Bookmarked Twitter>The Novel? @tejucole>Teju Cole? (Meanjin)
Teju Cole joined Twitter in 2009 but didn’t really take to it until 2011, when he was beginning work on a long nonfiction book about his native Lagos. While researching in Nigeria he began to tweet as part of a project he titled Small Fates, an imprecise translation of the French faits divers, referring to compressed news items, typically just a single sentence in length. Cole suggests that the original faits divers influenced the writing of Flaubert and later Gide, Camus, Le Clézio and Barthes. On his website, Cole mentions twentieth-century French journalist Félix Fénéon as a master of the form.
Sam Twyford-Moore discusses the creative use of Twitter by Teju Cole to tell short stories and describe situations. This is seen to be in contrast to longer forms of writing. I was reminded of the #ShortStories that pepper my feed in Mastadon. The discussion of ergodic versus canonical writing was also interesting. This seems similar to discussions of commonplace books.

Social media and the internet could now be seen as our workbooks, where we can test out ideas that we later refine in print or book form. I have drafted and conceptualised several essays in the comments section of other people’s literary blogs (an essay on the Wire published in this journal originated in a thread on James Bradley’s City of Tongues blog). But I want to suggest here that Twitter can be the work as much as the workbook, recalling video-game academic Espen Aarseth’s useful distinction between ‘ergodic writing i.e. writing still emergently based in evolving energy, and canonical writing e.g. unchangeably published’.

I capture this difference by having two spaces: Read Write Respond and Read Write Collect. I like like the way Ian O’Byrne captures this difference:

On this website you’ll find a trail of my digital breadcrumbs as I consume, curate, and create. I’ll archive all of the things I’ve read online. These could be bookmarks to visit, videos to watch, photos, and quotes that inspired me.

Replied to Is Social Media Giving You Value? by an author (Activate Learning Solutions)

If it’s not giving you value then consider:

  1. What can you change (tweaks to behaviour, mindset or habits) to hone your filtering skills?
  2. What are the conversations and communities that you enjoy and give you personal satisfaction in participating? Do more of those and delete the rest.
  3. Do you have FOMO? Don’t. Trust me, you’re not missing out on anything. Use that time you scrolled your feed to feed your mind with something else.
  4. Do you feel the pressure to show and share everything in the spirit of “working out loud”? Don’t. You really don’t need to.  If it’s going to make you feel resentment or unacknowledged, think of what is important to YOU and share that to communities who value your work and who will support, credit and acknowledge it.  Much of “working out loud” actually happens in closed ‘safe’ online communities as many people are not comfortable with doing this on the open networks.  Seek out those spaces instead.
Helen Blunden reflects on her changing value associated with social media. For Blunden, the conversations, networks and learnings that were so prevalent in the past has become more difficult. She talks about stepping back from the social and distraction to instead focus on the private and personal. Although I have had a similar response of late, I am always reminded that this is not the case for everyone. I also wonder what positive participation might look like moving forward.
Replied to Who is going to help build a pro-social web? by dave dave
Please participate. Do it well. Put your values on the internet. Our society is literally being shaped by the internet right now, and will be for the foreseeable future. We are all watching the web we’re building. The web is us. Help build a good one.
I feel like I find myself in both camps Dave. I have been critical of way spaces and devices. However, I still participate, just differently.

I am not sure what the ‘answer’ to the current situation is. I like your hopeful suggestion. For me it is about participating on my own terms, whether this be via webmentions or in a shared space that allows for more ownership, such as a social media space using Edublogs. I am not sure if this is the positive participation you are thinking about. I am mindful that this may not be for everyone, but it at least moves to something other.

Bookmarked How to quit Facebook without quitting Facebook (Vox)
Jenny Odell’s How to Do Nothing makes the case for keeping your Facebook account, staying on Twitter, checking your email, but doing it all differently, and "not as asked." (And not as self-help.)
Kaitlyn Tiffany interviews Jenny Odell about her book How to Do Nothing. Rather than leaving social media, Odell encourages us to be more aware. This is similar to what I was trying to capture in my post on being ‘informed’. Odell also discusses the idea of ‘social media’ as a public utility that does not depend upon cashing in on our attention. I just wonder if a state-based solution leads to what China has in place? Maybe the alternative is a decentralized solution? I am not sure.


