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Social media monitoring tool, Social Analytics and Social Media Engagement software as a tool and for easy integration into CRM and Marketing.
I've been playing with Talkwalker. Like Google Alerts. Simple, easy to set up and test. I haven't yet delved into its analytic capabilities. Good candidate for your infotention toolkit.
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"Howard Rheingold – the author of Net Smart: How to Thrive Online (2012) – recently argued that one of the most important skills to master in today’s world was the ability to focus your attentionwhile searching on the Web. He suggests that every learner should write down the three things that they want to get done BEFORE heading online. Then, they should make conscious choices about what to click on while surfing, only selecting sites that are likely to help them move forward towards their final goal. Use this handout to help guide YOUR choices while working online today.
First the Mind/Shift: How We Learn blog published a post about some of my infotention ideas, then a teacher made this handy hand-out for students.
Howard has been interrogating digital phenomena for decades. More good insights.
"Healthy online reading habits require constant gardening. Every Internet company provides us a little plot to tend for, and that’s how they keep our attention where they want it. But the soil is pretty gross in most of them, and the seeds are tightly regulated. If we want to read healthily, we have to build our own info gardens.
The most important gardening task is deciding what to plant — that is, what sources to read — and that’s a personal choice. The topics, tone, and perspective of your information sources are for you to determine. But the bulk of the work is in building and tending the garden, and this guide will suggest some tools and methods to help. And with the gardening work out of the way, you’ll spend most of your time cooking, eating, and sharing. That’s the delicious part, and this guide will offer my best recipes."
Succinct, relevant, practical tips on online literacy skills from a skilled infotention practitioner.
"A notable example is The Nun Study that suggests that positive changes in lifestyle might help to maintain your cognitive abilities. The Nun Study is a longitudinal study started in 1986. A group of nuns took a battery of cognitive tests on a yearly basis. They also donated their brains to science.
The Nun Study confirms the importance of being physically active as you age. Physical activity, like walking four times a week, improves blood flow to all of the body, including the brain. Being physically active has been shown to increase the blood flowing to your hippocampus, the area of the brain that is responsible for memory."
I learned about "email apnea" -- holding your breath at times when you are doing your email or concentrating on composing something online -- from Linda Stone. And when I looked into the attention-training side of infotention, the intersection of contemplative meditations on the breath and contemporary neuroscience studies of the connection between breath and intention/attention stood out. Online attention is too disembodied. I moved to a standing desk a year ago and I love it. I have an outdoor standing desk and do my work standing, barefoot on the lawn, as often as possible. The studies noted in this article offer evidence that physical activity can improve cognitive function. So getting up and moving around, noticing when you are holding your breath, changing your position are essential parts of mindful infotention -- knowing where your body is while your mind is in abstraction-land is part of metacognitive awareness essential to mindful use of digital media.
Google made one of the biggest-ever changes in its search engine, as part of a shift away from matching keywords on Web pages to understanding the meaning of search queries.
Knowing how to find the answers you need swiftly is a key infotention skill (one that will become even more important when Google Glass and other heads-up displays with voice activation will make it possible to pose queries when you are away from your computer or even without taking out your smartphone). Knowing how to determine whether the answers you get are legit is a different but related info-skill: crap detection.
I went to a Google Apps For Education Summit last weekend. They did not say much about these changes, but interesting ideas were shared among participants.
You may have heard about Google Hummingbird. It's an important innovation with the Google search algorithm that understands the meaning of the search query rather than simply using the keywords - sometimes called Semantic Search. They have also announced that users can now conduct searches on hashtags.
As Social Media and Search become more integrated, Social Search will positively impact the effectiveness of Social Media Marketing
More on the changes made to Google Search...
"Significant gains in writing productivity can be gained by a combination of the right kind of practice and the right kind of tools. I’ve written about many of these tools and techniques previously, but I’ve organised all the advice here into a three step program, with links to useful resources.
Review your writing tools
Often the ‘industry standard’ software is not the best tool for the job. Take Word processors as just one example. You must move back and forth over the text to achieve flow and make sure everything is in the right place. If you can move around your documents more easily your writing speed will increase. Unfortunately the industry default, MS Word, does not, out of the box, perform this task well.
Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know this is the key reason I am a huge Scrivener fan. Scrivener is a different kind of word processor that enables you to write ‘chunks’ and move them around easily..."
This is about infotention -- "combination of the right kind of practice and the right kind of tools." I share thesis whisperer's enthusiasm for Scrivener for long projects or even short writing projects that have many moving parts.
writing faster in class is a constant battle in lectures then learning how to write faster seems like a legit tool to use in everyday life.
"If you use Evernote, I think you’ll like this. It can take your on-line Evernote database and quickly build a mind map of the notebooks, reflecting the way you’ve organized them. Then you can penetrate to the individual items.
Myself, I’m frustrated that Evernote doggedly sticks to the two-level folders way of organizing notebooks. Until that improves, I guess many mind mappers will be similarly frustrated. But at least Mohiomap can take the structure of the notebooks within notebooks and set it out visually in a map."
I'm a newcomer to Evernote, but finding it to be a great augmentation of my short-term memory. Together with CopyPaste Pro, it's one information-handling utility that I use dozens if not hundreds of times a day. I have not yet tried this tool for mindmapping my Evernote notebooks, but I agree that the two-level folders is a limitation.
"I regularly use Twitter’s own search as well as TweetDeck and Kred (once I am logged in) to scan and search the hashtags and keywords.
But, Topsy is a game changer.
The free comprehensive index and social analysis tool, searches keywords, hashtags and @ signs from minutes ago or from across a span of years, retrieving your social needles from millions of haystacks of billions of tweets.
Topsy is a way to instantly discover breaking news and just released press-releases and track current conversations and just posted media."
On the info-tools side of infotention, the ability to tune in to specific and continually updated streams of information from social media about specific topics is an important skill. I've used and recommended Topsy in my infotention courses, since Twitter has a history of changing access to its own tweetstream search engine.
During the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, Topsy and Twitter created the Twitter Political Index (or Twindex), which provided a daily gauge of voters’ sentiment for each candidate as expressed on Twitter. Using mentions of their last name or direct @mentions of their Twitter handle, the Twindex tracked sentiment for Obama and Romney from May 1 until Election day, showing when each gained momentum in the race.
Twitter used Topsy’s content and metrics API data to create a custom dashboard to help capture the nuance of public opinion.
Para buscar información en twitter desde 2007. Para explorar temas al instante. Prueba #viacatalana, por ejemplo. Veras los twitts del último dia, la ultima semana, el último més 413.000. Las fotos, los links. Un invento!
Great tool to gain data / intelligence / trend / emotions from Twitter . The social analytics section is a great tool to compare keywords and concepts.
"Commercial companies have claimed for years that computer games can make the user smarter, but have been criticized for failing to show that improved skills in the game translate into better performance in daily life1. Now a study published this week in Nature2 — the one in which Linsey participated — convincingly shows that if a game is tailored to a precise cognitive deficit, in this case multitasking in older people, it can indeed be effective."
The possibility that attentional practices can be trained through deliberate practice is fundamental to infotention. I chronicled a certain amount of research into this in Net Smart. Now the prestigious journal Nature has published a study that lends support to the claim that online games (this one is called "Neuroracer") can be used for attention training (in this case, helping older people improve their capacity to multitask.)
A lot of attention is focused these days on managing distraction and avoiding multitasking. But there are few lives, practices, professions, situations, in which it is even possible to completely eliminate multitasking. Knowing when not to multitask is essential, but knowing how to multitask more effectively is also essential.
It is an argument that continues because it is relevant.
As usual, Robin Good is tracking the cutting edge in info-discovery. In addition to RSS feeds of persistent news searches and other kinds of searches and social media monitoring services like talkwalker.com, Ping.it looks like a potentially useful infotention tool (off to test it...)
Ping.it (review), a web app which allows you to monitor and discover relevant news in your areas of interest, has just introduced a new powerful feature with makes it possible to track any relevant content being published around a specific keyword.
