“Don’t agonize, organize”

Using social media platforms like Twitter is something that is new to me, but I think I overcame some of my social media anxiety this week, and I actually enjoyed it.  I have been making it a point this week to increase my social presence (baby steps folks…feeling comfortable with posting a picture was more than a notion!). 

But before I write about all of the wonderful dashboards that I explored this week, I have to share that…

Last evening I attended an event in Philadelphia that was hosted by several women’s organizations in the area, that focused on increasing awareness/activism surrounding health care and women’s reproductive rights. I have heard time and time again about the power of social media, but last night it really hit home when I heard one woman talk about how a Facebook page became the equivalent of an old-fashioned town square.  This page was the vehicle that managed to rally enough supporters to stop a hospital merger (that would have eliminated some health care services to women) in just two short weeks! The reach of the Facebook page was 77,000!  One of the recurrent themes of the evening was using social media as a vehicle for activism- instead of door to door canvassing, rallies, and marches (reminiscent of the 1950s).  There was even a mini-workshop that showed folks how to set up a twitter account.  I really felt like a big shot when they asked how many of us used Twitter and I could raise my hand (to my surprise, there were only a few of us in the group-Thanks Matt!).  

So with all of this being said, now that I’m really blossoming into a social media enthusiast (ha-ha), many of the tools that I explored this week would be great for helping me stay organized. One thing that these dashboards/task managers have in common is that they save time for those that participate in multiple social media platforms.  Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are both popular dashboards that will serve my personal social media needs.  One important feature for me is being able to schedule posts in advance so that I can maintain a social presence (this is a feature that both of these have).  Netvibes is a dashboard on roids!  It has a lot of features, but I wouldn’t utilize them at this point- not for a novice like myself.  Once I become a savvier user, my thoughts may change. Going forward, I will probably use Hootsuite more than Tweetdeck just because I like the layout a bit better.   

My favorite tool of the week is IFTTT.  I didn’t have the opportunity to create a lot of different recipes this week, but I see loads of potential-plus it’s kinda fun.  It’s a really cool task manager and I can definitely see myself taking full advantage its features.  Blows my mind the power that one simple statement can have! Doesn’t look like I’ll be using any Twitter triggers for long…check this out: http://techcrunch.com/2012/09/21/twitter-api-dick-costolo/

All of these dashboards help to organize information, which leads me to the terms content aggregation and content curation. What is the difference? I really needed some help with this one so here are a few sources that I referenced: http://www.curatecontent.com/content-curation/

 http://www.bethkanter.org/content-curation-101/

Content aggregation involves collecting information from internal and external resources and then sharing it.  Aggregation involves extracting information from data sources. Content curation on the otherhand, involves sorting through the information on the web and organizing it into a meaningful way.  This really starts to make sense when you think of what a curator does in an art museum.  A curator of content is really selecting and organizing the best content and sharing it.  Content curation requires a human mind.  To me, aggregation is the first step and then curating the information would be the next.  All of the tools that I explored this week will be helpful in aggregating information, but then I need to review this content and make sure that the sources are reputable before sharing the information.

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3 thoughts on ““Don’t agonize, organize”

  1. williamboyer says:

    I agree with your statement that “Content curation requires a human mind”. The curation process is conducted with some intellectual intent, which makes it uniquely human. I wonder, though if aggregation is necessarily the “first step” in curation. I’m not suggesting that an aggregation cannot be curated, but rather, I’m wondering if a curation *requires* aggregation.

    To me, aggregation is accomplished via simple tag searches. This would mean that an aggregation would be filled with a lot of “noise”. If I were to begin collecting objects with some intellectual intention, right from the start, would that be called aggregating?

    • esleynewton says:

      Hi William,
      You bring up some great points. I think content curation can definitely be done without aggregation. The distingushing feature seems to come down to the method (human component). If you were collecting, sharing and organizing infomation with intellectual intent from the jumpstart, then I would probably call that curating. Maybe there should be an in between term like “curaggregate” 🙂 This is a hot topic for discussion…so maybe we’ll touch on it a bit more in class. See you tomorrow evening!

      Esley

  2. Mike Fern says:

    Eslley,

    Your story about the grassroots efforts of a social media campaign and the use of Facebook to effect change helped me realize that social media CAN be more than just fun. It also shows that technology really has changed how we interact with each other and the wide, wide world. In years past, those hoping to stop the merger of the hospitals would be on the street (outside the hospitals or the headquarters of the healthcare company) with picket signs or at their kitchen tables writing letters. Not any more… I wonder, though, about the loss of the human connection that the old-time protesters got by actually being in the same location with like-minded others.

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