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Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Jan 10 10

Sun, 01/10/2010 - 09:00
In this weekly Media Literacy Digest, open education and connectivism advocate George Siemens, takes you to news and stories about his new media technologies discoveries and their possible impact on how we work, learn and communicate together. Photo credit: Andrea Danti Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
  • How Is The Internet Changing The Way You Think? - Every year, the Edge asks a few hundred people a provocative question. This year, the question is: How is the internet changing the way you think? (if you are interested in topics from previous years, they are available here).
  • Data Is All - The explicification (it is not a real word, but it should be) of our activities is a somewhat recent development. A few decades ago, I could go to the library, buy my sandwich with cash, have a conversation with a colleague... and I would not leave an explicit data trail that could be analyzed and dissected.
  • Nexus One - Google, in its humble goal of organizing the people information of the world, has released Nexus One. Reviews are generally positive and the Nexus vs. iPhone comparisons are already beginning (in the technology field, you are cool based on how quickly you can declare something that is currently popular "obsolete" and list a new tool / software that will "kill product X").
  • That Old College Lie - For the average student, college is not nearly as good a deal as colleges would have us believe... Colleges are often lumped in with other non-profit entities like charities and hospitals in the public mind. But they actually most resemble the institution from which many of the oldest and most renowned colleges sprang: organized religion.
  • The Year Ahead In Higher Education IT - Not too many universities and colleges have an optimistic view of 2010. It is shaping up to be a year (and more) of budget cuts and frugality. Unlike businesses - which are immediately impacted by financial downturns - governments feel financial pain when tax revenue drops (usually six+ months after downturns).
  • How I Spend My Time As An Analyst and Researcher and How That Has Changed In Four Years - Work is changing in most fields... and Janet Clarey addresses how technology and information influence how she spends her time as an analyst and researcher and how that is changed in four years



eLearning Resources and News learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends by George Siemens


How Is The Internet Changing The Way You Think? Every year, the Edge asks a few hundred people a provocative question. This year, the question is: How is the internet changing the way you think? (if you are interested in topics from previous years, they are available here). As always, it is a fascinating read. And can take days to work through the major topics and themes. If the Edge wanted to make this service more useful, I would recommend applying some type of sensemaking activities to the 159 responses. What are the dominant themes that emerged? How are ideas related? What are the key controversies? I appreciate thoughtful, relevant questions, but tinkering with the method of making sense of abundance is where value increasingly lies.






Data Is All We leave data trails almost everywhere we go:
  • Clicking on a link,
  • Posting a geo-location tweet,
  • Searching online,
  • Friending someone on Facebook / LinkedIn,
  • Purchasing a sandwich (with a debit or credit card), and so on.
The explicification (it is not a real word, but it should be) of our activities is a somewhat recent development. A few decades ago, I could go to the library, buy my sandwich with cash, have a conversation with a colleague... and I would not leave an explicit data trail that could be analyzed and dissected. Retailers are capitalizing on explicit data trails: ...what is changing, experts say, is the rapid surge in the amount and types of digital data that retailers can now tap, and the improved computing tools to try to make sense of it. The data explosion spans internal sources including point-of-sale and shipment-tracking information, as well as census data and syndicated services. Companies also track online visitors to web commerce sites, members of social networks like Facebook and browsers using smartphones. Similar data trails are left by learners online. Universities - whether to lack of vision or concerns over privacy laws - have done little to improve their practices through better data collection and dissemination. Usually, educators only get as far as looking at LMS login records to see how often a student logged in or how many posts they read. Educational analytics is a poorly developed field. Maybe that is good, though. To date, most universities have been ineffective at creating compelling visions of new approaches to teaching and learning. Better data collection might only result in perpetuating existing pedagogical models. Additional data commentary: How data will impact the way we do business... and The state of information visualization






Nexus One Google, in its humble goal of organizing the people information of the world, has released Nexus One. Reviews are generally positive and the Nexus vs. iPhone comparisons are already beginning (in the technology field, you are cool based on how quickly you can declare something that is currently popular "obsolete" and list a new tool / software that will "kill product X"). The most innovative aspect of Nexus One may not be the product itself, but the process of selling it - an unlocked carrier independent smartphone (or superphone if you like hype). Some speculation existed before the announcement of Nexus One that Google would be completely by-passing the traditional carriers and sell a phone as VoIP only. I guess that move was too disruptive for even Google to pursue...






That Old College Lie After exploring the rapid increase in tuition over the last several decades (hardly news), That Old College Lie goes on to state that: ...for the average student, college is not nearly as good a deal as colleges would have us believe... Colleges are often lumped in with other non-profit entities like charities and hospitals in the public mind. But they actually most resemble the institution from which many of the oldest and most renowned colleges sprang: Organized religion. Like the church, colleges have roots that pre-date the founding of the republic. They see themselves as occupying an exalted place in human society, for which they are owed deference and gratitude. They cherish their priests and mysteries, and they are disinclined to subject either to public scrutiny. The author recommends more transparency and greater focus on measurement. I think transparency is a good start - universities should be explicit about the data they collect in relation to students, professors, and learning in general. I doubt the solution to education's difficulties will be found in better measurement, however. Higher education faces a significant challenge in demonstrating the value of its teaching role (the other two roles of HE - research and accreditation are still secure). The growth of freely available resources and even a few alternate university models (University of the People) gives reason to pause and ask: "What is it that universities offer today's learners and is the existing model one that needs preservation"?






The Year Ahead In Higher Education IT Not too many universities and colleges have an optimistic view of 2010. It is shaping up to be a year (and more) of budget cuts and frugality. Unlike businesses - which are immediately impacted by financial downturns - governments feel financial pain when tax revenue drops (usually six+ months after downturns). Universities are impacted only after governments begin grappling with new budgets. As a result, higher education feels financial pain a year or so after the rest of society. And that is when the cuts start. Unfortunately, during periods of downturn, more students are enrolling in university... at exactly the same time that universities are dealing with cuts. Lev Gonick looks ahead to 2010 and presents a fairly bleak picture for IT: The new normal carries the contradictions of both a fragile macro-economic recovery and a countervailing trend of only modest increases in enrollment and new federal research investments predicted for the fall of 2010 (with the important exception of the community college environment). The new normal is less financial leverage and smaller investments in core infrastructure, including IT on campus, even though the price of borrowing money has never been lower. The new normal is more and faster disruption to the consumer technology eco-system at the same time that levels of investment in our aging IT enterprise infrastructure decline in both real and relative terms. On a positive note - times of change are ideal for transformation as well. Universities will be more inclined to consider new approaches and innovations when there is a compelling need for change.






How I Spend My Time As An Analyst and Researcher and How That Has Changed In Four Years Work is changing in most fields... and Janet Clarey addresses how technology and information influence how she spends her time as an analyst and researcher and how that is changed in four years: "But I am noticing that the new things on the list are the type of activities that make it hard to set aside large blocks of time to read uninterrupted". I have also moved from interacting with established information sources to interacting with information flow. I am finding it difficult to evaluate which approach generates more value. When interacting with information flows, I have a greater sense of connectedness and general awareness of trends. But consumption is not creation. I can experiencing information in short twitter-like blurbs. Creating something of value generally requires time and effort.

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published on January 8th, 2010 in his newsletter eLearning Resources and News.

About George Siemens From late 2009, George Siemens holds a position at the the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute in Athabasca University. He was former Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at www.elearnspace.org where he shares his vision on the educational landscape and the impact that media technologies have on the educational system. George Siemens is also the author of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book "Knowing Knowledge" where he developes a learning theory called connectivism which uses a network as the central metaphor for learning and focuses on knowledge as a way to making connections.

