To Curate and Associate

Social Media and Digital Publications Surfed


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Spundge.com

Spundge.com is an agregration tool to expand curation of internet content. You can compile articles from other sources by “clipping” the article using their button in your browser. Depending on your topic and quality of curation, you can amass follwers. You can also publish your curated material through your typical social media: twitter, FB, linkdn, instagram. Material can also be found from your different news feeds.

Criteria:

The site once logged in is free, easy to use, one-click access to articles, and shows other related notebooks and the amount of followers of that notebook.

Recommendation:

If you are looking for a site to draw material from global sources, in real time, and publish your curated material on your news feeds, Spundge.com hits it out of the park. Once I logged in on the site I was able to find articles that I could use immediately for both my consumer audience and my staff. Being able to quickly get to the gist of an article and then being able to dissemenate that information made for very effective communication.


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Delicious.com – Pretty Sweet

Summary:

Delicious.com is a website for content curation. It allows a user or guest to search through blogs, news sites, and published posts. It allows a user to migrate and effectively curate the information onto a facebook or twitter account.

delicious

 

 

Criteria: Content curation requires a lot of time fetching new and relevant content. Many times without adequate research time, you know you have missed an angle. Most times the same piece of original content is recycled through other news channels. Finding the source article is key to being to being able to correctly interpret for your audience the information.

Summary: Delicious.com is user-friendly, intergrated with Facebook and Twitter, and promotes content curation. Most times to publish your curation, you copy a link then login into your social site and paste with comments. Delicious.com brings active, up to date information in a thumbnail format easy to read and filter through. Then promotes a user to curate that information and posts the link and comment to their twitter and facebook account with 1-click.


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3 Different Types of PLNs

http://home.lps.org/training/2012/11/29/building-a-pln-professional-learning-network/

Summary:

This site is very resourceful for determining a direction in tools for your PLN. It separates PLN tools into 3 categories: Synchronous, Asynchronous,  and Semi-synchronous. This is a great site to evaluate your time commitment to your network. The article was written for educators in Lincoln, Nebraska school district. The article covers perspectives for the usage of the twitter tool.

Here is a great quote from the site that reinforces its advice for building a PLN:

“At the heart of every PLN is its members. … Learners become amplifiers as they engage in reflective and knowledge building activities, connect and reconnect what they learn, add value to existing knowledge and ideas, and then re-issue them back into the network to be captured by others through their PLNs. Working your PLN involves a great deal of responsibility because you are almost certainly part of someone else’s network.”

“Preparing children for an unpredictable future means helping them learn to teach themselves. That is why lifelong learning is such a crucial part of the education conversation and why modeling a learning lifestyle is one of the best things that teachers can do today.” 

– David Warlick, “Grow Your Personal Learning Network”
‘Learning & Leading with Technology’, March/April 2009

Criteria:

My criteria in recommending this site was to answer the question: “How to select the right professionals in your network?” The site does not expressly address this question, but does prepare a potential member for their professional network. It warns the person of usage of the Twitter tool and its capabilities. It brought to my attention another question, “How much time will a PLN take to develop and operate?”

Recommendation:

This article should be read to better understand the membership of a PLN. As a professional, time and its usage is calculated and critical for success. If you are not able to dedicate a full time operation to the membership of a PLN you need to be prepared before you start.


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How to Create Curation

Curation is another way to get your image to a mass majority over the internet. Optimizing your potential success starts with curating your blog, PLN, or other. By choosing your niche, picking your prefered platform, and being consistent, you can create curation.

Niche:

Your niche is defined by your interests, what you can talk about for hours, your personality, but most importantly, what is sellable. There are probably a lot of mommy blogs, food blogs, beauty blogs, sports blogs, etc. So what makes yours stand out from the rest? You need to define your interest, then refine your niche. Taking my own business for example, I found a need for sex education for all sexual orientations, and I filled it with a multifunctional platform that includes sex toys. The point is, your niche is going to set you a part from the rest of the content on the internet, and there is a lot! An interesting way to come up with a niche could be by putting two opposing forces together. Like peanut butter and marshmallow. Here are some other creative choices to choose from:

  • Cruelty free leather chair making
  • One handed cooking
  • Public speaking for mutes

You get the idea. By putting two seemingly opposite traits together, like honest and politician, you can form your very own niche that stands out from the rest. This is fundamental to curating a blog. No one wants to read 20 different blogs all on the same subject. You need to become 3 dimensional in a 2 dimensional platform.

