Last Friday (January, 15, 2010), I was fortunate enough to be invited by @ThomKearney to present to his 4th year Interactive Multimedia Design (IMD4500) class at Carleton University on the topic of Social Media. Essentially, I was asked to demo the tools I use professionally.
Here are the tools I chose to demo, along with the "show of hands" informal usage survey at the beginning of the demo (out of 25 students present):
• Delicious - 10 (use)
• Google Wave - 10 / 3 (have tried it, use it)
• Google Docs - 22 (use)
• Twitter - 5 (use)
• Linkedin - 3 (use)
• Blogger - 3 (blog)
(Note: these numbers are estimates, based on a quick glance at a show of hands)
I was pleasantly surprised that 22/25 student used Google Docs! I certainly use Google Docs, but not as much as I use Word (given it's the wordprocessing software at work), and it was clear to me that there was no need to demo it. However, now that I think about it, it shouldn't surprise me, since most projects are done collaboratively in groups, Google Docs seems like the most plausible tool.
I began with my Delicious account where I had links to the other tools I was to demo.
Then I went to TweetDeck. Luckily, I had already recruited @bxmx to help out with the Demo. So when I showed @ replies and retweets, it was in a live and interactive conversation with @bxmx (who is based in BC by the way). Twitter went well, many students were curious and had quite a few questions. As always, I tried to emphasize that everyone's Twitter experience is going to be unique because it depends on who you choose to follow - so if you follow celebrities or people who talk about their breakfast, then that is what you'll get.
I then moved on to a Wave demo, and here's where @bxmx came in handy again. He and I tested it a few days before so that we would be able to demonstrate several features all in one wave and fairly quickly. The students were most interested in the "replay" function, so I simply ran through the wave we had prepared. It showed how to embed images, video, maps, and gadgets (such as the "wikify" gadget which turns a term into a link to its Wikipedia page).
Next we moved on to Blogger, and I must say that I was a bit surprised by the fact that only 3 of the students blogged. I proceeded to open my Blogger account and showed them a few unpublished posts in the edit view.
Lastly, I covered Linkedin, where I went to the search window and typed a relevant job title - the students asked me to use "Game Designer", and low and behold, there were thousands of game designers displaying, essentially their entire resumes, for public view on Linkedin. I also showed students a few Linkedin Groups I'm an active member of, such as the Government of Canada group, and a few social media focused groups. They were intrigued, but not necessarily convinced. I then pointed out that many of the senior managers/vps and professors that I can't find on Facebook and Twitter, I am able to find on Linkedin and that the median income on the site is $100K, which says something.
Although in the case of some tools, students seemed skeptical as to their professional value, I think overall, they enjoyed the presentation, and I thoroughly enjoyed presenting too!
At the end, I took a photo of the class and tweeted it, and that if they'd like to see the photos, they should visit Twitter. :)