Hello St Louis

Gateway Arch, St Louis, MO

This semester is my internship semester. Instead of having any classes, every final year education student goes out and teaches under the supervision of a cooperating teacher at a school, gaining experience in front of a classroom and putting to test the countless ideas, theories and methods we have been introduced to so far.

Usually, we are placed somewhere within Saskatchewan. However, a unique opportunity came my way after a conversation with Alec Couros (@courosa) who is a professor at the University of Regina. During a workshop/presentation he was doing, he mentioned this amazing school in St Louis doing some incredible things with technology and made a comment about hoping to send interns there some day.

Soon after, I tweeted Alec asking him more. He referred me to Elizabeth Helfant (@ehelfant), who works with technology in the upper (high) school at the school. For the past few months we have been tweeting back and forth figuring out the details in order to make this work.

Finally, after finalizing some details I embarked on a 2091 km (1299 miles) drive to St Louis, MO. I arrived and have been in meetings and PD sessions (I plan to blog more about what I’ve learned in a later post) all week learning the ins and outs of the school. Needless to say, I’m really excited for classes to start and finally start to try out some the ideas I have developed. I am planning on blogging my experience here over the time I am here.

I felt the need to share this story to illustrate how powerful social media tools can be and the doors they can open.   Had it not been for Twitter, I would not be here right now. Thank you Twitter.

Image credit: digitizedchaos on Flickr

Tweetdeck

The box that pops up when Tweetdeck updates

The box that pops up when Tweetdeck updates

Since Dean told us about using Twitter in ECMP, I’ve been trying it out to see how I might find it helpful in the future.  I’ve been slowly trying to establish a PLN like Dean and our presenters have talked about many times.  At first I found it to be somewhat of a pain to constantly check the Twitter site.  Then, I’m not exactly sure where I heard about it, but I learned about a program called Tweetdeck.  A little skeptical, I downloaded the program and began playing around with it.  It was amazing.  It makes using Twitter so much easier.  You simply log in with your twitter account and password and some columns appear.  These columns updates from all of the people you follow, when people mention your name, direct messages, and there is room for you to add any columns you want. Oh, and if you use Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn it works with that too!  You sign in with your Facebook account and can set it up so it shows your all your friends’ updates, all photo updates, all wall posts.  I don’t have a MySpace account, so I’m not exactly sure how it works with MySpace.

The best part of it all, is that you never have to go to these sites.  Whenever something new is posted on any of thema little box will pop up in the corner of your screen and will fade away if you choose to ignore it.  I have found it to be really handy and has made using Twitter alot easier.  Today, Tweetdeck released a new version of the program.  Below is a video of some of the new features.

If you’re at all interested in using Twitter, possibly to develop a PLN, or use Facebook on a regular basis (which I’m sure almost all of my ECMP classmates do) you should definitely try out Tweetdeck.

Unbelievable Social Media Count

I stumbled across this thanks to one of my mentoring teachers on Twitter, Michael Kaechele.  You can find the original post by Gary Hayes on his blog, here.  Using statistics he found across the web, this counter calculates how many social media events have happened.  It figures out how many blog posts have been made, how many tweets tweeted, how many YouTube videos watched, and it goes on and on.  Just check it out below (may not show in Google Reader).

I was really surprised by how many YouTube videos have been watched.  It’s an enormous amount!  Since I started creating this blog post, 114 seconds ago (1:54 mins), 1314812s videos have been watched (the numbers will be different for you since the count starts once you load this page).  I will never come close to watching this in my entire life!  Now at 246 seconds (4:06 mins) there has been $177359 made from global media messaging and data.  That is a lot of money in a short amount of time.

Gary also lists these stats on his page. I’ve reposted them in this post, you can see them here.

  • 20 hours of video uploaded every minute onto YouTube (source YouTube blog Aug 09)
  • Facebook 600k new members per day, and photos, videos per month, 700mill & 4 mill respectively (source Inside Facebook Feb 09)
  • Twitter 18 million new users per year & 4 million tweets sent daily (source TechCrunch Apr 09)
  • iPolicy UK – SMS messaging has a bright future (Aug 09)
  • 900 000 blogs posts put up every day (source Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008)
  • YouTube daily, 96 million videos watched, $1mill bandwidth costs (source Comscore Jul 06 !)
  • UPDATE: YouTube 1Billion watched per day SMH (2009)- counter updated!
  • Second Life 250k virtual goods made daily, text messages 1250 per second (source Linden Lab release Sep 09)
  • Money – $5.5 billion on virtual goods (casual & game worlds) even Facebooks gifts make $70 million annually (source Viximo Aug 09)
  • Flickr has 73 million visitors a month who upload 700 million photos (source Yahoo Mar 09)
  • Mobile social network subscribers – 92.5 million at the end of 2008, by end of 2013 rising to between 641.6-873.1 million or 132 mill annually (source Informa PDF)
  • SMS – Over 2.3 trillion messages will be sent across major markets worldwide in 2008 (source Everysingleoneofus sms statistics)

These stats really blow my mind.  I knew social media was big, just not this big.  These numbers really put into perspective how big social media really is and how much it is part of our world.