I've been reading and thinking a lot lately about how to drive more adoption of the social learning platform I'm building here at BYU, https://island.byu.edu, and wanted to summarize some of the highlights of what I've learned. All of the patterns come directly from Ross Mayfield and Michael Idinopulos's writings so a big shout out to the great work they're doing at Socialtext.
I thought I'd repeat some of his arguments because it agrees nicely with an argument I've been formulating lately regarding deployment strategy for social learning software within higher education.
But first to his article:
I presented at the OpenEd Conference this year in Vancouver BC. Great fun.
My section starts ~20 minutes in.
[In preparation for my upcoming session at Drupalcon, I'll be writing a short series of articles on social networking and learning theory. First up is an article on social objects.]
“The Social Object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else.” -- Hugh Macleod
Great blog post that explores the advantages and disadvantages of different social media structures.
He explores when you want to follow ideas (when the community is small) or people (when the community is too big to follow everything).
He discusses the search/browse debate and concludes you need both. Different people tend toward one style or the other but both are needed for different purposes. Search is fast and takes you straight to content you're interested in. Browse, on other hand, tends to be slower but helps you understand the context and organization of the content better.
I propose to write two modules for Drupal as part of Google Summer of Code. One called memetracker and the other called machinelearningapi. The memetracker module will use algorithms in the machinelearningapi to intelligently filter and group content from designated content sources both internal and external. The module's purpose is to find and display to a community in real time the most interesting conversations and memes within the community as they emerge.
Researchers have shown that the distribution of many natural and social phenomenons follow what's called the power law. Power laws are known by other names such as the 20-80 rule (80% of wealth is controlled by 20% of the population), the long tail, Winner-Take-All, etc.
Here is an example power law graph from Wikipedia:
I've been putting some final touches on a website I built for a class running at BYU this semester on web analytics. You can visit the site here. I did a write-up about the site for Drupal's education working group. I discuss the design principles that guided my construction of the site.
A bit from the write-up:
Some links to Enterprise 2.0 case studies:
A collection of case studies from 2007 at Portals and KM