Monday, October 4, 2010

Learning Blog #4 the Long Tail and facebook and cat litter

 I was struck by the chapter on the "illusion of choice". This comic strip appeared in my Sunday Star Tribune. We may have a Long Tail of cat litter, but has anything besides the packaging really changed? We may have 300 brands of cereal at the grocery store, but the ingredients are all the same wheat, high fructose corn syrup just pressed into different shapes.

An argument could be made that "facebook makes the Long Tail of friendships possible"

There are your close friends and family up near the short head of the tail. They are the people that you see frequently, have regular contact, and many connections, and hours in the day to see.

facebook allows one to extent the tail of friendship to faraway friends--who you don't have the time or maney to visit. "Brief" friends--you met them at a one time focused event:conference, retreat, class. You may have one intense experience together, but after the conference is over may not have enough connection "in real life". facebook helps facilitate the small talk neccesary to build other connections. There are long ago friends: old flames, high school buddies, classmates..people you once had an experience in common with, maybe now you still do. Ex-inlaws & and other-friends-lost to divorce are another level of the long tail friends. People you may still want to know but family drama does not make easy or possible.

The aha moment.....when Candace posted on her blog re: digital natives and internet safety training. Note to self: ask the 9 year old to see if she has any notion of 'bad guys' on the internet. And ask school media librarian what they cover how/if they cover internet safety?

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