Just specify the set of keywords or keyphrase you want to track, and almost instantly Ping.it provides you with a preview of relevant content items. Probes can be tailored to your specific needs, by applying specific search parameters and social popularity filters. It is also possible to exclude specific keywords.
I find Ping.it and its keyword monitoring facility very effective and capable of bringing me only high quality results in my field of interest. I would not hesitate to recommend it to those who need to seriously monitor any topic.
Find out more about this feature: http://ping.it/blog/go-beyond-rss-with-keyword-probes/
Free to use.
Try Ping.it: http://ping.it/
cool curation tool!
"Finely-woven, globe-spanning digital networks, together with the radical miniaturization and embedding of information, communication, and sensor electronics into almost everything, have made human-to-computer bonds truely ubiquitous and pervasive. Accordingly, our approach to human-computer interaction is reversing: while HCI previously addressed issues related to how humans initiate interaction with ICT systems, we now increasingly observe ICT system designs that also approach humans. Within this "human computer confluence", human attention—more than processor speed, communication bandwidth, and storage resources—becomes the single most critical (yet least understood) resource in pervasive system design today.
While previously considered a mental variable that could not be quantified and measured, attention now constitutes a fundamental element of psychological research. Today, everyone has an intuitive understanding of what attention is, how it can be assessed, and how it impacts perception, memory, expectation, awareness, relevance, decision-making, and other behaviours. This special issue focusses on novel approaches to attention modelling, attention representation, attention sensing, recognition or estimation, together with attention management as a theoretical and practical principle for designing Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing systems."
The proceedings of this conference are supposed to be available in Jan-Mar 2014. This might be a key step in Engelbart's vision of bootstrapping collective IQ through concurrent development of thinking tools, study of how people use those tools, and redesign of both the tools and the language, methodology, and training that go with it. This is probably too technical for non-specialists, but it could be a weak signal indicating an emerging trend in attention-centered design of information technologies.
"Technology is what is now being blamed for multitasking overload. In some situations, that is certainly the case. In other situations, the issue might be too much work, an inefficient office, or just boredom with the job or school work. We can change some of those conditions and not others—but we cannot even sort out what is causing our frustration, exhaustion, or sense of failure until we understand what multitasking is. Once we realize that multitasking itself is the human condition—not an outcome only of too much email or social networking—then we can find practical ways to address the real problem, not the mythical one."
Cathy Davidson's "Now You See It" is an infotentionist's must-read. This blog post is more than a year old, but worth considering as a counterpoint to the experimental evidence that multitasking degrades performance. Maybe performance on single tasks isn't always the point. Like it or not, we live a world that requires multiple attentional antennae just to walk down the street (which you definitely should not do while looking at your phone).
"Technology is what is now being blamed for multitasking overload. In some situations, that is certainly the case. In other situations, the issue might be too much work, an inefficient office, or just boredom with the job or school work."
Technology is not the sole driver of multitasking. It is a contributor and it probably appears to be accelerated in today's world. Most research indicates multitasking is not positive.
Excellent article that I have read more than once,and has certainly challenged me to think about so many themes: Leadership, Communication, Teaching, etc.
Thank you Ivon for sharing with us!!!
I particularly agree with this statement: "We can blame technology for our inefficiency but the real issue is competing desires that yield competing desires on our attention."
Are we leveraging technology and running it to fit our lives....or is technology running us?
What do you think?
a good read! just like the way the examples would love to read the book
"The increasing volume, complexity, and interconnectedness of published studies in neuroscience make it difficult to determine what is known, what is uncertain, and how to contribute effectively to one’s field. There is a pressing need to develop automated strategies to help researchers navigate the vastness of the published record. Simplified, interactive, and unbiased representations of previous findings (i.e., research maps) would be invaluable in preparing research surveys, in guiding experiment planning, and in evaluating research plans and contributions. Principles normally used in weighing research findings, including reproducibility and convergence, could be automated and incorporated into research maps. Here, we discuss a series of recent advances that are bringing us closer than ever to being able to derive systematic, comprehensive, but also interactive and user-friendly research maps. These maps could revolutionize the way we review the literature, plan experiments, and fund and publish science."