Platform:

Choosing your platform is the same as choosing your PLN platform. Where are you going to publish your content? Is your platform user-friendly and accessible? How can your audience find you? These questions should be guidelines into how you will ultimately chose the platform that works best for your content curation. WordPress was used here for its user friendly functions that seem more complicated than they actually are. There are plenty of tools on this very blog to look through for curation tools. Seriously, we have many weeks worth of curation tools to browse through. Choose wisely.

Consistency:

Once you have your niche in place, your platform secured, it’s time to adhere to a schedule that is consistent. Updating your project regularly with similar tone and formatting is key to obtaining an audience. You don’t want to talk about one subject for several posts, then switch to something in the opposite direction. Being on track and consistent is an important aspect to not overlook. People are less likely to come back to your blog/website/etc if it’s not consistent.

Curating your project is a relatively simple idea with a big outcome. Going down the correct path from the beginning is a lot easier than starting in the middle of a project. This site :http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-create-a-successful-curated-blog/ is a great example of expanding on the same premise here.


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How to Create your very own PLN

There are many different steps and areas to cover when creating your very own Personal Learning Network. Since it is personal, it varies from individual to individual. The tools I use and add to my own PLN are different from my classmates on this very blog. Yet, there are a few steps to take into account when setting up your own PLN. The video below is a great introduction to what we will be talking about here.

Your PLN is essentially a strategic plan to asks questions like:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where are we going?
  • How will we get there?

These simple questions will direct you in the path you need to go on to discover different outlets for your PLN. Your PLN functions need to address 3 simple attributes to the questions. Connect – Collaborate– and Contribute. Your PLN needs to fit into these 3 categories to fully optimize your PLN connections.

Connect:

If you haven’t already done so, connect with all social media sites you feel comfortable with. Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, Reddit, etc. This will instantly put your internet footprint on the map. You are now digital. This is a vital aspect to starting your PLN. This WordPress blog on PLN’s shows a great example of how to get started and connect through the internet. The quote, “Engage with participants through introductions by commenting on fellow participant introductions, two or three is ideal”, is a perfect example of how connecting Segway into collaborating. You don’t want to just be a fly on the wall, you want to be a participant.

Taking a page from my own PLN, connecting is just the first step into broadcasting your network. If you have a business, make sure to create a facebook page. Don’t worry about getting likes and attention right away. Build your page slowly and methodically. Your audience wants to know you for you, and not read jargon just for content. Take a look at my facebook page for my business Bisous Box. My site hasn’t launched yet, but I have 6 people already “liking” a page that isn’t fully developed.

facebook business page

facebook business page

This is the first step in connecting with a audience, and creating a worthwhile PLN. Once you’ve found the tools you need to connect, and you’ve signed up and started your pages, it’s time to collaborate. One last word on connecting, if you don’t know where to find the tools you need to connect, well look no further then this blog! We have tons of recommendations on the best sites to utilize for both PLN’s AND curation! A lot of it is also personal preference. You’ll hear about certain sites, check them out, and decide if it’s for you or not. Always look for sites that are well integrated into other sites so it’s easy to add to your bookmarking toolbar (like Diigo), or other forms of connection.

Collaborate:

Collaborating is another word for participating. Like I said before, you don’t want to be just a fly on the wall. It’s important to get involved with online communities and leave your opinions on pages, likes, comments, reblogging, etc. All these actions will link back to your own pages, and ultimately YOU. This site has 20 great tips that expand on this idea. My friend point from this site is:

“Consider your role. The article “Individual Learning” sheds some light on learning roles. Consider your learning style when designing a specific approach to your PLN:

  • Activist-Learning by doing, such as writing a blog.
  • Reflector- Learn by reviewing situations, such as posting opinions to articles.
  • Theorist-Prefer to learn by researching information and data, such as by creating a model.
  • Pragmatist-Apply learning to real situations, such as by creating a project that uses PLNs in the classroom.”

This is a perfect example of collaboration to build a PLN. You need to consider your role for your own network. You can’t be all things, it’s not interesting to read about someone who is a “jack of all trades, master of none” type. It’s more interesting to hear from someone who has the credentials and skills for one topic, it makes the reading more insightful and legitimate. So chose your role carefully. Don’t change your tone, or stances once you’ve started to great content and collaborate within your PLN. My personal role is Activist.

Here’s an image from my facebook business site that links to what my webpage is talking about. bisous boxThe sneak peek for the website shows three different components on the home page. The first being “Grab some Goodies” which is the shopping section. The second is “Talk to the Wiener” which is the text blog where Sex education is implemented into the site, and the third, “Kiss and Tell” is a video interview section where sex education interviews with adult industry professionals, educators, sexologist’s, and more share their stories and information. I’ve decided my role as Activist, and my tone and personality doesn’t change from each post. This is important to maintain a page that is reliable in its content.

