Poking allows lowkey actions, which enables your users to interact with each other without having to engage in costly in-depth interaction.
In spirit of eating my own dog food, I’m publishing the presentation that I’m giving tomoorow at my old faculty to undergrad class about things I live and breath – twitter, social media and branding. Probably not much for veterans reading this blog but I was surprised how many good case studies I could do from your blogs. Kudos to @anjarenko, @anejmehadzic and @jernej 🙂
Learning is hard. Mostly because you have to sit down and concentrate on your subject. Then you have to take notes and repeat it, while preferably do exercises and make use of it in everyday life. It turns out that there’s a better way.
In my experience, the best way to learn passively is by reading highly topical blogs. This allows you to study each day a topic in about 400 words with one single message. Depending on a blog, they have from a few posts a week to a few a day, but they’re all fairly short. Just enough to process during morning coffee or lunch break. As you continue reading them throughout a year, you’ll suddenly realize that you’ve learned a lot about the subject even though you never enrolled in a class or had to pay someone for it.
What about exercises? Since you’re interested in subject your studying (why study it otherwise?), you’ll also get plenty of opportunity to practice what these blogs teach you as they’ll often have little tasks you can do, or ask you to write your thoughts in their comments or even in a guest posts. You might not get to turn-in your term paper, but writing a good guest post or to participate in their forums might be the next best thing for thinking about subject at hand.
To get you started, here are a few good subjects and blogs on different topics:
Personal Development: Steve Pavlina,
Information Design and data mining: Data Mining,
Presentations: Presentation Zen
Usability: Adaptive Path,
AJAX and Web 2.0 technologies: Ajaxian
Web 2.0 ecosystem: TechCrunch UK
Social Media: Chris Brogan
Healthy lifestyle: Dietriffic
Python development: The Py Side of Life
Youth Marketing: Y Pulse
So, what are the topics you’re learning about and which blogs? 🙂
One of the things most social media junkies do substantial amount of time is read their peers rant about world and give useful hints and ideas. Since there are too many of us out there, there’s a neat trick you can do: piggy back on best stories from someone else.
The way to do this is to figure out if your personal hero is using Google Reader and sharing his or hers picks with the world. There are a number of strategies to get to their RSS feed of shared stories:
- by asking them directly, either in person or via Twitter. Shows that you really care and that you’re willing to proper stalk them and their interests.
- find them on FriendFeed and see if they’ve imported their stories. You can then get their feed url from there and just add it to your Google Reader.
- read/search their blog and they’re going to eventually post the address. It’s also often hidden in blogroll or on a side of blog.
If anyone is interested, my shared feed is also available. Beware that their might be cute kittens hidden in there.
Are you sharing? Post you share feed address in comments so we can benefit from collective crowd-sharing.
Further reading Arabesk book (it does have 850+ pages), I’ve stumbled upon another concept – emotional institutionalization. The idea is that, together with assimilation with local culture, you also have to change the way you perceive your own emotions in relation to what’s happening in your new world.
The reason for this concept in the book is that the main character comes from USA, while living in middle-east and he has to adjust his behavior. He’s especially troubled by the fact how rank works and the fact that being of royal heritage, he is expected to not do anything all day and just sit around bars and drink cappuccinos.
Where’s the social media aspect?
Feeling pretty social today, I’d say that social media aspect of this is that each community that you form and participate in has different norms and ideas about how people should behave. Together with these, you also get emotional expectations that you have to follow, otherwise you won’t be able to fully feel part of that community.
You can also take an extra step. Once you think you figured out how the community works, locate the borderline community members that are just trying to figure it out. Be their friend and help them understand how it works. They’ll be forever grateful to you, while you’ll be able to fully appreciate the little subtleties that makes it so special to be with that group of people.