The Essence of Social Software…

The more I’ve thought about it, read about it around the blogsphere, and the more I’ve read the comments to my last post, the more I’ve begun to realize that no matter how digitized our world becomes, no matter how fast knowledge explodes, no matter how much we need to be in touch with, and involved in 2.0 – or however this all evolves next, in the end it’s all about people. ( Aaron Nelson, Personal vs. Group: It’s about people. Accessed Nov.23,05)

Brilliant! Aaron nails the whole purpose of social software here. It is about the people, not the medium! If we spend too much time investing in the medium and don’t focus on the global conversation and the people it represents, then we are missing the point.
Social software is social ; it is a tool used to build bridges between people, a platform for ideas, a tool for revolution!
I get jazzed when I think about the possibilities social software brings to the table, but that is just it! I am not psyched about the programming code, or the intricacies of the net. What excites me is the potential for communication, for ideas, the possibility of moving beyond the physical boundaries of the classroom walls and enabling students to participate in a global conversation.
The whole reason why I got into social software was what I was reading by people like Aaron, Will Richardson, Barbara Ganley, etc (they are linked to on my blogroll…check them out, they are way more articulate than me…) The possibilities for engaging in a larger conversation, for deconstructing the walls of the classroom and creating a space for critical thought and reflection. When I see students thinking about the world around them, really thinking , taking it in, ruminating on it and responding to it in meaningful, insightful ways that show an understanding of audience, WOW…it is mind blowing stuff!
Add to that what is happening in places like China , where blogging is a tool for inciting revolution, or read Reporters Without Borders’ Handbook for Cyber Dissidents and the rabbit hole turns from a crack in the sidewalk into the Grand Canyon.

My brain spins when I think of how these tools are being used…

Aaron’s post has me excited. It is a reminder of the true nature of social software.


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