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Making the World Wide Web a Community

Last week, David S wrote in his blog, "Connect! Chapter 6 is chocked full of websites and tool sets for communicating. This is all great and wonderful, but the problem comes down to... which one(s) to use?" I totally related to what David wrote. This week, I read in Connect: "The web makes available so much more information that you could access before. Sometimes it might feel like too much information. (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 113)" Yes, it does feel like too much information to me at times, thus I get overwhelmed at times. However, there was a ray of hope. A couple of sentences further down, I read: "You just need the right tools and the right attitude to ensure it's a positive in your life and not a negative. You don't have to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of information and communication available online. You can feel inspired and motivated by it instead. (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 113)" Attitude is the key word. I remember when I was in high school, I was selected to go to this Leadership Weekend for chosen high school students in MN. The theme for the weekend was: "Attitude is everything." It is such a simple line; however, it goes a long way. I was inspired by the saying "Attitude is everything". Although it is hard sometimes, I try to live by it because life is so much simpler if you have a positive attitude. Take that saying and apply it to the world wide web. I could have a positive stance toward the www and be "inspired and motivated by it" or have a negative outlook and be afraid and stray away for it. I think I'll go with the first!

Besides, there are tools out there to make the web easier to navigate through, up, down, and around . . . tools that make the world wide web like a community. For example, we touched on Facebook and Twitter last week, tools that made our Writ4662 feel connected, thus a community. This week, we touched on del.icio.us, a social bookmarking site. In Connect, it uses del.icio.us as an example of a tool that makes our web surfing experience more positive and a tool for "better bookmarking" (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 114). Also mentioned was: "Now owned by Yahoo!, del.icio.us is the largest and most widely used of the social bookmarking services (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 122)" If it's used most widely, it has to be good! It went on to explain that tagging is used in del.icio.us and why tagging is so important: "Tagging is easier than filing into a folder system because you can add as many tags as you want instead of having to choose just one folder. (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 124)" Furthermore, David Sturtz explains that, "folksonomy is the complete set of tags—one or two keywords—that users of a shared content management system apply to individual pieces of content in order to group or classify those pieces for retrieval. Users are able to instantly add terms to the folksonomy as they become necessary for a single unit of content. (Sturtz, 2004, p. 1)" It was also mentioned that, "The three most commonly cited folksonomies in action are the websites Flickr, Del.icio.us, and Furl. (Sturtz, 2004, p. 2)" Go Del.icio.us! When Sturtz had written his paper in 2004, he mentioned: "While it is clearly a popular phenomenon, it is not immediately apparent what use, if any, these organizational schemes are, and what their potential benefits might be. (Sturtz, 2004, p. 1)" Four years later, the popularity has not died down but the benefits are more apparent. Benefits include being able to log into del.iciou.us anywhere and keep your bookmarks with you as well as finding common tag words among different sites. I'm sold!

At the beginning, I had mentioned what a fellow student wrote last week in his blog. Going further back, there was another blog post that mentioned how much diversity there is in the class. I have mentioned this previously that I think diversity makes the world go 'round and if we were all the same, the world would be a very boring place. Lasting words from Connect that have held onto me are: "Seek diversity of sources. If you limit your information consumption to only sources within your own frame of reference, you are limiting your chances for fresh new ideas to burst you out of the same old thought patterns. (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 129)" That brings us to Wikipedia which introduces us to the topic of Ideagoras in which it was explained: "We call these marketplaces Ideagoras, much like the bustling agoras that sprung up in the heat of ancient Athens . . . Modern-day ideagoras such as InnoCentive serve a more specific purpose: They make ideas, inventions, and scientific expertise around the planet accessible to innovative hungry companies. (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 98)" Pretty much, they are going outside the internal boundaries and reaching for external means, thus diversifying their talent pool. The web allows them to do that. InnoCentive chairman Darren Corroll responds with: "We're breaking down traditional laboratory doors and opening up an exciting new frontier where solution seekers--well-respected global corporations--can reach beyond their traditional R&D facilities and tap into more of the brightest scientific minds in the world. (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 99)" Furthermore, "think of [it] as the first virtual trading floors in an emerging global idea bazaar (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 99) and that "best people reside outside your corporate walls (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 100)" All in all, "companies still need to break down deep-rooted biases that inhibit them from seizing opportunities to open up innovation (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 112)" Once they do, they will excel. Furthermore, the world will become more of a community because they are going outside their internal walls and getting acquainted others that they might have not been acquainted with if they stayed within their corporate walls. Soon, the person from China that they do work with via e-mail or IM will seem like a click away...literally!

Quotes from this week's readings that have really stuck with me and why:

"Ideagoras come in two principal flavors: solutions in search of questions and questions in need of solutions . . . Solutions in search of questions are those 70 to 90 percent of ideas and inventions that go unutilized . . . because they are too costly or a poor fit with a company's brand and strategy (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 102)"

This is an alarming statistic to me, and I had no idea that 70-90% of ideas/inventions go unutilized. It seems like a lot. When I read it, I was like: "NO WAY!"

"In-house innovation alone will not be enough to survive in a fast-changing and intensely competitive economy (Tapscott & Williams, 2006, p. 123)"

When I read this, I thought of companies outsourcing. I've always linked outsourcing to off-shoring for cheap labor. I never thought of outsourcing as a way to innovate.

"The web is one of the most powerful tools ever used to extending our minds. (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 133)"

That statement just sounds so profound when you think about it. Our mind is already powerful as is, but when you add the web to it, our mind is a powerhouse. That's what I got from reading that quote. Use the web in a positive way!

Before ending, this is just an FYI and nothing more: one of my companies that I used to work for was mentioned in Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. 128. They wrote it as PRNewsWire. It is actually PR Newswire. No biggie! I read it and was like, "Hey, they mentioned my former company!" It made me feel like I was more connected to Connect :)


I like what you said about our mind being powerful and adding the web to it makes it a powerhouse...that is a strong and accurate statement to make regarding what is available to us. And with all the new things we are learning in this class, it only illustrates our powerhouse mind more. I like deli.cio.us, that can be such a powerhouse of information for us to use in any venue.

Attitude IS everything. Not to sound too much like a dork, but I am feeling motivated and inspired by what I am learning in this class. And by how it could be useful in my near future.
I'm still constantly amazed by the internet and how work and life have changed just in the past 20 years. I'm an early Gen-Xer, so I did not grow up with a computer. When I was in high school, no one I knew used a computer and when I was getting my undergrad, we used a main frame with dummy terminals. Computers and the internet weren't even on the radar. I still remember how exciting it was when I first started using email and I got a message. Now we are instant messaging, twittering, using facebook, tagging, and who knows what's next... It's still amazing to me.