For my purposes, the attention economy is as simple as the buying and selling of attention. There’s the micro, literal version of that, which is “engagement,” a measure of how much time someone spends in an app and how much they engage with it. But I think a broader definition of the attention economy is kind of like — as I personally experience it — I exist in space with a heightened anxiety and sensitivity all the time, even when I’m not literally engaging with any of these apps. And that then contributes to the way I am using them and how often I’m using them.

Do anything that can help you stand outside of yourself. And see what you’re doing. I feel like that’s common knowledge in therapy and a lot of addiction therapy, right? Seeing what you’re doing is the first step. It’s this process that detaches you a little bit. It’s from that perspective that you’re able to remember what is actually important to you. Or realize that you don’t know what’s important to you, which is an important thing to know about, if that’s true. But otherwise, you’re stuck in this tiny loop, and getting out of it, even if it’s really brief, that’s still way better than nothing, I think. Realizing that life goes on, away from this stuff.

Bookmarked When Kids Realize Their Whole Life Is Already Online (The Atlantic)
Googling yourself has become a rite of passage.
Taylor Lorenz discusses the ways in which children are having profiles developed before they are even aware. Although the focus is on ‘sharingting’, Lorenz also touches on schools and the part that they play. It is interesting to consider this post alongside Clive Thompson’s piece ‘Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter‘. I am also left wondering about what all this might mean in a world of ‘bring your own data‘?
Listened TER #128 – Teachers and Social Media with Stewart Riddle – 17 Feb 2019 from TER Podcast
Dr Stewart Riddle discusses issues facing teachers engaging in social media, and questions the notion of who gets to speak on behalf of teachers.
Stewart Riddle talks about the collapse in dialogue online, especially in regards to solving social problems. He discusses the rise in educelebs, where the focus becomes on the individual, rather than the change at hand. See for example Darcy Moore’s discussion of the ‘cult of John Hattie‘. Riddle questions our understanding of how problematic being on Twitter can be. He discusses @RealPeerReview and the role that serves in fuelling mass criticism. Riddle is mindful of pointing out that this is not that experience of everyone and that there is still an eduTwitter focused on sharing practice and resources. Something captured by Ian Guest. This is another post to the list associated with toxic Twitter.
Bookmarked Four things teachers can do to help young people critically navigate social media by an author (EduResearch Matters)
In this post I look at what is happening and how teachers can help students navigate social media platforms and critically reflect on issues they may face on a daily basis.
Luci Pangrazio provides four ways that schools and teachers can support young people in the social media issues:

  1. Find out what students are doing with social media and what challenges they face
  2. Develop understandings of the structure of social media platforms
  3. Provide opportunities to critically reflect on the construction and interpretation of digital identities
  4. Analyse how news is presented on social media

I still think that the most effective way to engage with social media is through the use of a managed environment. I really like the way Edublogs classroom blogs supports this and think blogging is a useful starting point for understanding the structure. In regards to reflecting on what students are doing, I have found Dave White’s Visitor/Resident tool the most useful.

Replied to Digital Lessons Teens Can Learn from the Covington Catholic Confrontation by an author (The Tempered Radical)
Find a teenager who is important to you and remind them that their private lives begin only after they walk away from their devices.  Until then, they need to be on their best behavior.
Just teenagers?
Liked Classroom Management: Simon Sinek, ClassDojo, and the Nostalgia Industry - Los Angeles Review of Books (Los Angeles Review of Books)
Sinek fails to understand that social media is work and that, without certain communications technologies, the corporate sector he represents would tank. Because work, education, politics, religion, and social life rely on social media and digital devices, the wistful, nostalgic fantasy of digital detox becomes exactly that. And as long as Sinek — abetted by education apps like ClassDojo — train young people for the corporate game, the nostalgia industry will continue to commodify and sell the fantasy of a life lived without digital technologies.