(I’m apologize for the late post, problem with OBA’s WiFi connection.)
“Think about your own networks.”
Wait… what? Which networks? Well, I have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, DeviantArt, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber.. But wait, can we also consider Skype or Viber as ‘network’? (They’re officially software or application, but since I use them to interact with people, not only family but also, friends, colleagues etc., they can also be called MY network, can’t they?)
Nowadays, it’s hard to define a ‘network’. It can be everything as long as it involves interactions between its users. In my opinion, I used to consider Skype or WhatsApp as informal networks in regard to social learning. Categorizing them as ‘real’ networks seems to be a bad idea. But after doing some research about the real definition of ‘network’, and also what differentiates it with ‘community’, I came up to the conclusion that applications such as Skype or WhatsApp connect the users and therefore can be called ‘network’.
· The network aspect refers to the set of relationships, personal interactions, and connections among participants, viewed as a set of nodes and links, with its affordances for information flows and helpful linkages.
· The community aspect refers to the development of a shared identity around a topic that represents a collective intention—however tacit and distributed—to steward a domain of knowledge and to sustain learning about it.
No one can deny the importance of these networks. They can be used either for individual usage (for example: research, self-study, harvest information), either for collaborative usage (group research, interaction with group members, document sharing).
Personally, I equally use them for both usages. I used Facebook as one of my personal network and also belong to some groups on Facebook, mostly used for updating group works and adding some group files. It’s even harder to set the limit between individual and collaborative usage since the most influential social networks like Facebook or Twitter are emerging to become a ‘new’ tool for collaborative work thanks to its easy-to-reach, useful aspect (for example, file uploading files on Facebook). So, it might be a really good idea to merely work on one online space like Asana or Basecamp for the group work.
Speaking about the most valuable, I would say that the usage of networks for collaborative works is way more valuable than individual usage. We can’t really call it ‘network’ if it’s limited to personal information harvesting, if there’s no linkage between people, if it provides no interaction between users.
Finally, the new area that I would like to explore by experiencing with my online networks is Business. I would really love to use my online networks for the business usage. But since I couldn’t currently ‘jump’ into this, I did some research about tools that might be helpful for my future plan to explore this new area. This is also one of my group tasks: doing a research about an application called Zoho. This application looks great for the business intention: it provides the website building and is useful to run our own business processes, manage the information and be more productive!
I’m looking forward to exploring this platform in the future; it is unfortunately not free for now!
Have a nice weekend, bloggers! :)