Contribute:

Contributing to posts, your own and others, is the final step we will talk about here. It’s important to become and be a voice through the internet by adhering to the above information. By connecting, collaborating, and finally contributing, your PLN will be on its way to becoming as useful as it’s meant to be. You can contribute to posts on subject matters like your own, but don’t spam! The best way to contribute is by creating your own content (whether personal or business) and bringing people to your information.

There are also many different ways to contribute, it doesn’t all have to be over the internet. Contribute with friends, colleagues, and strangers. Carrying around business or personal cards that links back to your PLN sites, is a awesome way to bring your audience straight to you. When people know you in person, they’re more likely to follow and like your posts. Take for example my own business cards. They are simple and straight to the point, and also have a QR Code for people who have the “Scan” app on their phones.

bizcards

This is a fantastic way to contribute to your own PLN outside of the internet, and it’s very effective. Give your cards to anyone and everyone, you’d be surprised as to how many people follow through with checking out what you have to say, when you give a direct link, and make it as easy as possible. I got my cards from MOO.com, which is a fantastic card and etc company. A little on the pricey side, but totally worth it.

Contributing inside the internet is easy too. We’ve talked about posts and linking back to your site. This is extremely important for people who normally wouldn’t know you exist, to find you. Create a name that embodies who you are, or what your is business is all about, and use that name for EVERYTHING.

There are so many ways to contribute to your own PLN and create your internet footprint, it’s really up to you, and what makes you feel comfortable. Since it’s YOUR Personal Learning Network, there is no right or wrong way, just your way.

This post is an introduction to create your own PLN, and the right links and tools to look for. Please click the highlighted and underlined links to take you to personally recommended sites. Lastly, when creating your own PLN, remember to always link back to your site when leaving your collaboration and contributions on other sites, like I did here. Stay connected.


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Paper.li Curation Platform

New Swiss curation platform Paper.li grants ultimate agency to online curators with highly-specific areas of interest. Use Paper.li to generate an online newspaper available to other users and the public.

Curators might wonder why this site works differently than other curation platforms. In a nutshell, Paper.li requires more thought and effort to maintain. Users must carefully consider the titles of newspapers and content themes, plus they must work to distinguish themselves from other users with similar topics. It’s definitely competitive and encourages more specificity in content curation. But it’s also more rewarding, especially as a news site that hands power to people to regulate and share information. The kind of content and variety of contributors also changes what it means to read the newspaper.

For someone pursuing journalism, like me, this curation site might work as excellent practice for the future. Some questions to consider: What’s the best way to arrange a front page? What kinds of headlines attract attention? How does a balanced newspaper  flow? What makes a newspaper better than others?

Application to PLNs

Though primarily a curation platform, Paper.li, like most services of this kind, offer tremendous opportunity to those who wish to network. Users can reach out and become reputable authorities on the topics that most interest them. Try it out, and don’t feel discouraged by its status as a “news site.” Its true aim is only to publish content related to a single theme, and that can range anywhere from cooking to global affairs.

Post By: Rachel H.


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More on Feedly

So I’ve introduced you to Feedly, an alternative to the much-loved but soon-to-expire Google Reader. What I didn’t notice during my exploration of the service is that Feedly actually offers new users tips for a smooth transitions. That’s a relief!

Some of the advice goes without saying, like importing Google Reader settings or tagging and starring articles, but some of the advice on preferences really help. The Reader doesn’t have to be in list format, for example, and there are plenty of keyboard shortcuts to help navigate the site.

What about other services?

Feedly isn’t the first service of its kind, as demonstrated in my original post about alternatives to Google Reader. A site like Diigo could also work well as a reader, for instance, though it doesn’t show up on that list. If you do make Diigo into a reader, you can add to your list of articles to read by pressing a button and opening the site at a later point. Maybe the best reader is the one that’s been there all along. (This is actually what I’ve been using, but I always want to open up possibilities for those who may not like the site.)

Why do readers matter for curation and PLNs? 

Content is what guides both curation and PLNs. A curation site devoid of content can’t fulfill its duty, and there’s no real way to get other internet users to network without starting conversations and sending content their way. That’s why I encourage anyone who wishes to do well with either to look into readers as effective ways to manage information. Not everything you save will be worth curating, of course, and not everything has to relate directly to a PLN. But readers are a good place to start.

Don’t hesitate to share your favorite readers or any secrets to maximizing use of Feedly!

Post By: Rachel H.