Social Marketing

Normally, I consider John Dvorak a crotchety old-timer who doesn’t get human-computer interaction due to his myopic self-centered view. (His use isn’t usually my use, so he gripes seem inapplicable.) Finally, he got one right… almost. In his most recent blog post… er… opinion article, he described people using social networks as “marketing” themselves. Actually, the phrasing is identity management. People use these online tools to appear better than who they really are. Well… Duh. I’ve always thought I should use technology, especially social networking tools, to control what others think about me.

Back in the old days, as a Webmaster, I discovered the friend of a friend of a friend had a LiveJournal (one of the first social network sites, predating even Friendster) blog where she posted a bit of her art work from her classes. I’m not a freelancer, so I gave her some of the freelance web design leads which she turned into experience to help her get a real graphic design job. Rands might just be understanding getting a job is a potential use of Twitter. Given employers Google their job candidates, why not? I am sure there are many reasons for why one should strive to maintain a positive image for those taking the initiative to check.

The technology is new, but the purpose is as old as natural selection. We all wish to succeed. Stone tools allowed my distant ancestors to accomplish monotonous tasks faster than others and attract more advantageous mates. Maybe social networks are the modern stone tools?


PLEs reflect the needs of a student information gatherer. VLEs (aka LMSs) reflect the classroom and institution online. (PLEs vs VLEs) Blackboard Vista is a VLE. Its competitors are all VLEs. Vista is the worst VLE of them all as its designed to host multiple institutions in one site. The GeorgiaVIEW project takes the VLE approach to the extreme by getting a number of institutions to collaboratively host together (though the technology doesn’t scale out to 170,000 active users).

The questions I have though is: Are VLEs worse than PLEs? Would students learn more through PLEs?

Back when I had direct instructor contact, instructors wished to combine multiple classroom meeting times into one WebCT CE or Vista online section. The universal reason being so all the students studying the same topics could discuss these topics. This was before social networks… unless you want to count the now defunct The idea being that student interaction is where they would learn.

Bill Huitt describes the classroom model as old world, without foundation, and eventually will collapse to the dismay of educational administrators everywhere. The student-teacher relationship is the key to the learning.