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Favorites of the Week: Episode 2

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Hello CUNYs and welcome to the second installment of “Favorites of the Week” (minus the video bonus). With so many great activities running rampant on the Commons I admit that it took some time to narrow my favorites down to five this week… so I decided to go with seven!

First up is an update posted by CUNY’s University Director on Academic Technology, George Otte.

George posts about the Agenda for Day 1 and the Agenda for Day 2 for the 9th Annual CUNY IT Conference. I’m certainly looking forward to presenting at John Jay on 12/3 and attending the 12/14 event at the Grad Center. Thanks for posting @gotte, hope to see you there!


Next up is an update from Donna Gruber, who posted an update about a Tech Tuesday presentation at Queens College on 11/9.

In her update, Donna links to a fantastic presentation from Rowena Lee @rowenali. Professor Lee’s presentation highlights social media’s role in reshaping instruction — from communication transformation to challenges facing both instructors and learners (and much more). Even though I was not able to attend the presentation at Queens College, I’m grateful that Donna posted this update so I could view this wonderful presentation. Thanks @dygruber!


My next favorite this week is an update posted by, well… me. I posted an update in which I mentioned @msmale, thus sending her a public message on the Commons.

I wrote to Maura about not being able to attend the Rip: Remix Manifesto film screening during Open Access Week 2010 and, because Maura is awesome, she replied to my update posting a link to the film that I missed. You’re a champion for the cause @msmale, thanks for sharing!


Next up is a forum post from CUNY Academic Commons Project Director Matt Gold to the group Creative Commons & Copyright: Resources for Teaching Faculty.

In this forum post Matt explains to the group members that their group is now the featured group on the Commons home page, thus bringing some well deserved attention to the wiki page: Creative Commons Copyright  Resources WIKI. This wiki page is a collaborative resource that was started by the LaGuardia Center for Teaching and Learning and the Library. Of course there’s always room for more resources on any wiki page, so feel free to add to this list!


My next favorite this week is a wiki edit from Charlie Edwards called Blogs to Follow.

I’m very grateful to have come across this page, which was created as part of the Digital Humanities Resource Guide. This wiki page includes a brief selection of assorted bloggers, blogs for Center/Institutions, and CUNY blogs. I’m definitely going to add some of these to my blogroll! Readers, please help build out this list, by discipline/area of focus.


The next favorite on my list is a blog post from Rob Laurich called Pat’s Papers – a unique scanning of today’s newspapers.

Rob posts about NY1’s Pat Kiernan bringing his In the Papers segment to the Web. The website Pat’s Papers delivers the best daily stories ranging from international news to domestic politics to science to gossip. Thanks for sharing @madlibrarian!


Wrapping up my favorites this week is a forum post by John Boy to the group Open Access Publishing Network at CUNY.

Posting the topic “A Free Culture chapter at the Grad Center?“, John reaches out to other Graduate Center students, academics and activists passionate about creating a participatory and innovative society. For more information, visit: http://opencuny.org/freeculture/2010/11/10/free-culture-chapter. If anyone is interested in getting involved, please send a message to @jboy or post a reply to the group.


Well that covers my seven favorite activities this week (but not necessarily from this week). So, why seven instead of five? In case you don’t remember my answer from the beginning of this post, I’ll let Jerry Seinfeld explain…

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!

(click here to subscribe to the iTunes podcast)
 

 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 Kotaku.com 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!

These are a few of MY FAVORITE(S) things…

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Well it’s officially November — do you know what that means? A new project of mine called MY FAVORITES of the Week — a series of posts and podcasts which will highlight my favorite things happening on the CUNY Academic Commons.

My Favorite things — a familiar term, not simply because you’ve memorized all the lyrics from The Sound of Music movie, but because MY FAVORITES is a feature on the CUNY Academic Commons! Watch the video below to learn more about this time-saving aggregating plug-in…

Be sure to check back this weekend for my first MY FAVORITES of the Week post!

MY FAVORITES of the Week

Highlighting the News!

