Facebook,  twitter,  web 2.0,  Weblogs

What web 2.0 apps would you least like to lose?

This is sort of web 2.0 desert island discs (I know lots of people have done this before, e.g. here and here). Having heard stories of people having their Flickr or Facebook accounts pulled, I wondered what would be the service I would least like to lose? Here are my top three:

  1. Blog – okay, it’s not a single service as such and pre-dates the use of the term web 2.0, but it’s my list, so I’m bundling it in. As I said in my post of why educators should blog, I see the blog as the base camp for your online world. Everything else spreads from this identity. For me it is the sine qua non of an online existence, and it’s also the one I gain the most satisfaction from. If I lost this I would feel truly that my professional life (and personal to an extent) was the poorer for it. Blog – I heart you.
  2. Twitter – yes, in at number 2, and the surprise hit over Facebook. I started back in September when I decided I really needed to give Twitter a decent run. And I’m converted. It makes me feel connected to a range of peers, in a non-intrusive way (unlike IM), it is great for finding resources, it offers access to a support network, and is also good fun. If the future is a hive mentality then Twitter is it’s waggle dance. If I lost Twitter I’d miss out on feeling part of a broader ed tech community, hell I may even have to go to conferences.
  3. Facebook – I still like Facebook, but as my previous post sets out, Twitter has removed some of the motivation to go into it. Facebook is slightly more friend and institution focused. At the OU we have started developing applications for Facebook, which I think will be a very good way for students to enhance their own learning experience (for instance they can find people on the same course, find a study buddy, recommend courses, and soon share their story, swap resources, etc). I’m sure something else will come along and replace FB eventually, but the questions it has raised about how you support learners in this space and take advantage of the community it offers them, without invading their space will be important ones for us to address in education for years to come. If I lost Facebook I’d lose access to some friends who I only have contact through this and I’d also lose a space where we can think about the future of education.

Honorable mention – Slideshare. I do like Slideshare, it’s just neat at what it does. And recording bad slidecasts is my new favourite hobby.

And that’s it – Flickr, Delicious, LinkedIn, 43Things, YouTube – I could live without them. I like them, but their loss wouldn’t be as catastrophic for me as the above.

What are the three you would least like to lose? Remember to focus on what impact their loss would have, not just on why you like them.


  • Sarah Stewart

    Hi there, I had a laugh at your comment about Slideshare, and like you, I too am hooked on doing really bad slidecasts and believe me… they are truly awful. However, I justify myself by thinking that at least, I’m giving it a go!
    I am really into my blog which I am using as a way to get in touch with people and also as a personal record for myself.
    I really love YouTube as a source of personal entertainment, information and teaching resources.
    FlickR would be my third choice because it allows me to share my personal photos with friends and family. But it is also an invaluable resource of images for my teaching. cheers Sarah

  • David McQuillan

    It’s a tough choice out of my blog, del.icio.us, bloglines (RSS reader), WikiEducator, Facebook & Travian.
    I could lose Travian. There are plenty of games out there, although it is a goodie.
    del.icio.us is probably next to be struck off my list.
    It’s hard to choose between the remaining 4. My RSS reader is probably top of the pile, so it’s a choice between
    1) putting my thoughts & reflections out there, and receiving feedback from my peers
    2) A collaborative environment for building course material
    3) Keeping up communication with my peers
    And after thinking about it for a while, I can’t make the choice. I need all of them (although I could transfer to another platform if required)

  • Martin

    Okay, I confess, I messed up leaving out an RSS reader. I’d probably have to drop either Twitter or FB for Google Reader.
    Sarah – yes, losing Flickr would impoverish my presentations a lot (remember we used to only have clip art?)
    AJ – I feel as though delicious _should_ be in there for me, but I’ve just never taken to social bookmarking in a big way. I feel as though this is an indicment on me.
    David – I like to see those struggles going on, that’s what it’s about!

  • Jeff

    Don’t know whether Skype qualifies as 2.0 but for those like me who have roots at opposite parts of the globe, VOIP applications have literally changed our existence. Really. Can’t even bear to imagine losing it.
    Martin says “recording bad slidecasts is my new favourite hobby”. Beats callecting gravel I guess ;-)))

  • Steven Verjans

    Strange that the 3 tools you would miss most are communication or social tools.
    For me it would be:
    1) Netvibes (which is my daily starting point and information hub, where I also read Twitter and Facebook updates – see below)
    2) Del.icio.us, which I (and a bunch of close friends and colleagues) use extensively to share bookmarks, in a way that you seem to be using Twitter.
    3) Facebook / Twitter, thereby ignoring the fine distinction you so delicately described in your previous posts.
    My blog has been inactive for too long to have reached the point of it being a social instrument (hardly anyone reads/comments because of a lack of updates, I suppose). So I guess I could live without the blog again…

  • Sue Waters

    You can take Facebook (and my mobile phone) and toss them out not worries at all. Unfortunately Twitter may be going the same way because I made the mistake of adding people (hard for me to say no) now I have so many followers that it is becoming unmanageable and losing its effectiveness.
    So if I had to choose the 3 I did not want to lose it would be 1) blog 2) Google Reader and 3) co-mment – they get me through the day.

  • Martin

    Jeff – yes Skype counts (see next post) – like Flashmeeting it’s a very useful tool for me. Wouldn’t like to be without it, but if I have to choose…
    Steven – Netvibes is an interesting one. A year ago it would have been in there, but I was really just using it as an RSS aggregator, so when I switched to Google Reader it fell away. Maybe I should revisit.
    Sue – oooh, co.mment I haven’t seen, so have just signed up. I’m not that popular on Twitter, so haven’t encountered the Tweet overload problem yet, but I do feel an obligation to follow someone if they follow me.

  • Gill

    Blog (for all reasons mentioned above)
    Google desktop (because in incorporates so many different ways to keep up with information and people on the web)
    Windows mobile or MSN messenger – because it gives me instant synchronous access to others regardless of their location and provides a fast “on/off” communication mode that gives me the information that I need when I need it. Of and of course lots of displacement chatter 🙂

  • Martin Le Voi

    OK my three are:
    Bloglines (recursively)
    Second Life (as MW says, its my post so I can include it if I want…) lots of content generated by users after all… (can I nominate pose balls as the invention of the century?!!!)
    Wikipedia (I use it almost daily, and have almost plucked up courage to edit it and add entries…)
    We will be teaching OU students how to use Wikipedia in a forthcoming course: it’ll be fun to see what they make of our approach…
    In the end I could live without Facebook, although its seems to be the only way of communicating with son over in Japan.
    Martin LV

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