Photo credits: How Is The Internet Changing The Way You Think? - Junaid Khalid Data Is All - ktsdesign The Year Ahead In Higher Education IT - buket bariskan How I Spend My Time As An Analyst and Researcher and How That Has Changed In Four Years - vivoandando

MasterNewMedia Trends And Predictions For 2010 And Beyond - Part 1

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 11:15
Every end of the year I stop to write down my thoughts about what's coming up next, when it comes to communication, collaboration, learning, marketing, media and technology, as this is the busy and fast-changing crossroad where I hang out most frequently. This time it has taken me a little more but here it is finally: what a professional new media publisher needs to know about what's coming up next, in 2010 and beyond. Photo credit: Robin Good As a matter of fact, I have now realized that I am not attempting to "predict" the future or to speculate specific industry announcements during the upcoming 12 months. What I am trying to do here is to stop and highlight the key trends and transformations happening around my above-listed focus areas (communication, marketing, media, learning and technology). This end of the year writing celebration is for me just an opportunity to step down from my daily running train of technology-media-communication thinking and to look with a bit more perspective at the journey I am making spiced up by the curiosity of the passenger who wants to find out early what are the upcoming stops and "vista points". In fact, if you want to look to the more speculative type of 2010 predictions and technology anticipations I think you would be better served by the likes of Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, TechCrunch and the many others out there who do a fantastic job of bringing you back the best and latest on new media technology breakthroughs. For this purpose I have also just published a two-part roundup of what I think are some of the most interesting 2010 anticipations that have surfaced from the web recently. Give it a look: Top Internet Trends 2010: A Guide To The Best Predictions From The Web - Part 1 and Part 2 My look at future trends on these fronts is a personal one. I don't like to be called an "expert" in these fields, but rather an "explorer", a business researcher as I enjoy much experimenting and testing out new solutions until I find out which are the ones that really suck, and which are the ones that, at least in my case, do work. Before you dive yourself into experimenting and investing more time in your next web design, content production, online class or upcoming social media marketing strategy, stop for a while and reset yourself around these key, revolutionary trends. If you don't, someone else will before you. Here the new media areas I am looking at, in this two-part 2010 trends and predictions report. Part 1, the one you are reading now, is devoted to:
  1. General Trends
  2. Innovation
  3. Online advertising
  4. Social media
  5. Community building
  6. Social analytics
  7. Online business models
  8. Personal branding
  9. Blogging - Web publishing
  10. Communication formats

Part 2 will cover:
  1. Curation
  2. Online collaboration and web conferencing
  3. Events
  4. Learning and education
  5. P2P
  6. Visual communication
  7. Mobile
  8. Video publishing
  9. SEO search
  10. Usability and more
So, without further introductions, here are my "2010 and beyond" new media trends and predictions (see my 2009 predictions Part 1 and Part 2):
1. General Trends Which type of applications have great chances to become killer apps in 2010? Those that will: 1. Mix real-time web, the social graph and geo-localization information to provide you with new and extremely useful applications (see Foursquare and Brightkite) 2. Make it easy for individuals to create, layout and manage effectively great, easily navigable, collections (guides / curated collections of information on specific themes) by leveraging also, in a legal and ethical way, all of the great resources and contents already available out there. Google Knol didn't make it, but someone else soon will. 3. Facilitate, beyond what Twitter or Facebook already do, the aggregation of social communities around specific interests, tasks and actions, like conferences or public events, in which the community moves from the role of the spectator and commentator to the one of partner, co-organizer, editor and producer. 4. Allow easy access to tools, technologies and virtual spaces that simplify and enhance the use of real-time meeting, presentation and collaboration facilities in multiple and highly personalized ways (can join in with phone, smartphone, netbook, or personal computer). 5. Make it easier to record, edit, enrich, format and share / distribute via VOD, downloadable or shareable and re-embeddable widgets, event recordings including video-conferences, video-interviews-at-a-distance, online workshops and seminars, screencasts and any relevant experience we have online.




2. Innovation Trends If you market, sell, design, invent or develop new products and services, the key new thing to pay attention to, is that this "story" about now increasingly coming from the "bottom-up", from the customer himself, is not just a "trendy" story anymore. Understanding and leveraging such user-generated power is what today can make an average company suddenly jump ahead of its competition thanks to brands promoting their loyal and passionate customers to the roles of advisers, testers, critics, quality controllers, product development specialists and trusted marketing agents. Before, the classic innovation model based itself on the development of products and services within a "closed" system while making heavy use of copyright, patents, DRM and other types of "protection" to prevent that potential competitors could take advantage from their economic investments and research efforts to develop similar competitive products and services. In this business model, the only viable role for the customer is the one of having "needs" that need to be either created, or identified and satisfied via an infinite number of products and services. But what is gradually emerging now is the growing awareness that are the customers themselves the ones developing the most interesting ideas for new products and services. The growing popularity of social media, collaboration and participation applications and tools, is further speeding up this process making it increasingly easy for brands to create spaces and services capable of taking advantage of this huge, untapped potential. Not only. A great number of companies are now creating true partnerships with their own customers, distributors, resellers and even with those who would have traditionally been categorized as their "competitors". Why? In a fast, dynamic and rapidly changing scenario like the one we are in now, a competitive advantage is very difficult if not impossible to maintain. New technologies can revolutionize the marketplace in a matter of months now, and Twitter is the latest example. What can really make a difference in the near future is thus to partner up with your customers. To gradually transform your customers into company partners and allies instead of squeezing them like juice lemons to be squeezed till their last drop. To ally with your customers, to make them become your brand true raving fans and enlist them to become your best advisers in identifying each and every way to satisfy both their interest and yours in a sustainable business way, is the way forward. All this new openness and desire to reach and collaborate stems from one key realization most fail to make. The marketplace is not made of isolated chambers and customers do move from brand to brand, buying and trying different products and services. Without any shadow of doubt, most any customer of any brand is or has been likely been the customer of one or more of its competing brands. Key new trend: With this realization in mind it is much more sensible to ally with competitors rather than compete against them. The rational is the one of firstly tapping into a much broader but highly-qualified potential customer base and secondly to effectively better serve the customer with more high-quality and personalized services rather than spending those same resources and energies in "warding off" the competitors. For these reasons I strongly suggest to new web start-ups and tech-media innovators five very simple things: 1. Focus initially on "simple" projects which do not require, at least initially, external investments to show their true potential and value 2. Target a powerful "use-case", a really useful service, one that offers true value to the user 3. Involve a small but growing group of true interested fans from the beginning and get as much criticism and feedback from them while developing your first product version 4. Avoid making too many calculations about your future revenues, and place all of your energies and resources into n.2 5. Invest in learning how to build a community of fans. It's, in my humble opinion, the greatest and most durable asset your small company can cultivate.




3. Online Advertising Traditional advertising loses more value. Interruptive advertising plays less and less of an important role. "The classic interruption/disruption model of advertising, whereby marketers insert unwanted, usually irrelevant ads as a price the consumer must pay to view desired content, will erode, if not fade away." Traditional banner ads will keep losing market value and effectiveness. Not only people block interruptive ads out of their vision and avoid them like the plague, but the cost effectiveness of spending the same budgets on community-building on or very targeted contextual ad campaigns is increasingly more attractive. With the amount of control people now have over how they spend their time online, why would they ever want to click on something they didn't ask for? Advertising moves gradually away from being a message that attracts for its promises or looks to one that communicates and directly provides a useful service / benefit to the prospective customer. "This raises the bar for marketers and their agencies to develop new forms of messages that are not even perceived as ads, but rather as welcome content." (Source: eMarketer) The evolution is from "promoting" something to offering some real-value upfront, to those truly interested, with the goal of building a trusted and long-term business relationship. We move gradually away from traditional, classic, interruptive ads, to new marketing communication formats based on high-value, viral, engaging and participatory - relationship-building components. "To create communications that are so compelling, entertaining, informative or useful that the consumer is not only happy to receive them, but also motivated to share them with others." (Source: eMarketer) The key changes in this direction are the gradual appearance of new "communication" formats in the guise of shareable and re-embeddable widgets which provide not only useful services, applications or content, but engage the user in enhancing and expanding their value and use virally. Tomorrow blockbuster ad format is not the typical 380x250 animated rectangle but likely a shareable and re-embeddable widget which carries valuable info, access to unique data or multimedia content, and which is capable of releasing different layers of content depending on the interaction and engagement level the user has with it. Every such blockbuster new ad format integrates some form of viral component: integration with other social media and with the user social graph, ability to remix and personalize, and add to, making the very widget itself a living entity which grows virally in value and reach with the amount of people that pass it on.