In April, 1945, Vannevar Bush foresaw and kicked off the development of information tools to help navigate the knowledge that modern science has been creating at an accelerating rate, when he noted in "As We May Think" that "The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships." In this article in a neuroscience journal, the authors describe a tool that could help scientists and other knowledge-seekers deal with this problem: "research maps."
"Decugis tells me that Scoop.it was created as a better response to an “information overload” environment. Typically, Internet sites use sophisticated algorithms to find huge volumes of information and then drown us in it. Little of that information is directly related to an individual user’s needs or interests.
“Human beings aren’t predictable,” Decugis says. “We realized algorithms alone aren’t great at predicting the content you will want.” Scoop.it’s solution has been to combine the best of computer brains with human brains. A community of real humans works to screen and curate information so that it flows to the right channels.
Real humans can use real judgment, real intuition and real common sense to identify what other real humans are craving—even as they use a certain amount of electronic wizardry to help sort through a rushing river of data. “We don’t just publish content,” Decugis says. “We rank it and optimize it.” This model may be a solid bet for reducing the havoc of information overload."
I realize that it's a bit recurseive to Scoop an article on Scoop.it, but one of the reasons I use Scoop.it is as an infotention tool. I collect a lot of material through the wide end of my info-tunnel, mostly bookmarking and tagging simultaneously via Diigo and Delicious. For very complex and organized sets of curated resources, I use Pearltrees. But when I want to bring a set of resources, framed by my micro-insights, to a specific public, Scoop.it fills the bill. The process of composing a Scoop is an infotentional process -- why should I select this resource to share from my wider collection? What do I want to choose as a represenative snippet? What do I want to say about why this resource is worthy of attention? These questions are all part of both the curation process and infotention self-training.
Don't MissAbout to be an amazing conversation between GREAT thinkers on Kutcher, Scoop.it, Web 3.0 and the meaning of life here on G+: http://bit.ly/195EPQZ I know this because my friend @MarkTraphagen just bated the trapped :). Weigh In! Scoop.it Rocks Forbes asks us to bet on a smarter web. Not sure that is a bet I'm willing to make. Forbes is asking the wrong question in the wrong way. I love that they are half promoting Scoop.it as the path to a smarter web, but the zero sum nature of their questioning seems limited and goofystupid. Goofystupid because the web is the land of AND not OR. We can have millions following Ashton Kutcher and the elegant and beautiful can exist for those willing to find it. Scoop.it makes elegance and grace easier to find. The one (Kutcher's millions of followers) is not necessarily a sign of the apocalypse nor does it subtract from the other (our ability to find and connect with "like me" tribes. I write this knowing that drawing an imaginary line between good and evil is a common practice (one I've used too), but the web is capable of rewarding small, medium and large. AND the rewards often fit perfectly :). Kutcher gets the millions of fans he wants and little guys like me will get several people to several hundred a day who contribute, think and expand the dialogue about what Internet marketing is and can be. Seems fair to me. That Scoop.it is our tool of choice isn't surprising since it helps curate content. Curation is more important than creation for a host or reasons (greater reach, more efficient content marketing testing and cheap). Yes Scoop.it ROCKS AND Kutcher has millions of followers. That is NOT the seventh sign and we don't all need to hoard water and can goods :).
Data Mining Reveals the Secret to Getting Good AnswersMIT Technology ReviewAccording to Alexa, the site is the 3rd most popular Q&A site in the world and 79th most popular website overall.
I can't imagine what coding was like before Stack Overflow. These days, problem-solving in coding involves knowing the right question to ask in order to find an answer. It's not just coding. Knowing how to get good answers to questions has become a primary infotention skill now that search engines are so much more intelligent and Q&A sites like Stack Overflow and Quora have become popular and useful.
"The most consistent and least controversial finding in the literature is that working memory training programs produce reliable short-term improvements in both verbal and visuospatial working memory skills. On average, the effect sizes range from moderate to large, although the long-term sustainability of these effects is much more ambiguous. These effects are called near transfer effects, because they don’t transfer very far beyond the trained domain of cognitive functioning.