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With so much content available online 24/7 it can sometimes be overwhelming to get a good sense of what’s new in the world. At the Commons, we’ve tried to make it a little easier for members to get their news (without the fluff). Next time you log into the Commons please take some time to check out the News or “activity” tab, which allows you to see what’s new with your friends, your groups or across the entire community. If you are searching for something specific simply use the drop-down filter where you can narrow your search to:

  • updates;
  • blog posts;
  • blog comments;
  • new forum topics;
  • forum replies;
  • new groups;
  • new group memberships;
  • friendship connections;
  • new members or
  • wiki edits

…whew!

If you find yourself without an abundance of free time just scroll through the activity stream and select the “Favorite” tab under the items you want to bookmark for future reference. You can access these bookmarked items by selecting the “My Favorites” tab.

Don’t want to search through the activity stream, but want to find out what’s new? We’ve got you covered! On the right side of the News page you can view recent posts from the Academic Commons News blog, Academic Commons Development blog and Twitter feed.

5 Questions with… Adam Wandt

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Welcome to the first edition of ‘5 Questions’!

With so many great things going on throughout the CUNY community, I thought that podcasts could be a great way to help facilitate conversations within (and outside) the Commons. My first interviewee is Adam Wandt, who was willing to meet me via skype for an hour long interview. The 5 questions below highlight some topics covered in the interview, but I invite you to listen to the full podcast either through iTunes or directly from my Podcast Revolution Feed List. The podcasts are available in mp3 or m4a format, depending on which device you use to download your podcasts.

With the topic of ‘process’ coming up a few times throughout my interview with Adam Wandt, I plan to write a short post going through my process of creating this podcast and uploading it to iTunes. And now, 5 questions…

Professor Adam Scott Wandt is the Deputy Chair for Instructional Technology of the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and also serves as John Jay’s Provost Representative to CUNY’s Committee on Academic Technology (CAT), which is the group that was put together to start the Academic Commons. Professor Wandt started blogging about six years ago with the creation of his iDive Underwater Photography blog and started blogging on the Commons a few months ago with his Academic Technology: Research and Development blog .

1. What is your favorite aspect of the CUNY Academic Commons?

It’s the way people connect, without a doubt. If you look in social life how people use Facebook to connect to the outside, this is kind of like a professional version of that. It’s the connections that you make, the people you talk to that you ordinarily wouldn’t be talking to — that is kind of my favorite part.

2. Do you believe that blogs have some special type of social function?

They have several functions depending on why you’re blogging. Some people blog to report other people like myself in the academic technology blog, blog to start a conversation. I think there are many types of academic technology conversations that we either need to have or we’re in the middle of having and I think that the ones we need to have … certain blog entries of mine start to spark those conversations and the conversations that we’re currently having, hopefully I could add to those.

3. Have you ever stepped back and deleted something after posting?

I’ve added to a few things, I’ve posted some information and said maybe I should have provided additional information or hyperlinks so I’ve updated. I haven’t had the need or the want really to delete anything from my blogs yet, but I did do one video interview for one of my classes with a US Marine and after I conducted the interview with the US Marine, I was asked unofficially by some groups to take down the interview… After consulting about it and thinking about it for a while and actually even discussing it with some of our reference librarians at John Jay I decided not to take the interview down, but I understood the reasons why people did want it taken down.

4. Has Twitter changed anything about your blogging habits?

Every time I put an article up there I throw it out through Twitter and I’ll monitor the bit lead link to see how many people click on it… I use it to notify.

My use of Twitter itself is more as an academic technology research and development project to try to test out and develop Twitter to see if it can be used as an academic technology tool… It’s become a very quick way for me to throw things out to my students. In the past… if I had an article I would want them to read I would have to take a hyperlink , then I would have to go into an email program, then I would have to write out an email, then I would have to send it out. It’s not really so easy to do that if you have 60-80 students each semester and they’re constantly rotating. You have to keep a fairly signification email list if you want to be able to email things out directly from a laptop or from an iPad and not go through Blackboard. So one of the things Twitter has done for me is I hit a button, I type in a hashcode, maybe a line and then it’s uploaded to Twitter where my students — at their leisure — could check it and the whole process from my point of view takes less than 5 or 10 seconds.

5. There are a lot of different projects going on in the CUNY community. When groups are public it’s a lot easier to see the process of start to finish and I guess with private groups it’s a lot harder. Would you have any suggestions as far as people doing projects on the Commons to help other people to understand the process of collaborating and sharing things with each other?

