Branded to Learn: Leveraging Social Media Conversations

On October 5, 2010, I have presented at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware about the use of social media for learning. I don’t think I’m an expert in this (anyone who claims to be a social media guru is a poser, in my opinion), but some might see some of the things I have experienced in the past as “social media micro-successes”, for lack of finding a better term…

Before I dig into a laundry list of slides, videos, and resources, I’d like to use a quote from Clay Shirky’s most recent book, Cognitive Surplus. Describing the ever-widening gap between him and his NYU students…

They can understand the shift from scarcity to abundance, since the process is still going on today. A much harder thing to explain to them is this: if you were a citizen of that world [before the Internet], and you had something you needed to say in public, you couldn’t. Period. Media content wasn’t produced by consumers; if you had the wherewithal to say something in public, you weren’t a consumer anymore, by definition. Movie reviews came from movie reviewers. Public opinions came from opinion columnists. Reporting came from reporters. (page 61)

Now that any cellphone becomes a means of self-expression and a public conversation device, it’s hard to imagine what it was like, even 10 years ago.

This presentation is a mix of my personal experience with social media, how I got introduced to it, used it, and tailored it to make me aware of the world and make the world aware of me. Social media is a weird new space, where you need to brag a little to get noticed, and where it’s not always frowned upon to do so (see Self-Service: The Delicate Dance of Online Bragging for more on this subject).

Below is a list of links pointing to tools I referred to in my presentation. Have fun exploring! 

Personal Productivity Tools

Social Networking Tools

Enhanced Reality Tools

Content Hosting and Creation

Short URL to this page:


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