Not your mom’s Web 2.0


Although I felt I had a good grasp on using the web (and some forms of social media)  really did not understand its full potential, history and cultural influence until this class. This week’s particular readings engaged me into researching articles to learn even more. I feel like I discovered a new world, and at the same time, wonder how I could have limited my vision over the years.

First of all, although I find the web, social media etc. informative and entertaining, I never truly saw it for all it’s worth —  for its communication and collaborative abilities as discussed in Rheingold’s Net Smart. Now I understand and agree with Wayne Macphail’s statement, “You need coordination to dance, cooperation to dance with a partner, and collaboration to dance with a flash mob” (Rheingold, 2014, pg. 153). Himmelman’s Taxonomy of Networking, Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration helps me understand how online communication works to bring people together, share ideas, learn, explore and more. e218_ol_fig7_01

(Partnerships and Network)

In fact, I immediately related it to my teaching pedagogy. My classes do incorporate  networking activities by chatting with other students; coordination activities by sharing resources helpful for class; cooperation by peer revision/editing and online class discussions; and collaboration by creating a group wiki or project.

From observing my kids’ (ages 16, 21 and 30) online interactions, I see they even use their social media in the same way. For example, my son uses his Facebook and Instagram to to network and meet other teenagers who share similar interests in music (jazz and rap) and sports (football and basketball). He has joined social groups to delve into those interests more. This has led him to collaborating with others he wouldn’t normally meet. He now has friends he creates music with and with whom he either physically meets to play a sport or plays fantasy football with or even plays with on Xbox. He may not socialize the way I did as a teenager, but he is definitely communicating with others on a variety of levels through differing modes of communication.

These communication skills are essential in today’s world, for it can lead to innovation as

a result of collective intelligence. Yes, the idea of collective intelligence is not new. In Harnessing Crowds: Mapping the Genome Collective Intelligence article, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence not only reviews basic Web enabled collective intelligence, but also examines more modern examples and the structure that leads to their success. Although MIT’s “map” gives a  clear picture of how collective intelligence works, it does coincide with Rheingold’s useful tool’s discussed in chapter 4 of Net Smart.

On another note, in the article above, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence discusses examples of collective intelligence such as having a YouTube channel:”In YouTube, every user is associated with a “channel.” On these channels, users can upload their own videos and/or link to selections of other users’ videos, via a favorites option. Users can subscribe to other users’ channels and receive notifications when their favorite channels have been updated. Users thus form social networks that affect their choices of what videos to watch.” In this way, You Tube can help expand the knowledge of a group. However, in “DIY Videos on You Tube: Identity and Possibility in the Age of Algorithms, ” Christine T. Wolf examines “. . . how the social and material aspects of YouTube are entangled in search practices, we can see how these experiences might work to narrow, rather than widen, individuals’ information worlds.” Nonetheless, I imagine that this is not the case with most modern forms of web-based collective intelligence.

The use of collective intelligence and crowdsourcing has been quite prevalent (unbeknownst to me) in the business world. I have found several blogs and articles online about  how “In today’s marketing community crowdsourcing is often seen as a modern marketing technique due to its technological influences” ( Mateika).

Kaytie Zimmerman says, “The idea of crowdsourcing is fairly new, with the term only being coined within the last decade. Because it is so cutting edge, millennials have comfortably taken on the idea as part of their daily lives” ( Zimmerman). So, since my students (many going into business) consists largely of millenials, I am interested in learning more about crowdsourcing and how I can incorporate this new knowledge into my classes.


Posted on October 15, 2017, in Literacy, Social Media, Teaching, Technology, Workplace. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights and the graphics. They really help drive the point home regarding the differences in networking, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration.

    How do your students respond to group work? I know I’ve never been a fan, but when done correctly, it can be a great learning experience. I’ve also been in groups (more so in my high school days), where I’ve completed the majority of the work because it was just easier.

    I also thought your point about YouTube was interesting. At work recently, my co-worker took a lengthy call on my phone because his wasn’t working. To pass the time, I opened a Kitten Lady video on his YouTube. When he was finished, he asked if I was signed into his YouTube. I didn’t realize he was signed in, and he jokingly was a little upset that he was going to get cat videos in his “suggested” feeds.

    • My students are receptive to group work..after they realize they get to grade each other on participation ( on larger projects). I generally have students do smaller group projects though..ones that are not worth a large part of their grades.

      • I haven’t done much with group projects in online courses, other than peer review, because it’s logistically difficult, especially for undergraduates who sometimes disappear from online classes. [Yes, I’ve actually had students say, I always forget about this course since it’s online. I’ll never understand that given the number of emails I send and the notifications D2L provides, not to mention being listed as a course when you log in!]

  2. That sounds like a fair way to do it. I don’t think I would have minded as much either that way.

  3. “I feel like I discovered a new world, and at the same time, wonder how I could have limited my vision over the years.”

    The Rheingold question on the midterm will give you an opportunity to reflect further on this statement, so for now I’ll say that I’m glad you’ve had some eye-opening experiences as a result of the reading! We’re a much smaller group than previous semesters so I feel like the dialogue wanes between posts/replies, but the reading list was carefully crafted to provide you with some history and current applications of social media to tech/professional communication, as expansive a field as it is!

  4. You did a great job at relating the different levels of collective action to your class. I would be curious to see a side by side of how classes operated in terms of collective action before and after technology was at the level it is now.

    Crowd-sourcing can be a great way to get a “popular vote” with feedback at the same time. In terms of marketing your post reminded me of the baby gorilla that was named “Harambe McHarambeface.” While this may have been a unexpected surprise for the Zoo, the entire ordeal went viral, thus making it an even more successful campaign than they could have ever imagined.

  5. This is very interesting. I like the idea that your son has not only made friends but has gone to the next level and has collaborated with them. That’s pretty cool!

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