secret handshake

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I just had a chat about TinyUrl. Lots of us use it, usually for very specific things. I wondered if it would be smart, based on online discussions of other options, to come up with a general recommendation. The reality is that if someone knows to ask about it—naming it, finding it, and finding a use for it—they probably can find an answer without us. There's lots of painful truth there.

What if, though, what if out there in academe there's a faculty member who wants to "get wired"—join the club, take full advantage of club membership, dive into the 21rst century digital world—but they're completely immersed in the seventeenth century's poetry on a completely involving professional level. Can we help? Can we give them a few short steps, some recommendations, a cheatsheet for membership?

What I'm picturing is some basic recommendations- like, come up with a login and password that you can use to represent you professionally in any and every online community. Always use that. Use this RSS aggregator and import these feeds. (No choices, just our best recommendation with a sidelink to the "whys".) Join de.lic.ious and create a network. Do this to add colleagues to your networks. Read your aggregator everyday and do this if pointers in those posts lead to potentially useful information.

Real basic. Real simple. Very short and limited. No lengthy explanations so we feel smart. Side links to more information if ever desired. Like an iPod, only it's a procedure not a device. Make it a pdf download, a web page, an email. Link to it so anybody can find it anywhere.

2 Comments

Cole said:

Perfect idea -- short, simple, to the point. No over the top discussion. Can you take a shot at what it is? I'll work with you on it.

dave said:

I'll do what I can, of course; though I don't have the knowledge or skill set needed.
It will keep me quiet for a while!

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