Saturday, January 3, 2009

Beam Me Up Scotty!

My favorite part of the TV show Star Trek was the transporter. I loved the idea that in a few seconds you could be anywhere in the universe. Lately, I've been trying to think of metaphors to describe my professional learning network. I've been thinking that tools like Twitter, Plurk, Ning and Facebook have the power to beam me up to a world of learning whenever I need to be there.

I step in front of my computer, type the required Web address and in seconds I'm beamed to a location surrounded by interesting and intelligent people from all over the world. They offer me answers when I'm stuck, share their nuggets of wisdom when they are inspired and appreciate my excitement when I discover a new tool or have an idea. Thanks to all of you in my personal learning network for transporting me to so many fabulous places.

Do you have a metaphor for social networking, for personal learning networks, or for tools like Twitter? Can you help me complete these sentences?

Twitter is like a _______________ because __________
Social Networking is like a ____ ___ because __________
Personal Learning Networks are like ___ because _______
RSS is like ______ because __________

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this! I feel if I had some good metaphors, it would make it easier to explain these things.

Image source: from tkksummers' photostream


Mike Sansone said...

Twitter is like a coffee shop line, say it quick, grab a cup and go.

Blogging is like a coffee shop table, the conversation is a bit longer.

RSS is like the old newsies. Only get the news you want when you want it.

Damian said...

RSS is like subscribing to magazines: instead of going to the newsstand to buy a bunch of different ones, they all get delivered right to you.

Twitter is like a crowded room or bar: many different conversations happening at once, and you can dive right in to any of them. Also, if you throw a question out, you're bound to get many different answers.

Souly Catholic said...

Twitter is like a coffee break with friends because everyone is sharing what they are excited about.

PLNs are like good crack for your brain because once you start you can't stop.

RSS is like my own personal CNN because it is all about what I care about.

TJ Shay said...

PLN is like GOOD professional development without the guy who hogs the donuts.

Twitter is like standing in the lunch line at a conference. Short snippets of professionally appropriate information surrounded by short snippets of trivia.

Social Networks are what you WISH your job was get to pick all your colleagues.

Xwing212 said...

Social networks are like hanging out at your favorite record store circa 1993. A lot of people from different backgrounds coming together to search for the next cool thing, talk about whatever everyone's listening to now, and discovering they have a lot more in common than just music. Sure, there are the ones who are overly protective of their scene, who don't want posers screwing things up or their favorite band experimenting with a new sound. (They like Facebook the way it was before.) And there are those who hangout because they feel like they might be interested in the music but don't really look like they belong otherwise. (Hey everybody, Great Aunt Eustice has a Twitter account!) And then there are those who love the music and just want everyone else to hear it and want more people coming to the shop. (Hey Liz Davis, thanks for hooking me up with those super-rare Morphine B-sides and that live Morrisey bootleg! Have you heard Eddie Vedder's acoustic demos? No? Well then, here you go.)

- Dan, Wicked Decent LEarning

John Spencer said...

Twitter is like a cocktail party because it's all soundbytes and little substance

Social Networking is like a huge family party because it's everyone you know in one room, but it's never as deep as you hope

Personal Learning Networks are like a country club because everyone wants to impress one another

RSS is like a dinner date because you can invite who you want, listen in-depth and feel a sense of individual connection