4. Social Media Online Marketing Becomes Social Overall 2010 and beyond will positively see a gradual and long-lasting massive move of ad dollars from traditional display and banner advertising, both in real-life and online, to social marketing campaigns and initiatives. "Eventually, online social activities and connections will be baked into every form of digital content on the Web, from brand Websites and shopping sites to search engines, traditional media sites and entertainment portals." Social Media is the New Advertising Playground. There is no escape from it. And this is why, advertisers, now turned into smart online marketers will be increasingly willing to give up reach in exchange for deeper engagement. Instead of trying to reach as many potential customers as possible, online marketers will be increasingly using tools, strategies and techniques which will allow them to attract and engage much more deeply people interested in their specific offerings. The time of interruptive advertising is increasingly over and 2010 will give us further confirmations of this trend. "Marketers are more interested in genuine engagement with consumers on social platforms, and less in opportunities to flood them with banner ads." 1. The first sign of this will be in the increased use of social media for customer support, tech assistance, and PR by many companies. 2. The second one will be the increasing development of personalized social and community related platforms for two-way, real-time and asynchronous communications with customers. 3. Thirdly, an interesting new trend for companies investing in social media will be directed at developing excellence-centers and communities of practice on social media marketing and community building inside the organization. We are gradually but inexorably moving away from mass-style communication approaches, such advertising is, and into very targeted and personalized ways to get into trusted relationships with our future customers and stakeholders. "The analogy here is to search. The search advertising market has been so successful precisely because it captures consumers’ intentions. When a user types “hotels in Bermuda” into a Google search box, you can be pretty sure they have an intention to reserve a hotel at that destination, and they are therefore likely to click and convert. Marketers wanting to capture intentions higher up the purchase funnel will want to identify people who demonstrate a likely desire to interact with the marketer’s brand, possibly leading to a purchase. If a marketer is successful at the above—zeroing in on a narrow group of likely prospects—then there is a much better opportunity to engage with those consumers on a deeper, more meaningful basis. In effect, less is more." (Source: Geoff Ramsey - eMarketer) A spontaneous word-of-mouth suggestion from someone you know can be worth many times a display advertising campaign, which may get as well your attention, but would hardly provide the trust and motivation that a well-known friend recommendation carries. "It’s a matter of leveraging the inherent trust consumers have in each other." From a B2B standpoint integrating social media marketing into the sales funnel will become a top priority for many. Obviously, advertising will not disappear, but, at least for what concerns classic banner-type, "display advertising", it will indeed play gradually a lesser important role, until it becomes just another marketing tool among several others that can be used effectively in a marketing campaign.
The Real Challenge for Publishers in 2010 is Being Social Without Looking Fake The greatest challenge for most of these companies though, will be in understanding HOW to effectively ride the new social marketing horse, as the transformation required to adopt it is not just a formality, but it is much more profound and encompassing than what companies normally imagine. As soon as a company realizes what needs to be done to be effective on social media, the problem becomes much larger and difficult to handle, as the changes that would need to implemented affect most of the existing communication paradigm and marketing approach in use inside the company. Transforming a company's business attitude and way of marketing from the roots is much harder and risky than what such companies are normally challenged with (develop new models, change prices, adopt new marketing incentives, etc.). This is heavy stuff for a big company to accept, as it requires moving massive amounts of money and resources dedicated from "inventing and promoting as many new needs-products as possible" to listening, supporting, and refining/creating the products and services that the customers expect from them. For example: As more customers start making decisions based on what they find online, companies will need to devote all of the time they can (not a day a week) to review, respond and engage with their fans and critics who talk, write and comment about their brands. As the new social media marketing approach promotes open sharing of useful information and resources vs. the self-promotional, ego-centric, hyped approach most companies have had in the past, a company cannot just "pose" as being "open", or "social" if its internal practices and policies still reflect a different mentality. Being present on all major social media platforms is not a sign of being social. Spamming existing and potential customers via social media tools by repeatedly promoting unrequested products or paddling your latest PR announcement, bother and distance customers more than traditional ads did. For however challenging it may be, becoming social involves taking a true, sincere interest for your customer interests and needs as much as for the untapped ideas and conversations that could be made to surface from within the many talented individuals inside your company. For this and many of the reasons listed above I see 2010 as the year in which companies start to massively put serious efforts in developing strong, passionate, loyal communities of fans and supporters. As companies realize how much better spent is their marketing money when invested in building relationships rather than going only after the sale, they'll flock to embrace this new business paradigm. "Social marketing works best when it’s earned, not paid for." (Source: Geoff Ramsey - eMarketer) A new emerging key trend in 2010 will be small brands becoming formidable community creators. (A great niche is available for someone to report and chronicle such stories, as they provide huge learning value to those entertaining the same path.)




5. Community Building Platforms: Ning doesn't cut it anymore When it comes to the tools that will help you build, support, engage and interact with your future communities of fans, this is were I think you may see the most interesting and disruptive new tools and services to appear in 2010. I really think that you will see a lot of new, great, fascinating tools designed specifically to gather, engage, and nurture highly passionate communities of fans. Unfortunately, Ning and similar community building platforms just don't cut it anymore. Why? The new upcoming community building tools are a full generation ahead of what a typical forum, Ning or the typical social networking platform used to offer. They are sexy, easy to access and use, they are visually attractive, and finally "usable". These new social platforms, which hook up on to Twitter and Facebook as extensions do to a common switchboard, are now more specific, vertical and dedicated to specific audiences and applications. They are also portable, re-embeddable and ubiquitous, they are join-able in one-click and they exist wherever users find them appropriate, not in one centralized location only. The new social platforms bring together the best forms of micro-publishing, social sharing and real-time/asynchronous collaboration and presentation (including the use of video) to the table in one new very powerful mix. For some, limited inspiration (to be further remixed) please look at: http://www.stribe.com/ http://Vokle.com/ http://SocialGo.com/ and please suggest ME, in the comments section, what do you see as the upcoming interesting players in this space.




6. The Emergence of Social Analytics In 2010 calculating Social Media ROI becomes increasingly a necessity for companies investing heavily in social media marketing as a way to measure and justify their new costs. More web analytics tools will become available to a much greater number of people. But as the value of the equation "traffic = money" will continue to lose value in favor of attention and engagement, everyone will need more tools to measure these other metrics. There is in fact already a growing number of social buzz monitoring and tracking tools available out there, but few of these measure anything more than basic, traditional static traffic and referral numbers. The new social analytics monitoring tools I anticipate will combine some of the existing web traffic measurement metrics alongside a whole new set of social performance indicators such as:
  • Virality
  • retention
  • loyalty
  • influence
  • trust
  • reputation
  • passion
  • and more...
(please suggest in the comments!) Here is a light taste of what's to come: http://www.swixhq.com/ http://www.kontagent.com/ https://analytics.postrank.com/ http://Socialmention.com/




7. Online Business Models - Free or Paid in 2010? What will people pay for? "For every big-dollar, high-overhead asset like FOX News, there's a thicket of Little Green Footballs. For every 20th Century FOX, there's some 16-year-old kid pulling down a couple million views on YouTube with a video produced on a camera phone. For every Wall Street Journal, there are thousands of financial bloggers plugging away for glory or whatever small fortune they may find. In short, pretty much any content that can be sold on the web is being offered for free."(Source: Chris Baskind - ConversationAgent) How do you survive economically under such circumstances? The answer is in understanding that: a. Content is a marketing vehicle - it's a commodity and there's tons of it around b. You can't charge for content that I can find elsewhere for free c. You can charge premium prices though for the same content as long as bundled in unique ways which save me time and bring more more value than what I can typically find by myself with a Google search. d. Finding and bringing together great content in new and meaningful ways is the new ultimate content value challenge. e. You can charge premium prices for the same content as long as the "experience" is unique, memorable and customizable to my very own needs. f. The "earning" of trust, reputation and the ability to do community-building are the next frontiers for anyone doing business online.
CwF + RtB = $$$ If you haven't seen it yet I strongly suggest you give a good look to the presentation that Mike Masnick of Techdirt, delivered at least twice this year on the alternative business model used by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, to move business for million of dollars while giving away his music online completely for free. His formula, CwF + RtB = $$$ has a lot of common sense, in fact, for what I see, the formula could actually do without the RtB ("give them reason to buy") part, as by having created a following of fans Trent Rezor has already given plenty reason to them to buy something unique, premium or special from him. Once you are a fan, "anything" unique that you can have of your "star" is worth investing on... and that's the formula. Create a following of raving fans, and then give them special / premium and really cool stuff (possibly in limited quantity) that they can buy from you. Leadership Music Digital Summit 2009 - Entire Mike Masnick keynote presentation, 3/25/09 from Leadership Music Digital Summit on Vimeo. Morale of the story: no matter whether you are in music or car selling, building a true community of fans, by giving out lots of real, heavy-value stuff before asking anything in return, has a lot of sense and it is one damn good direction to follow.




