowering and culture-enriching, and it can also be used to inflict great evil. For this reason, I also strongly urged educators and education leaders to refine their notions of what it is to be literate, that it is no long merely the ability to read and understand, but also the skills and habits of exposing what is true in the information that we encounter.


Burleigh, N. (2017, June 8). How big data mines personal info to craft fake news and manipulate voters. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2017/06/16/big-data-mines-personal-info-manipulate-voters-623131.html

Angwin, J., Varner, M., & Tobin, A. (2017, September 14). Facebook enabled advertisers to reach ‘jew haters’ [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.propublica.org/article/facebook-enabled-advertisers-to-reach-jew-haters

Demography: https://goo.gl/AkfHdt
Psychographics: https://goo.gl/pjxPiM

How to Rock Social Media in Thirty Minutes a Day

Social Media can be daunting and addicting. Someone can spend hours following Twitter feeds, catching up with friends on Facebook, and planning projects on Pinterest. However, this infographic by Pardot shows how you can efficiently get all of the above done, and still produce work that others will want to follow. Some of the tips […]

Social Media can be daunting and addicting. Someone can spend hours following Twitter feeds, catching up with friends on Facebook, and planning projects on Pinterest. However, this infographic by Pardot shows how you can efficiently get all of the above done, and still produce work that others will want to follow.

Some of the tips included publishing using one site, and having it set up to publish to other sites. For instance, if you publish a tweet, it will also post to Facebook. You can also schedule tweets to publish later in the day. So if you have a brilliant thought at 2 am, you can set it to publish at 2pm, or during another peak time. Also, use google plus to see how people are reaching your site. If they are using google search, pinterest, or another site that has linked something to your.

The key to social media, just like another other action, is consolidating time. Do as much as you can in as small amount of time as possible. And have fun with it!

Blog: http://visual.ly/how-rock-social-media-30-minutes-day

Examining Your PLN

I’ve been struggling over the past few weeks with a complete redesign of my PLN presentation. I am keeping the title (A Gardener’s Approach to Learning), since that’s what I called it for my ISTE proposal, some distant months ago — and for other more obvious reasons. I’ve delivered versions of the upgrade at other conferences recently, and, well, it’s not ready yet.

One element I would like to add is pruning your PLN or learning garden. The best I have done so far is to suggest some philosophical guide lines, but little of practical value. So I spent much of yesterday searching for tools that enable us to more scientifically analyze our learning networks, specifically our Twitter communities (or megalopolises). I was starting to get rather depressed at failing to find what I was looking for — and inspired. You see, when I’m looking for a technical solution to a problem, and I can’t find it, then I start wanting to build one. This is not good, because I am desperately trying to simplify my life here/now at the tail end of my career.

But building a new tool? Wow! What fun that would be.

Anyway, I found the right search expressions this morning (4:00AM). It’s amazing how much a good four and a half hours of sleep can do for the old noggin. Of course, this serge of cognitive magnificence will last for only about an hour and a half.

follerSML-20110610-080833.jpgSo here are a few of the interesting tools I found. To start with, let’s say that you’ve run across a blog entry that’s caught your interest and you are considering a click of his Follow Me link. You have to wonder if this educator actually limits his work thoughts to his blog, and reads and tweets for his favorite Twitterlebrities. To see, just paste his screen name into foller. You are rewarded with the blogger’s basic specs (number of friends, followers, status updates, etc.), a word cloud of most tweeted words, recent hashtags and mentions. You can also view a map indicating his geographic reach (see right).

Another tool for measuring the potential of a new deep thinker is Klout. Probably more of a vanity oriented tool, Klout does do a nice job of breaking down a person’s influence by topic.

Another tool with a potential to help us cultuvate our learning gardens is Twolo, which allows you to enter keywords of interest and receive a list of Tweople you might want to follow. There is a fee after four days, which is not surprising considering how important social media has become to the marketing industry. No worries. Twitter has recently incorporated the same service with Who To Follow.

Refollow_-_Twitter_relationship_manager-20110610-095603.jpgOf course adding new members to your network is not pruning, is it? One of the most interesting tools that I happened upon was refollow. When you link in with your Twitter account, you get a wallpaper of the deep thinkers whom you follow. To cut back your network, you can sort the layout of avatars by their last tweet, tweet count, follow count, and friend count. It’s reasonable to assume (though not always appropriate) that the people who are most paid attention to, or are paying attention to other deep thinkers , are the most useful for your own learning. This is certainly not always true, but it is a measurable aspect of one’s networking. I found that I was following eight people who hadn’t chirped a single tweet and several who’d not tweeted for 8, 10, and 15 months. There’s more that you can do, but to actually act on your community (follow or unfollow) there is a fee — reasonable if I were engaged in marketing an important brand.

If gaining and keeping a following is important, then TweetEffect might be useful. Essentially, you enter your Twitter screen name and it scans your most recent tweets and aligns them with your follower activity. In other words, which tweets seem to have attracted people, and which made them turn tail and run. I learned that in my last 195 status updates, I lost followers seven times and found new one eleven times. It seems that my announcement that I was finally adding Oklahoma (48) to the state’s I’ve worked in, compelled eleven people to leave my friend list. Still trying to figure that one out.

– Posted using BlogsyApp from my iPad

What I Wish For

Yesterday, I asked what you hope/wish will be in your classroom, when you report back to work in August or September — that wasn’t there last year. The responses on Twitter were immediate and continued, with several people recently retweeting (RT) the request for input.

The graph on the left represents the responses, at this moment, based on my interpretations. Some tweets delivered more than one message, for instance, indicating a wish for 1:1, more computers, and netbooks, all in the same tweet. I found it interesting that only 5% of the messages seemed to directly or indirectly reference budget cuts. The rest are wishes I would have expected to see anytime.  It is also noteworthy, the number of tweets that asked for administration and fellow staff who were more willing to try new things — innovate.

From The Next Web blog entry

Anyway, I found my wish this morning, while spending just a few minutes dashing through my RSS reader.

Londoners may soon have something new to look (at) while they travel around the city. A plan has been announced that would allow people to upload their own works of art to a website and have them displayed on the rooftops of bus shelters around the city. ((http://thenextweb.com/2009/06/09/networked-lcd-screens-turn-bus-stops-art-galleries/))

It works like this.  You produce photographs, paintings, digital art work, cartoons, whatever, and you upload them to the Bus.Tops web site.  They are viewed by people on the web, who vote for the art of their liking.  The images with the most votes get displayed on the tops of bus stops and down from the ceiling for bus stop patrons.

Now here’s what I wish for.  A school that works like this — where at least part of the goings on of the school is run by the learners.  For instance, you set LCD displays around the school tied into a central low-end computer serving up images.  Encourage students to upload their own art work (or other images that reflect all levels of learning) and allow students and teachers to vote for them.  There would likely need to be some oversight, but that shouldn’t be too hard to incorporate.

The artwork recommended by the most learners gets displayed in a rotating fashion through the school and out, through the school’s web site and perhaps other venues in the community.

What I wish for is schools that are less schooly. ((Schooly is a term used frequently and probably coined by Clay Burell, to represent the traditional business of schooling as opposed to the timely business of learning.))

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