What is different about â€œquick bloggingâ€ tools like Twitter (which imposes a strict character count so it can be easily used on a cellphone) and Tumblr (which allows longer messages as well as photographs) is the degree to which people use them for spontaneous and almost continuous communication. Mainly, they describe the minutiae of their day, but when their lives take more dramatic turns, they often take the network along in real time.
But Ms. Riechelt, 32, thinks the microblog experience is valuable for those listening in on personal details, sharing in what she calls â€œambient intimacy.â€ She writes that while others may ask: â€œWho cares? Who wants this level of detail? Isnâ€™t this all just annoying noise?â€ she counts herself among those â€œwho find great value in this ongoing noise.â€ She added, â€œIt helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances.â€
â€¢ Via I don’t remember where, an Inside Higher Ed article on using Wikipedia in the classroom. Martha Groom at the University of Washington at Bothell had students write to Wikipedia:
Not used to being edited on the fly by people theyâ€™ve never met, some students might also have felt uneasy about another feature inherent to Wikipediaâ€™s design: constant revisions by regular contributors. Brockhaus suggested that was part of the experience, and that students posting material to the site would have to stop viewing their work as â€œsacrosanct.â€
There was another positive effect on her studentsâ€™ work, Groom said: their assignments were generally better written.
There’s a lot more I could link to, but I need to get back to reading my students’ portfolios.