Blog Post on Readings from Week 2

The readings for week two focused were an introduction to the world of social media—its definition, history, platforms, and problems. The article by Boyd and Ellison struggled to define social networking, and, in my opinion, got bogged down in semantics when it came to the use of the work ‘networking.’ As I mentioned in last week’s post, I feel the word has really been appropriated by this cultural phenomenon and shouldn’t be limited to the business world. This article was interesting in that it gave a timeline for the development of social networks and analyzed why some of them failed. It was really quite mind boggling to realize that Face Book (FB) has only been truly open since 2007. When comparing the development of FB to the failed sites, it became apparent that FB followed a kind of developmental model. Many of the failed ventures jumped right in with sites that were open to the general public, then had major glitches that their public was rather unforgiving for. FB, on the other hand, started small-a very limited audience of peers. I imagine many of the quirks were worked out during those college only clientele years. Then they added businesses, a broader base and different expectations. Again, more quirks worked out. Then, finally, the world. FB came to the masses a more seasoned social network. FB is an example of what Wellman wrote about in the second article, the internet as a place where the people interact with others who are already part of their lives. Access to FB, and other social media, can be impacted by the other topic addressed by Wellman—the digital divide. Having access to high speed internet (or any internet) at home or school is often determined by socioeconomic status. The final article, by Junco and Cole-Avent, was perfect in every way since our professor was the co-author . Just kidding—this article provided a broader overview than done by Boyd and Ellison. This article discussed all technology utilized by students, not just social media. It looked at social networks, blogs, instant messaging, cell phones, and virtual words. The context for the review of these technologies was the world of student affairs. I think this is an area for further research-as I posted about last week, administrators often call for technology to be integrated into school websites, recruiting, student support, and classroom instruction without a plan or the financial backing to make it successful. The question I would ask is:What technologies have the biggest impact when used effectively in student retention?

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About englecm

I am an academic advisor at a college in rural WNY,