8. Personal Branding Personal branding becomes an important part of the equation. You can't connect with fans if you don't know what personal branding is all about. One of the key ingredients needed to grow a strong and loyal community of fans is the one of developing a strong personal branding strategy. Personal branding or the art of leaving an "indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable" is going to increase its importance and strategic value to those who have understood how valuable it is to place their name, face and personal story at the center of their communication and marketing strategy. To create a successful personal brand in 2010 and beyond you will need to listen a lot more to what customers really say and want while leveraging to the max the endless supply of content and the Internet as the most efficient free distribution system to reach them. In 2010 your company will need to stop treating customers as consumers and start actively to listen to their requests and needs. Personal branding is a communication approach by which you stop placing your company name and the "we" in front of everything you discuss about your company and you start to use the "I" and "you" as much as possible. Personal branding is about placing your name and face behind your content, products and offers not to show how cool you are but to engage on a more direct level with your customers. Personal branding is about reputation inside and outside of your circle of friends. Personal branding is about being as upfront, direct and honest as you can be while giving your readers and customers the information and the insight only you have. Personal branding is about building reputation and trust. 2010 is all about learning seriously how different it is to go from traffic building and link scouting to reputation and trust creation. "The game is the same, and it's the quality of your name. Whatever product or service you must say grace over, there's somebody out there with the same thing -- only cheaper. But they can't discount the trust you develop with your potential customers. In a real sense, trust is the currency of the next media economy." (Source: Chris Baskina - Conversationagent.com)




9. Blogging - Web Publishing Lots of things happening on the web publishing front. Bloggers and small web publishers are strongly divided between those who see a gradually deteriorating marketplace for their skills, to those who are in difficulty choosing which of the many opportunities they see in front of them to take. Who is right? Both. Those who see things a little gray, see well. The decade is over and many things have definitely changed for small independent publishers and bloggers. An increasingly smaller amount of web publishers will be able to sustain itself via advertising revenue. While many could gather enough commissions and ad revenues to make some money out of their tech or writing interest, the number of the smaller guys doing this keeps increasing but the revenue averages and therefore the number of those who can survive with this type of activity seems to be falling off pretty rapidly. Why? a. Too much low-quality, undifferentiated content offerings. The content that is produced by most of these small or micro-publishers is more often than not of low quality, has little or no originality or unique value, is often badly laid out and made hard to read by too many advertising calls all around it. b. The huge content growth you have witnessed in the last 12 months is not stopping. It is actually growing and accelerating. At this pace, how much advertising do you need to support all of the content out there now? c. Bad business culture. The space is crowded by too many people wanting to make a quick buck, fast and easy. And with more and more low-quality supply becoming available, it becomes harder to be visible on major search engines, less and less people can find it, and those few that do hit the ads out of despair, not out of true interest. The early years of AdSense Bonanza are over and young web publishers rushing to build their little self-sustainable niche sites will not find the audience and revenue they expect or have read about unless they: a. Invest solid time in creating unique high-value quality content that is radically different than what you find on most blogs and web sites out there. b. Carve themselves a true niche: the more specific the better. Selecting a niche does not mean not selecting a vertical that has the highest paying advertising rates. Choosing a niche means identifying a very specific topic for which people have interest in, you have strong competence for (or you have qualified resources that do), and for which there is little or no competition providing high-value content, services and products. c. Stop thinking how to make money first, when they have created no unique value yet. I have seen many complain about the meager AdSense revenue they collect, but the fault in my view, is only theirs, as they insist in creating sites which again are not vertical enough and do not provide great content. Hordes of small web publishers build blogs for the sheer goal of making money with it either via AdSense or by bringing in multiple advertising networks, affiliate products promotions and whatever else can pay the extra buck. All of these, are doomed to small earnings and an average lifetime of not more than 15 to 18 months. Many others spend time and content around a topic they are truly interested and passionate about but they fail to be creative and daring enough, and so they end up posting short articles and news stories like there are a million others out there. Little character, no personality, just a lot of average quality content. This approach doesn't break it either. You can recognize most of these doomed sites by looking at the percentage of advertising on their pages versus the amount of actual content displayed. When this ratio is too slanted in favor of the interruptive, not-relevant ads then you know that's a blog that will not last long in the future. When your only interest is in producing enough content to be plastered with ads, affiliate promotions and "paid for" reviews your effectively trying to squeeze revenue from the system without ever adding true value to it. You are a parasite. But there's more. The key, one most critical problem you as an entrepreneurial small web publisher fail to realize, is that by having a strategy based on squeezing out advertising revenue from near-zero-value content for the sake of "monetizing" traffic in the most cost-effective way, you are selling out, dispersing, diluting and squandering the one strategic asset that could serve you most in the near future: your reputation and the trust that we will place in it. And once you lose that reputation, that trust, that comes both from individuals but also from Google, Facebook and Twitter and from the people that know you for what you do online, it is much harder, if at all possible, to regain your partners and customers' trust. Think Google penalization or ban, think Facebook or Twitter account closure, think people dropping your feed and unsubscribing from your newsletter. Anyone of these misadventures could cost you orders of magnitude more than the meager amount of time you have invested in trying to squeeze money out of polluting the web with nothing. 2010 is the time to come to reason and start seeing the myriad of sustainable opportunities that the web offers not as a an old enemy town to loot but as a public, beautiful and vast community-owned park in which everyone can build or create a corner of "value": whether it be a fountain, a green on which to play or a coffee shop under some luscious trees, you can extract real sustainability when you start providing true value. The same is online. But beware. If you focus only on letting "others" make business on your part of the park, like when you let ad networks or Google place their ads on your high-value content pages, you are letting those advertisers build relationships with new customers while you get only a little revenue and you build no customer base for yourself. In 2010, it's time for many web publishers to start leveraging their own brands, and their own products and services, while gradually building strong and loyal communities of fans. It is in this direction that talented independent web publishers can find reward for their skills and talent while creating a sustainable revenue channel that they can directly control, avoiding the risk of depending too much on other middlemen for their survival.




10. Communication Formats: Beyond Blogs Blogs are here to stay. They are the most immediate and powerful form of publishing that has become available to humankind in history. But blogs will not be anymore the only new content publishing format to make the headlines. While until now most any individual deciding to launch a new personal publishing project online didn't even consider anything else but opening a blog, my feeling is that we are moving into a new phase into more specialized resource and information sites will emerge, in which a blog, is just but one of the components. Often, not the most critical one. Therefore if you are about launching yourself in your first or next online adventure, by opening just another blog, my advice is: think again. There are a trillion blogs out there and spitting out content that can make yours stand out at the pace of a post at as time is a really ambitious challenge nowadays. It's not impossible, but it's very tough. The key limitation of most new sites and blogs that are not extensions of a company communication infrastructure is the lack of focus and of unique, high-value, quality content. Posting a few times a week, short articles on a number of topics that interest you, can certainly be a great writing and communication playground but is positively not a way to create a sustainable communication project on the web. Value and unique character are what is missing most from many of the new blogs being published out there. In essence: in 2010 and beyond, those few that will succeed will be characterized by three essential traits: 1) Passion - true competence 2) Verticality - hyper niche focus 3) Community of fans
Let me read your comments and thoughts!
End of Part 1

Originally written by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia and first published on January 5th, 2010 as "MasterNewMedia Trends And Predictions For 2010 And Beyond - Part 1".