Most certainly, my first thing is being that we’re in academia, being that we’re researchers we always need to remember exactly what you just said — that people could always learn from the process of what we’re doing. In that, there are certain things like keeping blogs, project blogs, there’s making information available as it could become desensitized. There’s running a project with the expectation of different types of publications at the end — certain publications towards one group, certain publications towards another. I think that whenever we go and we run any sort of research we need to remember number one that we’re doing it to grow knowledge and that eventually the knowledge that we’re growing needs to be disseminated and shared. One of the interesting things about studying technology is that more often than not we’re studying how that information gets shared; we’re studying the process of how things actually get done… I think that whatever projects we’re doing, if we’re going to sensitize and if we’re going to shield what people see, we need to realize in doing so that  the information that is being shielded should eventually be desensitized — if appropriate…

The other thing too is that people need to learn from process. Allowing people as you just said to see how things are done are important, but it always needs to be up to that individual or researcher or blogger or person — they always need to have the decision to say private, not private or when to publish… If everything that we’re doing is always open to full scrutiny the question then comes to will we be able to focus in on anything?

6 Degrees of Open Access

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I have to admit that prior to my attendance of the Digital University Conference on April 21, 2010, my understanding of “open access” was essentially non-existent. After attending the afternoon panel, A Digital Future?, my grasp of open access and academic publishing started coming into clearer focus. As someone who has not (yet) published an academic article, I had no idea about the politics of knowledge access in addition to its relation to a faculty member’s tenure track.

Digital University Conference- photo courtesy of Andrea Vasquez

After searching for information about open access on the Commons, I came across Scott Voth’s (@scottvoth) Wiki Wrangler post about his creation of the new wiki page Open Access Publishing. Scott points out that, “As the cost of journals continues to skyrocket, OA needs to be on our minds.” This was certainly on the mind of Jill Cirasella (@cirasella), who created the public group: Open Access Publishing Network @ CUNY (OaPN @ CUNY) a couple of months ago after being inspired by Maura A. Smale (@msmale).

Maura was more than willing to contribute to the group she inspired Jill to create, replying to the forum topic Stephen Francoeur (@stephenfrancoeur) started: Library and info science journals that are OA. Scott used Maura’s comphrensive list of OA journals to create a new wiki page: OA Journals in Library and Information Science, which he tagged under Open Access (OA) and Library Science for easy access.

Most recently, George Otte (@gotte) posted a new blog entitled “An Immodest Proposal” where he discusses the need to create an online journal, suggesting that those who are interested post to the Open Access group’s forum thread: Starting an online journal. With 5 comments on George’s blog post and 21 posts in the forum, the conversation of open access publishing at CUNY has begun. We also learned that Steve Brier (@sbrier) has plans to start an online, open source journal to publish the works of doctoral students in the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy program. With many willing contributors and Scott Voth’s direction for logical platforms and various models, I am certainly looking forward to seeing how this new model of academic publishing unfolds at CUNY.

Want to add your thoughts to the conversation or offer assistance? Jump in here!

6 Degrees of Facebook

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To quit or not to quit, that was the question… 30,000 users, that was the answer.

Whom among the Commons folk? Well, I know for sure Matt Gold (@admin) after reading his blog post “Why I Left Facebook“. Giving links to great resources, Matt forgoes the basic Facebook=Bad conversation and instead explains why he personally felt the need to leave Facebook. I couldn’t agree more about not wanting my child’s pictures being used without permission — not cool Zuckerburg!

I also know Boone B. Gorges (@boonebgorges) quit after reading his post “The Meat of Facebook“. Boone thinks that Facebook should be regulated in the same respect that the government regulates the meat industry.

“The government is justified in protecting its citizens at their most vulnerable (you might even say this is the primary reason for government).”

Despite the company’s humble roots, they have grown to be what anyone would call a “big business” — with an estimated net worth of nearly 4 billion dollars. We all know happens when big business is not regulated,  cough cough… BP… cough.  After Zuckerburg recently admitted at the D8 Conference: “When I was 18 or 19 years old, I did a lot of stupid things“, he reveals Facebook’s ultimate mission statement — via hoodie!!

