29 June 2010

is anyone listening?

In the era of Web 2.0, where everyone has a voice, I find it very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the noise happening around me. Listening to so many different media tools at once is like walking around on the exhibit floor of the ISTE conference in Denver; its so loud, you really have to focus in on what folks are saying. Otherwise, it all blends in with everything else around you.

[caption id="attachment_408" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="image courtesy of Beverly and Pack via flickr"]image courtesy of Beverly and Pack via flickr[/caption]

I found myself, earlier in the day, walking the exhibit floor, looking at the bright lights trying to distinguish what is relevant to me and what is simply noise. I can tell you, it was really easy just to zone out and wander around without really learning anything. Everyone turned their microphones up, trying to be heard above the din of the others around them. Connecting this to social/education media: how do you focus in on what is really important to you? What tools do you use to distinguish the important from the noise? On that note, please don't get offended if I don't automatically follow you on Twitter if you follow me. If I don't think you have something worth hearing, I'm not going to listen!

From the other side of the coin, how do you get heard above the noise of others? Sometimes I find myself talking (like now) and I don't think there is anyone listening other than the spambots and commercial term paper writers. I suspect this is what SETI research is like. Sending out a signal, wondering if anyone is listening. Better yet, wondering if anyone is even on your frequency. Sometimes I wonder if I even have anything worthwhile to say and if it is worth listening to. I'm certainly not doing anything ground-breaking but I suppose I am doing things differently than many of my Putnam City colleagues. Its like being the little fish on the big pond versus being the big fish on the little pond, right? I like my little pond, thank you very much.

As you can tell, I'm feeling a little disillusioned today. I'm not sure why. Maybe it is sensory overload. Maybe its the altitude. Maybe it's just me. Whatever it is, I've got to get refocused!

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