Photo credits: General Trends - Terrance Emerson Innovation Trends - Kheng Guan Toh Online Advertising - Dmitriy Shironosov Social Media - Kheng Ho Toh The Real Challenge for Publishers in 2010 is Being Social Without Looking Fake - Monika Wisniewska Community Building Platforms: Ning doesn't cut it anymore - Jiri Kabele The Emergence of Social Analytics - Andrey Burmakin Online Business Models - Free or Paid in 2010? - Xiao Fang Hu Personal Branding - IreneK Blogging - Web Publishing - franckito Communication Formats: Beyond Blogs - juliengron

Video Marketing: The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia

Tue, 01/05/2010 - 17:00
Video marketing is increasingly considered by online marketers and web publishers one of the most powerful and effective marketing approaches. But how do you actually go about creating video clips that can boost your visibility, marketing and conversions? Photo credit: dedek If you look back at 2009, last year was definitely the time when online video boomed, showing a considerable growth worldwide. Just consider these two examples: Video marketing is definitely a key business strategy for Internet companies and professionals wanting to communicate effectively, in a direct, impactful and engaging way. There is nothing else that comes close to the effectiveness of a persuasive video message. But please, do not buy into the story that a cool five-minute video clip on your website will double-up your conversion rate or tremendously boost your sales only by itself. When using online video there is indeed more strategy behind than just merely slamming some video content up on your web pages. If you want to know how to effectively integrate online video with your marketing strategy, here is a special set of MasterNewMedia best 2009 articles and reports covering these topics:
  • How to use video for business considering the return on your marketing spend,
  • How to use online video to optimize your website conversion rate,
  • A two-parted video interview with Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire on the ongoing and future trends in the online video industry,
  • Two video interviews with online video marketer Lasse Rouhiainen with basic tips and advice for the novice video publishers.
Here all the details:


Video Marketing: The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia
Guide To Online Video For Business Choosing which kind of video you want to produce depends on how you measure the return on your marketing spend. But while there are risks and rewards for each kind of video, you can take for granted the big impact that video has on your viewers and customers. by EyeView Team - October 2nd, 2009




Online Video Marketing: How To Optimize Your Web Site Conversion Rates Through Video How can you optimize your web site conversion rates by using online video? Sure enough, there are several things you can do to make your web published videos help you increase your web site conversion rates. Whether you want more ad clicks, more time on your site or more downloads of your latest PDF, video can greatly help. The key is knowing which are the variables that make a difference when adding video to your content. How do you find out? by EyeView Team - September 2nd, 2009




Professional Video Publishing Trends: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 1 What is the difference between uploading your video to typical video-sharing sites like YouTube or using instead one of the paid white-label video distribution services springing up here and there? Free video-sharing sites like YouTube, Viddler, DailyMotion and others have the advantage to be a no-brainer for anyone getting her hands dirty in video publishing. by Robin Good - October 14th, 2009




Online Video Advertising For The Professional Publisher: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 2 What are the key trends impacting the fast moving world of online video advertising? What should professional web publishers expect when it comes to monetizing their online video assets? In this exclusive video interview with Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Brightcove, Robin Good attempts to find out the key trends emerging from the rapid growth of white label video publishing services. by Robin Good - October 21st, 2009




Online Video Marketing: Basic Tips And Advice From A Video Marketing Evangelist - Lasse Rouhiainen - Part 1 If you are struggling to understand the fundamentals of online video publishing, as well as how to use videos to do marketing, this video article with Lasse Rouhiainen gives you some good basic information on how to get started. by Robin Good - January 8th, 20099




Online Video Marketing: Basic Tips And Advice From A Video Marketing Evangelist - Lasse Rouhiainen - Part 2 How do you go about distributing your videos online in an effective fashion? How do you choose the right keywords to title your clips? If you are just starting up with online video marketing, these are probably some of your most pressing concerns. In this second interview (here part 1) I asked Lasse Rouhiainen to share some basic tips and advice for those like you who are beginners in this field, and want to know more. by Robin Good - January 15th, 2009

Originally prepared by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia, and first published on January 5th, 2010 as "Video Marketing: The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia".

Photo credits: Guide To Online Video For Business - picpics Online Video Marketing: How To Optimize Your Web Site Conversion Rates - Ruben Sarkisyan Professional Video Publishing Trends: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 1 - Robin Good Professional Video Publishing Trends: A Video Interview With Jeremy Allaire - Part 2 - Robin Good Online Video Marketing: Basic Tips And Advice From A Video Marketing Evangelist - Lasse Rouhiainen - Part 1 - Robin Good Online Video Marketing: Basic Tips And Advice From A Video Marketing Evangelist - Lasse Rouhiainen - Part 2 - Robin Good

Future Of Education: The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia

Mon, 01/04/2010 - 11:38
What is the future of education? What role will new media technologies play in the way you and I will share knowledge and skills in the near future? Are we finally going to reshape the educational system in favor of a more ubiquitous, engaging and peer-based learning approach? Check out this MasterNewMedia guide to see a glimpse of the future. Photo credit: adamgregor A new year has just begun, but while time passes by our educational system keeps standing still. Your kids are still learning the same way you did 20-30 years ago, because they are still in a classroom with books. Online learning tools and technologies have surfaced in recent years but the impression you get is that e-learning is still confined to a little group of savvy educators who have understood how to leverage the power of the Internet for teaching and learning. In fact, despite the revolution started by social media, web 2.0, real-time web and agile development, the educational paradigm has not fully embraced those fantastic discoveries to give birth to a new learning paradigm that gets rid of useless exams, tests and paper sheets to focus on those new learning skills required to live a successful and meaningful life. What is still needed for this paradigm shift in education? Is this radical change imminent or still hard to see? To analyze and forecast what the future of education looks like, here at MasterNewMedia we have been asking, reporting, selecting and publishing some good and key questions that educators and learners should ask when it comes to make sense of this new foreseen revolution in learning:
  • Is our educational system broken? Why?
  • What are the key trends, models and dynamics of the new education paradigm?
  • What are these emerging technology trends that will shape the future learning paradigm?
  • What are the skills you and I will really need to learn in the future?
  • What does a future learning curriculum will look like?
  • What are the new frontiers of knowledge sharing over the Internet?
Here all the details:


Future of Education: The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia
Education And Learning: A Paradigm Shift - Part 1 - Is Our Educational System Broken? It's all so good to talk about new media, 2.0, participation, collaboration, real-time web, mashing-up, agile development, remixing, or lifestreaming but what value do these discoveries have when as soon as we turn our heads home and to our kids we still force them to go through an education system that embraces none of such fantastic discoveries? by Robin Good and Daniele Bazzano - January 6th, 2009




Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 1 In the future you will see that the choice of learning opportunities will be embedded in other activities just like players learn in the course of a game, for example. "They do not first learn how to play the game, and then play it. Rather, they begin playing the game, and as they attempt to achieve goals or perform tasks, the learning they need is provided in that context." by Stephen Downes - February 3rd, 2009




Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 2 How are you going to certify your knowledge in the near future? While it is unlikely that general educational degrees will maintain their value and business currency, it is increasingly probable that your "value" will be in good part vouched for by the "portfolio" of your online experiences, social reputation and past Internet learning-related activities. by Stephen Downes - February 4th, 2009




Future Of Learning: Passionate Peers, Death Of The Classroom, Technologies As Tools - Emerging Trends Excerpted from the Living and Learning with New Media (Ito, Horst, Bittani, et al., 2008) report published at the end of 2008, this is one of the valuable findings emerging from the latest research on how we actually learn. Konrad Glogowski, education and new technologies expert, looks at the conclusions of this report and analyzes what we are realizing about the limits of our present day teaching approach and what is that we need in its place. by Konrad Glogowski - February 13th, 2009




Bye Bye E-Learning: Emergent Learning Paradigm More Important Than Digital Delivery Tools You always hear educators discuss "rethinking education paradigms". But while it makes perfectly sense to find new ways to engage and connect teachers and learners, what is the right path educators should follow? Jay Cross shares his view in this article. Instead of still focusing on digital delivery tools, emergent learning seems to be the answer. by Jay Cross - March 13th, 2009




