There’s A New Microblog in Town: YouAre.com

Work/Learn Flow chart for YouAre.com

Work/Learn Flow chart for YouAre.com

YouAre.com, a new web 2.0 microblogging service, just flashed onto the emerging tech scene this morning through a Web 3.0 tool called Twine.  At present you can only get a private Beta invitation to try it (last heard the first 25 people who read “The Inquisitor” article got a FCFS pass)

Ok, But We Already Have Twitter….

Do you really need another microblogging service?  Well, the folks at indenti.ca seem to think so.  And so do Pownce and Jaiku and a host of others that feature both web and mobile support.  I’m currently testing the indenti.ca product from the web which has a much prettier interface (and doesn’t seem to even know what a “fail whale” is…so far) but it lacks many of the screen orientation familiarity that Twitter has and its brand name appeal.  Plus, a lot of 3rd party add-ons don’t seem to be much interested in it either like they are Twitter…not just yet, though it is gaining regular user converts daily.  But hold the phone….

But As I’ve Said, Here comes ANOTHER microblogging service: YouAre.com

O, Yeah?  And what does it do?  Why should I be interested for my classroom or business?  Well, that’s why we’re here: to help you sort through.  I’m watching the developments of this new kid on the block the same as Twine and The Inquisitor are for one reason: The developers for this launch are taking their time and making sure this product really is robust and usable.  They’re adding the “3rd party” add-ons (goodies) them selves and making YouAre.com convergence-ready with other existing services.

Ok, Bring on the Goodies

Among some of the “goodies” YouAre .com has, well, I’ll let their Flickr photostream show and tell you (and I’m adding a slide-show link, courtesy of YouAre.com and SlideShare to the bottom of this post). In the common language,  YouAre.com converges services like Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Del.icio.us (soon even gmail and twitter contact imports) and their own “special sauce”.  It’s still retains the 140 char-limit (like Twitter), but also includes user profiles (including a Curriculuum Vitae) , DMS and reply support and, of course, you will still be able to follow friends. You can even import content as well as “favorite” items of interest.  But best of all (IMHO) is that users can share video and pictures (non-hosted) on this multum microblog.

So How Do I Use It In My Classroom?

The possibilities for classroom integration have a great deal of potential: from learning tight-sentence structure to sending assignment files, video, image, and text from any location, quickly and efficiently. Conversation, which is where learning takes place, can be initiated externally from the on-site class by the student on location.  Instructors can create students as “embedded reporters” on a week-long assignment, reporting in to the on-site class room or to student workgroups from the “mobile class room”.  Students can create final presentations for class using what they have recorded through the microblog service along with the generated conversations between their fellow students.  They can also add both pertinent video and photos and interviews from “on location” using YouAre.com for that particular assignment.  At the end of the week, students using this new service can provide a written/multimedia presentation for the class room that will enhance any curriculum and give opportunity for some pretty amazing reflection from presenter and classroom audience for e-Portfolio use.

And that is the particular issue of Web 2.0 for educators: convergence of 3rd-party + e-Portfolio.  Because that is what will have to happen for educators and students to streamline the Web 2.0 and 3.0 learning experience for the future.

That’s it for NanoWeek.  Keep clicking…


©NanoWeek, M.S.Reed 2008

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