The platforms that we are working with are all means of providing and retreiving information about us and our enviroments. You can also say that they are meant to organize our lives to a certain extent, but this is an illusion. We are just disorganized in more places 🙂
They are have a common set of Web 2.0 tools including: syndication, sharing, grouping, categorizing, and so forth. However, they differ in many ways. In this, I’ll look at their primary purposes. Otherwise, this could get complicated. For example, Bloglines offers blog hosting, but it’s main purpose is to aggregate postings. I’ll go with the main purpose.
- del.icio.us – Is a bookmark sharing (collecting, organizing, etc) service. The main purpose here is to collect, organize, and even disseminate those bookmarks that used to collect dust on your PC.
- Flickr – Flickr does the same thing with pictures as del.icio.us does with bookmarks.
- Bloglines – Collects postings from your favorite syndicated sources.
- WordPress – Collect and disseminate (and then discuss) your ideas/observations.
- 43Things/People/Places – Still don’t really know what these are good for 🙂
- Community Walk – Allows you to annotate a map. I don’t really like this one. I prefer something like Wikimapia (http://www.wikimapia.com) that lets you do more annotation and honestly has a better map. Community Walk wouldn’t even let me zoom in on Seoul (one of the biggest cities in the world). That frustrated me.
My perception of these types of open and participatory environments are overwhelmingly positive. I’m a big fan of both the technologies and the overarching concept and movement. The more we get students (and ourselves) involved in community events (live and virtual) the more we become part of a community. Being part of a community means interacting with the community and often getting involved in community projects. For our students this provides opportunity for practice that goes well beyond our classroom and is a step in the right direction for the development of autonomous learners.