Learning Flexibility: Why Adaptation Is A Key Resource In New Education Paradigms New education paradigms suggest you get rid of all pre-packaged, fixed approaches in learning, and develop your skills to adapt to as many different needs and situations as possible. Learning to be flexible has indeed become a key resource. by Jay Cross - March 27th, 2009




A Vision For An Ideal Learning Curriculum - A Video Interview With George Siemens This is how, open education advocate George Siemens introduced to me his vision for an ideal educational ecosystem and learning curriculum when I suddenly asked him: "If you could rub the lamp and express a desire, what would that be, George?" by Robin Good - August 28th, 2009




Teaching Skills: What 21st Century Educators Need To Learn To Survive What are the traits that would make for the ideal 21st teacher? What does an educational professional need to be or do to tune in and synchronize with the new realities silently emerging inside schools and educational environments? by Andrew Churches - September 4th, 2009




Future Of Learning: A Video Interview With Curtis Bonk What does the future of learning look like? What is going to change in the future of our education systems? What role will new media technologies play in the way you and I will share knowledge and skills in the near future? If you want to see a glimpse of how you can impact the way in which you and your kids are going to learn in the future, check out this video interview. by Robin Good - November 19th, 2009




Live Teaching And Learning Marketplaces: The Emerging Online Social Learning Networks For Professional Independent Educators Live teaching and learning marketplaces are a new emergent set of online exchanges where independent teachers and educators can easily share or sell their know-how with those looking for it. Independent guides and experts can deliver live and recorded lessons using a full set of web conferencing and e-learning components. by Robin Good and Daniele Bazzano - May 11th, 2009

Originally prepared by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia, and first published on January 2nd, 2010 as "Future Of Education:The Best 2009 Articles And Reports From MasterNewMedia".

Photo credits: Education And Learning: A Paradigm Shift - Part 1 - Is Our Educational System Broken? - Dmitriy Shironosov Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 1 - alastor Online Learning: Trends, Models And Dynamics In Our Education Future - Part 2 - alastor Future Of Learning: Passionate Peers, Death Of The Classroom, Technologies As Tools - Emerging Trends - yellow2j Bye Bye E-Learning: Emergent Learning Paradigm More Important Than Digital Delivery Tools - Mopic Learning Flexibility: Why Adaptation Is A Key Resource In New Education Paradigms - Aleksandr Ugorenkov A Vision For An Ideal Learning Curriculum - A Video Interview With George Siemens - Robin Good Teaching Skills: What 21st Century Educators Need To Learn To Survive - Lisa F. Young Future Of Learning: A Video Interview With Curtis Bonk - Robin Good Live Teaching And Learning Marketplaces: The Emerging Online Social Learning Networks For Professional Independent Educators - Wong Sze Fei

Media Literacy: Making Sense Of New Technologies And Media by George Siemens - Jan 03 10

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 09:53
In this week issue of Media Literacy Digest, open education and connectivism advocate George Siemens, explores and reports about emerging media, communication technologies and education-related trends. His goal is one of helping you make good sense of the many changes taking place around you and their possible impact on how we work, learn and communicate together. Photo credit: argus456 Inside this Media Literacy Digest:
  • Measurement of Openness In Education Systems - I am not a fan of measurement - largely because it forces technique and structure onto systems often better served by acknowledgment interdependence between entities. But, we need a way to measure openness in universities. Why? Largely to raise awareness of the multi-faceted nature of openness.
  • Innovation & Mobiles - Value network analysis provides insight into how systemic structure influences innovation potential. Consider the iPhone vs. Google phone value propositions.
  • Openness Is Not So Open Anymore - I have posted a rant / whine on the current state of thinking in openness: Openness is not so open anymore.
  • Google, Rome, Empire - History is worth studying (duh). But I fear that even when we do study it, humanity is wired in such a manner as to relive its errors. Ironically, the lessons of history seem to have more merit when they are history.
  • Spreading Ideas and Innovation - While in Brisbane a few weeks ago, I met Tim Kastelle. In addition to his faculty role at Queensland University, he is an active blogger / twitter / social media-er. His focus is on innovation and leadership - important topics for the education system as a whole.
  • #Movemeon - A network of individuals knows more than a single individual. That is somewhat obvious. Sure, "wisdom of the crowds" (Wikipedia) can quickly become "idiocy of the crowds" (YouTube comments)... and experts do know more than novices (though a network of experts knows more than an individual expert).
  • IRRODL: New Issue - I have heard the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning described as the most cited journal in the educational technology field. It helps that it is an open journal. Openness, after all, increases the prospect of impact and influence as barriers of interaction are reduced.
  • State of Elearning 2009 - Tony Bates reflects on 2009, noting positive developments and disappointments. I think there is too much focus on trying to innovate within the system rather than innovating the system itself. The latter requires vision, leadership, and experimentation / failure.
  • Publish / Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platform - The concepts expressed here are important for software use in education - Publish / Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platform. As educators, we think students need to come to us, to our space of learning. It is a holdover from physical class spaces. We have just applied it to software. But it is not necessary.
  • Future of Education: Deschooling Society? - Earlier this year, while in Rome, I was interviewed by Robin Good on a wide range of topics. He is been posting the interview in small (5-10 min) recordings. The most recent recording is on the future of education - i.e. is deschooling society possible?
  • Technology As Philosophy - We are currently in a process of translating (and renegotiating) principles democracy, individualism, identity, authority, liberty, equality, and power for a digital world. Most disconcerting is the lack of big thinkers - where is the digital realm's Cleisthenes, Locke, or Voltaire? - on this front.
  • Social Media Policies - Social media (that term that now means everything and as a consequence, nothing) has caught the attention of most organizations. Companies have faced the impact of criticism by social networks (United Breaks Guitars, Dell Hell, etc.)... as have celebrities (do I really have to list names?).
  • Engaging Students With Engaging Tools - Ed Webb provides a clear summary of how he re-created his conceptual and technological approach to teaching a course at Dickinson College: Engaging Students with Engaging Tools.
  • Tyranny of Technique - Technique has a way of forcing standardization on systems, minimizing innovation in the process. We need technique at some levels, but with rapid change, it (technique) becomes a hindrance.
Here all the details:


eLearning Resources and News learning, networks, knowledge, technology, trends by George Siemens


Measurement of Openness In Education Systems I am not a fan of measurement - largely because it forces technique and structure onto systems often better served by acknowledgment interdependence between entities. But, we need a way to measure openness in universities. Why? Largely to raise awareness of the multi-faceted nature of openness. Being open involves more than posting a few courses online. A metric has a way of drawing attention to concepts that can be analyzed and understood in policy meetings. Plus, seeing your university rated below your competitors can be very motivating for administrators. So, to this end, I recommend the formation of something like Measurement of Openness in Education Systems (MOES). This should include:
  • Strategic statement of openness and commitment to funding open projects
  • Systemic integration of openness - i.e. openness is part of the curriculum development process, not as an after market add on
  • Open course content
  • Open publication (journals)
  • Data collection transparency (learners know what the university collects)
  • Data control - the learner is able to change her profile information
  • Data ownership - the learner owns and is able to export his work to open formats
  • Academic press publications (for download and in open formats such as epub)
What else should be considered for a metric of openness?






