Lara Friedman-Shedlov: January 2010 Archives

I've been playing around with Foursquare a geo-locating social networking application, for a few months now. Foursquare allows you to tell friends where you are currently, and to share tips and other information with others about the places you visit. You can also use Foursquare to push notifications about your current location out to other applications like Twitter.

It was a friend I follow on Twitter who alerted me to this article about how Harvard is using Foursquare to encourage new students to explore the campus.

The application turns social networking into a running competition by creating incentives for users to explore neighborhoods, discover new venues, and make recommendations to the entire foursquare network. Individuals who download the free app can "check in" using their phones from different venues to earn badges and points. Updates and posted tips and suggestions can be shared across other social networking and microblogging sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
I wonder if this would also make a good platform for a game that would incorporate library orientation. 
There was an interesting Future Tense story this morning on MPR about a study conducted by Google and the University of Maryland regarding the searching behavior of children.  As the paper describing the research points out, these children are the first generation of what is being called "digital natives," and the next generation of undergraduates that will be attending the U of M. While many of the issues identified by the researchers (especially things like lack of typing and spelling skills) are likely to be less problematic as the children get older, others may be examples of generational differences in search behavior.

Google is using the study to inform the design of search engines optimized for children.  Would the use of such search engines actually hinder the development of more sophisticated searching skills?


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This page is an archive of recent entries written by Lara Friedman-Shedlov in January 2010.

Lara Friedman-Shedlov: March 2010 is the next archive.

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