What are far more controversial (and far more interesting) are far transfer effects. One particular class of far transfer effects that cognitive psychologists are particularly interested in are those that show increases in fluid intelligence: the deliberate but flexible control of attention to solve novel “on the spot” problems that cannot be perfomed by relying exclusively on previously learned habits, schemas, and scripts."
A cornerstone of infotention is that attention and cognitive skills can be improved through training. Most research into this claim is recent, and as with all scientific research, there is some controversy. This article provides a good mary sof recent research that appears to support the efficacy of "brain training."
This is an additional view of "fluid intelligence" along with Gardner's multiple intelligences. Many theories that considers a "far transfer effects" are related to Krashen's Input Hypothesis, i+1 and Affective Filter Hypothesis. Dr. Krashen's theories are based in language acquistion but I consider them more in regards to learning and cognitive training.
Keep tabs on the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives with two new congressional vote Triggers, now part of The New York Times Channel.
IFTTT ("If this, then that) is definitely a power tool on the info-tool side of infotention. You create "triggers" for events (such as, but not limited too, keyword searches and RSS feeds) and then make something happen -- a tweet, an email, a bookmark, a Facebook status update. Automatically tweet Instagram pix you or others take, or send them to Flickr. These combinations of triggers and actions are socially shared as "recipes" -- roll your own and/or shop for existing recipes. This particular recipe for keeping track of selected congressional votes is just one example -- this blog has new ones often (as do other users).
Once accused of being absent-minded, the founder of American Psychology, William James, quipped that he was really just present-minded to his own thoughts.Most recent studies depict ...
Most of the talk about attention and media has been about the deleterious effects of distraction; most certainly, there are many instances in which this is the case (in particular, the horror of texting while driving). Much of this discussion and general discourse has looked at the wandering mind as a distraction from focal awareness, a perhaps pleasurable but inevitably counter-productive foible. The author of this literature review in the Scientific American blog takes exception. It depends on context. Indeed, mind-wandering may be essential.
"By catering to diminished attention, we are making a colossal and unconscionable mistake. The world is a complex and subtle place, and efforts to understand it and improve it must match its complexity and subtlety. We are treating as unalterable a characteristic that can be changed. Yes, there is no point in publishing a long article if no one will read it to the end. The question is, what does it take to get people to read things to the end?
The key point for teachers and principals and parents to realize is that maintaining attention is a skill. It has to be trained, and it has to be practiced. If we cater to short attention spans by offering materials that can be managed with short attention spans, the skill will not develop. The “attention muscle” will not be exercised and strengthened. It is as if you complain to a personal trainer about your weak biceps and the trainer tells you not to lift heavy things. Just as we don’t expect people to develop their biceps by lifting two-pound weights, we can’t expect them to develop their attention by reading 140-character tweets, 200-word blog posts, or 300-word newspaper articles."
I have one very small but very important difference with the thesis of this article. Where the author says "we can't expect them to develop their attention by reading 140-character tweets..." I would insert the word "just," as in "we can't expect them to develop their attention just by reading 140-character tweets..." Attention and attentional skills are vulnerable and trainable along a spectrum of infotentional situations. And 18 minute videos about big ideas are a legitimate form of cultural expression, with a legitimate place on that spectrum. Where I do agree with the author is with his main prescription -- yes, I require my students to blog and tweet. I also expect them to spend hours each week reading longer and often considerably complex texts.
"Hold on. What about the work of Jason Watson and David Strayer who researched “supertaskers.” They studied 200 subjects in a controlled fashion, and determined that 2.5 percent could in fact drive a car in a difficult simulation while performing a complex set of cognitive tasks (so-called OSPAN tasks). Those researchers stated (see Supertaskers: Profiles In Extraordinary Multitasking Ability):
Supertaskers are not a statistical fluke. The single-task performance of supertaskers was in the top quartile, so the superior performance in dual-task conditions cannot be attributed to regression to the mean. However, it is important to note that being a supertasker is more than just being good at the individual tasks. While supertaskers performed well in single-task conditions, they excelled at multi-tasking.
This research is continuously overlooked, especially when someone comes up with some results that seem to confirm the conventional wisdom that a) multitasking is impossible, b) people are bad at task switching, and 3) it can’t be learned."