Innovation and Mobiles How do organizations plan and develop value points? Value network analysis provides insight into how systemic structure influences innovation potential. Consider the iPhone vs. Google phone value propositions: "The good side of networks is that they can make it easier for ideas to spread. The problem with networks is that to get people to actually adopt your new idea, you often have to get them to break links within their existing network, and this can be very difficult. That is why it is important to understand how to build a position within the value network." Understanding innovation and value in the mobile space is important for technology and media organizations. Mobiles far outnumber PCs / laptops in number and in the manner in which they are integrated into daily habits. Google has moved aggressively into mobiles. The author of this insightful analysis builds on the value network analysis of Google and Apple: "Apple do not want to destroy the telcos; they just want to use them as a conduit to sell their user experience. Google, however, are another matter. Google is an advertising corporation. Their whole business model is predicated on breaking down barriers to access - barriers which stop the public from accessing rich internet content plastered with Google's ads. Google want the mobile communications industry to switch to Version 2, pure bandwidth competition. In fact, they would be happiest if the mobile networks would go away, get out of the users' faces and hand out free data terminals with unlimited free bandwidth. More bandwidth, more web browsing, more adverts served, more revenue for Google." Microsoft has been strangely absent from mobiles. I remember reading in early 2000 that Microsoft was shifting its focus to mobiles. Since that time, they have been quite ineffective. Who actually uses Windows Mobile? I find it odd that a company with the resources and intelligence of Microsoft is unable to develop a strategy for competing in the mobile marketplace.






Openness Is Not So Open Anymore I have posted a rant / whine on the current state of thinking in openness: Openness is not so open anymore.






Google, Rome, Empire History is worth studying (duh). But I fear that even when we do study it, humanity is wired in such a manner as to relive its errors. Ironically, the lessons of history seem to have more merit when they are history. War, political action, and human rights movements offer historians a podium from which to declare how events from one, two, or even three thousand years ago can provide guidance to today's most prominent concerns. Those voices are too often ignore. "Now" has a level of arrogance attached to it. It is different. It is our generation. It is "now". In an analogy-pushing article - Google, Rome, and Empire - the author argues that similarities exist between Romes development of roads and what Google is trying to do with Chrome OS (read the comments in the article - they challenge many of the assertions made by the author). I am less interested in the specific declarations of how Chrome OS may or may not serve as the Internet's infrastructure in the future, than I am in the value of applying history's lesson to the digital world. Is the internet a "new world"? Or is it simply an overhyped-extension of the physical world? Do different rules apply? Is it "conquered" according to the military strategies of centuries past?






Spreading Ideas and Innovation While in Brisbane a few weeks ago, I met Tim Kastelle. In addition to his faculty role at Queensland University, he is an active blogger / twitter / social media-er. His focus is on innovation and leadership - important topics for the education system as a whole. In a recent post, he visits the work of Duncan Watts on how ideas spread: "I think that the best response to this is actually to approach innovation alogorithmically. What this basically means is that the way to innovate is to generate a lot of ideas, figure out ways to try them out cheaply and quickly, and then scale-up the ones that seem most promising." (reminds me of Meyer and Davis' "seed, select, amplify" model in It is Alive).






#Movemeon A network of individuals knows more than a single individual. That is somewhat obvious. Sure, "wisdom of the crowds" (Wikipedia) can quickly become "idiocy of the crowds" (YouTube comments)... and experts do know more than novices (though a network of experts knows more than an individual expert). This is evident in the education field. Education employs more people than almost any other sector - 1 in 16 jobs in the US. Which means expertise is widely distributed and capturing great ideas about teaching practices can provide much value. Looking for a simple way to aggregate these ideas? Doug Belshaw used a simple Twitter hashtag approach, moving from idea to artifact in about one month. A .pdf of the project is available here.






IRRODL: New Issue I have heard the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning described as the most cited journal in the educational technology field. It helps that it is an open journal. Openness, after all, increases the prospect of impact and influence as barriers of interaction are reduced. According to editor Terry Anderson, 2009 marked IRRODL's 10th year... and the year with the greatest number of issues (6 in total). The final issue was just released. Congrats on a great year for IRRODL!






State of Elearning 2009 Tony Bates reflects on 2009, noting positive developments and disappointments: "Then we look at the public sector, and in particular the big research universities, and what do we see?
  • Clickers,
  • lecture capture,
  • multiple screens in the classroom,
  • learning management systems with Powerpoint slides and pdf files loaded, and a
  • total lack of recognition that the current formal higher education system is failing, and a
  • total lack of vision of what is needed for the future, and
  • the role that information and communications technologies can play in formal learning."
I think there is too much focus on trying to innovate within the system rather than innovating the system itself. The latter requires vision, leadership, and experimentation / failure.






Publish / Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platform The concepts expressed here are important for software use in education - Publish / Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platform: "Publish once and your content is everywhere, immediately. Open your browser and it will show you just the kind of content you need, from all around the web, targeting your particular circumstances like clickstream, social graph and geographic location." As educators, we think students need to come to us, to our space of learning. It is a holdover from physical class spaces. We have just applied it to software. But it is not necessary. Student's content should come to us, but students should not be forced to come to our software spaces to contribute.






Future of Education: Deschooling Society? Earlier this year, while in Rome, I was interviewed by Robin Good on a wide range of topics. He is been posting the interview in small (5-10 min) recordings. The most recent recording is on the future of education - i.e. is deschooling society possible? Short answer: not likely - society is an institutionalizing system. We are embedded, even shepherded into systems from school to employment, to mortgages, to retirement. Some educators have started using networked technologies to reduce the institutional field of education, but these are still a minority. It is possible to see the development of an alternative system driven by this minority... but much work remains if there is even a slim prospect of a non-institutional model of learning in the future.






Technology As Philosophy We are currently in a process of translating (and renegotiating) principles democracy, individualism, identity, authority, liberty, equality, and power for a digital world. Most disconcerting is the lack of big thinkers - where is the digital realm's Cleisthenes, Locke, or Voltaire? - on this front. Corporations (largely copyright holders) risk overwriting established law of individual privacy with three-strikes approaches to combating file sharing or copyright violations. In this renegotiation of basic rights and democracy, technology has become philosophy. Twitter served as an outlet for Iranian elections protesters. In response, Twitter has been hacked by the Iranian Cyber Army. I do not think I am being overly dramatic in stating that the ideals that in the past were the source of physical conflict between nations are now being fought in software and legislation. But too few people are aware of what is at stake.






Social Media Policies Social media (that term that now means everything and as a consequence, nothing) has caught the attention of most organizations. Companies have faced the impact of criticism by social networks (United Breaks Guitars, Dell Hell, etc.)... as have celebrities (do I really have to list names?). For companies, concerns arise as to how employees engage with blogs / twitter / facebook / youtube in representing their corporation. As a result, numerous organizations have created social media participation guidelines. Here is a list of 113. If you are looking for something more along the lines of a workshop, Australia's Telstra has posted their social media participation training guide. I am conflicted on this - why reduce things to policies and guidelines? Sure, there will always be a few people that will do silly things, but I wonder if the dampening effect of policies does not have a higher cost than allowing a few mistakes.






Engaging Students With Engaging Tools Ed Webb provides a clear summary of how he re-created his conceptual and technological approach to teaching a course at Dickinson College: Engaging Students with Engaging Tools: "This kind of pedagogical approach demands time, enthusiasm, and enough self-confidence to make mistakes in front of students and model that as part of the learning process... The process of playing, experimenting, breaking, stretching, adapting, adopting, or rejecting - that is something students should be equipped for." What I find most interesting is the tone of discussions like this - optimism about teaching and learning (even though he acknowledges not all students enjoyed the process). I too have found experimentation and play in learning design and delivery are motivating and satisfying. The challenge, of course, is for educators to remember the student in the process :) .






Tyranny of Technique Click on the image above to open the presentation Technique has a way of forcing standardization on systems, minimizing innovation in the process. We need technique at some levels, but with rapid change, it (technique) becomes a hindrance.Technique is about duplication and scale. Innovation is about novel, serendipitous connections. I gave a talk at University of Queensland on Tyranny of Technique:

Originally written by George Siemens for elearnspace and first published during December, 2009 in his newsletter eLearning Resources and News.

About George Siemens From late 2009, George Siemens holds a position at the the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute in Athabasca University. He was former Associate Director in the Learning Technologies Centre at the University of Manitoba. George blogs at www.elearnspace.org where he shares his vision on the educational landscape and the impact that media technologies have on the educational system. George Siemens is also the author of Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age and the book "Knowing Knowledge" where he developes a learning theory called connectivism which uses a network as the central metaphor for learning and focuses on knowledge as a way to making connections.