While I like the recent steps he took to simplify privacy settings and the concept of the new insignia, what the H is it doing on the inside of his hoodie?? More importantly couldn’t this be done on any other platform? Yes. Well, not really. Definitely, but not immediately. I’m sure Facebook with not be the last place to connect people online. Myspace used to be the place where everyone had to be, and now it’s primarily used to promote bands. When the time comes, Facebook will also have relinquish it’s throne (and grip).

When that time does come (or if they do something uber creepy), I will be more than ready to jump ship like @lwaltzer. While I agree with everything Luke said in his blog post, “I Can’t Quit You Facebook“, from his reasoning behind not quitting to his thoughts on Twitter, the following quote really stood out to me:

“Many, but not all, are to the left of center, and most are to the right of me.”

I have (what some of you might alright know) a diverse set of friends on Facebook, most of whom are to the right of me. As someone who views web 2.0 platforms as a means of promoting social justice, I find that Facebook is a great forum for political (yet civil) discourse.

Some may argue that facebook and politics should never mix, somewhat like beer and politics. As someone with experience in the service industry, I certainly appreciated when these rules were adhered to by inebriated customers! In regards to Facebook, however; I would have to disagree. Of course (as with everything), there is a line. There have been many groups and individuals on Facebook that have crossed this line, but I’d like to consider myself a cut above (or a world apart) from these types of individuals.

So I posted an update on my Facebook profile about considering leaving and shortly after I saw that my cousin joined the group 1 Million Against the Mosque at Ground Zero!, which prompted me to post this religious AND political update…


With over 40 comments I thought the discussion was finally over, but it continues 5 days later. This thread, along with my other cousin’s comment, “@Sarah M M: thank you for posting this, and putting up with all the abuse. This is why you shouldn’t give up on facebook” made me realize I still had a vested interest in Facebook! In this thread alone I learned that one of my high school friends served as the New York State chairman of the Patriot Party, worked as an Arabic linguist for the Marines, and helped work search and rescue on the north side of the pile near the Winter Garden on 9/12. He also points out in one of his comments:

“Most of the other people I talk to who were actually there just want peace and reconciliation.”

Sure, most people won’t sway from their political or religious opinions, but if that thread was able to make one person think about the issue from another perspective then I’m more than OK with that. If you need three reasons why I am still on Facebook:

1. Community

2. Betty White Hosting SNL

3. This (thanks @wrhernandez!)

While I certainly didn’t quit Facebook on May 31st, plenty of others did… did you?

6 Degrees of the iPad

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Last week, the Commons bought a few iPads for the Community Team to experiment with and after spending some one-on-one time with an iPad and reading some great resources I wanted to write a review — 6 degrees style. *This is an overview of my experience thus far, incorporating information from member’s posts as well as outside resources and opinion. 

When it comes to the iPad everyone has an opinion. The last time I used an Apple product, I was a Media Arts student at USC so I am not that familiar with the iPhone and I’m new to the whole Apple App Store thing. Either way, I will try to present a review that is as objective as possible. My first thought as I held the iPad in my hands was this… 

image credits: http://gizmodo.com

Matt Gold (@admin) posted this flowchart on the Academic Commons Project Management Base Camp back in April as a visual resource for creating new help documents on the Commons. Luckily, I’ve been beating the odds of this flowchart, but I often think of it as I eagerly await the back-ordered case! 

Holy Credit Card Batman!

Why does Apple need my credit card information?? I use my Zune and Zune Pass to satisfy my music needs (in addition to Pandora), so I was a little disappointed that I had to download iTunes on my computer again in order to start the iPad. I had to create an account and give my credit card information… which I did … because I didn’t really have a choice. After forking over some personal information I was finally ready to see what this iPad thing was all about and why Obama wasn’t a fan

Apps

There are a lot of them. A lot of apps seem useless, as Obama suggested in his commencement speech at Hampton University. Obama claimed that with new technologies such as the iPad, “information becomes a distraction”.  This is how most headlines read, but what these commentators overlooked is that Obama said they can be used as “tool(s) of empowerment… the means of emancipation”. I’m going to give Obama the benefit of the doubt here about his understanding of technology, especially after @kdelorenzo said: 

“…during the inauguration Obama is reported to have greeted Aretha with “You’re on my iPod!” so maybe he was fibbing a bit. Or maybe his younger daughter programs and syncs it for him.” 