Is supertasking learnable? Nobody knows. I don't dispute the research by Nass et. al., and one of the first things I teach my students about infotention is that if they think they are more efficient when they are multitasking, they are probably wrong. I also talk about goals other than efficiency, about situations in which it is necessary to multitask (ask any aviator or parent of an infant), and about learning how to cut down on the cognitive costs of task-switching by working on it. This excellent piece goes through much of the scientific research and weighs its significance.
"Metacognition can be considered a synonym for reflection in applied learning theory.
However, metacognition is a very complex phenomenon. It refers to the cognitive control and monitoring of all sorts of cognitive processes like perception, action, memory, reasoning or emoting. It is also plausible that control over such cognitive processes can be either exiplit (people are aware of it, i.e. they have "epistemic feelings" or infer things) or implicit (they don't reflect)."
This edutech wiki is listed as a "stub," but it contains a very good start of listings of typologies, strategies, knowledge types, and references.
Changing the Future of First Response Cooperation
The external infotention environment includes dashboards. This from Pacific Northwest Laboratory, supported by US Dept. of Homeland Security, appears to be a dashboard for people to respond to complex emergencies -- infotention meets augmented collective intelligence.
"How does a quarterback think so fast?
We can understand that by looking at other disciplines. Like quarterbacks, radiologists are experts in seeing things quickly. What is invisible to us is obvious to them. They can diagnose a disease after looking at a chest X-ray for a fifth of a second, the time it takes to make a single voluntary eye movement. As they become more trained, they move their eyes less until all they have to do is glance at a few locations for a few moments to find the information they need.
This is called “selective attention.” It is a hallmark of expertise.
Adriaan de Groot, a chess master and psychologist, studied expertise by showing a chess position to players of different ranks. He found that grandmasters evaluated few moves and re-evaluated them less often than other players. One grandmaster evaluated one move twice, then evaluated another and played it. It was the best possible move. This was generally true: Grandmasters never considered moves that were not one of the top five best possible moves. Other players considered moves as poor as twenty-second-best. The less expert the player, the more options they considered, the more evaluations they made, and the worse their eventual move was.
Less thinking led to better solutions. More thinking led to worse solutions. Were grandmasters making their moves by inspiration?
No. Experts do not think less. They think more efficiently. The practiced brain eliminates poor solutions before they reach the conscious mind."
Metacognition is the interior aspect of infotention, just as managing information streams is the exterior aspect. Training one's attention online involves a great deal of conscious practice regarding what not to pay attention to, what not to think about.
When I wrote Smart Mobs in 2001, I ended up with pages of text that I had culled, both quotes and my own drafts. I highlighted key passages and then underlined the core of the key passages. I arranged the pages in stacks of related material and created indexes for the stacks on index cards. Then I shuffled the stacks around on my desk. Scrivener has a useful index card view. Gingko combines mindmapping with indexcarding. When trying to organize complex, clumping collections of info, this could be a useful infotention tool -- I haven't tried it yet.
CoCreation Tool for Design Thinking
We need more tools to fight back against our distractions.
A venture investor looks at the opportunities and obstacles in trying to create new tools to help people deal with information distraction online.
"The Precision Information Environment (PIE) Activity Awareness Environment was designed to improve the information synthesis process by bringing in multiple, disparate data feeds and sources, extracting features of interest and visualizing the information to give emergency response professionals insight and situational understanding in a timely and intuitive manner. The system also applies a user recommendation system to help filter the data based on the needs and activities of the user thereby giving them the right information at the right time. http://precisioninformation.org"
Infotention comes to a community for whom it is literally a life and death manner. This video introduces a dashboard for emergency response professionals.
The Precision Information Environment (PIE) Activity Awareness Environment was designed to improve the information synthesis process by bringing in multiple, disparate data feeds and sources, extracting features of interest and visualizing the information to give emergency response professionals insight and situational understanding in a timely and intuitive manner. The system also applies a user recommendation system to help filter the data based on the needs and activities of the user thereby giving them the right information at the right time. http://precisioninformation.org