Photo credits: Measurement of Openness In Education Systems - Joachim Wendler Innovation & Mobiles - Feng Yu Openness Is Not So Open Anymore - Arman Zhenikeyev Google, Rome, Empire - antclausen Spreading Ideas and Innovation - Iwan Zeller #movemeon - arrow IRRODL: New Issue - Dejan Jovanovic State of Elearning 2009 - Kheng Ho Toh Publish / Subscribe Matrix Could Explode Into Glass-Smooth Platfor - David Humphrey Future of Education: Deschooling Society? - Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz Technology As Philosophy - Alex Bramwell Social Media Policies - Oleksiy Mark Engaging Students With Engaging Tools - Yuri Arcurs Tyranny of Technique -

Top Internet Trends 2010: A Guide To The Best Predictions From The Web - Part 2

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 10:55
If you are looking for the top internet 2010 predictions, anticipations and trends from the top bloggers, the tech thought leaders and the top new media sites out there, you have landed in the right place. In part 2 of this MasterNewMedia guide to the top Internet trends for 2010 (Part 1), you will find indeed some of the most interesting and provocative anticipations about new media, and about the future of online marketing and communications on the Internet. Photo credit: Katrina Brown Here some of the top 2010 trends and highlights emerging from this Internet predictions roundup:
  • Content formats: One of the main difficulties of the web is being able to really track a story as it develops and creating engaging formats for long-form articles. In 2010, news organizations and publishers will design stories that are more suited to the way readers consume online content. As a result, other formats that are either engaging and eye-catching will gain momentum in 2010, like the blogozine.
  • Content nesting: In 2010 your own content will spread on multiple locations more rapidly than you can imagine. That is why your website content needs to be nested in as many content aggregation sites as possible. Social media, RSS / blog directories and influential websites should be your main target. Why is this really important? Picture this: If you have a video on your website that is not on YouTube, people on YouTube will not bother searching for your website, because they simply do not need to go elsewhere. For them, YouTube already represents the total number of videos available on their topic of interest. Got it?
  • Social media marketing: A survey by VerticalResponse, Inc. shows that 68% of small businesses plan to increase social media marketing. Social media will indeed continue to be a great way for marketers and brands to create conversations with customers. So, be sure to make 2010 your year to test content that attracts repeat and referral business. Customers are more likely to respond to social media marketing because they already know you and trust you based on feedback from other people or their prior purchases.
  • Online reputation: With more and more consumers making decisions based on what they find online, small business owners will have to pay greater attention to track the buzz around their brands. As consumers prove to be highly influenced by online reviews and comments, business owners that do not monitor their brand mentions may have a hard time to prevent negative word of mouth. In 2010 expect those that will invest time protecting their online identities to succeed, and others to fail.
  • Paid / free content: A recent Forrester report stated that 80% of U.S. consumers will not pay for online content. Another survey by BCG showed that most people will pay a maximum of $3 per month for online paid subscriptions. What this means is that brands of 2010 are going to be built through a different model, based on consumer demand, the endless supply of content and the free distribution systems we all have.
  • Online video: In 2010, online video will keep growing, keeping pace with the good trends of this year. Online video is interactive, memorable, widely accessible, cheap to create and highly shareable, that is why entrepreneurs and business owners are willing to invest even more on video. It is crucial though, that you do not overlook your text content for video. As powerful as video can be, it can be more cumbersome than text because you cannot scan a video as quickly as you can scan a page of headlines, links and text to quickly find the exact information you need.
  • Online video advertising: Pre-roll ads will continue to dominate online video advertising. No innovation from Hulu, YouTube or Vivaki will prove as effective as a 0:15 or 0:30 coupled with a companion ad (here IAB video ad formats). YouTube only gains massive market share with its abundance of pre-roll and unless a brand new alternative is developed in the coming months, expect pre-roll to stay.
  • Business models: Expect new business models to emerge clearly in 2010. While alternative monetization opportunities have already sprung in 2009, it is next year that new business models will reach maturity and become a serious option for Internet entrepreneurs. Whatever you may choose, your main goal should be to increase, extend and diversify the range of your revenue-making channels. Entrepreneurs that have bet all their horses on a single business model may find unpleasant surprises, so start acting now.
  • Hyper niches: As already written, in 2010 content will be more and more ubiquitous and accessible. Those that will have the best content next year will float to the top, while everyone else will make less money and have fewer opportunities. It will be much harder to compete with big brands, which means next year the focus will be on niches and what John Arnold of Entrepreneur defines "hyper-niches." People will have to really narrow down their market niche in order to stand out and succeed.
  • SEO: Conversion rate optimization will dominate SEO next year. Still the most under-utilized and highest ROI activities in the marketing department, conversion rate optimization will reach more awareness and brands will focus on improving conversion over time. Online businesses can generate so much revenue from this, yet few invest. 2010 will establish this trend.
In part 2 (part 1) of this guide to the top Internet predictions and trends for 2010, you can have a peek at what these coming months may indeed have in store for you. If you are into exploring what's coming up next before it hits you unprepared this is a perfect place to start. Here all the details:


Top Internet Trends 2010 - Part 2
10 News Media Content Trends To Watch In 2010 In 2010, news organizations will look to approach monetization and content experimentation that is focused on looking at the web in a new way. News in 2010 will blur the lines between audience and creator more than ever in an era of social media. Vadim Lavrusik looks at several trends in content distribution and presentation that the Mashable team will likely see more of in 2010. by Vadim Lavrusik - Mashable - December 24th, 2009




10 Online Marketing Trends For 2010 Since your trend-marketing returns are only as good as your ability to make educated guesses, John Arnold from Enterpreneur shares some advice to help you avoid turning educated guesses into marketing messes. In this article you will find the top 10 internet marketing trends for 2010 so that you will know whether to invest, test or let it rest. by John Arnold - Enterpreneur - December 24th, 2009




2010 in Online Video: Are You Ready For Some Surprises? Inside this article, Eric Franchi, senior vice president of business development at Undertone Networks, writes a list of potential online video trends that 2010 may hold for video makers and video marketers. You may find yourself in complete disagreement with some or all of them, but the close future looks indeed promising for online video. by Eric Franchi - MediaPost - December 24th, 2009




Talking Back - Top Five Advertising Trends The overall advertising environment in 2009 was fairly gloomy with slashed budgets and revised strategies to address the new reality. However, that did not stop the industry from evolving, and the lessons learned will likely pay-off in the year ahead. Here is the prediction from Nielsen editors on 2010 top advertising trends. by Nielsen Editors - Nielsen - December 17th, 2009




Personal Branding Trends For 2010 Personal branding is not a new concept, but it is something that small business owners and marketers will have to consider significantly through 2010. Your brand is your clear differentiator and your competitive advantage. It is also the first impression you have with potential customers and the source of attachment you create with your current customers. So, without further ado, here are some personal branding trends to watch out for in 2010 by Dan Schawbel. by Dan Schawbel - Small Business Trends - December 27th, 2009




10 Crucial Consumer Trends For 2010 It is going to be another interesting year. Has the global recession really, officially ended? And if so, will the aftermath cause pains for years to come? Whatever the outcome, you and I are going to spot more recession-proof opportunities than ever before. To help you out the guys at Trendwatching have put up a great list of 10 niche-targeted consumer trends that will likely shape the web market in the coming months. Enjoy. by Trendwatching Editors - Trendwatching - December, 2009




8 Predictions For SEO In 2010 Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz tries to tackle a lot of the recent trends that he and his team have been observing from the engines and shares his personal predictions of what SEO experts might see coming over the next 12 months. by Rand Fishkin - SEOmoz - December 16th, 2009




10 Branding and Marketing Trends for 2010 The editors at Branding Strategy Insider offer online marketers and entrepreneurs their 10 branding and marketing trends for 2010. From the way your brand is positioned in the market, to consumer expectations and how to engage your audience if you want to keep pace with your competitors, Derrick Daye and Brad VanAuken got you covered. by Derrick Daye and Brad VanAuken - Branding Strategy Insider - October 1st, 2009

Originally prepared by Robin Good and Daniele Bazzano for MasterNewMedia, and first published on December 31st, 2009 as "Top Internet Trends 2010: A Guide To The Best Predictions From The Web - Part 2".