On this topic, I would have to agree with Bill Maher’s take that Obama is putting on a cutesy political act. Obama says he doesn’t know how to use an iPod because “Americans conflate out-of-touch with adorable”. Lest he forget the power of the Internet during his presidential campaign! OK, back to iPad apps… 

In addition to @omanreagan’s ipad posts from his blog about Apple technology, Michael has also written a blog post about “religion applications available for the iPad” from his blog about interdisciplinary studies in Religion. Talk about a ‘tools of empowerment’ — good stuff Michael, thanks for sharing! 

Other apps that I consider to be tools of empowerment include: 

  • Calendar (pre-installed) This is your basic calendar. I’m able to keep myself on a tight schedule with reminders and repeating events. It’s not as customizable as I was hoping for (no task organizer).
  • Mail (pre-installed) I’m able to sync multiple Gmail accounts as well as my CUNY email. Bonus.
  • Videos>Podcasts (pre-installed>downloaded via iTunes)  I’m currently learning how to fix redeye from the Photoshop//Power Tips & Tricks Podcast. I wish the iPad had the ability to go outside of iTunes… non-jailbreaking style.
  • Notes (pre-installed) I’m able to quickly take notes from a meeting. I can tag notes to find them quickly and email them to myself, but there’s no ability for bold, italic, color, underlining, etc…
  • Todo ($4.99)  While I was hoping this app was going to be free (or included within the Calendar app) I am glad I downloaded it! Todo helps me keep track of multiple projects both at home and at work and can send reminders via email. Highly recommended.
  • Pages ($9.99) Mac’s version of Microsoft Word. You can use templates and have greater control over the layout and font style than you can with Notes.
  • Keynote ($9.99) Syncs great with Mac Keynotes. I am able to edit presentations (with limited capabilities). 
  • iBooks (free) I was able to download a lot of free books by typing “free” into the search bar.
  • Free Books (free) The name says it all — good stuff!
  • Pandora (free) I can  listen to a custom generated mix (unfortunately not while doing anything else on the iPad… without jailbreaking it).
  • Pocket Pond (free) Watching goldfish swim and interacting with them is extremely calming after a long day at the office.
  • Disney Digital Books: Toy Story (free) I am able to multitask — I can some work done at home while providing interactive entertainment for my pre-schooler!
  • Siri (free) Possibly my favorite app thus far! (see video below). The speech recognition and overall intuitive nature of this app is incredible! My favorite part is when you say “remember,…” and it will send your speech to your email… or saying “tweet” and your twitter status update bar is brought up for you to do just that. This was originally created for the iPhone.

Thanks to Adam S. Wandt’s post we also now know how to shop for our groceries in under two minutes using the Fresh Direct app!

In non-iPad app related news I also share @awandt’s feelings of disappointment that the iPad has no forward facing camera and wouldn’t be surprised if AT&T network-related concerns were at the root of this decision. This camera (or lack-there-of) news was also revealed in @jugoretz’s post: Early iPod Thoughts.

There are some great aspects of the iPad and the overall intuitive nature is very user-friendly. There are also many features that fall short of what a truly innovative tool the iPad should be.

Lastly, the question that everyone is asking … or perhaps just @brianfoote — WILL IT BLEND???

Yes, yes it will.

Upgrade Changes For Groups

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Greetings to all Groups on the CUNY Academic Commons! As promised, @boonebgorges has delivered a major upgrade to the Commons which leads us to the inevitable question, how will these changes affect us? Well, I am here to help you better understand our new group features and how to use them.

Group Wire —> Updates & Replies

As I’m sure most of you now know, where once there was a group wire now there is no more. Some of you may have had your Settings>Email Notifications set to receive an email when a member posted to the wire and while that option no longer exists (see *UPDATE below), it has been replaced with something very similar… only more customizable — Updates. This is much more similar to Facebook than the Wire and I will demonstrate via these screenshots below.Group administrators and moderators can post an Announcement to the Group Page, which can be used to quickly connect information to the entire group. Group members can “Reply” to any update, much like leaving a “Comment” on Facebook. When someone replies to a conversation you are involved in, you will be sent an email notification. Replies are no longer limited to Forums — yay!

