Friday, February 4, 2011

Oops, I Did It Again

#FAIL #2
You'll need to cut me some slack this week.  I'm so busy learning, I just haven't had the proper time to put into this project.  Yesterday, I had the absolute most amazing conversation with Meg Ormiston (look at me name dropping, tsk, tsk).  It wasn't just two ed tech geeks sharing tools but a real conversation about the real life triumphs and challenges we face everyday. But I digress and that's probably not what you are here.  You want that utility right?  We'll if you were at FETC this year you heard presenters and Twitter users alike say Twitter is the perfect way to build your PLN.  But if you listened carefully you also heard - but my school blocks Twitter! First of all ARRRGH! (wow, it's early in the morning) And second of all, look for alternatives.  A number of filters will automatically block all social networking sites.  But did you know most of them allow exceptions? This is why you need to make friends with your network team! They can open up Twitter from that all in-composing list.  This is known as whitelisting (throw that at them - they like geek speak)!
If they can't here's today's Twitter alternative - status.net.
Is it as powerful or dynamic as Twitter? Absolutely not! Is it free like Twitter? Yes and No. I hear you asking why? What's the point? First, It can be hosted behind your firewall (there's another of those geek speak vocabulary words). This makes it a walled garden micro-community that only those you want to have access get. THIS IS NOT THE POINT OF TWITTER! But it gets your schools feet wet.  It eases fear and eventually may lead to an unblocking of what you really want Twitter.
Second, it looks like it takes some work to get installed on an intranet.  It probably is easier just to whitelist Twitter, and sometimes your network team will fold to your original request simply to save time.  Don't ever come to the table empty handed.  When you provide alternatives to the network team, you may just may get what you originally asked for.  Isn't politics fun?
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