Create Online Presence With Posterous

I remember hearing about Posterous when it first came out.  It was nice, but at the time didn’t really stick out above all of the other social sites coming out at the time.  However, I took another look at Posterous when a student in a class I am adjuncting featured it in a project.  What a difference a few years make!

Posterous is a service that allows you to update all of your social sites through an email.  It is designed to be intuitive – so if you attach pictures, they will get posted in your Flickr account.  Videos can go into YouTube.  But, a text post won’t end up in some weird corner of either one.  You can also update blogs like WordPress and your attached images and video go into the post, too.

The two features I am digging the most are site-specific emails and groups.  Usually, one email will go to all the sites that you set-up for autopost.  Don’t want your short Twitter update to post to your Drupal blog?  Just send an email to twitter@posterous.com.  Your little tweet only posts to twitter.  You can also combine emails, like twitter+jaiku@posterous.com.

The group feature is really nice.  Just invite other contributors and have them send emails to a bit more specific email address that identifies your group.   Any one’s email can then go out to a whole slew of social sites (great for organizations, school news, or conferences) in a matter of seconds.  Or, make your group private and host a class that way (you don’t have to autopost anywhere if you don’t want).  Every post goes out to all contributors by email, and you can comment by just replying to the email.  Any pictures or videos added are intuitively inserted into the post.

It will even update your FaceBook status, or load pics/videos into FaceBook.

As you can guess, this is a great all-in-one tool for mobile blogging.  Posterous itself can act as your blog, or it can push your posts out to most major blogging platforms.

Now I wish we could see Posterous pluck SocialThing away from AOL before it is totally killed and become a one stop place to post and follow all of your networks.  They would need some kind of comment tracking system for that, because I would hate to have to keep up with comments on all the sites the support.  Or maybe that can be an idea for future features – a way to sync comments from all the sites they support.

Matt Crosslin

Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

Problems With Google Highlight The Dangers of Being an EduPunk

Every time I talk about using Web2.0 in education with someone, or even being a do-it-yourself EduPunk in general, I always throw in a little disclaimer at the end: “just be careful what you use, because one of those sites that you base your entire class on could be gone tomorrow.”  I usually get this “yeah, right” look from them, or even a “I’ll just use Google – that will always be safe” response.  Truth is, I never really believed it myself.

Oh, how the times have changed in the 4 months since I last said that.  It seems like Google is actually leading the charge in cutting down sites educators might use.  Google is shutting down sites?  Excuse me while I check the forecast for Hades right quick.

First it was Lively, now several other minor services have been closed completely or just put on the shelf (i.e. no further development).  Lively was probably the only closure to hurt education in anyway – even though that probably only applied to the bleeding edge of education.  Jaiku, with the ability to create groups that micro-bloggers could post to (versus the only two options on Twitter: everyone or one person), probably had the most educational potential.  Jaiku is apparently going open source, so maybe it will re-appear as something better later (but we EduGeeks thought Jaiku was so much better than Twitter…  sigh).  Google Notebook was probably meant to have educational potential but never really went anywhere.  TechCrunch has a good summary article if you want to see if your favorite Google side project is toast.

What this means for educators is: be careful!  Something that you rely on heavily for instruction could be gone tomorrow.  Unfortunaelty, this also means that more instructors are probably going to go with the most popular tool for their needs, even if they find another service that is a better fit.  And I can’t say I would blame them.  This would just mean that there is a smaller chance we will be seeing new ideas popping up online.

Matt Crosslin

Matt is currently the Learning Innovation Coordinator with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His research focuses on Learning Theory, Innovation, and learner empowerment. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.

Twitter vs. Jaiku

John Swords (aka Johnny Ming from the very informative SL podcast SecondCast) posted a very interesting comparison of Twitter/Jaiku and Myspace/Facebook — the problems the first in each pair has been experiencing recently, and how the second has handled similar circumstances in a much better way.

For those who’ve been using Twitter recently, you know that the past couple of days have been rough for avid Twitterers. (Or are we Tweeters?) Web pages not coming up. Losing the connection between Twitter and Google Talk. Etc. As I pull up the Jaiku homepage to fill in my registration info, I feel fickle technology tester jumping from one toy to the next. Oh well. At least I can feed my Twitter feed into my Jaiku feed. *sigh*

Katrina Adams

Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.

Twitterers of Note

As Matt and I are trying to figure out this whole “twitter thing”, today I decided to go out and see what big names I could find who are also twittering away. Besides your favorite Edugeek Journalists (or should we call ourselves “Edugeekers”? Or just “Edugeeks”?…), below is a list of Twitterers of note (in no particular order) that I was able to find.

*I’m not quite sure if Google is legit or not. However, myself and 31 others have signed on as followers, just in case.

**Not sure about MTV, either. But they’ve added an icon to their account, so they *must* be legit!

***NOTE: BBC has been *very* active using Twitter. I know I’ve at least two other BBC Twitter accounts pop up — BBCPersian and BBCVietnamese.

Looking at the list, understandably, the big news orgs are jumping on the bandwagon. It’s a really good way of getting breaking news without cluttering up your email. Interestingly, the Democrats are in there as well, but currently only John Edwards is actively twittering away. And of note are the number of (I guess you would call them…) twitter squatters. George W. Bush‘s Twitter page is humorous.

I tried to find academic institutions using Twitter, but to no avail. Honestly, though, I’m having a hard time figuring out how Twitter might be effective in education. Sure, it’ll be great for us when we’re attending conferences and want to twitter about some great new tool or concept or research, but how else can this be used? Maybe online students can twitter about their progress on projects? Q&A Twitter groups for classes?

So anyway, who’s missing from my list? Let me know!

Katrina Adams

Howdy folks! I’m an Instructional Designer at UT Dallas. I have a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Angelo State University and a Master’s in Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas. I’ve been working in edtech for 11 years. Hmm… what else? I’m a *huge* fan of that little Irish band called U2, and I’m a bigtime Firefly/Serenity advocate.