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Favorites of the Week: Episode 1

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One of the nifty features that @boonebgorges added to the CUNY Academic Commons towards the end of last semester is called My Favorites. This BuddyPress plug-in allows members to go through the activity stream of “My Commons” and the News page marking items of interest for further reading — thus extending their personal learning network.  

I like to take a few minutes each day to look through the news activity stream and bookmark group updates, wiki edits, forum threads, blog posts and mentions so I can look at them more closely when I have some free time. And, now that I have some free time, I wanted to share with you my favorites this week. Please feel free to watch the webisode, read the blog or both!

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 First up is a forum post for the CUNY Games Network, posted by Kimon Keramidas. 

Cutting to the chase, Kimon posts some great resources about “gamification”. The article from the Chronical of Higher Education explains,  

“it’s hard to deny that structuring learning experiences around frustration/reward dynamics can lead to engaged learners”.  

The second article from challenges the notion that gamers are typically lazy and unmotivated, indicating,  

  “The “gamer brain” is rather good at getting things done. We’re mentally trained to hang in until we accomplish our objectives.” 

Both of these articles discuss the benefits of “gamification”, which utilizes game design concepts to get people to participate and enjoy things that they normally wouldn’t. The second article, written by Leigh Alexander, highlights her fear about people not being able to exist spontaneously because they will become too dependant on these receiving positive feedback for everything. 

Great forum post, thanks for sharing @kkeramidas! 

My next favorite is a blog post written by our very own community facilitator Brian Foote entitled “Statement of Purpose“.   

In his ideological post, Brian states that “open source” is not a new idea, explaining: 

  “I don’t think it’s a stretch to think back to CUNY’s free days as something akin to analog open-source.” 

While CUNY is no longer “free” for New Yorkers, open-source has found a new expression at CUNY in the form of the CUNY Academic Commons. Brian also stresses the importance of feedback noting, 

“your feedback on the site tells us the directions to go in and what we can do to make things better.” 

  Well put @brianfoote! 

While we’re on the topic of open-source, my next favorite is a forum post by Rebecca Brown Cesarani from the group, Open Education at CUNY.Rebecca shares and summarizes the NYTimes article “Why Innovation isn’t a Matter of Left of Right” written by Steven Johnson. The author subverts the conventional wisdom that market forces drive innovation. Johnson notes the importance of the “fourth quadrant”, which is: 

“the space of collaborative, nonproprietary innovation, exemplified in recent years by the Internet and the Web, two groundbreaking innovations not owned by anyone.”    

Johnson explains that while the incentives for innovation in the fourth quadrant are low so are the barriers — noting,  

“The Internet is the ultimate example of how fourth-quadrant innovation actually supports market developments: a platform built by a loosely affiliated group of public-sector and university visionaries that has become one of the most powerful engines of wealth creation in modern times.”    

Very insightful @rbcesarani! 

Next up is the activity of Scott Voth, who edited the wiki page “Privacy on the Commons“. 


This wiki page in the “Help” category has a lot of great information for members about Wiki Privacy, Blog Privacy and Group Privacy. Now if I need to get information about privacy on the Commons I know just where to go, thanks @scottvoth! 

I’ll end my Favorites of the Week on a blog post written by Rob Laurich entitled “Will Newsweek Survive?”. 


In his post, Rob explains that the magazine Newsweek was recently sold for an entire dollar to 92 year old tycoon Sidney Harman. He also links to New York Magazine’s article “Newsboy“, where author Steve Fishman explains the drama behind the deal and leaves us wondering about Newsweek’s uncertain future. 

Thanks for blogging about this @madlibrarian! 


In staying with the whole “sharing is caring” theme of this blog, what are some of your Favorites?? Please feel free to share one by adding your comment below!

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3 Responses to “Favorites of the Week: Episode 1”

  1. Cristina Finan
    on Nov 10th, 2010
    @ 4:49 pm

    This is a great feature and you’ve certainly picked some interesting topics to favorite. My own “favorite” is an article from the Appalachian Anthropology blog titled “Rednecks are Stupid, and other important facts I learned from Anthropology”. I think this sums up so much about my favorite academic field!

  2. Shawn Abraham
    on Nov 11th, 2010
    @ 10:37 am

    I just saw a discussion on Totonno’s and other classic NY pizza joints. Pizza is absolutely my favorite academic topic of conversation!

  3. Tiffany Lienhardt
    on Dec 10th, 2010
    @ 2:56 pm

    What is the next step for this industry? A lot of politicians appear to be shutting down aspects of Internet freedom – what do you think?

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