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Janet Finlay :: Blog :: Communication overload

April 05, 2008

I am starting to feel some sympathy for colleagues who say they "don't have time for all this". Involved in three U&I projects, a CETL and a couple of internal projects, I am juggling multiple project blogs, wikis, Google groups/docs/sites, Second Life spaces, slideshare, flickr, del.icio.us groups/networks, YouTube channels, Facebook groups - and now I have been drawn into another - Twine! Keeping up is hard enough - getting up to speed with new tools like Twine make it even more of a challenge. Social technologies are exciting but ultimately they are only useful if they aid rather than hinder communication and communities. if we are to have any hope of selling them to colleagues to use meaningfully, we need a better understanding of how to synthesise and manage the technologies to offer coherent and clear services. 

One of the early observations of the Planet project is that managing this communication overload is a problem shared by many if not all projects. We are looking for case studies of the use of social software to manage both internal and external project communication from which we can identify common factors and potential patterns. So do let me know if any of this sounds familiar to you!

In the mean time I will continue to try to get a grip on things! 

Overview for Keywords: communication, overload, patterns, Social software, Twine

Blogs with Keywords: communication, overload, patterns, Social software, Twine

Posted by Janet Finlay


  1. Good post

    I hear you loud and clear! The challenge for me is three fold:

    • how to monitor for meaningful familiarity in order to advise - without overload
    • how to select an appropriate subset for personal/community use - without becoming isolated in a non-cognate idiolect
    • how to manage - without resorting to diktat

    Do we need to "sell them to colleagues"? For this I see two top-level questions:

    • what tools should the institution provide and support, whether through own services or SLAs with providers?
    • what advice and guidance do we offer to learners (and I include the whole of our institutional community in this: students, teachers, researchers, administrators) about the use of the Internet (particularly Web 1, 2, 3...n) for learning and teaching? 

    Clearly Emerge represents one case study. Happy to discuss with you. I am sure Lawrie will have plenty to say also. Could this be a community-led strand at the upcoming conference? 

    George RobertsGeorge Roberts on Sunday, 06 April 2008, 07:04 BST # |

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