David Warlick on the Profile

Profiles have great potential, writes David Warlick:

I’ve mentioned this in some of my presentations, that I do not believe that we – educators older than 30 (arbitrarily chosen age) – truly understand social networks yet.  For instance, we’re trying to grow individual and independent social networks out of every discipline, school level, and just about any other probable community of educational interest.  I’ll bet I’ve been contaced by e-mail or phone call by no fewer than ten people over the past month, each wanting me to see their social network.  “This social network is going to revolutionize physical education!”

What strikes me is that our students make it work with just one.  The three main choices, as far as I know, are MySpace, Bebo, and Facebook, the later seeming to be the one of choice at present.  So why didn’t we figure out how to use Facebook as the social network for NECC.  I looked there for a group for NECC.  I probably won’t do that again :-/

So, anyway, I keep wondering about this.  What’s the point, beyond costing time, which I guess many of our students have more to spend.  It seems to me, that the true potential for all of this, and something that I don’t even think Facebook has truly captured yet, is the profile.  What bothers me about social networks is that they have walls.  It’s a weekness of Ning, in my opinion, that there do not seem to be easy and logical ways for us to connect to each other, based on common interests, regardless of the networks we’ve joined.  There are certainly security issues.  But for me to learn, to grow, to solve problems, and accomplish goals, I need to connect to people and resources that help me do that.

Creating one profile that extends to all of my networks – to all of my spaces intrigues me. Is this the next step? One place? One profile? Many extensions?

Will all of these eventually be one: