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Connecting Academics to the Social Web

Posted by acsislab on June 8, 2007

ACSIS Video #2 (see the ACSIS multimedia page for Video #1)


Posted in Academics, ACSIS, Education, Social Media, Virtual Capital | Leave a Comment »

Upcoming article in “The Teacher” « The Equity and Technology Blog

Posted by acsislab on June 5, 2007

Upcoming article in “The Teacher” « The Equity and Technology Blog

Posted in ACSIS, Education, Policy, Publishing, Social Media | Leave a Comment »

Virtual Capital

Posted by charlenegagnon on May 24, 2007

Virtual capital is a concept that tries to capture the value of the non-material resources and skills one possesses to navigate their way through the Social Web.  Virtual capital is made up of technical and personal resources.  Technical resources are those related to the competence with which one uses the software of social media, understanding the language of the technology, and the ability to transfer technical skills from one application to another through logic.  Personal resources are those related to the networking aspects of the Social Web, reflexive virtual identity management, and the ability to form meaningful relations of trust with others online.

Virtual capital is contextual, that is it can only be generated within the Social Web, or Web 2.0.  Likewise, virtual capital has the most value within the Social Web.  It could, however be convertible into other forms of economic or non-economic capital, like human, social, political and cultural capital, depending on an individual’s, or organization’s ability to see the potential of the conversion.

In fact, the virtual capital framework draws from the pre-existing sociological frameworks of social capital, cultural capital, human capital and identity capital, taking the relevant aspects of each and applying them to the “virtual” world. 

Posted in Social Media, Virtual Capital, web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

A (very) brief history of the social web

Posted by acsislab on May 23, 2007

Social media has been around as long as the Internet.  In fact, social media can be thought of as grassroots applications of the Internet.  It began quietly in the 1980’s on campuses around the world, students and tech geeks meeting and communicating by email, in MUDs, and LISTSERV, the first electronic mailing list system.


The use of social media continued on quietly through the bubble in the late 1990’s.   While corporations tried to insert business models built for non-Internet products and services; user-supported websites like eBay (1995) and (1994) were slowly, but steadily, increasing in popularity and use.   External corporations continued to lose money, until the dot-com bubble burst in 2001. 


Even though the Internet’s marketability was uncertain, individuals and social organizations continued using the undeveloped tools of social media for the facilitation of communication and interaction.   In 1999, the mass protest at the WTO meeting in Seattle was, perhaps, the first large-scale application of social media.  Using rudimentary forms like email, websites, public forums and listservs, social media facilitated the congregation of over 1400 international organizations on a single location towards a collective purpose. 


Online diaries or journals were also becoming increasingly popular, and although they only received the formal title “blog” in 1999, there were numerous examples of personal websites and webrings which shared similar characteristics of the current blog since as far back as 1994.  When Matt Drudge broke the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal story in 1998 on his pre-blog site known as “The Drudge Report” everybody, including the traditional media, started to pay attention.   


Although the business world was still uncertain of the marketability of the Internet, by 2003, corporations were coming around from the mistakes made during the first dot-com bubble.  They were beginning to use the medium as the audience was using it.  In 2004, O’Reilly Media carved out an effective online presence and marketing strategy which was dubbed Web 2.0.  Web 2.0 was the business model that really opened up the Internet to the dynamic site of market research and advertising which we know it as today.  It was a model that captured the essence of what social media had been doing all along: using the Internet.

Posted in Social Media, web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

What are social media and Web 2.0?

Posted by charlenegagnon on May 23, 2007

Social media is a term which defines the current use of user-created, participatory media online.  Social media is made up of communication processes as well as the technical, online tools which facilitate dynamic interaction. The processes of social media revolve around communication, participation, organization and collaboration.  The tools of social media include, but are not limited to blogs, social networking sites, podcasts, hyperlinks, open source software and code, website tags,  and listservs, to name a few.   

Social media is mainly a feature of the so-called Web 2.0, which has been described as being the “next generation” of the Internet.  However, as pointed out in Wikipedia: “Though the term suggests a new version of the Web, it does not refer to an update to World Wide Web technical specifications, but to changes in the ways systems developers have used the web platform.” 

Social media is not a new phenomena of the Internet.  It has been used among a select group of individuals, advertisers and political groups for decades now, those who have always be able to see the potential in the network. In fact the principles and practices are grassroots ideas for those who have been using the Internet to network and communicate for over two decades now.  It’s not that Web 2.0 has sprung up from nothing; it is that the architecture of it has been built through rich social discourse.  The “experts” are self-taught.  The institution has been absent.  As chaotic as the Internet seems, a hierarchal order of knowledge is emerging through the multitude of voices.  It is one that is user-created, distributed and consumed.   

Posted in Social Media, web 2.0 | 1 Comment »