*UPDATE 5/6/10 –  developer @boonebgorges has just Added an “email to members” checkbox to the BuddyPress group activity stream. This means that administrators and moderators now have the option to push out a specific announcement to all group members via email. Thanks Boone!

@Mention System

There is also another way to include particular members via email notification. You may have noticed in both the screenshot from Facebook and the Academic Commons that a “friend/member” was hyperlinked in the update. While the “tag/@mention” process is done somewhat differently, it has the same effect — it links others to the profile of the individual while notifying the individual of the mention via email. This @mention system was first implemented by Twitter, but has been adapted by Facebook and now us!

If you are trying to reach out to specific group members, simply put the @ symbol in front of their username and it will send a notification to their email address. This is a great way to bring members into conversations that can otherwise be easily overlooked in the frenzy of Web2.0 information overload. Don’t know a member’s username? Just go to their profile page and their @handle will be listed directly below their name.

Filters

The Buddypress upgrade has also made it easier to navigate through Groups via the new filterable Recent Group Activity stream where you can choose to view: Updates, New Forum Topic, Forum Replies, New Group Memberships, Wiki Edits and my personal favorite… No Filter! The main landing page for groups is No Filter, so members can see everything at a glance. If you prefer to view group activity without necessarily being logged into the Academic Commons, there is also the option of subscribing to the group’s RSS Feed.

Reply, Reply, Reply

Another great thing about the new Reply feature is that it’s not limited to Updates. I can welcome members to a group and organize conversations in ways that used to be impossible — as seen by my reply below to a New Group Membership.

Being able to reply to a specific comment or activity allows the conversation to continue in a structured way and hopefully makes it easier for members to keep track of different conversations throughout the Commons.

If you have a request or suggestion for your group please let us know.

Extra, Extra Tweet All About It!

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dital

I was checking out the agenda on the website for the Digital University Conference (planned by the The Digital University Conference Planning Committee Group on the Academic Commons) and stumbled across “Conference hashtag: #du10” on the right-hand side of the page. I clicked on the hyperlink, which introduced me to another great web2.0 tool Twapper Keeper. What a great find!

hashtag

For those who don’t know what Twapper Keeper is, it’s basically an archive service for Twitter that keeps track of #hashtags, keywords, and @people. Ok, so what??

Well, that means you can follow a conversation (as either an immediate conversation or extended ongoing conversation). If you want to know all there is to know about Twitter, I recommend checking out Mashable’s Twitter Guidebook.

After I finished reading some of the blog posts on the Digital University website, I read through @MattGold’s email message to those registered for the conference. This email also mentions the Digital University Conference hashtag #du10. Web 2.0 tools like Twapper Keeper act as a conduit for ongoing conversation and collaboration by keeping everything on file. Thanks to whoever found this source in the first place and for Matt explaining how to use it. This is what the Commons is all about!

mattemail

By ‘this is what it’s all about’ I not simply referring to new technology. I’m referring to the understanding of that technology through ongoing conversation and collaboration for the betterment of all CUNY campuses.

OK, let me step off my soap-box now…

After I read through that email I decided to try out some other hash tags in Twapper Keeper and came across the Commons hashtag #cunycommons!!  This hashtag is a great way to preserve an ongoing conversation about the CUNY Academic Commons. Do you have a resource or information you would like to share with the Commons community?? Just tag that tweet as #cunycommons and it will show up here!

Twitter tracker, twitter tracker, twitter tracker! Speaking of which, did you happen to notice the word mention in the same sentence as @mattgold?? Spoiler alert!!

mymentions

The new face of the Academic Commons is almost upon us. The latest version of Buddypress includes some great new features such as the Mention System, where members can be brought into conversations simply by putting the @ symbol in front of their username. This new filterable activity feed makes a member’s page more interactive (somewhat like Facebook), merging Status Updates with Wire Posts.

So get Twitter crazy at the #du10 Conference and get ready for some more Twitter-like features on the Commons. OK, that is all for now, but don’t worry there is more to come — and we will tag our tweets with the #cunycommons hashtag!

If you’re interesting in learning how to use sitewide tags on your Academic Commons blog check out Making Sitewide Tags Work on the the CUNY Academic Commons Development Blog.

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